The Death of the Monroe Doctrine. America Is Now for Russians, Chinese…

    Chinese pictograms

    Chinese pictograms No one is arguing that Latin America and the Caribbean have become a priority matter for international diplomacy, save for the U.S., which has witnessed a massive retreat of Washington's vigilance for what it once insisted were its longtime national interests and influence in the hemisphere.

    Concentrating on its "War on Terror" has resulted in a detour of the U.S. military and diplomatic corps to a series of sorties, like Afghanistan, Iraq, and now, likely enough, to Iran.

    The 1823 Monroe Doctrine is no longer relevant as nations like Russia, the People's Republic of China as well as the European Union (and its individual members) increase their influence in the Western Hemisphere.

    This penetration is due to the fact that numerous hemispheric countries are themselves looking to diversify their pool of allies and trading partners by contracting ties to other nations besides the U.S., with Venezuela being at the core of this movement.

    From Brussels to Moscow and Beijing, not to mention other emerging middle powers like India, it seems as though everyone wants a piece of Latin America these days. With Washington's grip on the region loosening, there is an increase in opportunity for potentially valuable non-traditional relationships – Iran's aggressive courting of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua is one example- demonstrating that the Western Hemisphere has become a multipolar continent, with Washington no longer being the exclusive choice, and with diplomatic initiatives originating from around the globe.

    Enter the Dragon

    China has diverse interests in the Western Hemisphere, and although most of them are primarily economic, there are pressing political factors at play as well. Of key importance to Beijing is its quest for new product markets, in combination with creating multiple portals through which it can import the mineral resources and produce what it needs to maintain a booming economy.

    The most recent example is the US$ 10 billion contract signed between Beijing and Caracas to search for crude oil reserves in Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco belt. This arrangement occurred shortly after Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez expelled a number of Western oil companies from the country, including Exxon and Conoco, for failing to take a minority stake in their Orinoco oil holdings.

    Another reason for China's interest in the Western Hemisphere has to do with the status of neighboring Taiwan. Beijing and Taipei's hostile attitude toward each other and quest for diplomatic recognition has been transferred to the Americas, as both governments attempt to gain new allies in order to bolster support for their positions on the issue of Beijing's claim to the island of Taiwan.

    Inevitably, Beijing is winning its diplomatic and public relations showdown with Taipei, due to its geopolitical weight. While Taiwan has gained the formal recognition of a number of countries in this hemisphere, it subsequently lost some of this support. This is being achieved as a result of an "open checkbook" policy for economic aid, access to the Chinese market, and the availability of loans for the disadvantaged economies of the Americas.

    The critical factor here is that China has been able to decisively beat out its adversary, with Taipei having diplomatic ties with only a handful of countries in the Western Hemisphere, most of which have only marginal importance other than their ability to cast a vote in international forums.

    An example of this "financially mercenary" is the Caribbean island of Dominica, which cut ties with Taiwan in 2004. According to a report by the BBC, after the decision of Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to cut off Taipei, Beijing was prepared to hand over more than US$ 100 million in aid over the next five years to the now blessed Caribbean island.

    The Russian Bear

    Russia has just begun to regain a privileged position of influence in the Western Hemisphere, a status once enjoyed during the days of the Cold War when, as a result of its close ties with Havana, it was able to maintain close relations with Nicaragua, Grenada, and Allende's Chile.

    Moscow also had the sympathy of military governments like Peru during the Juan Velasco Alvarado rule (1968-1975). Today, Russia is attempting to come up with a new strategy to recover a resource-drilling position of influence in the hemisphere, and has focused on the military export industry as its line of attack.

    During the Cold War several Latin American governments purchased Soviet weaponry, and today are familiar with utilizing this type of equipment and prefer its use (not to mention Russian weapons are currently very inexpensive) over having to purchase them from other manufacturers (i.e. France, Israel). For example, Peru is in the process of upgrading its Soviet-era Mi-8 helicopters, having placed its order with Moscow.

    Moscow has also capitalized on non-U.S. friendly countries like Venezuela to increase its client base. Last year Venezuela purchased US$ 3 billion of military equipment from the Vladimir Putin regime. This summer, during a trip to Moscow, Chávez ordered five submarines, with the option of buying four more in the near future.

    In addition, Russia's Izhevsk Manufacturing Plant has reported that it will build two factories in Venezuela to manufacture Kalashnikov rifle-type AK-103 as well as ammunition for it. The objective is to have both plants completed by 2010.

    However, it is doubtful that military sales alone will be enough for Russia to once again cement anything like the position of influence in the Western hemisphere that it episodically had in the post-World War II period. Trade is still somewhat lagging between the two sides of the Pacific, and there have been instances of rapprochement between Kremlin officials and a number of hemispheric leaders.

    Cuba has yet to receive anything approaching a major volume of Russian investment and economic aid, as it once did, although there is always the possibility that this situation may change in the near future. There have been some important visits by high level Kremlin officials, like President Vladimir Putin's trip to Cuba in 2000, as well as several meetings between Putin and Chávez in Moscow, however, these ties have to be amplified in order to make Russia into a bigger player in Latin America. Meanwhile, the region increasingly looks to Moscow for both friendship and, more importantly, trade and investment.

    European Unity for All

    Understanding Europe's presence in Latin America and the Caribbean may require two separate streams of analysis. On the one hand, the Europe Union has a common policy towards the Americas, and, at the same time, individual European countries have their own foreign policies and interests in the region.

    When it comes to the EU, Brussels has focused on greater economic and political interaction with the region's major blocs, namely MERCOSUR, the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), and the Rio Group. In fact, the EU has already been discussing a free-trade agreement with CAN for a number of months.

    In recent weeks, Venezuela has been placed in the spotlight as President Chávez is looking to possibly return to CAN after leaving the bloc in 2006. Chávez is not in favor of an FTA between CAN and the EU, so it is yet to be seen how these feints will transpire. In the meantime, CAN has scheduled its second round of negotiations with the EU in Brussels this coming December. Additionally, the EU has pursued free trade talks with countries like Mexico and Chile.

    Individual European governments are pursuing their own foreign policy initiatives vis-í -vis the Western Hemisphere in line with their own national interests. France has increased its cooperation in recent years with Brazil. Likewise, Britain continues to make use of its historical influence on the English-speaking Caribbean, for example, maintaining a military base in Belize (the British Army Training Support Unit Belize – BATSUB).

    The goal of the base is to provide jungle training to British troops, with the additional objective of protecting the sovereignty of the country, which has had a historical territorial dispute with neighboring Guatemala. In addition, British naval ships regularly patrol the Caribbean and aid with drug-enforcement operations. In 2005, the frigate HMS Cumberland stopped a vessel off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, which was carrying two tons of cocaine.

    In addition, Spain and Portugal, in an attempt to project their presence in Latin America, encouraged the creation of the Ibero-American Secretaria (SEGIB) in 2006. The organization is based in Madrid and scored something of a coup after the distinguished Uruguayan official Enrique Iglesias was selected as its first secretary-general in 2005.

    Iglesias brought a significant amount of prestige to the organization as he is a former president of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, Uruguay's foreign minister from 1985-1988 and also served as the head of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Nevertheless, it is yet to be seen if SEGIB can make much progress in bringing both sides of the Atlantic effectively together.

    In early November, the XVII Ibero-American Summit took place in Santiago, Chile. The meeting was not without controversy as at one point King Juan Carlos of Spain told President Chavez "por qué no te callas?" (why don't you shut up?). Ironically, SEGIB's secretary Iglesias declared in a press conference that the summit had been a success. The next meeting will take place in October 2008 in San Salvador, El Salvador.

    Holland's presence in the region is mainly a result of its connection to its former colonies of Suriname and the islands of Aruba (Curaçao and Saba off the coast of South America in the Caribbean), as well as St. Maarten, which it shares with France. Finally there are some European nations that particularly are at odds with one or more Latin American countries, especially with Fidel Castro's Cuba.

    The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are famous for their rejection of any effort to be made to moderate the current hostility that these former Soviet satellites currently have towards Cuba, which has rendered them a gaggle of Castro bashers serving on European bodies.

    The Growing Persian Shadow

    Iran is another country that has a mixed diplomatic-trade and security relationship with a number of regional countries, with Venezuela immediately coming to mind. Recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused an uproar in New York when he visited the UN and gave a fiery speech after being booed during a presentation he made at Columbia University.

    After his stopover in Caracas, Ahmadinejad traveled to Bolivia, prompting rumors of a possible Caracas-Tehran-Sucre/La Paz alliance. In order to explain his meeting with the Iranian leader, Bolivian President Evo Morales declared "we are from the culture of dialogue and life, without marginalization and discrimination. We are about unity [and] solidarity."

    Visits by Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials to the Western Hemisphere are examples of Tehran's growing presence in the continent. In early November, Iranian Minister of Commerce Masood Mirkazemi traveled to Havana and signed an agreement to form a joint shipping company between the two governments.

    During his trip to Bolivia, the first made by an Iranian president, Ahmadinejad pledged to invest US$ 1 billion over the next five years to improve the Bolivian economy. According to September 27 Associated Press file, "Bolivia-Iran trade can hardly go anywhere but up. Bolivia exported nothing to Iran between 2000 and 2006, and Iranian exports to Bolivia totaled just US$ 10 million last year, according to government statistics, down from US$ 24 million a year earlier."

    Closer relations between La Paz and Tehran have more than raised eyebrows among Bolivia's opposition parties. There are rumors that there may be a deal between both countries for the mining of Bolivia's uranium, which opposition senators would try to block, if true. "No one has assured us that Bolivian uranium will be used for benign purposes, so we cannot take risks," said Senator Arturo Murillo of Unidad Nacional.

    In Ahmadinejad's September trip to Caracas, he met with Chávez and the two leaders signed three cooperation accords regarding the petrochemical, agricultural and automobile sectors. In addition, as reported by Latin America News Digest, Venezuela's state-run oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and Iranian state-run energy firm Petropars have agreed to set up a 50/50 joint venture named Venirogc.

    The article explains that the goal is to challenge the supremacy of oil and gas giants Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni by creating international oil and gas enterprises along the entire value chain, from production to retail merchandising through gasoline stations.

    Additional Players

    Brazil's increasing links to South Africa and India have aided both emerging middle-rank powers to gain a foothold in the Western Hemisphere. India also has a growing research-based presence in Guyana, which it gained by deploying historical ethnic ties, and has also used a diplomatic offensive to permit it to step up investments in mineral-rich Peru.

    Pluralism in the Americas

    Washington's semi-divorce from Latin America and the Caribbean has been the catalyst that has allowed other nations and international organizations to move rapidly into the regions. What can be seen now is the possibility of the creation of a new system in the Western Hemisphere, with the U.S. becoming no longer the omnipotent and omnipresent player. Washington may have to adjust to being one of many actors in the hemisphere along with Beijing, Moscow, Brussels and, oddly enough, Tehran.

    In effect, a dramatically pluralistic hemisphere is in the making, which cannot help but profoundly affect the inter-American system, with the Organization of American States – which has always been regarded as Washington's protégé – losing ground to one or more of a variety of other possible regional blocks, like CARICOM, the Rio Group, the Andean Community of Nations, as well as Chávez' Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

    Caribbean Security

    While important from a geo-strategic point of view, the Caribbean does not usually attract the international media coverage it deserves. In spite of this fact, security forces from major powers like the U.S. and Britain continue to maintain security a presence in the area, especially as the Caribbean has become a major point for the shipment of illegal drugs coming from South America on their way to Europe.

    London's BATSUB provides specialist training for over 4,000 British troops per year and offers back-up support to the Belize Defense Force (BDF). The British base also regularly receives visits by British vessels, like the Cumberland, that take part in anti-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea, often in conjunction with the U.S.

    Washington aggressively has pressed the relatively unknown but very important "Shiprider Agreement" with a number of Caribbean countries. The objective of this pact is to combat illegal drug trafficking, arms smuggling and transnational crime by increasing cooperation between U.S. security forces (particularly the Coast Guard) and Caribbean governments.

    From the onset, the "Shiprider Agreement" has been surrounded by controversy; for example, in 1996 there was confrontation between the U.S., Barbados and Jamaica. Barbados and Jamaica declined to sign the proposal, preferring instead a framework of cooperation based on democratic principles and respect for each nation's sovereignty.

    On January 26, 2006 an article was published in Caribbean Net News, which included comments by the U.S. ambassador to Suriname, Marsha Barnes. In the article the American diplomat said that so far, there are no tangible results from the proposed cooperation since Suriname doesn't have a Coast Guard.

    The diplomat noted that agreements with other Caribbean nations were exercised differently. Some Caribbean nations' vessels patrolling off-shore Puerto Rico have U.S. law enforcement officers on board, while in other instances Caribbean law enforcement personnel are on board U.S. Coast Guard vessels.

    Additionally, the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, sponsors a series of military exercises held with Caribbean nations, known as TRADEWINDS. The May 2007 TRADEWINDS exercises were held in Belize with the participation of the British Royal Marines. It is noteworthy to mention that the Caribbean has strived to achieve independence when it comes to security issues.

    In the late 1970s and 1980s, the need for a collective response to security threats led to the creation of the Regional Security System. This concept first appeared in concrete terms through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in October 1982 between Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Barbados, in order to provide for "mutual assistance on request." The RSS' first deployment was a part of the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983. Grenada itself joined the RSS in 1985.

    Who Supports Who?

    In spite of the growing presence of extra-hemispheric nations in the Western Hemisphere, it might be an exaggeration to assume that exclusive alliances have been cemented between any Latin American or Caribbean nations with particular European or Asian powers. Brazil has developed close relations with India and South Africa (through the tri-national organization known as IBSA), which is perhaps the closest there is to an inter-hemispheric alliance at the moment.

    In addition, Britain has a strong relation with its former colonies, but at the same time, the Caribbean states have had success in forming their own identity through regional organizations like CARICOM.

    Mexico's growing closeness with the EU, China and India on trade issues will continue to be dwarfed by its relationship with the U.S., its major trading partner by far. The same can be said about Central America and the Dominican Republic, after the ratification by all members of CAFTA-DR.

    President Chávez has turned to Russia as a weapons supplier, but he had no problems granting China, Russia's competitor in the quest for overseas resources, a multi-billion dollar deal for oil exploration.

    An issue that needs to be addressed is that of shifts and movements in inter-state relations on the continent and the search for external alliances. Brazil, with is global ambitions, has teamed up with other regional powers in other parts of the world that share similar interests.

    Venezuela turned to Russia for military equipment because when requested, the U.S. would not sell the Chávez administration spare parts to repair the country's squadron of aging F-16 fighter planes. Adjoining countries like Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay, have yet to feel any need to seek stable extra-hemispheric alliances.

    Another condition that deserves to be considered is the fear that allowing too many foreign companies or foreign influence in a country will be detrimental to local economies or create neo-colonial scenarios.

    For example, some Caribbean analysts still bitterly recall CARICOM's distrust which was directed against France's then-Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, with some officials of the Caribbean organization alleging that he was one of the main plotters of the Haitian 2004 coup that overthrew President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

    It is unrealistic to believe that a Russian or Asian military base may be located in the Western Hemisphere anytime soon. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that non-American military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean do exist.

    One example is the aforementioned British military training facility in Belize. France has also deployed members of its Foreign Legion to French Guyana, an overseas department, for training exercises and to protect the European Space Agency spacecrafts which are launched from there.

    Furthermore, the status of U.S. facilities in the region is no longer secure or, for that matter, sacred. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa adamantly insists that once the lease to the U.S. facility in Manta expires in 2009, Quito will refuse to renew it. Meanwhile Mexican authorities have stressed that no U.S. military forces will be allowed in the country as part of the newly signed Merida initiative.

    El Gran Juego

    Like the struggle for influence in Central Asia in the 19th century between the Russian and British empires, which was referred to at the time as the Great Game, Latin America and the Caribbean have entered into their own version of this quest, with non-hemispheric players like Russia, China and the European Union all attempting to win influence in the region.

    This translates into investment, access to resources and local markets; however it is not a winner-takes-all type of game. One thing is clear: for the rest of the world, efforts at associating with Latin America and the Caribbean signifies the region's emergence as an important political and economic force with potential for further growth, which is even far beyond what Washington is now able to conceptualize.

    This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Fellow Alex Sánchez. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) – www.coha.org – is a think tank established in 1975 to discuss and promote inter-American relationship. Email: coha@coha.org.

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    • Show Comments (28)

    • Forrest Allen Brown

      shelly & AR
      too many people died at the whim of a bunch of senators & congress people trying to run a war from 12.000 miles away .
      that the press and so called movie stars said what ever they wanted and did what ever they wanted to get good men killed .

      the rules of war that was imposed on us dont shoot first , never fire into village with locals even though the cong were using them as shields .

      can not fallow in to laos or camboida even if fired at from across the rivers .

      and no we left knowing that the job was not finished and we owed a det to them
      and we should have been given a reason as to why we were not allowed to win

      JUST LIKE THE WAR NOW

      there are many people wanting too see which way the country will go .all it would take for the press too print all the good that is going on and the people of the
      world would understand .
      but bad makes better press so that is what is put on TV
      go to http://www.ehowa.com pass the military porn and read the press

    • shelly

      forrest
      I spent 18 months in nam in the thick of it
      6 months in rodisue

      Can’t imagine being there. How was it? Did you have a lot of friends killed? I am sure you were glad to get the hell out!

    • Ricardo Amaral

      Reply to Joao da Silva
      Starting In 2008 the Iraq civil war will get completely out of control again.

      The insurgents know that the American public are getting completely against the war and they are going to start cutting funding for the war and attach withdraw demands regarding further funding for that mess.

      The Turks are getting ready to attack the North of Iraq to get a piece of the action.

      Iran already controls a large area of Iraq through their political connections.

      The sooner the US leaves Iraq the better for them to settle their scores and to give the chance for a new despot dictator to replace Saddam Hussein.

      The Iraq civil war is under way and there is very little the United States can do about that.

      The US already used most of it’s tools from their bag of tricks – staged elections, new constitution, and so on…

      Basically what the US was able to establish in Iraq it is a government for the green zone and nothing else. And as soon the US leaves the green zone that government will be history.

      The Iraqis have a civil war to think about and they will decide themselves who will be the next leader of Iraq after the Iraq civil war takes its course.

      The insurgents are waiting for the US to start moving out and out of the way for them to escalate the Iraq civil war to a higher level.

      With all that money from future oil revenues up to be grabbed – you can bet the power plays in Iraq are its initial stages – wait and see the mess that we are going to have in that area on the coming years – until the dust finally settles down.

      .

    • forrest allen brown

      shelly
      I spent 18 months in nam in the thick of it
      6 months in rodisue

      and have played in the amazon region of brasil for 1 year and then
      coulmbia & vensula & surnam another year.

      and then there was all the other islands , and the philippeans

    • shelly

      You sound very authoritative. How much time have you actually spent in the jungle, Shelly?

      Twice

    • Forrest Allen Brown

      try the darian jungle
      you know that strip of jungle betwine panama and Columbia

      any one see chaves in Iran saying he came here to buy a atomic bomb and found one and would fire it ?????

      i can here brasi military wishing they had spent the money on equipment
      instead of houses in florida

    • Ric

      You sound very authoritative. How much time have you actually spent in the jungle, Shelly?

      The Yanomanis gave me a sack of Pirarucu scales. People here really like them.

      It’s true that the specially trained jungle guys in the Exercito go thru hell in training. But they are poorly equipped. I used to order from Caballa, material for some of them.

    • shelly

      The corps may like the woods, but I doubt they would do well in the Amazon. Even for our guys the Amazon is a bitch to deal with.

    • shelly

      Forrest
      brasilians love life too much to belive in 79 virgins wating on them

      and they may not be all women Remember Roberta Close?

      😀 😀 😀

      You have captured our way of life quite well indeed.

    • Forrest Allen Brown

      shelly
      that is said about us in nam , did not prove to be true

      same in panama , keroa
      the US military espically the marine corps can adapt to any way of war fare it cuts a board .

      if you know or have read the army does most the city fighting , the corps loves the woods .

      the only thing we cant beat is our own press and stupid politicans

      we think praina soup is very good

      as long as there air in the lungs and some one too make up there minds the sons of moses will be killing each other .

      brasilians love life too much to belive in 79 virgins wating on them

      and they may not be all women

    • shelly

      Joao
      Now that the situation in Iraq is getting better. How do you classify better, ah better for the US point of view, of not having troops killed. But who gives a shit about the Iraqi people? This war was always about oil and I hope the US won’t get a drop of it. I think if you read other news source-the media here is biased, then you will see the opposite. NPR seems to be straight forward, every other news here is junk.Not sure if you get NPR news, but this week there was a whole discussion about this topic. From the US perspective, it is getting better. Campaign PR, not the everyday reality. Afghanistan is a mess and the Taliban is already taking over towns.

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16389570
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16389570

      Despite a decline in violence in Iraq, northern Iraq has become more violent than other regions as al-Qaida and other militants move there to avoid coalition operations elsewhere, the region’s top U.S. commander said Monday.

      Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling said al-Qaida cells still operate in all the key cities in the north.

      “What you’re seeing is the enemy shifting,” Hertling told Pentagon reporters in a video conference from outside Tikrit in northern Iraq.

      Hertling said militants have been pushed east to his area from Anbar by the so-called Awakening movement, in which local tribes have allied with the coalition against al-Qaida. Others have been pushed north to his area from the Baghdad region, where this year’s U.S. troops escalation has made more operations possible.

      “The attacks are still much higher than I would like here in the north, but they are continuing to decrease in numbers and scale of attacks,” he said.

      Hertling said 1,830 roadside bombs were placed in his region in June, compared with 900 last month.

      The U.S. military says overall attacks in Iraq have fallen 55 percent since nearly 30,000 additional American troops arrived in Iraq by June, and some areas are experiencing their lowest levels of violence since the summer of 2005.

      Still, the threat posed by roadside bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remains a serious problem, retired Gen. Montgomery Meigs, director of the Pentagon’s counter-IED organization, told reporters Monday.

      Meigs said that while the total number of IED attacks has declined markedly in recent months, the proportion of such attacks that result in U.S. casualties has dropped more slowly. That is at least partly because the insurgents who are still carrying out the attacks have grown more proficient.

      “They are better at it,” than many of the insurgents who have given up attacking U.S. forces, he said.

      Meigs also said that the standoff between the Congress and President Bush over the White House’s request for war funding is going to cripple his organization’s ability to pay for new counter-IED projects, if it continues into next year.

      But Democrats say this isn’t necessarily true. Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the House Defense appropriations subcommittee, said Congress included $120 million for the task force in the military’s 2008 annual budget and the military can borrow against the rest of the $471 billion that was approved. So far, the Pentagon has not asked to tranfer any money, he said.

      “Protecting soldiers from IEDs has been an absolute priority for this Congress,” Murtha said in a statement issued late Monday.

      Meigs is leaving his position on Nov. 30, to be replaced by Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

      Hertling declined to say how many al-Qaida members he believes are in his area, but he said a recently started operation has netted some 200 detainees who are giving officials good information about the organization and how it operates.

      “There are certainly cells remaining in all the key cities” in the north, he said.

      “We’re doing our very best on a daily basis to break those cells down,” Hertling said. “We’ve had success, but it is still going to be a very tough fight to eliminate those terrorists and insurgents and extremists completely from those areas.”

    • shelly

      Ric the dreamer
      Aircaft carriers are mobile bases, and non-USA analysts have stated that one, or in some cases two, of them could bring down any South American government in less than 48 hours.

      Yep, you are right. From the top the US is great, now let us see American troops on Brazilian soil. They will be Piranha meat in no time!

    • Forrest Allen Brown

      chaves
      crazy drunk indian , power the worst drunk in the world .

      needs to look to nrorgia , in panama

      brazil has much to look to but has to look out for people likes its fare weather friends
      and its on politicans
      dont let then give up to save there own asses .

      brasilians will go to argentina to give shit to bush but wont go to brasilia to give the same thing to chaves

      the free press in a democracy is just that free to speak to the people in brasil it is limited
      in chaves land there is no free press

      with oil in brasil and that in the US chaves will have to play his hand quickly

    • João da Silva

      [quote]Brazil, as you know is (nor was) counting on[/quote]

      Sorry, it should read “Brazil, as you know is NOT (nor was) counting on…………………”

    • João da Silva

      Ric
      [quote]Was the discovery of significant oil in Brazil. And I haven’t seen any articles revising the doomsday estimates of passing peak oil since the Brazil discovery.[/quote]

      Ric, it is very interesting that nobody has mentioned so far that U.S now owns (for good or bad) the third largest oil reserve in the world,just waiting to be pumped out. Now that the situation in Iraq is getting better, it is a question of time before the Iraqi parliament will pass “oil laws” that stipulate the percentage of revenue each province there will get. When done, the oil prices will come down and there is nothing that Iran or Chavez can do to jack up the prices. As Bo mentioned in one of his comments months go, the Americans are there to stay (there again for good or bad),building military bases, the largest embassy in the ME, setting up “American University”, etc;

      Once in a while, I keep track of what is happening in that part of the world too and I get a feeling that in Mid 2008, the oil prices will be less than what it is now. Forget about it reaching $200/barrel. If I were Chavez, I would use the oil wealth wisely and not count on the high prices for ever.He would be stupid to spend all the money on military hardware.Brazil, as you know is (nor was) counting on exporting oil to building foreign exchange reserve and fortunately we have ethanol and flex cars, if the oil prices go up too high, which I think will not.

    • Ric

      Worst Possible News for Chaves
      Was the discovery of significant oil in Brazil. And I haven’t seen any articles revising the doomsday estimates of passing peak oil since the Brazil discovery.

      Chavez has clout as long as OPEC has a corner, PDV included.

      How many more discoveries on the scale of Brazil’s are still out there? Watch the gulf.

      There is enough potential oil and energy in the USA for it to be free of imported crude. But Alaska and other fields are tied up by environmentalism, the gulf by politics.

      If you like to cotemplate conspiracy, consider the possibility that planners you never heard of in the US government are allowing the greenies to have their way while foreign countries proceed to use up their reserves.

      Greenies are idiots. I’m in Santa Barbara. Plenty of offshore oil here, untapped. Given the choice between driving and walking, flying or staying home, affordable food due to petroleum versus backyard gardens, the public library versus Amazon dot com, they’ll flip faster than a liberal becomes a conservative after a mugging.

      In the meantime hot rodders are having a field day wih the new availablity of ethanol. Thank you Brazil. E85 has an octane of 105, not available in gasoline since the purple stuff for turbo compound, last gen airplane radials. Pure E85 is about 84 percent alcohol and 16% gasoline. Weaker blends are E75 and E70, the latter 30% gasoline.

      Most American cars are OK as is with gasoline with up to 20% ethanol (E20). There are a few flex fuel cars now. But the reason the ethanol here has gasoline in it is for cold starting, and the mix may vary according to the season.

      If Chavez is able to create a problem, it would only tend to speed up the move to Hybrids. Double your mileage.

      Think about it like this. If there are people in the USA contemplating chaos or problems in many areas of the world, and what could be done about it, very bright people getting paid to postulate and resolve and write reports, would you bet on them or on the brain of one Chavez prevailing?

    • João da Silva

      Forrest
      [quote]chaves will step on his dick soon[/quote]

      This is a funny expression, though I tend to agree with you. For an ex-Army Colonel, he talks too much.He may step on his own dick or somebody may decide to chop it off.

      [quote]Joao just a small piece in the brit papers about it but MI5 watching we all know how they went to the malvinas .[/quote]

      It is MI6 and not MI5. Yes I do remember about the Malvinas and the famous Gen.Galtieri whom Chavez reminds me of. I wonder if you remember that we remained “neutral” 😉

      [quote]then poor brasil navy in the north and amapa could be over run quick
      [/quote]

      I don’t think that Amapa is going to be taken by him,as we have a famous senator from there and he is an ally of Lula and would certainly not be interested in representing that state in the Venezuelan senate!

      Ricardo Amaral is right when he stated “Just laughing – Chavez is coming to get the Brazilians….”. The Brasilians are capable of chopping off Chavez’s dick without his knowing who did it and putting the blame on MI6 😉

    • Ricardo Amaral

      Americans and the Boogieman….
      By the way:

      Venezuela:

      The population of Venezuela is 26,023,528 (July 2007 est.)

      Age structure:
      15-64 years: 63.4% (male 8,120,661/female 8,369,065)

      Brazil:

      The population of Brazil is 190,010,647 (July 2007 est.)

      Age structure:
      15-64 years: 68.4% (male 64,437,140/female 65,523,447)

      I forgot AES is an American and he has been scared to death about Fidel Castro for the last 50 years – the Cubans are coming……

      .

    • Ricardo Amaral

      AES must be a neurotico
      The Neo-cons think that everybody is coming to get them.

      It is Pathetic.

      The Russians are coming….

      Oh I am so afraid of Fidel Castro….

      The terrorists are coming….

      The boogieman is coming to get you….

      Basically the Neo-cons are a bunch of neurotic and scared bunch of guys.

      Just laughing – Chavez is coming to get the Brazilians….

      AhAhAh….

      .

    • João da Silva

      Forrest
      [quote]then poor brasil navy in the north and amapa could be over run quick
      [/quote]

      I think that our military is quite concerned. I don’t know how good you are in reading Portuguese,but I am sure Fatima will be able to translate the essentials for you:

      Please do read about the military exercise being conducted in the South through the site:

      [url]http://www.charrua.mil.br[/url]

      Probably, some in the armed forces are asking the same question we are doing: Why is Chavez arming himself to teeth?

      Ah, the site is worth visiting.Good music too.

    • Forrest Allen Brown

      chaves will step on his dick soon
      Joao just a small piece in the brit papers about it but MI5 watching we all know how they went to the malvinas .

      as far a chaves he will set up a Guerrilla force to attic himself and claim he has to send in forces to protect his
      countries borders as he did in coulmbis in the early 80.

      he is also made the french take a look up , as they will step in to keep devils island as a french vacation and with the FL there
      that would be fun fight in the trees

      then poor brasil navy in the north and amapa could be over run quick

    • João da Silva

      [quote]chaves may take guyna but would loose every thing in the next 2 days so he is not that stupid we hope [/quote]

      His incursion into Guyana seemed to be an attempt to test that countryÀ‚´s defense.My question: Does Guyana have defense treaty with Great Britain or any other country? I don’t think that GDF has enough fire power to stop Chavez’s blitzkrieg.

    • AES

      Chavez is a real threat, he intends to take what he wants, outside the courts of Den Haag. Quoting the King of Spain, a gentleman , “Chavez por quÀƒ© no te callas?”
      Chavez is intexicated with his own power, amend the Constitution, tenure for life, control all the people and how they think, and begin to take pieces of Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, and who is going to stop him with his million man army and 5 submarines and his wave of Russian jets, who is going to stop this tenticled opportunist? China? Russia? Brazil perhaps? Does Brazil have a million man army and an airforce capable of stoping fighters or a million crack troops that are preparing for what? Chaves’ army is an army of offense not defense. Who will counter Chavez? The Brazilians? Chavez is prepared now, he threatens the heads of OPEC insults the King of Saudi Arabia, threatens the world with $200 a barrel oil if the world does not cowtow to the Emperor of Venezuela, Tzar of South America, he is high on the fumes of his oil. Oil fumes will get you high then kill you.

    • Ric

      The UN Problem
      May be “Can You Top This” as they limit their search for Secretary-General to people with odd names like Trygve Lie, Dag Hammerskjold, U Thant, (Kurt Waldheim not so unusual), (Javier Perez de Cuellar), Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, and…..Ban Ki-Moon!

    • forrest Brown

      RA
      in 1823 the US did not care about any place south of mexico but watched down to panama
      the spanish war we kept PR as a guard for panama
      and ever country south of the US has a embassy and readers so the US watches and listens them all

      chaves may take guyna but would loose every thing in the next 2 days so he is not that stupid we hope

      most island nations deal with others on a one on one , and deal with ileagles very swift to protect there culture they have very little to offer other countries but want too deal

      the monroe paper is so out dated , like the UN , the maga cater and the 2 party system

    • Ricardo Amaral

      Brazil, the Original Leader of the Americas
      À¢€œThe Death of the Monroe Doctrine. America Is Now for Russians, Chinese…À¢€Â

      The above title does not include South America À¢€“ only North America. The Monroe Doctrine was developed and created later from a United States perspective and not from a South American perspective.

      Basically the Monroe Doctrine means nothing from a Brazilian perspective and you can read why at the following web site:

      February 2005 À¢€“ À¢€œBrazil, the Original Leader of the Americas À¢€“ Part IÀ¢€Â

      [url]http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/1360/49/[/url]

      February 2005 À¢€“ À¢€œBrazil, the Original Leader of the Americas À¢€“ Part IIÀ¢€Â

      [url]http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/1425/49/[/url]

      Only people who are ignorant of South American history would think that the Monroe Doctrine was the original doctrine to set foreign policy for the Americas.

      The readers should be aware of the fact that when anybody is talking about the Monroe Doctrine that applies only from the United States perspective and not to the other countries of the Americas.

      .

    • Ric

      While interesting, this sounds a little like Wishful Thinking.

      The USA has well over 700 military bases worldwide. It has a military presence in Arruba, Antigua, Columbia, Panama, Saint Helena. While it is concerned about countries in a swath that starts in Columbia, thru N. Africa, Mideast, Philippines and Indonesia, the Pentagon has evidently put a low priority on most of Latin America, just as Treasury has determined that the dollar must be devalued, which is the reason for the current exchange rate.

      Aircaft carriers are mobile bases, and non-USA analysts have stated that one, or in some cases two, of them could bring down any South American government in less than 48 hours.

      Not to mention the Virgin Islands and P.R., American soil.

      The taxpayer supports over a half million personnel in foreign bases around the world, plus local employees.

      You’ll know that the Monroe Doctrine is passe when the yanks leave Diego Garcia and Okinawa.

      Do we have to point out why the left feels so emasculated and violated and upset about Guantanamo? Conforme-se, loser.

    • Red Cross

      And Venezuela attacks Guyana, opening Gambit to what? Who is with whom?

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