Prosur, Plan Condor II: Latin America Under Threat

25 March 2019 — Internationalist 360°

María Luisa Ramos Urzagaste

The political changes in Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years have been reflected in a serious weakening of regional multilateral organizations. The nefarious and retrograde OAS was revived, which, symbolically, is a serious antecedent against regional sovereignty, and perhaps we are now witnessing the emergence of Plan Condor II.

The creation of the ‘Forum for the Progress of South America’, Prosur, last February 22, appears not to be impromptu, and the more Chilean President Sebastián Piñeira repeats that “it is not an ideological forum,” the less credible it becomes.

What should worry and occupy Latin America and the Caribbean is the discussion behind closed doors held by those presidents of Prosur. If there were no dark plans involved, the meeting held in Santiago de Chile would have been broadcast by the media.

It is even more worrying when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has just visited the United States where, in addition to meeting with his counterpart, he made a notable visit to the CIA.

The leaders of the Prosur Forum have deep commonalities, among them: their submission and admiration for President Donald Trump, their desire to eradicate any progressive movement, their hatred of leftist ideas, their desire to collaborate militarily with the United States and NATO, their resolve to restore the ideas of neoliberalism and privatizations, among others.

Unasur under attack

Among their tactics for refining their project, the discredit method is used. They argue that Unasur has failed on the grounds that there is an “excess of ideology and bureaucracy”.

The truth is that, if Unasur has been practically inactive for more than three years, it is because of the sabotage carried out by the representatives of some countries, who sought to impose a Secretary General, undermined the convening of meetings and prevented the approval of the budget.

Colombian President Iván Duque said that Unasur will be replaced by Prosur, and was joined by Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão, who considers Unasur dead.

Piñera’s words sound cynical when he said that Prosur “is open to all countries that meet two essential requirements. First, a clear application of democracy and the rule of law, and second, full respect for the liberties and human rights of its inhabitants”.

The Chilean president would give us lessons in democracy and human rights when he himself, a few years ago, expressed his deep solidarity with dictator Pinochet, one of the leaders of the Condor Plan in South America, which resulted in pain and death in the Southern Hemisphere.

The key question we must ask ourselves after the creation of Prosur is: what is behind it? The signed declaration is just a facade.

The United States and the governments related to Trump have made every effort to establish the OAS as the only forum for political discussion in the region; conversely, when it comes to tariffs and trade, there are the Latin American Integration Association Aladi, Mercosur and the Andean Community.

So why a new forum? Certain actions, especially by President Bolsonaro, who now seems to be an important part of the group’s cohesion, may help us better understand.

Connecting the dots

During President Bolsonaro’s March 21 visit to the United States, not only were bilateral issues discussed, he also met with the CIA to “address regional issues”.

On February 11, Itamariti announced that Minister Ernesto Araujo met in Brasilia with Admiral Craig Faller, head of the U.S. Southern Command, to discuss cooperation and bilateral alliances in the area of defense and security.

It is worth remembering here that Craig S. Faller declared last February 7 that Washington is strengthening ties with Southcom countries and explained that “this collaboration is not only between the military, but also between diplomats, sponsored by the State Department and other organizations, such as the Agency for International Development and the Departments of Justice and National Security.

During a dinner at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that he wanted to “free Brazil from the nefarious ideology of the left” and he spared no words to flatter Olavo Carvalho, who he said “is the inspiration for many young people in Brazil and we owe a great deal to him for the revolution we are living”.

Olavo Carvalho admirer of Evola

Carvalho, who resides in the United States, openly expresses his deep admiration for Julius Evola and Giovanni Gentile, fascist intellectuals, radical traditionalists, considered by many to be anti-democratic and anti-equalitarian.

Giovanni Gentile was even co-author with Benito Mussolini of the doctrine of fascism.

Humberto Eco warns that “Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes wearing civilian clothes. It would be very convenient for us if someone were to look out onto the world scene and say: ‘I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the black shirts to solemnly parade again in the Italian squares! Unfortunately, life is not so easy. Ur-Fascism can return with the most innocent appearances”.

Incidentally, it was Carvalho who recommended the appointment of Brazil’s current Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araujo, one of his closest disciples.

Silence in order to impose

Does anyone believe that, given the shameful demonstrations of subservience of these rulers to the United States, they will be the ones to lead a project of prosperity for Latin America?

It is not unreasonable to suppose that we could be witnessing the emergence of some form of Condor Plan II, with new mechanisms and proposals to subdue the region.

The United States is eager to regain control of Latin America and the Caribbean at any price. It is therefore essential to refresh the memory.

As Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón Real recounts in the book ‘Operation Condor 40 Years Later’, “Operation Condor was part of the complex inter-American counterinsurgency system promoted by U.S. foreign policy. Through its transnational action, Condor complemented the repressive policies that the Armed Forces of the Southern Hemisphere exercised within their national territories.”

The use of death squads and other illegal methods was a means to demobilize popular movements, terrorize society, and solidify economic and military institutions in the region, notes writer J. Patrice McSherry in Garzón’s book.

This coordination involved, formally and directly, monitoring, surveillance, detention, interrogations with torture, transfers between countries, and the disappearance or murder of people considered by these regimes to be “subversive of the established order, or contrary to their political or ideological views”.

As an example we must mention the Archives of Terror found in Paraguay in 1992, which show the figures of 50,000 people murdered, 30,000 disappeared and 400,000 imprisoned.

Regional integration is passing through difficult times, it is true, but they are not definitive, and it will not be these exclusionary, dark and regressive visions that prosper.

A grave historical error of these times in Latin America and the Caribbean would be to support the voices that want Unasur and Celac dead.

We also require a robust dose of self-criticism and a profound review of history to prevent our peoples from losing hope that we can live in harmony within diversity.

María Luisa Ramos Urzagaste:  Ambassador of Bolivia to Spain.

Translation by Internationalist 360°

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