America of then is
no longer the same
Laura Bécquer Paseiro
THE scandal of U.S. espionage in
Latin America not only brought to light the former
country’s interference in the region’s internal
affairs, but also demonstrated how much relations
between the United States and what it considers its
backyard have changed. There is now a determination
not to be intimidated and to stand up the U.S.
administration, something unthinkable in former
years. An indignant region is raising its voice in
all possible forums to denounce the violation of its
President Dilma Rousseff
addressing the UN General Assembly.
Cuban political analyst Carlos
Alzugaray is not surprised at what has occurred and
stated to Granma, "Under the legitimization
of the global war on terror, the United States has
expanded its intelligence and espionage mechanisms.
Perhaps out of a general plan, or perhaps because
the instruments themselves have taken on a life of
their own and have extended their sphere of action
to cover foreign governments."
Brazilian journalist Mauricio
Savarese recently commented to Russia Today
that the espionage activities "demonstrated that the
days of the Monroe Doctrine, for 190 years the basis
of Washington’s foreign policy in the region, have
As opposed to the European countries,
which have behaved as U.S. accomplices, Latin
America is angry, Savarese explains, while noting
that the postponement of Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff’s official visit to Washington, as well as
unanimous support for this decision on the part of
Latin American leaders, "are evidence that the days
of the Monroe Doctrine are over."
Precisely Brazil, one of the
principal targets of interception given its growing
role in international geopolitics, demanded from
Washington an explanation for what happened. In the
face of an unconvincing response and White House
excuses that the spying was undertaken as a
protection from terrorism, President Rousseff, also
spied upon, said that her country was fully able to
Speaking September 24 during the
68th Session of the UN General Assembly, she not
only described the espionage on the part of the U.S.
National Security Agency as a serious violation of
human rights and civil liberties, but the breaking
of international law, and "an affront to the
principles of relations between countries."
Referring to Brazil’s reaction,
Professor Alzugaray commented to Granma, "This
objectively coincides with the general tendency
observed in Latin America and the Caribbean toward
greater autonomy, greater self-determination and
toward the rejection of everything that whiffs of
external interference. The interference of the
United States in the internal affairs of countries
in the region, in other times accepted and tolerated,
is no longer acceptable."
Rousseff was joined by her
counterparts in Bolivia, Evo Morales, and of
Uruguay, José Mujica. During the same UN plenary
session, Morales questioned the fact that the United
States is not only spying on governments which it
considers its enemies and on ordinary citizens, but
also on its European allies.
Mujica stated that Washington could
not pretend "to harvest friends in the midst of
suspicions of espionage." He also touched upon an
essential point: the need for technological
independence. In his opinion, "with the development
of wireless communications that exists today, one
has to suppose that everything is listened to and
what is not listened to is because they do not want
to listen to it."
That is why, among the first
measures designed to deal with the effects of this
espionage, Brazil announced that it is to create its
own data centers and Internet connections to shield
itself against U.S. espionage. In other words, the
data of Brazilian Internet users will be guarded in
servers in the country itself and not in Washington,
as is currently the case.
Soon, the Latin American voice of
condemnation will fall loudly on the ears of its
neighbor to the North because, to paraphrase the
poet Mario Benedetti, Latin America, that of then,
is no longer the same.