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In the future, SouthCom is expected to expand as and when US forces are withdrawn from the Great Middle East and to concentrate its efforts on controlling the oil fields in the Caribbean region.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).
Human Rights Watch, a US-based group claiming to be a non-governmental organization, but which is in fact funded by government-linked quasi-private foundations and a Congressional funded political propaganda organization, the National Endowment for Democracy, has issued a report “A Decade Under Chavez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela” (9/21/2008 hrw.org). The publication of the “Report” directed by Jose Miguel Vivanco and sub-director Daniel Walkinson led to their expulsion from Venezuela for repeated political-partisan intervention in the internal affairs of the country.
The following documentary was made by the «Calle y Media» audiovisual cooperative and it shows in the most objective and sincere way the causes and reasons of what is really happening in Latin America, and particularly the social encouraging machine that Venezuela has become itself. Our societies are moving in the 21st century.
George W. Bush has come out with harsh words for the governments of Bolivia and Venzeuela. “Let me just put it bluntly - I’m concerned about the erosion of democracy in the countries you mentioned,” Bush said in response to a question put to him about Venezuela and Bolivia. “I am going to continue to remind our hemisphere that respect for property rights and human rights is essential for all countries,” he added.
How fast has Latin America fallen from favor? Just a decade ago the Clinton administration was holding up the region as the crown jewel of globalization’s promise: All is quiet on "our southern flank," reported the head of the US Southern Command, General Barry McCaffrey, in 1995, "our neighbors are allies who, in general, share similar values." "The Western Hemisphere has a lot to teach the world," said McCaffrey’s boss Secretary of Defense William Cohen two years later, "as the world reaches for the kind of progress we have made."
Even as the United States wages a war in the Persian Gulf that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice describes as a central front in an epic "generational struggle" in defense of Western values and freedoms, another geopolitical threat has been massing on its southern flank.
Since early 2006, US officials have increased their verbal attacks against Venezuela. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared President Hugo Chavez to Hitler in an insult that is not an isolated action and which was made following Pat Robertson’s calls to assassinate the Venezuelan President. In the face of the left-oriented shift of Latin America’s politics, the Bush administration seems to be determined to block the re-election of the Bolivarian president. It looks like the design of the FTAA, the dream of the White House, will only be a reality over the ashes of a Bolivarian counter-model that they need to destroy.
During the World Social Forum of Caracas, Salim Lamrani used the Cuban example, which he has thoroughly studied, to show how the alternative media can act against the lies of US propaganda. That is possible to achieve by mobilizing the means necessary to carry out comparative research to place the facts in their context.
During an appearance today at the National Press Club in Washington, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld compared Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to Hitler, declaring, “We’ve got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money. He’s a person who was elected legally, just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally, and then consolidated power, and now is of course working closely with [Cuban leader] Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales [Bolivian President Evo Morales] and others. It concerns me."
The newspaper Miami Herald, from Florida, a US state where an important Cuban minority is based and where many of its members got there running away from nationalizations, has taken note without much interest of the election of the “coca-leaf farmer” leader Evo Morales in Bolivia. The title of the article reads – literarily “A Bolivian who praises coca and Fidel Castro”– and underscores, with bitterness, two key issues for the reader’s sensitivity: growing coca in Bolivia and evident admiration of (...)
On January 25 and 26, 2006 the fifth and last “Resistance March” took place in Buenos Aires as called by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo square. The huge 24-hour march was staged by popular movements and the mothers of those disappeared by the dictatorship, those who are example of courage and perseverance. This has been the occasion picked up by Voltaire Network to announce the joining of this non-aligned press network by the Diario de las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. While the media made silence and the citizens looked somewhere else, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo defied dictatorships and made history.
Is Washington losing Latin America?, wonders Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the very elitist Council on Foreign Relations. Relations between the United States and Latin America are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Washington’s interest in the region was reduced and focused the Middle East. For Peter Hakim, chairman of the Inter-American Dialogue, an American think tank that studies Latin America, the United States is not the only (...)
The defamatory accusation of anti-Semitism against Hugo Chávez made by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is still questioned.
In France, the journal Libération, turned into an exceptional element of manipulation, makes changes to improve its campaign, whereas Le Monde, which had joined the group of accusers, carefully retracts itself.
In the January 20, 2006 edition of Libération, the associate editor of the editorial department, Pierre Hadski, showed how shocked he was due to the “violence” of (...)
Interim president Eduardo Rodriguez, (right on photo) who waits for the swearing-in of new president Evo Morales, had to accept the resignation of Defence Minster Gonzalo Mendez and the Commander of the Army Marcelo Antezana (left on photo), in view of “irregularities” in the destruction of the Bolivian missiles by the United States. In doing so, he confessed to have had authorized the destruction of such missiles, but not their transfer. “Washington requested the repatriation of its missiles (...)
As a matter of common sense, the Summit of the Americas, held in Mar del Plata, Argentina and the latest presidential elections in Bolivia reveal that the United Status and Latin America have definitively discarded the tendency of the 1990’s. Some have already accused Washington of having lost Latin America as if that region had previously been US property.
In fact, there are challenging facing the hemisphere, but before over-reacting we have to bear in mind a reality. Both parties had (...)
Just-elected President, we wonder whether Michelle Bachelet is not a mouthful of godsend fresh air in an oppressive Chilean culture. This baby-boomer [generation from the post-war baby-boom], leader of the Chilean Socialist Party, and paediatrician, is not only the first woman Head of State in Chile, but also a feminist, agnostic, and a single mother with three children by two different fathers. Not bad for Chile, a Latin American country with the lowest percentage of women in the (...)
As seen in the photos, Michelle Bachelet looks like what she really is: a paediatrician with a confident and frank smile, to whom any mother would entrust the health of her children and to whom Chile has been entrusted today.
The day of the coup d’état against Salvador Allende, on September 11, 1973, Michelle Bachelet’s father, Air Force General, Alberto Bachelet, was captured by his own colleagues from the armed forces and died in jail as a result of tortures. Michelle Bachelet and her (...)
The election on Sunday of Michelle Bachelet, less than a month after that of Evo Morales, seems that Latin America has unexpectedly moved to the left. Actually, two left wings coexist in Latin America, as shown by the Venezuelan Teodoro Petkoff, possible presidential candidate in December.
There is the Brazilian model which favoured investments and lifted 15 million people out of poverty in 10 years. There is also the Venezuelan model in which social expenditures are made with a populist (...)
The election of Evo Morales in Bolivia should not be underestimated because of its symbolic importance and because of its implications for the rest of Latin America. In a region where the concentration of power and wealth has been always outrageous, the election of a president belonging to the indigenous community is not a minor affair.
Bolivia has always been a paradigmatic country. The 1952 revolution was one of only four truly popular Latin American revolutions (along with Mexico, Cuba (...)
The historical fate of the great Ibero-American continent seems to be between change and frustration. It has periods of optimism, transformation and advances as well as periods of darkness and repression. There’s confusion, insecurity and utopia. Venezuela is not an exception.
Nowadays, this country is witnessing the birth of a singular political process known as “Bolivarian Revolution”. In the ideology-free European perspective, it’s hard to understand the innovative and complex Latin (...)
Undoubtedly, Latin America is suffering the tensions provoked by hard demands of change. The victory of the candidate that embodied those demands in Bolivian elections, Evo Morales, is the most recent example of this. And questions have been raised. This is neither the first nor the last time the region undergoes such tensions and in order to understand the current situation we should analyze the past, especially now that the Summit of European Union and Latin American Heads of State (...)
Evo Morales’ victory has brought about a wave of reactions. Based on his social discourse, the rejection of the current system and his attacks on the American government, people are talking about a change towards the left. However, there are not enough elements to define this trend as an alternative model to the predominant one of the last decades. The actors have been the ones who have changed. After all, it’s all about demanding a redistribution of wealth and a more democratic model. It’s (...)
The Electoral victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia again puts Latin America in the focus of attention of the media after a long absence. Erroneously compared to the election of socialist Michelle Bachelet in Chile, the Bolivian election is fairly interpreted by the media as a symbol of a political turning point in the continent. The pro-American circles show concern in front of this trend, while they praise the “realist” policies of Washington’s last supporters.
The United States’ obsession with Cuba never ends. Condoleezza Rice has just ordered the stiffening of the economic blockade against the island while, at the same time, the US chargé d’affaires in Havana makes efforts to create a pseudo-opposition at the service of the United States. The Bush Administration hopes that the embargo makes life so difficult for the Cuban people that they overthrow the government, which would allow Bush to put his men in power.
After the launching of the socioeducational comprehensive programs to assist the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, Venezuela, fifth largest oil exporter worldwide, has decided to modernize its armed forces in the face of Washington’s threats.
With that aim, Caracas and Madrid agreed to transaction for the purchase by Caracas of transport aircrafts at a cost of 2 billion dollars. The action reveals the good intentions of the President of the Spanish government, José Luis (...)
The French newspaper Libération, which spread the slanderous accusations of Simon Wisesenthal against President Hugo Chavez in its edition on January 9, 2006, has faced the readers’ criticisms. But far from amending properly the fact, it has restarted the controversy in its January 12 edition.
Pretending a transparent action, the newspaper resumed the debate in full. It published an excerpt of a reader’s letter (from Romain Migus, journalist of the Venezuelan public service) in which it (...)
Coca-leaf farmer Evo Morales – President of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) – has been elected President of Bolivia in the first electoral round on December 18, 2005. The International Press puts the event in some skeptical manner, which translates into the US loss of interest in South America and a growing ignorance of its history and evolution. So, the ballot has been hailed incorrectly as the first election of an Amerindian president in the continent.
Evo Morales, “cocalero” and MAS (Movement towards Socialism) leader, and presidential candidate for elections in Bolivia scheduled for December 18, recently stated that 28 MHN-5 surface-to-air missiles made in China had disappeared. The missiles were in Bolivian arsenals and handed over to the United States for “deactivation”.
Morales indicated he was planning to file a lawsuit against the current acting president Eduardo Rodríguez and his minister of defense Gonzalo Méndez Gutiérrez, for (...)
The legislative elections held on December 4, 2005, confirmed the term granted by the Venezuelan people to the party of president Hugo Chávez. The authenticity of the elections was certified by a pluralist group of international observers, among them, a special representative from Voltaire Network. However, the US has threatened openly to overthrow the democratic regime and replace it with a lackey one. Five important personalities sent us the following call.
In his intervention during the round table on the rise of international terrorism, on the occasion of the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, Salim Lamrani took record of the US’s secret actions against Cuba. He shows, in an undisputable manner, that Washington – currently and for long time – practices international terrorism although it pretends to fight it.
During his intervention at the Axis for Peace international conference, the vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Enrique Román Hernández, spoke about the impunity that terrorist Luis Posada Carriles still enjoys in the United States: “Luis Posada Carriles currently has the personal protection of the Bush family and their clan. He is very close to George Bush Sr. and he has been involved in so many terrorist acts and dirty maneuvers by the United States (...)
Debunking the Islamic Trail
The true responsibility for international terrorism
The United States, Germany, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom launched "Operation Jericho"
Washington and Paris overthrow Aristide
South America under threat