Ibero-American News Digest
LaRouche on the Subject of Chilean President Bachelet
On March 26, EIR issued the following release, signed by Ibero-American Editor Dennis Small:
"An article released last week in Mexico by Juan José Mena Carrizales, purporting to represent the LaRouche Youth Movement, which lyingly characterized Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as Mrs. President Pinochet, requires immediate clarification of the views on the matter by U.S. statesman and EIR editor-in-chief Lyndon LaRouche. The unstable Mr. Mena does not represent the LaRouche Youth Movement, nor the views of any organization or publication associated with Mr. LaRouche.
"President Bachelet's election to the Presidency of Chile in 2006 represented a fundamental change in the Chilean political landscape, in which the fascist, synarchist forces associated with Gen. Augusto Pinochet were swept from their dominant position in Chilean political life for the first time in three decades. Although President Bachelet's economic policies fall short of what is required internationally and in Chile at this time, with her defense of features of globalization and free trade, her association with what Mr. LaRouche has referred to as the informal Presidents Club in South America, and in particular that Club's movement towards continental integration and great infrastructure projects free of the policies of the International Monetary Fund, especially as promoted by Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, has made President Bachelet part of an important, and positive, dynamic across South America. That dynamic can be brought to fruition in association with the movement inside the United States headed by Mr. LaRouche to return the U.S. to the successful economic policies associated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt."
Gore's Friends Take Aim at Bachelet Government
Billionaire Sebastian Piñera, the right-wing Rohatyn-Shultz candidate who lost to Michelle Bachelet in Chile's 2005 Presidential elections, is putting himself forward as the man who can save Chile from the chaos he alleges Bachelet has created. Remember: This is the brother of the man who privatized Chile's social security system under Pinochet; this is the man who is paying Al Gore $400,000 to speak at his May 10-11 conference in Santiago on "Climate Change and Global Warming: The Time to Act is Now."
In mid-March, the launching of a new public transportation system in Santiago was a disaster, as shortages of buses and unannounced route changes left citizens waiting for hours to get on packed buses, or stranded altogether. This sparked violent protest. Bachelet was forced to shuffle her Cabinet, and bring in four new ministers from the "old guard" of the ruling Concertacion coalition which still defends the free-trade model.
Pinera seized on the opportunity to act as a virtual shadow President, attacking Bachelet as an incompetent novice who dares to dismantle the Chilean free-trade "model." In its March 29 edition, the London Economist adds that the new Secretary General of the Presidency, Viera-Gallo, has the "political experience, contacts and intellectual weight that Ms. Bachelet herself lacks. Some hope that Mr. Viera-Gallo will assume the post of de facto Prime Minister." The Economist objects that Bachelet had actually proposed reaching "over the heads of political parties"the Concertacion structure that Pinochet set upto create "a government of citizens."
Gore Spokesman Targets Mexican Youth
Arturo Keller, a Mexican professor who teaches at the University of California-Santa Barbara and claims to be Al Gore's spokesman for Ibero-America, spent last week meeting Mexican university youth and other members of academia to try to brainwash them into joining Gore's "Climate Project." Keller, an environmental engineer, told El Universal on March 27 that he went to Mexico to "push hard" on this, because Gore thinks that this issue can't remain at the level of politicians, or be dealt with through international treaties. "Everyone has to act now."
Keller insisted that Mexico get sucked into the carbon-trading market, and begin working on alternative energy sources like solar panels. Mexico is developing quickly at the moment, and hasn't yet exceeded the world average for carbon dioxide emissions, he said, but if it doesn't act quickly, it will become one of the biggest polluters. Keller said he intends to bring Gore's message to all of Ibero-America, but started out in Mexico because of its ties to the U.S., and because of his contacts with the "Reforest Mexico" organization, created by the Grupo Bimbo.
Mexicans Respond Happily to LaRouche Youth Singing
The general happiness sparked by the LaRouche Youth Movement singing at every occasion possible during the March 21-25 II National Democratic Convention of the Lopez Obrador resistance movement, demonstrated once again that people respond eagerly to beauty, even as it drove some ideological 68er die-hards in the "old guard" nuts.
The convention in Mexico City was attended by fewer people than previous mobilizations, but LYM organizers report that the people who are still active are eager to fight for Mexico's future. This was best demonstrated in the workshop on energy and resources (titled "The Fatherland Is Not for Sale"), where most of the speakers emphasized nuclear power as a priority for the country.
The LYM contingent, amidst briefings and leafletting, not only sang, but made the words available to all, so others could join. Lots of people sang their "Tortilla" canon against ethanol, but the most popular was their cheerful song, built around the movement's popular chant, "It is an honor to stand with Obrador," which the LYM set to the tune of the "March of the Toreadors" in Bizet's opera Carmen. The idea that that song could become the anthem of the resistance movement is suggested by a nice little video now posted to one of the most popular blogs associated with the Obrador resistance, Sendero del Peje. Opening with shots of a crowd enthusiastically, if not always tunefully, singing the LYM-composed "It is an Honor" song, the video also provides a picture montage of highlights from the Lopez Obrador resistance, accompanied by a full orchestral version of the "Toreador" march.
Two silly slanders published on March 24 and 25 by La Jornada reporter Jaime Aviles, evidently at the behest of one of the more backward people on Lopez Obrador's team, Secretary of Education, Culture and Science Raquel Sosa, testified to the power of song, albeit in a backhanded way. Aviles called the LYM's singing "provocations," inventing out of whole cloth the claim that the LYM "tried to interrupt the debates with religious songs against the law which soon will decriminalize abortion in the Federal District!"
The LYM sent Aviles a letter advising him that only a total ignoramus could consider songs such as Beethoven's Freundschaft, a Spanish adaptation of "We Shall Overcome," and their other songs to be "religious songs," never mind that only a nut would discuss "abortion in the midst of the ongoing collapse of the world economy." The LYM pointed out that those in the United States who attack LaRouche are the worst of the oligarchy whom LaRouche has attacked: George Shultz, Dick Cheney, etc., and asked: Where, then, do these attacks in Mexico come from?
Greeting Alan Garcia with Beethovenand LaRouche!
Peruvian President Alan Garcia got an unexpected taste of LYM singing during a visit to Colombia's Congress in Bogota on March 28. He was given an honorary award by the Congress, and in the silence which followed the orchestra playing the anthems of each countryColombia and PeruLYM members in the press gallery rose to lift up their voices, singing, twice, to the tune of Beethoven's little canon, "Marmotte":
"To save humanity, fascism must be eradicated,
Replace oil with powerful nuclear energy
For peace, get rid of the neoliberal model
Ethanol will cause starvation and world tragedy."
Like a Greek chorus, they then declared: "Alan Garcia, LaRouche tells you: Join the Club of Presidents. Yes to the Bank of the South, no to the International Monetary Fund!"
LYM members told fascinated journalists afterwards that Garcia, who in his second period as President (he was first President in 1985-1990) has fanatically championed free trade, should rediscover his fight from the 1980s for debt moratoria and a change in the global financial system.
Change Financial System, Ecuador Tells IAD Meeting
"It is essential to organize a new financial system and a new international financial code ... which puts money at the service of life, and not life at the service of the debt," Ecuadoran Finance Minister Ricardo Patino told the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on March 20. "The international financial system ... should be an ally of the nation-state" in the state's task of ensuring human development. It is the responsibility of the state "to promote national productive investment, instead of international speculative investment," he stated, because the current system is "destroying life on this planet, under our noses."
Operation Condor Nazis under Judicial Fire
Forensic scientists in Chile exhumed the body of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva, who died in 1982, and found traces of mustard gas in his body, confirming long-held suspicions that Frei was murderedmost likely by the Nazi doctors who worked for the Pinochet dictatorship and its secret police, DINA. In January, Frei's son Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, also a former President, had filed a petition asking a Santiago judge to rule his father's death a homicide. Former Nazis with expertise in chemical and bacteriological warfare served as advisers to the DINA, and DINA chemist Eugenio Berrios was adept at producing toxic substances used to kill detainees at clandestine concentration camps and others of Pinochet's opponents.
At the same time, a prosecutor in Uruguay is considering issuing a formal request for Henry Kissinger's arrest and extradition, on charges of having overseen the atrocities committed under the Pinochet-led Operation Condor. After hearing a case against Kissinger on March 7, Uruguay's Supreme Court sent it to another judge, who designated prosecutor Mirtha Guianze to pursue it.
Likewise, the Spanish government has agreed to a request from a Paraguayan lawyer that it open its files on the ties of the regime of the late Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco to Operation Condor.