Rejection of US Military Presence in Central America
—By Carlos Quintanilla
The Honduran Women’s Peace Movement has rejected the increased US military presence in their country, as well as the installation of two new bases.
“The US Administration clearly intends to continue extending its operational range in Honduras,” declared the Movement in a release which was broadcast on Radio Progreso.
“Last year’s coup against President Manuel Zelaya was Pentagon strategy to pave the way for the installation of new US military bases in Honduras,” the release continued.
This April, the US and the Honduran governments inaugurated a base in the Gracias a Dios province, bordering Nicaragua, in which the US government invested two million dollars. A similar facility will be build on Guanaja Island, also in the Honduran Caribbean zone.
United States and Honduran troops are stationed at the Palmerola Air Base, in central Comayagua, where Zelaya was first taken in the wake of the coup on June 28, 2009, according to Radio Progreso.
The Women’s Peace Movement argues, along with other popular organizations and human rights defenders, that Honduras is re-militarizing, along with a greatly increased US military presence, and without legal authorization or consultation with the people, turning the country into a backyard of the US.
Costa Rica faces a similar situation. According to el Centro Voces Nuestras (the Center for Our Voices), the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly has authorized the illegal presence of 46 US war ships and 7,000 US Marines.
Approved in early July, this authorization gives the green light to US troops to occupy Costa Rican national territory until December 31 under the pretext of combating drug trafficking.
Costa Rican social organizations have rejected this, and have warned that the Legislative Assembly has given a “blank check” to US Marines to demonstrate their complete dominance in the Central American region.
Carlos Quintanilla produces and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica,” which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Saturdays at 4:00 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program focusing on Latin American issues for the Los Angeles area. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail:<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
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