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Sat Jun 23, 2012, 02:52 PM

US base fracas exposes Argentine vulnerability

US base fracas exposes Argentine vulnerability
The recently shelved deal over a military facility hints at the potential US manipulation of domestic politics.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2012 16:00

New York, NY - The outlandish story of Washington's drive to establish a military base in Argentina just got a whole lot weirder. As I wrote in another recent Al Jazeera column, the US has been assiduously seeking alternative sites for its military operations ever since the nationalist/populist regime of Rafael Correa booted the US military out of Ecuador. Having lost its perch in the strategically located coastal city of Manta, the Obama administration went on a tear in the Southern Cone, establishing a base in Chile and proceeding with plans to build yet another installation in the remote Chaco region of Argentina, under the auspices of the US Southern Command.

~ snip ~

While the US and local authorities claimed that the base was merely aimed at encouraging humanitarian and disaster relief, the Argentine left charged that the installation was purely military in nature. Shortly after news of the Chaco base became public, activists organised protests in Resistencia, a town near the proposed installation. As public pressure continued, the provincial governor of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich, came under a firestorm of criticism. A politician with pro-US leanings, Capitanich had been a key figure pushing for the Resistencia base from the outset.

A dramatic reversal

Then, just as abruptly as the Resistencia initiative had been announced, the whole agreement was cancelled by the central government. According to Mexican magazine Proceso, both the foreign ministry and defence ministry were incensed by Capitanich, who had essentially conducted his own rogue foreign policy. In late May, a chastened Capitanich was obliged to do a "180 degree turn" by proposing an amendment to his own state's civil defence law, which would expressly forbid any foreign country from operating in Chaco in the event of natural disasters or emergencies.

In the end, Proceso notes, Capitanich wound up "colliding" with the Kirchner government and Argentina's own position within larger geostrategic blocs such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which excludes the US. The magazine quoted one official at the Argentine ministry of defence, who candidly remarked that the central government was intent on "slapping Capitanich on the wrist" for exceeding his powers, since "no governor has the right to sign an agreement on his own with the US Southern Command".

More:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/2012619112334487224.html?utm_content=automate&utm_campaign=Trial6&utm_source=NewSocialFlow&utm_term=plustweets&utm_medium=MasterAccount

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply US base fracas exposes Argentine vulnerability (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2012 OP
ocpagu Jun 2012 #1
naaman fletcher Jun 2012 #4
mitchtv Jun 2012 #2
Louisiana1976 Jun 2012 #3
newfie11 Jun 2012 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 03:13 PM

1. I'm glad the Argentine government cancelled the agreement.

 

This is very serious and very threatening. The Latin American countries have just started to reform their societies and politics after decades of imposed facist military regimes.

Democracy in Latin America is still too much fragile. The Latin American right wing has never changed. They are still the same facist coup mongers of always and they will do whatever they can to reverse the "pink tide" - planning coups poorly disguised as constitutional, like this one in Paraguay and the one in Honduras.

If both fail, the reactionary elites will use the old fashioned coup style, pointing the national armies guns to their citizens, and they will likely have the cooperation of the Pentagon and CIA. It doesn't matter who's in the White House. Republicans and right-wing Democrats would love to cooperate with facists in such scenario. Progressive Democrats wouldn't have power to stop their military-industrial complex.

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Response to ocpagu (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 09:07 PM

4. I'm glad too,

 

But, why did the Government agree to it in the first place?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 04:38 PM

2. good for them

having Britain's best friend in country would be foolish. It would surely become a base for English mischief.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 08:34 PM

3. Viva Argentina!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 09:31 AM

5. Good for Argentina AND Ecuador n/t

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