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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/29/10

U.S. Plunges Central America Back To Era Of Coups And Death Squads

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In late February over 10,000 supporters of deposed President Manuel Zelaya left the main university in the capital of Tegucigalpa, but "were blocked by soldiers from nearing the presidential palace and diverted to the parliament in the city center...." Troops ordered from their barracks by a regime that "has taken important and necessary steps that deserve the recognition and normalization of relations," as Hillary Clinton would phrase it a week later.

"Six teachers' unions backed the protests and called for classes to be suspended nationwide." [15]

Military coups d'etat and masked hit squads are back in Central America with Washington's blessing and the threats are not limited to Honduras, which is intended as both object lesson and prototype by the White House and the State Department.

In February Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez warned "that the right-wing in Latin America was being organized to attack the Bolivian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur)," adding however that "the U.S. government would not be able to stop the development of ALBA in Central America despite the coup in Honduras."

"The U.S. Empire" will employ reactionary and covert forces to subordinate the next government of Brazil (a general election will be held this October), "which also will be terrible for the unity of South America." [16]

In addition, it was reported on March 25 that Nicaragua's ambassador to the Organization of American States, Denis Moncada, accused the U.S. ambassador to his nation, Robert Callahan, of "meddling in Nicaraguan internal affairs." Callahan, Moncada continued, "has publicly supported attempts by Nicaraguan opposition parties, rating as fraudulent the 2008 municipal elections, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front won the majority of the country's mayoralties." [17]

The Nicaraguan press recently published an article by Uruguayan journalist Jorge Capelan titled "The United States and its Web of NGOs in Nicaragua," which detailed that "the destabilizing strategy the United States has pursued in Venezuela through non-governmental organizations and 'contractor' firms is also being applied in Nicaragua against the Sandinista government."

The report documented that since 1994 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) created "so-called Offices of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in several countries worldwide.

"They were originally created to support transition to capitalism in Eastern European countries, but they later spread to other states where it was necessary to address situations in which US interests were threatened."

An OTI was launched in Venezuela in July of 2002, two months after the 47-hour coup there, and in late 2005 in Bolivia in an attempt to prevent Evo Morales' victory in the December 18 presidential election.

Although there "is no OTI in Nicaragua," USAID is concocting "a similar strategy against the Sandinista government through the CampTransparencia program run by the paramilitary DynCorp firm.

"CampTransparencia has organized forums and other similar activities in Nicaragua. Its main cadres have experience in 'regime change' operations." [18]

The current preferred method of effecting the subversion and overthrow of governments considered to present obstacles to U.S. geopolitical designs is the "color revolution" model first employed in Yugoslavia in 2000 and replicated in the former Soviet states of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The first attempt to export a variation of the technique to Latin America was in Bolivia two years ago.

Last May Hillary Clinton railed against "growing Iranian, Chinese and
Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere," which has ostensibly encouraged "leftist leaders like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega to promote anti-U.S. sentiment and rely on aid from China, Iran and Russia." [19] She particularly singled out Nicaragua, stating "We are looking to figure out how to deal with [President Daniel] Ortega" as "the Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua. You can only imagine what it's for." [19]

In the 1980s the Reagan administration frequently invoked alleged Russian and Iranian influence in Nicaragua to justify its support for the Contra war against the nation.

To Central America's immediate north, on March 22 Defense Secretary Robert Gates and chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen accompanied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Mexico, and upon returning top U.S. military commander Mullen spoke of Mexico's "own version of counterinsurgency," and said, "We're working with them to generate as much capability as they can in that fight." [19] In speaking as he did, Mullen reiterated his statements in January of 2009 that the U.S. military was prepared to employ the same counterinsurgency tactics used in Afghanistan and Iraq for Mexico and that the infamous Plan Colombia could be the "overarching" model for the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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