The US Fourth Fleet threatens Latin American will of changes
ABN 09/05/2008

Caracas, May 9 (Aurelio Gil Beroes) ABN.- As a threatening shadow upon Latin America and the Caribbean will extend the military tutelage of the United States, when on July 1^st come into force the renewed Fourth Fleet of its Navy.
The interventionist reestablishment of this naval contingent, dismantled more than 50 years ago, after the reasons of its creation disappeared (control and tracking at the Atlantic Ocean of German ships and underwaters during the II World War), reveals that faced to the will of political changes experienced by Latin American and Caribbean countries, the United States, instead of recognizing the path of dialog, confirm the option violence.

Admiral Gary Roughead, from the Pentagon, during his speech to announce the reestablishment of this naval group, expressed so unintelligibly that only himself could understand.

Roughead said (or intended to) that “This decision will increase our emphasis in the region on employing naval forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests.”

Beyond the unclear this argument might be, it actually deals with a clear warning of the Pentagon to Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and all the countries of our continent which strengthen their steps towards full sovereignty and independence. An interventionist threat against all the governments trying to get rid of the nets of imperial control.

The cause of this threat should be placed on the changes that have been occurring at the regional and international political scene, which have distorted the historical relations of subordination among Latin American countries and the United States.

New direction

In accordance with Osvaldo Martinez, Director of the Economical Research Center from Cuba, during the last three decades of neoliberal voracity, the governments of Latin America lost more than 4 thousand companies of public goods and services due to imperialist transnational firms.

But in least than a decade, nine progressive governments have showed to be against decades of neoliberal plundering and exclusion.

Thus, on December 1998, Hugo Chávez won the elections in Venezuela; on January 2003, Lula da Silva made the same in Brazil; and in May of that same year, Nestor Kirchner won in Argentina.

On October 2004, Tabaré Vasquez took office in Uruguay and two years later, on January 2006, Bolivia and America got their first indigenous president with Evo Morales. Also in 2006, Michelle Bachelet achieved presidency in Chile.

On January 2007, Rafael Correa took up office in Ecuador and, days later, came back to the Nicaraguan Government the Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega.

The chain is now completed with the recent triumph of Fernando Lugo, last month of April, in Paraguay, a former bishop which electoral victory ended up with more than 60 years of conservative regimes.

The effects

These changes have caused relevant transformations, as in the internal context of each country as in the international level.

On the economic aspect, it has mainly meant the breaking off with neoliberal policies of privatization and reduction of the State’s role. These governments have recovered the control of their natural resources, as it is the case of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, and have imposed new and more favorable conditions of negotiation on their oil transnational relations.

Meanwhile, at the political context, they have increasingly forced decisions and orientations contrary to the interests of the United States, at the Organization of American States (OAS) and at the United Nations Organization (UNO)

For instance, on May 2005, they achieved to elect the Chilean Jose Miguel Insulza as the OAS General Secretary, against the candidate supported by the United States, the Mexican Luis Ernesto Derbez; and on November of that year, at the IV Summit of the Americas, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, it was condemned to death the US economical project Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), in presence of President Bush himself.

Two years later, on February 2007, it was created the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), at Margarita Island (Venezuela), and on April of the following year, was laid the foundation basis of the Southern Bank, Venezuelan initiative aimed at dispense with supports of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, for the financing of the regional development.

At the military framework, these countries (with Venezuelan and Brazilian initiatives) have started to give steps towards the creation of the South American Defense Council, without the US presence of course. Besides, the Government of Ecuador has reiterated that next year the US air base in Manta will get out of Ecuadorean territory.

Likewise, the OAS itself, which years ago was expression of Washington’s dictates, rejected the military incursion that, with the support of the United States, Colombia carried out at Ecuadorean territory, and which cost the life of the FARC leader and at least other 19 people. The organization reiterated the principle of territorial inviolability, condemning this way the line of “preventive war” promoted by Washington and which guided the Colombian military action.

Scale of the threat

The US Fourth Fleet will broad its area of influence over 30 countries of the subcontinent, covering 15.6 millions square miles on the waters surrounding Central, South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Its composition, among ships and personnel, is not yet completely known, but it is known that it will have as mother a nuclear aircraft carrier, as base port of the Mayport base, Florida, and which will be commanded by Rear Adm. Joseph Kernan, current commander of the US Naval Special Warfare Command.

The US Navy counts with other five fleets; the Second Fleet, which covers the rest of the Atlantic; the Third Fleet, which watches the East and North of the Pacific; the V Fleet for the Persian Gulf; the VI which guards the Mediterranean; and the VII Fleet which covers the west Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Substituting Roosevelt Roads

Since July 1^st , the IV Fleet of the US Navy will substitute the functions fulfilled by Roosevelt Roads at La Ceiba, Puerto Rico, the United States’ greatest naval station out of its territory.

This naval station, also created in 1943, was dismantled since April 2004.

The shield of the union

It is estimated that the formula being used by Latin American countries to solve their economic problems of union, solidarity and complementariness, should also give favorable results before this threat.

In fact, the expressions of strength of the Colossus of the North represent a challenge for the rising UNASUR, which will hold at Brazil, coming soon, its new meeting of Heads of State.

Translated by Felitza Nava