And the increasing let's say independence of some countries of Latin America from the U.S.. Is that a power shift in your view?
Noam Chomsky: Linguist, Intellctual and Political Activist
Fabian Scheidler: And the increasing let's say independence of some countries of Latin America from the U.S.. Is that a power shift in your view?
Noam Chomsky: That is very important. In the last roughly ten years Latin America for the first time since the European conquests has begun to move toward some kind of independence. They are moving towards integration what they had never done before. The countries were always dependent on European or more recently U.S. power. And they are also moving toward a kind of internal integration.
I mean the curse of Latin America, a rich area, it should be much better off than East Asia, but it's been plagued by a social structure in which a tiny sector of wealth which is mostly Europeanized or European actually – so I mean like Germans in Haiti where the richest family happens to be German – but there is a Europeanized mostly white elite which controls, dominates the resources. And it's just a sea of misery. And the wealthy take no responsibility for the countries.
Well, that's beginning to be overcome, that kind of internal integration. And the U.S. didn't like it. I mean, the U.S. has been kicked out of its military bases in Latin America. But it's re-militarizing under Obama, too. Bush and now Obama established new military bases in Colombia which is the one country that's still under U.S. domination. It's very likely that the coup in Honduras where Obama broke from Latin America and even from Europe in supporting elections under the military coup – probably part of the background there is that the U.S. does have a major military base there, Palmerola Air Base, it has access to it, it's not a U.S. base – and that was the base, primary base that was used for attacking Nicaragua. It's not a small thing. And in fact Obama just got two new naval bases in Panama. They reactivated the Forth Fleet. There is a fleet that covers Latin American and Caribbean borders. It was dismantled 1950 because what's the point. It was part of the Second World War. It was re-instituted in 2008. It's now being developed. One of the bases in Colombia – you take a look at the Air Force budget which came out – they expecting it to be a base for surveillance of practically the whole hemisphere. And they are hoping that it can link up with a global surveillance system.
The U.S. now is far off the rest of the world. It's spending more than the rest of the world combined on the military. But it's also far more advanced, technologically more advanced and it has a global system of military control. It has maybe 800 military bases. And has a global surveillance system which is used for military purposes. And if you look at the plans that are being developed - they are pretty frightening. There are plans for space based weapons, for tying in offensive weapon systems to surveillance systems that are very precise. They can tell you if somebody is walking across the street in Turkey or something. And also the development of the drones that are being developed permit remote warfare with no soldiers, targeted assassinations and so on. But the new generations of drones that are in the planing and are public are planing to use nanotechnology to develop miniaturized drones which will be able to penetrate your living room and go after a particular person that is visiting. That kind of thing. All that's being planed. It's sort of kept secret in a sense just because the media won't report it but it's all public information. Latin America is quite significant in that respect.
Latin America got maybe the best example of democracy in the world, in Bolivia, where you have the poorest country in South America. The indigenous majority who were the most repressed people in the hemisphere they entered the political arena. They elected somebody of their own ranks. He is following policies that come from the public not the other way around. And the election was just a day in an ongoing struggle over serious issues, really serious issues: resource control, problems of justice and so on. That's democracy. I don't know any Western country that compares with Bolivia in democracy. And the U.S. doesn't like it of course. So there is a secessionist movement from the old traditional Europeanized elite. Of course the U.S. is backing it. But interestingly the South American countries are backing Bolivia. They had a meeting which was so important that it wasn't even reported in the United States. But there was violence, couple of peasants were killed in the area of traditional elite control. There was a meeting of what's called UNASUR, it's a newly formed Union of South American nations, and they strongly supported the Morales government and condemned the violence of the secessionist group. And Morales pointed out in response that this is the first time in hundreds of years that South America is acting without the control of the Western powers, usually the United States. That's important. And the U.S. didn't like it. That's why the military programs are under way.