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In the future, SouthCom is expected to expand as and when US forces are withdrawn from the Great Middle East and to concentrate its efforts on controlling the oil fields in the Caribbean region.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 Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Michelle Bachelet of Chile
Brazil, Chile and Spain have challenged a US decision to use and expand military bases in Colombia, saying they fear heightened tensions in Latin America.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Michelle Bachelet of Chile said in Sao Paulo they would put the issue before an August 10 meeting of the South American Defense Council in Ecuador.
Spain’s foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, and his (...)
Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana chairing the meeting.
Representatives of political parties from Latin America and the Asia-Pacific pledged on Thursday to strengthen cooperation amid the current global financial crisis.
The first joint meeting of the political parties of the two regions opened here Thursday, with climate change, poverty reduction and regional cooperation high on the agenda.
Jose de Venecia, chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (...)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday froze diplomatic relations with Colombia after Bogota accused Venezuela of alleged involvement in arms supplies to Colombian rebels.
"I’ve ordered the withdrawal of our ambassador from Bogota, and the withdrawal of our diplomatic personnel," the Venezuelan leader said in a televised Cabinet meeting.
"We will freeze relations with Colombia," he added.
Chavez’s announcement came a day after Colombia said Swedish-made weapons bought by Venezuela (...)
The mediation of the Nobel Peace Prize, Oscar Arias, between the Honduran constitutional president Manuel Zelaya and the putschists who expelled him, turns out to be a mere delaying tactic. Washington is trying to gain time in order to render the coup d’Etat irreversible. Comandante Fidel Castro reminds us of Arias’ biography and of the crimes of the United States in Central America.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently warned of a "huge embassy in Managua," adding: "You can only imagine what that’s for."
By David V. Johnson
Have you heard that Iran built a mega-embassy in Nicaragua? Word of this development has passed the lips of many a conservative anxious about Tehran’s intentions. As the Washington Post reports:
It is not clear where the report of the embassy in Managua began. But in the past two years, it has made its way into congressional (...)
Honduran interim President Roberto Micheletti sets conditions for his departure following weeks of political turmoil in the Central American state.
Micheletti said he would only step down so long as the deposed president Manuel Zelaya refrains from reclaiming power.
Micheletti expressed willingness to leave "at some point that decision is needed to bring peace and tranquility to the country, but without the return, and I stress this, of former President Zelaya."
He went on to accuse (...)
In its attempts to subdue the Hondurans, the Anglo-American Empire is resorting to the traditional method of "good cop, bad cop”: covert action and military coup versus diplomacy and smoke screens. Both tactics are pursued simultaneously and when necessary, the roles are distributed between the United States and Canada. However, observes Arnold August, in this case the aim of diplomacy is not to respect international law, but to subvert it on the quiet. Thus, Washington and Ottawa call for the legitimate reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya while advising against his return allegedly to avoid a confrontation with the military.
In Latin America, the media have become a powerful force to be reckoned with in the confrontation between the western-leaning capitalist class and the tide of people’s movements which have swung into power. Unsurprisingly, the crackdown in Honduras against progressive media such as Telesur was right on cue, in a situation analogous to that of the April 2002 coup in Venezuela when the short-lived right-wing government swiftly muzzled all dissident voices. Should Zelaya return to power in Honduras, one of his major challenges will be to tackle the powerful privately-owned TV and radio networks, which have come to the fore as cheerleaders and apologists for the coup government and the interests it represents.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
DEEPLY CONCERNED about the worsening of the current political crisis in the Republic of Honduras resulting from the coup d’état against the constitutional government of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, as well as his arbitrary detention and expulsion from the country, which produced an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order;
REAFFIRMING the importance of strict respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the principle of nonintervention in (...)
On July 28, troops in Honduras ousted President Manuel Zelaya and flew him out of the country. Praised by the traditional left for his economic policies and social reforms, Zelaya’s alliance with Hugo Chavez and growing relationship with the ALBA countries were sharply rebuked by the more conservative sectors which also disapproved of his periodic attacks on the United States. From Costa Rica, Zelaya declared: "This was a plot by a very voracious elite, which wants to keep this country in an extreme level of poverty!". However, it seems improbable that the Honduran elite would have toppled the democratically-elected president without Washington’s prior consent and support, despite assurances to the contrary.
In raising questions about US military presence in Soto Cano and in subscribing to Alba, Honduras has enraged Washington. Soldiers trained at the School of Americas and led by US Advisers have toppled the Constitutionally elected president Manuel Zelaya and have installed in his place his rival, also in the liberal party, Roberto Micheletti. Thierry Meyssan revisits what is at stake in this confrontation which marks the willingness of the Obama Administration to take Latin America in hand.
President Rafael Correa with Ingrid Betancourt, held hostage for 6 years by Farc guerrillas (2002-2008).
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has vowed to sue the Wall Street Journal for linking his government to the Colombian FARC rebels.
"We will sue this newspaper because we are sick of their lies," Correa told reporters on Thursday after addressing the UN General Assembly’s Conference on the world financial crisis, Reuters reported.
"We demand the Wall Street Journal provide proof," he (...)
With the advent of a new U.S. Administration and the appointment of a new director, one would have expected Reporters Without Borders to desist from their propaganda campaign against Venezuela and Cuba. But nothing of the sort. Salim Lamrani relates the latest episode of this never ending war.
Recent free trade agreements signed with the American and Canadian governments fueled the Peruvian government to go ahead with changes to domestic laws that would seek to advance mineral, logging, oil and agricultural ‘development’ into previously untouched areas of the Amazon. In early June, President Alan García, an ally of US President Barack Obama, ordered armored personnel carriers, helicopter gun-ships and hundreds of heavily armed troops to assault and disperse a peaceful, legal protest organized by members of Peru’s Amazonian indigenous communities protesting the entry of foreign multinational mining companies on their traditional homelands.
One of the most striking aspects of contemporary US-Latin American relations is the profound divergence between the hopes, expectations and positive image of the Obama regime and the policies, strategies and practices which are being pursued. Many so-called progressive North American commentators and not a few Latin American writers have ignored the most elementary features of US foreign policy, and focused exclusively on the highly deceptive rhetoric of “change” and “new beginnings.” A serious understanding of US foreign policy toward Latin America requires a discussion of the main objectives of the Obama regime, the global priorities of imperial policy in times of multiple wars and world depression.
Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya, top center, gestures after posing for the official photo of the 39th General Assembly of the Organization of American States, OAS, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Tuesday, June 2, 2009. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is back left.
By Nestor Ikeda
The Organization of American States voted Wednesday to revoke the 1962 measure suspending communist Cuba, overturning a landmark of the Cold War in the hemisphere.
"The Cold War has ended this day in San (...)
By Alexandra Valencia
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa ordered a U.S. Embassy official expelled on Saturday [ April 18th] after accusing him of interfering in the country’s affairs, a move that will test ties with Washington.
Correa, a leftist, has generally kept good relations with the United States as his socialist allies in Bolivia and Venezuela often clash with Washington over what they say is U.S. "imperialism" in Latin America.
"Foreign minister, give this gentleman 48 hours to (...)
Of all the memorable statements coming out of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad (April 17 - 19, 2009), the one that stood out the most was President Barack Obama’s public expression of how he intended to approach his first major meeting with his hemispheric counterparts: "I have a lot to learn and I’m very much looking forward to listening," the president said in his opening address. Obama is making the right noises, but will he walk the talk?
The following statement was issued on April 17 by six of the seven governments of the ALBA economic and social alliance in Latin America. (The seventh member, Ecuador, was unable to attend the meeting.) The ALBA countries declare that an entirely different approach to the world’s problems is required.
(AP) Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
A book by an Uruguayan journalist that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave to President Barack Obama is now the No. 5 seller on Amazon.com.
It’s an astounding jump for "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano.
The paperback edition was ranked 54,295 on the online retailer before Chavez gave Obama a Spanish-language edition of the 1971 book on Saturday. It had jumped to No. 5 by (...)
Good evening. I am honored to join you here today, and I want to thank Prime Minister Manning, the people of Trinidad and Tobago for their generosity in hosting the Fifth Summit of the Americas. And I want to extend my greetings to all the heads of state, many of who I am meeting for the first time. All of us are extraordinarily excited to have this opportunity to visit this wonderful country — and as somebody who grew up on an island, I can tell you I feel right at home. (Applause.) (...)
Let the game begin ! We are about to watch one of the most interesting political chess matches ever played on the international stage. Perhaps the most honest statements in today’s AP news report, "US eases Cuban travel, money restraints" - are the words, "U.S. telecommunications firms were freed to seek business there" and "Obama said as a presidential candidate that the embargo was a form of leverage to press for democratic reforms in Cuba."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) salutes as Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) accompanies him to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People
By John Garnaut
Move over Washington. Beijing is now the world’s geopolitical centre. So said the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, this week on his latest oil-spruiking visit to the Chinese capital.
Mr Chavez also praised China’s response to the global financial meltdown that has sent (...)
(AFP) Iran and Venezuela on Friday inaugurated a joint bank to finance their development projects, during a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran, state media reported.
The Iran-Venezuela Joint Bank, based in Tehran, has an initial capital base of 200 million dollars, with each nation providing half of the funds, the state broadcaster said.
The Export Development Bank of Iran, which is under sanctions from the US Treasury, was tasked with creating the joint bank with the (...)
Mothers of "desaparecidos" (missing)
March 24, 2009 marked the 33rd anniversary of the military coup which will be remembered as one of the darkest days in Argentina’s history.
On that day, a military junta overthrew a democratically elected government. Over the next 8 years, up to 30,000 ‘dissidents’ were disappeared.
In what was officially labelled the National Reorganization Process, the dictatorship systematically terrorized its citizenry on ideological grounds. The government closed (...)
Brazil has called on the US to open a new chapter in its relations with Latin American countries by not interfering in their affairs.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used his weekly radio address on Monday to ask the White House to develop fresh Latin ties based on a "vision of partnership and not interference, of contribution and not intervention."
"I am convinced that the United States can definitely have another sort of relationship with Latin America," said Lula on Monday, after a (...)
As reverse migration rocks Mexico, drug and violence have engulfed the entire country, inundating cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. The newest murderous offensive raises concerns about the ability of the Mexican government to protect its citizens and to regain control of the streets. As a result, the United States will be coming to the rescue. Barack Obama has announced that he is considering the deployment of National Guard troops to contain the violence. Ironically, most of the drugs that enter the United States from Mexico, have been funneled to the Mexican drug lords through CIA rendition flights from Columbia and Afghanistan. Could there possibly be a connection between U.S. global policies and the destabilization of Mexico?
While President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their appointees emphasize a return to diplomacy in foreign relations, so far they show little inclination to be diplomatic toward leftist governments in Latin America. In fact, comments by Clinton and other recent appointees show a continuation of an antiquated analysis and a lack of understanding of recent Latin American social movements and regional integration.
Debunking the Islamic Trail
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The United States, Germany, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom launched "Operation Jericho"
Washington and Paris overthrow Aristide
South America under threat