by Nika Knight
August 19, 2016
during the inauguration
Anti-imperialist Military School.
(Photo: Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty
'If the empire teaches
domination of the world from
its military schools,
we will learn from this School
to free ourselves from imperial
says Bolivian President Evo
Bolivia's socialist President Evo Morales opened an anti-imperialist
military training center this week, describing it as a socialist and
anti-colonial counterpoint to
the United States' political and
military influence on Latin America.
"If the empire teaches domination of
the world from its military schools, we will learn from this
School to free ourselves from imperial oppression," Morales said
at the school's inauguration ceremony on Wednesday,
according to the Associated Press.
want to build
anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this School
binds the armed forces to
and counteracts the influence of
School of the Americas."
Based in the eastern city of Santa
Cruz, the Juan Jose Torres Anti-Imperialist Commando School will
initially enroll 100 students, BBC
Juan Jose Torres
Anti-Imperialist Commando School
in Santa Cruz,
Morales is the country's first
Indigenous president and a socialist who has often
spoken out against American imperialism.
The new School is intended to be an
of the Americas (or SOA, later renamed the
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security
Cooperation), the infamous military training ground
located in Fort Benning, Georgia.
Human rights watchdog School of the
describes the bloody legacy of the U.S. Department of Defense
project, which is also known as the "School of Assassins":
Since 1946, the SOA has trained over
64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques,
sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military
intelligence and interrogation tactics.
These graduates have consistently
used their skills to wage a war against their own people.
those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers,
religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the
rights of the poor.
Hundreds of thousands of Latin
Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated,
"disappeared," massacred, and forced into refugee by those
trained at the School of Assassins.
Indeed, as Bolivian Defense Minister
told the state-run media outlet ABI:
"The School of Anti-Imperialism is a
school that seeks to preserve life, unlike the School of the
Americas, which brainwashed military officers into believing
that the enemy was our people.
It became lawful, proper and normal
to kill people."
"We want to build anti-colonial and
anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed
forces to social movements," Morales told the crowd, "and
counteracts the influence of the
School of the Americas that always saw the Indigenous as