April 13, 2003 - The Washington Free Press : RPCV Don Torrence says the US is planning Colombia’s globalization

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Peace Corps Colombia : The Peace Corps in Colombia: April 13, 2003 - The Washington Free Press : RPCV Don Torrence says the US is planning Colombia’s globalization

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RPCV Don Torrence says the US is planning Colombia’s globalization

RPCV Don Torrence says the US is planning Colombia’s globalization

Mutant Colonialism

The US is planning Colombia’s globalization

opinion by Don Torrence, contributor

In 1962, I joined the Peace Corps. The Alliance for Progress had been proclaimed by the John F. Kennedy administration as its prescription for peace and prosperity for Central and South America.

However, as Eduardo Galeano, Noam Chomsky, Gabriel Kolko, James Petras and others have documented, the present foreign policy of the United States is a continuation of prior initiatives (Monroe Doctrine, Good Neighbor Policy, etc.) and Plan Colombia is a component of a broader plan of control and domination.

Integral to Plan Colombia is the spread of Monsanto’s Round-Up over vast areas of southern Colombia. This is not the first time that the United States has used chemical warfare to defeat a designated enemy. The US war machine spread Agent Orange throughout Vietnam and it remains a killing agent, resulting in cancer and genetic mutations throughout the general population.

No moral lessons were learned from the carnage in Vietnam (two million killed) and its aftermath. Our government is poised once more to spread toxic defoliants upon Colombia soil. The official explanation given by US security managers is that Round-Up will eradicate the coca plants and thereby diminish the supply that reaches our shores. The “War on Drugs” has become the official rational for the assertion of American power and it obscures our quest for geo-political dominance.

Plan Colombia must be analyzed within the above historical context. The US will not tolerate a national revolutionary movement in Colombia. The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) must be destroyed, lest it gains more adherents and the virus of its message spreads throughout Central and South America. The FARC controls about 40 percent of southern Colombia and, within their territory, there exists about 72 indigenous groups that are not amenable to opening up their land to US investment capital. This then, is the prize to be won at the expense of the indigenous people.

Plan Colombia is a sanitized Orwellian euphemism for war, carnage and the spread of toxic chemicals that will kill and deform years after the clouds of war have dissipated.

“The primary motivation behind the war is territory,” said Almando Balwena, the president of the National Organization of Indigenous Colombians (CNIC). “For five centuries, we indigenous have maintained our sovereignty and been anti-imperialist... Now, the Plan Colombia is escalating the war to new levels.” According to Balwena, “the military component of the plan is equivalent to a genocidal war that is intended to eliminate the 72 indigenous cultures from their land, clearing the way for the economic phase of the plan—Colombia integration into the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

We have witnessed the attempt of the US war apparatus to destroy the Cuban Revolution, its support of the Contras and the destruction of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and its decimation of the insurgency in El Salvador. Thousands of lives have been lost as US security managers, at the behest of US corporate interests, subvert the legitimate aspirations of the people throughout Central and South America. Death squads are trained in our School of the Americas and they further US strategic interests by eliminating any independent, nationalist voices that questions the status quo and US prerogatives.

Plan Colombia is, to use the words of Arundahti Roy (writer and activist from India), “a mutant form of colonialism” advanced by the United States in order to wipe or neutralize the indigenous people and the national liberation movement identified with the FARC. Its ultimate goal is to open up southern Colombia to US economic penetration. NAFTA was a precursor of this plan and it is to be fully consummated this month in Quebec. Delegates from the US, Central and South America are meeting to hammer out a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) that will further pave the way for a “mutant form of colonialism” that will subjugate human needs to corporate greed.

The author, Don Torrence, was a doctoral student in Latin America History upon his return from the Peace Corp, and has acquired a comprehensive understanding of the purpose of the Kennedy-era Alliance for Progress and subsequent US initiatives in Central and South America.

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Story Source: The Washington Free Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; Speaking Out



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