Future Alliances

BRASÍLIA/LIMA/BOGOTÁ/BERLIN (Own report) – The West’s power struggle with Russia has led also to tensions during the German foreign minister’s Latin America tour, which ends today. Last Friday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Brazil, which has a “Strategic Partnership” with Germany. However, the country not only refuses to join the sanctions against Russia, it is even intensifying its economic and political cooperation with Moscow. Current relations have therefore become “difficult,” according to observers, even though they are good with Peru and Colombia, next on the Foreign Minister’s schedule. Both countries are members of the “Pacific Alliance” that is directed against the Venezuela and Cuba inspired ALBA Alliance. The alliance also seeks to enhance its economic activities in East and Southeast Asia, thereby falling in line with Western efforts to position its forces against China at its periphery. Germany was given observer status at the Pacific Alliance and is intensifying military cooperation with its members.

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Germany in the Island Dispute

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Despite escalating tensions in East Asia, German companies have announced new arms exports to Western allies in China’s vicinity. Kiel’s HGW shipbuilding company has confirmed its decision to sell two submarines to Singapore. In the island disputes in eastern and southeastern Asia, Singapore is seen as one of the West’s reliable partners. The current territorial disputes over the archipelago known as the “Diaoyu Islands” (in China) and the “Senkaku Islands” (in Japan), which are claimed by both countries, gives an indication of the conflicts emerging in the region. Interest in these islands is based not so much on their resources but rather on conflicting geo-strategic interests: These Islands are part of a chain of islands Beijing considers an important defense against possible aggression. Berlin is observing these tensions with apprehension because they could threaten German business interests. German arms exports to the region, as well as the Bundeswehr’s growing cooperation with Japan, South Korea and other Western allies, are an indication that, in the case of an escalation of conflict, Germany would take sides – against China. Continue reading

The Strategy of the Pacific Alliance

BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is intensifying its relations to the new Latin American “Pacific Alliance” and, thereby, heightening tension on the subcontinent. The Pacific Alliance, a network of four Pacific bordering Latin American nations, has a neo-liberal orientation and is closely allied with the EU and the USA through free trade agreements. It is currently growing rapidly stronger and could, possibly also threaten Brazil’s standing as the subcontinent’s most powerful economic power. However, it is mainly aimed at Latin America’s Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance, struggling for autonomous development, which includes strong socially oriented policies. “The strategy of the Pacific Alliance” is “not just commercial,” it is more “a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus,” according to a minister of ALBA member Bolivia. At the beginning of the month, Germany obtained observer status at the Pacific Alliance, with which the German industry is expanding its trade relations. Alongside its increasing tensions on the Latin American continent, the alliance is helping the West prepare for the conflict of the century – between China and the USA. Continue reading

Hoping for a Historical Turning Point

CARACAS/BERLIN (Own report) – In the prelude to the German Chancellor’s visit to Latin America at the end of next week, government advisors in Berlin are predicting that the continent is facing a “historical turning point.” According to a new analysis by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), it can be expected that the “resignation” of the seriously ill Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will provoke serious upheavals – not only in Venezuela. Cuba also could be seriously affected, due to its dependence upon Caracas. Without Chávez, Alba, the international alliance that is resisting US-American and European hegemony on the continent, would be lacking a leadership, capable of achieving its objectives, says the SWP. The think tank sees herein a window of opportunity for Berlin. It can be expected that in the coming reshuffle, Brazil will be able to reinforce its standing in South America. In Berlin, this is seen as advantageous, because Brazil is one of Germany’s most important Latin American allies. In addition, writes the SWP, this opens up new opportunities for Berlin in the “promotion of democracy” and political “counseling” in Latin America. Continue reading