America’s Next Military Operation: Paraguay??
The United States military has been performing secret operations in Paraguay, not too far from the Bolivian border. Supposedly these operations are only related to terrorism and the War on Drugs. And if you believe that…
About 500 American troops arrived at a Paraguayan military base last July. This base is 124 miles from Bolivia. Human rights workers in the area are concerned that this buildup — combined with rhetoric about terrorism — is reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraqi invasion.
This base is capable of housing 16,000 troops. It’s too large to be needed by the small Paraguayan army. It was constructed in the 1980s by American technicians during the reign of Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner. It’s already equipped with a large radar system, huge hangars and an air traffic control tower.
The Guarani Aquifer — one of the world’s largest water reserves — is near this base. The base is also close to Bolivia’s natural gas reserves. Bolivia’s new Leftist leader, Evo Morales, has talked about nationalizing their natural gas supply (the second largest in Latin America). Global corporations don’t like this idea, and they might be asking their private army (America) to do something about it.
Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel talked about American troops arriving in Paraguay. He said “Once the United States arrives, it takes a long time to leave. And that really frightens me.”
A Paraguayan defense analyst said the location of the base “is ideal because it is operable throughout the year ... I am sure that the U.S. presence will increase.”
The American Embassy in Paraguay officially denies any intent to set up military operations in Paraguay. However, there’s an $80 million American military base in Ecuador, and those same denials were issued while that base was being set up. It’s official purpose was for “weather monitoring.” And now the base is heavily involved in “security-related” missions. So, we’ll see…
A Paraguayan political analyst said “In practice, there has already been a U.S. base operating in Paraguay for over 50 years. In the past, they needed congressional authorization every six months, but now they have been granted permission to be here for a year and a half.” American troops in Paraguay now have total immunity from national and international criminal courts. This immunity lasts until December 2006 but can easily be extended.
Since 2004, the U.S. has been pressuring Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay into signing a deal to grant immunity to the U.S. military. The Bush administration threatened to deny the countries up to $24.5 million in economic and military aid if they refused to sign the immunity deal. So far Paraguay has been the only country to accept this offer.
So, summing up: Bolivia has a new Leftwing leader who’s hated and feared by Neocons and Big Business. There’s been lots of speculation about American military and intelligence operations inducing a coup in Bolivia. And now the U.S. is setting up a huge military base in Paraguay near the Bolivian border.
Think there's any connection?
cross-posted at Bring It On!