Sunday, May 08, 2011

Security threats in Latin America

From General Douglas Fraser, head of the U.S. Southern Command:

"I do not see any conventional military threat to the United States from the region," General Douglas Fraser told a conference organized by the University of Miami. "So my concerns then become... very non-traditional.

Good for him.  This should be obvious, but we hear far too many voices claiming Cuba, Venezuela, et al are security threats.  And what about all the Iran paranoia?

Fraser noted that Iran had almost doubled the number of embassies in the region in the past five years, established cultural centers in 17 countries, and is supporting anti-US efforts in the area."
But, he said, "from a security standpoint, I have not seen a significant connection. My primary concern remains their historic relationship with Hezbollah."

The more we repeat this, the better.  Let's stop obsessing with Hugo Chávez, Iran, etc. and focus on real threats, which revolve around drug trafficking and gangs.  I am still dubious about the Hezbollah threat, but it is far preferable to call it a "concern" rather than a "threat."


world summary 12:12 PM  

great, thanks for your share dude

Defensores de Democracia 12:29 PM  

New York Times : Book by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. The leading authority on global security : facts, analysis, influence - Hugo Chavez the superterrorist, FARC Colombian Rebels asked to Kill Venezuelan Opposition Figures

The New York Times -
Venezuela Asked Colombian Rebels to Kill Opposition Figures, Analysis Shows -
A book details a relationship between President Hugo Chávez, above, and Colomb ian rebels. -
May 10, 2011

Some excerpts :

CARACAS, Venezuela — Colombia’s main rebel group has an intricate history of collaboration with Venezuelan officials, who have asked it to provide urban guerrilla training to pro-government cells here and to assassinate political opponents of Venezuela’s president, according to a new analysis of the group’s internal communications.

The analysis contends that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was asked to serve as a shadow militia for Venezuela’s intelligence apparatus, although there is no evidence that President Hugo Chávez was aware of the assassination requests or that they were ever carried out.

The documents, found in the computer files of a senior FARC commander who was killed in a 2008 raid, also show that the relationship between the leftist rebels and Venezuela’s leftist government, while often cooperative, has been rocky and at times duplicitous.

The documents are part of a 240-page book on the rebel group, “The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raúl Reyes,” to be published Tuesday by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. While some of the documents have been quoted and cited previously, the release of a CD accompanying the book will be the first time such a large number of the documents have been made public since they were first seized.

The book comes at a delicate stage in the FARC’s ties with Venezuela’s government. Mr. Chávez acknowledged last month for the first time that some of his political allies had collaborated with Colombian rebels, but insisted they “went behind all our backs.”

The book contradicts this assertion, pointing to a long history of collaboration by Mr. Chávez and his top confidants. Venezuela’s government viewed the FARC as “an ally that would keep U.S. and Colombian military strength in the region tied down in counterinsurgency, helping to reduce perceived threats against Venezuela,” the book said.

The archive describes a covert meeting in Venezuela in September 2000 between Mr. Chávez and Mr. Reyes, the FARC commander whose computers, hard drives and memory sticks were the source of the files. At the meeting, Mr. Chávez agreed to lend the FARC hard currency for weapons purchases.

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