Costa Rica Occupied by U.S. Military -Update-

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 7, 2010

In an interview to a local newspaper, the Vice Minister of Security of Costa Rica, JORGE CHAVARRÍA said the alternative solution to letting the American occupiers move around the country is “too expensive”.  ”It would require the whole national budget to fully equip the Coast Guard so they can do the work the U.S. military will do.”  But if Costa Rica is not capable of securing its own coasts and land, it means the U.S. Army will have to stay in Costa Rican territory forever, and not only for six months as the permit says, doesn’t it?  One point the Vice Minister got right is that drug smuggling is a regional or even continental problem, therefore, Costa Rica cannot solve it by itself.  However, Mr. CHAVARRÍA also believes it is kosher to violate the Constitution and allow foreign forces to occupy the country.  But isn’t this very same action an example of trying to solve the problem by itself?

In the meantime, legislator Luis Fishman has decided to take the approval of Congress to Costa Rican courts as he believes it is unconstitutional.  ”The agreement signed between Costa Rica and the United States in 1998 was to allow Coast Guard ships only and not military,” insists Fishman.  While some legislators complain about the arrival of the Americans, it seems some people in Costa Rica do not understand what this issue is all about.  It is common to read comments in the local media which favor the arrival of the U.S. Army.  Jesus Cespedes Calderon says in a comment that Fishman’s actions only reflect an interest for self promotion and not an authentic concern for the country’s sovereignty.  Luis Adrian Gonzalez Rozmenoski, another Costa Rican writes that people like Fishman and the others opposing the move are a bunch of drama queens that shield themselves with the issue of sovereignty to become popular figures.

Other comments express a belief that the precarious security condition the country is experiencing demands and justifies the type of actions the Costa Rican Congress has taken.  They ignore or do not recognize that the dire situation they so precisely point out exists due to the corruption that exists at all levels in the Costa Rican society.  They surely ignore the Hegelian dialect and way of operating in which the conquerors create a problem to cause a reaction and provide a “solution”.

A local newspaper called La Nacion, points out that the current security problem is a result of the government neglect, who is used to receiving donations from foreign governments instead of setting funds aside for combating crime and drug trafficking. The Director of the Coast Guard, Martín Arias, said in an interview that: “We don’t have the capacity to safeguard all our marine territory”.  Who has?  The United States, with all its might cannot take care of its own borders, which makes it even more ironic that they go to Costa Rican land and oceans to help them safeguard the territory.

Arias added that the government of Costa Rica has indeed neglected the security of the country, by many seen as a small piece of paradise in the middle of a revolted region.  ”The country is happy with accepting royalties from friendly governments,” he said.  The local Coast Guard obtains its budget from the Public Security Department.  The total annual budget for combating crime in Costa Rican waters is of about $145,000 of which only 15 percent is spent on security operations.  Did anybody say corruption?

Although Mr. Arias did not detail how the U.S. Army would help in the fight against drug trafficking, he insisted that if the Coast Guard had the ability to fully patrol the oceans they could limit the extent to which Costa Rican oceans are used to transport and deal illegal drugs.  One thing is sure: Costa Rica does not need 46 War Ships, or 7,000 Marines or War Helicopters to end with drug trafficking in its oceans.

Costa Rica Occupied: Congress Surrenders Sovereignty to U.S. Army

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 6, 2010

For the first time since it abolished its Army in 1948, Costa Rica decided to allow the invasion of United States ships into its harbor

"Cuando alguno pretenda tu gloria manchar, verás a tu pueblo valiente y viril."

and effectively renounced to its sovereignty.  In an illegal move, the Costa Rican Congress approved the arrival of the American troops which include 46 US warships and 7,000 Marines.  All troops will have freedom to move about the country in their full gear, and will be allowed to police the Central American land.  The Congress’ illegal approval is in direct violation of the Costa Rican Constitution, as it was established after 1948 that the country would would not create or maintain an official army and that all the monies would instead be invested in social reform programs such as education and housing.

Although the US army is supposed to only stay in the country until December 2010, many citizens and political parties declared their opposition to the move, due to the fact the U.S. has never actually left a country it has taken possession of.  The newspaper Prensa Latina reported that the leaders of three parties in Costa Rica called the decision a “violation of sovereignty”.  The move, according to those who support it, is justified in order to empower the effort to eradicate drug trafficking in the region.  According to PressTV, the Costa Rican government argues that the approval is disproportionate to the threat caused by drug smuggling in the country and the Central American area.  Besides the 7,000 troops and the ships, the U.S. also added helicopters to the massive contingent.

Luis Fishman, the leader of the Social Unity Party (PUSC) said that the permission is a blank check to the U.S. to station its forces on the coast line of the country.  Others have warned that this position will allow the American forces to launch attacks against  targets like Venezuela, whose government opposes the American Imperialistic policies.  Before the arrival of the 7,000 troops, ships and Helicopters, the U.S. already counted with two bases in Costa Rica, which were directed by SOUTHCOM, or Southern Command, a paramilitary American group -disguised as a drug trafficking combating force- which maintains a Naval Base in the port of Caldera in the Caribbean and another one in the northern province of Guanacaste.  “We cannot support an illegal act, we won’t allow the Constitution to be broken,” Fishman added.

More complaints were heard from other political leaders.  Legislator Jose Maria Villalta said the permission will allow U.S. troops to “enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities needed to fulfill their mission.”  Villalta added that the Washington government sees Central America as being within an area of influence  which it intends to use to force its dominance.  Previous to letting the American military forces in, Costa Rica already had agreements with the United States to allow the presence of Coast Guard vessels to remain in its waters, but never before did it permit the arrival or permanence of a military ships, helicopters or any other major war contingent.

Even if these military forces leave Costa Rican soil, as they are supposed to on December 31, 2010, the country will remain occupied by the flotilla of military soldiers who operate out of Caldera and Guanacaste under SOUTHCOM.  However, many believe that the U.S. Army is there to stay.  Let’s see if the Costa Rican people honor what their National Anthem says: “Whenever someone tries to stain your glory, you’ll see your people strong and virile.”

Fidel Castro: Obama may attack Iran to win second term

Digital Journal

Former Cuban President (Dictator) Fidel Castro believes if United States President Barack Obama orders a nuclear strike of Iran, he will win a second term. He also believes the U.S. could attack North Korea soon.

On Wednesday, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not been in the media since 2006, published a column in a Cuban state media publication titled “The Empire and War.”

In the article, Castro speculated that President Barack Obama could order a nuclear strike against Iran to help him win a second term in the White House, according to the Associated Press. The former President further added that Obama could attack North Korea because of the recent incident where North Korea was accused of attacking a South Korean ship.

Castro went on to state that the U.S. Commander-in-Chief lives in a world of fantasy because many of his advisers are planting such things in his head. “Could Obama enjoy the emotions of a second presidential election without having the Pentagon or the State of Israel, whose conduct does not in the least obey the decisions of the United States, use nuclear weapons against Iran?” Castro asked.

“How would life on our planet be after that?” Castro then condemned Israel for its attack against a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla, reports CRI English. He called Israel’s actions “truly fascist Nazi fury” toward the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Commandos Murder 16 people in attack to Aid Ship

Telegraph

Fighting broke out between the activists and the masked Israeli troops, who rappelled on to deck from helicopters before dawn.

A spokeswoman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin, said she had been told ten people had been killed and dozens wounded, accusing Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. But an Israeli radio station said that between 14 and 16 were dead in a continuing operation.

“How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?

“We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us.”

But an Israeli military spokeswoman said that there had been a planned and organised attempt to “lynch” the boarding party. She said the activists were armed with knives and guns.

The Israeli government’s handling of the confrontation was under intense international pressure even as it continued. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

The flotilla had set sail on Sunday from northern, or Turkish, Cyprus. Six boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists from around the world, including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

It came under almost immediate monitoring from Israeli drones and the navy, with two vessels flanking it in international waters. The flotilla, which had been warned that it would not be allowed to reach Gaza, attempted to slow and change course, hoping to prevent a confrontation until daylight, when the Israeli military action could be better filmed.

But in the early hours of this morning local time commandoes boarded from helicopters.

The activists were not carrying guns, but television footage shown by al-Jazeera and Turkish television channels show hand-to-hand fighting, with activists wearing life-jackets striking commandoes with sticks.

The Israeli army said its troops were assaulted with axes and knives.

The television footage did not show firing but shots could be heard in the background. One man was shown lying unconscious on the deck, while another man was helped away.

A woman wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf, was seen carrying a stretcher covered in blood.

The al-Jazeera broadcast stopped with a voice shouting in Hebrew: “Everyone shut up”.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas in 2007. It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion of 2008-9.

The flotilla is the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break through the blockade. The boats were carrying food and building supplies.

Activists said at least two of the other boats, one Greek and one Turkish, had been boarded from Israeli naval vessels. Activists said two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged.

The confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast.

It was attacked by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza,” he said.

Turkish television meanwhile showed hundreds of protesters trying to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with what had been seen as its closest ally in the Muslim world.

“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said. “We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a fragrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”

Israel’s closest ally Washington described the loss of life as a “tragedy” on the eve of talks between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” a White House spokesman said.

Watch the Video of the Attack here