Sacha Llorenti, spoke about regional integration, U.S. and NATO presence in the region, and Bolivia’s search for justice for the 2019 coup.
Llorenti served as Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations under President Evo Morales and sat on the UN Security Council before heading the ALBA bloc. Below, we’ve transcribed a part of the interview, shortened for length. The full interview in Spanish can be watched here.
Jessica Sosa: There seems to be a resurgence of CELAC and other mechanisms to retake the issue of integration.
It must be remembered that Latin America and the Caribbean was declared a Zone of Peace in 2014. A few days ago, the anniversary of signing of the Treaty of Tlatelolco for the prohibition of nuclear weapons was also celebrated. There is huge potential in CELAC and we have to make our own space, away from the OAS, away from the United States and Canada, which have other interests.
Their priority is elsewhere in the world and where they begin to apply interventionist policies, the results are disastrous. We will have to ask the people of Libya how they are now, or the people of Iraq or the people of Syria, or remember what happened in Yugoslavia. It may not be too late. I think we are moving slowly. These processes are slow, but the goal is to have a strong CELAC.
Jessica Sosa: Now some analysts have suggested that the governments of Latin America swing like a pendulum from our right to our left and that this has been one of the threats against the integration processes. We still have foreign military bases in Latin American territory, to mention some of the threats that are still latent against the integration process.
I wouldn’t put it only in terms of left and right. The governments of the left, and I would add the progressive governments, have a project to build a great homeland, that Bolivarian dream. However, there are other governments that don’t have a project, not even for their country, they have a colony project. They are subordinate to the United States, not only the oligarchies, they respond to the mandate of the United States.
That is why they destroyed Unasur, that is why CELAC was paralyzed for so long. Mexico’s and now Argentina’s revival is what is making it possible for it to re-emerge. But what happens is that there are two different projects, the project of La Patria Grande and another project of La Colonia. They want to return to that time. The presence of military bases, the presence of NATO in our Zone of Peace and also promoted by some of the members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), is a danger. I believe that given its history, NATO’s presence in our region seriously jeopardizes international peace and security.
I repeat, look at what happened in Yugoslavia. Our Alliance is an alliance for life. There are other alliances like NATO for bombings, for the invasion of countries. What they have provoked in the world is unspeakable.
I had the opportunity to be on the Security Council in the midst of the war in Syria. More than half a million people died in that war of aggression provoked against the Syrian people. The same with Libya, the same with Iraq. Two million dead based on a lie, a series of lies. After more than twenty years they haven’t found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and these people want to give lessons on democracy. They want to give lessons on peace. The thing is, they have no principles, they have interests.
Jessica Sosa: Venezuela recently denounced Colombia on the issue of drug trafficking, the mismanagement of this situation and how it has tried to seize the Venezuelan border so that this to dominate the Venezuelan territory. Drug trafficking is also a pending task for Latin America.
Well, there are several pending tasks. One of them is the fight against drug trafficking. There again is the double standard of the United States, which decertifies some countries simply for political convenience, as if someone gave them the authority to certify or decertify, as if someone gave them that authority. We believe that the role of the United Nations should be privileged. But of course, it is clear which is the main producer and exporter of cocaine in the world.
I think that a very important issue is the presence of US military bases. And another issue that I do not want to pass up, is the complaint that has been reported which was also stated by President Maduro about the plans of the Macri government (of Argentina) to use military force against Venezuela.
Exactly the same people who organized that, using so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ in quotes, from the border with Colombia, from Colombian territory, to organize that offensive that aimed to destabilize the Revolutionary Government of Venezuela. The same government of Macri brought arms to the de facto government of Jeanine Añez in Bolivia and the same was linked to the role of Luis Almagro, both in the process of destabilization of Venezuela and the coup against Bolivia.
Those are not coincidences. It is very important that we do that pedagogical task of explaining to people that, I reiterate, these are not coincidences. One plus one equals two and in this case all of that is part of a scheme, since it is part of a plan. Another element is the presence of mercenaries, many of them Colombians, not only in the assassination of the President of Haiti, but also against the mercenary aggression against those in Venezuela.
Jessica Sosa: It has been discovered that there is a well-paid industry in Colombia.
We know of the assassination attempt against President Maduro and the presence of those same mercenaries shortly before the inauguration of President Luis Arce in Bolivia. So that is absolutely clear. There is a coordination of the international right, which is based in Miami to destabilize progressive governments.
Jessica Sosa: In Bolivia, the trial against Jeanine Añez as one of the heads of the coup against President Evo Morales is taking place. You yourself were in Argentina for a while to safeguard your life. What is expected of this trial?
Simply that justice be done. I believe that the trial that is taking place now has a very important character. It is a milestone for the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, because it is the case in which a self-proclaimed person is being prosecuted and sanctioned, and we hope that it will be duly prosecuted. What is being judged now is the entire prior phase of organizing a coup d’état with various political actors with the presence of the Catholic Church, with the presence of several ambassadors who, and in the absence of the legislative body that was the power of the State called to resolve this crisis, a handful of people with some ambassadors in a in facilities of the Catholic Church, decided who was going to be president of Bolivia.
She proclaimed herself in a session without quorum and without respecting the regulations, without respecting the Political Constitution of the State. I think that this is going to be a precedent to avoid other types of self-proclaimed or self-proclaimed in the future.
Jessica Sosa: The relationship of our countries with other axes such as Russia, China, how should it be?
It is strategic because what we want is a multipolar world. In other words, we don’t even have to talk about ideology, we have to refer to what the United Nations charter says, those principles and purposes of respect for the self-determination of peoples, the sovereignty of States, their political independence. The principle of non-interference in internal affairs, the principle of cooperation, the principle of peaceful resolution of controversies.
For those reasons, building ties with all the peoples and governments of the world, especially with major powers which are important in economic terms, also in protection and in defense of our own sovereignty. That’s what the Monroe Doctrine doesn’t want. It is what the United States doesn’t want. Because they believe that this is their backyard, but that is becoming less and less true, and it will be less true when we see the example of what various peoples and governments are doing among themselves.