It was created in 1943 to fight Nazi submarines and protect shipping during World War II. It was deactivated as unnecessary in 1950. The Southern Command was meeting the needs of United States hegemony in our region. However, it has been reborn in recent days, after 48 years, and its interventionist purposes do not need to be demonstrated. The military officials themselves, in their statements, are making that known naturally, spontaneously and even discreetly. The problems of food prices, energy, unequal trade, an economic recession in the market most important for their products, inflation, climate change and investments required for their consumerist dreams, are weighing down and consuming the time and energy of the leaders and the led.
The real case is that the decision to reestablish the Fourth Fleet was announced in the first week of April, almost a month after Ecuador’s territory was attacked with bombs and U.S. technology and, by the latter’s pressure, killing and injuring citizens from different countries, which prompted a profound condemnation by Latin American leaders at the Rio Group meeting in the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Even worse: this is coming at a time of almost unanimous opposition to the disintegration of Bolivia, advocated by the United States. The military officials themselves explain that they will have more than 30 countries under their responsibility, covering 15.6 million square miles in the waters adjoining Central and South America, the Caribbean Sea and its 12 islands, Mexico and the European territories on this side of the Atlantic.
The United States has 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers, with parameters that tend to be more or less the same: full load displacement of 101,000 tons; a deck 333 meters long, with a width of 76.8 meters; 2 nuclear reactors; speed of up to 56 kilometers per hour; 90 war planes. The latter of these bears the name of George H. W. Bush, father of the current president; it has already been christened in champagne by its namesake, and should be ready to join the other ships in the coming months.
Not a single country in the world has ships similar to these, which are all equipped with sophisticated nuclear weapons and can approach any of our countries within a few miles. The next aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, will be a new class: Stealth technology, invisible to radar and electromagnetic weapons. The main builder of either type is Northrop Grumman, a company whose current president is also on the executive board of the U.S. oil company Chevron-Texaco. The cost of the last Nimitz was $6 billion, without including planes, missiles and operational costs, which could also rise into the billions. It’s like a science fiction story. With that money, they could have saved the lives of millions of children.
What is the stated objective of the Fourth Fleet? “To combat terrorism and illegal activities such as drug trafficking,” and to send a message to Venezuela and the rest of the region. It has been announced that it will begin operating this coming July 1st.
The head of the U.S. Southern Command, Admiral James Stavrides, said that his country needs to work harder in “the market of ideas, to win the hearts and minds” of the region’s people.
The United States now has its 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th fleets deployed in the West Atlantic, East Pacific, Middle East, the Mediterranean and the East Atlantic, and West Pacific. The Fourth Fleet was the only one missing for guarding all of the planet’s oceans. The total: nine Nimitz aircraft carriers on active duty or very close to being in complete combat readiness, like the George H. W. Bush. They have a reserve sufficient for tripling or even quadrupling the power of any of their fleets in any given theater of operations.
The aircraft carriers and nuclear bombs being used to threaten our countries serve to sow terror and death, but not to fight terrorism or illegal activities.
They should also serve to bring shame to the empire’s accomplices and increase solidarity among the peoples.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 4, 2008