Chomsky on the reasons behind increased US funding to Colombia

Noam Chomsky writes about the “change” brought by the Obama administration to Latin America:

Throughout the expansion of US Empire, Latin America retained its primacy in global planning. As Washington was considering the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in 1971, Nixon’s National Security Council observed that if the US couldn’t control Latin America, how could it expect “to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world?” That policy has become more severe with recent South American moves towards integration, a prerequisite for independence, and establishment of more varied international ties, while also beginning to address severe internal disorders, most importantly, the traditional rule of a rich Europeanized minority over a sea of misery and suffering.

In July 2009, the US and Colombia concluded a secret deal to permit the US to use seven military bases in Colombia. The official purpose is to counter narcotrafficking and terrorism, “but senior Colombian military and civilian officials familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press that the idea is to make Colombia a regional hub for Pentagon operations.” There are reports that the agreement provides Colombia with privileged access to US military supplies. Colombia had already become the leading recipient of US military aid. Colombia has had by far the worst human rights record in the hemisphere since the Central American wars of the 1980s wound down. The correlation between US aid and human rights violations has long been noted by scholarship.