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Caribbean Geopolitical Rivalry?

Submitted by on March 23, 2011 – 2:18 pm 2 Comments |  

alliances in the caribbeanAs explained recently in Geocurrents, the anti-U.S. ALBA alliance led by Venezuela is not what it might appear to be at first glance, as several small Caribbean countries have joined it more for economic than geopolitical reasons. Still, it seems worthwhile to map the potential geopolitical division of the Caribbean entailed by the existence of the ALBA alliance and that of its nemesis, NATO, led by the United States. The resulting map, posted above, shows both the land areas and the maritime exclusive economic zones held by members of the two blocks. The areas mapped within the NATO zone include both integral portions of NATO member states (southern Florida, the French overseas departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the new special Dutch municipalities), as well as their Caribbean dependencies. The maritime dispute between the U.S. and Nicaragua is also indicated. Note also that Guantanamo Bay, perpetually leased by the United States from Cuba, is also indicated, and is exaggerated in size to be made visible.

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  • Maju

    ALBA is not an "anti-US alliance" but a one in the interest of its members for their sovereignty. They are not to blame if the USA is an imperialist country which wants to control the Caribbean in an unfriendly and aggressive manner since more than a century ago.

    The ALBA is not a military bloc but a political and economical one.

    On the other hand, your map lacks blue: Colombia, Panama and Honduras (since the fascist coup of Lobo) and Haiti (since the French-US anti-democracy invasion) are as blue as any French colony. Colombia specially is as much a protectorate of the USA as Puerto Rico of Haiti

    Maybe in a lighter shade of blue but still blue anyhow should be Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Surinam and Bahamas (am I forgetting something else?)

    Also the quite large Guantanamo Bay irregular US military base in Cuba should be clearly marked and is not. It's big enough to show up in that map, really.

    On the other hand Guyana is rather pro-ALBA and has rejected to cooperate with the US-Dutch-Colombian deployment against Venezuela.

  • Interesting comments, Maju. I agree that ALBA is not a military alliance, which is why I put question marks both on the map and the post title. But the leaders of the main ALBA countries, Venezuela’s Chavez in particular, do tend to portray the alliance, if that is what it actually is, in geopolitical terms and in opposition to the United States. I thought of indicating other political ties, such as those linking Colombia to the United States, but in the end I decided merely to map the two formal alliances, one strictly military (NATO), the other something else (ALBA). A more inclusive map would include such matters, however. I disagree with your assertion that “Colombia specially is as much a protectorate of the USA as Puerto Rico of Haiti,” as the relationships between the US and each of these three entities are quite different, and I think that it is important to be specific on such issues. The map does show Guantanamo Bay — it should be clearly visible as a blue triangle is you click on the map to enlarge it.