Monthly Archives: August 2007

Hands off Latin America and the Caribbean! On Harper’s ‘bigger role‘ and ‘third way’ in the hemisphere

Illustration by Victor Velez

By TONY SEED

First in a series of seven articles on Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (13 August 2007) – FROM JULY 15 to 20, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid a six-day trip to Bogotá, Columbia; Santiago, Chile; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, accompanied by a barrage of self-serving news reports. Speaking like an imperialist in Chile on July 17, he declared the theme of his mission; “Canada is committed to playing a bigger role in the Caribbean and the Americas and to doing so for the long term.” Harper reiterated the refrain that “our government is committed to reviving and expanding Canada’s political, economic, social and security engagement throughout the Americas.” Continue reading

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Op Caribbe: Canada’s stealth warship and aircraft

Op Caribb: “Building maritime domain awareness” – euphemism for Canadian military-naval intervention in the Caribbean

By TONY SEED

Second in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (13 August 2007) – IN THE FIRST WEEK of April, anti-war activists in Halifax and Victoria combined to carry out an inventory of the whereabouts of Canadian warships out of concern that the Canadian government might have surreptitiously joined the American strike force in the Persian Gulf at the time, aimed at Iran. Continue reading

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‘Caribops’ sails again as ‘Op Caribbe’

By TONY SEED

Third in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (13 August 2007) – SAY IT SLOWLY: “Op Caribe” or even “Op Caribbe.” Then say “Caribops.” It’s not the name of a Caribbean band. It’s the old name for the main program of naval operations and military intervention carried out by the Canadian Forces throughout the 1980s in the Caribbean Basin. Continue reading

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US Southern Command and the phoney ‘War on Drugs’: Pretext for ceaseless militarization of the Americas

By TONY SEED

Fourth in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (13 August 2007) – THE CANADIAN WARSHIP HMCS Fredericton and an Aurora aircraft were deployed in the Caribbean Sea under the command of the US Joint Interagency Task Force during July. The American Force is based at Key West, Florida, which also serves as a base for the National Security Agency that, in April 2002, centralized communications support for the failed coup d’etat in Venezuela. The Task Force operates as a subordinate command to the US Southern Command (Southcom), Miami – one of the five US military commands that span the globe. Continue reading

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‘Partnership of the Americas’: Ceaseless exercises of the US navy and NATO fleets, ceaseless preparations for intervention

During the first day of PANAMAX 2005, a U.S.-led formation of ships heads to sea. PANAMAX is an exercise organized under the pretext of the “war on terrorism” to “develop a multinational response to threats against the Panama Canal.” The 2005 exercise involved 15 countries, including naval forces from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and the U.S., along with observers from Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Mexico and Uruguay. The exercise was conducted Aug. 4-17, 2005 and consisted of scenario-driven surface, air, mine counter-measures and special operations events involving detection, monitoring and interdiction of vessels. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

By TONY SEED

Fifth in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (13 August 2007) – FOR THE IMPERIAL POWERS, warships are but floating bases to deliver the marines and firepower on board, secure the sources of raw materials and natural riches, dominate the oceans and sealanes of the world, and through the old gunboat policy put down the struggles of the peoples for independence and change. Continue reading

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‘Partnership of the Americas’: The system of U.S. bases

For sovereignty and dignity – no gringo bases. no a bases gringas

By TONY SEED

Sixth in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

HALIFAX (August 13, 2007) – THE MASSIVE US NAVAL WAR GAMES of U.S. Southern Command such as the recently-completed “Partnership of the Americas”, features the largest number of U.S. naval forces ever deployed in the Caribbean Sea, as well as NATO and Canadian warships. It also involves a network of bases, with some thirty in South America, already established or in stages of reconstruction, camouflaged with “anti terrorist” or anti-narcotic competences and undertakings. Continue reading

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Militarization of Halifax: Canadian Forces ‘monitors’ meeting at Dalhousie

Keeping tabs on anti-war activists?

By AM JOHAL

VANCOUVER (9 August 2007) IPS – Steven Staples, a prominent Canadian peace activist, is accusing the Canadian military of subtle surveillance after the military sent an officer to take notes on him at a conference at Dalhousie University in 2006.

The story came to light a few weeks ago after freedom of information requests finally revealed that briefings had been written for senior military officers. Continue reading

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UN soldiers arrest 40 ahead of Harper’s visit to Haiti

Many demonstrators remain in jail

By STUART NEATBY*

Seventh in a series of seven articles on the occasion of Harper’s visit to Latin America and the Caribbean

2006.Pele, International Womens’ Day, March 8th. UN soldiers stop residents at a checkpoint in Pele, across from Cite Soleil. PHOTO-JON DIMOND-GIBSON

(August 3, 2007) – FORTY Haitian demonstrators were arrested by UN soldiers hours before the arrival of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Haitian slum neighbourhood of Cite Soleil on July 20. Haiti was the last stop for the Prime Minister’s Latin American tour, which also included stops in Colombia, Chile, and Barbados. The protest had been organized by residents of Cite Soleil in response to the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, according to Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, a protest organizer and director of the Haiti-based September 30th Foundation. Continue reading

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Canada sends warship to Africa, part of NATO Rapid Response Fleet

By TONY SEED

First of four articles on Canada, the NATO Fleet and Africa

HALIFAX (August 1, 2007) – IN THE MIDST of the 200th anniversary of the “abolition” of the slave trade, and on the heels of the UN decision to deploy 12,000 troops to Darfur, the Government of Canada despatched the warship HMCS Toronto to participate in an unprecedented two-month NATO fleet circumnavigation around Africa. The warship departed from Halifax on July 20 in the midst of a localized media blitz. As a form of psychological pressure, the two daily newspapers were replete with articles over a two-day period depicting the emotional good byes of the families of the departing sailors. The media forgot to inform the families that the deployment is part of the expansion of the aggressive NATO bloc into a self-appointed global police force. Continue reading

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For your information: The U.S. Africa Command (Africom)

By TONY SEED

Second of four articles on Canada, the NATO Fleet and Africa

HALIFAX (August 1, 2007) – THE NATO fleet deployment to Africa, including the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto from Maritime Command, comes hard on the heels of the creation by the Bush Administration in February 2007 of a new unified command, Africa Command (Africom) to promote U.S. imperialist objectives in Africa. Continue reading

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NATO fleet, around Africa – ‘all over the world’

By german-foreign-policy.com

Fourth of four articles on Canada, the NATO Fleet and Africa

NATO Rapid Response Fleet enroute to Africa

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU (August 15, 2007) – A NATO naval unit’s trip around Africa is preparing the alliance’s new military operations. The German Navy (and Canada’s Maritime Command) is also a participant. The military expedition of the “Standing NATO Maritime Group 1” (SNMG-1), that is already in progress, is qualified as historical by the alliance. Military maneuvers with African armies are planned, alongside the reconnaissance of African territorial waters. Rather than “exercises,” the SNMG-1 announces it will carry out nondescript “presence operations” for several crisis regions, which are but partially covered by parliamentary mandates. Continue reading

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