ALBA School of Defense and Sovereignty Opens

June 14, 2011

On May 31, the "ALBA School of Defense and Sovereignty" opened in Bolivia. The academy will provide comprehensive military training to civilian and military personnel as well as to the indigenous peoples of the ALBA-TCP member countries.

The Final Declaration from the 8th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America states that "the countries of the ALBA-TCP (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples' Trade Treaty) have joined together in a political, economic and social alliance in defense of the sovereignty, self-determination, identity and unity of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean." The presidents of the then 9 member states of the ALBA-TCP (Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) formally decided in 2009 to open the school of defense and sovereignty in order to defend against foreign military aggression and interference.

According to Bolivian President Evo Morales at a speech during the opening ceremony of the academy, the school will prepare the peoples of the region to defend against "imperialist threats which seek to divide us." He said that the “Peoples of the ALBA-TCP are being besieged, sanctioned and punished by the imperial arrogance just because we are exerting the right of being decent and sovereign.” He also affirmed that, “We may not allow that the history of colonization repeats and that our resources are the loot of the empire.”

Today, as U.S. imperialism steps up its worldwide struggle to assert itself as the sole superpower, it is increasing its exploitation of Latin America and, in turn, increasing its militarization of the continent in order to suppress any opposition to its domination.

In recent years, amongst other things, the U.S. has worked to restore direct colonial rule in Haiti, worked to destabilize the constitutional government of Venezuela, increased its direct military intervention in Colombia (openly declaring that it is waging a war against popular insurgency), carried out its savage blockade and preparations for direct military intervention against Cuba, extended and deepened its economic takeover of the continent through such mechanisms as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, The North American Free Trade Agreement, etc., etc. In addition, the Pentagon has been increasing its military presence throughout the region.

The militarization of Latin America and U.S. aggression against the peoples has always been a by-product of U.S. colonialism. The U.S. capitalist class has always considered Latin America as its "backyard." These days, as the worldwide crisis of capitalism deepens, the U.S. monopolies are working to step up their exploitation of Latin America. Through the program of "globalization" and "neo-liberalism," the U.S. monopolies are demanding that all the resources and economic infrastructure of the continent be put at their disposal. It is in order to "protect" this empire and suppress the movements of the people for national liberation and social emancipation that U.S. imperialism keeps militarizing Latin America and waging war against the peoples.

Facing this aggressive power the countries and peoples of the region have no choice but to seek ways to defend themselves. The just struggles of the Latin American peoples for independence, freedom and social progress deserve the support of everyone.