PROSUR: A Return to Fascist Oligarchies in South America By Wayne Madsen

3 April 2019 — Internationalist 360°

With more than a “wink and a nod” from their collegial “caudillo del Norte,” Donald Trump, seven right-wing South American leaders have launched the Forum for the Progress of South America (PROSUR), which aims to eradicate all vestiges of Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez, and Brazil’s wrongfully-imprisoned past president, Inacio Lula da Silva. PROSUR seeks to replace the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which was created by Chavez and Lula in 208 to counteract traditional American hegemonism in Latin America enforced by the neo-colonial Organization of American States (OAS).

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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.

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New at Strategic Culture Foundation 27 November – 3 December, 2010

7 December, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Russia’s Pak tilt

03.12.2010 | 12:01 | BHADRAKUMAR Melkulangara (India)
The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s consultations in Delhi on Monday came as traditional run-up to the annual India-Russia summits. President Dmitry Medvedev is due to visit India on Dec 21-22… Russia, being a global player, has no alternative but to respond to the US regional strategies apropos of long-term western military presence in Russia’s extended neighbourhood, Washington’s Great Central Asia strategy (aimed at rolling back Russian and Chinese influence)…

UNASUR Countries Against the Empire

02.12.2010 | 16:36 | NIKANDROV Nil
The highlight of the 4th UNASUR summit was the unanimous approval of “The Additional Protocol to the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR on Commitment to Democracy” which stipulates that the UNASUR countries would mount collective resistance to any attempts to displace legitimate governments on the continent… It is time to put an end to Washington’s meddling in the domestic affairs of Latin American countries regardless of the pretexts cited by Washington such as struggle against terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, and human trafficking. Latin Americans can handle their own problems independently…

The US Electorate Moving Right? Or Just the US Administration?

30.11.2010 | 16:26 | KERANS David (USA)
The US government will not be willing to take the lead on the international stage in controlling global warming, limiting social inequality, bringing the financial sector to heel, or restraining its (since renamed) Global War on Terror. It will in fact try to obstruct healthy initiatives on all these critical issues. Happily, many countries are showing more spine to the US than they have in the past.

The Korean Peninsula: a Territory of Recurring Crises

29.11.2010 | 17:34 | VORONTSOV Alexander, REVENKO Oleg
On November 23 Pyongyang subjected the Yeonpyeong Island located 12-15 km away from the inter-Korean border to massive shelling… US-S. Korean military exercises involving a US marine group are to take place in the Yellow Sea on November 28-December 1. The exercises can be regarded as provocative in character given that they are conducted in the proximity of N. Korea’s coast and that landing operations are a part of the exercise plan… Washington will almost certainly take advantage of the crisis situation to exert greater pressure on China and indirectly on Russia…

Russian Presence on Tajik Border

29.11.2010 | 08:26 | SHUSTOV Aleksandr
Fightingdrug trafficking from Afghanistan has become one of the  prior tasks for Russia in recent years as up to 30,000 Russians die from drug use every year… When Russian troops left Tajikistan in 2005 (only a small group of experts stayed to consult the border services), the situation got worse. Though very soon Tajikistan saw assistance from the U.S. and Europe, the Republic became one of the most active drug trafficking zones. When opium production in Afghanistan increased  almost 40-fold, it was no longer possible to control the flow of drugs via Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to Russia…

As hope of euro fails, Europe’s fate depends on Germans

28.11.2010 | 10:42 | NESTEROV Vladimir
On November 23, the German newspaper Die Welt wrote: “Hopes that euro will unite the society have failed”. On the contrary, the gap between the countries, which earlier had unstable currencies, and the countries, which were heading to stability, has become wider. Germans do not understand the love for consumption, which led Greece and Spaniard to debts. At the same time, in Southern Europe people have allergy to Germans’ appeals to save money and to set clear rules of the game. What will be further?

NATO and South Asian security

27.11.2010 | 10:35 | BHADRAKUMAR Melkulangara (India)
The Strategic Concept adopted at Lisbon envisages NATO’s prerogative to mount expeditionary operations globally. The Lisbon summit confirmed that the NATO military presence in Afghanistan will continue even beyond 2014… Overarching these considerations comes the U.S. strategy visualising NATO as the provider of security to the Silk Road that transports the multi-trillion dollar mineral wealth in Central Asia to the world market via the port of Gwadar…

Copyright 2010 © Strategic Culture Foundation
Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.

Coups, UNASUR, and the U.S. By Noam Chomsky

9 September, 2009 — Z Magazine

From a talk given in Caracas, Venezuela on August 29 (updated September 9)

The last time I had the opportunity to speak in Caracas — at long-distance that time — was about a year ago, right after the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting in Santiago in September 2008. That meeting was called “with the purpose of considering the situation in the Republic of Bolivia,” after an uprising backed by the traditional elites who had lost power in the impressive democratic elections of 2005. UNASUR condemned the violence and the massacre of peasants by the quasi-secessionist elements, and declared, “Their fullest and decided support for the constitutional government of President Evo Morales, whose mandate was ratified by a wide margin in the recent referendum.” These are the words of the final Declaration, which also warned that the participating governments — all of the South American Republics — “energetically reject and do not recognize any situation that implies an intent of civil coup d’état, the rupture of institutional order, or that compromises the territorial integrity of the Republic of Bolivia.” In response, President Morales thanked UNASUR for its support and observed that, “For the first time in South America’s history, the countries of our region are deciding how to resolve our problems, without the presence of the United States.”

True, and a fact of historic significance.

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U.S.-Brokered Mediation Has Failed — It's Time for Latin America to Take Charge By Mark Weisbrot

31 July, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

The mediation effort that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged to try to resolve the Honduran crisis, which began when a military coup removed Honduran President Mel Zelaya more than four weeks ago, has failed.  It is now time — some would say overdue — for the Latin American governments to play their proper role.  They should take the necessary steps to implement the unanimous mandate from the Organization of American States: “the immediate and unconditional return” of President Zelaya to his elected office.




This can be done with or without the help of the Obama administration.  It is important to note that the last two political crises in the region were resolved without any significant input from Washington.  The first was in March of last year, when Colombia bombed and invaded Ecuadorian territory, in an operation targeting Colombian FARC guerillas.  Latin America was united in its response, condemning the violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty.  The crisis was resolved at a Rio Group meeting on March 7, where President Uribe of Colombia apologized and pledged not to violate the sovereignty of any country again.

In the summer of last year, right-wing Bolivians opposed to the government of President Evo Morales engaged in a series of violent actions that raised the specter of a separatist civil war.  The heads of state of UNASUR — the Union of South American Nations — met in Santiago and unanimously declared their support for the Morales government.  This unified regional response, and the ensuing investigations of right-wing violence sponsored by UNASUR, helped put an end to the insurrectionary hopes of the Bolivian right.

It was too much to expect that a mediation process set up by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would resolve the Honduran crisis.  The U.S. government has too many interests that conflict with what the rest of the region wants and needs.

First, there is the U.S. military base in Honduras, the only such base in Central America.  The constitutional reform process that President Zelaya hoped to set in motion could easily lead to voters’ rejection of foreign troops on their soil.  However much our government may prefer democracy as a political system, when there is a choice between democracy and a military base, Washington’s track record is not a good one.

Brazil’s foreign minister Celso Amorim complained to Clinton that the mediation process should be within the framework of the OAS resolution, and therefore should not impose conditions on Zelaya’s return — especially, he said, a coalition government with the people who overthrew the government.  This was one of the conditions proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, whom Clinton recruited to mediate.

Amorim also noted that any negotiated solution that was seen as rewarding the coup perpetrators would increase the threat of military coups in other countries.  These concerns reflect Latin America’s strong and unambiguous interest in a complete reversal of the coup.  They will have to live with the consequences of failure.

In Washington, by contrast, we have a muddle of conflicting interests: powerful lobbyists such as Lanny Davis and Bennett Ratcliff, who are close to Clinton and are leading the coup government’s strategy; the Republican right, including Members of Congress who openly support the coup; and “New Cold Warriors” of both parties in the Congress, State Department, and White House who see Zelaya as a threat because of his cooperation with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and other left governments.

No wonder Washington’s response to the coup has sent so many mixed signals.  The first White House statement did not even criticize the coup, and the State Department still won’t officially call it a coup.  And Clinton has repeatedly refused to say that “restoring the democratic order” in Honduras means bringing Zelaya back — much less unconditionally.  It took three weeks for the administration to threaten a foreign aid cutoff, and Washington is alone in keeping its ambassador in place.

Latin America gave Washington a chance to use its influence with the Honduran elite to restore democracy there.  It didn’t work.  Now it is Latin America’s turn to take the lead.  Hopefully, Washington will follow.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C.  He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy.  He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.  This article was first published by the Guardian on 30 July 2009.

Luis Bilbao: The grand duel — At the Fifth Summit of the Americas, a crucial battle is to be waged By Luis Bilbao

[Translated by Gonzalo Villanueva for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. It was first published in America XXI.

9 April, 2009 — The time has arrived: to align with the North to engage in the futile business of saving capitalism, or define positions and accelerate towards South American unity, the complementary solidarity of the region’s economies and authentic sovereignty towards the good life for all. That is the option for which there is no possible postponement.

The United States and its partners are attempting to attract key countries of the hemisphere to support its strategy, once again like neo-colonies clinging to the metropolis. That was the significance of the G-20 summit on April 2 in London, that is the intention of Washington for the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, 15 days later. In contrast, the countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) will meet on April 16 in Caracas, Venezuela to ratify a common line of action against the crisis and a response to imperial capital. The participation of all members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in the meeting of ALBA is the last opportunity to present a united front before the destructive power of the global crisis is unleashed.

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Global Recession: Protectionism and Diversification in the U.S. and South America

  • Peru and Chile maintain free market principles and diversification of trading partners
  • Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the U.S. implement huge stimulus packages
  • Argentina, Paraguay, and Ecuador attempt to protect their economies by imposing new tariffs
  • The G-20 summit this April could offer global solution to the crisis

As the G-20 meeting is about to begin in London, the outlook for Latin American growth in 2009 is grim, as the tempo of foreign direct investment (FDI) and loans stand-by credits and development funds plummet, the demand for commodities diminish, and foreign remittances plunge.The World Bank vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Pamela Cox, is forecasting 0.3 percent growth for Latin America this year, down from the originally 2.7 percent predicted in January. Cox anticipates that countries most closely linked with the U.S. economy will be hit the hardest. Thus, NAFTA, CAFTA and the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) may prove particularly harmful for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean in the foreseeable future.

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COHA: Bolivia’s Military: It’s a Difficult Life, but Certainly There Is No Sign of a Pending Military Coup

  • As Morales accuses DEA agents of spying, Bolivia approaches Russia and Venezuela for military aid
  • Admiral named interim governor of Pando amidst peasant massacre
  • Is Bolivia’s military being increasingly used for internal peacekeeping/enforcement?
  • The good news: no apparent interest by Bolivia’s military for another coup

Last September, Rear Admiral Landelino Bandeiras was sworn in as interim governor of the Bolivian province of Pando. His election came after its civilian governor was arrested by the military, and charged with orchestrating the murder of more than 18 Bolivian peasant supporters of President Morales, in the town of Porvenir. The designation of Admiral Bandeiras as Pando’s new ranking authority brings up issues surrounding the current role of Bolivia’s military vis-à-vis the country’s persistent internal security problems.

The protests and continuous tensions involving the autonomy issue have gained the attention of regional officials as well as the international media. Many local and national political figures have thrown themselves in the battle of whether Bolivia will remain one unified nation or break up into separate states. The recently created Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), called for an emergency meeting which resulted in all of South America rallying behind President Morales and the unity of Bolivia.

However, there is one factor in the ongoing confrontation, whose presence is not immediately apparent: the Bolivian military.

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U.S. reaps what it sows in Bolivia

The San Diego Union-Tribune

By Larry Birns and Jessica Bryant
September 22, 2008

The near breakdown of relations between the United States and Bolivia is a perfect example of the baleful consequences of the inherent disrespect the U.S. historically has exhibited toward the region.

Despite La Paz’s and Washington’s ideological differences, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon might have made one more effort to indicate a clear U.S. commitment to the territorial integrity of Bolivia. Vigorous support of President Evo Morales in the face of the opposition’s reckless strategy on the part of Santa Cruz and the eastern region pro-autonomy leaders might have provided a compelling pressure on the secessionists, who were more interested in getting their hands on the region’s hydrocarbon windfall revenues than in avoiding the violence that tragically has claimed many lives.

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Bolivia: A Profound Breakdown of Communication with Latin America

Council on Hemispheric Affairs

  • Upwards of Thirty Dead in Bolivia
  • The Unforgivable has Again Happened, The Taking of Innocent Life
  • Was the Expulsion of the U.S. Ambassador Inevitable?
  • The import of UNASUR’s Strong but Dignified Role

With UNASUR having just met in Santiago, Chile to discuss the escalating crisis in Bolivia, the stage is set for a huge surge of autonomy for Latin America, owing to a series of newly auto-generated, self-managed and extensive regional initiatives. In an extraordinary shift from a decades-long hegemonic status-quo during which Washington exercised de facto hemispheric supremacy, the U.S. role has dramatically diminished, at times becoming almost irrelevant. In fact, even though U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas Shannon, is a relatively enlightened figure who at times has stressed a rational dialogue between Venezuela, Bolivia, and Washington, U.S. attention toward the region, when at all focused, has been willful, narrow-minded, and self-absorbed.

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