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Presentation for the 4th International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases

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Other U.S. military bases in the Western Hemisphere outside the United States include:

Joint Task Force Bravo -- Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The U.S. has intervened or occupied Honduras eight times--in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919,1920, 1924 and 1925. The Soto Cano Air Base was built by the United States in 1983 as a part of the network of the CIA-military support to the Contras, who were attempting to overthrow the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. It is now used as a base for U.S. civic action and humanitarian and drug interdiction projects. But it has the airfield used by the Honduran military in 2009 coup from which to fly the democratically elected President Zelaya out of the country. Since 2003, Congress has appropriated $45 million for permanent facilities. In two years between 2009 and 2011, the base population grew by 20 percent. In 2012, the U.S. spent $67 million in military contracts in Honduras. There are more than 1,300 U. S. military and civilians on the base, four times larger than the 300 person Honduran Air Force Academy, the nominal host of the American military "guests."

The U.S. has increased military aid to Honduras despite the increase in police and military violence in the deaths of tens of thousands in Honduras.

Comalapa -- El Salvador. The naval base was opened in 2000 after the U.S. military left Panama in 1999 and the Pentagon needed a new forward operating location for maritime patrol to support multi-national counter illicit drug trafficking missions. Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa has a staff of 25 permanently assigned military personnel and 40 civilian contractors.

Aruba and Curacao -- The two Dutch territories in the Caribbean islands have U.S. military bases that are tasked with combating narco-ships and aircraft and which originate in South America and subsequently pass through the Caribbean to Mexico and the U.S. The Venezuelan government has argued that these bases are utilized by Washington to spy on Caracas. In January 2010 a U.S. surveillance P-3 aircraft left Curacao and trespassed Venezuelan airspace.

Antigua & Barbuda -- The U.S. operates an Air Station in Antigua that has housed the C-Band radar that tracks satellites. The radar is to be moved to Australia, but the U.S. may continue to have a small air station.

Andros Island, Bahamas --The Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) is operated by the U.S. Navy on six locations in the islands and develops new naval military technology, such as electronic warfare threat simulators.

Colombia -- Two US DOD locations in Colombia are listed as "other sites" and on page 70 of the Base Structure Report and should be considered as remote, isolated "lily pads." In 2008, Washington and Colombia signed a military agreement in which the U.S. would create eight military bases in that South American nation to combat drug cartels and insurgent groups. However, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that it was not possible for non-Colombian military personnel to be permanently stationed in the country, but the U.S. still has U.S. military and DEA agents in the country.

Costa Rica -- One US DOD location in Costa Rica is listed as "other sites" on page 70 of the Base Structure Report -- another "other site" "lily pad," even though the Costa Rican government denies a U.S. military installation.

Lima, Peru -- A U.S. Naval Medical Research Center #6 is located in Lima, Peru at the Peruvian Naval hospital and conducts research on and surveillance of a wide range of infectious diseases that threaten military operations in the region, including malaria and dengue fever, yellow fever, and typhoid fever. Other overseas U.S Naval Research Centers are located in Singapore, Cairo and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

To close my presentation, I want to mention one other part of the world where the U.S. is increasing its military presence. In December, I will be a part of a Veterans for Peace delegation to Jeju Island, South Korea and to Henoko, Okinawa where new military bases are being constructed for the U.S. "pivot" to Asia and the Pacific. As join with citizens of those countries to challenge their governments' agreement to allow their land to be use to expand the worldwide U.S. military footprint, we acknowledge that besides violence toward humans, military bases contribute strongly to violence toward our planet. Military weapons and vehicles are the most environmentally dangerous systems in the world with their toxic leaks, accidents, and deliberate dumping of of hazardous materials and dependence on fossil fuels.

Our delegation thanks the conference organizers for the opportunity to be with you and others from around the world who are deeply concerned about foreign military bases and we pledge our continued efforts to see the closing of the U.S. Naval Base and prison in Guantanamo and U.S. bases around the world.

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Ann Wright Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand (more...)
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