U.S. Prepares to Escalate Counter-Insurgency War in Colombia

(May 7, 2002)

At the end of April, spokespersons for the Bush administration, including Secretary of State Powell, testified before Congress to call for increasing U.S. military intervention in Colombia.

As well as seeking additional funding for U.S. military efforts, the Bush administration seeks to remove current restrictions intended to limit U.S. involvement to anti-drug operations. Bush is seeking Congressional authorization to openly use U.S. military force and aid in counter-insurgency operations.

These plans for increased U.S. intervention come at a time when the Colombian government has unilaterally broken off peace negotiations and declared all-out war against insurgent forces. Already, elite units of the Colombian army, trained and commanded by U.S. advisers and equipped with U.S. helicopters and other arms, are engaged in operations in several areas of the country.

The Pentagon admits that the 800 U.S. military advisers are already on the ground in Colombia; critics of U.S. policy insist that the total number of U.S. personnel is as high as 2,000.

Counter-insurgency war against the Colombian people is part of Bush's "international war against terrorism" and, in particular, part of the U.S. strategy for strengthening its imperialist domination of Latin America. Through the Free Trade Area of the Americas and similar measures, the U.S. seeks to remove every barrier to its economic penetration and ownership throughout the continent. To carry this through, the U.S. is establishing various mechanisms for strengthening its political and military domination. In general, imperialism aims at returning to the days of open colonialism and at annexing the region.

Colombia and the strategic Andes region are key components in imperialism's strategy. Through Plan Colombia, the Clinton and Bush administrations have already poured several billion dollars in military assistance into the region, setup new U.S. bases not only in Colombia but also in Ecuador, Peru, and elsewhere, and further integrated the armies of these countries into the Pentagon's command structure.

By militarizing the region, the U.S. is preparing to suppress any opposition to its domination, to suppress the deepening struggles of the peoples for national independence and social emancipation.

Just as in Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua and countless other countries, U.S. imperialism is going down the slippery slope of counter-insurgency and escalating aggression in Colombia.

We must oppose each and every aggressive step taken by the U.S. government and demand a complete end to U.S. intervention and interference. We must support the struggle of the Colombian people against imperialist domination and for genuine independence.