It is now another possible ordeal, which is standing at the doorstep of the US due to its decades-long hegemonial policy towards sovereign states in the South American region. A glimpse of Washington’s hegemonial policy is seen recently in the ninth summit of the Organization of American States (OAS), which took place in Los Angles, California from June 6, 2022, to June 10, 2022, in which only those states were invited where the governments are obediently fulfilling the will of the US’ oligarchy. The OAS is an international organization, founded on 30 April 1948, for the purposes of solidarity and to promote economic, military, and cultural cooperation among its member states. Headquartered in the US capital, Washington, D.C., the OAS has 35 members, which are almost all of the independent states of the Western Hemisphere. Out of 35 member states, 5 states were not invited by Washington to the summit. These include Cuba, El Salvador, Venezuela, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, and Nicaragua. From the US point of view, these 5 states are “autocratic” while the rest of the 30 states are “democratic” states. This is undoubtedly a discriminative approach by Washington and is absurd because every sovereign state has a right to preserve its independence, hence, just because of its preferences, the US has no right to label any sovereign state as “autocratic” or so-called “democratic”. The international observers and political analysts already recognized this summit as a complete failure of Washington in terms of diplomacy.
As expected, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela were on the black list of Washington, which is nothing new. Washington has repeatedly imposed unprecedented sanctions on these states, even before the beginning of its anti-Russian hysteria. Cuba has been under pressure for more than sixty years. In Venezuela, almost every year, Washington tries to stage a coup, while at the same time ruining the country with sanctions. It was started in the era of Ronald Reagan when Washington began to plague Nicaragua with economic blockades, however, this is a history that none of these states has surrendered their sovereignty to Washington till date. The further absurdity of what happened in the summit is that it was conceived as a regular meeting of all the leaders of the member states and Washington indicated itself as a “leader” like ever again, but this time, the leaders of many member states gave a gesture of “disobedience”. The Presidents of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil were seen as indignant. It looks like the Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro managed to lure them to Los Angeles by promising them a one-to-one meeting with President Biden. On the other hand, in protest against the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, the leaders of Mexico, Bolivia, Honduras, and Guatemala refused to travel to Los Angeles. “I am convinced of the need to change the policy that has been imposed on us for centuries – the policy of exclusion, the lust for power, disrespect for the sovereignty of countries and their independence”, said the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The Bolivian President, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora also protested in this regard and said, “What can the summit of the Americas be, if all American states are not invited? The US is following its same old policy of interventionism and disrespect for other states. This practice must be stopped and the US must end the irresponsible and criminal blockade of Cuba, as well as lift more than five hundred unilateral sanctions imposed on Nicaragua and Venezuela immediately”.
The question that arises here is why and how did this rebellion suddenly happen against the US? Why did an event, that the US conceived as a show of its strength, turned into a nightmare? Well, there are several reasons behind it. First, over the past twenty years, the US has lost its economic power due to interfering in the matters of almost every country in the world. Secondly, the US has lost its political influence in the South American region due to its policy of interventionism and disrespect for other states. In the 20th century, the US has built a gigantic neo-colonial enclave south of its borders. Afterwards, the history is full of interventionism followed by atrocities. There is no such country in South America where the US did not invade, did not kill legitimately elected leaders, did not arrange coups, and did not attempt ruthless robbery in terms of economic blockades and sanctions. All these factors fueled up an extreme anger and anti-Washington resentments in the South and Central American states, which is now becoming not only an annoyed grumbling of the masses in these states but is emerging in the shape of real politics as well. That is why, currently, a majority of the South and Central American states are ready to compete for leadership with the US in the region, as the US is always been a big and immediate threat to the legitimately elected governments in these states. Naturally, these states need support, for which they are looking towards China and Russia. Chinese support to these states in terms of investment is essential for the economic stability of these states, while cooperation with Russia will guarantee their high defense capability and all this is already started.
China and Russia are two global players and traditional rivals of the US and in the last two decades, both countries have strengthened their economies by remaining calm and neutral on many issues of the world, which enabled them to become the economic giants of the world. Especially if we take the example of China, it has become the world’s economic leader and is undoubtedly a real superpower in the world today due to its strong diplomatic and economic policies. China is doing abundant investments in the South American states. Along with it, contrary to the US, China is winning the hearts of the South Americans with communist rhetoric. On the other hand, Russia is restoring its ties with the South American states, which were established back in the days of the Soviet Union, as well as actively developing military-technical cooperation in South America. Russian military advisers are working in Venezuela and Cuba for close military cooperation and the Nicaraguan government purchases 90 percent of all weapons from Russia. Nicaragua has just extended permission for Russian troops, ships, and aircrafts to use the country for training and military exercises and ensured that Russian submarines can moor in the Atlantic and Pacific ports of Nicaragua. The political analysts think that the reason behind the immense flexibility of Nicaragua maybe is that Russia has supported the Nicaraguan President José Daniel Ortega Saavedra’s government with weapons against coup attempts by the US. Anyhow, what’s next? Washington is closely watching all this ongoing game and the defense analysts in Pentagon are worried that Moscow may gain control of the Caribbean and deploy nuclear weapons in Nicaragua, approximately 1500 KM away from Miami.
Moreover, Russia is promoting GLONASS in the South and Latin America. GLONASS is a Russian Space-Based Global Navigation Satellite System that provides reliable positioning, navigation, real-time position, and velocity determination for military and civilian users. It is freely available worldwide and operates as a part of a radio navigation-satellite service. It is an alternative to the Global Positioning System (GPS) – the US Space-Based Global Navigation Satellite System. Thus, GLONASS is the second navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision. The Satellite Navigation Devices (SNDs) supporting both GPS and GLONASS have more satellites available, meaning positions can be fixed more quickly and accurately, especially in built-up areas where buildings may obscure the view to some satellites. GLONASS supplementation of GPS systems also improves positioning in high latitudes of North and South. The development of GLONASS began in the Soviet Union in 1976. Beginning on October 12, 1982, numerous rocket launches added satellites to the system until the completion of the constellation in 1995. After a decline in capacity during the late 1990s, the restoration of the system was made a government priority and funding increased substantially in 2001. GLONASS is the most expensive program of the Roscosmos – Russian State Space Corporation, consuming a third of its budget in 2010. By 2010, GLONASS had achieved full coverage of Russia’s territory and in October 2011 the full orbital constellation of 24 satellites was restored, enabling full global coverage. The GLONASS satellites’ designs have undergone several upgrades, with the 2020 latest version “GLONASS-K2”, scheduled to enter service in this year.
On the other hand, China is also visibly swinging American hegemony in the South American continent by using its connections in Nicaragua. A real nightmare for the US, both militarily and commercially, could be the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal with Chinese money. Unlike the Panama Canal, which was seized by the US, this route from the Atlantic to the Pacific will be completely under the control of China. The international political analysts believe that Beijing may well press this “sore point” if Washington starts actively inciting Taiwan’s issue in the future. Along with it, the most serious threat to the US is the “Mexican Reconquista”, which is now increasingly heard at the highest level. “Reconquista” is a term to describe an irredentist vision by different individuals, groups, and/or nations that the Southwestern US should be politically and culturally returned to Mexico. Almost half of the population in New Mexico and 40 percent each in California and Texas are Spanish. These are the official statistics and it does not take into account those thousands of Mexicans, who every day, by hook or by crook, enter illegally in the US. Every day, in the news bulletins, there are stories of illegal migrants. Besides this, the criminal gangs from Mexico share a broad market of drugs and weapons with the US gangs.
How the US will deal with this ordeal? The answer is quite difficult because as per the hegemonial ambitions of Washington, the future looks blurred from every angle. The policy of interventionism and disrespect in the South American region may lead towards a big disaster in the future. Washington must think about it before the time slipped off the hands.
Author: Waqar Ahmad Khan
The Author is a columnist, whose columns are regularly published in English and Urdu on different news websites. The author mostly writes on contemporary affairs, international and national politics, history, social issues and Islam.