Ibero-American News Digest
'Colombia and Ecuador: Conflict or Integration?'
The LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) in Colombia hit the streets of Bogota, and the phones to Ecuador, starting on Jan. 2, with their hard-hitting statement posing the question to the population: "Colombia and Ecuador: Conflict or Integration?" The statement was spurred by the border dispute which erupted when Colombian crop eradication intended for the destruction of coca plants allegedly damaged legitimate Ecuadorian crops.
The LYM statement, a translation of which will be published in full in next week's EIR, explains that the international financial oligarchy behind Cheney and Bush are the ones provoking wars and conflicts, in South America as well as the Middle East. That oligarchy is terrified at the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 elections, and the role played by LaRouche and the LYM. The LYM lambasts the genocidal policy of globalization which has forced Colombian farmers to produce narco-crops instead of food.
Although the new U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just led an important delegation in visiting Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru to develop an amiable relationship with Ibero America (see last week's EIW Digest), what is necessary is Lyndon LaRouche's leadership addressing the urgent economic crisis.
The new political geometry has ushered in a President-elect of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, whose debt-restructuring proposals have induced extreme anxiety among the financial vultures. The true alternative to these disastrous Wall Street practices consists in converting the border between Ecuador and Colombia into a zone of agro-industrial development.
The LYM statement includes diagrams displaying the corridors of development for the entirety of the South American continent, describing LaRouche's proposals for vast advancements in mechanized agriculture, nuclear power plants, and maglev trains, and elaborates the economic development necessary to connect the continent to the World Land-Bridge.
Correa's election has expanded the potential of collaboration with Colombia's neighbor, and the LYM is now opening up organizing avenues in Ecuador. Already, the LYM statement has generated an interview on Quito radio on Jan. 5 with EIR Ibero-American editor Dennis Small, who told listeners that LaRouche is now bringing about a return to the policies of FDR in the U.S. Correa, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 15, takes office at a most interesting moment of history, Small noted. What most provoked the interviewer, was the idea that Cheney and Bush could be behind the border conflict between Ecuador and Colombia, as the LYM statement emphasized.
Financiers Fear Correa Will Adopt Argentina Model
Financiers worry that Ecuador's Rafael Correa may just do what he says he will do: force creditors into an "Argentine-style" write-down of Ecuador's debt, after he is inaugurated as President on Jan. 15. London's Financial Times ran two articles on Jan. 4, with the bankers' line that unlike Argentina, starving Ecuador is "oil-rich, and ... can afford to pay its debt." Should it default, it "would be due to a lack of willingness rather than ability to pay." The newspaper made clear the City of London will be watching to see what the new President will do vis-a-vis the $135 million in interest payments on bonds due in February.
Financiers are already assaulting the country, to try and force a backdown. Yields on key Ecuadorian bonds have jumped from 7.88% in mid-November, to 13.48% today, rating Ecuador a greater credit risk than Iraq. Nonetheless, these bloodthirsty criminals brazenly bragged to the Financial Times that if Correa doesn't reschedule, "investors" could make a 35-45% return within six months.
Op-ed author Hal Weitzman threatens economic warfare can lead to Correa's fall: "The danger for Mr. Correa and Ecuador is that the mere threat of default could prompt an 'Argentina-style' financial crisis and a run on the banks, putting pressure on the country's dollarized economy and weakening his position as President."
Mexico's Public Health System Threatened
Mexican President Felipe Calderon is moving to privatize Mexico's public-health system, charged Asa Cristina Laurell, the Secretary of Health for the "legitimate President," Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on Jan. 4. Dr. Laurell was responding to the declaration by Calderon's Secretary of Health, Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, that the Calderon government will subcontract services where adequate public facilities do not existthe condition of the entirety of Mexico! There are areas in which the government has no health infrastructure, and we are not going to be able to build it or expand what we've got, so the government will turn to the private sector, he told La Jornada on Jan. 3. He insisted that this was not privatization, since the patient wouldn't pay for services, only the government.
Dr. Laurell, however, disagreed: the intent here is to privatize the public health care system, he charged. The more resources the government uses for private services, the less it will have to construct public hospitals and facilities, the greater the public deficit ... and the greater will be the hand-out to the private sector"a vicious circle."
The deficit in public hospitals worsened under President Vicente Fox's regime, which built no full-service hospitals, but only 12- to 15-bed "community hospitals," which are glorified clinics, Laurell said, but the current crisis in health care has been building since 1983, when the economic crisis collapsed the budget, she noted.