“We will be the only country in Latin America with this privilege,” wrote Santos, who added that this will improve “Colombia’s image” and allow the country “to be more present on the international arena.”
Y otra gran noticia. La próxima semana formalizaremos el ingreso de Colombia a la OTAN, @NATO, en la categoría de socio global. Seremos el único país de Latinoamérica con este privilegio.— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 26, 2018
Direct reinforcement of the status was slated for May 31 in light of a planned visit to Brussels: “In Brussels we will have meetings with the executives of the European Union. Then we will formalize the status of Colombia as a global partner of NATO. This will allow us to conduct training and exchange information on organized crime.”
En Bruselas tendremos reuniones con directivos de la Unión Europea. Luego formalizaremos estatus de Colombia como socio global de la OTAN, @NATO. Esto permite realizar entrenamientos y compartir información sobre crimen organizado. pic.twitter.com/4Pr75G00EI— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 28, 2018
“This program aims to work at strengthening the integrity of military forces. Colombia will not become a NATO member, we will not participate in the military actions of the Alliance,” Santos detailed. “Status of a ‘global partner’ is rather definite, like Japan and Australia. But this does not mean that we shall become a full member,” the Colombian president said. He named cooperation in cyber security and defense procurements, which "have already brought about a positive effect" as some of the advantages to the new status.
Despite clarifications, Santos’ announcement has raised concerns among several countries in the region, especially in Venezuela. The country’s Foreign Ministry said, “Colombian authorities intend to become a guide in Latin America for an external military bloc with nuclear weapons, that, by any criteria, is a serious threat to peace and regional stability.”
The expert is sure that the announcement made by the Colombian president is directly related to “the results of the elections [in Venezuela], which were won by President Nicolás Maduro.”
Ramos added that Colombia has again confirmed its status of “US aircraft carrier in South America” and noted that there are several US military bases in the country.
“This is done to use Colombia as a tip of the spear in case of aggression, because NATO is actually an aggressive rather than defensive bloc, it was conceived for attacks using different methods,” Ugarte asserted.
Ugarte noted that behind all this there lies Washington’s concern over “China’s and Russia’s promotion in Latin America.” The Venezuelan Ramos agreed and added that the US is striving “to break off close relations” between Caracas and Moscow, as well as burgeoning ties between Caracas and Beijing.
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