SouthCom: Control of Latin America
Since the 19th century the United States have considered Latin America as their zone of influence (Monroe Doctrine), but it wasn’t until 1903 that SouthCom was created. The aim was to secure the railway strip connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific in order to build a canal. Washington secretly encouraged the secession of the Department of Panama from the Republic of Colombia and sent troops to "guarantee the security of the new State"!
During the Cold War, SouthCom at first overtly supported right-wing military dictatorships, then switched discreetly to orchestrating the repression of marxist guerrilla mouvements under the guise of the ’war on drugs’. This development generated a progressive structural reform. At present, SouthCom operates in close collaboration with numerous US agencies and not simply under the umbrella of the Defense Department.
In the future, SouthCom is expected to expand as and when US forces are withdrawn from the Great Middle East and to concentrate its efforts on controlling the oil fields in the Caribbean region. In the event of a showdown with Venezuela and Cuba, Washington has reactivated its Fourth Fleet (2008), has toppled the Government of Honduras which intended to shut down the surveillance base at Soto Cano (2009) and rented seven military bases in Colombia (2009).
Following the parliamentary impeachment of Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) and Mauricio Macri’s arrival at the Pink House (Argentina), the United States is desperately trying to increase its military presence in Latin America, focussing particular attention on the South Cone. Peru, a member state of the Pacific Alliance, is the most recent victim of Washington’s imperial incursions. At the end of 2016, one of Peru’s regional governments, the Amazonas, approved the establishment of a new US military base that is being marketed to the public as a response centre for natural disasters.
In an interview with Russia Today, General in Chief of the Armed Forces of Venezuela, Jacinto Perez Arcay, said that he believed the invasion, directly or indirectly, of his country by the United States is now no longer a "possibility", but an "inexorable" fact .
Since 2002 and the first attempted coup against the constitutional president, Hugo Chávez, the United States has stepped up covert operations to break the resistance of the country and seize its huge hydrocarbon reserves.
José Martí was the Uruguay representative at the International Monetary Conference that took place under the auspices of the US government from 7 January to 8 April 1891 in Washington. The overriding objective of this conference was to set up a Union of Latin American Nations under US control and to guarantee the superiority of the US economy and trade, and thus, US’s political supremacy.
Economic relations between China and Latin America are living increasing tensions. As a result of deflation (fall in prices) on a global scale, the South American region is suffering the consequences of concentrating the bulk of its exports to China on commodities. However, the opening of the first yuan financial center in Latin America, in Santiago de Chile, agreed during Prime Minister, Li Keqiang’s visit, is bound to attract a number of technological investments which could drive peripheral industrialization and decrease the dollar’s dominance in Southern Cone countries.
During his tour through Brazil and Peru, China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang committed to the construction of the “Silk Road” of South America; a continental train that would connect the Atlantic to the Pacific. Within its objectives, this mega-project will seek to impulse the industrialization and with that, to promote economic development in the region.
By proclaiming that Venezuela is a “threat” to the national security of the United States and by adopting unilateral sanctions against various Venezuelan leaders , Washington is now the in process of fabricating arguments to justify its own hostility against Caracas.
After financing urban guerrilla warfare , Washington attributed to the government of Venezuela the responsibility for the deaths caused by mercenaries paid by the United States.
Washington organized these, following (...)
U.S. President Barack Obama had a number of awkward encounters with Latin American and Caribbean leaders at the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) summit in Jamaica and the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Present in Jamaica were leaders like Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. Skerrit had denounced Obama’s policy of sanctions against Dominica’s ally Venezuela and Washington’s calling the government headed by President Nicolas Maduro a threat to U.S. national security. Obama and his advisers were awkwardly forced to «walk back» the national security threat charge against Venezuela during both summit venues.
The loans granted by China have changed into an instrument of foreign politics. At the same time these loans permit China to forge closer ties with fundamental allies and reduce the influence of financial institutions under the aegis of the United States in strategic areas.
Once again, the Obama administration has tried to force the change of a political regime that resists it. On February 12, an Academi (formerly Blackwater) plane disguised as an aircraft of the Venezuelan army was supposed to bomb the presidential palace and kill President Nicolas Maduro. The plotters had planned to place former MP María Corina Machado in power and have her immediately acclaimed by former Latin American presidents.
According to Manlio Dinucci, it is enough to read the official White House document announcing the restoration of its diplomatic relations with Cuba to find that nothing has changed in substance: the United States still intends to destroy the Cuban state, but by employing softer methods than state terrorism and the embargo. The next step will thus be an attempt to foment a color "revolution."
US relations with Venezuela illustrate the specific mechanisms through which an imperial power seeks to sustain client states and overthrow independent nationalist governments. By examining US strategic goals and its tactical measures, we can set forth several propositions about (1) the nature and instruments of imperial politics, (2) the shifting context and contingencies influencing the successes and failures of specific policies, and (3) the importance of regional and global political alignments and priorities.
In light of Evo Morales’ May Day expulsion of USAID from Bolivia for seeking to undermine his government, here is a look back to the Harry Truman administration’s work to undermine Bolivia’s transformative National Revolution in 1952. "This history’s legacy lives on; Washington’s power is woven into the fabric of Bolivian politics, from the dreams and nightmares of the National Revolution, into the MAS era of today," argues Benjamin Dangl.
Under Barack Obama’s watch, Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo is the second Latin American leftist president to have been deposed from office in a scenario orchestrated by his political opponents and very close friends of the U.S. Embassy in Asunción. Nil Nikandrov predicts that this pattern of constitutional "soft" coups against defiant leaders - successfully tested by Washington in Honduras and, now, in Paraguay - will be extensively replicated in other countries over the coming years. The insidious interference by Uncle Sam in the domestic affairs of the region will apparently not be relegated to the ash heap of history any time soon.
This week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his choice for the State Department’s top Latin America post. An outspoken critic of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Obama’s nominee, Roberta Jacobson, recently told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that she was "particularly concerned" with the Venezuelan president because he "continues to disrespect the legitimate role of democratic institutions, restrict freedom, including by closing press outlets and uses the judiciary to persecute political (...)
With unbounded hypocrisy, the United States shrieks “democracy!” at the world while denying Haitians every political right of citizenship in their own land. Having deposed and kidnapped the popularly elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004, the U.S. now pretends not to be the main party standing in the way of his return from South African exile, ahead of the scheduled 20 March run-off elections. Meanwhile, former dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier re-entered unimpeded on an expired Haitian passport.
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
December 10, 2010
Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate the introduction, but nothing is imminent – (laughter) – so far as I know. But it is a great pleasure for me to be back here and part of this very important forum.
And I appreciate your introduction. I appreciate the friendship that you and Cheryl have given to me and to my family. You’ve been friends for many years. And certainly, as anyone who knows (...)
Expanding his recent analysis of the situation in Ecuador to the rest of Latin America, James Petras’ provocative assessment shows that facts and figures do not sustain the widely-held dogma that much of the continent has veered to the left. With the exception of Venezuela, no structural changes have taken place nor are being envisaged. Latin America has embarked on diversified roads to a "smarter" brand of capitalism, but none of which leads to socialism.
The debate over the nature of the recent turmoil in Ecuador is still kindling. A comprehensive analysis of the 30 September events is offered by Prof. James Petras, according to whom it was a coup in every respect, converging with the U.S. strategy of isolating Venezuela by targeting the "weakest link in the chain". President Correa’s domestic problems due to a series of ill-conceived policies was Washington’s cue to send in its local minions for a trial run.
The uprising by putschist elements of the Ecuadoran police against President Rafael Correa confirms an alarming report about the infiltration of the Ecuadoran police by U.S. intelligence services released in 2008, which indicated that many members of the police corps developed a “dependency” on the U.S. Embassy.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that the Unites States “provides million dollars to far-right wing movements to destabilize the governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)”.
"We must demand the US government to keep its old imperialist hands out of this continent," Chávez said in Buenos Aires, where he attended an extraordinary meeting of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which was urgently convened following a police revolt in Ecuador.
The Venezuelan (...)
On 1 July 2010, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly authorized the U.S. military to undertake policing duties in Costa Rica, based on an expired “Cooperation Agreement.” There is only one small problem: Costa Rica abolished its armed forces in 1949 and since then has had no standing army, national or foreign. Lawyer and Right to Peace advocate, Zamora Bolaños, analyses the repercussions of this overturn - officially to fight drug trafficking - for his country and its ramifications for the region.
After years of fruitless attempts by Washington to unseat Hugo Chavez through "softer" methods, Barack Obama - observes Nil Nikandrov - has decided to attain his goal by force, resorting to the militarization of the region. An analogy could be made between Venezuela’s situation and Washington’s stepped-up hounding of Iran after the abortive "green revolution" aiming to destabilize Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - threats to which the Iranian and Venezuelan Presidents have responded by partnering together.
With just a 30 percent turnout, the election of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos - one of Washington’s closest disciples in Latin America - was hailed as a "victory for democracy" by major western media outlets. However, they blithely omitted to report on Santos’ presumed role in the killings of over two thousand people while he was Defence Minister, and on his close involvement with death squads and narco traffickers. At the same time, Venezuela’s efforts to forge a more just society are relentlessly berated by the same media.
This sobering overview of post-neo-liberal Latin America raises the question as to whether the policies pursued by populist and social democratic governments in the region have actually been designed to favour their electoral base. Recent strikes and demonstrations in several of these countries, fueled by the absence of substantive structural changes, are definite signs that their credibility and “progressive” identity is beginning to wear thin. James Petras wonders whether we have fallen prey to the ‘theater’ of a self-described “new left” and its “anti-neo-liberal” rhetoric.
I am standing here today, keenly aware that the Korean Peninsula is facing a critical turning point.
My fellow citizens,
The Cheonan was sunk by a surprise North Korean torpedo attack. Again, the perpetrator was North Korea. Their attack came at a time when the people of the Republic of Korea were enjoying their well-earned rest after a hard day’s work. Once again, North Korea violently shattered our peace.
The sinking of the Cheonan constitutes a military provocation (...)
Organized political movements advocating independence of Puerto Rico have existed since the mid-19th century. This month their eyes will be riveted on Washington as the U.S. Congress reviews legislation proposing a change in the island’s status. This year marks the anniversary of the assassination of Puerto Rican independence icon Filiberto Ojeda Rios at the hands of the FBI. Leader of an armed resistance group called the Macheteros, or the Boricua People’s Army, Ojeda Ríos was a freedom fighter who used violence in response to the violence of American military outposts in his country.
In this age of deception and spin, nowhere quite like in Colombia have words been turned on their head to mask the crude reality of violence, oppression and injustice fomented by the US-controlled government of Alvaro Uribe. Professor James Petras exposes the lies, noting that the first casualty of state terror is the corruption of language, the invention of euphemisms, where words mean their opposite and slogans cover great crimes.
A resurgence of US-backed militarism threatens peace and democracy in Latin America. By 2005, US military aid to Latin America had increased by thirty-four times the amount spent in 2000. In a marked shift in US military strategy, secretive training of Latin American military and police personnel that used to just take place at the notorious School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia—including torture and execution techniques—is now decentralized in Budapest, Hungary; Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and Roswell, New Mexico.
A newly established industrial superpower, owner of the seventh largest oil reserves of the world and the world’s largest area of natural biodiversity in the Amazon, Brazil is also poised to emerge as a new military power. Unquestionably, Brazil is now a big league player. In the decade in which it begins its ascent, the country is so important that it is forcing its main competitor in the region, the United States, to redesign its foreign policy to take into consideration Brazil’s prominence, a tactic that might destabilize all of Latin America.
Speech delivered by Bruno Rodriguez Parilla, minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the high level segment of the thirteenth session of the Human rights council
March 3, 2010
It took 60 million deadly casualties during World War II to develop the concept of human rights, particularly the right to life and human dignity.
Much progress has been made in developing the human rights concept; very little has been done to guarantee its implementation. (...)
The true responsibility for international terrorism
Debunking the Islamic Trail
The United States, Germany, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom launched "Operation Jericho"
Washington and Paris overthrow Aristide
Interview with the Constitutional President of Haiti
“The only struggle you lose is the one you abandon”
The effervescence of a continent
See an exceptional and interesting documentary on what is really brewing in Latin American continent