The United States has many fences in Latin America that need mending. You can see by the attention the U.S. is paying to Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama that the government in Washington is keenly aware of this and is responding in the only way it knows how to respond"militarily. This is the only response that America knows. Not that it hasn't worked, since the end of World War II, the United States has been involved in overthrowing a government in every nation in Latin America, some more than once. There has been more than one career spent in American clandestine organizations participating in regime changes from start to finish. By now the United States should have it down to a fine art. In fact, Americans thought that they had the formula for regime change down to a fine science until 2002 when they attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, there things went horribly wrong. The people there suddenly decided for themselves that they didn't want any part of the right-wing government about to be forced upon them and marched Chavez back to the Palace and reinstalled him.
The Americans tried to put on their best face in the wake of this horrible development. Since that time they have been in a quandary about what to do about Hugo. The worst possible scenario would be if they tried to remove him again and they failed again. This would completely destroy the myth of American invincibility in Latin America. It would reduce the Monroe Doctrine to just another piece of paper. In 2009, when Chavez met Obama for the first time, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood, walked over to him, and presented him with a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.
The book that Chavez gave to Obama was published in 1971, and details over 500 years of colonization and exploitation of Latin America by European powers and the United States. While the American press downplayed the exchange at the time, it certainly elevated the reputation of Chavez and his willingness to stand up to the Americans, while at the same time Chavez remarked to Obama that he would like to be "Obama's friend".
It appears that the American government does not wish to have warm relations with Venezuela. Since that meeting the United States has negotiated to open seven new military bases in Colombia which borders Venezuela. Some will support the newly reformed 4th Fleet, re-activated to patrol the seas around Latin America after being dormant since 1950. This comes as Panama agreed to host two new naval bases and Costa Rica has agreed to the stationing of 7,000 troops, 200 helicopters, and 46 warships in that country under the guise of "drug interdiction".
Can we honestly say that we as Americans don't see what is happening here? The nations of Latin America that belong to ALBA are a direct threat to the United States and its hegemony over Latin America.
"The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra Ame'rica, or ALBA) is an international cooperation organization based on the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is associated with socialist and social democratic governments and is an attempt at regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid, rather than trade liberalization as with free trade agreements. ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. It is intended to be the common virtual currency by 2010 and eventually a hard currency. On Tuesday, July 6, 2010, Venezuela and Ecuador conducted the first bilateral trade deal between two ALBA countries using the new trading currency, the Sucre, instead of the US dollar." (Source: Wikipedia)
The last time that a U.S. client state tried to trade in anything but dollars was when Saddam Hussein tried to sell its oil for Euro's and we all saw how that worked out for him. This time the United States is using the threat of "Socialism" in Latin America to beat the war drums against the nations that only ask for a chance to choose their own destiny, a destiny that isn't decided in the corridors of Washington or the corporate boardrooms of the big oil companies.