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And, yes, I DO take it personally: U.S. troops in Paraguay...? Yep...! Stay tuned...
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Friday, August 05, 2005

U.S. troops in Paraguay...? Yep...! Stay tuned...

Despite the government's continued denials, analysts and activists have raised the alarm over the possible installation of a U.S. military base in Paraguay, especially after Congress granted permission for U.S. armed forces contingents to remain in the country for 18 months at a time.

The joint military exercises authorised by Congress as of Jun. 1 will involve the arrival of over 150 U.S. troops in Paraguay.

In May, Congress granted immunity from prosecution to the U.S. soldiers participating in the 13 operations approved so far, two of which are already underway.

But as far as Paraguayan political analyst and historian Milda Rivarola is concerned, ”in practice, there has already been a (U.S.) base operating in Paraguay for over 50 years.”

While the actual physical infrastructure of a military base does not exist, the U.S. armed forces have had a continued, ongoing presence in the country, she said in an interview with IPS.

”In the past, they needed congressional authorisation every six months, but now they have been granted permission to be here for a year and a half,” she commented.

Rivarola said that the United States is keeping a particularly close eye on the tri-border area where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet. The region is home to a large Arab community, which various intelligence services have identified as a source of financing and shelter for Islamic fundamentalist groups.

a piece of geography trivia for the trivial-minded... where paraguay, argentina and brazil meet is also the site of iguazú falls, described by the lonely planet guide to argentina, uruguay & paraguay as "among the most awe-inspiring sights on the planet . . . of such magnitude and sheer power that they make others seem puny by comparison..."

i've posted several times on the below-the-radar (meaning not worthy of u.s. media attention) developments that indicate the u.s. is quietly establishing a foundation of policies, plans and strategies for extending the "war on terror" into latin america... this looks like just one more quiet move in that direction...

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