Considering the fact that the US media is quick to label Hugo Chavez’s regime “anti-American”, there sure are a lot of US nationals, expats and dual citizens living and visiting unmolested in Venezuela. Some, like Eva Golinger, have a high profile. And they enjoy considerable grassroots popularity–the kind the transnational corporate leaders would literally kill for. Why are they being treated so respectfully? Maybe it’s not the fact that they are Americans, but the fact that they are dissenters–dissidents of capitalism and the war machine. In their own ways, these Americans are with the revolution.
An emerging force in the ranks of Americans welcomed with open arms in Venezuela is Jimmy Massey. The former Marine and Gulf War II vet’s book, “Cowboys From Hell”, is a big noise at this year’s FILVEN book fair in Caracas. Ernesto Villegas interviews him on his morning talk show, En Confianza, with an expat American, Chris Carlson (who writes at Venezuelanalysis and blogs at Gringo in Venezuela) translating:
He talks a bit about his background, his history with the Marine Corps, and the increasing use of mercenaries (ex-soldiers who now work for private firms like Blackwater) in Iraq, which has wrought the predictable disastrous results. He also talks about the way the US military is dangling offers of benefits and education to Latino immigrants in particular, to entice them to become cannon fodder. And he doesn’t mince words about how military members are being made into tools. “Gangsters for capitalism”, as he puts it. He’s also very outspokenly pro-Chavez–and makes no bones about being a revolutionary! He closes with a six-point pledge to the people of Venezuela with regard to Iraq.
Massey speaks out on behalf of human rights, and against the war on Iraq; that has essentially made him persona non grata in his own country, particularly with the right-wing lie machine. It also makes him a force to be reckoned with as the truth about Iraq emerges around the world.
No wonder they love him in Venezuela.