LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN SAY YES TO A REGION OF PEACE AND NO TO FOREIGN MILITARY BASES
We, the social and popular movements, organizations and networks from the entire hemisphere gathered together in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as participants in the 10th anniversary of the World Social Forum, are hereby launching a campaign similar to the one carried out against the FTAA. We proclaim Latin America a region of peace and insist that the foreign military bases be removed!
For more than a decade Latin American has undergone a process of change characterized by a rise in struggles for sovereignty, democratic rights and the economic welfare of its peoples. At the same time U.S. imperialism and its allies have increased their threats against popular struggles and launched a conservative reaction against the political transformations taking place.
In this context we witness:
- The rapid growth of military bases in the area: seven in Colombian territory and the signing of treaties with Panama allowing the installation of an additional eleven bases.
- A military invasion camouflaged as humanitarian aid after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.
- The reactivation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet, equipped with nuclear weapons and designed to patrol sea and river waters in South America and the Caribbean.
- Engagement in a coup d’etat with logistical support from the U.S. military base in Palmerola against the government of Honduras.
- Destabilization plans against Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela.
- An increase in hostilities and the maintenance of the economic blockade against Cuba.
- The criminalization of social struggles.
The U.S. is increasing its military presence in the area in order to intimidate on-going processes of political change and to seek control of strategic natural resources such as the Amazon basin’s biodiversity and the deep-water oil deposits of the South Atlantic.
The U.S actions pose a tangible threat to the peace, security and sovereignty of all countries in the region.
Despite the propaganda put out by centers of power and conservative forces, the world has not become more peaceful, secure or stable. World peace, international security, democracy, social justice and national sovereignty are in serious danger.
In Central Asia, the United States and its NATO allies have increased their military presence, intensifying the occupation and the war, which includes bombing and scorched earth actions against the civilian population. Iraq continues to burn, having become the prototype of the new kind of military colonialism that was begun in the Bush era and is being continued by the government of Barack Obama.
In occupied Palestine the people, martyrs in their own territories, are the victims of a genocide that takes place with the approval and tolerance of the United States and European powers.
With international law under attack, militarization reaches unprecedented levels. Military expenditures increase, nuclear arms proliferate, the United States is developing new plans for anti-missile defense, NATO reconfirms their aggressive character, the naval presence of the imperial countries increases in the Indian Ocean, while Africa becomes even more vulnerable with the creation of AFRICOM, the U.S. military command for the continent. An extensive network of military bases spans the entire globe.
All of this power is not what the world needs, but it is a necessity for the economic system that the empire imposes on the world. The objectives are the same ones that have always driven the imperialist system: control of natural resources and markets and the fight against any type of social transformation.
The growing militarization represented by the more than 800 U.S. military bases around the world, is an important part of the economic and political strategy of imperialism to overcome the crisis, preserve the economic system and remain the world's hegemonic power. They will resort to force, if necessary, to reach these goals.
Our social organizations strongly condemn the escalation of militarism. We are deeply committed to democracy, solidarity and the preservation of peace. The people of the world understand that peace, as opposed to militarization and imperial wars, is not only a value to be defended with passion, but also essential to assuring human survival and development with social justice, democracy, universal rights, distribution of income and wealth and national sovereignty.
We reiterate at this time that Haiti does not need military intervention. Their sovereignty must be respected, and we urge all countries to engage in humanitarian cooperation, with doctors and other professionals serving the Haitian people.
As fellow Latin Americans who are committed to solidarity among the peoples of the world, we would like to contribute to achieving these noble ends by making the Americas a region free of foreign military bases.
Peace for Latin America and the Caribbean!
No to foreign bases!
Organizations and international networks:
Consejo Mundial por la Paz - CMP
Alianza Social Continental - ASC
Vía Campesina - CLOC
Encuentro Sindical Nuestra América
Marcha Mundial de Mujeres - MMM
Jubileo Sur - Américas
Mopassol - Argentina
Cebrapaz - Brasil
MST – Brasil
CUT – Brasil
UBM _ Brasil
CONAM – Brasil
CTB - Brasil
UJS – Brasil
CMLK – Cuba
Frente nacional de Resistencia- Honduras
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