Thursday, July 16, 2009


The BBC reports today that Colombia is finalizing an agreement with the United States to allow U.S. forces the use of three Colombian airfields.

Writes the BBC:

"Colombia's government says it is close to sealing an agreement with Washington to make Colombia a hub for US anti-drug operations in South America.

"The deal would give the US access to air bases in Colombia to gather intelligence and support operations against drugs production and terrorism."

This agreement is troubling. Why must the United States have a central base in Colombia? So it can attack its "enemies" like Hugo Chavez who called Bush the "great Satan"? All the Latin countries are going to be hating this. And where is Obama's policy towards Latin America in all of this? This is gunboat diplomacy all over again.

The BBC reports that Rafael Correa, President of neighboring Ecuador, would die rather than allowing the U.S. similar access:

"Ecuador's left-wing president Rafael Correa, a political ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has said he would rather "cut off his arm" than allow the Americans to stay on at Manta."

And why are the Colombians putting up with this? This agreement practically cedes Colombian sovereignty to the U.S. military. Is Colombia and its president Alvaro Uribe that backward looking that they welcome and even invite the U.S. to establish military hegemony?

Reports the BBC:

"Colombian officials have rejected accusations that the deal would infringe the country's sovereignty.

"Colombia is the biggest recipient of US military aid in the Americas.

"The US was forced to look for a new centre for regional operations after Ecuador refused to renew the lease on its military base of Manta."

The BBC writes:

"Final details of the Colombian plan are still being worked out but the US may use at least three air bases, including Malambo in the north, and Palanquero and Apiay in the central region.

"A maximum of 800 US military personnel and 600 civilian defence contractors would be based in Colombia.

"They would operate the US aircraft that maintain 24-hour monitoring of the region, intercepting communications and coordinating with spy satellites to protect US interests."

The whole agreement reeks of yanqui imperialism and domination. Has Barack Obama signed off on this? Does he realize the bad impression this deal will carry in the eyes of Latinos in every country and hamlet in South and Central America? After making such a good impression with Latin leaders at the last America summit, Obama squanders it all by allowing the U.S. military to make this unnecessary and ill-timed agreement.

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