YES to South American Summit
Alliance for Global Justice
(December 17, 2022) — With the elections of progressive candidates all along the Amazon rainforest, there are exciting opportunities to reverse the devastating assaults of global capitalism led by outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. His administration has overseen a 73% increase in deforestation there.
Conversely, before Lula da Silva left the presidency in 2010, deforestation had decreased by 67%. He has pledged to achieve zero deforestation when he returns to office in January 2023.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has made a similar commitment to defending the Amazon. However, he has made a problematic proposal for a multi-national military force that would include US and NATO participation to fight fires and illegal activities.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has proposed a summit of South American countries to first discuss among themselves the matter of saving the Amazon.
We at the Alliance for Global Justice believe that all three of these presidents, as well as Pedro Castillo in Peru, where the Amazon begins, have the interests of the region at heart. However, inviting a continuous NATO and/or Pentagon presence along the river is a big mistake.
The US and NATO have a history of belligerent expansionism and waging wars for oil and other resources that leave the ecosystems they target devastated. Their participation in a permanent military force along the lungs of the Earth and in the heart of Latin America would grant them unprecedented access to the continent.
On the other hand, the proposal of President Maduro is an excellent place to start the task of saving this bioregion. For these leaders to sit down together and share their commitments and visions for the Amazon region would be a powerful step forward. The world would anxiously and hopefully await their recommendations.
Please take a moment to send the following email to the presidents of Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and the president-elect of Brazil. The letter will be sent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Following is an English translation:
I am writing this letter to the presidents of Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, and to the president-elect of Brazil, to express my solidarity with the mission to save the Amazon rainforest. President Nicolás Maduro has proposed a summit of South American countries to discuss the crisis in the region, a crisis that affects not only South America, but the entire world.
I support this proposal. But I completely reject the proposal for a military presence in the Amazon jungle that would include any form of participation by the US military and NATO. The United States and NATO are causing tensions, threats, and wars around the world with their constant march to increase their dominance, including in regions far from the North Atlantic.
NATO and the Pentagon serve the interests of global capitalism, with no respect for sovereignty or the environment. The US and NATO have invaded and occupied too many countries, pursued too many regime changes, and waged too many wars over oil and other resources to deserve the trust of the peoples and nations of Earth.
We must not allow their presence in the Amazon region, the lungs of the Earth and the heart of South America. We hope that the leaders of the Amazon countries talk and plan together as soon as possible about the future of the Amazon, and that this future does not have the presence of the US military and NATO, a harmful and dangerous idea.