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470 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1971
“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force—the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.… Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank to collect revenues in. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras ‘right’ for American fruit companies in 1903”
“… the United States occupied Haiti for twenty years [1915-1934] and, in that black country that had been the scene of the first victorious slave revolt, introduced racial segregation and forced labor, killed 1,500 workers in one of its repressive operations (according to a U.S. Senate investigation in 1922), and when the local government refused to turn the Banco Nacional into a branch of New York’s National City Bank, suspended the salaries of the president and his ministers so that they might think again.”
“In a fine report on his visit [in 1910], [a socialist journalist,] John Kenneth Turner wrote that ‘the United States has virtually reduced Diaz [the Mexican president] to a political dependency, and by so doing has virtually transformed Mexico into a slave colony of the United States.’ U.S. capital made juicy profits directly or indirectly from its association with the dictatorship. ‘The Americanization of Mexico of which Wall Street boasts,’ wrote Turner, ‘is being accomplished and accomplished with a vengeance’.”
“In 1965 another sugar country, the Dominican Republic, was invaded, this time—according to their commander, General Bruce Palmer—by 40,000 U.S. Marines ready ‘to stay indefinitely in this country in view of the reigning confusion.’ The vertical drop in sugar prices had been a factor in setting off popular indignation; the people rose against the military dictatorship and U.S. troops arrived promptly to restore order… After the invasion, President Lyndon Johnson’s special envoy to the Dominican Republic was Ellsworth Bunker, the chairman of the National Sugar Refining Company”
There are always politicians and technocrats ready to show that the invasion of “industrialising” foreign capital benefits the area invaded. In this version , the new-model imperialism comes on a geuinely civilizing mission, is a blessing to the dominated countries, and the true-love declarations by the dominant power of the moment are its real intentions. Guilty consciences are ths relieved of the need for alibis, for no one is guilty:, today’s imperialism radiates techology and progress, and even the use of this old, unpleasant word to define it is in bad taste. But when imperialism begins exalting its own virtues we should take a look in our pockets. We find that the new model does not make its colonies more prosperous, although it enriches their poles of development; it does not ease social and regional tensions, but aggravates them; it spreads poverty even more widely and concentrates wealth even more narrowly; it pays wages twenty times lower than in Detroit and charges prices three times higher than in New York; it takes over the internal market and the mainsprings of the productive apparatus; it assumes proprietary rights to chart the course and fix the frontiers of progress; it controls national credit and orients external trade at its whim; it denationalises not only industry but the profits earned by industry; it fosters the waste of resources by diverting a large part of the economic surplus abroad; it does not bring in capital for investment but takes it out.
En la actualidad, cualquiera de las corporaciones multinacionales opera con mayor coherencia y sentido de unidad que este conjunto de islas que es América Latina, desgarrada por tantas fronteras y tantas incomunicaciones. ¿Qué integración pueden realizar, entre sí, países que ni siquiera se han integrado por dentro?
Los latinoamericanos somos pobres porque es rico el suelo que pisamos y los lugares privilegiados por la naturaleza han sido malditos por la historia.
“Nunca seremos felizes, nunca”, profetizara Simón Bolívar.
"É a América Latina, a região das veias abertas. Do descobrimento aos nossos dias, tudo sempre se transformou em capital europeu ou norte-americano. A terra, seus frutos e suas profundezas ricas em minerais, os recursos naturais e os recursos humanos. O modo de produção e a estrutura de classes de cada lugar foram sucessivamente determinados, do exterior, por sua incorporação à engrenagem universal do capitalismo.
Entrar no mundo: o mundo é o mercado. O mercado mundial, onde se compram países. Nada de novo. A América Latina nasceu para obedecê-lo, quando o mercado mundial ainda não se chamava assim, e aos trancos e barrancos continuamos atados ao dever de obediência.
Essa triste rotina dos séculos começou com o ouro e a prata, e seguiu com o açúcar, o tabaco, o guano, o salitre, o cobre, o estanho, a borracha, o cacau, a banana, o café, o petróleo... O que nos legaram esses esplendores? Nem herança nem bonança. Jardins transformados em desertos, campos abandonados, montanhas esburacadas, águas estagnadas, longas caravanas de infelizes condenados à morte precoce e palácios vazios onde deambulam os fantasmas.
Agora é a vez da soja transgênica, dos falsos bosques da celulose e do novo cardápio dos automóveis, que já não comem apenas petróleo ou gás, mas também milho e cana-de-açúcar de imensas plantações. Dar de comer aos carros é mais importante do que dar de comer às pessoas. E outra vez voltam as glórias efêmeras, que ao som de suas trombetas nos anunciam grandes desgraças.
Nós nos negamos a escutar as vozes que nos advertem: os sonhos do mercado mundial são os pesadelos dos países que se submetem aos seus caprichos. Continuamos aplaudindo o sequestro dos bens naturais com que Deus, ou o Diabo, nos distinguiu, e assim trabalhamos para a nossa perdição e contribuímos para o extermínio da escassa natureza que nos resta".
In these lands we are not experiencing the primitive infancy of capitalism but its vicious senility. Underdevelopment isn't a stage of development, but its consequence. Latin America's underdevelopment arises from external development, and continues to feed it. A system made impotent by its function of international servitude, and moribund since birth, has feet of clay. It pretends to be destiny and would like to be thought eternal. All memory is subversive, because it is different, and likewise any program for the future. The zombie is made to eat without salt: salt is dangerous, it could awaken him. The system has its paradigm in the immutable society of ants. For that reason it accords ill with the history of humankind, because that is always changing. And because in the history of humankind every act of destruction meets its response, sooner or later, in an act of creation.