it has drawn heavy criticism from many Latin American leaders, most notably Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but also Evo Morels of Bolivia, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador among others.
to help the US and Colombian governments carry out their war on drugs, “narco-terrorism”, and whatever else may come.
the growing number of US troops in the Latin America (the US Fourth Fleet was reactivated in the Caribbean by Bush II after a 40-year plus hiatus) has the possibility of sparking a regional war.
The US is literally encircling Venezuela with military bases and a naval fleet.
Venezuela is the fourth largest petroleum producer in the world and is home to reserves rivaling and maybe surpassing that of Saudi Arabia.
Is Chavez paranoid
a look to the historical context of the situation will prove illuminating.
In 2002 a coup took place
the people of Venezuela forced the coup plotters to reinstate Chavez,
the US government gave implicit if not explicit support to the coup.
In 2003 the US, after a years long process of encircling and weakening Iraq, invaded and occupied that oil-rich country and installed a government and neo-liberal economic framework more to its liking.
in 2008 the Colombian military launched a cross border raid into Ecuador to strike at a alledged FARC base, a move that was roundly condemned by every nation in Latin America and the OAS
the Colombian government is a recipient of massive amounts of US military aid, receiving over 6 billion dollars in the past decade under the auspices of Plan Colombia. This puts they country third behind Israel and Egypt
Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine.
that there is no military solution to the problem.
While eradicating the coca crops of poor framers and supporting right-wing paramilitaries has produced a situation where human rights abuses are continually placing Colombia among the worst offenders in the Western Hemisphere,
it has done next to nothing to stop the flow of cocaine coming from the country.
If the US was serious about addressing the problem it would have to recognize that while Colombia may be the largest supplier of the drug, it is the US that is the largest consumer. Following the Plan Colombia logic the US military should be engaged in operations in the US to eradicate cocaine users on a similar scale.
incidentally it is worth noting that poppy production, later processed into opium and heroin, has sky rocketed in Afghanistan since the US invaded and occupied that country. After being severely reduced under the Taliban regime, Afghanistan now accounts for over 80% of world production of poppy.
The message from the region is loud and clear: Yankees, take your guns and economic models and go home! We are ready and willing to deal with you on fair and equitable terms, but the days of imposing your will over ours have come to an end.