Flores: Resistance in the ‘Backyard’, Russia and China Undermine US Dominance in Latin America


Published on: Nov 21, 2018 @ 15:32 – US officials are trying to strengthen ties with Latin American countries by undermining socialist and national-sovereignty governments in the region. At the same time, Foreign Policy magazine points out, Washington is very attentive to Russia’s and China’s actions in that region, and is even taking steps of resilience in its “backyard” activity.

Foreign Policy magazine is a useful source for understanding the talking-points of the US empire, packaged to pundits and politicians. FRN understands what terms such as ‘strengthen’ mean, in practical terms. For example, the magazine recalls that the US Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein, who recently visited Colombia, said that the Trump Administration is taking steps to ;strengthen; alliances in Latin America that are part of a resistance to Russia and China in the “backyard of the United States.”

At the same time, these are very real concerns, and concerns that will persist so long as the US continues to meddle in the ‘backyard’ of Russia and China, respectively. In particular, the US general warned that Latin American countries risk losing the opportunity to participate in the military operations of the US and their allies if they stop buying US military equipment and move to other arms markets. What’s really at issue here isn’t being disguised – buy weapons from Russia and China, and you’ll be the target of US weapons and operations.

The problem with the US’s track record, is that buying American weapons and not buying Russian and Chinese weapons hasn’t protected any number of states around the world from being attacked, once the US found the ‘partnership’ as an obstacle, for any number of other reasons. So socialist and national-sovereignty governments in the so-called developing world, whose cabinets and military staff are led by independent critical thinkers, can do a relatively simple cost-benefit analysis, and see that compromising with the US, or bowing to its wishes, does not pay off in the mid-to-long term.

Nevertheless, according to Foreign Policy, the general’s trip is part of some ostensibly ‘great efforts’ of the American authorities to strengthen alliances with the countries of the region, as they try to deal with a number of threats to their so-called national security, namely terrorism, drug trafficking, the economic crisis of Venezuela and the migratory crisis.

Speaking about activities by Moscow and Beijing during his two-day visit to Colombia, the Chief of Staff swiftly clarified Washington’s position on the matter:

“When it comes to China and Russia, we are looking at cooperation where we can and pushing back aggressively where we must,” Goldfein said. “We keep a close eye on their activities globally, but certainly we keep an eye on their activities [in Latin America].”

According to several experts, the US recognizes that China and Russia are beginning to influence the countries of the region in economic and military terms.

In speaking about China, they indicate that it uses trade and investment in support of its geopolitical interests, as Beijing wants to gain access to the region’s oil reserves. Today, the Asian giant has already become the leading importer of black gold from five Latin American countries. Thus entirely frustrates the US attempts at sanctions of oil exporting countries, given that China’s demand in absolute terms is higher, and only shows signs of growing.

However, Russia is also considered a serious player in this part of the world, as it receives billions of dollars for selling arms to countries in the region. The irony is this: the US’s history of invasion and intervention over the last hundred years in Latin America is well known. Therefore, they have created the market for Russian and Chinese arms purchases as a by-product of their attempts to capture the labor and natural resources of Latin American countries.

The analysts at Foreign Policy, claim Moscow and Beijing support countries that allegedly violate human rights and show hostility to the US: Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. Thus, they sum up, Russia and China intend to undermine US dominance in Latin America through the support of ‘regimes’ which violate human rights.

This is standard ‘human rights imperialism’ discourse, but should be expected from Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy was founded in 1970 by Samuel Huntington, known best for his theory of the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ which gave the veneer of academic or intellectual credibility within the then rising neoconservative government of George W Bush. In recent years, it was purchased by the Washington Post Company, now known as Graham Holdings Company, which has been at war with Fort Russ News openly since 2016.

Conclusively, we can see that the US has real concerns about the consequences of its actions in Latin America which, in the course of the last two decades, really blossomed into an increasingly sovereign bloc of common-market countries, whose reliance on the US continually dwindles. While these concerns will necessarily be framed in the language of ‘strengthening ties’, and ‘combating regimes’, underneath this ideological veneer we are able to see a very real and emergent trend which gives the empire something to be greatly concerned about.


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