By Hugo Chávez Frías
CARACAS -- The imperial strategy has always been notable for the weakening and dissolution of any attempt the peoples have made to determine their own destiny.
The ancient and recent history confirms it. There is no possible domination if the processes of sovereignty and independence are not undermined. This is the reason why the empire fears the South American progress towards unity. In this sense, more than a project of simple circumstantial alliances, Unasur is a supreme urgency imposed to the peoples that share a history, a memory and a hope.
Aware of this situation, Venezuela attended the Extraordinary Summit of Bariloche, held last Friday August 28.
We have to highlight the fact that the discussion was publicly broadcasted for our peoples. The times of hidden agendas and agreements signed behind the scenes is over. I also want to point out that this is the first time that any summit or meeting of presidents and heads of state discussed the presence of foreign military bases in our region.
The discussion was frank and crude -- sometimes tense -- since there are obvious ideological core differences. But we have to deal with these differences in order to maintain and reinforce the South American unity. And it was the South American unity what was safeguarded in Bariloche. Any exogenous attempt to divide Unasur will fail.
Uribe's rhetoric and pettifogging language worries. He often uses sophisms and, during one of his interventions in Bariloche, he said that those who warn about the settlement of US military bases in Colombia are based on pre-conceptions. Everything can become a pre-concept.
It was only rhetoric, without any content, aimed at avoiding the real important discussion. The problem is that, once the seven bases are settled, Colombia cannot offer any guarantee to anyone.
Once they (the bases) are settled in Colombia, who knows how long they will stay there. Thus, the peace in the South American region is and will be always threatened. And what we want -- most of Unasur members agreed in Bariloche – is to transform South America into a peace region. What we want is to eliminate the possibility of a war.
Venezuela is not responsible for the internal conflict in Colombia. Our enthusiasm goes towards the achievement of peace in the fraternal homeland. Our peace proposal for Colombia - we made in Bariloche – confirms our support on this issue.
The fundamental aspect is that a key position was established in the third point of the final document: to reaffirm that the presence of foreign military forces cannot -- with its means and resources linked to particular purposes -- threaten the sovereignty and integrity of any South American nation and therefore the region's peace and security. De jure and de facto, we are establishing a defense doctrine that no one can ignore. And we will be watching over its rigorous and strict accomplishment.
It is necessary that the South American Defense Council starts acting effectively, with a vision of parity, equilibrium and symmetry. (In fact, the seven US military bases in Colombia provoke a very dangerous asymmetry situation). The revision of the military agreement between Colombia and the United States, signed last August 19, represents one first and fundamental step.
On August 28, it has been two months since the coup d'État in Honduras, and the brave Honduran people resistance have also been against the de facto regime for two months.
And it is a worry that the Honduran situation starts to cool off internationally and that the pressure over gorilato lowers. Today, we know that the coup was perpetrated in connivance with the military base of Palmerola. Otherwise, how would it be explained that the plane that took out President Zelaya landed first in that US enclave. What happened in Honduras was the first essay within a military imperial race whose continuity increases and powers with the new US military bases in Colombia.
We must keep on doing the utmost so the Honduran people recover their democratic path. In spite of the fact that the popular fight in the streets and the farms has continued, Honduras has been sinking in the darkness of gorillism for two months.
These have been two months of lessons. One, the shamelessly meddling power of important US sectors insisting on distorting the destiny of a people. Two, the incapacity of international organizations to accomplish their own decisions. This is a terrible sign for the rest of the continent, which can start assuming the disgrace and injustice as our daily bread.
In a recent article titled "Honduras and the Military Occupation of the Continent" (2009), the famous Mexican intellectual Ana Esther Ceceña says: "Although Honduras clearly shows the limits of democracy inside capitalism, with the project of settling new bases in Colombia and the immunity of the US troops in Colombian territory, Honduras as a whole would become a location for the US army; and this endangers the sovereign capacity of auto-determination of the peoples and the countries of the region."
The actions of this military base in South America will go to the enemy states or the failed states that, according to the new norms boosted by the United States, can be historically failed or become almost instantly into failed states “because of the collapse.”
Any circumstance can transform a country into a failed state and therefore it is prone to be audited.
These words are really worthy. There is not any exaggeration regarding the imminent risky situation for all the countries of the region, especially, Colombia's neighbors. We all might be a target of a military intervention if we do not dance to the strains of the empire.
We took the illuminated verb of Bolívar to Bariloche. There we remembered what the Liberator says in a letter to Mariano Montilla, dated August 4th, 1829: "If America does not come back to its steps; if it does not become convinced of its nullity and impotence; if it does to order and reason; very little can be expected of the consolidation of its governments;and a new form of colonialism is the patrimony we will bequeath to posterity."
We are not willing to bequeath the evil patrimony of a new colonial period, but the luminous patrimony of the definite independence.
Homeland, Socialism or Death! We will defeat! Hugo Chávez Frías has been the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since taking office in February of 1999.
Click here to read the piece in the original Spanish.