What will Argentina be like with two US military bases?

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By: Carlos Aznárez / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / June 26, 2016

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The question lingers and there some valid reasons to make it, because Argentina could become a military colony of the US, like Paraguay. And the clock is ticking, because the current government of Mauricio Macri has already set in motion agreements through the Ministry of Defense. Firstly, they are going to set up two National Security Bases (NSB) in the provinces of Misiones and Tierra del Fuego, and secondly, creating exchange missions with the American troops for joint training exercises not only in our territory but also in other parts of Latin America. Thus, the current government fulfills its foreign policy of submission,  as it turns away from the CELAC, UNASUR and the BRICS. It also ignores the advice given by Ernesto Samper —the head of the Union of South American Nations (USAN)—, who said that it’s time for the American military bases to “leave the continent”. Furthermore, Macri and his Chancellor, Susana Malcorra, are charging against Venezuela and the countries of the ALBA-BAPA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), and reinstall the policy of tailgating the US, by begging to be part of the Pacific Alliance, a coalition of countries that not only treats economic issues but put in place by action or omission interventionist actions of great significance.

The plan to install US military bases in Argentina had been proposed during Kirchner’s government by the governor of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich, but it was paralyzed by a popular  mobilization and the good sense of some members of the local Chancellery. Now, it’s being promoted again by the current government, which intends to float it again in two geopolitically strategic territories, seriously affecting national sovereignty.

The province of Misiones is located on the Triple Border (which unites Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and it contains the Guaraní Aquifer, one of the most important water sources of the world, and also a territory that, since the times of Ronald Reagan, has always captured the attention of Washington. In fact, George Bush Jr, almost designated it a “military target to bomb” with the mendacious excuse that Palestinian and Hezbollah militants were training there.

Because of that , Macri and his sepoys have greenlighted the installation of a base for radars and an observatory, allegedly “to combat drug trafficking and international terrorism”. These are very bad news, not only for people in Misiones province, who have already begun to mobilize, but also for the convulsive situation that South America is living these days. In fact, there are already several “observers” of the US Southern Command and the NSA, who are touring the area and apparently they believe that Puerto Iguazu (on the border with Brazil) is the right place to install this interventionist stronghold. Some local media outlets affirm that this decision has created a stir among some Argentine military officers that should have been consulted. Other rumors, which are unconfirmed but frankly credible in these convulsed times, say that the territory has been visited by US military commanders for several years, with the intention of preparing the ground for what is now about to happen. This is similar to the invasion of Israeli soldiers that is taking place in southern Argentina and southern Chile. Under the guise of taking “vacations” from their brutal invading attacks against the Palestinian people, like their US counterparts, they use the opportunity to do intelligence for Tel Aviv on the highly coveted swaths of our national territory.

In this context, and knowing about the “impunity” within Macri’s government has moved  to lunge at the national interests and our people, several popular organizations in Misiones have already considered to turn it into a National matter , (as it happened with the failed base in Chaco), and generate, in first instance, an information  campaign to make people aware and help later to have mobilizations in situ. Also, by  the Chamber of Deputies,  Daniel Di Stéfanoa deputy  from Misiones, has  presented at the National Congress a draft resolution,  requesting the Executive Branch details about  the two military bases installation,  in the Argentine territory.

As for the base for Tierra del Fuego, they intend to install it near Ushuaia, and it’s easy to see why: the area is highly strategic, geopolitically speaking, and the military consequences are unpredictable, because it’s only a few kilometres away from the NATO base in the Falklands, and from the Argentine Antarctic territory, a stronghold also intensely coveted by the US, due to the importance that continental ice will have for water supply in the future.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that the United States usually use several different ways to carry out their military interventionism: in some cases they use the excuse of “advice and humanitarian assistance”, using campaigns against dengue or zika. They begin by deploying nurses, doctors and paramedics, and then come the military observers, whose tasks have nothing to do with the health-related objectives. The same happens in other countries, such as  Honduras, Peru, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. In other cases, without much ado, they make arrangements with allies or submissive governments (or co-opted by substantial economic agreements) to install observation bases, place radars and other technological gadgets for which they do not provide more information to the public. And in other occasions, they open, as they have already done 36 times, military bases (there are 761 worldwide) with airports for bomber aircraft and presence of uniformed and armed troops. This is true for Colombia, Panama, Peru, Chile (with its base of “peacekeepers” in Concon), Curacao, Guatemala and several small islands across the Caribbean.
Now, the surrogate government of Mauricio Macri wants to join the dangerous habit of giving away the national territory and granting impunity for the actions of US civilian and military personnel in northern and southern Argentina. If we don’t resist it now, before they impose it, we’ll regret it once it’s done.

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