e g r e g o r e s

"Graciously bestow upon all men felicity, the summit of which is the knowledge of the Gods." [Julian, Oration to the Mother of the Gods]

Clinton: Venezuela "could fuel an arms race"

Like the pot calling the kettle …. a pot

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has declared that weapons purchases by the Venezuelan government “could fuel an arms race in South America.

The United States, as everyone knows, spends nearly as much money on weaponry as the rest of the world put together. The U.S. has also militarily intervened in sovereign Latin American nations repeatedly going back to the 19th century. The most recent major intervention by the US was the deposing and kidnapping of the democratically elected president of Haiti in 2004. In 2002 the US gave at least tacit support to an attempted military coup in Venezuela itself.

If there is ever an arms race in Latin America it will be in response to the only real military threat to that region: the United States of America. But so far there is no sign of anything like an arms race. All of Latin America (including the Caribbean) combined account for just 3% of the world’s military spending, compared to over 40% by the US. This despite the fact that Latin America has a population of over 500 million, while the US is only slightly over 300 million!

History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America
[from:
Marc Becker, see his website for sources]

Location Period Type of Force Comments on U.S. Role
Argentina 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected
Chile 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels
Haiti 1891 Troops Black workers revolt on U.S.-claimed Navassa Island defeated
Nicaragua 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields
Panama 1895 Naval, troops Marines land in Colombian province
Nicaragua 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto
Cuba 1898- Naval, troops Seized from Spain, U.S. still holds Navy base at Guantanamo
Puerto Rico 1898- Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues
Nicaragua 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur
Nicaragua 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields
Honduras 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution
Dominican Republic 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution
Cuba 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election
Nicaragua 1907 Troops “Dollar Diplomacy” protectorate set up
Honduras 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
Panama 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest
Nicaragua 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto
Honduras 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war
Cuba 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in Havana
Panama 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election
Honduras 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests
Nicaragua 1912-33 Troops, bombing 20-year occupation, fought guerrillas
Mexico 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution
Dominican Republic 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo
Mexico 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists
Haiti 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts
Dominican Republic 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation
Cuba 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate
Panama 1918-20 Troops “Police duty” during unrest after elections
Honduras 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign
Guatemala 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists
Costa Rica 1921 Troops
Panama 1921 Troops
Honduras 1924-25 Troops Landed twice during election strife
Panama 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike
El Salvador 1932 Naval Warships sent during Faribundo Marti revolt
Uruguay 1947 Nuclear threat Bombers deployed as show of strength
Puerto Rico 1950 Command operation Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce
Guatemala 1954-? Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat CIA directs exile invasion and coup d’Etat after newly elected government nationalizes unused U.S.’s United Fruit Company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua; long-term result: 200,000 murdered
Panama 1958 Troops Flag protests erupt into confrontation
Cuba 1961 Command operation CIA-directed exile invasion fails
Cuba 1962 Nuclear threat, naval Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with Soviet Union
Panama 1964 Troops Panamanians shot for urging canal’s return
Dominican Republic 1965-66 Troops, bombing Marines land during election campaign
Guatemala 1966-67 Command operation Green Berets intervene against rebels
Chile 1973 Command operation CIA-backed coup ousts democratically elected Marxist president
El Salvador 1981-92 Command operation, troops Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash; long-term result: 75,000 murdered and destruction of popular movement
Nicaragua 1981-90 Command operation, naval CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines against revolution; result: 50,000 murdered
Honduras 1982-90 Troops Maneuvers help build bases near borders
Grenada 1983-84 Troops, bombing Invasion four years after revolution
Bolivia 1987 Troops Army assists raids on cocaine region
Panama 1989 Troops, bombing Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed
Haiti 1994-95 Troops, naval Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup
Venezuela 2002 Command operation Failed coup attempt to remove left-populist president Hugo Chavez
Haiti 2004- Troops Removal of democratically elected President Aristide; troops occupy country

[Note to President Obama: If you are still trying to figure out how to pay for universal health coverage — look no further!!]

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