November 5, 2008
Translated from: Coalición No Bases logra la salida de Base Militar de EEUU de Ecuador
Translated by: Annette Ramos
The following is Helga Serrano's report about the case of Ecuador presented at the Second Encounter for the Demilitarization of the Americas on Oct. 4, 2008 in La Esperanza, Honduras. It is of interest because it describes the grassroots organizational process that led to President Rafael Correa's decision to announce that the U.S. military must leave the base at Manta as of 2009. The president's decision was important, but it was the constant pressure from grassroots networks that led to this triumph for all who seek a demilitarized continent, with peace and full respect for sovereignty.
The achievements of the peace and anti-bases movements in the country also are revealed in Article 5 of the new Constitution of Ecuador which prohibits locating foreign military bases on Ecuadorean soil, to wit: "Ecuador is a peaceful territory. The establishment of foreign military bases and foreign facilities with military purposes is not allowed." Following is the system by which this experience came about, providing an example for the whole continent.
Warm greetings in solidarity from Ecuador, on behalf of the Christian Youth Association-YMCA of Ecuador, the Anti-Bases Coalition of Ecuador, and the Global Anti-Bases Network.
I am happy to be here in La Esperanza to share with you two victories that bring hope. The first is the success of the referendum and the new constitution, and the other is that U.S. forces have been officially notified that they must leave the Manta Military Base in 2009.
We would like to share the following points with you:
The strategy of imperialist domination based on militarism and neoliberal economic globalization.
The Base at Manta
The Multinational Network
Challenges facing the Latin American and Caribbean Anti-Bases Network
Imperialist Domination: Militarization and Neoliberal Globalization
To begin with, it is important to underscore that to protect its interests and military and commercial investments globally, the United States seeks global political control grounded in two strategies: global militarization and neoliberal capitalist globalization. In this manner, the military forces of the empire act as a "global police," with the goal of maintaining security for the global market. So, it is clear that on the one hand it aims to keep military control and supremacy, and on the other control over markets and resources.