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Guillermo A Belt
Guillermo A Belt
Guillermo A. Belt received a Doctorate in Law from the University of Villanueva, Havana, Cuba. He was a staff member of the Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, DC, participating in several Inter-American political missions from 1961 until retirement in 1998.


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Posted in Politics / International

Latin America: The Next Crisis?

Feb. 22, 2011 3:32 pm
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The eyes of the world are on Egypt and, increasingly, on other countries in the region where the people in the streets are demanding reforms, or the overthrow of the current regime. For obvious reasons the United States government’s attention is concentrated on these events, and the television audience in this country, fascinated by the images on the screen, is hardly aware of developments in our neighbor countries to the south, some of which may pose serious problems for US foreign policy in the near future.

Not for lack of warning voices, though. Back in October, Roger F. Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, wrote an article in Foreign Policy magazine revealing details of the secret nuclear program being developed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez for the past two years in collaboration with Iran. This week, again in Foreign Policy, José R. Cárdenas discloses documents about the deal concluded between Iran and Ecuador to conduct joint mining projects in the latter.

Cárdenas points out that Ecuador, like Venezuela, is known to possess uranium deposits. He goes on to say:

The U.S. government obviously is aware of Iran's provocative activities in our own neighborhood. As far back as 2006, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, State Department officers were asking all the right questions about Venezuela's uranium riches. Unfortunately, U.S. diplomats either have failed to monitor Iran's suspect mining activities in the Western Hemisphere or have failed to connect the dots about the dangerous game being played by Iran and co-conspirators in Venezuela and Ecuador.

The crisis in Egypt appears to have caught the US by surprise. Hopefully, the next one, especially if it takes place much closer to home, will not once more give rise to the question, why didn’t we see it coming?

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