Colombia: A New Chapter in U.S. Interventionism By Chris Gilbert

20 January 2014 — Counterpunch

Alfonso Cano, wiped out by the forces of US imperialism and its military puppets

Caracas – A recent article in the Washington Post reveals – I believe with a considerable degree of accuracy – some important and terrifying facts about the counter-insurgency tactics employed by the Colombian government as well as the role of the United States as an advisor that actually directs and controls anti-guerrilla operations. Another virtue of the article is that, though uncritical and triumphalist, it nevertheless shows how the political relation between the two countries may, without fear of exaggeration, be dubbed neocolonial.

Continue reading

The US is Synchronously Preparing to Launch Aggressions Against Iran and Venezuela

29 July, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

The Columbian government voiced a new round of allegations that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is secretly supporting the FARC and ELN guerrilla movements in Columbia and giving shelter to their leaders. Venezuela reacted harshly – Chavez severed the diplomatic ties with Columbia, and the Organization of American States had to hold an urgent meeting on July 22 on Columbia’s request. This was the third time this year that the administration of Alvaro Uribe leveled such charges at Caracas and claimed to possess solid evidence that leftist groups are operating from the territory of Venezuela.

Venezuela rejects the allegations that it supplies weapons and money to FARC and ELN, trains their guerrillas, or allows them to use its territory. The border between Venezuela and Columbia is 2,000 km long and lies in the area which abounds with mountains and rainforests. It is also crossed by countless rivers. As a result, the border is practically impossible to seal off and – long before the advent of Chavez – the terrain became homeland to various smugglers, drug dealers, seekers of gold and diamonds, and all brands of adventurous people. Secretary General of the Organization of American States Jose Miguel Insulza agreed that Columbia’s charges are groundless, citing the fact that the terrain where the guerrillas come and go is too difficult to be controlled by any single country. He noted that while Uribe is lambasting Venezuela for not arresting the guerrillas Columbia is just as unable to get a hold of them.

Continue reading

Danish Anti-terror law imprisons Irish writer for supporting FARC and Venezuela’s Bolivarian process

15 March, 2010

VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue reports: The next e-mail I will be getting from my compatriot Patrick Mac Manus will be from jail … he has just been sentenced to 6 months prison by a Danish judge for collecting and donating money to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Funnily enough, the court admitted that it couldn’t prove conclusively whether US$9,242 collected for the FARC and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) reached the groups. It was enough to show that Mac Manus’ group “Rebellion” tried to transfer the token sum of solidarity.

mcmanus.jpg

Imprisoned colleague Patrick Mac Manus

65-year old Patrick Mac Manus had been indicted in 2007 but because of a severe bouts of illness, the trial had been postponed.

MacManus and his group say they are determined to fight the Danish anti-terrorist law passed shortly after 9/11.

Seven members of a group that collected money for the FARC through the sale of T-shirts and other activities were put on trial last year … the money collected was destined for a FARC radio station and an PFLP printing office.

During the trial, Irishman Mac Manus — who has lived and worked in Denmark for many years — denied the charges and declaring it was all political satire to provoke a national debate on the anti-terror law. Solidarity with FARC will continue, a defiant Mac Manus stated, in reply to the prison sentence.

The Danish State will receive a greater challenge from a trade union group that collected money and sent it to the FARC and an association of WW2 Danish resistance fighters against the Nazis.

Patrick Mac Manus has written about Venezuela, defending the government of President Chavez, and contesting the spin coming from the Colombian government as a result of the dodgy “Raul Reyes laptops.” Like many others, he considers the FARC to be a belligerent force that has been fighting a corrupt and murderous state for more than 40 years. It might be on the defensive after suffering some serious defeats, but it is still at war.

The Colombian government has declared itself at war with the FARC and ELN and seeks a military victory with the aid of the United States of America … NO amount of imprisonment or repression in Fortress Europe will change that fact.

Patrick Mac Manus is paying the price for rebellion against the anti-terror law

Who is next?

Patrick J. O’Donoghue
news.editor@vheadline.com

Venezuela – Colombia Relations in Limbo: Will Chávez burn the bridge? – Council on Hemispheric Affairs

7 August, 2009 — Council on Hemispheric Affairs

In response to Colombian charges that weapons found in a FARC arms cache were supplied by Venezuela, Hugo Chávez withdrew his ambassador from Bogotá and once again froze Venezuela – Colombia relations. According to reports by the Uribe Administration, three Swedish AT-4 rocket launchers which formed part of a shipment sold in the 1980s to the Venezuelan army were recovered during a raid of a FARC guerrilla camp in the remote southeastern section of Colombia. A Swedish Foreign Ministry official publicly confirmed that the anti-tank weapons had been exported to Venezuela over twenty years ago, and the Swedish government has demanded an explanation for what appears to be a clear violation of end-user licenses. ‘We are not going to accept this irresponsibility,’ Chávez told a televised cabinet meeting. ‘We will freeze relations with Colombia.’

Continue reading

Ten Years of ‘Plan Colombia’: Bogotá Leases Military Real Estate to the Obama Administration

5 August, 2009 — Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Plan Colombia Phase III? Colombia’s neighbors condemn new military agreement
Colombia is likely to become the regional hub for the Pentagon’s Latin American activities and its Fort Apache as U.S. and Colombia near a cooperation agreement that would expand U.S. military presence in the country. The U.S. seeks to increase its influence in Colombia as it counts down the days until its lease expires on the Manta, Ecuador base that Quito terminated on mainly political grounds. The new Colombia agreement is meant to extend the use of seven of the country’s military bases in what is estimated to be a ten year lease arrangement. The agreement is said to also include terms for preferential arms and aircraft sales to the Colombian military. Currently, U.S. military presence in Colombia cannot exceed 800 Department of Defense Employees and 600 civilian military contractors, all of which have immunity for criminal prosecution in the country.

Leaders of a number of Colombia’s neighboring countries have expressed their concerns, as U.S’ expanded military role in the country appears to further besmirch Bogotá’s good name. As a result of the pending accord, Venezuela’s Chávez has removed his Ambassador in Bogotá, stating that the base agreement represents an act of aggression on the part of the neighboring country. Presidents Lula of Brasil and Bachelet of Chile also have strongly condemned expanded U.S. military presence in Colombia and the lack of prior discussion with the affected nations. While South American leaders requested a meeting of UNASUR’s Defense Council in order to obtain a clear explanation of the agreement from Colombia, it appears that neither President Uribe nor his Foreign Affairs minister Jaime Bermudez will be attending such event, although Colombia is sure to be attacked for its role.

Continue reading

COHA: Time to Debate a Change in Washington’s Failed Latin American Drug Policies

  • Unrelenting forces prove their strength in the war on drugs, but not their wisdom
  • American prohibition on drugs compounds the problem it was meant to cure
  • It is time to reexamine failed drug policies and learn new vocabulary words: decriminalization and legalization

It is time for policymakers to acknowledge that drug prohibition is inadequate and requires immediate attention, discussion and qualification. Despite 37 years of universal cooperation pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 39/141, which has been the basis of U.S. anti-drug policy ever since; it is a statute which regularly has proven to be ineffective. It also has adversely contributed to fanning grave civil disorder and broken societies in nations across the globe.

Continue reading

Stephen Lendman: Ongoing attacks on Hugo Chavez

Some of Chavez`s fiercest critics maintain pressure and show up often on the Wall Street Journal`s op-ed page.

Since taking office in February 1999, America’s dominant media have relentlessly attacked Chavez because of the good example he represents and threat it might spread in spite of scant chance it will in today’s climate.

Yet some of his fiercest critics maintain pressure and show up often on the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page. Most recently on November 10 by its America’s columnist, Mary O’Grady. Her style is agitprop. Her space a truth-free zone. Her latest in an article headlined ‘Hugo Chavez Spreads the Loot’ referring to what The New York Times calls ‘Suitcasegate.’

Continue reading

Council on Hemispheric Affairs – Colombia’s Political Horizon: The Rise of a New Left

Colombia’s President Uribe: ‘I deplore that Senator Obama’

Current Political Landscape
In contemporary discourse regarding Latin America, Colombia is often characterized as a failed state mired by ruinous civil war and reflecting the pervasive influence of powerful drug-running paramilitaries. On the other hand, there are those who see the country as an enviable exemplar of democracy led by one of the most popular presidents of the region. The U.S. government, not surprisingly, is the indefatigable spokesperson for the latter interpretation. Comments by officials like former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicolas Burns, who stated in 2006 that ‘during the last five years, the Colombian people have produced the greatest success story in Latin America,’ are unfortunately, common.

Depictions such as these above do little to deepen people’s understanding of this problematic country and its significance in contemporary Latin America. As of late, this type of inflated rhetoric has obfuscated developments which are challenging the status quo in Colombia and could fundamentally alter the country’s so-called ‘special’ relationship with the U.S., as well as with some of its Latin American neighbors. As of now, a challenge is emanating from multiple sectors of society, but particularly from the politically progressive wing comprised of the excluded, the dispossessed, and the indigenous, who are increasingly exerting anti-government pressure in the public forum in an effort to make themselves heard.

Continue reading

Anti-Empire Report, May 1, 2008 By William Blum

Anti-Empire Report, May 1, 2008

The Anti-Empire Report Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

May 1, 2008
www.killinghope.org

Since I gave up hope, I feel better.

‘More than any time in history, mankind now faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.’ — Woody Allen

Food riots, in dozens of countries, in the 21st century. Is this what we envisioned during the post-World War Two, moon-landing 20th century as humankind’s glorious future? It’s not the end of the world, but you can almost see it from here.

Continue reading