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    The NATO flag is seen through barbed wire as it flies in front of the new NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 24, 2017

    'Tip of the Spear': Experts Consider Impact of Colombia's Pivot to NATO

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    This week will split Colombia’s history into “before” and “after.” President Juan Manuel Santos has tweeted that they will soon formalize the status of Colombia “as a global partner of NATO.”

    “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.”

    ​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.”

    ​“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.”

    Venezuelan analyst Oglis Ramos told Sputnik that he would not exclude that “a plan for the subjection of Latin America is taking shape. In this case it means subjection or military intervention in Venezuela, because this very country has been one of the steadiest pockets of resistance to the imperial politicians in Latin America.”

    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.

    Javier Colomo Ugarte, a doctor of geographical and historical sciences from Spain, doubts whether Colombia’s initiative “is directed primarily against Venezuela.”

    “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.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Related:

    Colombia to Refrain From Joining NATO Operations Despite Partner Status
    Santos: Colombia to Become First NATO Global Partner in Latin America
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    NATO, Colombia, Latin America
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