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Home About Us Equipo Sur South-North Encuentro Kent Spriggs - 2010 Encuentro Local Updates
Kent Spriggs - 2010 Encuentro Local Updates PDF Print E-mail

2010 Encuentro Local Updates


SOA Watch Activist

SOAW has focused on one training facility.  SOA is but the "tip of the iceberg" of training facilities, e.g., the police training facility in El Salvador and perhaps more disturbingly, we are quite sure that there are many more about which we have inadequate knowledge.

To this we add the overt military facilities, such as the base in Honduras which was clearly a motivator for the U.S. to opposed the coup and the subsequent fraudulent election (appropriately boycotted by Reyes) and the new facilities in Colombia in the ridiculous failed pretend "war on drugs."

None of the above makes any sense unless we weave in the economic subjugation of Global South whether by "fair trade" treaties or "loans" from the World Bank monitored by the IMF.  The economic policies all have the effect of the nations of Global South forfeiting much of their sovereignty in favor of US/multinational corporations with the attendant deep injuries to the public sectors of the nations of Global South through "restructuring."

I have participated in demonstrations at Ft. Benning and in Honduras after the coup.  I have tried to use my legal training to advance the SOAW agenda.  I served as an international observer of the historic FMLN election in March 2009.

The demonstrations at Ft. Benning have pushed up the defunding count in Congress.  The demonstration in Tegucigalpa in front of the U.S. Embassy was completely blacked out by the U.S. media and had no effect.  We have twice sought a thematic hearing before the IACHR and twice been turned down.  The FMLN won the presidency, but my sense is that the incredible internal organization of FMLN was infinitely more important than the well-intentioned international observers, e.g., they are the ones that found the Nicaraguan fraud voters at the fútbol stadium and it was Nicaragua which grounded another planeload of fraud voters at the airport in Managua.

It is hard to see how any of these efforts have impacted the militarization of Latin America.  One concrete thing that has is the non-renewal of the contract for the U.S. base in Manta, Ecuador.  Thank you President Correa.

What has impacted the militarization of Latin America has been the creation of alternative power centers.  Most notably the coming to power of new progressive governments, each a little different from the others but all asserting national sovereignty against the multinational corporations and US influence - Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay.  Even the international efforts of the more centralist government of Brazil is worthy of note.

The multi-lateral Global South-only institutions are important.  ALBA is a potentially important counterweight to the dying World Bank and an institution which respects the sovereignty of its members.  Also on the economic front the actions of Brazil leading the fight against U.S. subsidized agricultural farm goods flooding Global South, supported by countries such as Argentina. The CAMEX list of trade sanctions is remarkable and an incredible pushback against the "Washington Consensus."

UNASUR is an important institution.  The "rapid response" supporting Bolivia against threats of succession by Santa Cruz and the other more oligarchic provinces may prove to be a defining moment in Latin American history.

Brazil reaching out to India and China makes Washington very nervous, as it should, gain shifting power away from the Empire.

In short it seems that the real progress in Global South has been made by Global South.  While we in El Norte are inspired by these developments our ability to limit the inclinations of our plutocratic Empire seem pretty insignificant when matched against what Global South is doing itself.  I stand in awe.  In the 200 years of the "Monroe Doctrine" there has been nothing even vaguely approaching the collective actions of Global South in the most recent decade.


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