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In the future, SouthCom is expected to expand as and when US forces are withdrawn from the Great Middle East and to concentrate its efforts on controlling the oil fields in the Caribbean region.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).
President Chavez’s election in 1998 marked a decline of US hegemony in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. In this study, James Petras reminds us that Washington’s chief interest in overthrowing Chavez was political, not economic, and revolved around his steadfast opposition to the Bush administration’s "War on Terror" doctrine. Washington feared that Chavez’s dissent might provide an alternative pole for the newly emerging ‘center-left’ regimes on the continent. Today, Petras reconceptualizes US-Venezuelan relations in light of declining US economic power and rising militarism.
Five years ago in Cuba’s capital, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez gave birth to what was then known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America (ALBA). Perhaps at that time many paid greater attention to the political effect of this event, than to its real and tangible importance on the economy, society and integration.
The United States is back in Latin America. The military coup in Honduras marked the beginning of Washington’s renewed grip on that continent. While another coup was thwarted in Paraguay, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have been deploying new forces to encircle the ALBA countries with a view to attacking Nicaragua, Ecuador and Venezuela. Readying for the gathering storm, Chile has embraced the North-American camp and stockpiled a powerful arsenal.
Over three months since the Honduran military coup, ousted President Manuel Zelaya has yet to be reinstated. Having secretly organized the coup, the Obama administration on the surface continues to emit an emollient discourse. In particular, it obstinately refuses to qualify it as a "military" coup to avoid severing ties with the regime, as U.S. legislation would have it. Washington wants elections that will paste a democratic face on the new regime, but the population and its principal leaders will not go for a sham vote overseen by the putschists. The Honduran people will no longer be satisfied with a simple return to the constitutional order. They have repudiated the local oligarchy and now demand a new republic, free of Washington’s (...)
Preparations by the United States are underway for a war against the ALBA countries. Following the coup in Honduras and the installation of military bases in Colombia, they have launched a press campaign to justify their sinister plans. The U.S. and Colombian media are inverting the roles by portraying Venezuela as the aggressor, Colombia as the prey and the U.S. as the saviour. A classic scenario denounced here by Fidel Castro.
Almost $11 million were paid to US lawmakers – Republicans and Democrats – to support Washington’s aggressive policy against Cuba in the US Congress.
It didn’t take long for Obama to disappoint Latin America with his vacuous promises of change. But mostly, he reneged on his spectacular announcement to overhaul Washington’s policy regarding Cuba, of which the most emblematic example is the recent U.S. vote at the UN Secretary General renewing the Cuba trade embargo that has been in effect since 1962. On this and many other aspects, Barack Obama has smoothed over George W. Bush’s baneful brashness only to revert to the classic imperial policy of his predecessors.
The coup d’état in Honduras - instigated, executed and supported by the United States - offers a clear illustration of the new US foreign policy. Underneath, nothing has changed. Washington continues to " do and undo" governments in many parts of the world, if necessary through the use of violence. But what indeed has changed is the window dressing. Washington seeks to cloud its crimes by paying lip service to human rights principles - which the US is the first to violate. It is referred to as the "Smart Power" method!
While the Honduran people were not seen as being particularly politicized, and US experts had not anticipated a lasting reaction against the coup, the direct opposite has taken place. The population has suddenly arisen, joining activist organisations in a united stance against the putchists. According to Arnold August, this phenomenon is evocative of the popular movements that rattled other states in the region in recent years bringing, without exception, revolutionary leaders to power. In his view, and barring an event that could thwart the mobilization, the retreat of the Honduran putchists is inexorable. But, in any event, US interventionism is once again backfiring against Washington.
Global CST has signed a 10 million US dollar contract with the Peruvian Government of Alan Garcia to train and oversee the Peruvian army against "Shining Path". In addition, Global CST has already sold to the Peruvian army 3 million US dollars worth of night vision materials.
Despite denying any type of subordination to the Government of Tel-Aviv, Global CST is an essential piece of the Israeli military-industrial complex. It constitutes a lean structure which employs only a handful of (...)
SPEECH BY FOREIGN MINISTER BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNDER THE ITEM "NECESSITY OF ENDING THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL EMBARGO IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA".
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 28, 2009
Permanent Representatives and Delegates,
Alexis García Iribar was born in Cuba, in the province of Guantánamo. He suffered from a congenital cardiopathy known as persistent arterial duct. At the age of 6 and after (...)
The Heads of State and Government of countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, met in Cochabamba (Bolivia) where they signed a treaty creating a new virtual currency, dubbed the Sucre.
The currency - named after General Antonio José de Sucre, Simón Bolivar’s companion and hero of the Latin American liberation struggle against Spanish imperialism - is slated to replaced the dollar in all commercial exchanges between ALBA countries.
Indeed, as explained (...)
Relations between the US and Bolivia have been tense ever since Evo Morales became president in December 2005, pledging to nationalize his country’s vast gas reserves. They hit a critical point in September 2008 when Morales ordered the expulsion of the U.S. ambassador, accusing him of fomenting the civil unrest that threatened not only the country’s first indigenous Indian president but the unity of the nation itself. The latest news report that Russia will sign an agreement with the Bolivian government to explore and produce natural gas is a significant setback for US domination of its traditional Latin American sphere of influence.
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