UNASUR Secretary-General suggests removing all U.S. military bases from Latin America; says they are ‘leftovers’ from the Cold War

Apr 6, 2015 | 0 comments

Latin American countries should discuss removing all U.S. military bases from their soil, a top official of UNASUR suggested. The issue may be discussed later this week at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper

UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper

The Summit of the Americas, to be held in Panama City, from on April 9 to 11, will be attended by regional leaders from at least 31 western hemisphere nations.

UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper suggested that the summit would be a good place to “reassess relations between the U.S. and South America.”

“A good point on the new agenda of relations [in Latin America] would be the elimination of U.S. military bases,” the former Colombian president told the news agency EFE.

He added that the bases were “leftovers from the days of the Cold War and other clashes.”

Samper also blasted Washington’s habit of taking unilateral steps to pursue its goals in Latin America. The latest example is the U.S. declaration of Venezuela as a threat to its national security, he said.

“In a globalized world like the present one, you can’t ask for global rules for the economy and maintain unilateral rules for politics. No country has the right to judge the conduct of another and even less to impose sanctions and penalties on their own,” he said.

The Panama meeting has already been declared historic as it will be the first one attended by Cuba since 1962, when it was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS), the event’s organizing body. In 2014, the U.S. and Canada blocked the proposal to readmit Cuba, which drew criticism from UNASUR and a boycott of last year’s summit of the Americas by Ecuador and Nicaragua.

This year Cuban President Raul Castro will have an opportunity to meet his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, marking progress in the restoration of U.S.-Cuban relations after decades of alienation.

Samper said that the Cuban-U.S. rapprochement should not overshadow Washington’s conflict with Caracas, which is also sending a delegation to the Panama summit, the continued operation of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, U.S. militarization of the continent and other issues.

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is a regional integration organization that includes 12 members and two observer nations. It was formally founded in 2004 and became fully functional in 2011, when its Constitutive Treaty entered into force following ratification by member states.

Credit: RT News, http://rt.com


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