Brazil’s Lula Wants Obama to Discuss US Military with Him and Colleagues

    Unasur summit

    Unasur summit Fresh concerns over Colombian plans to grant US troops access to its military bases were raised by Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other leaders from Unasur (Union of South American Nations). The chiefs of state, however, could not agree on a declaration to formally condemn the proposals.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned that "the winds of war were beginning to blow" across the region. Colombia says it needs US support to tackle drug lords and left-wing rebels.

    The US wants to relocate its base for anti-drug operations in Latin America to Colombia, after Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa refused to extend an agreement allowing US access to the Manta military base in Ecuador.

    Brazilian president Lula called for a meeting between US President Barack Obama and the region's leaders to discuss their concerns directly.

    "As president of Brazil, this climate of unease disturbs me," said Lula adding that "I think we should directly discuss our discontent with the American government."

    Venezuela's Chavez warned that the July agreement between Bogota and Washington "could generate a war in South America."

    Although a number of countries in the region had previously expressed alarm over the plan, the summit failed to back Venezuelan and Bolivian calls for a joint statement condemning the move.

    Instead, Unasur members agreed to hold talks – in Argentina later this month – to discuss the controversial Colombian-US proposal.

    Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a Washington ally, toured the region last week in an effort to persuade leaders that an expanded US presence would not threaten any other nation in South America.

    Monday's Unasur summit was held amid growing tensions between Colombia and Venezuela. The Colombian president did not attend the meeting in Quito.

    Ecuador severed relations with Colombia after Bogota ordered a raid over the border in March 2008 on a left-wing Farc guerrilla camp.

    On Sunday Mr Chavez stepped up accusations against Mr Uribe, saying Colombian soldiers had recently been spotted crossing the Orinoco River, which forms part of the border, and entering Venezuelan territory.

    He said the alleged incursion was a "provocation" and put Venezuelan troops on a war footing along the border with Colombia.

    The foreign ministry in Bogota said the Venezuelan claims were "not true," because it had checked with Colombian military commanders near the border and they had not reported any such incursion.

    A week earlier the Colombian government said that Swedish manufactured portable rocket launchers, allegedly purchased by Venezuelan Armed Forces, had been seized from the Farc guerrillas.

    "The Yankees have started to command Colombian military forces" Chavez also said on Sunday.

    Last week, President Obama said the Colombia-US plan would merely update an existing accord, Plan Colombia, whereby US military personnel already help the Colombians fight drug trafficking and left-wing rebels.

    Fidel Condemns Colombia

    Former Cuban president Fidel Castro called Colombia "disloyal," claiming the pending military deal between the United States and Colombia could be used to attack other Latin American countries.

    To say the US military is going to use Colombian army bases to fight terrorism and drug trafficking is an "insult to the intelligence" of Latin America, Fidel Castro wrote in his commentary 'Reflexiones'. "The real goal of the agreement is to control economic resources, to dominate the markets and to fight social changes," Castro added.

    "History will not forgive those who commit such disloyalty to their people or those who use 'sovereignty' to defend the presence of Yankee troops."

    "What sovereignty are they referring to? That conquered by Bolivar, Sucre, Marti? None of them would have ever accepted such a repugnant argument to justify the granting of military bases to the armed forces of the United States," the 82-year-old former leader said.

    According to Castro, the "Yankee military could promote a dirty war….could attack any country but hardly the combative, brave and patriotic Colombia."

    "The imperialists underestimate the other countries of Latin America. No country will agree to US military bases," Castro said.

    Castro is one of many Latin American politicians who have raised their voices against Colombia's plan to allow the US to use Colombian military bases for counter-narcotics operations. Venezuela and Ecuador strictly reject the idea while Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil dislike the agreement but respect Colombia's sovereign decisions.

    Obama: "Hypocrites!"

    President Barack Obama said it was hypocritical for critics of Washington's response to a coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to demand a more forceful US role in returning him to power.

    Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said last week the United States needs "only tighten its fist" to evict the de facto government installed after he was overthrown in June.

    "The same critics who say that the United State has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say we are always intervening and the Yanquis need to get out of Latin America" Obama told a closing news conference at a US-Mexico-Canada Monday summit in Guadalajara.

    The issue was addressed by Obama together with Mexico's Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    "You can't have it both ways," he insisted, without naming names. "We have been very clear in our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally, that it was a coup and that he should return. We have cooperated with all the international bodies in sending that message."

    Obama, Calderón y Harper expressed their full commitment "with democratic institutions and the rule of the law" in the continent and supported the Organization of American States resolutions on the Honduras case.

    "We must strengthen the OAS, (Costa Rican) President Arias mediation efforts and even possibly create a Group of Friends of Honduras to help with restoring democracy," said Mexican president Calderón. He added the US must not be seen as the "great solver" for the Honduras crisis.

    Latin American left has bitterly criticized Washington over the decades for intervening in the region's affairs through military force, covert action and economic pressure.

    Obama told reporters in Washington last week he had no quick way to resolve the political crisis in Honduras and that the United States would not take unilateral action.

    "If these critics think that it's appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think that what that indicates is that maybe there's some hypocrisy involved in their approach to US-Latin American relations," Obama said.

    Mercopress

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    • Show Comments (11)

    • João da Silva

      Llyod Cata
      [quote]Recommended reading – [/quote]

      If your recommendation were to be followed, one tends to become alienated from the rest of his tribe.

      [quote]Their only chains being their ignorance fed by the media propaganda. [/quote]

      Ignorance is a bliss!

    • lloyd cata

      Oil, Guns, & DRUGS…Africa, South America, & MONEY !!!
      …if you went to school, you sure did not learn much. All are connected and all have common connections. 600 years later and fools still follow at their masters heel. Their only chains being their ignorance fed by the media propaganda.

      Recommended reading –
      Oil – the rise and fall of the PETRO-DOLLAR
      Guns – the IRAN-CONTRA affair
      Drugs – the OPIUM WARS
      Africa – the PROFIT IN CHAOS and Instability
      South America – the LAST PLANTATION
      Money – “In GOD We TRUST”…and that’s all you need to know, so don’t ask what it is really worth.
      Just understand that, “He who has the money makes the rules!”

      If you cannot defend it, then it doesn’t belong to you…

    • Manda Chuva

      [quote]May God punish all the manipulators in both countries, even though people only notice manipulation and corruption in the Brazilian Government.[/quote]

      Well said, lad.

    • ANDERSON

      us in brazil
      aren’t the US already in Brazil???

      manipulating the Indians, and setting their grounds

      the US works in secret ways, but truth will soon be out, and evil will be unmasked.

      God Bless Brazil. God Bless The US
      May God punish all the manipulators in both countries, even though people only notice manipulation and corruption in the Brazilian Government.

    • ANDERSON

      BASES
      BASES DON’T DO ANY GOOD

      IF THE US AND BRAZIL DECIDE TO END DRUG TRAFFIC I’M SURE IT WOULD BE NO HARD TASK FOR BOTH COUNTRIES

      THEY JUST DON’T WANT TO

      AND DON’T COME HERE SAYING THERE IS NO MAFIA INVOLVED BECAUSE THERE IS, AND FOR ALWAYS THERE WILL BE.

      another thing, there could be US military bases throughout the world, but we still won’t change our minds, we do not want one here or near.
      let the US take care of their own nose.
      let the US take care of their bases in IRAQ, JAPAN, COLOMBIA(unfortunately), AFGAN, and every other country they feel that could help enrich the us treasury.

      too bad it didn’t happen with Georgia
      WAY TO GO RUSSIA. DONT LET THEM YANKEES GET NEAR GEORGIA.
      I FOLLOWED THE COMPLETE STORY, AND TRUST ME RUSSIA WASN’T DOING ANY WRONG.
      IT WAS JUST THE US TRYING TO GET OIL

    • ch.c.

      DRUG MOVEMENT FROM COLOMBIA TOWARDS THE US AND BRAZIL,
      Yesss….handled most of the time by brazilians themselves who then export the cocaÀƒ¯ne for their own benefit…to the USA !
      Right or not ?
      Hmmmmm

      And somewhat funny the South Americans Hystery against U.S. bases in other South Americans countries.
      Especially when many U.S. bases are already in places in most South America countries.
      Including in Argentina, Peru and even in the territory of Chavez the Clown !
      And The Clown then criticizes harshly other countries….of course !

      U.S. bases are all over the World.
      Including in the UK, Germany, Italy, and many other countries when talking for Europe alone.
      And many more U.S. military bases are in Asia, Middle East.and even Africa.
      And no one, absolutely no one consider it as a threat to their region.
      Only South Americans are sure of such a threat !

      Just think about it. You are obsessed about something you have no reason to.

      Hmmmm

    • ANDERSON

      re MANIPULATION
      SORRY WORLD WAR II

    • ANDERSON

      MANIPULATION
      IF THE US WANTED TO STOP DRUG MOVEMENT FROM COLOMBIA TOWARDS THE US AND BRAZIL, THEY WOULD HAVE ALREADY DONE SO.
      I’M BRAZILIAN AND I KNOW BRAZIL DOESN’T WANT TO GET INVOLVED EITHER.

      BOTH SIDES END UP LOSING
      ITS TOO MUCH MONEY INVOLVED AND THE US GETS A LOT BACK, SO WHY STOP SOMETHING GOOD?

      THEY STOPPED WORLD WAR III, BUT CAN’T SEEM TO STOP COLOMBIA WAR 0.000000000001?
      THERE ISN’T ANY WAR, BECAUSE TWO SIDES AREN’T FIGHTING; THE ONLY ONES FIGHTING ARE THE INNOCENT SOLDIERS, LOSING THEIR LIVES FOR A LIE, AS THE RICH ARE GETTING RICH CONTROLLING TWO SIDES AGAINST EACH OTHER.

    • anonymous

      What is Brazil doing to help Columbia?
      What is Brazil doing to help Columbia? – Anyone?

    • FORREST ALLEN BROWN

      LETS TALK LULA
      How about all the kidnapt US children in brasil .
      how about slave laubor in brasil .
      how about human rights in brasil
      how about the governments lack of stoping child sex
      how about castro and chaves telling you what to say and when

      Coulumbis is just trying to better itself with a little help from the US .
      stoping the FARC is a matter of stablizing the country and bring in outside investments
      for oil and gas production .
      showing chaves and the rest of the southern hemispear a country can grow by going after
      courpt government , and military that are owned by greed

    • EPSILON ERIDANI

      Colombia’s understandable move
      WITH NEIGHBORS WHO ARE ANIMALS – LIKE CHAVEZ & UNDERLING URIBE, HOW CAN ONE POSSIBLY BLAME COLOMBIA’S CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH WASHINGTON?
      THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO THREAT TO EITHER BRASILIA OR LIMA… THUS ONE FAILS TO SEE THE “BIG DEAL”…

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