involvement of the U.S. military in an upcoming multilateral military
drill in South America has raised
concerns over potential ulterior motives on the part of the U.S.
drill, dubbed “Operation: America United,” will involve
temporary military base on
the triple border shared by the drill’s other participating
nations: Peru, Brazil and Colombia.
to Theofilo de Oliveira, the top general of the Brazilian Armed
Forces, the U.S. military will
carry out the drill along
with the three Latin American nations this November over a period of
ten days. The Brazilian military has asserted that the objective of
the exercise is to “ develop greater knowledge, share experiences
and develop mutual trust.” Brazilian government officials have
strongly denied rumors that
the exercise will lead to the establishment of a multinational
military base in the Amazon.
U.S. was invited
to participate by
Brazil’s unelected president Michel Temer, who
has notably boosted Brazilian military spending by 36 percent while
simultaneously freezing public spending for two decades through a
controversial constitutional amendment.
friendly relationship with Brazil’s military is key for the U.S.’
strategic interest in South America. As Hector Luis Saint Pierre –
coordinator of international security, defense and strategy at the
Brazilian Association of International Relations – told
“Brazil is a strategic partner for the doctrine of the military. If
the United States has a good relationship with the Brazilian navy, it
is easier to spread its message among the military in the region.”
pointed out that the drill is of particular interest to the U.S., as
it presents an opportunity to focus on the political situation in
President Donald Trump has already met with the presidents of Peru
and Colombia to discuss the U.S.’ interest in Venezuela.
MintPress has previously reported,
Venezuela has been the target of ongoing economic warfare as the U.S.
continues to disrupt the leftist government first brought to power by
the late Hugo Chávez. While Nicolás Maduro – Chávez’s
successor – certainly bears some of the blame for Venezuela’s
current situation, the U.S. has worked to covertly devastate the
Venezuelan economy through a combination of sanctions and oil price
its cash reserves quickly dwindling as a result, Maduro’s embattled
government will likely go bankrupt at some point in the next several
months, as nearly
70 percent of its remaining reserves must
be used to pay back interest on loans from foreign governments. When
“Operation: America United” begins, the situation in Venezuela is
highly likely to be much more dire and Maduro’s government on
the verge of collapse.
addition, the U.S. has funneled millions to Venezuelan opposition
parties since the
failed U.S.-led coup against
Chávez in 2002, having spent an
estimated $50 to $60 million since
Chávez’s election on bolstering the country’s right wing. Now,
that figure is set to grow substantially as the U.S. Senate is set to
vote on a bill that would funnel millions more to the Venezuelan
opposition, as well as unnamed non-government organizations.
the bill itself points out, the U.S. is extremely interested in the
financial situation in Venezuela, particularly due to U.S. concerns
that Russia may gain control of Venezuelan oil infrastructure if the
Maduro government ends up declaring bankruptcy.
the text of the bill, concerns are raised regarding Venezuelan
state-owned oil company PDVSA and its transactions with Rosneft, a
Russian state-owned oil company.As
“fearful that PDVSA could default on its $4- and $5-billion dollar
loans from Rosneft, regardless of Venezuela’s steadfast debt
repayments, the bill warned that Rosneft could come into control of
PDVSA’s U.S. subsidiary, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, which
‘controls critical energy infrastructure in 19 States in the United
States.’” Seeing as Russia has
already seized Venezuelan oil for
unpaid bills despite their political alliance, this fear is not
the U.S. has held drills in South America in the past with little
fanfare, the timing and location of the new drill, as well as the
nations involved in it, have raised speculation about the U.S.’
current objectives in South America.
the U.S. fear of Venezuelan oil becoming the property of the Russian
government, as well as the U.S.’ documented history of overthrowing
and undermining leftist governments in Venezuela, “Operation:
American United” may be less of a drill and more of what its name
implies – a way to bring Venezuela, along with other South American
nations, back into the fold of U.S. influence.