Unfortunately it seems that usually when people in the US think about what's going on south of our border in Mexico and Central and South America, they think of the fact that undocumented immigrants are coming in from Mexico and those other countries.
However, they should (and this includes the MSM and all presidential candidates) start taking notice of the fact that the following threatens to start a new war in South America. Venezuelan troops have been deployed to the Colombian border. Also, Ecuador, which is on Venezuela's side, has sent troops to her border with Colombia, so Colombia is caught in the middle.
This is important--and not only because such a war could cause refugees to migrate north and find their way into the US as undocumented immigrants. Firstly, Venezuela is a major oil producer (Ecuador also exports oil) and if you think you're paying way too much for gas now, just wait until war involving these two oil producers breaks out.
Regarding Colombia, as of now her
defense minister said Monday that he would not be provoked into mobilizing troops in response.However, I figure that's assuming Venezuela and Ecuador don't actually invade Colombia or otherwise attack her. Also,
President Bush said the United States will stand by Colombia and criticized Venezuela’s government for making “provocative maneuvers.” Colombia has received some $5 billion in U.S. aid to fight drugs and leftist rebels since 2000.
This, especially is why we should pay close attention to Colombia vs. Venezuela and Ecuador. This situation started escalating when
Colombia troops crossed the border with Ecuador and killed Raul Reyes, a top commander of the Colombian FARC rebels who had set up a camp there.If war were to break out in that region, I wouldn't put it past Bush to send troops from our already-overextended military there. There are already hints that this has covertly been going on, in order to aid Colombia:
Several Latin American leftist leaders have suggested the U.S. was intimately involved in executing the raid that killed Reyes. Colombian military officials have said U.S. satellite intelligence and communications intercepts have been key to putting the FARC on the defensive.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command would neither confirm or deny American military participation. “We do provide intelligence support to partner nations but I can’t get into details on operations,” Jose Ruiz told the AP from Miami.
However, the US, as many including the MSM and politicians have been focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the possibility of action in Iran, not to mention the daily grind of the campaign, is and has been militarily involved in Latin America in a way that has been under the radar. And Colombia has been the largest recipient of such aid, to the tune of
$9.3 million in military training aid since 2000, an increase of almost 90% over six years [as of 2005 when this article was written]This involvement, which has included troops, has been because of Colombia's drug war.
To end with a prediction, were a hot war to break out involving Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, the Bush Administration, especially in light of the fact that the US military is already involved in Colombia, will be sending troops in large numbers to the region. And in light of the fact that we're already overextended, could end up instituting some sort of draft to provide these additional troops. For pulling them out of Iraq where so many already are would be out of question for a BushCo bound and determined to keep them there.