The United States is planning to open a new military base in the Islas de la Bahía (Bay Islands) in Honduras, according to a report in the Honduran newspaper El Heraldo this Wednesday.
The news emerged after the meeting between Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascual and the head of the US Sothern Command Douglas Fraser.
The US military commander is on a visit to this Central American country to promote agreements that supposedly expand the collaboration against drug trafficking and the struggle to improve regional security.
The Honduran newspaper said that the opening of this new military base would constitute the second such opening in less than a year, after April 2010 when the Southern Command established its presence in Gracias a Dios Department on the border with Nicaragua.
The United States also maintains in Honduras the Palmerola Air Base, in the city of Comayagua, from where President Manuel Zelaya was flown out after being overthrown by a coup d’état in 2009.
This is the head of the Southern Command’s second visit to Honduras in a year.
Last February, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield headed a tour of Central America during which he proposed a program similar to Plan Colombia for the region.
During that visit to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Colombia, Brownfield asserted that, “if we find our perspectives coincide in the region,” the US government hopes that it will be possible for it to “design a new structure, so that there will be more collaboration among the countries of the Central American region and also other countries in the hemisphere that wish to lend their support.”
On that occasion, Brownfield announced that the United States will allocate 200 million dollars to the program with the pretext of reinforcing the battle against drugs and crime in the region.
The original article “EEUU planea instalar otra base militar en Honduras” was published in CubaDebate on 13 April 2011. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).