At President Obama's April 2009 meeting with the heads of South American countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood, walked over to him, and presented him with a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. Guess Obama didn't read it or doesn't care.
The Empire will stop at nothing to find mechanisms and techniques to achieve its final objective, and we cannot disregard the possibility of a military conflict in the near future. If the US places Venezuela on the “terrorist list” this year, we could be on the verge of a regional war.
SOA Watch is extremely concerned about the drastic increase of U.S. militarization in Latin America. The bases agreement operates from the same failed military mindset that has given rise to the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). The purpose of the bases and the purpose of the SOA/ WHINSEC are the same: to ensure U.S. control over the region through military means.
The 1990s was the worst that America has ever lived. The debt crisis — with its consequences: IMF, letters of intent, tax adjustments, etc. Military dictatorships opened the way for it to impose neoliberal governments in almost every continent. We became the world region with the greatest amount of neoliberal governments and their more radical procedures.
The responsiveness of Latin America has proven its ability to dramatically reverse this situation: we become the region that concentrates governments elected by the rejection of neoliberalism, which houses regional integration processes irrespective of the USA, which promotes innovative ways of integrating out the mercantile.
An employee of a CIA front organization that also funds opposition groups in Venezuela was detained in Cuba last week
An article published in the December 12th edition of the New York Times revealed the detention of a US government contract employee in Havana this past December 5th. The employee, whose name has not yet been disclosed, works for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), one of the largest US government contractors providing services to the State Department, the Pentagon and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The employee was detained while distributing cellular telephones, computers and other communications equipment to Cuban dissident and counterrevolutionary groups that work to promote US agenda on the Caribbean island.
I came to Honduras to participate as a human rights observer of the electoral climate in a delegation organized by the Quixote Center. Several delegations converged, connecting some 30 U.S. citizens with dozens more from Canada, Europe and Latin America.
President Hugo Chavez has ordered Venezuela’s military to prepare for a possible armed conflict with Colombia, saying his country’s soldiers should be ready if the United States attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbours.
An official document from the Department of the US Air Force reveals that the military base in Palanquero, Colombia will provide the Pentagon with “…an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America…” This information contradicts the explanations offered by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the US State Department regarding the military agreement signed between the two nations this past October 30th. Continue reading →
Latin America awoke yesterday to two extraordinary announcements that will impact the region for years to come; one in Honduras producing tentative hope, and the other in Colombia, sowing widespread concern and fear. Together they reflect the dual nature of the Obama Administration´s approach to Latin America.
Bolivian President, Evo Morales (C), heads the VII Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) trade bloc above a sign reading "ALBA TCP, Coca is not cocaine."
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (AFP) – – Leftist Latin American leaders agreed here on the creation of a regional currency, the Sucre, aimed at scaling back the use of the US dollar.
Nine countries of ALBA, a leftist bloc conceived by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, met in Bolivia where they vowed to press ahead with a new currency for intra-regional trade to replace the US dollar.
“The document is approved,” said Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who is hosting the summit.
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa
By Amy Goodman
…we go now to Honduras, where the deposed President Manuel Zelaya remains within the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he’s been staying, surrounded by soldiers and riot police, since returning to his country two weeks ago. It’s been nearly 100 days since President Zelaya was ousted by the Honduran military.
[Transcript follows the three YouTubes totaling 23 mins.]
President Zelaya is back in Honduras – this just confirmed after a live telephone conversation took place between President Chávez and President Zelaya. The ousted Honduran president has apparently returned to Honduras and made it to the capital city of Tegucigalpa after 2 days of traveling through the mountains and countryside. He is now at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, waiting to complete his return to power.
Throwing Bullets at Failed Policies: US Plans for New Bases in Colombia
It was a winter day in the Argentine city of Bariloche when 12 South American presidents gathered there on August 28. It was so cold that Hugo Chavez wore a red scarf and Evo Morales put on a sweater. The presidents arrived at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) meeting to discuss a US plan to establish seven new military bases in Colombia. Though officials in Colombia and the US say the bases would be aimed at combating terrorism and the drug trade, US military and Air Force documents point to other objectives. Continue reading →
In the past ten years, South America has moved toward integration, a prerequisite for independence; has broadened international ties; and has addressed internal disorders—foremost, the traditional rule of a rich Europeanized minority over a sea of misery and suffering. It rejects the US “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror.”
The US doesn’t like this, and plans to make its new seven military bases in Colombia the center of its Latin American operations. The Obama administration is also building mega-embassies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In her new book Blood & Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, author Jasmin Hristov writes: “For roughly forty years, the Colombian state has been playing a double game: prohibiting the formation of paramilitary groups with one law and facilitating their existence with another; condemning their barbarities and at the same time assisting their operations; promising to bring perpetrators of crime to justice, while opening the door to perpetual immunity; convicting them of narco-trafficking, yet profiting from their drug deals; announcing to the world the government’s persecution of paramilitary organizations, even though in reality these ‘illegal armed groups’ have been carrying out the dirty work unseemly for a state that claims to be democratic and worthy of billions of dollars in US military aid.”
The June 28 military coup that overthrew the legitimate government of Honduras was a shock. When the Central American wars of the 1980s finally ended, the region seemed on a path toward electoral democracy at last. The military’s ouster of President Zelaya, followed by the suspension of civil liberties and repression of non-violent protests, looks like a return to the bad old days when coups were the rule and real elections the rare exception.
A sign in Caracas, Venezuela, denounces the Colombian government's decision to allow the U.S. military to use some of its bases. Colombia has accused Venezuela of supporting anti-government rebels, known as the FARC. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
After Honduras, is Venezuela next? Even supporters of the bases have inadvertently provided reasons to worry. During the Colombia debate, a senator supporting the bases spent over 40 minutes comparing, via a PowerPoint presentation complete with photos and detailed descriptions, the military arsenals of Colombia and Venezuela. He concluded that since Colombia’s arsenal is substantially smaller and less powerful than Venezuela’s and since Colombia would therefore lose in a war against its neighbor, Colombia should accept the U.S. military bases with open arms.
Hugo Chávez comments on US military build-up in Colombia, with its clear desire for South America’s natural resources, the temporary coup which deposed him in 2002 and Fidel Castro’s historic and enduring mark on the region.
The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. Never in the history of the 20-21st Century has an economic crisis caused so much loss to so many workers, employees, small businesses, farmers and professionals with so little large-scale public protest.
To explore some tentative hypotheses of why there is little organized protest, we need to examine the historical-structural antecedents to the world economic depression. Continue reading →