China displaces the U.S. at Ecuador’s Manta Base

The Manta Air Base in Ecuador is currently used by the United States Air Force (USAF) division of the United States Southern Command for operations against illegal cocaine trafficking in northwestern South America. U.S. operations have attracted little attention, until Ecuador’s 2006 presidential election campaign, when President-elect, Rafael Correa, pledged not to renew the U.S. lease in 2009. This would mean losing a strategic drug war position for the United States. To learn more, please open the attachment.

Main News:

  • Ecuador defense minister resigns.
  • State Oil Industry’s Future Sets off Tussle in Mexico.
  • Wide Net Cast by Lobby for Colombia Trade Pact.
  • Peru to investigate Venezuela’s interests in "Houses of ALBA."
  • French FM to Go to Colombia in Effort to Free Hostage. Sarkozy asks Argentina’s Kirchner "to hold back" Chávez.
  • Venezuela to take over at least 60% of Cemex, Holcim and Lafarge Cement Companies. Chavez nationalizes steel sector partly owned by Argentina (TECHINT). Belarus experts to help build new air defense system in Venezuela. Venezuela to buy nine Russian submarines. Chávez to enact national police law.
  • Protesters Ask for Release of All Hostages in Colombia.
  • Bush Sends Colombia Free-Trade Bill to Congress.
  • Bolivian Senate chair denounces Venezuela’s "meddling".

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