La Jornada, Mexico

The Militarization of Latin America: Obama Already 'Ahead of Bush'


"Inspired by the example of Puerto Rico, which got rid of the Yankee Marines in Vieques, Latin America mustn't rest as long as there is a singe U.S. military base left on its territory."


By Ángel Guerra Cabrera


Translated By Douglas Myles Rasmussen


September 11, 2009


Mexico - La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)

Rear Admiral Joseph D. Kernan, recently commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, is the new commander of the reborn Fourth Fleet. He will be responsible, according to the U.S. Navy, for ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Over the past decade, in the United States as well as locally, the Right has suffered major political defeats in Latin America, which explains why the Washington elite have decided in favor of a policy of force in the region. They're falling back on the only resource over which the United States retains overwhelming superiority, even if that means having to sacrifice the cosmetic image-laundering Barack Obama tested out at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain. That is what's behind the resurrection of the U.S. Fourth Fleet, the decision to install military bases in Colombia, as well as the strange coup d’état in Honduras.



When speaking of bases, we refer to the network of more or less permanent facilities that spread out from continental U.S. territory, through Puerto Rico, Central America, the Netherlands Antilles, Colombia - and even into Paraguay - executing electronic missions, satellite espionage, as well as the monitoring and refueling of military aircraft either for combat or the transport of rapid-reaction expeditionary forces. In sum, a network of more-or-less formal installations for the purpose of maintaining territorial control over Latin America and its natural resources and supporting the subversive activities of the CIA. Its primary objective: to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and seize the enormous energy reserves of Venezuela. 


A U.S. aircraft carrier, supporting vessels and supersonic air

support: One of the most intimidating naval displays on earth.

But is a Fleet - the Fourth Fleet - needed for Latin America?'


Such a use of force isn't new: the United States has systematically done so before, with its plans to destabilize the revolutionary process in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, as it has for half a century against Cuba - which includes its cruel blockade. The novelty this time is the return to an emphasis on military action that hasn't been seen in Latin America since the invasions of Granada and Panama in the 1980s - which already places the Obama presidency ahead of Bush in terms of militarizing the region. 


The long series of political victories - electoral and non-electoral - of popular and progressive movements and governments in the region, the region's progress and social transformation and, above all, continental unity and integration symbolized by the emergence of Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Union of South American Nations, Petrocaribe, the Bank of the South and Telesur, as well as the proven capacity of the region’s governments to deal with or act against imperial dictates, like the Yankee-Uribista [U.S.-Colombia] aggression against Ecuador or the attempted separatist coup d’état against Evo Morales, constitute a serious and unprecedented setback for U.S. hegemony in the region. This seems to have dragged the dominant groups in the U.S. to conclude that they've lost the political battle for the Latin American masses and are left with no solution but to back with force the (few) allied states they have left, or as a last resort, use its own forces.  





Adnkronos, Italy: Chavez Lauds Oliver Stone; Wants to 'Help' Obama  

Clarin, Argentina: Resurrected U.S. Fourth Fleet Creates Suspicion Across South America    

O Globo, Brazil: U.S. Navy Shows That What America Can Do, Brazil Can Do As Well

Le Figaro, France: U.S. Navy 'Resurrects' Fourth Fleet to Patrol Latin America

Argen Press, Argentina: Puerto Rico Must Declare Independence; Restore Spanish to Rightful Place

La Prensa, Honduras: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico: A 'Great Lesson for All of Our Peoples' ...


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What this attitude demonstrates is not the strength of the Empire and the regional Right, but rather its weakness. Lacking an argument, its incapacity to win the ideological and political battle in Latin America has been plain to see, from the Caracazo riots [Caracas in 1989] to the indigenous uprising in Chiapas. To this could be added the collapse of the policy of world domination launched September 11, 2001 with the military debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Israeli defeat at the hands of Hezbullah in Lebanon; the terrible Russian counterattack in the Caucasus [Chechnya] to the Georgian attack orchestrated by the U.S. and Israel. As a climax can be thrown in the capitalist financial crisis and its terrible socio-economic impact. All of these factors have demoralized the Right and deepened its ideological and political defeat - but this is very far from having brought about its surrender or paralysis, as seen by the facts cited at the beginning of this article. 


It is therefore essential for the independence of Latin America that we win the battle in the streets and turn the region into a zone of peace. Instead of a few bases of war we should create thousands of “bases for peace” throughout our America. It's very symbolic that the first meeting for peace be a resounding popular response to the Day Against Chávez observed by the Right in Colombia and Miami on September 4th, with CNN as an amplifier. Inspired by the example of Puerto Rico, which got rid of the Yankee Marines in Vieques, Latin America mustn't rest as long as there is a singe U.S. military base on its territory.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US September 17, 11:54pm]



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