THE YANKEE BASES AND THE
LATIN AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY
The concept of nation emerged from the
combination of common elements such as history, language, culture, costumes,
laws, institutions and others related to the material and spiritual life of
Bolivar, who worked the great heroic deeds
that made him be known as ‘The Liberator’ during his struggle for the freedom
of the peoples of the Americas, urged them to create what he called “the greatest
nation in the world: less for its extension and
riches than for its liberty and glory.”
In Ayacucho, Antonio
José de Sucre waged the last battle against the empire that for more than 300
years had transformed much of this continent into a royal property of the
That was the same America that tens of years later, after being
divided in part by the rising Yankee imperialism, was
called by Martí ‘Our America.’
We should remember once again that on May
19, 1895, a few hours before dying in combat for the
independence of Cuba -the last bastion of Spanish colonialism in the Americas-,
Jose Marti prophetically wrote that everything he had done and would do was to
“…timely prevent, with the independence of Cuba, that the United States could
expand over the Antilles and fall with that additional force over our American
In the United States, the recently liberated thirteen colonies
did not take long to engage in a disorderly expansion to the West in their
quest for land and gold -while exterminating indigenous populations- until they
reached the Pacific coast.The
agricultural and slave States of the South competed with the industrial States
of the North that exploited wage labor in an attempt to create other States to
protect their economic interests.
In 1848 Mexico was robbed of more than 50 per cent of
its territory during a war of conquest launched against that country that was then
militarily weak.The conquerors occupied
the capital and imposed humiliating peace conditions.Mexico’s big reserves of oil and gas, which
remained in the territory that was robbed, would later on be supplied to the United States for more than a century and in part they continue
to be so now.
The Yankee filibuster William Walker,
encouraged by “the manifest destiny” declared by his country, landed in
Nicaragua in 1855 and proclaimed himself as President, until he was expelled by
the Nicaraguans and other Central American patriots in 1856.
Our National Hero realized how the destiny
of Latin American countries was being shattered by the rising United States Empire.
After Marti’s death in combat there was a
military intervention in Cuba at a time when the Spanish army had
already been defeated.
The Platt Amendment, which granted that
powerful country the right to intervene in the Island, was imposed on Cuba.
The occupation of Puerto Rico - which has
lasted for 111 years now- a country nowadays called “Free Associated State” that
is neither free nor a State, was another consequence of that intervention.
The worst was still to come for Latin America, as was confirmed by the brilliant
premonitions of Marti.The rising empire
had already decided that the canal that would connect the two oceans would go
through Panama and not through Nicaragua.The Panama isthmus, the Corinth dreamed of by Bolivar as the capital of
the biggest Republic of the world he had envisaged, would become a Yankees’ property.
Despite that, there were worst consequences that
occurred in the course of the 20th century.With the support of the national political
oligarchies, the United States became the owner of the resources and the
economies of Latin American countries.Military interventions multiplied; the armies and police forces fell under the US aegis.The Yankee transnationals
took control over the fundamental productions and services, banks, insurance
companies, foreign trade, railways, ships, warehouses, electricity and
telephone services.Others, to a greater
or lesser degree, were also finally controlled by them.
It is true that the sharp
social inequities led to the emergence of the Mexican Revolution in the second
decade of the 20th century -which became a source of inspiration for
other countries. The Revolution made it possible for Mexico to make
progress in different areas.But the
same empire that in the past devoured much of the Mexican territory,
is also devouring today important natural resources that still remain in that
country, imports cheap labor and is even forcing the Mexican people to shed its
NAFTA is the most brutal
economic agreement ever imposed on a developing country.For the sake of brevity, it will suffice it
to point out that the US Government has recently stated that in this moment,
when Mexico has been hit by a double blow, not only because of its economic
slowdown, but also because of the effects of the AH1N1 virus, the US would
probably want to see a more stable economy there before engaging in a long
discussion about new commercial negotiations.And of course, not a single word is said about the fact that, as a consequence
of the war unleashed by drug trafficking - for which Mexico has deployed 36
000 troops-, almost 4 000 Mexicans have died in 2009.The same phenomenon repeats itself to a
greater or lesser degree in the rest of Latin America.Drugs not only cause serious health problems;
they also give rise to violence which is causing lot of pain in Mexico and
Latin America as a consequence of the insatiable appetite of US markets, which are
an undepletable source of the hard currency that is
used to foment the production of cocaine and heroine.The US is the country
that supplies the weapons that are used in that ferocious and unadvertised war.
Those who die in the
territory between Rio Grande and the
farthest corners of South America are all Latin
Americans.Thus, general violence is breaking
new records of deaths and the victims, resulting mostly from drugs and poverty,
surpass the figure of 100 000 a year in Latin America.
The empire does not wage
the war on drugs within its borders; it does so in the Latin American
In our country we do not
grow coca or poppy.We efficiently
combat those who attempt to introduce drugs in our country or use Cuba as a transit point.
The number of persons who die as a result of violence is decreasing every
year.And for that we do not need Yankee
soldiers.The war on drugs is a pretext
to establish military bases in the whole hemisphere.
Since when the
vessels of the Fourth Fleet and modern combat planes are used to combat drugs?
The true objective the US pursues is to
control the economic resources, the markets, and to struggle against social
changes.Was there any need to reactivate
that fleet, which was demobilized after the Second World War, now, more than 60
years later, after the cold war is over and the USSR no longer exists?
The arguments used for the installation of seven air and naval bases in Colombia are an insult
History will not forgive
those who have been so disloyal to their own peoples, or those who resort to
the exercise of sovereignty as a pretext to legitimize the presence of Yankee
troops.What type of sovereignty they
refer to?Is it the one conquered by
Bolivar, Sucre, San Martin,
O’Higgins, Morelos, Juárez,
Tiradentes and Martí? None
of them would have accepted such a repugnant argument to justify the granting
of military bases to the Armed Forces of the United States, an empire far
more dominant, powerful and universal than the Crowns of the Iberian
If as a consequence of such
agreements promoted illegally and unconstitutionally by the United States, any
government in that country uses those bases, as was done by Reagan during the
dirty war, and Bush at the time of the Iraq war, to provoke an armed conflict
between two sister nations, this would be a big tragedy.Venezuela and Colombia were born
together in the history of the Americas, after the
battles of Boyacá and Carabobo,
under the leadership of Simon Bolivar.The Yankee forces could promote a dirty war as they did in Nicaragua, and even
recruit soldiers of foreign nationalities who are trained by them and attack
any country.But the combative, brave
and patriotic people of Colombia would hardly
let itself be dragged into a war against a people from a sister nation like Venezuela.
The imperialists would be
making a mistake if they equally underestimate the other Latin American
peoples.None of them would agree with
the presence of Yankee military bases; none of them will fail to express its
solidarity with any other Latin American people that is
attacked by imperialism.
Martí felt great
admiration for Bolivar, and he was not wrong when he said: “And that is how Bolivar is in the sky of America: vigilant and frowning…still wearing his
campaign boots; because what he did not do, still remains undone today: because
Bolivar still has things to do in the Americas.”