US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

2.8. Mittel- und Lateinamerika

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Worldcrunch vom 24.06.2019

"The Hidden War On The Colombian-Venezuelan Border"

In diesem ins Englische übersetzten Beitrag aus der kolumbianischen Zeitung El Espectador erläutern Naryi Vargas und Ariel Ávila die Hintergründe der "chaotischen" Zustände an der Grenze Kolumbiens und Venezuelas. "The crush of migrants trying to flee Venezuela is only part of what makes the border region so chaotic. There's also a dangerous power struggle between guerillas and criminal gangs."

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Al Jazeera English vom 19.06.2019

"Trump revives Monroe Doctrine as warning to China and Russia"

Die berüchtigte "Monroe-Doktrin" spiele in der Lateinamerika-Politik der USA wieder eine zentrale Rolle, schreibt Lucia Newman. "Many Latin Americans see the resurgence of the Monroe Doctrine not just as a threat to left-wing regimes. The White House is using crippling economic and financial sanctions as a means to bend or break 'uncooperative' countries. Mexico's decision to cave into pressure to send troops to its southern border to stop the entry of Central American migrants, so that Trump would not impose stiff tariffs on Mexican imports, is the most recent example. Sanctions aimed at cutting off economic oxygen to President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and his allies in Cuba have been less successful. But they are nevertheless painful. Former Chilean Ambassador to the US Juan Gabriel Valdez said this is a dangerous trend for the entire region. 'There are new generations that have not lived in a world where a populist president governs the United States and declares the right of his country to intervene in Latin America whenever he chooses. The Monroe Doctrine is being used as the principle to rule our relationships,' warned Valdez."

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Miami Herald vom 17.06.2019

"Maduro, still deeply unpopular, finds strength in Venezuela stalemate, survey shows"

Eine aktuelle Umfrage in Venezuela spiegle die politische Pattsituation im Land wider, berichtet Jim Wyss aus Bogota in Kolumbien. Die Zustimmung für den Oppositionsführer und selbsternannten Präsidenten Guaidó ist demnach deutlich gesunken. "A poll released by Datincorp over the weekend found 41 percent consider Maduro the country’s 'constitutional president' versus 36 percent who say the same about Guaidó. In February — a month after Washington and more than 50 other nations backed Guaidó as interim president — 49 percent believed the young politician was the country’s true leader, versus 34 percent who said the same about Maduro. Even so, the poll also makes clear that Maduro, 57, remains deeply unpopular in a country seized by hyperinflation, electricity rationing and fuel shortages. (...) The results also underscore how Venezuelans are increasingly focused on daily survival rather than the political struggle that has dominated headlines. Respondents said the economy, healthcare and public services were the country’s top three most critical problems. The 'political and institutional' crisis was in fifth place, tied with security."

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New York Times vom 09.06.2019

"For Central Americans, Fleeing to Europe May Beat Trying to Reach U.S."

Angesichts der erschwerten Reise in die USA erwägen Migranten aus Zentralamerika Melissa Vida zufolge, stattdessen nach Europa zu ziehen. "The number seeking asylum in Europe has increased nearly 4,000 percent in the last decade, according to official figures, and the rate of arrivals is accelerating. Nearly 7,800 applied for asylum in Europe last year, up from 4,835 in 2017. The distance may be greater, but many have found that the journey to Europe is safer and much cheaper than paying smugglers to get through Mexico to the United States. (...) Spain is the first choice for many Central Americans because of the shared language, established networks of friends and family and opportunities to work in the informal economy. Another draw is the perception that the authorities are more tolerant, particularly after considering the danger and expense likely to be involved in a journey to the United States."

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Foreign Affairs vom 30.05.2019

"Why Venezuela’s Regime Hasn’t Collapsed"

Trotz des anhaltenden Drucks auf die Maduro-Regierung deutet Laura Gamboa Gutiérrez zufolge bisher kaum etwas auf einen Durchbruch für Oppositionsführer Guaidó hin. Hauptgrund sei die nach wie vor intakt erscheinende militärisch-zivile Allianz, die Maduro an der Macht halte. "(...) chipping away at Maduro’s military support is only half the equation. The opposition also needs to offer Maduro’s backers a way out. Venezuela’s generals would rather stay penniless but in power than step down and end up imprisoned. Here is where amnesty and transitional justice mechanisms come in: the opposition needs to craft amnesty laws attractive enough for those in office to give up power and comprehensive enough that they will not be overturned by domestic or international courts in the future. So far, attempts to do so have failed. (...) The failure of last month’s uprising does not mean that Maduro will last forever. In fact, seeing how close the opposition got to toppling him might have made Maduro more willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue in Norway. Until that happens, however, the unforgiving logic of regime change will continue to compel his military backers to stand by him — at least for now."

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Miami Herald vom 29.05.2019

"Talks in Norway to resolve Venezuela crisis hit dead end"

Die Verhandlungen zwischen Vertretern der venezolanischen Regierung und der Opposition in Norwegen sind offenbar nicht zuletzt aufgrund der kompromisslosen Haltung der Opposition ergebnislos verlaufen. "The stalemate does not come as a surprise, 'given that the opposition’s negotiation mandate is very narrow: Maduro resigns or nothing,' said a Norwegian source familiar with the talks. 'If they only want to negotiate the conditions of Maduro’s surrender, then of course there won’t be an agreement. Their position has to be more realistic.' Still, Norway deems it a victory that the opposition remains willing to return to the table. (...) Sources said it would be difficult for Guaidó to modify his position, given the unpopularity of any proposal to negotiate with Maduro, who in the past has engaged in talks just to buy time and release internal pressure."

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Reuters vom 28.05.2019

"From Colombia, Venezuelan defectors arm themselves to 'liberate' their homeland"

Paramilitärische venezolanische Milizen in Kolumbien haben Reuters zufolge grenzüberschreitende Angriffe angekündigt, um die Maduro-Regierung zu stürzen. "Eight men, who said they were defectors from Venezuelan police, army and intelligence services, had gathered near the two nations’ tense frontier, from where they said they will lead an attack aimed at overthrowing Maduro and handing the reins of power to opposition leader Juan Guaido. Dubbing their planned offensive 'Operation Venezuela,' the ex-army sergeant, Eddier Rodriguez, said there were around 150 men ready to take part with his group. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the status of the eight men or the size of the militia. 'Our goal is to liberate the country,' said Rodriguez, 37, who said he is currently working as a security guard in Bogota. 'We’re troops willing to give our lives if necessary, all 150 of us.'"

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung vom 22.05.2019

"Venezuela beteuert Friedenswillen"

Die Regierung Venezuelas hat trotz ihrer Vorbereitungen hinsichtlich eines drohenden Konflikts mit den USA ihre Dialogbereitschaft betont, berichtet die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "Im Ringen um die Macht in Venezuela will die Regierung von Staatspräsident Nicolás Maduro einen Dialog mit den Vereinigten Staaten und 'keinen Krieg'. Das sagte Außenminister Jorge Arreaza am Dienstagabend in Kubas Hauptstadt Havanna. 'Wir bereiten uns vielleicht darauf vor, weil uns die Umstände dazu zwingen, aber wir wollen Frieden', sagte Arreaza während eines Treffens des Rats der Bolivarischen Allianz (Alba), eines Zusammenschlusses mehrerer Länder, den Kuba und Venezuela anführen."

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New York Times vom 21.05.2019

"Colombia’s Army Changes Pledge to Carry Out Killings"

Nach heftiger Kritik hat das Militär Kolumbiens angekündigt, auf die umstrittene Selbstverpflichtung zur Verdoppelung der Zahl von gefangenen oder getöteten Kämpfern und Kriminellen zu verzichten. "The orders had unnerved some senior army officers, who said the intense pressure to carry out attacks was heightening the risk of civilian casualties and had already led to suspicious deaths by overzealous soldiers. Colombia endured as many as 5,000 illegal killings in the mid-2000s after soldiers were pressured by their superiors to increase attacks on guerrilla fighters during the country’s civil war. Many soldiers killed innocent peasants during that era to lift their combat numbers, sometimes even dressing up civilian victims in rebel fatigues and planting weapons near their bodies to make them look like enemy fighters. (...) After the Times investigation, Maj. Gen. Nicacio Martínez Espinel, the top commander of the army, told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that he would withdraw the pledge required of officers."

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung vom 21.05.2019

"Drogenhandel, Goldabbau, Schmuggel: In Venezuela verdient der Machtapparat viel Geld mit illegalen Geschäften"

Nicole Anliker schreibt in der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung über finanzielle Verstrickungen der venezolanischen Führungsriege um Präsident Maduro mit dem internationalen Drogenhandel. "Die kriminelle Organisation innerhalb des Regimes wird als 'Cartel de los Soles' – Kartell der Sonnen – bezeichnet. Der Name bezieht sich auf die goldenen Sterne, welche die Generäle der bolivarischen Nationalgarde an ihren Schulterklappen tragen, und deutet die Eigenheit des Syndikats an: Es besteht vor allem aus Militärs und Regierungsbeamten. Laut einer Studie des amerikanisch-kolumbianischen Think-Tanks Insight Crime sind alle Institutionen, welche in der Bekämpfung des organisierten Verbrechens eine Schlüsselrolle spielen, selber Teil davon. Dies schafft ideale Voraussetzungen, um illegale Geschäfte abzuwickeln, und garantiert eine fast absolute Straflosigkeit."

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New York Times vom 18.05.2019

"Colombia Army’s New Kill Orders Send Chills Down Ranks"

Das kolumbianische Militär hat sich aufgrund der angespannten Sicherheitslage zum Ziel gesetzt, die Zahl der gefangenen bzw. getöteten Kriminellen und militanten Kämpfer zu verdoppeln. Die New York Times berichtet, dass die neue Taktik die Zahl der zivilen Opfer von Militäreinsätzen wieder deutlich erhöhen könnte. "The new orders have sent a chill down the ranks of the army. Colombia’s military remains under investigation for the series of illegal killings in the mid-2000s, known as 'false positives.' Soldiers repeatedly killed peasants and claimed they were guerrilla fighters, sometimes even dressing them in fatigues and planting weapons near their bodies. The tactics stemmed from superiors demanding increased body counts, prosecutors say. Two of the officers said in lengthy interviews that Colombian soldiers were under intense pressure yet again — and that a pattern of suspicious killings and cover-ups had begun to emerge this year. (...) The new orders signal an increase in military campaigns against guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Colombia, which reached a peace deal with the nation’s largest rebel group — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC — just two years ago. Peace has been elusive. Many former guerrillas have returned to fighting, while other criminal and paramilitary groups have expanded their control over parts of the country."

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The National Interest vom 12.05.2019

"Striking a Deal with Russia on Spheres of Influence"

Ted Galen Carpenter empfiehlt der US-Regierung, in ihren Verhandlungen mit Russland das geopolitische Konzept der Einflusssphären stärker zu beachten. Die amerikanische Reaktion auf die russischen Aktivitäten in Venezuela zeige, dass die USA die westliche Hemisphäre nach wie vor als eigenen Einflussbereich betrachten. "The Trump administration should insist that Russia respect the Monroe Doctrine and confine its Venezuelan ties to normal diplomatic and economic relations. At the same time, it is essential for U.S. officials to acknowledge that the United States and its NATO allies have shown contempt for Russia’s sphere of influence — and even its core security zone — in Eastern Europe. (...) Such an offer requires greater realism on the part of U.S. policymakers and political leaders. Spheres of influence have always played a major role in international affairs, and despite assertions by prominent members of the American foreign policy community, they still do. All great powers seek to enforce their writ in their immediate neighborhood, and the avoidance of needless conflict requires a decent respect for that reality. Recent U.S. administrations have violated that important principle, and their behavior is producing retaliation and a spike in international tensions."

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Associated Press vom 11.05.2019

"Venezuela’s Guaidó asks for relations with US military"

Venezuelas Oppositionsführer Guaidó hat angekündigt, in direkten Kontakt mit dem US-Militär treten zu wollen, um den Druck auf Präsident Maduro weiter zu verstärken. "The leader said he’s asked Carlos Vecchio, who the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela’s ambassador, to open 'direct communications' toward possible military 'coordination.' The remarks, at the end of a rally Saturday, mark one of his strongest public pleas yet for greater U.S. involvement in the country’s fast-escalating crisis. While Guaidó has repeatedly echoed comments from the Trump administration that 'all options' are on the table for removing Maduro, few in the U.S. or Venezuelan opposition view military action as likely nor has the White House indicated it’s seriously considering such a move. But with tensions between the U.S. and Maduro running high, the saber rattling is getting louder."

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The Moscow Times vom 09.05.2019

"In Venezuela, Geopolitics Obscure the True Prize: Oil"

Max Hess rät dagegen von einer amerikanisch-russischen Debatte über Einflusssphären ab. Er meint, dass die USA Russland zur Kooperation in der Venezuela-Krise bewegen könnten, wenn Moskau eine Beteiligung an der künftigen Ölproduktion im Land in Aussicht gestellt würde. "Moscow’s sizable investments in Venezuela are the most likely explanation for its commitment to shoring up the Maduro regime. The imagery of standing up to the United States and 'protecting sovereignty' are added benefits. Moscow has spent the last few months signaling that it is willing to hold talks over Caracas’ fate while expanding support to Maduro, which would raise American costs in case of U.S. intervention. (...) offers should be made along the lines of what Rosneft really wants to gain: continued control over major assets in Venezuela’s oil sector. If that were to be accompanied by a face-saving political transition, new capital for the country’s hydrocarbon sector and perhaps the potential for sanctions relief, a deal could be in sight. It would also carry far fewer geopolitical costs than those promulgated by proponents of 21st-century spheres of influence."

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National Interest vom 08.05.2019

"America Would Need More Than 100,000 Troops to Invade Venezuela"

Das US-Militär würde für eine Invasion Venezuelas Schätzungen zufolge über hunderttausend Soldaten benötigen. David Axe berichtet, dass viele Experten eine Mobilisierung dieses Ausmaßes aus logistischer Sicht für durchaus möglich halten, aus politischen Gründen aber davon abraten. "Retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis, SOUTHCOM commander from 2006 to 2009, said he opposes intervention. 'I would not advise it,' Stavridis said of a potential U.S. invasion. 'I commanded U.S. Southern Command for three years in Miami, so I can picture pretty much what is happening there,' he added in comments to Foreign Policy. (...) Navy admiral Craig Faller, SOUTHCOM commander, on May 2, 2019 told a Congressional committee the most likely scenario is a military-led mission to help U.S. citizens evacuate Venezuela. Around 200 U.S. troops are in Colombia and immediately could assist with an evacuation. Stavridis agreed. 'The most aggressive contingency plan they are looking at would be one that would protect American citizens if for some reason there were a backlash against them. That would be the only circumstance in which I could see U.S. troop presence.' (...) 'In the end, this, I think, will play out politically and diplomatically, not militarily,' Stavridis said."

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