Milei’s hallucination: Iranian troops in Bolivia and Hezbollah in Chile

Argentine Minister of Security made statements accusing Bolivia and Chile of hosting Iranian soldiers and members of Hezbollah, in a clear escalation against its neighbors

April 19, 2024 by Alfredo Rada
Javier Milei with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Photo: Press Office Israeli Govt / Wikimedia commons

The government of neo-fascist Javier Milei, which has pledged absolute alignment with what it calls the “free west” aka Israel and the United States, has begun to escalate tensions on its borders with Bolivia and Chile.

Milei’s Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, declared that Bolivia has a military relationship with Iran and that military forces from the country are deployed in Bolivian territory. The statement was immediately denied by the Bolivian government, which in the city of La Paz summoned the Argentine ambassador through the Foreign Ministry to notify him of his protest at what he described as “impertinent and provocative statements by Bullrich,” which are based solely on the fact that Bolivia has diplomatic relations and specific agreements with the regime of Tehran. Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry clarified that in a 2023 Agreement, signed between the Ministries of Defense of Bolivia and Iran, no military deployment by any of the parties is contemplated, so the Argentine concern is not justified.

Regarding Chile, the Argentine security minister assured that she was informed that the Lebanese militia Hezbollah has been detected in the north of that country, forming support cells. Chilean President Gabriel Boric has refuted the statement, reiterating that there are no armed groups in Chile and announced that he would send a formal note of protest to Argentina. Bullrich declared in Buenos Aires that the Argentine government is very concerned “about the detection of this militia accused of a terrorist attack in Argentina in 1994, most recently in the Iquique region, in northern Chile.” The previous week, Mark Wells, deputy undersecretary for Hemispheric Affairs of the United States Department of State, made exactly the same statements as the minister, one of the fundamental pieces of the repressive apparatus of Javier Milei’s government.

What Milei does is part of a coordinated continental strategy of the extreme right to destabilize governments not aligned with Washington. It is no coincidence that, in recent months, several acts of aggression have taken place, such as the assault on the Mexican embassy in Ecuador by the government of Daniel Noboa, or these formal statements by the Argentine government of Milei openly hostile to the governments of Chile and Bolivia.

Also part of the strategy are the coordinated absences of the governments of Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador, Peru, and Ecuador at meetings of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which is a plurinational platform that emerged a decade ago, in the heat of the progressive wave across the continent.

The Uruguayan journalist Aram Aharonian, who co-directs the “Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis” with offices in Montevideo and Buenos Aires, affirms that in South America “the conditions are being generated for hybrid wars, that is, a type of conflagration that is not limited only to the territorial control, but also covers aspects such as disinformation, cyberattacks and dirty propaganda. “This is a new form of conflict that seeks to influence democracy and the governance of countries, becoming a major challenge for regional integration and stability processes.”

Aharonian continued saying, “The weakening of CELAC and UNASUR are intermediate objectives of these ultra-conservative governments, since they are instances of mediation and hemispheric dialogue that, in their ideologized criteria, were used by the left to expand on the continent. “Progressive governments must make the greatest diplomatic efforts to preserve these democratic and diverse spaces, because this will also prevent the worsening of the conflict between countries and the generation of wars on our continent.”

This article was first published on De Raíz Media.