Brazil Opposed to U.S. Bases in Colombia

BRASILIA – The top foreign affairs counselor to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the U.S. national security adviser on Tuesday that Brazil opposes the prospect of Washington’s stationing military personnel at bases in Colombia.

“I called his attention to the fact that it (Brazil’s objection) is not related to any ideological position,” Marco Aurelio Garcia told reporters after meeting in Brasilia with Gen. James Jones. “That it comes from a government that has good relations with Colombia.”

Garcia met Monday in Caracas with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has frozen relations with Colombia over the issue of possible U.S. basing rights in the neighboring country.

Without revealing the content of his talks with Chavez, Garcia said he conveyed Venezuela’s position to Jones.

“It’s time for a more diplomatic action, to avoid a media war,” the Brazilian official said.

“The United States’ connection with some countries in South America is very tenuous,” Garcia said, advocating “a consistent dialogue that eliminates secondary questions and focuses on fundamental matters.”

He said Jones assured him the U.S. was seeking bases in Colombia only to facilitate “humanitarian activities” and aid the battle against illegal drugs.

But Garcia seemed unconvinced.

“No matter how many explanations there are,” he said, foreign bases in the region “do not appear to be a factor that contributes to a relaxation” of tensions.

Lula’s aide said that while Brazil would not turn the bases issue into a “point of tension with the United States,” Brasilia hoped to see Washington pursue a new dialogue with Latin America.

“I told him (Jones) that Lula had very good relations with President Bush and that he nourished and nourishes greater expectations in regard to President Barack Obama,” Garcia said.

The official also outlined Brazil’s specific concerns about potential foreign bases in neighboring Colombia.

“I don’t believe sovereignty would be threatened, but I don’t believe that near the border with Amazonia, which is often the object of international avarice, the establishment of bases whose extent and objectives are not very clear, would be positive,” Garcia said.

Asked about Uribe’s current tour of South America – including a stop here – to explain the prospective basing treaty, Garcia said the Colombian president “had the sense to understand that the climate in the region wasn’t good.”

Lula will not try to “dissuade” Uribe from signing the pact with the United States, but will urge the Colombian to consider the prospective deal from a cost-benefit perspective, Garcia said.

Washington, which provides Bogota with $500 million a year in military aid and has hundreds of military advisers and contractors on the ground in the Andean nation, says it needs bases in Colombia to replace the U.S. Forward Operating Location at Ecuador’s Manta airbase.

Ecuador’s leftist president, Rafael Correa, declined to renew the treaty that allowed the U.S. military to conduct counternarcotics operations from Manta for the past 10 years.

Chavez, who still suspects Washington of involvement in the abortive April 2002 coup in Venezuela, has sought to rally Latin America against the prospective U.S. bases in Colombia. EFE


Anonymous said…
Before the imminent agreement between Colombia and the United States on military bases, the UNASUR must call for an in-depth debate on the relations with the United States, said Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. "As the Brazilian President, I am upset about the atmosphere of uncertainty the region is living today," he said.
Argentinean President Cristina Fernández also warned of the warmongering climate that in an unprecedented, intolerable way is arising in South America. Fernandez offered the city of Buenos Aires as the venue for the extraordinary meeting, where Colombian President, Álvaro Uribe, who didn't attend the Quito meeting, should be present.
Anonymous said…
Military Bases Used for the Control of Strategic Renewable Resources

US Military Bases in foreign countries, are mainly located in Western Europe: 26 of them are in Germany, 8, in Great Britain, and 8 in Italy. There are nine military installations in Japan (Wikepedia). In the last few years, in the context of the GWOT, the US haa built 14 new bases in and around the Persian Gulf. It is also involved in construction and/or or reinforcement of 20 bases (106 structured units as a whole) in Iraq, with costs of the order of 1.1 billion dollars in that country alone (Varea, 2007) and the use of about ten bases in Central Asia. The US has also undertaken continued negotiations with several countries to install, buy, enlarge or rent an addional number of military bases. The latter pertain inter alia to installations in Morocco, Algeria, Mali, Ghana, Brazil and Australia (See Nicholson, B., 2007), Poland, Czech Republic (Traynor, I., 2007), Ouzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kirghizstan, Italy (Jucca, L., 2007) and France.

Washington has signed an agreement to build a military base in Djibouti (Manfredi, E., 2007). All these initiatives are a part of an overall plan to install a series of military bases geographically located in a West-East corridor extending from Colombia in South America, to North Africa, the Near East, Central Asia and as far as the Philippines (Johnson, C., 2004). The US bases in South American are related to the control and access to the extensive natural biological , mineral and water resources resources of the Amazon Basin.
Anonymous said…
US tends to view the Earth surface as a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit. The fact that the US Military splits the World up into geographic command units vividly illustrates this underlying geopolitical reality. Humanity is being controlled and enslaved by this Network of US military bases. . The ongoing re-deployment of US troops and military bases has to be analyzed in a thorough manner if we wish to understand the nature of US interventionism in different regions of the World.

This militarisation process is charactersied by armed aggression and warfare, as well as interventions called "cooperation agreements". The latter reaffirmed America's economic design design in the areas of trade and investment practices. Economic development is ensured through the miniaturization or the control of governments and organizations. Vast resources are thereby expended and wasted in order to allow such control to be effective, particuarly in regions which have a strategic potential in terms of wealth and resources and which are being used to consolidate the Empire's structures and functions.
Anonymous said…
Colombia’s decision to accept as many as 7 new U.S. military bases (3 airbases, including Palanquero, 2 army bases, and 2 naval bases one on the Pacific and one on the Caribbean), dramatically expands the U.S. military’s role in the country and throughout the region. The Pentagon has been eyeing the airbase at Palanquero with its complex infrastructure and extensive runway for some time. This is a very troubling sign that will alter the balance of forces in the region, and speaks volumes about how the Obama administration plans to respond to change in Latin America. A possible base on the Caribbean coast of Colombia would also offer the recently reactivated U.S. Fourth Fleet, a convenient harbor on the South American mainland. In short, Venezuela would be literally encircled. However, Venezuela is not the only objective. It also places the Brazilian Amazon and all its resources within striking distance of the U.S. military, as well as the much sought after Guarani watershed. After public criticism from Bachelet of Chile, Lula of Brazil and Chávez of Venezuela, Uribe refused to attend the August 10 meeting of UNASUR, the South American Union, where he would be expected to explain the presence of the U.S. bases. The meeting of the UNASUR security council was scheduled to take up the issue of the bases and Bolivia’s suggestion for a unified South American response to drug trafficking. Instead, Uribe has launched his own personal diplomacy traveling to 7 different countries in the region to explain his actions. In addition, Obama’s National Security Advisor James Jones is in Brazil trying to justify the U.S. position on the bases.
Silvia Terigi said…
The recent media war launched by Uribe against Ecuador and Correa, once again claiming financing of the FARC, and the more recent offensive against Venezuela concerning 30 year old Swedish missiles, that, like the Reyes computers, cannot be independently verified, have filled the airwaves in Venezuela, Colombia and the region. The current Colombian media campaign was preceded by Washington’s own efforts to condemn Venezuela for supposed non-compliance in the war against drug trafficking. In addition, Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, also traveled throughout Latin America in July claiming that Venezuela is a destabilizing force in the region and in the Middle East.

Lost in all this is the fact that Uribe is still considering a third term in office and his party has indicated it will push for a constitutional reform. So conflicts with Ecuador and Venezuela serve to silence critics in Colombia and keep Uribe’s electoral competitors at bay. All we need now is for Uribe to ask the Interpol to verify the missiles’ origins and Interpol director Ron Noble to give another press conference in Bogota. Déjà vu all over again!

The right and its allies in the U.S. are also emboldened by the electoral victory in Panama and the very real prospects of leftist defeats this year in Chile and even Uruguay. Obviously they are also encouraged by the humiliating defeat of the Fernández / Kirchners in Argentina. These developments could begin to redraw the political map of the region. Correa of Ecuador has already expressed concern about being the target of a coup and Bolivia will undoubtedly come under intense pressure as they are also preparing for an election later this year.

All this is occurring with an increased U.S. military commitment in Mexico with Plan Mérida which seeks to build on the lessons of Colombia: maintain in power a president whose economic and social policies are highly unpopular, but who relies on conflict, in this case the so-called war on the drug cartels, to maintain popularity. Parts of Mexico are literally under siege, including Michoacán, Ciudad Juarez, and Tijuana. The backdrop for this is a divided left; the PRD was the biggest loser in recent midterm elections, and social movements remains localized and unable to mount a national challenge.

None of these developments are forgone conclusions, but they nonetheless speak to the fact that conservative forces in Latin America and their allies in the U.S. are mounting a concerted counter offensive that could increase the potential for conflict in the region.
Miguel Tinker Salas
Anonymous said…
Great comments not sure I can add much to them. Pretty much says it all. What country is willing to stop this imperalistic dynasty. Wish the world would unite and put an end to it.

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