Wednesday, July 28, 2010

U.S. Militarism in Latin America Picks Up Steam

From Eva Golinger:
On July 1, Costa Rica, a nation whose constitution prohibits the presence of any armed forces, agreed to allow 46 warships and 7000 US marines inside its territory. Last October, Colombia signed a 10-year agreement permitting the US to occupy seven military bases and all civilian installations as necessary within its territory.

US Air Force documents from May 2009 revealed the intention behind the occupation of Colombian bases was to combat "the constant threat...of anti-US governments in the region", as well as to conduct "full spectrum military operations" throughout South America (see below).
Evidently, Chavez has postponed a trip to Cuba because he claims that an attack from Colombia/USA may be on the horizon. I don't blame him. Uribe (and his successor) are crazy, and we know the US are capable of such things. But I'm not sure exactly what to make of Chavez's claim: it could be that Chavez is working the relationship between the (quite obviously) hostile, U.S. backed regime in Colombia in order to gain political points at home. If this is indeed what he's doing, I don't mean to disparage the tactic: the situation with the U.S. and Colombia is certainly extremely tense and the threat of violence from the U.S. military and its client states are very real.
Last October, Colombia and the US signed a military agreement permitting the US to occupy seven Colombian bases and to use all Colombian territory as needed to complete missions. One of the bases in the agreement, Palanquero, was cited in May 2009 US Air Force documents as necessary to “conduct full spectrum military operations” in South America and combat the threat of “anti-US governments” in the region.
As many on the Left already know, Colombia has for many years been the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the world, behind Israel and the repressive Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt. In the last 5 years alone, the U.S. has spent over $4.5 billion in military aid to Colombia, under the false pretext (hardly believed by anyone in the foreign policy world) of fighting the "war on drugs". Imagine if we'd spent that money in the U.S., say, giving people education and health care, rather than harassing and antagonizing the Venezuelan people because elites in the US want their oil.

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