COLOMBIA ANALYSIS: 2009 ended as it began in Colombia with continued economic injustice and the U.S./Colombian governments lying to the public
by Eloy García
The United States’ and Colombian Commanders in Chief Presidents Obama and Uribe have taken lying to a new level. Nobel “Peace” prize winner president Obama said that with the demobilizations of paramilitaries, the human rights violations have improved in Colombia, even though U.S. linked paramilitaries continue to operate throughout Colombia. (See Plan Colombia and Beyond.)
In China, President Obama declared, “We [the U.S.] do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation.” Again, not true given the U.S. funding of seven new Colombian Army bases, and plans possibly to augment the number of U.S. troops on the continent—all without any national debate or discussion amongst the Colombian or U.S. citizenry.
As if the never ending and expanding war in the Middle East and unmitigated support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine was not enough, President Obama and the U.S. Southern Command have decided to make Latin America a military priority once again. These plans appear to be a reaction to what Southcom Generals consider a threat to national security— “radical populism.”(See “Mission Creep” in Latin America—U.S. Southern Command’s New Security Strategy .) “Radical populism” is a threat to the United States because it shows that at democratic governments can govern for the greater good of their country and not only the interest of the economic elites.
Populist governments include that of President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who won an unprecedented landslide in recently held presidential elections showing that his efforts to build a more just and equitable Bolivia for all Bolivians has overwhelming support despite U.S. subversion and propaganda. Morales continues to denounce publicly U.S. plans for military bases in Colombia, its backing of Bolivian paramilitaries, and continued military intervention in developing nations throughout the world. Venezuelan populist President Hugo Chavez also continues to gain widespread support as he attempts mass social reform, and has demonstrated successfully that the U.S. was 1) behind the failed coup attempt in Venezuela in 2002, 2) is financially backing the current opposition, and 3) was behind the successful military coup in Honduras. Chavez also correctly points out that the U.S. is constantly seeking to undermine democratically elected progressive governments in the hemisphere.
Meanwhile Colombia, with massive U.S. military aid, is the South American/Israeli prototype military platform that demonstrates U.S. military hegemony in the region. Immediately following visits by Israeli public officials in Colombia, newspaper articles and sound bites circulated around the country that Hezbollah, Iran, and/or Al Qaeda terrorist have links with the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments. Such efforts were widely seen as an attempt to fabricate a threat that justifies U.S. military intervention or at least an increased military presence in Colombia. Ironically, such propaganda validates the unspoken reality that Israel, the United States, and Colombia are three partners with a hidden agenda and disgracefully intertwined with horrendous records for violation of human rights.
Venezuela and Bolivia continue to claim rightfully that the U.S. military buildup in Colombia is an aggressive posture against their countries because of their criticism of the historic U.S. military and economic intervention. Recently Venezuelan President Chavez showed proof of U.S. intelligence over flights, which were denied by the U.S. State department although the photographs and taped audio conversations of the pilots with Venezuelan officials show otherwise. Colombian officials brazenly laughed off the serious regional implications of such flights by stating maybe it was “Santa Claus.”
President Uribe continues to claim that Venezuela is a regional threat and ally of Colombian insurgent groups, which helps to justify the purchase of more offensive weaponry and increased U.S. presence. The Colombian daily El Diario proudly reported that Colombia is purchasing Israeli fighter jets at a cost of millions of dollars, and that the National Defense budget has soared in the last seven years from $ 2.6 billion dollars to $ 9.8 billion dollars. Meanwhile, the average Colombian campesino suffers without work, potable water, basic sanitation facilities, and electricity.
Uribe insists that his U.S.-financed Democratic Security State has finished with the armed insurrection and that any opposition to his agenda is guerilla or Chavez inspired. Obama claims the U.S. is involved in the “good fight” with its rapidly expanding regional war in Afghanistan. The people of the Middle East and Colombia continue to think differently as they suffer the insecurity of poverty and violence brought on by increased militarism, and failed neoliberal economic policies—something even the soldiers involved in these theaters of war readily admit.
2009 ended as it began in Colombia with continued economic injustice and the U.S. and Colombian governments lying to the public.