Militarizing Latin America

by Noam Chomsky
First Published: Mar. 04, 2010 – ZSpace

The United States was founded as an “infant empire,” in George Washington’s words. The conquest of the national territory was a grand imperial venture, much like the vast expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. From the earliest days, control over the Western Hemisphere was a critical goal. Ambitions expanded during World War II, as the US displaced Britain and lesser imperial powers. High-level planners concluded that the US should “hold unquestioned power” in a world system including not only the Western Hemisphere, but also the former British Empire and the Far East, and later, as much of Eurasia as possible.

A primary goal of NATO was to block moves towards European independence, along Gaullist lines. That became still more clear when the USSR collapsed, and with it the Russian threat that was the formal justification of NATO. NATO was not disbanded, but rather expanded, in violation of promises to Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not even fully extend to East Germany, let alone beyond, and that “NATO would be transforming itself into a more political organization.” By now it is virtually an international intervention force under US command, its self-defined jurisdiction reaching to control energy sources, pipelines, and sea lanes. And Europe is a well-disciplined junior partner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Obama’s War for Oil in Colombia

A War Against Human Rights and the Environment

by Daniel Kovalik
Published: Jan. 27, 2010 – CounterPunch.org

This past summer, President Obama announced that he had signed an agreement with Colombia to grant the U.S. military access to 7 military bases in Colombia. As the UK’s Guardian newspaper announced at the time, “[t]he proposed 10-year lease will give the US access to at least seven Colombian bases – three air force, two naval and two army – stretching from the Pacific to the Caribbean.” And, these bases would accommodate up to 800 military and 600 civilian contractors of the United States. As the Guardian explained, this announcement caused outrage in neighboring Latin American nations and “damaged Barack Obama’s attempt to mend relations with the region.”

Read the rest of this entry »


The Annexation of Colombia to the US

by Fidel Castro
First Published: Nov. 06, 2009 – Cuba.cu

Anyone with some information can immediately see that the sweetened ‘Complementation Agreement for Defense and Security Cooperation and Technical Assistance between the Governments of Colombia and the United States’ signed on October 30, and made public in the evening of November 2, amounts to the annexation of Colombia to the United States.

The agreement puts theoreticians and politicians in a predicament. It wouldn’t be honest to keep silence now and speak later on sovereignty, democracy, human rights, freedom of opinion and other delights, when a country is being devoured by the empire as easy as lizards catch flies. This is the Colombian people; a self-sacrificing, industrious and combative people. I looked up in the hefty document for a digestible justification and I found none whatsoever.

Read the rest of this entry »


US Strategic Interests in Latin America: The Militarization of Colombia

by Prof James J. Brittain
Published: Oct. 28, 2009 – Global Research

It is not difficult to obtain information related to the many social movements and progressive political mechanisms working to implement social reforms throughout contemporary Latin America. Venezuela continues to experience support for the presidency of Hugo Chávez [1999-] and the changes therein via the Bolivarian Revolution; Bolivia has witnessed the successful promotion of nationalization projects through Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS) [2006-]; and president Rafael Correa [2007-] has garnished significant applause for his administrations consistent denunciation of US intervention in the region, as shown through Ecuador’s disallowance of Washington to resume activities at the port and airport in Manta. Alongside the aforementioned electoral shifts, the on-going civil war within Colombia has, contrary to state and popular media reports, seen the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas-Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP) remain a consistent threat to dominant political-economic interests in both Colombia and the United States (Brittain, 2010). For years the FARC-EP have been “the most powerful and successful guerrilla army in the world” leading it to be seen as “the most important military and political force in South America opposing imperialism” (Escribano, 2003: 299; Petras and Brescia, 2000: 134; see also Petras and Veltmeyer, 2003). A testament of their consequential Marxism, administration after administration in Colombia (and the United States) have diligently fought to halt the FARC-EP’s struggle of emancipation fearing that the country’s elite could lose their entrenched class dominance. If such events were to occur a further destabilization of domestic and foreign interests would subsequently arise within a region increasingly moving away from a well-entrenched conventional political-economic system dominated by the United States. While 2008 witnessed the insurgency implement a tactical withdrawal, the FARC-EP remains to be the largest and longest-established insurgency movement in Latin American history (Brittain, 2010; Petras, 2008).

Read the rest of this entry »