Argentina’s President Kirchner: US Industrial Espionage gave me Chills down my Spine

The relationship between the United States and Latin America may have just plunged to its lowest level since the 1910s and 1920s, the height of US imperialism in the area, when United Fruit and the Marines imposed themselves on the region.

Glenn Greenwald, Roberto Kaz and José Casado revealed in an article for the Brazilian newspaper “O Globo” Tuesday that the US National Security Agency has most of Latin America under intensive surveillance. A few paras haves appeared in English at the Democratic Underground, which notes:

” One aspect that stands out in the documents is that, according to them, the United States does not seem to be interested only in military affairs but also in trade secrets – “oil” in Venezuela and “energy” in Mexico, according to a listing produced NSA in the first half of this year.

And that is the money para. While it is no surprise that the US would be monitoring Colombia, e.g., to track the narco-terrorist group FARC and drug smugglers, the article says that the US goes beyond such considerations to engage in industrial espionage:

“Through it [PRISM], the NSA collected data on oil and military purchases from Venezuela, energy and narcotics from Mexico, and have mapped the movement of the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).”

Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gave her country’s Independence Day address after the revelations, commemorating the 1816 event. A leftist, she was clearly disturbed that big business and private media in Argentina are sanguine about the US surveillance. She said,

“The head of state continued: “I got chills down my spine when I went back to Bolivia and saw that a fellow president (Evo Morales) had been detained for 13 hours as though he were a thief.” “I got chills down my spine when we discovered that they are spying on all of us through their intelligence services … and on the other hand, within our own country, I hear only silence.”

She had said earlier in the speech, “”I get chills down my spine when I hear the views of directors of other enterprises, including business leaders, who only immerse themselves in minutiae and do not realize what is happening . . .”

A few days ago, Kirchner pointed out sarcastically that for all the massive electronic spying in which the US engages, it couldn’t seem to know that Edward Snowden was not on Evo Morales’s plane.

The Latin American press is calling the way the US pressured Western European allies to deny Bolivian President Evo Morales’s air force jet overflight rights and forced him to divert to Vienna, “Evo-gate.”

And, the USG Open Source Center translates this item from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“INTERNATIONAL NEWS US Intelligence Surveillance of Electronic Communications Raises Concern —

On 7 July Brasilia Ministry of Foreign Affairs posts a statement from Minister Antonio Patriota expressing deep concern at news related to US intelligence agency surveillance of Brazilian citizen’s communications. The communique announces that the Brazilian Government has requested that the matter be clarified and further that it will seek out the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for improvement of multilateral rules to govern the matter. Brazil will seek out the United Nations aiming to prohibit abuse and prevent invasion of privacy of virtual network users and establish clear standards “to ensure cyber security that protects citizens’ rights and preserves sovereignty of all countries.” The Brazilian broadcast and printed media granted broad coverage to the matter. On 7 July Lu Aiko Otta writes in Sao Paulo O Estado de S. Paulo that President [Dilma] Rousseff discussed the matter with cabinet members at a meeting and approved measures to be implemented to call for US Government explanation.”

Euronews has video:

12 Responses

  1. Ms Fernández is not at all disturbed at spying, having instituted an illegal and secret program to use the military to spy on political adversaries, especially grassroots movements, unions and left wing political figures. In the same speech she denied that this illegal program existed; in fact it is very well documented.

    She’s not chilled: she’s thrilled she can use the US to try and deflect attention from her own abuses and lies, much like China and Russia are thrilled about the Snowden affair. She’s blatantly lying, just as she does about inflation, GDP growth, her government’s failure to build infrastructure or improve programs building housing for the poor, and almost everything else. When Fernandez accuses local media of being silent about this (herself admititng that they didn’t know about it), she’s just trying to throw dirt at those who would show her government for what it is.

  2. At several intervals during her Speech, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said:

    “I got chills down my spine when I went back to Bolivia and saw that a fellow president (Evo Morales) had been detained for 13 hours as though he were a thief.”

    then,

    “I got chills down my spine when we discovered that they are spying on all of us through their intelligence services.”

    and finally,

    “I get chills down my spine when I hear the views of directors of other enterprises, including business leaders, who only immerse themselves in minutiae and do not realize what is happening”

    • After posting my above comment and giving President de Kirchner’s spinal problems careful thought and consulting a physician friend of mine, my recommendation is that she consult the Argentine Presidential physician about the possibility that she is experiencing the beginning symptoms of lumbago.

  3. That was a very thought provoking post. The U.S. government appears incapable of breaking out of any of its old established attitudes towards Latin America. The Snowden affair has shown the U.S. to be almost as big of a bully as it ever was. The U.S. continues to treat Latin American sovereignty as an after thought. There has been no evolution in beltway thinking toward Latin America, not even with our supposed brainiac president.

    My thought is that many nations in Latin America seem to have a new direction and a new willingness to find a path to prosperity that doesn’t involve the U.S. Maybe it is too soon to declare Latin American independence from U.S. imperialism, but it may be closer than anybody inside the beltway realizes. I can’t help but believe that 98% of the people inside the beltway are oblivious to anything that has happened in Latin America in the last 15 years. Their attitude is: “So we grounded some president’s plane, pass me a doughnut.”

    • “My thought is that many nations in Latin America seem to have a new direction and a new willingness to find a path to prosperity that doesn’t involve the U.S. Maybe it is too soon to declare Latin American independence from U.S. imperialism, but it may be closer than anybody inside the beltway realizes.”

      Yep. I wish I knew a good blog with a South American specialist, the way this is a blog with a Middle Eastern specialist. South America is the place to watch for signs fo the future.

  4. Is anyone really surprised that the US would use its military might and intelligence capabilities to protect American business interests/corporate profits? After all, that’s the type of welfare that our Elites actually do support.

  5. It becomes more evident everyday as to why the oligarchy would like to put Snowden in prison.

    The exposure of the complete compromise of the government by corporate interest is an embarrassment.

  6. About the only people the US doesn’t spy on are maybe NATO allies, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and we probably spy on some of them, too. And we even spy on Israel as they spy on us. No one in positions of authority would be surprised by this.

  7. This issue is simply so embarrassing for the United States. To violate the privacy rights of the men and women in your own country is one thing, but to extend it over other countries is another. Instead of creating global unity, the acts of this current administration has been consistently fracturing the already unstable international relations.

  8. If those allegations are true–and it’s hard for me to tell who exactly is making them exactly, an elaboration would be helpful–then this report from today’s The Hill could make things slightly awkward for the Obama Admin:

    “On Wednesday, U.S. officials hit on cybersecurity issues and said they were quite clear with the Chinese that there is a difference between intelligence gathering and the theft of intellectual property for economic benefit.

    ‘So far there’s no ambiguity about that,’ one official noted.”

    link to thehill.com

  9. It is OK for any government of the world to spy on their citizens, but it is not OK when they find out that others are spying on them as well. Maybe David Petraeus will feel those chills down his spine as well now.
    The more sophisticated and big will be information surveillance, the easier it will be for the ordinary citizens to access classified data as well, directly or indirectly-through leaks, media scandals, etc. I am surprised that Obama and the Rockefellers are not concerned about the storage of their emails and other data. After all, EVERYTHING is in there.

  10. Ohhhh Brasil is going to the UN. Well that should put a big scare in the US government. Brasil and Russia certainly and probably other countries of the region are well known for not only having lax laws regarding hacking but are so inept to begin with, they can’t even control the privacy of their own institutions from internal invaders. Tons of malware originates from eastern Europe for a reason.and Kitchners spinal quaking that no one seems to care is akin to acceptance that the countries of the region regard the US efforts as inevitable and unstoppable. Considering the Brazilians governments poor response to their own citizens demands for transparency and economic justice it’s no wonder they along with their monopolistic O Globo supporters would love to divert attention towards the US eavesdropping. I hardly think relations will change at all, espionage in all sectors of the economy and communications is the new normal, does anyone honestly think the whole system is going to disappear anytime soon?

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