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US and Colombia do military exercises with nuclear submarine near Venezuela, after sending warship through Taiwan Strait

While the world is focused on Ukraine, the US and Colombia threatened Venezuela in military exercises with a nuclear submarine, a day after Washington intimidated China by sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait.

US Colombia military exercise
The US and Colombia do military exercises on February 27, 2022 (Photo credit: US Navy / public domain)

(Se puede leer este artículo en español aquí.)

While the world is fixated on the war in Ukraine, the United States is taking provocative military actions against Venezuela and China.

The US and Colombia held military exercises with a nuclear submarine in the Caribbean Sea, near Venezuela, just one day after Washington sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait.

Both Venezuela and China saw the US military moves as clear threats, condemning the actions as provocative.

On February 27 and 28, the US Navy held anti-submarine warfare exercises with the Colombian Navy.

Colombia’s Ministry of Defense boasted that this was the first time they had done a military exercise with a nuclear submarine, the USS Minnesota.

US Southern Command (Southcom) shared photos of the exercises on its official Instagram account.

The Colombian Defense Ministry emphasized that the exercise highlighted the “interoperability between Colombia and the US.”

The private intelligence firm Stratfor, which is popularly known as the “shadow CIA,” noted that the US military exercises with Colombia were “within [the] scope of NATO.”

Although the US-led military alliance is called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the South American nation is decidedly not in the North Atlantic region, Colombia is a special “partner” of NATO.

It is NATO’s first and only “partner” in Latin America.

Washington and Bogotá claimed the exercises were aimed at fighting drug trafficking, but in reality Colombia’s government is deeply linked to drug cartels, organized crime, and violent paramilitary groups.

Colombia’s former president Álvaro Uribe, the most powerful politician in the country and a top ally of Washington, works closely with drug cartels and death squads. And Colombia’s current, far-right president, Iván Duque, only came to power because Uribe ordered an infamous drug dealer, Ñeñe Hernández, to buy votes for him.

The Colombian Navy said it felt “proud” to collaborate with the US military and deepen their integration.

For its part, Venezuela recognized the US-Colombian military exercises near its borders with a nuclear submarine as a blatant threat.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino tweeted, “Why is there such imperialist flashiness? Is this a copy of NATO expansion in the Mediterranean of the Americas?”

“You don’t battle drug trafficking, the war in Arauca [in Colombia], systematic murders and terrorist groups with nuclear submarines,” he wrote. “I categorically reject this.”

US sends warship through Taiwan Strait

Just one day before these US-Colombian naval exercises started, Washington threatened China by sending a large warship through the Taiwan Strait.

On February 26, the US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed through the narrow strait.

China condemned the exercise as “provocative.”

“It is hypocritical and futile for the US to conduct this provocative action in an attempt to bolster the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” the Chinese military said.

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, then added, “If the US wants to embolden the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces in this way, then we have this to say to the US: such move will only accelerate the demise of the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”

“The US will also pay a heavy price for its adventurist act,” he continued. “If the US tries to intimidate and pressure China in this way, then we have this stern warning: the so-called military deterrence will be reduced to scrap iron when facing the steely great wall of the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

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