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Stimulus package, or Imperialism lite?

10 February 2013

Many countries that host US military activities hope to receive economic benefits and jobs as a result. But more than five of every six Pentagon dollars contracted for services and goods in the region went to US-based companies. Only nine percent of the $574.4 million in Pentagon contracts signed in 2012 (including fuel contracts) were with firms in the country where the work was to be carried out. In the Caribbean, there were virtually no local companies that benefitted from the $245 million in Defense Department contracts.

A few corporations dominated Pentagon contracts in the region. CSC Applied Technologies, based in Fort Worth, Texas, received more than $53 million in contracts to operate the Navy’s underwater military testing facility in the Bahamas. Lockheed Martin received more than $40 million in contracts, almost entirely for drug war training, equipment and services in Colombia and Mexico.

John Lindsy-Poland breaks down Pentagon spending in Latin America for CIP Americas Program. Something of a surprise (at least to me) is that a third of Pentagon contracts for Latin American and the Caribbean are earmarked for spending in what’s probably the last country you’d probably of… CUBA.


Well, technically… besides being a black hole of human rights, the gulag at Guantanamo is a cash cow for the defense industry, who racked up 115 million dollars in contracts for housing upgrades, intelligence analysis, port operations and other services at a prison with 171 inmates, several of whom have no pending charges against them and have never been before a court of law.

The 444 million dollars worth contracts let by SOUTHCOM (The Southern Command) do not benefit businesses in the Latin American countries for which they are spent (and whether  U.S. military “assistance” is itself a benefit to those countries is often a dubious proposition).  Only nine percent of the funds went to companies in Latin America, the rest to domestic industries like Rayethon and Lockheed.

While, no surprise, “the war on drugs” is the rationale for the spending, that 444 million does NOT include funding under “Plan Merida” for Mexico and Central America… which isn’t doled out to industries in the “host countries” either, but to U.S. companies and “service providers” for things like trucks and guns, to fight the guys who buy trucks and guns with money from U.S. consumers to provide “services” to the U.S.

Well,  at least Pentagon spending is down this year.

(And, just in passing, this is the 4000th MexFiles post).

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Allen G, in Mazatlan. permalink
    10 February 2013 8:58 pm

    Once again the Mex Files provide a little enlightenment. And all of people in Cuba who detest US imperialism are once again justified (almost) in their vilification. While we in Mexico receive excellent weapons and cash, although we never actually see the cash.
    But we have heard the weapons.
    Come to think of it why doesn’t the US of A take care of the drug problems, they created it.
    We do make trucks here, and most of the Dodge trucks sold in the US are made here, but not used in the W-O-D
    Sorry if this is off topic:

    Love the media in the US, avoid Mexico, get shot at home !!

  2. Karl permalink
    11 February 2013 8:26 am

    I am currently reading,” Confessions of an economic hitman” by John Perkins. Frightening to think the US has been destroying people’s lives in Central and South America’s..and the rest of the world for the financial gain of a few companies in the US. This system doesn’t even benefit the general population of the US, yet Americans continue to keep their heads in the sand…

    • 24 February 2013 11:27 pm

      Karl: they were dying already. Myself and a drug lord rescued 1000 out of Salvador-brought them to California. Stop lying and save lives yourself instead of being a pest.

  3. 11 February 2013 10:34 pm

    No surprise here. As you said, the ‘Merida Initiative’ was Bush’s corporate welfare handout for US military supply firms: “We’ll give you all this aid, see, you just spend it all on US military hardware, advisers, contractors and agents. Ain’t that a great plan!?!”

    And all the violence? Well, that happens in YOUR country. After all, we’re giving you all this nice money and all. So, use all the bullets and choppers you want.

    Interestingly, Dan Quayle and his venture capital fund was a huge investor in US arms companies just before Bush saw to it that the assault weapon ban ended, raking in huge profits just as the flow of illicit arms began to Mexico and elsewhere.

    They’re soaking in it.

    • 24 February 2013 11:23 pm

      YucatanMan: Where in hell are you going to find the workers that know how to that work? Only in the United States!

  4. 24 February 2013 11:20 pm

    In this artile shows its greedy give-us-money personality. I say work for your money! Get off your lazy asses! Shut up and work! Work! Work!

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