Using the old method of blaming the victim, the Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Clinton, said she was "troubled" by what she considered an arms race in South America (sic) and referred explicitly to arms purchases by Venezuela. Extrapolating the limits of diplomacy, US Secretary suggested that the country of Bolivar provides weapons to insurgent groups.
Such diversionary and hypocritical tactics have been used by Colombian President Ãlvaro Uribe when at the latest summit of UNASUR he tried to shuffle the cards and present the arms purchases by Venezuela as the same as 1) the military accord between Brazil and France and 2) the installation of seven military bases in the United States in Colombia.
The current government of US imperialism has no moral authority to refer critically to the "arms race" in Latin America or elsewhere. The American superpower is the biggest instigator of wars of aggression and militarism in the world today. Its military spending, more than $500 billion, its more than eight hundred military bases , are spread across all continents in more than one hundred countries. Its armed wing for Europe and the entire North Atlantic area, NATO, expands eastward and prosecutes wars in Central Asia. Its navy’s fleets sail theÂ world’s seas, wielding sea power as strategic instrument for world domination. Its military commanders, placed in strategic areas, continue to fulfill the role of pro-consuls and major US foreign policy players,Â pursuing policies of "security" and "defense."
In fact, if Mrs. Clinton were a genuine multilateralist, as her party the Democratic Party is pleased to describe itself, she should be protesting against this phenomenon that looms large, threatens militarism, and limits diplomacy. As for nuclear weapons, the United States continues to imposeÂ on the world an odious monopoly in the hands of a private club and a worrying rush to an overwhelming priority, with plans to install missile shield in Eastern Europe. Iraq and Afghanistan are still on fire, massacred by the armed forces of the United States.
The audacity of the such a charge by the government of the United States becomes even more evident in the face of the increase in pro-interventionist militarism represented by the decision to create seven military bases in Colombian territory and the revival of the Fourth Fleet of the US Navy, brought to lightÂ during the previous US government, but that the government of President Obama gave no sign that it will withdraw.
This is where the danger lies for Latin America,Â a region living a new political framework marked by the advance of democratic and popular anti-imperialist processes. Latin Americans are carrying out new political experiences, advancing in achieving social and political accomplishments, consolidating its integration and creating a difficult situation to reverse. The world has changed and there is no place for politics in Washington or gunboats for arrogance or hypocrisy in terms of foreign policy.
The statements of Hillary Clinton should be for us, anti-imperialists and defenders of the cause of peace, a warning sign. There should be no room for illusions. The installation of military bases in Colombia and the existence of Fourth Fleet are genuine threats to the sovereignty of all Latin American countries and an attempt to intimidate the revolutionary processes such as that underway in Venezuela.
Venezuela, like Brazil, has the right to re-equip its armed forces for purposes of deterring threats and national defense. The integration processes are taking forward work in this field also in the Council of Defense of South America, which requires the rejection of US intervention and the attempt to use the thug regime in Colombia as a bridgehead to perpetrate attacks in our region.
JosÃ© Reinaldo Carvalho is Secretary of International Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil _PCdoB and Director of Cebrapaz – Brazilian Center for Solidarity to Peoples and Struggle for Peace.
Translation by South African Communist Party