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by Dr Les Sachs
A significant story not yet mainstreamed in the English language corporate media outlets, but quite prominent in other places:
The President Bush family, with its long heritage of involvement with real Nazis dating back to the World War II era, is now acquiring an enormous ranch and a possible refuge in Paraguay, not far from old Nazi hide-outs.
The major land purchase is facilitated through Jenna Bush, daughter of the President, and taking place amid concentrations of US troops in Paraguay, and amid deals with the Paraguayan government to give immunity to US forces from international and war crimes prosecution (including, one may guess, the US commander-in-chief, Bush himself).
The Installation of a US Military Base in Paraguay: A Wedge in Mercosur
By Razl Zibechi
Global Research, November 29, 2005
Agencia Latinoamericana de Informacion (ALAI)
The mystery about the installation of a United States military base in Paraguay begins to clear: The purpose is to drive a wedge into the Mercosur trade bloc and to control the region, objectives that contrast with the passivity of governments that should have reacted long ago.
The diplomatic immunity granted by the Paraguayan parliament to the American troops set off an alarm. Speculation immediately arose that Washington was going to establish a military base in Mariscal Estigarribia, where in the 1980s U.S. technicians built a huge airport with a 3,800-meter landing strip suitable for B-52 bombers, and C-5 Galaxy and C-130 transport planes. The base has housing for 16,000 troops and is barely 200 kilometers [120 miles] from the border with Bolivia.
Despite the denials from Washington and Asuncisn, the objectives of the northern superpower became clear with the passing of months. One of the most remarkable facts, one that showed the operation was part of a "hidden agenda," was the manner in which the Paraguayan parliament's decision to grant immunity to U.S. troops came to light.
On May 26, Congress approved the immunity, but the decision became public in mid-June, when the Argentine daily Clarmn published the news (1). For sure, the news was not made public by the Paraguayan parliament or the Paraguayan media or the media in Brazil (a country that holds major interests in Paraguay.) Something important was beginning to happen and nobody seemed to be concerned.
Paraguay, the weakest link
Shortly after Rice's tour of the region, a series of events occurred: On May 5, the U.S. arranged for the Paraguayan Congress to approve an increase in the number of U.S. troops. That was done on May 26, under the strictest secrecy.
On June 10, Paraguayan Vice President Luis Castiglioni traveled to Washington, where he met with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the then-Assistant Secretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs, Roger Noriega.
On July 1, the first contingent of 500 U.S. soldiers arrived in Paraguay, and on the 7th of that month, reacting to widespread alarm, the U.S. Embassy in Asuncisn issued a communiqui stating that the U.S. had not intention of establishing a permanent base in the country.
Finally, on Aug. 16, Rumsfeld arrived in Asuncisn for a brief tour that took him also to Peru, another country that's being pressured to grant immunity to U.S. troops.
Meanwhile, the prolonged and crushing political crisis in Brazil (instigated by the United States, according to local journalists (4), has paralyzed Lula's government for the past four months. According to the group Independent Journalists of Brazil (JIBRA, as it is known there), former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso traveled in February to Washington, where he maintains close relations with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Cardoso sent a message to Bush to the effect that he should be more attentive to the region and avoid the emergence of "new Hugo Chavezes" and, upon returning to Brazil in February, predicted that the country would undergo an institutional crisis. According to members of JIBRA, American Consulate officials have been seen visiting Cardoso's apartment in Sco Paulo.
In July, shortly after the arrival of the first contingent of U.S. troops, the Brazilian Army conducted war games simulating a defense of the strategic hydroelectrical dam at Itaipz.
On June 12, the Senate debated the topic at the insistence of Alvaro Dias of the Social Democratic Party, who said that "through the eyes of Roberto Jefferson [who had created a climate of crisis by charging the government with corruption] we are not paying attention to the situation in Paraguay."
He said more: "All around us, the military presence of the United States is widespread," referring to U.S. military activities in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. "This is not the first time we feel threatened, particularly under the pretext of combating terrorism that might concentrate in the Triple Frontier, as if it were an extension of Iraq." (5)
At the same meeting, Workers Party senator Jefferson Peres proposed that, just as the Mercosur countries signed a "democratic clause" that states no dictatorship may be part of the bloc, they should also approve "another clause stating that third countries [without naming the U.S.] may not establish permanent bases in any of the member states, without prior consultation and approval of all members" of Mercosur.
The relationship between the U.S. and Paraguay does not merely or principally involve a military presence, because in the neoliberal mindset military affairs are subordinated to political affairs, which in turn are subordinated to economic affairs. What's at issue is a long-range shift in regional alliances, the introduction of a wedge that threatens to crack the Mercosur bloc and endangers the foreign policy, based on regional unity, that seemed to be Lula's best strategic bet.
In a situation like this, it should surprise no one that a small and weak country like Paraguay, which finds no solution to its problems in a paralyzed and crisis-ridden Mercosur, should seek alliances with the United States, with which it hopes to establish a bilateral free-trade accord. The policy of "trade and security" advances not only thanks to the ambition of the Bush administration but also to the inability of those who should confront the Empire to design genuine and generous alternatives.
Originally posted by MajicThe U.S. base in Paraguay angle, however, is more credible and more intriguing.
Originally posted by The Vagabond
On the other hand, if the Bush family owns property in Paraguay, there's ample reason for diplomatic staffers, secret service agents, and political honchos to be coming and going. It makes a perfect venue for intelligence operations under the cover of diplomatic immunity as well as back-channel diplomacy.
Originally posted by Rockpuck
And this has been covered.. and along time ago
OH and here
[edit on 11/25/2006 by Rockpuck]