COLUMN: China, Iran and Russia increasing influence in Latin America

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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By Drew Varner
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SOUTHCOM Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, who covers and controls the homeland and southern hemisphere like South America, and NORTHCOM Commander, Air Force Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, who controls the homeland and Northern hemisphere, testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committee during the annual posture statement to Congress on March 14, 2024. 

During this testimony, they raised the alarm to Congress about the threat that China, Iran, and Russia pose to the homeland through economic and cyber influence in Latin America. The three of these nations are leadership nations in the BRICS alliance, and it is growing across the world while their influence is seeping into our everyday lives, especially through 5th generation warfare tactics, cyber warfare and economic postures. 

However, one analysis that must be considered is the growing membership of BRICS and the strategic potential partnerships like Japan, especially due to their documented relationship with Iran. In our region, the Belt and Road initiative is strategically moving through our southern hemisphere, where China is economically persuading our neighbors allegiance through economic diplomacy. 

In this hearing, it was brought to the attention of the generals and the audience that China is building a deep water port in Peru, which is due to be done this November. This will be the first Latin American port controlled by China. In the Northern Hemisphere, Russia and China appear to outnumber the US with particular Ice-breaking vessels, declaring that our transportation is hindered in that maritime region. 

It appears that our enemies are surrounding us and establishing infrastructure in our region. With the recent cargo vessel situation in the Baltimore harbor, which is currently under investigation, we may be under attack and in the early stages of a homeland war. This is not a political matter; this is a national security matter and must be communicated that way, or we may allow our enemies to divide us with information warfare. 

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” declared Abraham Lincoln at the Republican State Convention, echoing the words of Jesus Christ. Those words ring today in many different dimensions of concise thought.  

 Drew Varner holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and is a researcher and writer.