Colombia formally joins NATO: wtf? & woe to VZ and Bolivia

…and any other leftist/socialist nations that might unwind the recent putsches in Brazil, Argentina, and Central America to install US-approved neoliberal leaders with the consummate aid of CIA fronts USAID, NED, and new to me: the DNI (Instituto Democratico Nacional).

My guess is that this diary will be largely copy/paste, as there’s too much info to reinterpret in my limited time, an longish to boot.  I’ll add that the wtf? answer will ring as clear as crystal goblet tapped with a tuning fork by the end.

From Alex Gorka May 28, strategicculture.org:

“Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on May 25 that his country had formally become a “global partner” of NATO — the first Latin American state to obtain an official status in the organization, which is to be formalized this week. Colombia joins Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Pakistan — other nations also listed as “partners across the globe” or “global partners,” but none of them in Latin America. The areas for cooperation include improvements to the combat capabilities of the Colombian military, good governance, military education and training, the security of sea lanes, cyber security, and ways to combat terrorism and organized crime.

The president’s statement came on the same day that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that Bogota would be officially invited to join — their reward for steering a pro-Western course.”

He writes that NATO/Bogata cooperation has been rising since 2013, and in 2016 Bogata signed a ‘military cooperation with the block.  Apparently in 2009 Bogata allowed NATO bases in Colombia as well, all of which are in violation of the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement.  He then mentions other examples of NATO expansion having ceased to be a European Group, but now it’s spreading to another continent, as seriously big deal.

While this formalizes Colombia’s status as a ‘global partner’, there have been US special ops in the country under the guise of fighting drug traffikers, as the UK does in the Falklands, and NATO bases in the Caribbean:

“…which is not exactly part of South America but rather a suboceanic basin of the western Atlantic Ocean, bordered by the coasts of two South American nations: Venezuela and Colombia (Panama is part of Central America). The report NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement mentions the possibility of military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Colombia is an essential country for NATO’s global expansion, because it’s the only one in South America with coasts on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Status in NATO paves the way for the bloc’s bases on Colombian soil to be added to the US facilities already in place.

UNASUR and its military arm South American Defense Council were expressly created in 2009 to operate outside US influence, but it does include Venezuela and Boliva.  Noting that Argentina will host the August 2018 SADC conference, Colombia’s new status will ‘influence’ the proceedings. 

“Bogota may become a connecting link between NATO and South America, in an attempt to sideline the SADC as the entity that defines the continent’s defense policy.”

Gorka wants readers to know the backstory of the ‘announcement’ (and timing, more additions to that later):

“Last month, six South American states, including Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, suspended their memberships in UNASUR, the anti-US bloc, to express their dissatisfaction with Bolivia’s leadership, thus rendering the SADC irrelevant. UNASUR sought to bypass the US-influenced Organization of American States (OAS). Colombia’s NATO status is part of a trend — the US is making efforts to boost its influence in Latin America while the continent is becoming increasingly divided.

It should be noted that the six countries that have left UNASUR are members of the Lima Group that was set up last August by twelve North and South American nations, including Canada, which are by and large friendly to the United States, especially after the left-wing leaders lost power in Argentina and Brazil. The group opposes the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, which call for the continent’s independence from Washington.

And yes, that NATO now has a toehold in South America with access to the Pacific, we can look for increased meddling in South American politics and increase NATO membershipsA list of NATO PARTNERS, besides the 29 ‘official ones’.

Here’s a link to NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement, begun in 2009, and good gawd all-friday, can’t we get away from Miz ‘It was worth it’?

“At their Summit in Strasbourg/Kehl in April, 2009, Alliance leaders directed Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to convene a broadly-based group of qualified experts to prepare the ground for a new NATO Strategic Concept. The Group of Experts, led by its chair Madeleine K. Albright (United States) and vice-chair Jeroen van der Veer (The Netherlands), began work in September 2009.”  Just scanning a few pages of the report reads almost like satire, and it’s hard to know if even the participants believe what they’ve written.

Now consider more of the timing: Nicolas Maduro, heir to Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian presidency, was just re-elected as the leader of Venezuela.  If there are more than a dozen nations that have recognized his election, I can’t think of them.  Even before the election took place, Western media just blasted the hell out of its ‘illegitimacy’, ‘corruption’, ‘tyranny’, and what have you….repeatedly.  Now that he was re-elected, even though voter turnout was low due to the MUD opposition having pretty much boycotted the vote, cries of foul are ubiquitous and unanimous.  Here are the Cliffs Notes:

‘Media Delegitimize Venezuelan Elections Amid Complete Unanimity of Outlook’, Alan MacLeod, May 23, 2018, fair.org

“Nicolás Maduro was successfully re-elected president of Venezuela on Sunday, receiving 5.8 million of the 8.6 million ballots cast, on a turnout of 46 percent. His nearest challenger, Henri Falcon, received 1.8 million votes. The process was watched over by 150 international observers from over 30 countries, among them former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who said (Telesur, 5/20/18): “I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system.”

Another election observer was former Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who announced via Twitter (5/20/18):

The Venezuelan elections are developing with absolute normalcy. I’ve attended four polling stations. There is a permanent flow of citizenship, with short waiting and voting times. Very modern system with double control. From what I’ve seen, [it’s] impeccable organization.”

He cites a long list of hair-curling freak out headlines and mentions some of the #FakeNews heaped onto the oil-laden, overly-sanctioned, fairly drowning in regime-change attempts (several times against Chavez), mainly because Hugo had nationalized the oil, and taken back some of the feudal lords back for the Campesino agriculturalists.

See: Sanction, Intervene: How US Works to Defy Venezuelan Democracy’, May 18, telesur english

“When Hugo Chavez assumed the presidency, the state oil company was restructured so that the nation’s vast wealth could be used to benefit the Venezuelan people. Under Chavez, huge strides were made to invest in education, healthcare and housing projects.

But not everyone was pleased. The United States, along with the Venezuelan classes who had long enriched themselves with oil rents on the backs of the majority, made it clear they would not tolerate the radical democracy of Chavismo.

The strategy of the North American empire and its local allies follows a pattern. To destroy a socialist, oil-rich country, one must lower oil prices, apply sanctions, ally with internal reactionary forces, destroy the economy and – when the moment is right – stage a coup.” [snip]

“Those who orchestrated the [2002] coup [against Chavez] were later revealed to have had close links to U.S. officials in the Bush administration, having been reported by the Organization of American States (OAS) to have held “a number of meetings” with Bush’s Latin America policy adviser, Otto Reich, a right-wing Cuban American who served as U.S. ambassador to Caracas in 1986.”

But holy smoke, how’s this for concerted timing?

OAS Expects Tougher Venezuela Sanctions After Criminal Report’, May 30, bloomberg.com (with Almagro video, naturally)

A report [pdf 405 pages, egad] charging Venezuela’s government with crimes against humanity will be sent to the International Criminal Court on Wednesday as the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) said he expects increasingly tougher sanctions to target President Nicolas Maduro’s regime soon.

Luis Almagro, the OAS secretary-general, said he expects at least one country to sponsor his organization’s report — which would trigger a formal investigation by the ICC — within a month. He declined to say which country would likely sponsor the effort, though he said four countries have signaled an interest in doing so.

An indictment by the ICC would put Maduro’s government on a par with regimes including Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan and Libya’s late Moammar Al Qaddafi.”

“If the government does fall, its successor will have to work hard to rebuild the oil industry, which has long been the linchpin of the country’s economy. Almagro said he expects the situation in Venezuela to deteriorate quickly in the next month.”

Then comes a long list of Maduro’s financial mismanagement and ‘crimes against humanity’…

“In a statement Late Tuesday, Venezuela’s permanent OAS mission “categorically rejected” the report, saying it was prepared by “anti-Venezuelan activists” and was based on the testimony of “criminal fugitives.”

The report is part of a “propaganda campaign against the Venezuelan state, whose sole objective is to overthrow the Constitutional Government of President Nicolas Maduro,” the diplomats said in a statement.”

OMG: these are the OAS’s Cliffs Notes of their report on Maduro’s crimes against humanity, and even they look 2 L 2 read, much less abbreviate.  But not satire, sadly.  I’m not a fan of Max Blumenthal, but he has some scuttlebutt on the ‘who’s who’ of the OAS panel and his brave appearance there.

NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members.”  Except:

Via RT June 3:
“NATO is not obliged to come to the rescue should a hypothetical war break out between Iran and Israel, Jens Stoltenberg has told Germany’s Der Spiegel, amid increased tensions between the bitter Middle East rivals.

“Israel is our partner, but not a member of NATO. The security guarantee of Article 5 does not apply to Israel,” Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg told the magazine. Article 5 of NATO’s treaty stipulates that an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies, but it does not apply to those designated only as “partners” of the alliance.”  Or: only when we say so.  But as far as I could see, Israel isn’t on the ‘partners’ list at all…

But fear not!  Poland is offering $2 billion for NATO to put a permanent military base there!


(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

19 responses to “Colombia formally joins NATO: wtf? & woe to VZ and Bolivia

  1. This is sad to hear that Colombia keeps making poor choices

    • heh: ‘keeps making’ poor choices. good way to put it. but yes, ‘stemming the pink tide’ in latin america seems to be by way of a ‘take no prisoners’ project, doesn’t it? hard to see already how much increased misery temer and macri have unleashed on the citizenry.

      and ecuador: oh, my, a new security ‘relationship’ w/ the US, of course carrots/sticks in regard to silencing julian assange. rafael correa must be goin’ a bit nuts at moreno’s betrayals.

      nice site you have, and how in the most beautiful world in the world did you find the café? glad you did, hope you come again.

  2. The U.S. knows it’s losing infuence across the planet (including central and south America), but it still has the Monroe Doctrine.
    Yes, this is a worry for Venezuela and Bolivia, but; China and Russia are likewise involved across South America.
    Interesting times…

    • yes, good point. russia and china trade w/ many latin american nations, and russia has helped VZ to an extant w/ loans. but this nato-ization toehold in both the atlantic and pacific augurs poorly for the nations looking to sideline amerikan hegemonic influence.

      and remember when the subtext of a more open putsch on maduro was that there would be false flag border disputes by colombia and other unfriendly neighbors then…some sort of r2p rescue ‘the poor venezuelans’ scenario? now the west has increased ability to put such plans in motion. ay yi yi.

      • Bottom line; this NATO move is pure bullshit.
        My hope is; this will galvanise the majority of SA countries to unite against the hegemon.
        The U.S. is going down; there will be collateral damage; but not near what might have happened…
        We’ll see…

        • the move may be bullshit, and was planned a decade ago, out into effect now as part of a three-pronged, concerted effort to not only topple the maduro govt. (the raison d’etre for the lima group), but any potential resurgence of ‘pink tide’ bolivarian national rulers.

          i wish i had any hope in your hope that it will galvanize latin america against the hegemon, but between oas, the lima group, both members and supporting nations, neoliberalism (capitalism) seems to be winning for now, at least. canada has laid on VZ sanctions to beat the band, as well. the ins and outs of MERCOSUR are quite foggy to me, as is the changing
          ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) . but as you say, yes: interesting times. er…stay tuned?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALBA

  3. now these tweets may not be related, given the ‘hands of syria’ thing on the second one..but…

    Black Alliance for Peace @Blacks4Peace Jun 2 “Anti-imperialists in the center of the U.S. empire, we demand you stop the attacks on @ajamubaraka at the #LeftForum2018! 🇸🇾 #HandsOffSyria

    usually the wsws reports on the forum…lol.

  4. Apparently the North Atlantic may soon extend to Qatar: Qatar reportedly considers joining NATO

    BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 A.M.) Al Masdar News – Qatar is considering the opportunity to join the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), Deputy Prime Minister Qatar Khaled bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah reportedly told the Al-Talia Defense Ministry magazine, as quoted by Russia’s RIA Novosti.

    “Qatar is effectively cooperating with NATO and this cooperation is developing day-by-day and can lead to the deployment of any unit or specialized center of NATO in the territory of Qatar,” Attiyah stated.

    “As for NATO membership, we are a strong ally of the alliance. Our ambition to achieve full membership in NATO is present in the case of expansion of our partnership in the alliance,” Attiyah added.

    According to him, the alliance could help Qatar fight terrorism and its financing, and could also become a guarantor of security and stability in the region.

    • ha ha and ha. guess qatar’ll have to pony up some bucks to join, and prove their loyalty to the Imperium, and toe the line by not buying russia’s s-400 missile defense manpads, and quit supporting terr’ism!

      but srly, that list of ‘other than offishull members is almost hilarious. on their twit account, nato will note: ‘friends of nato’, ‘under nato’s umbrella’, ‘aspiring nato members’, now ‘global partners.

      Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)
      To date, the following four countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have joined:
      bahrain, UAE, qatar, aaaaand kuwait
      https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/51288.htm

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/russia-supply-400-system-qatar-saudi-position-180602195629315.html

      thanks, greyson. always good do see you. oh, and while i was hunting for that manpads story, i found that in documents reuters has seen…VZ has 5000 of them (russian made, of course), largest stash in latin america. gawd’s blood. kinda hope it’s true.

  5. The acronym NATO has lost all meaning; it should be replaced with:
    HANSUSVS; Hegemonic Alliance of Non Sovereign U.S. Vassal States, or something on that order…

    • ah, thanks for the laugh. i’d been trying to come up w/ some sassy acronym for this post, reckoned it might need ‘pacific’ in there somewhere. oh, and can i just give this NEO ‘will iran follow VZ as a vanguard of a new world?’ piece to you raw w/ no synopsis re: russia and china and VZ? not only petro-yuan, but VZ petro-cryptocurrency would factor in.

      p.s. on edit: i have a link to Zbig 2009 at FP mag on birthing the nato 2020 report: “NATO IS NOT A COLD WAR RELIC!”

  6. three more additions: ‘Venezuela Scores Victory as US Fails to Secure Votes for OAS Suspensionjune 4 telesur

    “The resolution was proposed by the U.S. and backed by the 14 countries that make up the so-called Lima Group: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. The Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados also voted in favor of the resolution.

    The 11 countries that abstained were Surinam, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti and Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Venezuela, Bolivia, Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines voted against.
    Only two times in OAS’s history has a state been suspended: Honduras, in 2009, after a coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya; and Cuba after the revolution announced its Marxist-Leninist inclinations in 1962.

    But while the U.S. and its allies have failed for the second time to suspend Venezuela from the organization, the Bolivarian government had already announced in 2017 it was leaving it on its own will, but due to official procedures, it won’t stop being a member state until 2019.”
    On her part, the President of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) Delcy Rodriguez also tweeted: “Bolivar’s sword devastated the imperial circus against Venezuela!”

    long live ALBA!

    and via VZ analysis on twitter: ‘Elephants in the Room: It’s Time for a Coup in Venezuela; Only nationalists in the military can restore a legitimate constitutional democracy, foreignpolicy.com (absolutely grrrreaaat internal links)

    NATO virus is spreading, aggressive & immune to any antibiotic of logic’; george galloway, RT June 6, 2018 he sees this part as i do, even without the OAS report to the ICC:

    “When the Colombian President announced a Co-operation Agreement with NATO in 2013 and expressed hope that his country would eventually join the US-led alliance, it was met with opposition in his own country and embarrassed chortles at NATO HQ. Jungle fighting against the FARC guerrillas or a confrontation with the Chavez revolution in neighboring Venezuela were clearly “out of area” – even for the mission-creepers in Brussels.

    But with the sharpening of US hostilities towards Venezuela, holder of the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and now officially an enemy of Washington subject to the usual spectrum of regime-change bombardment, NATO-Colombian relations have suddenly been cranked up dramatically.
    It is likely that the US will soon turn to a Contra-style physical confrontation with the tenacious Chavistas in Venezuela, in which case a maritime and even ground force presence for the US will be necessary. When the Venezuelans fight back, this could be deemed to be an attack on a “NATO-partner and candidate member”. Vietnam 2 could then be fought by, not only the US, but Britain, France, Belgium and Uncle Tom Cobley.”

    “NATO poses a real threat to democratic control of foreign and defense policy in member countries. It is for these reasons I will shortly relaunch my No2NATO campaign. Before it is too late to do so.” better hurry, then, george… and thanks.

  7. Thanks for this very comprehensive review of the Columbia move. I haven’t read all the bits and pieces linked, but will add to your last quotes this bit from the George Galloway piece:

    “…NATO’s value to its US overlord is that it can bypass individual nuances on policy in member states. So, while Germany, Italy and France are chafing somewhat against endless economic sanctions on Russia, and where virtually everyone is against Trump on Iran, NATO’s independent institutional power and its elaborate trip-wire system can plummet everyone into a crisis – irrespective of member-state nuances never mind hostile public opinion…”

    Sounds sort of ancient history, that trip-wire thingy.

    • i’d had to read the trip wire section more carefully w/ fresher eyes, but given his discussion w/ a former nato chief, it makes more sense, esp. w/ the hand waving off galloway’s ‘but wait’ quasi-objections.

      but i guess we just have to stay tuned for the false flag event (cia NGO front groups) and see what happens.

    • hmmm…interesting, great point. one can always use NATO to create some facts on the ground that more local & national leaders will find really hard to resist. and where does the attempted coup in Turkey fit in to this? will these “friends of NATO” countries take a lesson from Erdogan about toeing the line?

      • facts??? who needs facts???/s psyops are constructed by appeals to ’emotion’, aren’t they? over yonder, pluto’s republic had stumbled onto caracas chronicles, which is one of the oppo news magazines written for the western imperial press.. even da wki page on it says so, by gosh by golly. -) i’d seen it before, but not the page he’d linked to, but this is their chavismo tab. but no photos of an empty plate with one slice of yam: ‘this is what i had for dinner last night in VZ! look at these empty grocery store shelves!’

        https://www.caracaschronicles.com/category/politics/chavismo/

  8. gawd’s blood. if only half of this is so…unspeakably grievous and massively hypocritical it is.
    ‘Colombia, the death squads & the US’ human rights double standard’; dan kovalik for RT, 7 Jun, 2018

    just a couple outtakes:

    ““Of course, the US has a large responsibility to bear for this awful situation in Colombia, as it has been the intellectual author behind Colombia’s brutal, decades-long war against its own people and has provided billions of dollars of material aid to this war effort. Indeed, since 2000, the US has given Colombia $10 billion in mostly military assistance as part of its counter-insurgency program known as ‘Plan Colombia.’ During the Plan Colombia years, the Colombian military attempted to boost US military assistance by murdering civilians in cold blood and passing them off as left-wing guerillas. It is now believed that the military killed 10,000 civilians in this grisly “false positive” operation.”

    “Of course, as Father Giraldo has explained on numerous occasions, the ostensible “sympathizers of communism” targeted by the paramilitaries are trade union leaders, human rights defenders, peasant leaders, and Catholic priests who advocate on behalf of the poor. As for Catholic priests, over 80 have been murdered since 1984 for the crime of advocating on behalf of the poor.”

    • and so we see here what one of the purposes of the drug war always has been: incorporating countries like Colombia & Afghanistan into empire & using drugs for various imperial ends, all of them nefarious. experiment with defoliants & other chemicals & weapons, train death squads, flood other “markets” (people’s veins & noses & lungs) with drugs, control international drug trade, steal Ecuador’s water & Venezuela’s oil, make sure the CIA stooges in Brazil et al don’t get any ideas with German troops already on their frickin’ borders…and i’m probably missing a few things. big contracts for Erik Prince & the IDF? those NATO clothes don’t wash themselves when one is sweating in the jungle so here comes Halliburton or the like. and what a golden opportunity will arise as our heroes in uniform get Zika & other viruses & diseases coming out of the jungle being murdered.

      how long before Mexico joins NATO?

      • oh my my my, j; that’s quite a remarkable paragraph on the current profiteering and political ruses afoot. bombs don’t build themselves would be another notion (gads, i avoid saying trope and meme like the plague; oughtta look up synonyms). although, iirc, it was haliburton who’d built the showers in eye-rack that electrocuted the GIs.

        a hegemon that senses it’s now a multi-polar world, can’t surrender to that knowledge.

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