Spain extends and enhances American occupation in Cadiz

American presence is extended until 2021.


The government of Spain authorized the signing of the amendment to the military agreement between Spain and the U.S. to allow the deployment of a new missile shield system at the Naval Base of Rota in Cadiz.

The Government granted plenipotentiary powers to the Defense Minister Peter Morenés, to sign the amendment to the convention. Morenés will seal the deal with American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta next week at a NATO meeting next week in Brussels.

Morenés and Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, requested to appear in Congress to report on the reform, which must be ratified by Parliament. The reform, agreed on last July by the delegations of Spain and the U.S., is describes the equipment that will be deployed in Rota beginning in 2014. They include four Arleigh Burke destroyers that are equipped with the Aegis combat system, and around 1,100 American troops.

With this new agreement, the United States continues with its policy of militarizing the planet. Last month, we reported on an agreement between the United States and Japan, to deploy a similar missile shield system in the Asian nation. The agreement was completed while Japanese-Chinese relations took a turn for the worse as a diplomatic war began because of territorial disputes.

The agreement signed by Spain sets the ceiling of American military troops at 4,750. According to the agreement, the main goal of the missile shield is to collaborate on missile-defense system against ballistic missile threats as those developed by Iran and North Korea, but also do other activities under bilateral relations or through NATO operations.

The accord to deploy the missile shield system was closed during the meetings held last Wednesday and Thursday in Madrid by delegations of the two countries, which included the defense minister, Peter Morenés, and his U.S. counterpart, Leon Panetta. The two men met in the Pentagon.

The protocol amendment to the military agreement between the US and Spain is a very short text and includes the extension of the whole agreement for eight years until 2021. The current agreement was signed in 1988. Since 2011 it has been automatically renewed each year.

Green light for deployment of the missile shield system in Rota’s Naval Base was given on October 2011, by former Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, with the approval of Mariano Rajoy. The main change introduced during the negotiations has been to add a provision that extends the military arrangement for eight years until 2020. So far it extended automatically from year to year, but the Pentagon has sought assurances of long-term permanence to justify investments in the Cadiz base.

Back in October of 2011, the former Foreign Affairs Minister Trinidad Jimenez answer questions about the secrecy of the approval by Rodriguez Zapatero saying this was nothing secret about the agreement to let Americans occupy the Rota Naval Base. “It was a surprise to those who were not informed,” she said.

Jimenez also ensured that all the bay of Cadiz would benefit from the establishment of the missile shield at the Naval Base in Rota. It will “renew the entire area”, said the former minister, who explained that there would be new jobs created and as well as workers arriving from the United States, which would generate indirect jobs for maintenance.

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