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News :: War and Militarism
Venezuela Launches Military Operations
08 Nov 2009
“We have more than 15,000 men deployed along our western border, combating all the crimes that occur along the border, as you know, crimes which come from another country and are not ours,” said Carrizalez to reporters from the state television channel VTV.
Carrizalez also displayed a sample of coltan in its unprocessed form, and explained that it is a highly coveted mineral because of its usefulness in satellites, missiles, computers, cellular phones, and other electronic devices.
“It is a mineral of strategic character, and therefore it stimulates the imperial appetite and the appetite of the business people who seek to obtain maximum profit without giving importance to environmental damage or the destabilization of countries.”
Venezuela Launches Military Operations on Border to Fight Drug Trafficking and Protect Coltan Reserve

Published on November 7th 2009, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com

Vice President and Defense Minister Ramon Carrizalez visiting the Coltan reserve on Thursday (YVKE)
Mérida, November 6th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- On Thursday, Venezuela announced the expansion of military operations along its western border in order to fight drug trafficking and protect a recently discovered reserve of coltan from illegal mining.
In what is titled Operation Blue Gold, 15,000 Air Force, Army, and Navy personnel will protect the coltan reserve, which straddles the states of Bolivar and Amazonas.
The government announced the discovery of the Coltan reserve last month. It coincided with the announcement of a public investment plan for the coming year aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing.
On Thursday, Vice President and Defense Minister Ramon Carrizalez visited the site of the reserve in an indigenous community called El Paloma, and said the troops would help combat drug trafficking and illegal armed groups in the region, in addition to protecting the reserve.
“We have more than 15,000 men deployed along our western border, combating all the crimes that occur along the border, as you know, crimes which come from another country and are not ours,” said Carrizalez to reporters from the state television channel VTV.
Carrizalez also displayed a sample of coltan in its unprocessed form, and explained that it is a highly coveted mineral because of its usefulness in satellites, missiles, computers, cellular phones, and other electronic devices.
“It is a mineral of strategic character, and therefore it stimulates the imperial appetite and the appetite of the business people who seek to obtain maximum profit without giving importance to environmental damage or the destabilization of countries,” said Carrizalez.
Carrizalez made specific reference to the civil war-plagued Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is estimated the world’s largest coltan reserves lie, and where Belgium and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collaborated of the U.S. government to overthrow the first democratically elected prime minister in 1964.
Zulia, Tachira, and Apure States
Also on Thursday, Minister for Justice and Internal Affairs Tarek El-Aissami said 3,000 troops would be deployed to the Sierra de Perija region in the states of Tachira and Zulia in order to impede the passage of drug traffickers and eradicate the illicit cultivation of crops that are processed into illegal drugs.
The sparsely populated and forested Sierra de Perijá is one of the most conflict-ridden regions of Venezuela. In addition to drug traffickers, it is suspected that illegal armed groups from Colombia travel in the region. Local indigenous peoples have protested coal mining and violent persecution by large estate owners, and accused the government of not granting them the land titles due to them by law.
Last year, El-Aissami announced that the government plans to build five military bases in the Sierra de Perija region to fight drug trafficking and impede overflow fighting from the Colombian civil war.
“The Bolivarian government has been assuming responsibility for the fight against illicit drug trafficking and its consequences. For this reason, for the third consecutive year, Venezuela was certified by the United Nations as one of the countries where there is no cultivation of plants with which illegal drugs are produced,” said El Aissami on Thursday.
The minister also said the Armed Forces will deploy air and ground troops to the extensive, flat plains of Apure state to destroy illegal airplane landing strips that drug traffickers use to transport drugs from Colombia to the United States and Europe.
Venezuela sustains anti-drug cooperation agreements with 37 countries and extradited suspected drug traffickers to Colombia, Italy, the United States, Belgium, and France last year. Drug seizures have increased by two thirds since Venezuela stopped collaborating with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2005 on suspicion that the DEA was spying.

Official US Air Force Document Reveals the True Intentions Behind the US-Colombia Military Agreement

November 5th 2009, by Eva Golinger
An official document from the Department of the US Air Force reveals that the military base in Palanquero, Colombia will provide the Pentagon with “…an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America…” This information contradicts the explainations offered by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the US State Department regarding the military agreement signed between the two nations this past October 30th. Both governments have publicly stated that the military agreement refers only to counternarcotics and counterterrorism operations within Colombian territory. President Uribe has reiterated numerous times that the military agreement with the US will not affect Colombia’s neighbors, despite constant concern in the region regarding the true objetives of the agreement. But the US Air Force document, dated May 2009, confirms that the concerns of South American nations have been right on target. The document exposes that the true intentions behind the agreement are to enable the US to engage in “full spectrum military operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies…and anti-US governments…”

The military agreement between Washington and Colombia authorizes the access and use of seven military installations in Palanquero, Malambo, Tolemaida, Larandia, Apíay, Cartagena and Málaga. Additionally, the agreement allows for “the access and use of all other installations and locations as necessary” throughout Colombia, with no restrictions. Together with the complete immunity the agreement provides to US military and civilian personnel, including private defense and security contractors, the clause authorizing the US to utilize any installation throughout the entire country - even commercial aiports, for military ends, signifies a complete renouncing of Colombian sovereignty and officially converts Colombia into a client-state of the US.

The Air Force document underlines the importance of the military base in Palanquero and justifies the $46 million requested in the 2010 budget (now approved by Congress) in order to improve the airfield, associated ramps and other installations on the base to convert it into a US Cooperative Security Location (CSL). “Establishing a Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Palanquero best supports the COCOM’s (Command Combatant’s) Theater Posture Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to this relationship. Development of this CSL provides a unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-US governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters.”

It’s not difficult to imagine which governments in South America are considered by Washington to be “anti-US governments”. The constant agressive declarations and statements emitted by the State and Defense Departments and the US Congress against Venezuela and Bolivia, and even to some extent Ecuador, evidence that the ALBA nations are the ones perceived by Washington as a “constant threat”. To classify a country as “anti-US” is to consider it an enemy of the United States. In this context, it’s obvious that the military agreement with Colombia is a reaction to a region the US now considers full of “enemies”.

Counter-Narcotics Operations Are Secondary

Per the US Air Force document, “Access to Colombia will further its strategic partnership with the United States. The strong security cooperation relationship also offers an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America to include mitigating the Counternarcotics capability.” This statement clearly evidences that counternarcotics operations are secondary to the real objetives of the military agreement between Colombia and Washington. Again, this clearly contrasts the constant declarations of the Uribe and Obama governments insisting that the main focus of the agreement is to combat drug trafficking and production. The Air Force document emphasizes the necessity to improve “full spectrum” military operations throughout South America – not just in Colombia – in order to combat “constant threats” from “anti-US governments” in the region.

Palanquero Is the Best Option for Continental Mobility

The Air Force document explains that “Palanquero is unquestionably the best site for investing in infrastructure development within Colombia. Its central location is within reach of…operations areas…its isolation maximizes Operational Security (OPSEC) and Force Protection and minimizes the US military profile. The intent is to leverage existing infrastructure to the maximum extent possible, improve the US ability to respond rapidly to crisis, and assure regional access and presence at minimum cost. Palanquero supports the mobility mission by providing access to the entire South American continent with the exception of Cape Horn…”

Espionage and Warfare

The document additionally confirms that the US military presence in Palanquero, Colombia, will improve the capacity of espionage and intelligence operations, and will allow the US armed forces to increase their warfare capabilities in the region. “Development of this CSL will further the strategic partnership forged between the US and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations…A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability.”

The language of war included in this document evidences the true intentions behind the military agreement between Washington and Colombia: they are preparing for war in Latin America. The past few days have been full of conflict and tension between Colombia and Venezuela. Just days ago, the Venezuelan government captured three spies from the Colombian intelligence agency, DAS, and discovered several active destabilization and espionage operations against Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela. The operations - Fénix, Salomón and Falcón, respectively, were revealed in documents found with the captured DAS agents. Approximately two weeks ago, 10 bodies were found in Táchira, a border zone with Colombia. After completing the relevant investigations, the Venezuelan government discovered that the bodies belonged to Colombian paramilitaries infiltrated inside Venezuelan territory. This dangerous paramilitary infiltration from Colombia forms part of a destabilization plan against Venezuela that seeks to create a paramilitary state inside Venezuelan territory in order to breakdown President Chávez’s government.

The military agreement between Washington and Colombia will only increase regional tensions and violence. The information revealed in the US Air Force document unquestionably evidences that Washington seeks to promote a state of warfare in South America, using Colombia as its launching pad. Before this declaration of war, the peoples of Latin America must stand strong and unified. Latin American integration is the best defense against the Empire’s aggression.

*The US Air Force document was submitted in May 2009 to Congress as part of the 2010 budget justification. It is an official government document and reaffirms the authenticity of the White Book: Global Enroute Strategy of the US Air Mobility Command, which was denounced by President Chávez during the UNASUR meeting in Bariloche, Argentina this past August 28th. I have placed the original document and the non-official translation to Spanish that I did of the relevant parts relating to Palanquero on the web page of the Center to Alert and Defend the People “Centro de Alerta para la Defensa de los Pueblos”, a new space we are creating to guarantee that strategic information is available to those under constant threat from imperialist aggression.

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The world must know. Spread this article everywhere. General Joe

A wonderful awakening is being fostered by independent media artists/sources who you can easily follow. Some are:

www.narconews.com
www.telesurtv.net/noticias/canal/senalenvivo.php
www.venezuelanalysis.com/
http://chiapas.indymedia.org/ Spanish

Please join this struggle for justice and true freedom. Our brothers and sisters across the Americas are doing their parts from conditions of extreme hardship and danger. Surely it is time for us to “step up” from here. Please spread this note everywhere.

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