During the South American Defense Conference held in Miami, Craig Faller spoke on the current dialogue's regional challenges. He also referred to the protests in Cuba and regretted that they have been "silenced."
The head of the US Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, said this Tuesday in an interview with the EFE agency that he "fully supports a diplomatic exit" In Venezuela, it is unfortunate that Cuban protests on the island have been "silenced" since the opening of the South American Defense Conference in Miami.
The admiral, who pointed out that Tuesday's session of the annual forum was dedicated primarily to cyberspace and space threats in the region, especially from Russia and China, indicated that the issues in Venezuela are "diplomatic and political."
The head of Southcom, which oversees US military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, criticized the government of Nicolás Maduro, considering it a "shame" to have destroyed the country for 25 years, ruined its people, and violated their human rights.
"I know that a lot of work is being done at the international level to reach a diplomatic solution and apply diplomatic pressure to do the right thing," said Faller.
Therefore, it should have a diplomatic solution and we fully support it. What we focus on is how we can better share information? How can we better support each other in the region?" He said.
In this sense, he stressed that they are focused on helping Colombia, which has absorbed a "tremendous increase in Venezuelan migrants, to better understand the complex situation in Venezuela through intelligence and information, exchanges and training so that they can be prepared and have a Strong army that will dissuade any conflict.
As of December 2020, approximately 5.5 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela were displaced, with about 4.6 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Southcom argued that Venezuela is the main point of support and access in the region for "actors from external states," allows the activities of transnational criminal organizations, and provides refuge for regional terrorist groups.
The conference, which Faller said is to "discuss mutual challenges we face in the hemisphere," is held over two days at Southcom headquarters in Doral, a city in Miami-Dade County.
This year brings together 11 defense leaders from the region, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, five of them virtually.
Faller, who will retire at a short time and will be replaced by Army Lieutenant Laura Richardson, the first woman to be in command of this military complex, regretted that In addition to Cuba, China, Russia and Iran are other foreign state actors who are influencing the region and "promoting corruption."
He mentioned as an example that his job is to understand the threat, "to closely observe the Russian influence and the Chinese influence in Cuba," noting that "now most of that Internet system in Cuba is Chinese."
Regarding the unprecedented protests on the island on July 11, he regretted that he had been silenced. "I feel sorry for the Cuban people, they deserve a better government, and they deserve their freedoms, and they tried to use those freedoms, and they kept quiet. said Faller.
The admiral also denounced before the US Congress that Cuba, like China, "uses medical diplomacy to generate international goodwill and gain access through the back door to undermining fragile democracies."
Faller told EFE that in the case of the island, Southcom supports the US government "in any migration problem, sharing intelligence with our internal partner agencies and with our other partners in the region."
The annual conference on Tuesday discussed especially issues of space security and cyberspace, the threat of COVID-19, and the response to the earthquake in Haiti, among others, and tomorrow Wednesday, it will have bilateral meetings.."