by Mark Vorpahl
Published: Jul. 19, 2010 – Global Research
Nestled between Panama to its south and Nicaragua to its north, Costa Rica is a Central American nation roughly the size of Rhode Island.
If another nation were to send Rhode Island a force of 7,000 troops, 200 helicopters, and 46 warships in an effort to eradicate drug trafficking, it is doubtful that the residents of Rhode Island would consider this offer “on-the-level.” Such a massive military force could hardly be efficiently used to combat drug cartels. The only logical conclusion is that the nation whose troops now are occupying this other country had another agenda in mind that it didn’t want to share.
by Benjamin Dangl
Published: Mar. 19, 2010 – Common Dreams
On the shores of the Magdalena River, in a lush green valley dotted with cattle ranches and farms, sits the Palanquero military base, an outpost equipped with Colombia’s longest runway, housing for 2,000 troops, a theater, a supermarket, and a casino.
Palanquero is at the heart of a ten-year, renewable military agreement signed between the United States and Colombia on October 30, 2009, which gives Washington access to seven military bases in the country. Though officials from the U.S. and Colombian governments contend the agreement is aimed at fighting narcotraffickers and guerrillas within Colombian borders, a U.S. Air Force document states the deal offers a “unique opportunity” for “conducting full spectrum operations” in the region against various threats, including “anti-U.S. governments.”
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.”
From the Caribbean to Brazil, political opposition to US plans for ‘full-spectrum operations’ is escalating rapidly
by Hugh O’Shaughnessy
Published: Nov. 22, 2009 – The Independent
The United States is massively building up its potential for nuclear and non-nuclear strikes in Latin America and the Caribbean by acquiring unprecedented freedom of action in seven new military, naval and air bases in Colombia. The development – and the reaction of Latin American leaders to it – is further exacerbating America’s already fractured relationship with much of the continent.
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.
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).