Reflections of Fidel
The annexation of Colombia to the United States
ANY person who is even moderately well-informed can immediately see that the sugar-coated "Complementation Agreement for Defense and Security Cooperation and Technical Assistance between the Governments of Colombia and the United States," signed on October 30 and made public in the afternoon of November 2 amounts to the annexation of Colombia to the United States.
The agreement puts theoreticians and politicians in a predicament. It would not be honest to remain silent now and speak later about sovereignty, democracy, human rights, freedom of opinion and other delights, when a country is being devoured by the empire with the same ease as a lizard catching a fly. This concerns the Colombian people, self-sacrificing, hard-working and combative. I searched for a digestible justification within that huge tome and found none whatsoever.
Of 48 pages containing 21 lines each, five are devoted to philosophizing on the reasons behind the shameful takeover that transforms Colombia into an overseas territory. They are all based on agreements signed with the United States following the assassination of the distinguished progressive leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on April 9, 1948, and the creation of the Organization of American States on April 30, 1948, debated by the foreign ministers of the region, who met in Bogotá under the baton of the United States during those tragic days in which the Colombian oligarchy cut short the life of that leader which sparked off the armed struggle in that country.
The Military Assistance Agreement between the Republic of Colombia and the United States in April, 1952; the one related to "Army, Navy and Air Force Missions by the United States", signed on October 7, 1974; the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000; the 2001 Security Council Resolution of 2001 and the Inter-American Democratic Charter; the Democratic Security and Defense Policy resolution and others are evoked in the aforementioned document. None of them can justify converting a country covering 1,141,748 square kilometers, situated in the heart of South America, into a U.S. military base. Colombia is 1.6 times larger than Texas, the second largest state of the Union that was snatched from Mexico and later served as a base to violently conquer more than half of that sister nation.
On the other hand, 59 years have passed since Colombian soldiers were sent to far-off Asia to fight alongside Yankee troops against Chinese and Korean combatants in October 1950. What the empire is intending to do today is send them to fight against their brothers in Venezuela, Ecuador, and other Bolivarian and ALBA countries in order to crush the Venezuelan Revolution, as they tried to do with the Cuban Revolution in April 1961.
For more than 18 months prior to the invasion of Cuba, the yanki government supported, armed and used counterrevolutionary bandits in the Escambray mountains in the same way that it is using Colombian paramilitaries against Venezuela today.
When the Bay of Pigs invasion took place, the yanki B-26 aircraft flown by mercenaries operated out of Nicaragua. Their fighter planes were transported to the area of operations aboard an aircraft carrier, and the invaders of Cuban descent who landed at that point were escorted by U.S. warships and marines. Today, their war machinery and troops will be in Colombia, not only posing a threat to Venezuela but to all the states of Central and South America.
It is really very cynical to claim that the infamous agreement is necessary to combat drug-trafficking and international terrorism. Cuba has demonstrated that foreign troops are not needed to prevent the cultivation and trafficking of drugs and to maintain internal order, despite the fact that the United States – the mightiest power on Earth – has promoted, financed and armed the terrorists who for decades have attacked the Cuban Revolution.
The preservation of domestic peace is a fundamental prerogative of every state; the presence of yanki troops in any Latin American country for that purpose represents blatant foreign interference in a country’s internal affairs that will inevitably be rejected by the people.
A simple reading of the document demonstrates not only that Colombian airbases will be in the hands of the yankis, but also civilian airports and ultimately, any facility that could be useful to their armed forces. Radio space is also available to that country; a nation that conveys another culture and other interests that have nothing to do with the Colombian population.
The U.S. Armed Forces will enjoy exceptional prerogatives.
Anywhere in Colombia, the occupiers can commit crimes against Colombian families, property and laws, without having to respond to the country’s authorities; they have taken scandals and diseases to many places, such as the Palmerola military base in Honduras. In Cuba, when they visited the neo-colony, they sat astride the neck of José Martí’s statue in the capital’s Parque Central. The limit set with respect to the total number of soldiers can be modified at the request of the United States, with no restrictions whatsoever. The aircraft carriers and warships that visit the conceded naval bases can take as many crew members as they require and just one of their large aircraft carriers may contain thousands of individuals.
The Agreement, to be extended for successive periods of 10 years, cannot be modified until the end of each period, with a one-year period of notice. What will the United States do if a government such as that of Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. or Bush Jr. and others like them, is asked to leave Colombia? The yankis have succeeded in ousting dozens of governments in our hemisphere. How long would a government last in Colombia if it announced such intentions?
Latin American politicians are now faced with a very delicate problem: the fundamental duty of explaining their viewpoints on the annexation document. I realize that what is occurring at this decisive moment in Honduras is consuming the attention of the media and the hemisphere’s foreign ministers, but the governments of Latin America cannot overlook the extremely grave and significant problem taking place in Colombia.
I do not harbor the slightest doubt about the reaction of the peoples; they will feel the dagger as it plunges into their most profound sentiments, particularly in Colombia: they will oppose it and never resign themselves to such sacrilege!
Today, the world is facing serious and pressing problems. Climate change is threatening the whole of humanity. European leaders are almost down on their knees begging for some kind of agreement in Copenhagen that will prevent the catastrophe. They are virtually conceding that the Summit will fail to meet its objective of reaching an agreement that will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They promise to continue fighting to achieve that before 2012; there is a real risk, however, that that cannot be secured before it is too late.
The Third World countries are rightly claiming from the richest and most developed nations hundreds of billion dollars per year to pay for the costs of the climate battle.
Does it make sense for the United States government to invest time and money in building military bases in Colombia to impose its hateful tyranny on our peoples? Along that road, while a disaster is already threatening the world, a greater and more rapid disaster is threatening the empire, and all of it would be the result of the same old system of the exploitation and plunder of the planet.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 6, 2009
Translated by Granma International