Head of U.S. Southern Command Visits Uruguay
By Dialogo May 10, 2010The head of the U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, completed a visit to Montevideo Thursday in which he met with the Uruguayan defense minister, Luis Rosadilla, the high command of the armed forces, and the Parliament’s Defense Commission. The objective of the visit was “to engage in dialogue about bilateral cooperation between the two countries and issues of mutual interest, as well as also to analyze support for peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid,” according to a statement by Washington’s embassy in Montevideo. Parliamentary deputy Javier García, a member of the lower house’s Defense Commission, told AFP that discussions touched on “a variety of issues: cooperation between the two countries, the Antarctic (security) issue, and the issue of the arms race in Latin America was raised.” With regard to this last point, García said that Fraser “played down the matter, and characterized it as more in the realm of investment.” At the same time, “he highlighted Uruguay’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions.” Uruguay has deployed a contingent of 1,162 blue helmets as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), while also providing 1,300 personnel to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). Fraser visited the Uruguayan National Peace Operations School (ENOPU), where military personnel are trained for UN peacekeeping missions. Likewise, he visited a community center for young people in Santa Catalina, on the western fringe of Montevideo, a humanitarian project under construction with donations from the Southern Command, coordinated with the Defense Ministry and local authorities, where a clinic is also operating.