Tuesday, August 07, 2007
This insinuates that the US, from this base, could control the Bolivian Natural Gas Reserves, especially the "La vertiente" fields in Chaco Department of Bolivia, one of the largest in the World.
GRAN CHACO DEPT WIKIPEDIA
The 375 sq km La Vertiente exploitation block contains the La Vertiente, Escondido and Taiguati gas condensate fields. Production from La Vertiente began in August 1978 and from Escondido in October 1989.
On 18 December Morales was elected president in the first round, with 54% of the vote. He is in a difficult situation. The upper classes, determined to hang on to all the privileges they derive from the current system, will give him no respite. Neither will the US, the multinationals or the autonomist, indeed separatist, white elite in the rich oil and gas regions of Santa Cruz and Tarija. If there is a showdown, what will the army do?
the US army has rehabilitated the Mariscal Estigarribia airport in the Gran Chaco region, just 250km from the border with Bolivia. The 3,800m runway is long enough to take heavy transport aircraft, such as the B-52, the C-130 Hercules and the C-5 Galaxy. It is ideally situated as a base for intervention in Bolivia, if the separatist movement in Santa Cruz should decide that the country had become ungovernable.
Mariscal Estigarribia is a town in the Boquerón Department, Paraguay.
Mariscal Estigarribia is home to an air base with capacity to house up to 20,000 soldiers, which some media reports is a US military base set up to provide access to the strategic Triple Frontera region.
Five hundred US troops arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons, and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted US troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court jurisdiction.
According to the Clarín Argentinian newspaper, Mariscal Estigarribia would be a strategic location for a military base because of its proximity to the Triple Frontera between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina; the Guarani aquifer; and Bolivia (less than 200km_ at a time when "Washington's magnifying glass goes on the Altiplano and points toward Venezuelan Hugo Chávez—the regional demon according to Bush's administration—as the instigator of the instability in the region".
The airbase is capable of receiving large planes such as B-52s and C-130 Hercules which the Paraguayan Air Forces does not have.
The US and Paraguayan governments deny that the US military is establishing base at Mariscal Estigarribia.The US government said "...limited, short-term deployments of U.S. military personnel are scheduled to take place for a series of joint exercises with the Paraguayan military between July 2005 and December 2006. Most personnel deployed will not remain in Paraguay for more than 45 days."
FROM: Upside Down World
What is the U.S. Military Doing in Paraguay?
By Benjamin Dangl