Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 22:55:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: Dennis Grammenos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: New U.S. military bases in Latin America
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Latin American Campaign Against US Military Bases in Latin America
From Colombia Support Network, 6 July 1999
Dear friends : This message came from Ecuadorian NGO's that are trying to stop the U.S. military base planned for Manta (Ecuador). As I have been predicting , if you look carefully at any map, it clearly means the U.S. is surrounding Colombia... their next target !!
We are extremely concerned about the installation of US bases in three Latin American countries, based on the Southern Command's strategy to ensure military control of the region. This strategy consists of establishing Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) in Curacao (in the Caribbean), Manta (Ecuador), and Iquitos (in the Peruvian Amazon). The strategy responds to the forced closure of US bases in Panama as a result of the Carter-Torrijos treaties.
The US Army has repeatedly invaded Latin American countries in the name of "Peace, Democracy and Human Rights", including Panama, Cuba, and Granada, and has also directly supported civil wars in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries on this continent, causing the deaths of thousands of human beings, as well as human rights violations.
US-Latin American military agreements such as Operation Condor and military training at the School of the Americas have strengthened the systematic violation of human rights, and in many cases they have directly involved the US Army, as in Surinam, Guatemala, or Panama.
For more than 500 years, Latin America has been subject to the bloody plunder of its economic resources that has cost the lives of millions of human beings, and history continues to repeat itself. The looting continues through the imposition of social and economic policies that create an unjust exchange, especially for the poor.
North American presence in the region would ensure that the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas be fulfilled to the letter, preventing social and political conflicts from becoming regionalized and consolidating the continued plunder of our resources.
The installation of military bases has taken place without the knowledge, participation, or approval of the citizenry, which is a prerequisite for true democracy. This occurred in the case of Ecuador, where an accord was passed without Congressional approval, a flagrant violation of Ecuadorian law.
Based on the right of all peoples to self-determination, and recognizing international human rights agreements and norms which are the basis for the construction of a true democracy (which combines social-political justice and social participation), the social movements and human rights organizations of the Americas reject US presence in the region. This presence is a violation of our right to self-determination and sovereignty and also endangers the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of our peoples.
We are convinced that our countries have the capacity to solve our own internal problems, according to our own reality and abilities, and that we do not need military interference from another country that has left a shadow of death on human history, especially when history shows that that super-power has used military force to put down any grassroots initiative that goes against the economic interests it defends.
For this reason, we request that our national governments invalidate any agreement between governments and armies that permits the use and installation of US military bases in Latin America.
Accion Ecologica. Chuchaki@hoy.net
Colombia Support Network