Anyone who’s studied U.S. interventions in Latin America knows about Israel’s involvement in many of those operations. So when I say, “Exposing what the West is doing in Palestine is crucial to ending Western colonialist projects in Latin America and around the world,” it’s not without reason. The history that led to the current assault on Palestine is not dissimilar to what the United States has been doing for more than a century to various countries around the world.

The similarities between Europeans colonizing the Americas and U.S. imperialist practices are endless. But current Western policies in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and yes, even Eastern Europe follow along the ‘manifest destiny’ theme that was used to justify slaughtering tens of millions of Indigenous people in the Americas. Similarly, when oppressed people fight back against imperialism such as this, they are isolated, demonized, and terrorized to no end.

The same theme is still in use today and is seen every time a government is overthrown by the West using propaganda, sanctions, and war to make way for Western corporate interests. The weapon of choice is typically starvation implemented under the guise of forcing people to suffer thus leading to an overthrow of their leaders. However, you only have to look to Cuba to see how it is instead used to make the citizens who support their government pay for slighting the West.

Through centuries, western corporations have been caught funding terrorism in Latin America to secure access to resources. In March 2017, Chiquita Brands International pleaded guilty to making payments to a designated terrorist organization in Colombia. From 1997 to 2004, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia aka AUC) received nearly $2 million from Chiquita. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Hidden behind the Chiquita scandal is a mercenary company called Spearhead Ltd. A private paramilitary group operated by arms dealer and former lieutenant colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Yair Klein. Klein has a long history of creating turmoil around the world and he was convicted and imprisoned in Siera Leone in 1999 for providing weapons to a rebel group. But in 2007, while a free man, he was charged and convicted in absentia for training death squads for the Medellin Cartel which later became the AUC.

While the paramilitaries trained by Klein went on a bloody rampage over 20 years and murdered thousands of people, Colombia’s government fought rebel groups and cartels using Israeli-built weapons and warplanes. Despite this, Klein was never extradited to Colombia for his crimes and is now living as a free man in Israel.

It’s worth noting that earlier this year, Colombia severed its connection with Israel due to the slaughter of innocent civilians in Gaza. Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced in February that he was suspending weapons purchases from Israel over its troops firing on Palestinians seeking food in what he called genocide.

From the 1970s until the 1990s, the U.S. found itself in an awkward position. It could not throw its full support behind the Guatemalan government because of rampant human rights abuses so it turned to Israel to supply weapons to the Guatemalan Army. Israel selling weapons to consecutive U.S.-backed brutal regimes in Guatemala resulted in one of the bloodiest counterinsurgencies in the history of the Americas killing 200,000 (mostly Indigenous) people.

In the 1970s, Israel was also one of the largest military weapons suppliers to Chile under the fascist dictator, Augusto Pinochet who seized power through a U.S.-backed coup. In 1976, when the U.S. cut ties and suspended military exports to Chile, it once again turned to Israel to become its primary supplier providing aircraft, cluster-bomb technology, light arms, missiles, and naval vessels.

Israel has been involved with various U.S. interventions in Latin America including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. Israel is also the only nation to vote with the U.S. against United Nations resolutions to lift the United States’ unilateral sanctions on Cuba which has been deemed a human rights violation by nearly every country.

Israel’s history of being an imperialist hitman for the U.S. is extensive and the list of countries it involves itself in is long including countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East while partnering with governments that include Britain and France. Whenever the West decides a government is too far left to embrace Western corporate interests, countries led by the U.S. implement policies that undermine those governments through covert and overt military action.

It’s an intentional strategy that can be hidden from the broader public as funding is disguised as aid for the Israeli government and its own colonialist project. In other words, when the West wants to be sneaky about something, this approach allows them to call their hitman as the long drawn-out political process plays out at home.

The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.