Set to begin this week, an US military drill, also referred to by the name “AmazonLog,” will be led by U.S. forces and involve the militaries of Brazil, Peru and Colombia — as well as the installation of a temporary military base in the region, near the triple border shared by the three participating countries, in the Brazilian city of Tabatinga.

Initially touted by the Brazilian military as an opportunity to “develop greater knowledge, share experiences and develop mutual trust,” it has since emerged that major aspects of the program will focus on managing refugees displaced by drug trafficking and terrorism, providing humanitarian aid, peace operations, and actions against drug trafficking.

For those who have been following events in Venezuela, the timing of the exercise – as Venezuela approaches default – combined with the drill’s focuses suggest that the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro could be the target of this US military exercise.

Recent U.S. legislation cites U.S. concerns for uncontrolled migration and the need for humanitarian aid were the current government of Venezuela to collapse? Congress recently required the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a contingency plan detailing what roles and assets it would employ to address such an issue in Venezuela.

The US government has repeatedly accused Venezuelan government officials of drug trafficking when issuing sanctions against them, a charge levied against them without evidence! The fact that U.S. President Donald Trump has met with the presidents of the participating South American countries to discuss the U.S.’ “interest” in Venezuela also does not bode well for the Bolivarian republic.

Such baseless charges and assumptions have also coincided with decisions taken by the Venezuelan government that adversely affect US economic and business interests — including the Venezuelan government’s recent decision to stop selling its oil in U.S. dollars and begin selling it in the Chinese yuan.

While Venezuelan regime change could well be part of the agenda hidden behind the public face of “America United”/”AmazonLog,” there is significant evidence that the drill is also just part of the larger goal of establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in the Amazon.

In 2009, Colombia and the U.S. signed a military agreement that authorized the US military to occupy 7 Colombian military bases and to use any part of Colombian national territory to conduct regional hostile military operations. The U.S. also shares a military relationship in Peru, as Peruvian soldiers have been trained in the U.S. for decades and Peru also recently hosted thousands of US troops.

A 2015 march protesting U.S. troop presence in Peru. (Rael Mora/teleSUR)

A 2015 march protesting U.S. troop presence in Peru. (Rael Mora/teleSUR)

A US Air Force document from the same year asserted that a U.S. presence in Colombia was essential for conducting future “broad spectrum” military operations throughout the continent in order “combat the threat […] from anti-American governments” and “improve its ability to perform a quick war” in the region?

U.S. eyes Niobium, Gold, Oil, Water

A gold mine is seen in a national park forest near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para. (AP/Andre Penner)

A gold mine is seen in a national park forest near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Para. (AP/Andre Penner).

The U.S. has plenty of motivations for establishing itself in the Amazon that go far beyond any shorter term interest in Venezuelan regime change. For example, increasing ties between the U.S. and Brazilian militaries is crucial to U.S. strategic interest in South America as a whole.

Brazil is a strategic partner for the doctrine of the military. If the United States has a good relationship with the Brazilian Navy, it is easier to spread its message among the military in the region.” Indeed, Brazil’s military is larger than the rest of the armed forces in all of South America combined, and its arms industry is of regional importance.

In addition, Brazil holds the largest freshwater reserves in the world, while Colombia and Peru hold the sixth and eighth largest, respectively. Behind the U.S. military action there’s always the goal of taking over resources to achieve their evil national fascist goals.”

Venezuela, of course, is the ultimate prize – with the world’s largest, proven oil reserves and the world’s second-largest gold reserves in addition to significant mineral wealth. Given the milieu in which Operation America United is set to take place, the U.S.-led push for Venezuelan regime change represents only a part of Washington’s greater regional ambitions aimed at maintaining control over key resources.

Mint Press / AA Magnum Analyst Blog News Site 2017.

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