Archivo de la categoría: V Seminario Internacional de Paz y por la Abolición de las Bases Militares Extranjeras

La Sardegna, il Popolo Sardo, l’occupazione militare italiana.

1.Il contesto socio economico e l’occupazione militare dell’isola.
La Sardegna, isola al centro del Mar Mediterraneo, è nota per il suo mare le sue coste da sogno e le spiagge caraibiche, per la bellezza della sua natura, apparentemente incontaminata.

Meta di vacanzieri da ogni angolo del mondo e simbolo di turismo di alto livello, è in questo modo, vittima di quest’immagine da copertina di riviste estive, immagine costruita dal sistema economico turistico e culturale italiano, in seguito, soprattutto, ai massicci investimenti in infrastrutture di accoglienza del turismo del lusso e al sistematico sfruttamento delle sue coste.

Imprigionata in questa falsa rappresentazione di se stessa, la Sardegna è, invece, ben poco nota per la dura condizione che l’isola e il suo popolo vivono, a causa dell’invadente, aggressivo ed estraneo potere italiano che ne decide le sorti, che attua una tra le più dure politiche coloniali dei tempi moderni.

Si sa pochissimo delle politiche di colonizzazione culturale che violentano il popolo sardo, non si parla dei danni dell’industria pesante super inquinante, trasferita nell’isola a partire dagli anni ’60 e ancora più, si tenta di occultare i danni ambientali, umani ed economici causati dall’occupazione militare italiana in Sardegna.

Approfondendo quest’ultimo aspetto si pone subito in evidenza come l’Italia, a partire dagli anni ’50, abbia dislocato tutta l’attività militare inquinante in Sardegna, in particolare la quasi totalità delle esercitazioni e delle fasi sporche delle produzioni belliche dell’industria delle armi. Sull’isola vengono trasferite tutte le attività più dannose e più svantaggiose, tenendo così indenne la penisola italiana e mettendosi al riparo dagli effetti collaterali indesiderati, i quali vengono scaricati sull’inconsapevole Popolo Sardo e sulla sua terra.
Le più inquinanti attività militari vengono spacciate come frutto di investimenti che porteranno sviluppo e modernità in una terra che viene considerata, dai media compiacenti, come povera, arretrata, senza speranza. L’economia dell’isola viene rappresentata come arcaica, priva di futuro, le attività produttive sarde vengono ostacolate e isolate al fine di facilitare l’ingresso delle nuove economie calate dall’alto, pianificate nei ministeri italiani, i quali hanno già deciso il nuovo futuro per il Popolo Sardo, futuro fatto di devastante industria pesante e mortale occupazione militare.

Ad oggi, sulla sola isola, è presente circa il 65 per cento delle servitù militari italiane o comunque del territorio riservato ad usi militari, vi sono alcuni tra i più grandi poligoni militari d’Europa.
Fra servitù di terra e aree chiuse alla navigazione, la Sardegna si attesta sulla soglia dei 35.000 ettari, senza considerare gli spazi aerei interdetti.

La base militare più grande è il Poligono Interforze del Salto di Quirra (Pisq) con ben 13.000 ettari di estensione è il poligono più importante, il più grande d’Europa. Qui vengono svolte soprattutto attività missilistiche ma anche altre attività militari, addestrative e di sperimentazione di aeronautica e forze aerospaziali, inoltre di addestramento dell’esercito e della marina.
Segue il poligono di Capo Teulada con circa 7.000 ettari, utilizzato da tutte le forze armate ma principalmente dalle forze navali per le esercitazioni a fuoco, il bombardamento su costa.
Il poligono di Capo Frasca, conta 1.400 ettari, utilizzato dall’aereonautica per l’esercitazione al tiro su bersagli.
Inoltre altri importanti presidi quali aeroporti militari (Decimomannu), basi navali (La Maddalena), basi dell’esercito (Macomer), arsenali e depositi segreti, depositi carburanti, stazioni radio sparse su tutta l’isola.

Considerando gli spazi aerei e marittimi interdetti, le zone sottoposte a vincoli militari in Sardegna, sono più estese della stessa isola.

1. Il poligono di Quirra (Pisq)
Considerato che la vicenda della base missilistica di Quirra, sin dal suo principio, riassume in modo esauriente il sistema e l’essenza dell’occupazione militare italiana, vale la pena di soffermarci soprattutto su di essa.
Il Pisq venne progettato nei primissimi anni ’50 e dopo qualche anno, nel ’56, era già operativo. Si scelse questo territorio della Sardegna, oltre che per le sue caratteristiche fisiche, un altopiano a 700 metri sul livello del mare, per il suo basso tasso di abitanti e soprattutto per la debolezza del sistema economico sociale. Il fatto che quest’area è ripartita tra 10 comuni, privando ognuno di essi di solo una parte del loro territorio, ha fatto in modo che la sottrazione di terre non gravasse tutta su un singolo comune, limitando, in questo modo, l’eventuale protesta di una comunità.
Per la sede centrale del poligono e la costruzione delle infrastrutture, venne scelto il centro di Perdasdefogu, comune che sacrificava ben poco territorio rispetto agli altri e che quindi, apparentemente avrebbe avuto solo ricadute positive. Inoltre, tale comune versava in una debolezza economica assai marcata rispetto ai restanti comuni dell’area e risultava particolarmente isolato rispetto ai traffici commerciali della zona.
Alle popolazioni locali si promettevano rinascita economica, benessere e un futuro di sviluppo tecnologico. Ovviamente si parlava solamente della parte più seducente delle attività, quella spaziale, settore che nella realtà dei fatti non venne mai realmente sviluppato, lasciando il posto alla sporca attività militare.
I primi lanci di missili venivano spacciati per ricerca spaziale, le brochure di propaganda parlavano apertamente di trasformazione del centro ogliastrino nella Cape Canaveral sarda. Si invitavano i cittadini ad abbandonare i loro abiti di stoffe tradizionali per vestire gli ormai più adeguati bluejeans. I cittadini del centro cominciavano a sentirsi più importanti del resto dell’Ogliastra non baciata da una così grande fortuna.
Nei decenni successivi si dimostrò quanto erano sbagliate le rosee previsioni di sviluppo e benessere, infatti il centro di Perdasdefogu non crebbe e non arrivò nessuno sviluppo, rimase sempre stabile nel numero di abitanti, e a contrario dei centri limitrofi, non sviluppò alcuna attività produttiva. Solo i più addentro alle attività e i più coscienziosi cominciavano a intravedere la devastazione che veniva causata dall’attività militare.
Ci vollero ulteriori decenni perché le comunità cominciassero a prender coscienza del disastro che si stava creando, infatti solo negli anni ’90 cominciarono ad arrivare i primi dubbi sulla salubrità delle suddette attività e soprattutto dei dubbi sull’alta incidenza di malformazioni fetali, malattie gravi e morti precoci.
Solo a fine anni ’90 e primi anni 2000 si svilupparono i primi gruppi di protesta e i primi gruppi di controllo, cominciarono a fiorire manifestazioni e il lavoro della società civile sfociò nell’ottenimento dell’apertura di un’indagine della magistratura, sulle attività del poligono. Vennero trascinate in giudizio tutte le più alte cariche militari e politiche dello Stato Italiano, compresi Ministri e Presidenti della Repubblica. Oggi il processo è ancora in corso e prosegue tra gli ostacoli messi in opera dallo stesso Stato Italiano, senza la collaborazione di nessun apparato pubblico e tra la diffidenza e il timore della parte di popolazione che traeva qualche minimo vantaggio dalla presenza militare e che ora teme di perdere pure quello.

Oggi la base militare di Quirra è considerata un importantissimo sito della difesa italiana. Pisq (Poligono Interforze Salto di Quirra), ossia un poligono aereo, terrestre e marittimo, sperimentale e addestrativo.

L’attività dannosa del poligono può classificarsi in tre grandi categorie: 1) attività di esercitazioni militari; 2) attività di sperimentazione e collaudo di nuovi sistemi d’arma e sperimentazione civile; 3) smaltimento rifiuti militari.

a) Attività di esercitazioni militari: le tre forze armate, esercito, aeronautica e marina svolgevano lunghissimi addestramenti al combattimento, della durata persino di mesi.
Da tutto il mondo arrivavano eserciti e migliaia di soldati invadevano l’area per compiere le loro preparazioni, per simulare battaglie. Carri armati da tutta Europa portavano avanti esercitazioni, svolgevano manovre addestrative, ma soprattutto si allevano al tiro. Centinaia di mezzi corazzati attraversavano, su camion, mezza Sardegna per raggiungere il luogo dove poter sfogare tutta la loro potenza, dove tutto si poteva fare senza controllo.
Reparti di elicotteri si allevano al tiro su bersaglio, venivano impiegate diverse centinaia di razzi al giorno.
L’attività missilistica era quella più attiva, più sviluppata. Il poligono non a caso viene definito un poligono missilistico. Decine di missili ogni giorno venivano fatti partire e fatti esplodere per migliorarne le capacità di utilizzo, per verificarne l’efficacia su bersaglio. Eserciti da tutta Europa facevano esercitare i loro reparti missilistici nel poligono di Quirra.



Un altro aspetto dell’attività militare è quello dell’inquinamento elettromagnetico dovuto alla presenza di grandi stazioni radio per il controllo aereo.
Si tratta infatti di un poligono missilistico e il monitoraggio dei cieli è l’elemento fondamentale per poter guidare il lancio e studiare la traiettoria dei vettori.
Per questa ragione sono state installate stazioni radio in ogni angolo della Sardegna orientale, su ogni collina ne è stata costruita una, ormai queste fanno parte del paesaggio naturale. Il potenziale di queste antenne non è conosciuto, le emissioni non sono controllate e gli effetti di un tale inquinamento elettromagnetico non sono noti. Alcuni ricercatori hanno provato a misurare l’energia sprigionata da tali apparati, ma i dati raccolti vengono puntualmente smentiti dagli organi militari competenti. Gli enti sanitari non hanno mai affrontato il problema.

b) Attività di sperimentazione di nuovi sistemi d’arma: tutta l’industria d’armi italiana e parte di quella europea hanno utilizzato il Pisq per le loro sperimentazioni, per i test di nuovi prodotti. Armi di grosso calibro, sistemi missilistici, armi chimiche, tutto è consentito. Le industrie italiane ed europee progettavano le nuove armi presso le loro sedi, le sviluppavano e le producevano sempre nelle loro sedi, ma i test, la fase più inquinante della produzione, venivano sempre effettuati in Sardegna, nel Pisq, dove tutto era consentito. Bastava presentare un’autocertificazione sulla regolarità ambientale dell’attività svolta. Il poligono veniva affittato a tutte le aziende produttrici europee per i loro esperimenti e per questo si arrivava a far pagare, per certi test particolari, sino a 50.000,00 euro all’ora.
Nel settore dei sistemi missilistici, il poligono vanta apparati elettronici all’avanguardia per i sistemi di tiro, studio delle traiettorie, studio dell’impatto col bersaglio. Inoltre sono disponibili vaste aree interdette, nelle quali poter effettuare lanci di ogni tipo e portata.
La Vitrociset, azienda italiana leader del settore, presiede all’uso e alla gestione di tutti gli apparati tecnologici, supporta tutte le sperimentazioni missilistiche e di addestramento al lancio di tutti gli ospiti del poligono.
La parte di poligono a mare, sulla costa orientale, nei pressi di Capo S. Lorenzo, è la parte maggiormente utilizzata per i lanci di lungo raggio, con lancio di bersaglio e tiro su di esso a grandi altezze e distanze con impatto al largo della costa, in alto mare.
Il tutto ha fatto in modo che in circa sessant’anni di lanci su bersagli mobili, si siano accumulati migliaia di rottami di missili sul fondale marino, il quale risulta oggi, una distesa di relitti metallici altamente pericolosi.
Questa capacità in tema di teleguida missilistica, è la punta di diamante del poligono, così i produttori europei testano, in questo sito, decine e decine di nuovi prodotti missilistici ogni anno.
Enti nazionali italiani e non, come il C.n.r., l’europea E.s.r.o., aziende del calibro di Finmeccanica, Aerospatiale (S.N.I.A.S.), Alenia, Oto Melara, Fiat Avio, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH (M.b.b.), E.A.D.S., Galileo Avionica, Augusta-Westland, Consorzio Eurosan, Thompson, sono clienti abituali del poligono di Quirra.
Alcune multinazionali del settore missilistico, come la Oerlikon Contraves, sono presenti nel poligono sin dalla sua fondazione, e sperimentano i loro prodotti mortali da oltre sessant’anni.

Inoltre il poligono viene utilizzato anche come luogo nel quale i produttori d’armi presentano i loro prodotti bellici agli eserciti clienti, utilizzandoli e mostrandone gli effetti sull’area del poligono. Come si trattasse di una grande vetrina da poter devastare liberamente.

Vengono sperimentati gas tossici e armi chimiche. All’onore delle cronache, con articolo sul settimanale l’Espresso, era balzata la vicenda della sperimentazione, negli anni ’60, di armi chimiche utilizzate dall’aviazione americana in Vietnam, sostanze defolianti per la distruzione della vegetazione che dava rifugio ai soldati vietnamiti, quali Agente Orange e simili. Tali sostanze, altamente tossiche sono ritenute responsabili di neoplasie e di teratogenesi ossia malformazioni fetali.

Anche nell’ambito civile, il poligono di Quirra viene utilizzato per le fasi sperimentali inquinanti che risultano indesiderabili nella penisola italiana e nel resto d’Europa.
Tra i casi più noti possiamo citare le sperimentazioni di resistenza alla corrosione, pressione e temperatura di tubazioni per gasdotti, mediante prove da stress culminanti in gigantesche esplosioni.
Oppure il caso dei test di razzi per spedizioni scientifiche, per i quali, sin dal 1985, vennero costruite delle strutture finalizzate ai test di collaudo dei motori dei lanciatori europei Ariane, dei lanciatori dell’intera famiglia Zefiro, dell’ultimo nuovo vettore europeo Vega.
Gran parte del settore scientifico europeo militare, ma anche civile, affluisce in Sardegna, per effettuare le attività inquinanti di sperimentazione e collaudo, che non è consentito svolgere nel resto d’Italia e d’Europa.


c) Smaltimento rifiuti militari: il territorio del Pisq è stato sempre utilizzato ai fini dello smaltimento di rifiuti militari. Narrano le indagini giudiziarie, di operazioni mensili di smaltimento di rifiuti militari, mediante interramento e brillamento, ossia esplosione indotta da esplosivi posizionati sottoterra. Si tratta di vecchie bombe e missili di ogni genere non più utilizzabili, per vetustà o per ragioni tecniche; munizioni di ogni genere, da quelle navali di grosso calibro alle munizioni di fucili; sistemi d’arma non diversamente smaltibili, perfino armi chimiche.
Dalle indagini è persino emerso che tutti gli arsenali italiani di armi chimiche risalenti alla prima guerra mondiale e alla seconda, che erano stoccati da decenni in speciali gallerie nelle montagne del Lazio, siano stati interamente smaltiti nel poligono di Quirra, sempre mediante brillamento. Pare che le operazioni siano durate circa 15 anni, a cavallo degli anni’80.
Inoltre dalle indagini è emerso che l’Italia smaltiva a Quirra, partite di armi da tutta Europa, facendosi pagare per uno smaltimento che in realtà avveniva in Sardegna. Persino delle partite di missili provenienti dalla Russia, vennero smaltite con queste modalità.
Tali brillamenti provocavano delle giganti esplosioni e liberavano enormi nubi di polveri e materiali che si depositavano sul terreno. Tali materiali residuali venivano raccolti e sotterrati nei pressi degli stessi luoghi di brillamento.


2. Effetti sull’ambiente e sulla salute
A partire dagli ’90 le popolazioni locali cominciarono a prendere coscienza delle numerose vittime di malattie tumorali, in proporzioni anormali rispetto alla media italiana ed europea e soprattutto rispetto agli anni precedenti all’installazione del poligono.
Soprattutto colpivano i dati sulle malformazioni fetali, casi talmente numerosi da non lasciare adito a nessun tipo di dubbio, sulla presenza di qualcosa di anomalo nell’ambiente. Fece scalpore il dato di malformazioni nel piccolo comune di Escalaplano, con ben 8 casi in un anno di gravi malformazioni, su 20 neonati. Si tratta di un centro abitato posto a ridosso della zona del poligono nella quale avvenivano esercitazioni pesanti e gli smaltimenti di cui al paragrafo precedente.

Tra le primissime pubbliche denunce sull’emergenza sanitaria, vi è quella dell’ex sindaco di Villaputzu, medico di famiglia, era il 1990. Il medico denunciava un accrescimento del numero di malati di tumore talmente alto da non poter trovare nessuna spiegazione naturale plausibile. Affermava il medico che: “il numero di tumori che prima si riscontrava in un’area di 60.000 abitanti, dopo qualche anno dall’inizio delle attività a regime del poligono, si poteva riscontrare in un villaggio di 150 persone”.

Parallelamente, nessun dato sull’incidenza di queste malattie veniva pubblicato dalle strutture sanitarie competenti. Ogni tentativo di confrontare dati sanitari, risulta impraticabile e le autorità competenti, preferiscono quasi sempre schierarsi dalla parte della negazione dell’esistenza di problemi sanitari.
Solamente in alcuni casi veramente eclatanti, persino le autorità sanitarie hanno ammesso la reale situazione. È il caso del villaggio di Quirra, piccolo gruppo di case nei pressi del poligono militare. L’Asl di Cagliari ha denunciato che «ll 65% del personale, impegnato con la conduzione degli animali negli allevamenti ubicati entro il raggio di 2,7 km dalla base militare di Capo San Lorenzo, risulta colpito da gravi patologie tumorali. Nelle aziende oltre i 2,7 km il tasso si attesta al 30% ».

Anche dalle indagini della magistratura sui territori di Quirra e Perdasdefogu, emerge un quadro sconcertante: nei pascoli adiacenti o situati nei dintorni del poligono, soldati e pastori ammalati di tumore in particolare leucemie e linfomi, tra cui un’alta incidenza di linfomi rari. Presto si inizia a parlare di “Sindrome di Quirra”, una lunga catena di morti e malattie sospette che potrebbe collegare queste fatalità con le attività militari svolte nel poligono sperimentale.

Completano il quadro, poi, i numerosissimi casi di malformazioni fetali negli animali da allevamento. Compaiono problemi di sviluppo del feto e di gravi menomazioni che non si erano mai viste prima. I difensori dei militari sosterranno poi, che il tutto è dovuto a errate campagne di vaccinazione e a errati accoppiamenti tra animali della stessa famiglia.
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L’indagine della magistratura ha inoltre portato alla effettuazione di approfondite analisi commissionate a equipe di studiosi provenienti da varie parti d’Italia e d’Europa.
La magistratura accusante, le difese e il giudice, tutti quanti commissionano a diverse squadre di tecnici e università, le analisi sul territorio. Solo la confusione regna tra i dati raccolti, quasi sempre contrastanti tra essi.
Alcuni risultati di rilievo, comunque, emergono dalle indagini.
Di assoluta importanza appare la presenza di uranio 238 anche se in minima quantità. Le difese attribuiranno la presenza di questo metallo sui campioni raccolti, alla presenza naturale dell’uranio nel terreno del poligono e le esplosioni avrebbero solamente contribuito a diffonderlo nelle zone circostanti.
Certamente di rilievo è anche la scoperta della presenza di torio radioattivo, sicuramente più pericoloso dell’uranio, il quale deriverebbe dall’esplosione di quasi 1.200 missili Milan nella sperimentazione della casa produttrice francese Euromissile.
Particolarmente contaminata da metalli di ogni genere e da inquinanti chimici, sarebbe la zona nei pressi di Monte Cardiga, un’area nella quale venivano svolte la maggioranza delle attività di tiro e di smaltimento.
Il procedimento penale a carico delle cariche militari e politiche ritenute responsabili del disastro del poligono di Quirra, ad oggi, nel 2017, non è ancora giunto a conclusione, tuttora incerto risulta l’esito della vicenda giudiziaria.

3. Conseguenze economiche e sociali
L’occupazione militare del poligono di Quirra, ancora oggi in atto, ci lascia in eredità sicuramente danni incalcolabili all’ambiente, al territorio, danni che forse non potranno mai essere sanati. Una parte del territorio è compromessa in modo definitivo e da considerarsi persa per il Popolo Sardo, sacrificata per sempre per gli interessi dello Stato Italiano.
Indubbiamente il poligono ha causato problemi evidenti ai sistemi economici locali: da una parte ha originato un’economia pressoché dipendente dalla presenza del poligono stesso, il caso di Perdasdefogu è emblematico, dall’altra, gli indicatori socioeconomici e demografici mostrano chiaramente un alto tasso di spopolamento e un livello di reddito pro capite, nella maggior parte dei centri abitati interessati, decisamente inferiore alla media sarda.
Certamente nessun vantaggio economico è stato apportato ai territori limitrofi al poligono; nessuna delle attività svolte al suo interno ha avuto dei legami, neppure dei contatti, con le attività produttive locali. In nessun caso l’economia locale ha tratto vantaggio dalle attività belliche del poligono.

Viceversa, può affermarsi che il poligono di Quirra, con l’interdizione di migliaia di ettari di territorio vergine, abbia certamente bloccato lo sviluppo delle aeree interessate. Già dalla sua installazione, migliaia furono gli sfollati, centinaia di ettari di fondi coltivati vennero interdetti e portati all’abbandono forzato. Inutili furono le proteste delle popolazioni locali, le quali vennero allontanate con la forza e neppure risarcite.

Inoltre la presenza del poligono ha sicuramente determinato una dissociazione sociale e culturale ancora maggiore tra le popolazioni interessate e il proprio territorio, obbligate all’allontanamento dalla propria terra madre, costrette a sperare in un posto di lavoro derivante da attività avulse dalla vocazione naturale della regione e rieducati a una nuova teoria pensata dagli strateghi coloniali italiani: “la terra dei sardi è avara e inospitale, non si commette un grave reato a devastarla con le bombe!”.

Senza tante aspettative sulla conclusione del procedimento penale in corso, a carico dei gerarchi militari, possiamo sicuramente affermare che, se la questione della correlazione fra conseguenze dell’inquinamento ambientale ed i gravi problemi sanitari è ancora questione dibattuta, quella della contaminazione del territorio è questione assai chiara ed evidente.

Nel frattempo la macchina mediatica al servizio degli interessi italiani, ha già riiniziato a lavorare per insabbiare le notizie potenzialmente pericolose per la serenità delle popolazioni locali e, il rilancio dell’attività del poligono, sotto una veste più umana, è già partito.
Cambia pure il linguaggio, non si parla più di servitù militari ma di territori interdetti, non si parla più di attività militari ma di attività scientifica. Vengono diffusi, tra i militari, opuscoli recanti norme di comportamento e di conversazione con la gente del posto finalizzati a tenere tranquilli e rassicurare gli abitanti dei comuni vicini. Pare di esser tornati ai tempi del primo insediamento, si promette un poligono trasformato in centro scientifico all’avanguardia, si parla nuovamente di ricerca aerospaziale condotta da aziende civili, le nuove parole d’ordine sono riconversione, ricerca scientifica e aziende civili. I militari spariscono dalla scena e vengono occultati dietro una cortina di fumo e di buoni propositi, nuove promesse di sviluppo sostenibile vengono distribuite a mani piene dal sistema informativo.
Addirittura vengono coinvolte le università della regione, vengono siglati accordi di collaborazione, istituiti appositi enti, si promettono posti di lavoro per i nuovi laureati.
Insomma il potere coloniale si riorganizza e si abbellisce, si protegge e si tutela da possibili prese di coscienza del Popolo Sardo.
Prima ancora che la giustizia penale abbia fatto il suo corso, l’occupazione militare, quindi, ha comunque già cambiato il suo volto, d’ora in poi non sarà più occupazione militare ma ricerca scientifica, esattamente come nel principio, come sessant’anni fa.

Al Popolo Sardo non rimane che lottare per riavere indietro questi pezzi del proprio territorio, seppur deturpati dalle attività svolte negli ultimi sessant’anni.
Solo il Popolo Sardo è legittimato a decidere l’impiego futuro di queste terre e occorre rifiutare con forza qualsiasi proposta di riconversione, di riutilizzo, qualsiasi ipotesi di impiego delle terre calata dai ministeri italiani, va assolutamente rigettata.
Libe.r.u.
Liberos Rispetados Uguales

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REVISTA “PAZ Y SOBERANÍA”

New issue of Paz y Soberanía – Nuevo número de Paz y Soberanía
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
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The new issue of the organ of Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples is published.
El nuevo número del órgano del Movimiento Cubano por la Paz y la Soberanía de los Pueblos se publica.

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Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples

THE PHILIPPINE STRUGGLE FOR THE REMOVAL OF U.S. MILITARY BASES/5th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR PEACE AND THE ABOLITION OF FOREIGN MILITARY BASES Guantanamo, Cuba, May 4 to 6, 2017

5th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR PEACE AND

THE ABOLITION OF FOREIGN MILITARY BASES

Guantanamo, Cuba, May 4 to 6, 2017

THE PHILIPPINE STRUGGLE FOR THE

REMOVAL OF U.S. MILITARY BASES

(Paper contributed by the Philippine Peace and Solidarity Council)

The Philippines-USA Military Bases Agreement (MBA) was imposed by the USA upon the Philippines on March 14, 1947, and originally had a period of 100 years (or up to 2047). In 1966, during the first term of President Ferdinand Marcos, negotiations were held for the return to the Philippines of the smaller bases and for the reduction of the period of stay of the remaining US military bases. This led to the September 16, 1966 Agreement signed by then Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Narciso Ramos and US State Department Secretary Dean Rusk, which amended the MBA. The validity period was reduced to 25 years starting from that amendatory agreement, and the MBA was set to expire on September 16, 1991.

In January 1988, the US government through US Ambassador Nicholas Platt sent an Aide Memoire, not to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, but directly to President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, requesting the holding of a joint Philippine-US review of the MBA starting in April 1988. The US purpose was to ensure the retention of US military bases in the Philippines beyond 1991. The Philippines entered a critical period with all anti-imperialist forces joining ranks to campaign for the non-extension of the MBA beyond September 1991, even while the Cory Aquino regime was supported by US imperialism in rallying all local reactionary forces favoring the retention of US military bases beyond 1991.

The retention of US military bases in the Philippines was one of the main concerns of US imperialism in manipulating the events which led to the February 1986 change in administration from Marcos to Cory Aquino. US imperialism needed a new caretaker for the critical period within which the 1988 final renegotiation of the MBA would fall. Marcos would have signed any agreement for the extension of the US bases beyond 1991, so long as the Americans would similarly extend him in office. However, Marcos was already too discredited nationally and internationally, and any agreement that he would sign would also be discredited nationally and internationally. US imperialism needed a new caretaker for its Philippine neo-colony –- one with an aura of “popularity” drummed up by the western media, to ensure that the extension of the MBA would also be “acceptable”.

US imperialism wanted to retain the US military bases in the Philippines in order to serve its following “strategic interests” then : (1) “containing” the Soviet Union inside a ring of US military bases worldwide ; (2) supporting the build-up of the US military presence in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf ; (3) ensuring US control of “choke points” or strategic straits [the Malacca, Lombok and Sunda Straits] in the region ; (4) maintaining the capacity to militarily intervene anywhere in our region ; (5) safeguarding the USA’s politico-military and economic–cultural domination over the Philippines ; and (6) keeping a coercive influence over (or pointing a gun at the head of) any Philippine administration.

However, from the standpoint of the Filipino people’s own interests, there were eight (8) main reasons for the removal of all US military bases from the Philippines, which are the following :

1. THE PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES JEOPARDIZES THE VERY

EXISTENCE OF THE ENTIRE FILIPNO PEOPLE IN CASE OF A NUCLEAR WAR.

At that time, the USA was maintaining about 2,500 foreign military bases and tracking stations in 114 countries throughout the world, including 520 in Asia and the Pacific. The USA’s primary aim in maintaining overseas military bases was its mad desire to attain an overwhelming nuclear superiority – the capability of launching the concerted and decapitating “first strike” that it had often threatened against the USSR.

It is important to note that while the USSR and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have pledged not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and never to use any nuclear weapon against nuclear-weapon-free countries, the USA on the other hand had threatened many times to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries (Korea in the 1950s ; Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea in the 1960s and 1970s ; Cuba, Libya, Iran, etc). US military bases worldwide therefore serve as launching pads for nuclear war, and the removal of these foreign bases will help prevent US adventurism and nuclear war plans.

In the context of the international balance of nuclear forces, US military bases were in the Philippines not to prevent a nuclear attack on the Philippines, and not to defend the Philippines from such an attack. US military bases were in the Philippines and other parts of the world precisely to invite nuclear counter-attacks on these bases in case of a nuclear war.

According to US war strategists, the maintenance of US nuclear bases in foreign lands around the world would disperse any counter-attack after a US first-strike, thus deflecting a significant part of any counter-strike away from the US mainland.

The presence of US military bases in the Philippines therefore kept the very existence of the entire Filipino people hostage to the USA’s nuclear war plans. Having US nuclear bases here automatically made the Philippines a target, or a “magnet”, of nuclear counter-strikes. Only the removal of those bases would remove the Philippines from being a target of a nuclear counter-strike.

The world knows that there can be no survival in case of an all-out nuclear war. Human survival can only be assured by preventing nuclear war, and an important task in preventing nuclear war (and therefore assuring the survival of our people) is the removal of all foreign military bases from which nuclear war can be launched by design or by accident.

2. THE PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES THREATENS OUR COUNTRY

WITH NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION AND DEVASTATION IN CASE

OF A NUCLEAR-WEAPON ACCIDENT.

US military bases in the Philippines served as airports and seaports of nuclear-armed warplanes and warships. Clark Air Base (CAB) played host to F-4E fighter-bombers and B-52 bombers armed with nuclear bombs and missiles. Subic Naval Base (SNB) played host to guided missile cruisers, aircraft carriers, submarines and other warships armed with nuclear weapons, as well as P-3 “Orion” anti-submarine bombers armed with nuclear depth charges.

As early as February 1975, the Center for Defense Information of the USA revealed that “nuclear weapons are in Korea and the Philippines.” The presence of nuclear weapons in US military bases here was further confirmed with the issuance on March 10, 1978, by the US Naval Commander of the Subic Naval Base, of directives concerning measures to be undertaken in case of a nuclear-weapon accident (CINCPAC-REP-PHIL INSTRUCTION 00020-1A, entitled “Nuclear Material Accidents/Significant Incidents”). Retired Rear-Admiral Gene LaRoque of the Center for Defense Information also testified before the US Congress in 1983 that nuclear weapons are hidden in the US military bases in the Philippines, and that most of the US warships calling at Subic Naval Base are armed with nuclear weapons.

With the presence of nuclear weapons, these bases may at any moment become the centers of devastating nuclear explosions in case of a computer malfunction, a plane crash, an accident in the handling of nuclear weapons, or any error by US servicemen controlling the nuclear weapons at these bases. A nuclear explosion may also result from criminal acts inasmuch as, according to the US Center for Defense Information (“Current Issues in US Defense Policy,” 1976, p. 198), more than 3,000 US servicemen having to do with nuclear weapons are found each year to be suffering from psychological problems such as drug addiction, alcoholism, indiscipline or mental derangement.

In case of an accidental explosion of just a single one megaton nuclear weapon at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga province, this would mean the immediate death of all the residents of Pampanga province, the southern part of Tarlac province, and the adjoining parts of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Zambales and Bataan provinces. Everyone within a radius of 10 kilometers from the explosion could be turned into ashes with the instantaneous combustion of everything that is inflammable –- household cooking gas in tanks, fuel in tanks of vehicles and industrial plants, etc. Any structure within a distance of 20 kilometers from the explosion could be demolished by the blast wave, killing the occupants through multiple fractures from falling debris or through intense dust and smoke suffocation. Anyone within a radius of 50 kilometers who, by reflex, glances at the fireball at the time of explosion, could be blinded by the radiation that can burn the retinas of the eyes.

The radioactive fall-out from that explosion would immediately cover 70,000 square kilometers, or the area from Pangasinan province in the north, to Batangas province in the south (including Metropolitan Manila), where one-third of our country’s population reside. This radioactive fall-out would poison all food and water resources, render all structures inhabitable and all lands unproductive, doom the affected population to general debility and excruciating deaths, and create monstrous abnormalities and deformities among babies to be delivered by affected mothers. The longer-range medical, psychological, socio-economic, genetic and environmental damage to our nation would be incalcutable.

Every minute and every second therefore that US nuclear bases and weapons remain in our country, the Filipino people’s very existence is endangerd by the threat of accidental genocide.

3. THE PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES IN THE PHILIPPINES IS THE

MAIN THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND INDEPENDENCE.

The US military bases were not here to protect us. Those bases were established by US colonial forces for the protection, furtherance and perpetuation of exploitative US interests, against the interests and against the will of the Filipino people.

The Filipino people never invited the setting up of US military bases in our country. These bases were set up as centers for the suppression of our people’s struggle for independence from the savage US occupation of our country at the turn of the last century. US colonialism and its most glaring aspect — US military bases — were established in the Philippines by the overwhelming forces of US aggression and the terror during that infamous period of US expansionism in Asia.

It was through outright invasion and terrorist suppression — including the burning of whole towns ; the herding of Filipino civilians into concentration camps ; the ravaging of wide areas declared as “free killing zones” ; and the systematization of inhuman torture, mutilations, executions, rape and plunder — that these colonial bases were foisted upon the Philippines.

During the 45 years of the direct US colonial period, these bases were used to suppress the heroic struggles of Filipino freedom fighters (who were branded by the US invaders as “insurrectos” or “brigands”), and to defend the consolidation and expansion of US economic, political and cultural control over our country.

After the so-called “grant” of Philippine independence in 1946, the US retention of those bases undermined our country’s independence and effectively buttressed the US imposition of exploitative economic and other neocolonial dictates on our country.

As before, the bases continued to protect and perpetuate the dominance of US interests over our economy, politics and other aspects of national life. Those bases continued to enforce the neocolonial system in the Philippines — the continued exploitation of our economy by transnational corporations ; the continued dictation by the World Bank, IMF and foreign creditor banks over our government policies ; the continued role of the USA as the main dispenser of political patronage to all the traditional political figures and family dynasties in our country (both in the administration and in the “opposition”) ; and the continued dominance of US influence over our mass media, educational system and culture.

Even the testimonies by US military and state department officials during the 1969 hearings of the US Senate’s Sub-Committee on US Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad clearly revealed that US bases were here only for the defense of what the USA considers to be her economic and other strategic interests in our country and in our region.

The overwhelming coercive power of those bases — the land, sea and air forces — are to be directly used for the outright reconquest and reoccupation (“Grenada-style”) of the Philippines should our people finally come to the firm determination of ridding our country of all the exploitative structures and practices of US imperialism. US military forces at these bases would be used as the final suppressant against the growing demand of the Filipino people for the removal of the neocolonial system which enriches US and other foreign investors while trapping the Filipino masses in the mire of poverty, unemployment, hunger, disease and illiteracy.

The presence in our country of US military base gives the USA the convenient power of threatening, destabilizing and overthrowing any government here. It is in this light that US policy-makers can boast of being the real kingmakers in our national politics, as exemplified by US State Secretary George Shultz’ statement (made during President Cory Aquino’s visit to Indonesia) that the US government will have no qualms in destabilizing her administration if the US government perceives that US interests are being jeopardized by her regime.

It should be remembered that the role of the US military bases and forces in the Philippines was the crucial factor in the February 1986 change of government from Ferdinand Marcos to Cory Aquino. The coup d’etat attempt launched against Marcos by his Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and his Constabulary Chief Fidel V. Ramos had miserably failed, and the coup ringleaders cooped up at Camps Crame and Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Metropolitan Manila, appealed for US help to save their skins. With the dependence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on US communication equipment, direct orders to AFP field commanders were being issued by US embassy and military officers, using superior facilities. US orders ensured the massive defection of AFP units to the side of the failed coup ringleaders in Camps Crame and Aguinaldo, and US embassy and military officers warned the Marcos-loyalist forces in the AFP against attacking Camps Crame and Aguinaldo.

Clark Air Base became the center of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) units which defected to the Enrile-Ramos side. PAF planes and helicopter gunships were refueled and resupplied at the Clark Air Base by USAF forces in order to give air cover for Camps Crame and Aguinalso, and to bomb the Malacañang Presidential Palace to force Marcos to leave. Finally, with US gunboats reportedly ready to help storm Malacañang Palace, Marcos had to accept his family’s evacuation from Malacañang Palace to Clark Air Base by USAF helicopters. Thereafter, the USA physically determined Marcos’ destination, and flew him and his family and entourage to Hawaii.

The US junking of their former “right arm in Asia” (i.e., Marcos), did not mean that US forces here would consistently support their new caretaker in the Philippine government (i.e., Cory Aquino). The loyalty of the US forces here is only to their own interests, and as they found it convenient to destabilize even the Aquino regime to keep her regime dependent upon and subservient to the USA, US military advisers (led by Lt. Col. Victor Raphael) were also involved in the August 1987 and other coup attempts against Cory Aquino by ultra-rightist elements in the AFP.

While US bases and forces remain in the Philippines, the USA will always have the same manipulative and coercive powers over any Philippine administration. It should be remembered too that US military bases have served as instigators of military coups in the past in such host countries as South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Panama also suffered outright intervention from the US military forces in the Panama Canal Zone. US military bases and forces in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras and other countries in the US “backyard” of Latin America have in the past been the determining factors in the rise and fall of their “banana regimes.”

The history of the US role in deposing their own puppets Syngman Rhee, Ngo Dinh Diem and Ferdinand Marcos, should be convincing proof that the only purpose of US military bases is to defend the exploitative and aggressive US interests in their host countries and regions.

4. THE PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES WAS ONLY

FORCED UPON THE PHILIPPINES

The US military bases were established against the will, and against the interests, of the Filipino people during the period of the US colonial subjugation and occupation of the Philippines. The retention of these bases after the so-called “grant” of independence in 1946 was again forced against the will and against the interests of the Filipino people.

Even the Philippine “Commonwealth” legislature under the US colonial government objected to the presence of US military bases when it rejected the 1933 Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act of the US Congress which provided for the maintenance of US military bases in the Philippines after the “grant” of independence. The concurrent Resolution of the Philippine legislature called the retention of US military bases in the Philippines after independence as “inconsistent with true independence…(and) violates national dignity.” Upon representation by a Philippine Independence Mission to the US Congress, the Hare-Hawes-Cutting act was replaced by the 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Law which provided for the removal of US military bases (except for “naval reservations and fuelling stations” whose presence shall be subject to negotiations within two years after the grant of independence).

However, during the grim period of the Second World War (i.e., without consultation with the Filipino people), the US Congress passed a Joint Congressional Resolution on June 29, 1944, revising the Tydings-McDuffie Law and giving the US president the authority to secure US military bases in the Philippines after the grant of independence.

The Philippines was devastated during the Second World War, particularly as a result of US carpet-bombings during the US re-invasion and re-occupation of the Philippines from the end of 1944 to February 1945. Manila became known as the “Warsaw of the East”, having been almost totally turned to rubble by US carpet-bombings supposedly to root out the suicidal Japanese hold-outs. The Philippine economy lay in ruins, and the tasks of Philippine reconstruction were staggering in the face of widespread social problems and corrupted values spawned by the torments, brutality and deprivations of the war. Black-marketing of relief and surplus goods, ‘backpay” rackets and crimes were widespread. Impoverished children were selling their sisters to the GI’s who earlier had bombed their homes. Paramilitary “civilian guards” (the post-war version of today’s “vigilantes”) were widely organized by warlords out to regain their pre-war estates that the peasants occupied during the war.

Political warlords, tainted with the crime of collaborating with the Japanese invaders, were reinstalled into office by US design. With US support, the presidency was won by Manuel Roxas, a minister of the Japanese puppet government who was saved from trial before the People’s Tribunal only by US intercession. At that time, former Japanese puppets saved from prison by US intervention were the most convenient puppets in the transition to neo-colonial “independence.”

Economic assistance in the reconstruction of our country was willfully withheld by the USA, and was made conditional on Philippine acceptance of neo-colonial agreements such as the granting to the USA of military bases and “parity rights” (the equal right of US citizens, similar to Filipino citizens, to engage in any business in the Philippines). It therefore appears that the Philippines was intentionally ruined in the process of US re-occupation, so that the USA can thereafter impose neo-colonial conditions in exchange for relief and reconstruction “aid” (which “aid” primarily benefitted the US puppets in the new “independent” government).

To ensure the elimination of an effective opposition to the US imposition of “parity rights” and military bases, the puppet Roxas regime prevented elected nationalists and anti-collaborators belonging to the Democratic Alliance party from assuming their positions in Congress when the first “independent” Congress opened on May 28, 1946. A campaign of terror (dubbed as “counter-insurgency”) was also unleashed against patriotic organizations which were campaigning against US military bases and “parity rights”. Government forces openly used the para-military “civilian guards” of local warlords to hunt down leaders and members of patriotic organizations.

Peace talks with the restive HUKBALAHAP (anti-Japanese guerrilla) veterans and the PKM (National Federation of Peasants) were effectively sabotaged by the ultra-rightists through the kidnap-murder on August 24, 1946, of peasant leader Juan Feleo who was on the way to Manila with government escorts to conduct negotiations with the government. Widespread indignation was met with more repression under the puppet government’s “mailed first policy” against the restive masses.

It was under these abnormal and highly scandalous circumstances that US imperialism and its Roxas puppet regime forced upon the Filipino people the Military Bases Agreement of March 14, 1947, which was an executive agreement that was never ratified by the Philippine legislature or by the Filipino people.

5. THE U.S. MILITARY BASES IN THE PHILIPPINES ARE LAUNCHING PADS

OF U.S. AGGRESSION AGAINST OUR NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, AND

ARE THEREFORE CREATING ENEMIES FOR THE PHILIPPINES.

Since the time that US forces established military bases in the course of their conquest of the Philippines, these military bases have been used as launching pads of US aggression against our neighboring countries. In 1900, US expeditionary forces rushed from the Philippines helped to crush the Chinese people’s “Boxer Rebellion” which nearly overwhelmed the western colonialist enclave in Beijing.

In 1918-1919, in the wake of the Great October Socialist Revolution which overthrew the imperialist system in Russia in 1917, US expeditionary forces from the Philippines conquered Vladivostok, large parts of eastern Siberia, and the Pacific maritime territories of Soviet Russia. While Western propaganda media continue to harp about a “Soviet threat” to the USA and the whole world, they never mention that it was the US, Japanese and European imperialist forces which invaded and pillaged many parts of the young Soviet state in 1918 to 1919.

In 1949, Philippine-based units of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet helped to prevent the newly-established People’s Republic of China from incorporating the island of Formosa (now Taiwan) as part of its territory. In 1954 and 1958, Philippine-based units of the US 7th Fleet were rushed to the Formosa Strait in the wake of the Quemoy-Matsu shelling incidents.

In 1950-53, US military bases in the Philippines were used as launching pads of US aggression against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). That war of aggression saw the US destruction by carpet-bombing of Pyongyang and other major population centers of the DPRK, and the crossing by US troops across the Yalu river into the territory of the People’s Republic of China. To cover up their blatant intervention in the internal affairs of the Korean people, and their perfidious attack against the DPRK, the USA dragged other countries into participating in their war of aggression against the Korean people. The Philippines was forced to send two army battalions (the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea, or PEFTOK) to fight alongside the US forces of aggression against the Korean people. Impartial studies have shown that the USA, while using the myth of a “North Korean attack”, was the real aggressor in that war. In retrospect, the Philippines is discovering itself in the shameful position of having been involved in that US war of aggression which has perpetuated the division of the Korean nation.

In May 1958, at the height of the US-instigated “Black Colonels’ Revolt” in Indonesia against President Sukarno, Clark Air Base and the US-controlled Sanga-Sanga airstrip in the southern Mindanao island of Tawi-Tawi, were used to resupply the coup leaders and to bomb the Sukarno strongholds in Sumatra and Sulawesi. A US Air Force B-26 bomber was shot down over Ambon during a bombing run, and the CIA pilot, Allen Pope, admitted to having taken off originally from Clark Air Base. The Sukarno government nearly broke off diplomatic relations with the Philippines, and again, the Philippines found itself on the side of the aggressor due to the presence in our territory of the aggressive US military bases.

In the 1960s and up to 1975, US military bases in the Philippines were used as launching pads of US aggression against Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea. Even as early as the mid-1950s, these bases were already involved in the CIA’s “Operation Brotherhood” civic action programs in Indochina, which programs involved Filipino doctors, nurses, teachers and intelligence agents. Since the so-called “Gulf of Tonkin incident” (an alleged “North Vietnamese attack” on 2 US navy ships in August 1964) which the USA used as the “justification” for militarily intervening in Indochina, the US bases in the Philippines have been used as transshipment and loading ports for the bombs, artillery shells, missiles, napalm, defoliants and toxic chemicals that the US forces rained on Indochina.

Again, in retrospect and in the light of US Congressional finding that the “Gulf of Tonkin incident” was a myth, the Philippines found itself in the abominable position of having aided the USA’s barbarous war against the Indochinese peoples. The Philippines not only served as a “catapult” for devastating US strikes against Vietnam, but even sent more than 2,000 troopers under the so-called Philippine Civic Action Group (PHILCAG) to help the US forces occupy a part of Southern Vietnam.

In 1979, US Rapid Deployment Forces (RDFs) were rushed from Subic Naval Base to the Persian Gulf in the wake of the overthrow by the Iranian people of the US-propped Shah Reza Pahlavi regime. Thereafter, the US military bases in the Philippines served as transit and resupply points for the beefing up of the US military presence in the Persian Gulf, in the Indian Ocean, and in Diego Garcia.

In all the above, the Philippines served a mercenary role as a major host of US forces which undertook subversive, interventionist and even aggressive actions against our fellow Asian countries. As such, the US military bases have created enemies for the Philippines from among our Asian neighbors who should all be our friends.

6. THE PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES IS A BLATANT DEROGATION

OF OUR TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY.

Despite the 1979 renegotiation of the military bases agreement which redefined the bases as “Philippine bases”, allowed the Philippine flag to fly over the bases, and provided for the assignment of a “Filipino Base Commander,” the presence in our country of those bases and the “unhampered right of military operations” of US forces in our country were a palpable negation of our territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

A country which allows foreign military forces to occupy parts of its territory, which allows the unhampered access and military operations of the occupying forces over its whole territory (including seas and airspace), which begs for “aid” from the foreign occupiers who exploit its people, and which stands helpless before the flagrant violation of its laws by the occupying forces, cannot expect respect from the community of independent nations. Such a country deserves the pejorative description of a neo-colony –- a puppet of imperialism.

With the presence of US military bases and forces on its territory, the Philippines was always considered by the world community as a mercenary or lackey of aggressive US policies. With the presence of those bases, the Philippines never deserved membership in the prestigious Non-Aligned Movement. With the presence of those bases, the Philippines alone stood for a long time as the stumbling-block to the realization of a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in the ASEAN region. While being the only country hosting foreign military bases in the ASEAN region, the Philippines degenerated into a miserably mendicant country of this region.

What self-respect can a people have when their children are shot or raped for approaching or allegedly “trespassing” on their own lands occupied by foreign powers? The November 24, 1964 murder of 16-year old Rogelio Balagtas, who was shot while scavenging for metal scraps about 300 meters away from the US-controlled Crow Valley gunnery range, has remained unpunished. The murderer, USAF Airman First Class Larry Cole, was spirited out of the country by Clark Air Base officials after he alleged that he merely mistook Balagtas for a “wild boar”.

The December 13, 1964 shooting of two Filipino fishermen (one of whom was killed) 100 meters off Subic Naval Base, has also remained unpunished. The murderers, Marine Corporals James Thomas and Jesse Edwards, were similarly spirited out of the country by Subic Naval Base officials. It was just like killing “wild fish.” Maybe a case of killing “wild birds” was the 1985 “buzzing” of a Philippine Air Lines (PAL) trainer plane by a USAF Phantom jet over Pangasinan province, which caused the crash of the PAL trainer plane and the death of the flight instructor and the pilot-trainee. The case also remains unsolved, with the involved USAF pilots being merely transferred out of the country by Clark Air Base officials.

Also merely forgotten were the numerous cases of girl scavengers who were raped or molested by US servicemen inside the base dumps, the cases of attack dogs being unleashed against children approaching or allegedly “trespassing” upon the bases, the bombing of houses and crops around the Crow Valley gunnery range, the molesting of women and unauthorized searching of homes around the bases by US servicemen, and other crimes. Of around 50 cases of murder, rape, physical injuries and other serious crimes filed against US servicemen, none of the accused ever faced Philippine courts, with base authorities merely issuing certifications that the crimes were committed in the course of the “performance of duty” by the accused.

7. U.S. MILITARY BASES BREED PROSTITUTION, DRUG-PUSHING,

GUN-RUNNING, SMUGGLING, BLACK MARKETING

AND OTHER ORGANIZED CRIMES.

With the presence of those bases being the most glaring proof of the corruption, prostitution and vileness of the local regimes allowing their presence, the Philippines earned the stigma of being the center of prostitution, crime, corruption and immorality in our region.

Ensnared and victimized by the corrupting influence of the US military bases, no less than 20,000 poor Filipina women and girls have become prostitutes around those bases. Most have fallen prey to white slavery rings financed by US servicemen and retirees, and other foreign gangsters. With the presence of US military bases, the Philippines became noted as a cheap R-and-R (“rest-and-recreation”, or sex and booze) joint for US servicemen.

As transit points in the drug trade which extends from the poppy fields of the “Golden Triangle” to the junkie joints in the USA, the US military bases in the Philippines served as centers of drug syndicates in our country. No less than 5,000 drug addicts were under rehabilitation around those bases in the late 1980s, with many thousands more leading self-destructive lives as captives of drug syndicates and other related crime rings. Among the other crime rings which gravitated around those bases were the gun-running syndicates which sold arms to local warlords ; the smuggling syndicates which facilitated the entry of “PX” goods that caused ruinous competition against local manufacturers ; and the dollar blackmarketing syndicates which served as conduits for foreign exchange flight.

The cruelty, baseness and sordidness of the social ills bred by the US bases was starkly illustrated by the rise of sadism and perversion around those bases. A case in point was the 1982 rape of ten Olongapo children (aged 9 to 14 years old, who were moreover infected with herpes, secondary syphilis and even gonorrhea of the rectum) by US Navyman Daniel Dougherty. Another evil bred by the US bases was the rise in the trafficking of children for the sex trade, which victimized countless children around the bases, including Rosario Baluyot who was raped by several foreigners and who later died of infection from a broken vibrator tip that got lodged in her vagina.

By the late 1980s, about 50 cases of full-blown AIDS have been confirmed among entertainers in the sex strips around Clark Air Base. Expenses for the proper testing of susceptible people, and for the monitoring and control of the then-rising HIV-AIDS epidemic, were estimated to be more than the amount of US economic assistance to the Philippines.

It was a crying shame that the exploitation of Filipina women and the perversion of children around the US military bases have worsened under the regime of Cory Aquino, the woman president who ran for office under the slogan of morality.

8. THE CONTINUED PRESENCE OF U.S. MILITARY BASES IN OUR COUNTRY

WAS CONTRARY TO THE INTERNATIONAL TREND TOWARDS

DISARMAMENT, TOWARDS THE REMOVAL OF FOREIGN

MILITARY FORCES, AND TOWARDS NON-ALIGNMENT

AMONG DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

The campaign for the removal of US military bases from the Philippines at the end of the 1980s was favored by the then international trend towards disarmament, which aimed not only at freeing mankind from the threat of nuclear genocide, but also at removing the foreign military presence of powerful countries, and strengthening non-alignment among developing countries. This trend had been earlier laid by the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and has led to the lessening of tensions in that continent, and to the considerable reduction of conventional forces in Eastern Europe.

In 1975 also, Thailand booted out US military bases after the ignominious end of the US war of aggression against Vietnam and the other Indochinese countries. In 1987, in order to lessen tensions in Asia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea unilaterally transferred 100,000 men from its armed forces to the civilian sector of its economy, while the People’s Republic of China demobilized one million servicemen.

The December 1987 US-Soviet agreement on the elimination of all their medium and short-range nuclear missiles had alredy led to the dismanting of Soviet bases in the German Democratic Republic and in Czechoslovakia, and to the reduction of US forces in western Europe. Soviet forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan in 1989, Vietnamese forces were withdrawn from Kampuchea (Cambodia) in 1990, and Indian peacekeeping forces were withdrawn from northern Sri Lanka also in 1990.

In May 1987, the Soviet Union had called for the removal of all nuclear weapons and foreign military bases from the Asia-Pacific region, for the withdrawal of naval flotillas beyond agreed lines, and for respect for Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. With this background and general trend, the continued presence of US military bases in the Philippines, a country which faces no external threat, had become an indefensible anachronism.

The dismantling of the USA’s overseas military bases had by then become a historic imperative. The 1984 declaration of New Zealand as a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone had dismantled the ANZUS (Australia-NewZealand-US military alliance) bloc, and put an end to any US military presence in New Zealand. The 1985 declaration by the 12-nation South Pacific Forum of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone had further bolstered the legal basis for the restriction of the US military presence in the Pacific. This was despite the fact that the USSR and the PRoC were the only nuclear powers which have acceded to the Rarotonga Treaty’s 3 Protocols banning nuclear powers from testing, bringing (or dumping), and using or threatening to use, nuclear weapons and materials in or against any South Pacific Forum country.

At that time, movements for the removal of US military bases were also gaining wider and more militant adherents in South Korea and Japan. There was also wider opposition to the renegotiation and extension of US military bases treaties in Portugal, Turkey and Australia. The campaign for the removal of US military bases from the Philippines also had strong parallels in similar campaigns for the removal of US military bases from Spain and Greece (whose prime ministers, Felipe Gonzales and Andreas Papandreou, respectively, were both elected on anti-US-bases platforms).

POSTSCRIPT

In campaigning among the people, the anti-US-bases movement in the Philippines continued to harp on the above 8 main reasons for the removal of US military bases from the Philippines. That campaign exposed the mercenary nature of the Cory Aquino camp which proposed a 10-year extension of the Military Bases Agreement on the basis of the US promise of economic assistance.

The anti-US-bases campaign drew the support of the majority of the members of the Philippine Senate, which rejected the Cory Aquino proposal by a vote of 12 vs. 11 on September 16, 1991. That Senate vote rejecting the renewal of the Military Bases Agreement was similar to a Philippine Declaration of Independence from US imperial control, and was the happiest day in the lives of many Filipinos.

With the rejection of the renewal of the Military Bases Agreement, thousands of US military personnel began to leave the Philippines, and the dismantling of US military facilities at the Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base was completed by the end of 1992. Thereafter, the economic conversion of these 2 bases into civilian business centers began in earnest. The former Clark Air Base is now an international airport, while the former Subic Naval Base is now a ship-building and ship-repair center. Tourist hotels, malls and leisure centers have been developed in both these former military bases.

One of the 12 senators who voted against the retention of US military bases –- former screen actor Joseph “Erap” Estrada –- went on to win the presidency in 1998. Unable to resist US pressures, he signed in 1999 the US-proposed “Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)” which allows US forces to stay at Philippine military camps for “visits” to conduct joint military exercises with Philippine forces. The VFA was ratified by a more pliant Philippine Senate on May 27, 1999, and has since become a main issue in the continuing Philippine struggle for national liberation. Despite giving in to the US demand for the VFA, President Estrada continued to be on the receiving end of a US-supported campaign for his ouster. Estrada was finally ousted from the presidency in a bloodless coup on January 20, 2001, without even completing half of his presidential term. Apparently, the US imperialists never forgave him for his role in voting against the renewal of the Military Bases Agreement in 1991.

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Gentatsu Ashimine Takae residents’ association against helipads construction Okinawa, Japan

My name is Gentatsu Ashimine from Takae in Higashi Village, Okinawa.

I love nature. I wanted to raise my children to have a spiritually rich life in the Yambaru forest of northern Okinawa. We spent three years looking for a place to live, then finally found land in Takae. We bought the land, built a house by ourselves, and started our life in the Yambaru forest. My family is myself, my wife, and our six children. Our children have been growing up freely and healthily in the rich forest. Playing and running with barefoot every day, they have gotten to know the many species of plants and animals and have learned the importance of life. The forest is an irreplaceable and precious place for us.

We wanted to share with as many people as possible how relaxing and comfortable it is to live in the forest, so we started building a lodge for visitors. We wanted to continue to live in Takae.

However, in 2007, we found out in the newspaper that the Japanese and U.S. governments had agreed to construct six U.S. military helipads which will surround the Takae residential area as a condition for the return of part of the U.S. Northern Jungle Warfare Training Center in the Yambaru forest. Since then, we have asked the Japanese government and the Defense Ministry over and over how often the six helipads will be used by what kind of military aircraft and which route they will take around the helipads, but we have not been able to receive any reasonable answer.

The construction of the first two helipads were completed by 2014. Before the promised return of the part of the Northern Jungle Warfare Training Center area, the two helipads were provided for the U.S. forces without any notification to us. Soon after, Osprey aircraft began using them in 2015.

In June 2016, Osprey aircraft flew at very low altitude above our house every day and night for over three weeks. As many as three aircraft came together and flew over Takae many times as late as 11 pm. The noise was indescribably loud. We could not go to sleep. My children could not wake up the morning after the flight training. Even after waking up they looked absent-minded and could not go to school.

The Osprey has caused many accidents and a great deal of trouble. Flying directly above us, they threaten our lives. We felt that we could not live in our place any longer. In order to protect our children, we moved with them to a nearby village for two months. On the morning after our move, one of my children said to me, “I never realized I could have such a sound sleep without Osprey flying.” Hearing that, I felt heartbroken.

I immediately went to the village office and the local education board to explain the situation. Village officers came to our house, and they were surprised to hear how terrible the noise is. The local municipality requested the Defense Bureau to tell the U.S. forces to change the flight route. However, no answer has been made to the request. Although less frequently, Osprey aircraft continue to fly above our house and the Takae residential area at very low altitude. The situation never changes no matter how many times we insist.

Amid the suffering, in July last year more than 800 riot police were sent to Takae from inside and outside Okinawa. In order to promote the helipads construction, they forcibly removed those of us who were protesting against the construction and demanding a reasonable explanation from the authorities. We tried talking to the police, but they ignored us and avoided looking us in the eye. It was very frustrating and heartbreaking. I used to believe that the government and police were working to protect our peaceful life, but such belief was completely destroyed. The riot police were working for the construction of the helipads which will threaten our lives. They were removing us and hurting us while protecting construction vehicles and U.S. military vehicles without caring to have any dialogue with us. It was difficult to accept that such things were actually happening. It was like a nightmare.

All six helipads have been completed. The Osprey will use them 4,690 times a year. Our family cannot live in Takae anymore. Now, we live in a nearby village. We cannot live in our home.

Okinawa has been occupied by U.S. forces since the end of WW II. It is hosting 75% of U.S. military facilities located in Japan. Crimes and accidents by the U.S. forces occur almost every day in Okinawa. Last year, a 20-year-old woman was abducted during jogging, raped and killed by a former U.S. servicemen. Okinawans’ sufferings have reached their limits. The Japanese government is now trying to add more base burdens on us. This should not be tolerated.

This is not just a problem for Okinawa. U.S. military forces are creating havoc all over the world.
We must join forces and make efforts to stop this and create a bright future. Let us work together for our children.

Thank you.

DECLARACIÓN FINAL Quinto Seminario Internacional de Paz y por la abolición de las bases militares extranjeras “Un mundo de paz es posible” Guantánamo, 4, 5 y 6 de mayo de 2017

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“Por un mundo de paz sin bases, instalaciones y enclaves militares extranjeros”
DECLARACIÓN FINAL
Quinto Seminario Internacional de Paz y por la abolición de las bases militares extranjeras
“Un mundo de paz es posible”
Guantánamo, 4, 5 y 6 de mayo de 2017
El Quinto Seminario Internacional de Paz y por la Abolición de las Bases Militares Extranjeras se realizó nuevamente en Guantánamo, la más oriental provincia cubana y primera trinchera antiimperialista de América por tener una parte de su territorio ilegalmente ocupado por una base militar extranjera en contra de la voluntad de su pueblo.
Esta nueva edición del Seminario contó con un total de 217 participantes de 32 países entre los que se encontraron líderes del Consejo Mundial por la Paz (CMP) y de sus organizaciones miembros, así como personalidades, luchadores por la Paz, antibelicistas y amigos solidarios de Cuba procedentes de Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bostwana, Brasil, Canadá, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoras, Cuba, El Salvador, España, Estados Unidos, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Italia, Japón, Kiribati, Laos, México, Nicaragua, Palestina, Puerto Rico, RASD, República Dominicana, Seychelles, Suiza y Venezuela.
Los participantes constataron que el evento se desarrolló en el contexto de una compleja situación internacional caracterizada esencialmente por la permanencia de la agresividad del imperialismo estadounidense y de sus aliados de la OTAN que intentan reconfigurar un nuevo mapa mundial acorde con sus intereses geopolíticos y geoestratégicos y para lo cual incrementan su injerencia en naciones de todos los continentes y la opresión a sus pueblos.
Para lograr esos objetivos de intervención, dominación y chantaje contra los pueblos del mundo, el imperialismo se apoya en un conjunto de herramientas entre las que sobresale la proliferación de bases e instalaciones militares en numerosos países del planeta.
En esencia, es Estados Unidos, el país que mayor número de bases detenta en todo el orbe seguido de sus socios imperialistas de la OTAN, y es el que posee el mayor arsenal nuclear en la historia de la humanidad.
A lo anterior se adiciona la persistencia de la aguda crisis económica del capitalismo que, entre sus efectos más negativos, ha acrecentado la miseria, el hambre, la pobreza y las desigualdades en las naciones del llamado Tercer Mundo.
Las guerras injerencistas han afectado la estabilidad de varios países del Oriente Medio y de África, provocado como consecuencias los fenómenos migratorios masivos y desordenados que han causado la muerte en el mar de un gran número de inmigrantes que procuraban refugio en naciones europeas, que por lo general los rechazan.
A ese inestable contexto global se suma ahora la presencia de una nueva Administración republicana en Washington que ha generado innumerables cuestionamientos, críticas y un gran escepticismo, y cuyas acciones militares más reciente hacen sonar los tambores de una guerra de desbastadoras consecuencias para la humanidad.
En América Latina y El Caribe, el imperialismo y sus lacayos de turno de las oligarquías nacionales de varios países, intentan revertir el proceso de cambios progresistas iniciado por fuerzas de la izquierda hace ya más de una década, y pretenden restablecer las políticas neoliberales que tanto daño causaron a los pueblos de la región.
Para ello el imperio y sus acólitos, apelan a una sucia guerra económica, política y mediática dirigida a confundir a los pueblos y a destruir el entramado de logros sociales alcanzados por gobiernos progresistas en Venezuela, Bolivia, Brasil, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua y otros, donde hoy se dirime el futuro de toda la región.
En ese contexto, cobra mayor vigencia la Proclama de América Latina y El Caribe como Zona de Paz aprobada por la II Cumbre de la CELAC realizada en La Habana en enero de 2014 como el compromiso político de mayor envergadura adoptado por todos los Estados latinoamericanos y caribeños, reafirmado en las Declaraciones emitidas en la IV Cumbre efectuada en Quito, Ecuador, en enero de 2016, y en la V Cumbre realizada en Punta Cana, República Dominicana, en enero de 2017.
Reconociendo a las personas que luchan en el mundo por la Abolición de las Bases Militares Extranjeras y por lo expuesto con anterioridad, este Quinto Seminario Internacional llama a redoblar la lucha contra las acciones agresivas imperialistas que amenazan a la paz mundial.
Lo luchadores por la paz reunidos en Guantánamo también nos
COMPROMETEMOS A:
 Denunciar sistemáticamente la agresión y la injerencia económica, política y militar del imperialismo estadounidense y sus aliados de la OTAN.
 Alertar a los pueblos sobre los peligros de una conflagración nuclear mundial de incalculables consecuencias para la humanidad.
 Demandar el cierre de las bases, instalaciones y enclaves militares foráneos y el retiro inmediato de las tropas de ocupación extranjeras de los países donde se encuentran desplegadas.
 Continuar reclamando a Estados Unidos que devuelva a Cuba y a su pueblo el territorio ilegalmente ocupado por la Base Naval de Guantánamo, y el levantamiento del bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero.
 Ampliar la divulgación del contenido de la Proclama de América Latina y El Caribe como Zona de Paz dada su actualidad y vigencia en el contexto político latinoamericano y caribeño.
 Fortalecer la lucha mundial contra el terrorismo, denunciando que sus acciones benefician a los objetivos del imperialismo.
 Multiplicar las acciones de la campaña internacional por un mundo de paz sin armas nucleares, químicas y bacteriológicas y revelar su presencia en bases e instalaciones militares foráneas.
 Denunciar las acciones en contra del medio ambiente y la salud de las poblaciones donde se encuentran enclavadas las bases militares extranjeras.
 Expresar la más amplia solidaridad con los países y pueblos bajo dominio colonial en El Caribe y en Sudamérica donde hay presencia militar extranjera como en Puerto Rico y en las Islas Malvinas, Georgia y Sandwich del Sur.
 Mantener la denuncia de las acciones intervencionistas del imperialismo y la oligarquía contrarrevolucionaria en Venezuela dirigidas a destruir el proceso bolivariano, lo que representa, además, una clara amenaza a la paz en la región.
 Incentivar la solidaridad con los demás procesos progresistas latinoamericanos y caribeños y con el proceso soberano de integración regional, hoy amenazados por el imperialismo.
 Expresar la más amplia solidaridad con los países y pueblos árabes bajo dominación colonial, ocupación y guerras de agresiones imperialistas y sionistas en Palestina, Siria, Irak, Líbano y la RASD. De igual modo, nos solidarizamos con los prisioneros palestinos en huelga general y exigimos la liberación de todos los patriotas de ese país en ejemplar resistencia.
 Seguir ofreciendo el más decisivo apoyo a la exitosa culminación del proceso de paz en Colombia.
 Manifestar el más irrestricto respaldo a Bolivia en su justo reclamo por la salida al mar.
 Condenar las políticas proteccionistas y las amenazas de la nueva administración estadounidense contra los migrantes.
Los participantes en el Quinto Seminario Internacional de Paz y por la abolición de las Bases Militares Extranjeras acordaron trasmitir un fraternal saludo y el reconocimiento al pueblo de Guantánamo y a sus autoridades por la cálida acogida dispensada y las facilidades extendidas para la exitosa culminación del evento.
Asimismo extendieron su saludo a todo el pueblo cubano que continúa realizando un gran esfuerzo por alcanzar una sociedad socialista más justa, próspera y sostenible, y rindieron homenaje a la memoria del líder indiscutible de la Revolución Cubana, el Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.

Guantánamo, Cuba, 6 de mayo de 2017.

“For a world of peace without foreign military bases, constructions and enclaves”
FINAL STATEMENT
Fifth International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
“A World of Peace is Possible”
Guantánamo, May 4, 5, 6, 2017
The Fifth International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases was held again in Guantánamo, the easternmost Cuban province and first anti-imperialist trench of America because part of its territory is illegally occupied by a foreign military base against the will of its people.
This most recent Seminar had a total of 217 participants from 32 countries, among them leaders from the World Peace Council (WPC) and its member organizations, as well as public figures, fighters for peace, peace-loving people and friends in solidarity with Cuba from Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bostwana, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoras, Cuba, El Salvador, Spain, the United States, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Palestine, Puerto Rico, RASD, Dominican Republic, Seychelles, Switzerland, Venezuela.
The participants confirmed that the event was celebrated within the context of a complex international situation essentially characterized by the permanent aggressiveness of the United States imperialism and its NATO allies, that attempt to rebuild a new world map according to their geopolitical and geo-strategic interests, for which purpose they increase their interference in nations from all continents and the oppression their peoples.
To achieve those purposes of intervention, domination and blackmail against the peoples of the world, imperialism relies on a group of tools, among which stands out the proliferation of military bases and facilities in numerous countries of the planet.
Essentially, the United States is the country with the largest number of military bases worldwide, followed by its imperialist NATO partners, and it is the country with the largest nuclear arsenal in the history of humankind.
Furthermore, the acute economic crisis of capitalism remains, with the increase of poverty, hunger, and inequalities in the so-called Third World nations among its most negative effects.
The interventionist wars that have severely impaired the stability of several Middle East and African countries have produced massive and chaotic migratory phenomena that have brought death at sea of a large number of migrants seeking refuge in European, nations which, in general, reject them.
To that unstable global context must be added the presence of a new Republican administration in Washington that has raised numerous questions, criticism and great skepticism, and whose most recent military actions make the drums of a war of devastating consequences for humankind sound louder than ever.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, imperialism and its current lackeys among the national oligarchies of several countries are attempting to reverse the process of progressive changes initiated by leftist forces more than a decade ago, and intend to restore the neo-liberal policies that caused so much damage to the peoples of the region.
To achieve such end, imperialism and its acolytes appeal to a dirty economic, political and media war aimed at confusing the peoples and destroying the group of social achievements attained by progressive governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua and other countries where the future of the entire region today is at stake.
Within that context, the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as Peace Zone approved by the Second Summit of the CELAC held in Havana in January, 2014 gains greater validity as the most relevant political commitment made by all Latin American and Caribbean states, confirmed by the Statements issued at the Fourth Summit held in Quito, Ecuador, in January, 2016, and at the Fifth Summit held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, in January, 2017.
Recognizing people who fight all over the world for the abolition of foreign military bases and taking into consideration all the above, this Fifth International Seminar calls to redouble the struggle against the aggressive imperialist actions that threaten world peace, and agrees to create a Global Coalition of Organizations against foreign military bases.
We, peace fighters gathered here in Guantánamo also
COMMIT OURSELVES TO:
 Systematically denounce the aggression and the economic, political and military aggressiveness and interference of the United States imperialism and its NATO allies
 Alert the peoples about the dangers of a world nuclear war of unforeseeable consequences for humankind
 Demand the closing of foreign military bases, facilities and enclaves and the immediate withdrawal of the foreign occupation troops from the countries where they are deployed.
 Continue to demand that the United States return to Cuba and its people the illegally occupied territory of the Guantánamo Naval Base, and the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.
 To disseminate the contents of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as Peace Zone, given its topical nature and validity within the Latin American and Caribbean political context
 Strengthen the world struggle against terrorism, denouncing that its actions benefit the purposes of imperialism
 Multiply the actions of the international campaign for a world of peace without nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons, and reveal their presence in foreign military bases and facilities
 Denounce the impact on the environment and the health of the populations of the territories where foreign military bases are located
 Express the widest solidarity with the countries and peoples under colonial dominance with military presence in the Caribbean and in South America, such as Puerto Rico and the Malvinas (Falkland Islands), South Georgia and South Sandwich islands
 Continue to denounce of the interventionist actions of imperialism and the counterrevolutionary oligarchy in Venezuela aimed at destroying the Bolivarian process, which in addition is a clear threat to peace in the region.
 Encourage solidarity with the remaining Latin American and Caribbean progressive processes, and with the sovereign process of regional integration, today threatened by imperialism.
 Call for the broadest international solidarity with the Arab countries and peoples under colonial domination, occupation and Zionist and imperialist wars of aggression in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and RASD.
 Likewise, we express our solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on a general strike and demand the release of all the patriots from that country who are showing an exemplary resistance.
 Continue to grant the most resolute support to the successful culmination of the peace process in Colombia
 Express the unrestricted support of Bolivia in its just demand for an access to the sea.
 Condemn the protectionist policies and threats of the new United States administration against migrants
The participants in the Fifth International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases agreed to convey a brotherly greeting and acknowledgment to the people of Guantánamo and its authorities for the warm welcome given to them, and for the facilities granted them for the successful achievement of the event.
They likewise conveyed their greetings to the entire Cuban people, which continue to make a great effort to achieve a more just, prosperous and sustainable socialist society, and paid tribute to the memory of the indisputable leader of the Cuban revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.
Guantánamo, Cuba, May 6, 2017

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