Friday, November 17, 2006

Regarding COHA's November 15 "Washington Looks to Cement its Military Presence in Central America by Emphasizing its Ties to Honduras"

The Latest in a Series of COHA Reports on the Latin American Military
  • Daniel Ortega’s victory in Nicaragua’s recent presidential election could roil the U.S. – as well as its friends in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama – making Central America the new fulcrum for the Bush administration’s future regional security policy

When Honduran President Manuel Zelaya visited Washington this past June, he had two security-related requests for President Bush. The first was to convert the Colonel Enrique Soto Cano airbase (also commonly known as Palmerola) into a commercial air cargo terminal, while the second was to deploy U.S. Special Forces along the Mosquitia region in eastern Honduras to help combat drug-trafficking along the Caribbean coast. At the time of President Zelaya’s visit, there were numerous media reports indicating that a military facility would be built in the Mosquitia with Washington aid that would, most likely, house some form of a U.S. military presence.

Full Article

~Response from Armstrong A. Wiggins~

It is very sad you write a story about Military Presence in Central America... specifically in La Moskitia, Hondoras and you didn't mention anything about the Miskito Indian from la Moskitia that own that land and territories.. I think Daniel Ortega from Nicaragua needs to consult with Miskito from Nicaragua and Zelaya from Honduras need to do the same with the Miskitos from la Moskitia, Honduras.

COHA still don't get it!

-Armstrong A. Wiggins

Reply from COHA Staff:

Mr. Wiggins,

I agree with you that I should have made a clear reference to the Miskito people's position on the proposed military facility and I apologize for not doing so. However, the scope of my article was an analysis of Central American security and the U.S.' interests in the region, and as I was working under space limitations, I was unable to discuss the Miskito's position as well as other relevant issues to the proposed facility.

I agree that any proposed military facility should be the result of conclusive talks among the governments and Miskito people- I sincerely hope that this will be the case. COHA will continue to closely monitor the situationand report whatever events may occur. I do hope that even though I did not discuss it directly, my article helped raise awareness of events going on in the Mosquitia.

Finally, I can assure you that COHA does "get it." Since its foundation, COHA has fought to improve responsible policymaking and to promote the rights of people across the hemisphere, from the persecuted during the era of South AMerica military governments to those who suffered during the civil wars in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. We try our best to report on important events occurring throughout the region, particularly those regarding ethnic groups, like the Miskito, Colombia's U'wa, Chile's mapuches etc.

1 comment:

George D. Allen said...

The proposed base is a win win situation:

1. oversight to drug trafficking

2. increased money into the region, not just the capital

3. infrastructure creation and improvements

4. disaster relief resources available for hurricanes that help the local residents

5. civil affairs to address and provide real solutions to local relations

6. medical civil actions offering free medical care

7. opportunities for new business, hence income, for local residents

8. a free base and airport for the nation of Honduras

The base proposed is a blessing to the local people and region.

Automatic promotion of anti US rhetoric, or anti US military, is not for the local people but a political view. Your response to the comment, which begs the question , also begs the question.