US Pentagon and Paraguay Stage War Games
Prensa Latina | August 29, 2005
The US and Paraguay are starting military maneuvers in the city of Caazapa, around 186 miles of Asuncion, on Monday, amid strong criticism of the Pentagon presence in this country.
Paraguayan Armed Forces Colonel Elio Flores said the US contingent would engage in health works.
The military exercise dubbed Medrete constitutes the fourth of 13 planned until 2006 by the National Congress, which granted full immunity to North American troops irrespective of criticism from social and human rights organizations.
From Caazapa and nearby localities, the Pentagon forces will move to Ñeembucu, to remain there from September 12 to 21.
US soldiers will also train local officers to fight terrorism, drug dealing, money laundering and other crimes.
According to experts, Washington seeks political and strategic objectives but the Paraguayan administration said the maneuvers targeted health, security and production.
US Ambassador to Asuncion John F. Keane stated "people should not be surprised about the exercise because they have been traditionally staged during 20 years."
Media outlets reported that the North American country tried to install military bases in Paraguay and Ecuador to intervene in Bolivia or Brazil if their progressive movements made progress.
Ultima Hora newspaper published that the US rejected the Southern Common Market because it sought to impose the Free Trade Area of the Americas, which is considered aggressive, annexationist and disloyal.