Ibero-American News Digest
Another Firm 'No!' to Left-Right Polarization of Region
"Let's not continue trying to inflame the continent with artificial divisions," Colombian President Alvaro Uribe answered sharply, when journalists sought to get him to go after the election of "leftist" governments in Ibero-America, at a joint press conference with Salvadoran President 'Tony' Saca on Nov. 15. There is no reason to "continue inciting polarization in the continent.... What we have to do is unite the continent in the interest of progress, of overcoming poverty, of equity, transparency, respect for democratic rules."
El Salvador's Saca, like Uribe, usually found on the free-trade/"right-wing" side of debates, agreed. "We should stop discussing things on the basis of the Cold War. The Cold War is over." Saca reported that he had called Nicaragua's President-elect Daniel Ortega (a left-wing Sandinista leader) to congratulate him on his victory.
Thus was shot down the latest attempt by former Spanish Prime Minister and Dick Cheney-ally Jose Maria Aznar, international co-chair of George Shultz's warmongering Committee on the Present Danger, to get some Ibero-American government to take up the right-wing crusade his masters want in the region. Fresh from being exposed as a fascist by the LaRouche Youth Movement in front of President Uribe at a seminar in Colombia, Aznar had gone to Guatemala Nov. 9-12, where he gave several speeches and interviews calling for a mobilization against the "Castro-Chavez axis" which, he rants, is implanting "populist leftist" governments everywhere.
Aznar was hosted in Guatemala by the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS), the economists' association founded by the late advocate of feudalism Friedrick von Hayek. The MPS celebrated its 2006 General Assembly at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, the Guatemalan university founded by the MPS in 1971. Aznar addressed the MPS Assembly, and was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Francisco Marroquin University during his visit.
Will Uribe Learn the Lesson that Free Trade Is Dead?
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stopped in El Salvador for a brief visit on Nov. 15, on his return from a failed lobbying trip to Washington, where he had sought to gain assurances that the bilateral Free Trade Accord negotiated with the Bush Administration would be approved by the U.S. Congress. Uribe was reported to be visibly shaken after his meeting with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who informed him that the new Democratic-led Congress would "review" the accord, and no approval was guaranteed.
Regional Integration Top Priority of Lula's Second Term
Governments in South America must work as never before for integration, including scientific and technological integration, if they are to secure the rights of full citizenship which have been denied their peoples for centuries, Brazilian President Lula da Silva urged, at the Nov. 13 ceremonies inaugurating Venezuela's second bridge over the Orinoco River, which had been built by a Brazilian company. Lula put aside his written speech, and spoke extemporaneously, ripping into the bankers who make a lot of money in Brazil and Venezuela, but who prefer governments like those that ruled for centuries, and did nothing to take care of the people. Lula, who hasn't criticized the bankers for some time, is still stinging from the financiers' nasty campaign run against his re-election.
The people are going to demand a lot more of those of us who are re-elected to a second term, he told Chavez, who is up for re-election on Dec. 3. We have greater responsibilities to the poor. They want to have the right to work, to study, to have access to health care and housing. In other words, they want the most elemental right, which has been denied to them for centuries: the right to be citizens of our continent, he said.
One thing the people of Brazil and Venezuela must understand, is that "there is no solution for any Latin American country by itself," he said. We must work for integrationnot just talk of integrationintegration of our scientific and technological development, cultural integration, political integration. "In our second term, all of us Presidents of the countries of South America and Latin America must work for integration as we never have before. We need to link up our highways; we have to build the railroads which need to be built, the oil companies which our countries need to work on together.... Our businessmen ... can help with the transfer of technology to Venezuela. Venezuela cannot remain eternally an exporter of oil and gas. There has to be industry here. You have to have scientific and technological knowledge, so that the youth have somewhere to work.... "
Will Argentina Be Dragged into Cheney's War Against Iran?
Synarchist interests are maneuvering to manipulate Argentina's Kirchner government into helping facilitate Cheney, et al's unprovoked war drive against Iran. On Nov. 9, Federal Argentine judge Canicoba Corral announced that he was issuing arrest warrants for former Iranian President Ali Rafsanjani and eight former members of his government, in connection with the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish social welfare agency. On Oct. 23, Federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman had officially blamed Iran and Hezbollah for that incident, and urged Canicoba Corral to issue the warrants.
Over the weekend of Nov. 11-12, the American Jewish Committee and the State Department offered their "strong support" for President Kirchner's "courageous" actions against Iran, and State has even offered to "help" Interpol track down the nine Iranians. The Bush Administration, however, views President Nestor Kirchner as a principal threat in the region, for his leadership in facing down the IMF and organizing the South American "Presidents' Club" against globalization, and would like to overthrow him. In fact, they are using the orchestrated Iran incident to try to foster anti-Kirchner terrorism inside Argentina, which would then be blamed on Iran.
Kirchner himself has not spoken on the issue. But following an exchange of tense messages between the two governments this past week, the Kirchner government placed national security forces on alert, and stepped up security along borders and in airports, reportedly in anticipation that Iran or its allies might attempt terrorist attacks on the country in response to the announced arrest warrants.
Presidential Showdown Looms in Mexico
In Mexico, each side is lining up its troops for the looming battle over whether Felipe Calderon will be able to be inaugurated as President of Mexico on Dec. 1. The National Council of Lopez Obrador's PRD party resolved on Nov. 11 to carry through on the commitment to block the inauguration of Calderon, come what may. PAN legislators responded that they will "take the security measures necessary" to ensure the inauguration comes off, and if that means deploying military and police forces inside Congress, so be it.
The spectacle of armed force being deployed in the Congress to restrain us, so the "illegitimate President" can be inaugurated, would be international news indeed, the spokesman for the PRD fraction in the Chamber of Deputies, Luis Sanchez Jimenez, pointed out. PRD Senate coordinator Carlos Navarrete added that should the PAN attempt to hold the inauguration anywhere outside the Congress, as has been rumored, that, too, will meet a mass mobilization. The nation's capital isn't Guadalajara or Guanajuato, but territory sympathetic to the PRD, he recalled. He suggested, with only a touch of irony, that Calderon's novices may decide to hold the inauguration in Campo Militar #1, Mexico City's big military base.
Before that battle is reached, comes the Nov. 20 inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as the legitimate President, in Mexico City's Zocalo. Organizers expect over a million people to be there. Lopez Obrador continues to address rallies in two-three cities a day, repeating his message that people must help build a network of citizens who are prepared to engage in civil disobedience when the illegitimate government attempts to sell off the national patrimony, or tax basic necessities.
The situation overall in Mexico is explosive. As the newly elected head of the National Peasant Federation (CNC), Cruz Lopez Aguilar, warned on Nov. 11, Calderon should not live in a world of fantasies; if the needs of the peasantsand othersare not met, there will be a social revolution in Mexico.
Colombian LYM Addresses National Labor Mobilization
A march of more than 7,000 state workers who were protesting neoliberal economic policies in Colombia (President Uribe's Free-Trade Agreement, President Bush, and privatizations) led into the Plaza de Bolivar, the central plaza in the capital city of Bogota. LYM member Pedro Rubio, Jr., representing the international LaRouche movement, heated up the mobilization when he was asked to address the marchers, and told them: "we have a friend in the United States, LaRouche, who is mobilizing the Democrats to oust Bush and Cheney. The mandate of the American people was clearimmediate withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and an end to the genocide against the Iraqi people, and getting the fascists out of the White House!" The 7,000 workers applauded and shouted the slogan, "Fascists out of the White House!"
Everyone there turned to the LYM, who were distributing leaflets which announced LaRouche's webcast, and outlined the LaRouche movement's proposal for development corridors and nuclear energy for Colombia.