Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek
For almost a decade, I have been covering “Color Revolutions” in virtually all parts of the world. While making a film for TeleSur, I was facing Egyptian tanks, risking my life under sniper fire, getting roughed-up in the middle of clashes of the supporters of al-Sisi and Morsi.
Together with Syrian commanders, I was also facing the terrorists in Idlib; challenged the Ukrainian fascists; encountering Bolivian indigenous elders high in the Altiplano, after the revolution of Evo Morales and MAS was crashed by the U.S.-sponsored coup in 2019. I regularly worked in Venezuela, Lebanon, and Iraq. And of course, again and again, I have been returning to Hong Kong, reporting on systematic Western attempts to radicalize SAR’s youth and to harm China.
“Color Revolutions!” Unlike many “analysts” who are now tossing this term left and right, often without ever experiencing the events first hand, I spoke with the people on the ground, examining dynamics, asking endless questions. On many occasions, I was risking my life to get a philosophical context and the story right.
Frankly, I am sick of conspiracy theories, ignorance, clichés, and arrogance of those “analysts” who, from the comfort of their couch, somewhere in Europe or North America, are passing judgments and conclusions, with that proud look of superiority.
Since the police murdered Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, since the United States literally exploded, since the African Americans, Native Americans and other appallingly oppressed people went to the streets in hundreds of the cities demanding justice; a substantial group of mainly white ‘we-know-everything’ ‘analysts’ began belittling protesters, calling them ‘violent,’ calling them ‘riots,’ calling them ‘creations of Soros and the Zionists’! And at the end, with dark sarcasm, declaring that the United States itself is now suffering from what it has been spreading all over the world for years – from the so-called “Color Revolution.”
Many of those ‘analysts’ became so aggressive and vocal that they literally managed to monopolize the ‘alternative narrative.’ Suddenly, there was hardly any space left for those of us who were continuously writing, using traditional internationalist, left-wing perspective.
First of all, even the term itself – “Color Revolutions” – became a bad cliché.
The Western empire has been destroying the world for some 500+ years, in the most brutal ways imaginable. Hundreds of millions of lives were lost. Entire continents were plundered. People have been enslaved.
At the end of the colonial era, in various parts of our planet, at least some semi-independence was achieved. But countless governments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America were still taking diktat directly from Washington, London, Paris, and other Western capitals.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation looked desperate. But with the rise of China and Russia, as well as Iran, great hope returned, and many countries embarked on the second stage of de-colonialization.
The process was confused and confusing. Each country was different. There were attempts to trigger real revolutions (Egypt), but there were also some clearly anti-revolutionary and right-wing movements (Syria, Ukraine) born.
In many countries where genuine grievances of the people brought masses to the streets, masses which were demanding mainly social and political reforms, the West quickly infiltrated several movements and literally kidnaped the revolutions. This is what happened in Egypt, but also, a few years later, in Lebanon and Iraq.
But to claim that Egypt had not attempted a revolution would be insulting, patronizing, and incorrect! Egypt was suffering from the terrible pro-Western regime and from the military. Egyptian people rose. I was working with a group of Marxist doctors during the process; I saw it all, from the ground, so to speak. But the revolution was infiltrated and finally destroyed.
In Lebanon, too. For five years, I was based there; in Beirut and Asia. People were fed up with the so-called ‘confessional democracy,’ of the religions tearing-apart the nation, of savage capitalism, collapsed infrastructure, and non-existent social services. Hezbollah, hated by the West and Israel has been the only solid provider of social services to all deprived Lebanese people, for years and decades. And so, in Lebanon, too, people rose. Late, in 2019, but rose. Sure, a few weeks after, I began spotting clenched fists of “Odpor” and “Canvas” on the Martyr’s Square (those used in Serbia, when President Milosevich was forced out of power, with full sponsorship of the West). Sure, the West began supporting rebels, because it wanted to get rid of Hezbollah, which has been part of the ruling coalition. But people of Lebanon do have thousands of legitimate grievances; reasons to rebel. However, the West has been skillfully infiltrating and, to some extent manipulating the uprising, which is still going on until this day. And we have no idea where it is all going to lead.
Do you see how complex the situation is? It does not fit any of the simplifications, and clichés! And of course, it is even more complicated than how I describe it here. It takes entire books to explain.
Syria: another totally different story, and absolutely distinctive specie of “Color Revolutions,” if it is how you want to call it. Some grievances, yes. But also, a solid pan-Arab socialist state, which the West, Saudis, Qataris, Israelis, and other allies of Washington wanted desperately to destroy; government they were aiming to overthrow. After a relatively mild rebellion in Aleppo and Holms, supported by Gulf states coalition, and the West, Saudis, and Turks began injecting monstrous, murderous combat forces into Syria, from ISIS to Uyghurs, and everything in between.
All these cases of interference from the West are totally distinctive, although some patterns can be detected. And we are still in the same cultural and geographical area.
Now look further away: Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Hong Kong (China).
In all these places, there are direct interventions, clear counter-revolution! It is financed, supported, and coordinated from Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, and other Western capitals.
In Bolivia, white, racist, fundamentalist Christian elites overthrew, with the full support of the White House, the legitimate multi-cultural, democratic, and enormously successful government of President Evo Morales. It was done after agitation by a small sector of Bolivians, clearly financed from abroad and by the local elites. One month after the coup, I was working all over the Altiplano, taking down testimonies of indigenous people who were humiliated, tortured, abused, even killed by a new illegitimate regime.
That’s quite different ‘scenario,’ isn’t it; different from that in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt? Is it really legitimate to hide it all under one single “Color Revolutions” label?
Look at Cuba: decades and decades of terror against this marvelous island! Passenger airplanes being blown out of the sky. Countless assassination plots against its leaders. Chemical warfare, biological warfare, the bombing of cafes, restaurants, and hotels. All proven and documented. And constant attempts to recruit, radicalize Cuban citizens – to force them against their own government.
Venezuela, a nation that offered tremendous hope to the entire divided continent. Venezuela compassionate, brave, built on solidarity. Look what has been done to her. One coup attempts after another. Embargos. Recruitment of treasonous cadres. Attacks from neighboring Colombia. Another “Color Revolution?” Or merely a campaign of terror?
Hong Kong: a city, former British colony, which has been ‘sacrificed’ by the West, while literally converted into a battleground against the most optimistic country on Earth – China. There, the symbol used to be umbrellas, not colors. Now, there seems to be no symbol, whatsoever, just spite and violence and hate.
It is easy to understand that somehow the label of “Color Revolutions” is trivializing everything.
I am surprised that some conspiracy theorists did not come up with a scheme, yet, that would say that the very term – “Color Revolutions” – has been invented to belittle what has been done to the world by the imperialist West. To throw everything to one bag, and to confuse everything.
Back to the United States.
“Color Revolution” there, too? For heaven’s sake, really?
After the murder of Mr. Floyd, protests are being discredited, again and again, by the people who, one would believe, should be standing by the side of the oppressed. Instead, they call rebellion ‘riots,’ they claim that they are backed by Soros, Gates, others!
The terrible truth emerged: in the United States, there is almost no left anymore. No real left. No internationalist left.
Instead, there are tons of conspiracy theory sites.
Significantly, on the streets of Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, black people are not just demanding justice for themselves; they have been shouting internationalist slogans, demanding justice for the world. It is something new, something marvelous, something you hardly hear in Paris or Berlin.
But this fact goes unnoticed, hardly reported.
The explosion of rage, brave uprising all over the United States, has been targeting those basic foundations of over 200 years long monstrous history, on which the country is based. First, the colonialist invasion by the genocidal Europeans, then extermination of the great majority of native people, and simultaneously the most repulsive slavery which was endorsed and used by the founding fathers.
The state of the oppressed people in the U.S.A. today is clearly and directly related, connected to that past. But not only that: the entire state of the world could only be comprehended if viewed in the context of what has been done to the native people and brutalized black slaves in the United States itself.
Colonialism, extermination campaigns in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are inter-connected with the plight of non-white people in the United States.
Now, black people in the United States are fighting for themselves and their children, but also for their brothers and sisters in all corners of the world, which is still colonized and plundered by Washington and London.
Do all of the protesters know this? Some do, some don’t, and many feel it, intuitively.
Now, to the point which is made by those who are trying to discredit this uprising: is all this also a power-struggle inside the U.S. establishment? Are Democrats, for instance, trying to manipulate the situation, using it to their advantage?
I have no doubt that they are such attempts. Almost everyone in the United States is always using things, looking for advantages. This is what people are taught to do, living in a savage capitalist system.
But these are two distinct issues!
Even if Gates, Soros, deep state, Democrats, mass media outlets, and who knows who else, wants to kidnap the narrative and derail the uprising, it changes nothing on the fact that the peoples whose lives were, for generations, ruined, are now pissed off no end, and that their rebellion may shake the foundations of the entire country, and the terrible world order!
Even now, as this is being written, the uprising in the U.S. already inspired new movement @PapuanLivesMatter, which is referring to an ongoing genocide in West Papua, performed by the Indonesian state on behalf of Western governments and mining companies.
And this is just a beginning.
Grievances are legitimate. Struggle for justice is legitimate. The essential thing now is to separate the fight against racism, colonialism, and imperialism, from the political interests of the establishment, or part of it.
This separation can only happen on the barricades. And since the education has been kidnapped by the regime, there has to be an accelerated injection of the revolutionary education administered to both protesters and the general public. Education about both the past and the present.
But we should not give up on the protesters!
And calling their uprising “Color Revolution” is disrespectful and yes: racist!
Their rage is legitimate. And of course, the rage of the people all over the world is legitimate, too, without any doubt.
Point one: Blanket term “Color Revolutions” is wrong. Those who are promoting it are actually confusing the situation. During the last years and decades, the West has been using many different tactics on how to overthrow governments, subvert legitimate movements and revolutions, and deter revolutionary and anti-colonialist struggle. Each has to be examined and exposed separately, individually. Otherwise, it would create indigestible, on purpose confusing mass, and further damage independence struggle. Otherwise, nihilism would be spread, and revolutionary zeal deterred.
Point two: in the United States – the ongoing struggle against racism, segregation, and imperialism is a legitimate struggle, which is having a tremendous and positive influence on the entire world. If there are political interests that are trying to undermine and derail it, they should be exposed by the people in the United States. But it does not mean at all that the protesters should be discourages, let alone ridiculed. Those who are fighting for justice, and for the entire world, should be embraced and full-heartedly supported!
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Six of his latest books are “New Capital of Indonesia”, “China Belt and Road Initiative,” “China and Ecological Civilization” with John B. Cobb, Jr., “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism,” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo, and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and Latin America and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website, his Twitter and his Patreon.