[Marxism] US launches major military exercises in the Caribbean as a warning to Venezuela and Cuba

Jorge Martín jorge at marxist.com
Fri Mar 31 04:56:57 MST 2006

US launches major military exercises in the Caribbean as a warning to 
Venezuela and Cuba
By Jorge Martin (Hands Off Venezuela - www.handsoffvenezuela.org)
Thursday, 30 March 2006

According to a press release by the US Southern Command on Monday, March 27: 
"A U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group will deploy from the U.S. east coast to 
the Caribbean Sea to conduct Operation Partnership of the Americas from 
early April through late May 2006." The strike group will be composed of 
"aircraft carrier USS George Washington with embarked air wing, Cruiser USS 
Monterey, Destroyer USS Stout, and Frigate USS Underwood". This means that 
the US Navy will be sending 4 ships, one of them carrying 60 fighter planes, 
and a total of 6,500 soldiers on a major military exercise in the Caribbean 
starting in the next few weeks. (see: U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group to make 
Caribbean deployment

 The stated aims of this exercise are: "enhancing military-to-military 
relationships with regional partner nations, improving operational 
readiness, and fostering good will." By "fostering good will" what is meant 
is sending a strong message to Venezuela and Cuba. The commander of the US 
Southcom General Bantz Craddock has on many occasions attacked the 
Venezuelan government. The decision to send this unusually large force to 
the Caribbean was announced just two weeks after General Craddok spoke at a 
US Senate committee hearing in which he called the Venezuelan government a 
"destabilizing force" because of its moves in the international arena, as 
well as ongoing efforts to purchase weapons, particularly from China. "The 
purchase of military equipment has not been a transparent process. This is a 
destabilizing factor in a region where nations are making joint efforts to 
face international threats, rather than fighting each other," he stated. And 
he added: "We are not fully convinced that such ample and large purchases 
have an origin in Venezuelan national defense concerns."

In a press conference during his visit to Uruguay in June 2005 he was even 
more specific:  "I do not see Cuba as a military threat to the United 
States, I do not see Venezuela as a military threat to the United States, 
what I do see is an influence in Latin America that creates, potentially 
creates instability and uncertainty, because in Cuba, obviously it is a 
totalitarian state, a communist state, and in Venezuela it appears that 
democratic processes and institutions are at risk. That has great 
opportunity to create, again, instability and uncertainty throughout the 
region if those processes are exported. So we are concerned, and we believe 
the neighbors in the region should also be concerned." In a thinly disguised 
threat of military intervention, General Craddock added: "The military 
aspect is to create conditions to allow other solutions to work, economic, 
political, social".

In the recently released Strategy for National Security, 2006 document 
Washington clearly sees Venezuela as a target: "In Venezuela, a demagogue 
inundated with petrol money is undermining democracy and trying to 
destabilize the region." (http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html)
full article here: 

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