Dec 17 2007
the entire program
GUEST: Marc Becker, Latin American Historian
The United States is on the verge of losing one of its last military outposts in Latin America. Manta Airport in Ecuador is currently on a ten-year lease to the US, signed in 1999, and has been used to combat the drug trade and immigration, as well as for counterinsurgency operations. When Ecuador’s current president, Rafael Correa, was campaigning in 2006, he promised to make the contract renewal with the U.S. contingent on a reciprocal agreement allowing Ecuador to build or station their military on an air base in Miami. Predictably the US did not look too favorably on this. Manta Airport is expected to be leased to China instead. Meanwhile, Correa joined five other Latin American leaders last week in signing off on a joint development bank called the Bank of the South. The Bank of the South has been promoted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to counter the influence of Western dominated financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
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