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This article appears in the March 29, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]


The Significance of Trump’s North Korea Diplomacy for the Venezuela Crisis

Dennis Small

TeleSUR, the Ibero-American terrestrial and satellite television network headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela, broadcast a 20-minute English-language interview on March 4 with EIR’s Dennis Small, on the significance of President Donald Trump’s North Korea diplomacy for the Venezuelan crisis. The interview was conducted by TeleSUR anchor Jorge Gestoso. It can be viewed. Subheads have been added. A 30-minute Spanish-language interview with Small on the same subject was broadcast on March 6.

Jorge Gestoso: Hello, I’m Jorge Gestoso, welcome to a new show. On today’s program, the recent summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un—with Dennis Small, Latin American editor of Executive Intelligence Review. Dennis, a warm welcome to the program.

Dennis Small: Thank you, Jorge. I’m very happy to be here.

Gestoso: We have heard different versions of the conclusion of that summit. Some of them are trying to say it was not as successful. What is your reading of that summit? Success, failure, promising—what’s your reading?

White House/Shealah Craighead
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un opening their second nuclear summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 27, 2019.

Small: I think that if we look at the summit narrowly, in terms of the immediate summit per se, it was not successful in what the possibilities were from that summit. But I don’t think we should jump to conclusions too quickly, as to where this is really going, because I think on the broader scale, of the directionality of this kind of diplomacy, I think the process is still very positive. And I’ll explain what I mean.

There are two different approaches going on internationally to the question of diplomacy and international relations: There’s one school of thought and practice, which we see, for example in the case of Venezuela, where the financial and political interests that have been dominant in the trans-Atlantic sector, have adopted the idea of what they call “R2P,” “Responsibility to Protect.”

Gestoso: To protect whom?

Small: That’s gobbledygook, as you indicate, which simply means, “I’m allowed to interfere in your internal affairs, violate your sovereignty, impose my view, making up some story about human rights violations, corruption, or anything.” The idea here, is to establish the precedent of eliminating national sovereignty, and creating a unipolar world with the domination of the financial interests of the trans-Atlantic sector—

Gestoso: “Trans-Atlantic” meaning?

Small: That means Wall Street and the City of London—basically, the Western financial system. Which, incidentally, is as bankrupt as bankrupt can be, because it has $1.5 quadrillion—don’t ask me how many zeroes, it’s a lot!—in speculative debt, derivatives and so on. Completely unpayable.

Gestoso: Much worse than 2008 crisis.

Small: Much worse, because the so-called solution of the 2008 crisis, was to simply create more speculation. In other words, you have a financial cancer, which you feed with more cancer. So, if the cancer grows, that’s not a solution, that’s a problem.

And this can blow, and it will blow at any time, and much of what we’re seeing in international relations, has to do with a bankrupt system trying to stay in control of a process of disintegration.

So that’s one whole process going on, and we see this internationally proposed by many of the people inside the Trump government.

Gestoso: For example, by whom?

Small: Well, for example, Vice President Mike Pence; for example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; for example, John Bolton, National Security Advisor. Elliott Abrams, the convicted felon who was just named to head up the U.S. relations with Venezuela. . .

Gestoso: Who lied to the Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair.

Small: Yes. He lied for that, and was found guilty in a court of law, for the felony of lying to Congress. And now, the idea is, he can somehow come back before the United Nations, as a convicted felon and a liar, to justify a military intervention into Venezuela—it would be ludicrous, if it weren’t so dangerous.

White House/Shealah Craighead
Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Trump during their expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel, Singapore on June 12, 2018.

The ‘Singapore Model’

Now, that’s one whole process going on. But, I think what President Trump is doing in the case of Korea, in North Korea, South Korea, the Korean Peninsula, is to move in the direction of an entirely different approach, of what the Chinese call “win-win relations”: to find a solution to the crisis of the peninsula which is based on the cooperative economic development of North Korea and South Korea, within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative that the Chinese have inaugurated. And what President Trump did with Chairman Kim in Singapore—

Gestoso: The first summit.

Small: Yes, exactly, the first summit that they held, was a kind of model—you could almost call it “the Singapore model”—of a different approach. I think President Trump went to Vietnam for the recent summit with the intention of pursuing that approach. And clearly Chairman Kim did the same thing.

It ran into some problems and obstacles, and I don’t pretend to know the details of what they were. But I think they are momentary obstacles.

Gestoso: So you think there will be next summits, next encounters?

Small: Yes. I think that there is a coming process going on—that process is still under way. I think that the possibilities of this moving forward are definitely encouraging. But, let’s face it, there are people inside the United States government and there are people on Wall Street and the City of London, and there are people in the British Empire, who do not want that approach to succeed.

Gestoso: So, in a way, Donald Trump is swimming against tide inside his own government?

Small: Donald Trump is an expert at swimming against the tide in general. In fact, I don’t think he knows how to swim with the tide, except the tide he did swim with in the elections, was what got him elected, which is an expression of the popular outrage in the population against the existing institutions and establishment.

But, yes. What you’re saying I think is exactly the point. He is swimming against the tide inside his government, and, internationally. Because, if you just look at what happened, at the same time as the North Korean summit was going on, the people who want to overthrow his Presidency—and this starts in London, and continues with very powerful interests in the U.S. intelligence establishment, and others, like Mueller, and Brennan, and so on, they organized this complete clown show and circus, of Michael Cohen—another convicted liar—testifying before Congress, the very same day the President of the United States was speaking to Kim Jong-un.

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Intelligence chiefs: (l. to r.) FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director John Brennan testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 9, 2106.

Now, this is never done in American politics, as you know. You do not do that, no matter what you think of the President, you don’t wash your laundry in public, while he’s abroad, especially on issues of war and peace!

Not only did they do it, but they tried to undermine his very Presidency. And I think that gives you a reading of the level of opposition and hostility to Trump, coming from people who fear that their empire is threatened, not just because of Trump, but because of a global process, that we saw expressed in the Brexit vote, that we saw expressed in the Italian elections, and that saw, ironically, expressed in the elections in Mexico, where the populism didn’t take a so-called “right-wing” form, it took a “left-wing” form. And therefore, you have the basis of an alliance among Trump, China, Russia, Italy, Mexico, not on the basis of ideology of left and right, but on the basis of a new and different economic policy internationally, and a new global security policy. That I think is the big picture around North Korea.

‘Denuclearization,’ ‘R2P,’ and Sovereignty

Gestoso: When we hear what the mass media here is talking about the recent summit in Hanoi, they’re saying President Trump went to discuss the denuclearization—he has trouble with the word “denuclearization”—

Small: So do I!

Gestoso: [laughs] Welcome to the club—the denuclearization of North Korea, just specifically that part. And Chairman Kim was saying, we’re discussing here the denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula.

Talk to us about that, the whole picture, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also around the other big players in the nuclear world?

Small: Chairman Kim, like the government of North Korea in general, has watched very carefully what has happened in Iraq, what happened in Libya, what the plan is for regime-change in Venezuela, what they tried to do in Syria but failed: Which is using the “Responsibility to Protect” for regime-change and once the government is overthrown, all the promises are out the window and the leadership is murdered, like what happened with Qaddafi in Libya.

The Koreans will not abandon their one capability for defending themselves, no matter what we think of them, unless they have security guarantees. This is a point that has been emphasized, I think correctly, by President Putin of Russia and by President Xi Jinping of China. And therefore, the role here, of China and of Russia, with the United States, in guaranteeing the conditions under which North Korea can denuclearize, safely, which means a denuclearization of the region and have some of the economic sanctions lifted on a step-by-step basis, a kind of a quid pro quo, that’s the only way this can go forward.

And I think that Trump has, on one level, recognized this. Even as he was leaving Hanoi, after this immediate meeting did not succeed, by saying, not only will we proceed, but also China and Russia have played a very positive role in this.

So, the broader picture here, is we’re dealing with a world where nuclear weapons and the development of new technologies in nuclear weapons, such as those announced by Putin recently, have reached such a point that nuclear war is unthinkable, unless we care to make the human species extinct.

And therefore, a new arrangement, a new architecture must be created for security, a return to the kinds of policies that President Ronald Reagan had proposed with the Strategic Defense Initiative at the time—which, incidentally, Mr. LaRouche, the founder of our magazine, of Executive Intelligence Review, played an important role in developing the concepts behind that SDI, which were two key points: Systems based on new physical principles, not the old, kinetic principles, new physical principles, because that technology, when it’s extended into the civilian economy can lead to an explosion of growth; and the second, working with, not against, but in cooperation with, not conflict with, Russia and China; Russia, then the Soviet Union.

That was Reagan’s policy, and unfortunately it was never actually carried out. We have to return to something like that, and I think that is a possibility with what’s happening in Korea.

Trump Should Sit Down with Maduro

Gestoso: Regarding Venezuela: We heard in the Security Council of the United Nations recently, the foreign minister of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza as saying: Why should President Trump not sit with President Maduro of Venezuela, and solve the whole thing? And also, he was sort of joking, he said, because President Maduro is the head of the Venezuelan government, and President Trump is the head of the Venezuelan opposition, so they can solve everything, just the two of them. [laughs]

But the basic thing here is, President Trump is sitting with Chairman Kim, because there is that sort of fear that there is the nuclear power. Latin America has decided that it is the region of peace, and it’s proud of it, because of being the region of peace, in a way, it’s much more vulnerable to the threats of the U.S. to invade them, because, as you said, they don’t like their sovereignty. Isn’t that ironic, that you need nuclear weapons to be “respected” by the big players of the nuclear world?

Small: I think that President Trump should sit down with President Maduro. When President Trump sits down on a one-on-one discussion with world leaders of big and small countries, you tend to get very interesting results that break out of the game plan of the geopolitical approach which the City of London and Wall Street want to establish.

This, incidentally, is why everything imaginable was done to prevent—and is still being done—to prevent President Trump from sitting down and meeting with President Putin. When they have done that, there is the basis for a discussion moving forward, like happened in Helsinki.

Now, what happens, every time President Trump breaks out in a direction of that kind of unusual diplomacy, which does work, that’s when every operation imaginable is launched, to try to sabotage it. I’ll just mention two or three: His talking with President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago, just as you and I are talking here, except they were having a very nice banquet—

Gestoso: And chocolate dessert!

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U.S. Govt.
Heightened destabilization of Venezuela: (top to bottom) a rally of Guaidó supporters, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence meeting with Venezuelan refugees, and a highway blocked in confrontation with military.

Small: Yes, a very nice meal, and so on—and at that moment, the [self-proclaimed] neo-cons inside the Trump Administration, with advice from London, from the British Empire, lied to President Trump and got him to go along with a military strike against Syria,—with Xi sitting in front of him.

On the occasion of Helsinki: Immediately as that was happening, the Mueller circus—which it is, it’s a circus, against Trump—there is no collusion; the whole premise of the thing is completely nonsensical, and it has been shown to be such. And parenthetically, let me just mention, an interesting article written by William Binney, the former Technical Director of the NSA—

Gestoso: The National Security Agency.

Small: Exactly. And, Larry Johnson—these are two whistleblowers, in which they prove, as only such professionals can prove, that it is technically impossible for Russia to have hacked the DNC [Democratic National Committee] computer. The speeds at which it happened, could only have been done by a download onto a thumb drive. It could not have happened over the internet. That’s the kind of information that completely disproves the whole thesis of this entire thing!

Gestoso: That the bogeyman is Russia.

Small: That the bogeyman is Russia. And part of this is designed to overthrow the Trump government, but certainly to prevent him from developing a good personal relationship with Putin, the way he has with Xi.

The Timing: North Korea and Venezuela

Now, I think that—and if you just look at when these things happened—it’s not accidental that also right at the time of this planned meeting with Kim in Hanoi, was exactly the moment, a week before, that the whole Venezuelan situation was kicked up, into a huge storm, making up stories, inventing things about how they couldn’t get humanitarian aid in—that’s just factually not true. Humanitarian aid is getting into Venezuela, if it’s done through the proper channels, of the United Nations. And that has been made clear internationally. Venezuela doesn’t have a problem with that.

Gestoso: And even the Red Cross opposes to do in that condition, in political conditions.

Small: Right, that you cannot use humanitarian aid as an excuse and a justification for the invasion of a country. Which is obviously what the game plan is here.

So I do think the reason the Venezuelan thing was blown up when it was, was to try to sabotage [Trump’s negotiations with] North Korea. This is how these people think.

Gestoso: So, timing is everything.

Small: Yes. And to establish the precedent in all of Latin America, that nobody can break out of the game of the bankrupt financial system of the West, and to ally, for example, with China and the Belt and Road. Wall Street is very nervous about that—there are numerous countries that are doing that.

And so, I think these are all factors in the Venezuela situation, which are related to North Korea.

The Two World Systems

Again, the big picture is this: We have two systems right now in the world: One, which is sinking and is bankrupt, and is falling apart, which is the system of the bankrupt, Western financial system, with its $1.5 quadrillion in unpayable debt; its promotion of war; and its desire to have a conflict with Russia and China in particular—system number one, going down.

System number two, beginning to surge internationally, is what is built around the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese, which is exactly what the United States should join. One of the great ironies, here, Jorge, is that system of the Chinese is almost exactly what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the United States: It’s the American System of Hamilton, of Lincoln, and of Roosevelt. It’s that kind of win-win approach, where industrial advance, technological development, and science, for every nation of the world, respecting their sovereignty, has become a real prospect.

So we’re facing a global battle now, of exactly the sort Mr. LaRouche had long discussed, where the different regional situations can be best understood from the standpoint of that global chessboard.

Gestoso: In a way your vision, or part of your vision is that President Trump will be at least partially swimming against the tide of some hawks of his own government. His life, politically, or more than politically, physically, could be tried to be killed, like it happened with John Kennedy?

The British Empire Swims Against the Future

Small: I think that—let me invert it: I think that the British Empire, the City of London, Wall Street, those financial interests, will stop at nothing to defend their system. They will try to make sure that their chosen candidates are elected, like it was the case with Hillary Clinton, and when that doesn’t happen, they will try to overthrow the President of the United States, which is now going on around the Trump question, with completely manufactured accusations. If that doesn’t work, they will try to have people implanted inside his government to try to force him in a certain direction; they will try to blackmail him; and absolutely, these people are perfectly capable of assassinating heads of state, when they find no other solution.

I do think, however, that this is not hopeless by any means, because President Trump is a fighter—sometimes he fights for the wrong policies, but by and large, he’s fighting for the right policies in international affairs. And he’s a fighter, and he’s not going to go down easily. And what he has shown, so far throughout his Presidency, is that he’s capable of providing that kind of leadership.

If that moves in alliance with what China and Russia, and other nations are doing—like the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa]—towards a different economic system, I think that will be the Achilles’ heel of this international financial system. It’s going down anyway. The only question is: Can we replace it with a new, human system that actually is based on that, which, after all, distinguishes us, the human species, from all other species, which is our creativity, our ability to innovate, to have science, and to build the present with an idea of what the future must be? I think that’s possible. And I think that the owners of this system also believe it’s possible, and therefore, they are really freaked out.

Gestoso: Dennis Small, thank you very much for joining us.

Small: My pleasure.

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