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A military training ban was originally designed to pressure countries into exempting U.S. soldiers from war crimes trials.
The 2002 U.S. law bars countries from receiving military aid and training if they refuse to promise immunity from prosecution to U.S. servicemembers who might get hauled before the International Criminal Court. The law allows presidential waivers.
The White House lifted the ban on 21 countries, about half in Latin America or the Caribbean, through a presidential memorandum Oct. 2 to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The training is conducted in the USA.
A ban on giving countries weapons remains. Commercial arms sales are not affected, said Jose Ruiz, a U.S. Southern Command spokesman.
The training ban had resulted in a loss of U.S. influence in the region. The issue gained urgency after a string of leftist candidates came to power in Latin America. Rice said this year on a trip to the region that the impact of the ban had been "the same as shooting ourselves in the foot."
China stepped into the gap. Ruiz said China "has approached every country in our area of responsibility" and has exchanged senior military officials with Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Cuba and provided military aid and training to Jamaica and Venezuela.
Originally posted by rich23
Pie, for once I think we disagree... I don't believe that the US has ever truly helped their neighbours in the hemisphere. SOA/WHISC has trained death squads and the US has consistently interfered with the internal politics of the countries south of the border. Just off the top of my head, some examples:
So it's really just a return to business as usual.