Argentinians Protest Visit From Head of US Southern Command

Orinoco Tribune, April 18, 2023 —

General Laura Richardson, head of the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), traveled to Argentina on Monday with the aim of meeting with officials including Argentina’s Defense Minister Jorge Taiana. Richardson also visited Argentina in April, 2022. The visit occurs while Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov tours the region, visiting Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

As a result of Richardson’s visit, various activist groups and social movements have organized demonstrations against the interference of the United States in the region and to oppose the destructive economic policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that have suffocated Argentina’s economy since right-wing president Mauricio Macri took on an odious debt in 2018.

The protesters denounced the neocolonial role of the US general and the White House towards Latin America and the Caribbean, exemplified in the military command organization SOUTHCOM. The US Southern Command station, headquartered in Miami, arrogantly claims responsibility “for providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation in its assigned Area of Responsibility which includes Central America, South America, and The Caribbean. The command is also responsible for the force protection of US military resources at these locations.”

In addition, demonstrators accuse the US of seeking to put the wealth of South America at the service of US supply chains.

Last January, Richardson issued categorical statements regarding US interventionist plans for the region. The high-ranking military figure spoke possessively about South and Central America as “our region,” spouting anti-China and anti-Russia propaganda while referring to the countries of the region as if they belonged to the US. “The PRC, in a lot of our countries in this region, is the number one trade partner,” she said at that time.

A little over two years after the US-backed coup in lithium-rich Bolivia, Richardson drew attention to the importance of the compound. “This region… With all its rich resources and rare earth elements. You’ve got the Lithium Triangle, which is needed for technology today. 60% of the world’s lithium is in the Lithium Triangle—Argentina, Bolivia, Chile.”

Richardson also stated that the US is interested in oil reserves found in Guyana and Venezuela, as well as copper and gold. When she mentioned the US concern regarding fresh water found in the region, her choice of words could lead one to think that the US already owns this water. “We have 31% of the world’s fresh water in this region too,” she said.

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