Underneath the bluster of a Trump administration that still acts like the United States is the world hegemon, the ruling class is working to pragmatically respond to the loss of America's status as a dominant power. In 2017 the Pentagon put out a report that admitted American global influence is rapidly declining, and now that the U.S. is sure to soon lose its superpower status, the corporatocracy has to address this issue.
How will they address it? The answer can be found by recognizing a basic reality: whether or not the corporatocracy can hold onto the U.S. as their dominant engine for carrying out imperialism, they'll always do everything possible to make imperialism continue in some form. Imperialism is how the U.S./NATO capitalist class have gained their wealth, so they'll try to maintain it or else they'll lose a vast amount of this wealth. I've covered in another essay the means through which our ruling class will try to retain control over the population of the imperial core. In this one I'll detail the ways they'll try to keep up the cycle of imperialist exploitation.
1: Take drastic measures to retain control over the empire's remaining neo-colonies
It's clear why Washington's Latin America policy in the last few years has become like a modern version of Operation Condor, the Cold War-era effort by Washington to imprison or kill tens of thousands of anti-imperialists within Latin America. The ever-tightening sanctions on Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, along with all the recent coup attempts against the Chavista government, have demonstrated this. The neoconservative plans for regime change against Cuba and Nicaragua, along with Washington's so far unsuccessful campaign to remove Mexico's left-leaning president, show where this backlash to Latin American anti-imperialism will likely go in the coming years. The empire wants to do in all the hemisphere's remaining anti-imperialist countries what it did to Bolivia last year: oust the disfavored leadership and install a right-wing regime.
Therefore we can expect a long-term and intensifying series of U.S. propaganda campaigns to demonize these governments, along with all the economic warfare, coup attempts, or military invasions that Washington finds necessary to carry out its regime change ambitions. But whether or not any of these projects succeed, Washington's existing neo-colonies will experience repression akin to the repression within the core imperialist countries.
This is to say a campaign of terror against the populace. Already, this last year has seen a return to the brutality of the Pinochet era in several U.S.-aligned countries throughout the region. In response to last year's anti-austerity protests in Chile, the country's right-wing billionaire president sent in security forces to kill dozens of protesters and injure or arrest thousands of them. Ecuador's neoliberal government has carried out similar repression in response to its own lower class uprising. Since Bolivia's coup regime took power last November, it's enacted ethnic cleansing against its indigenous population, created death squads, and arrested or killed journalists and political opponents.
In all these places, it's becoming clear that the reactionary leaders ultimately seek to recreate the conditions of the region's past dictatorships. Brazil's Bolsonaro has prepared to enact the same kinds of repression from the country's era of military dictatorship (an era which Bolsonaro admires). Bolivia's regime has postponed the next election after mobilizing the military in order to intimidate the socialist opposition. Honduras' U.S.-installed regime has already become a dictatorship.
The Latin American right hopes that fascism will stop the contradictions of capitalism and colonialism from bringing about a wave of revolutions. And Washington is eager to help foster this fascism, with Pompeo having said last December that the U.S. will help its partnered Latin American regimes "prevent Latin America protests from becoming riots."
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