…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 memberships. A 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  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)