Fifty days have gone by since the June 28 coup d'etat that violently and illegally ousted President Manuel Zelaya from power, by forcefully kidnapping him and sending him into exile. The coup regime that took power that very same day, led by former Congressman Roberto Micheletti, has maintained a stronghold on the government ever since, through repressive measures imposed against the people of Honduras who, bravely and with great determination, have been resisting the illegal takeover for nearly two months. There have been a handful of political assassinations, hundreds of wounded and detained and thousands of political persecutions, executed by the coup regime and the Honduran armed forces, controlled and commanded by the US military presence on the Soto Cano base located outside the capital city, Tegucigalpa.
Both presidents Chávez of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, have recently publicly denounced the US military role in the coup against President Zelaya, indicating that the elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was kidnapped during the early morning hours of June 28 and forced on an airplane, which first was directed to the Soto Cano airbase. A decision by the US military commanders to illegally fly President Zelaya to Costa Rica that morning was made at the Soto Cano base in Honduras.
This revelation comes at a time during which Latin America is in uproar over a recent deal between Colombia and the United States to establish a dangerous increase in US military presence in the South American nation. Colombia, which already hosts a massive US military presence - both through private contractors overseen and paid by the Pentagon and State Department, as well as a direct US armed forces presence, with emphasis on Green Berets and other special forces, has just announced the culmination of the negotiation process with Washington to increase its military presence in the region. The deal has been sealed, and at minimum 7 more Colombian military bases will be occupied and used by US forces. This in addition to the three bases already utilized by the Pentagon as well as 12 radar sites run by Washington in Colombia. More than 1400 special forces and private contractor forces are authorized under the new agreement, as well as an initial $46 million to improve the military base in Palanquero, Colombia, so it can receive giant C-17 US military planes capable of reaching all of the continent from the Colombian base.
Washington and Colombia insist the agreement is solely to combat drug-trafficking and "terrorism" in the region, but Colombia's neighbors, particularly Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, fear - logically - that the tremendous US military presence in the southern continent will be used to increase aggression against their governments and revolutions. During the past 4 years, Washington has been actively - and publicly - attempting to link the Venezuelan government with terrorism, and recently has utilized similar tactics against both Bolivia and Ecuador. It's no coincidence that these nations have governments and policies that oppose US domination of Latin America and that seek social revolutions aimed to utilize the region's vast strategic and natural resources to benefit the peoples of Latin America and regional development. Venezuela, for example, has the largest oil reserves in the world. Bolivia has some of the planet's largest gas resources and combined, the three nations contain a necessary amount of oil, gas and water to maintain the US capitalist-consumerist model for at least another century.
Things are heating up in Latin America. A meeting between regional heads of state to debate the increasing US military presence in Colombia is scheduled for August 28 in Argentina. President Obama has been invited.