Caracas, February 28, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Earlier today, Colombia and the United States reported that naval exercises were carried out this weekend in the Caribbean sea, near Venezuelan territory. The operations were executed in cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to Spanish news agency EFE. Meanwhile in Europe, NATO’s irresponsible eastwards expansion has caused a complex military operation affecting Ukraine.
The military drill was announced by Colombian Minister for Defense, Diego Molano, through a post on his Twitter account. Molano noted that the USS Minnesota nuclear submarine is involved in these exercises for interoperability between the Colombian Navy and the US Navy.
For several weeks, international analysts have speculated about a scenario that would involve NATO expanding the conflict in Ukraine into the Caribbean. Last Friday, President Joe Biden’s advisor, Juan Gonzalez, announced that the recent sanctions on Russia were implemented to also harm Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua “by design.” In recent weeks, Colombian officials have criticized the Russian military presence in Venezuela.
These military drills constitute new evidence of a US and NATO attempt to expand the conflict in Ukraine and bring it to Latin America. Analysts have recently condemned a potential US and NATO attempt to recreate a variation of the Cuban Missile Crisis in an attempt to destabilize Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. This further military tension would play into the economic interests of US and European arms manufacturers, and distract their populations from the acute economic crisis that is about to hit them.
The Colombian minister, widely considered a US asset, told reporters that the exercise launched this weekend was “done within the scope of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”
In 2017, Colombia became a NATO global partner, the first in Latin America. “As part of this partnership,” explains a NATO press release, “NATO supports Colombia in its continuing efforts to develop its armed forces.”
El ejercicio de interoperabilidad, entre la @ArmadaColombia y la @USNavy, ratifica la confianza y cooperación entre Colombia y EE.UU en la lucha contra amenazas como el narcotráfico y la defensa de intereses comunes en el Caribe. #ConTodasNuestrasFuerzas protegemos la soberanía pic.twitter.com/pSV1SszpQQ
— Diego Molano Aponte (@Diego_Molano) February 28, 2022
Molano said that these military exercises, which were carried out 70 nautical miles (130 kilometers) from the city of Cartagena, are intended to strengthen Colombia’s ties with the United States and NATO. Molano did not comment on the apparent provocation this drills represent, when one considers the complex situation in Ukraine, where NATO is considered one of the main igniters of the conflict.
Molano also noted the common interests shared by these entities in the Caribbean sea, such as efforts against drug trafficking, in which 40 countries join forces to seize cocaine and other illicit drugs. Similarly, he failed to mention that Colombia is the main exporter of illegal narcotics, and the United States the main consumer.
Venezuelan Minister for Defense, Vladimir Padrino, repudiated the naval exercise through a post on his Twitter account.
¿Para qué tanta ostentación imperialista?¿Es una réplica de la expansión Otanista en el Mediterráneo de América? El narcotráfico, la guerra en Arauca, los asesinatos sistemáticos y los grupos terroristas no se combaten con submarinos nucleares. Lo rechazo de manera categórica. pic.twitter.com/aDeLONv5AO
— Vladimir Padrino L. (@vladimirpadrino) February 28, 2022
“Why so much imperialist ostentation?” Padrino asked. “Is it a replica of NATO expansion in the Mediterranean of America? Drug trafficking, the war in Arauca, systematic murders, and terrorist groups are not fought with nuclear submarines. I reject it categorically.”
Featured image: USS Minnesota submarine (SSN-783), currently carrying out military drills near Venezuela, a clear provocation by Washington and the Colombian government. Photo: milpower.org.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff
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