Antipathy and disgust for the Bush administration and its neocon ideological ilk, including the key players and advisers in the John McCain campaign, have long taken root in the Middle East and South Asia. Names like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Ledeen are held in utmost contempt throughout the Middle East and Muslim worlds.
The same kind of hatred for the United States and its neocon Latin American policy is now sweeping through South and Central America. In Latin America, it is individuals with names like Goldberg, Levey, Shapiro, Mukasey, Berman, Brownfield, and Shannon who have rankled Latin American nerves by their meddlesome actions in not only grossly interfering in the domestic affairs of Latin American nations, including fomenting insurrection and acts of terrorism, but designating certain Latin American leaders and officials as aiding in drug trafficking and terrorism.
The lack of non-Cuban exile Hispanic surnames involved in crafting the U.S.’s Latin American policy is astounding considering the percentage of Hispanics in the United States …
… Argentina has shown solidarity with both Venezuela and Bolivia in their showdowns with the United States. However, disgust with neocon-occupied Washington does not end with Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina. Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo extended his full support to Morales in his confrontation with the right-wing provincial secessionists. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya refused to accept the credentials of the new U.S. ambassador to Tegucigalpa, in solidarity with Morales and Chavez. Zelaya announced solidarity with Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, and Venezuela in their showdowns with the United States.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega also supported Bolivia and Venezuela in expelling the American ambassadors and announced that Nicaragua, like Venezuela, was prepared to establish closer military links with Russia. Ortega particularly supported Bolivia sending Goldberg packing, saying the U.S. envoy had interfered in Bolivia’s internal affairs.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos also charged that Washington was trying to undermine Nicaragua’s government by pressuring international organizations to cancel aid packages to the country. Nicaragua also recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from the U.S.- and Israeli-backed Republic of Georgia.
After El Salvador presidential candidate for the progressive Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), Mauricio Funes, visited Argentina to meet with Kirchner, the neocon media began to claim that Funes was being funded by Chavez of Venezuela. The neocons, bereft of any hard evidence of “plots,” are always apt to concoct elaborate conspiracy theories that take in everyone whom they have targeted in their political sights.
The signs that the Bush regime and the neocons are on a major political offensive in Latin America are also demonstrated by the discovery in Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada’s office in Guatemala City of three hidden microphones – one installed in a telephone, one in a calculator, and the third in a reception room. Guatemala’s progressive president, Alvaro Colom, has expressed solidarity with Bolivia and Venezuela. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who has faced CIA-backed secessionists in the Guayaquil area, also stood in solidarity with Morales and Chavez. Correa has ordered the United States Air Force to vacate a military air base at Manta next year and he accused the United States military of assisting Colombia in cross-border raids into Ecuador. Correa said if any evidence emerged of U.S. diplomats violating Ecuador’s sovereignty, they would also be expelled.
Peruvian President Alan Garcia also backed Morales against the secessionists as did Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez.
Latin America’s political, military, and economic powerhouse, Brazil, also warned against any attempt by secessionists in Bolivia to overthrow Morales. Earlier, Brazil and Argentina announced they were eliminating the U.S. dollar as an international monetary exchange medium. Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s foreign policy adviser, Marco Aurelio Garcia, told UPI that Brazil would oppose any rival or unconstitutional government in Bolivia. There are reports that U.S. “paramilitaries” are active in fomenting unrest in both Bolivia and Venezuela.
Washington has also revived the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet, to be based in Jacksonville, Florida, a move that Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia claim is a return to U.S. “gunboat diplomacy”. (full text).