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Global Water Supply: a Target for Neocolonialism

Water is life. As a finite resource in an ever-expanding world, it must be well managed to insure our survival.

Unfortunately, the largest funder of water management in the developing world, the World Bank, sees “well managed” as “primed for extraction of maximum profit.” Since the 1980’s, this profiteering mindset led the World Bank to push for water privatization as the ONLY option. Privatization completely ignores the essential nature of water:

Water is not like telecommunications or transportation. You could tolerate crappy phone service, but have faulty pipes connecting to your municipal water and you’re in real trouble. Water is exceptional.

A combination of climate change, increasing consumption of meat, and increasing population makes global leaders fearful about growing water scarcity. The race is on to secure the world’s water supply.

Gateway To The Guaraní Aquifer

Guaraní Aquifer. the Current CC-BY-SA 3.0

Should a 460,000 square mile (1.2 million square kilometer) fresh water reservoir be sacrificed at the altar of short term corporate profit? A legion of multinational corporations and nation states set their sights on the Guaraní Aquifer, the largest uncontaminated aquifer on the planet. Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay all possess subterranean rights. U.S. SOCOM and the Army Corps of Engineers made overtures in 2010, proposing a “workshop” to discuss ways these four countries could collaborate on management of the aquifer.

Paraguay-U.S. Relationship

Paraguayan Dictator Alfredo Stroessner. 

Long-standing ties to Paraguay made that nation a logical choice for U.S. entrée into the Guaraní Aquifer watershed. Those ties trace back to the McCarthy era. Right-Wing Paraguayan Dictator Alfredo Stroessner shared the U.S. anti communist outlook. Stroessner held power from 1954 to 1989, and U.S.-Paraguay relations grew stronger. Paraguay participated in the CIA led human rights violations of Operation Condor.

Fast-forward to 2005: U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld met with then President Duarte Frutos. Rumsfeld warned against the ‘malign’ influence of Venezuela and Cuba, countries trying to “export an ideology that harms democracy.” Rumsfeld strongly implied that U.S. assistance to Paraguay would be increased if they signed an Article 98 agreement (the Bush administration’s underhanded attempt to grant immunity from International Criminal Court jurisdiction).

Following Rumsfeld’s visit, the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay reported to the State Department:

Chavez could be behind the spread of blatantly false rumors of U.S. plans to build a base in Paraguay, deploy 400 troops to Paraguay to protect oil and natural gas reserves in Bolivia, and steal the region’s fresh water supplies from the Guarani Aquifer.

U.S. Ambassador Keane warned that Article 98 agreement negotiations were threatened by these “blatantly false” rumors.

The 2008 election of Fernando Lugo gave Paraguayans their own version of “Hope And Change.” Lugo, a former Catholic priest and “bishop of the poor,” brought a new focus on ordinary people to the presidency. Lugo pushed back against the overreach of multinational corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta, and Río Tinto. Lugo also promised to manage resources like the Guaraní Aquifer for the benefit of all.

Lugo’s impeachment in 2012 amounted to a coup d’état on behalf of multinational corporations and the U.S. empire.

Terrorists At The Triple Frontier?

Triple Frontier between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil
Triple Frontier between Argentina, Paraguay, & Brazil

The geography of the ‘Triple Frontier’ between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, lends itself well to cross-border smuggling. The de facto capital of this region, Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, plays host to an established counterfeiting and copyright piracy industry. The government of Paraguay not only allows this activity to continue, it does little to enforce customs or border traffic. The entire region has been turned into a chessboard for corporate interests and gluttonous overlords. As people suffer for want, a few make fortunes by hoarding water resources. Click To Tweet

The neocon cabal surrounding President George W. Bush used this porous border as the setting for a whopper of a tale. The storyline, courtesy of the CIA, painted a lurid picture of terror networks blending in with the Arab community of the ‘Triple Frontier.’ The U.S. and Israel arbitrarily declared this largely Lebanese expatriate population guilty of providing support to groups like Hezbollah. U.S. parlayed this rhetoric into justification for American military presence at the Mariscal Estigarribia air base in Paraguay, claiming the need to “monitor” the Triple Frontier (and the Guaraní Aquifer).

The U.S. explanation for its military presence in Paraguay falls apart upon closer examination. The United States government, overrun with ‘revolving door’ politicians and obscene amounts of money, often acts as a de facto corporate agent. In this capacity, the United States uses its military in the service of corporations like giant agriculture conglomerates like Cargill and Bunge, chemical behemoths Monsanto, Syngenta, and mining leviathan Río Tinto.

Politics Of Empire

U.S. policy in Latin America has not changed since the Cold War. Its overarching goals include preservation the free market, protection of American corporate interests, and crushing the spread of leftist regimes. Many Americans remain blissfully unaware of this charade. Twitter user @benigma2017 succinctly described this phenomenon:

When you have two parties that are both wholly owned subsidiaries of big business and big war and your news channels side with one or the other exclusively, never criticizing the side they chose, then you know you arent watching news but advertising.

Advertising brought to you by forces eager to maintain U.S. imperial status quo. #WateringNeocolonialism 

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Holly Blomberg
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Holly Blomberg

Contributing Writer at Indie Writer
Trained as both a registered nurse and an attorney, I aim to speak truth to power unconstrained by ideology or dogma. As Emerson said, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.”
Holly Blomberg
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