Ibero-American News Digest
Bank of the South: A 'New Kind of Financial Architecture'
June 10 (EIRNS)Leading into the June 11-12 technical meeting in Buenos Aires called to work out the final details for the founding of the Bank of the South (BOS), Venezuela's Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas underscored that the new financing entity will reflect a "new type of financial architecture," one in which the vote of each member nation carries the same weight, regardless of its size.
"We are advancing in the configuration of a governing system radically different from the experience of the existing multilateral agencies, in which the hegemony of the biggest [members] was imposed," Cabezas stated from Caracas June 9, and indicated that if at any point in the future the governments of Chile, Peru, and Colombia were to consider joining the bank, their vote would carry the same weight as the six founding members (Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay).
The BOS, which will be officially founded on June 26 in Caracas, is intended to function independent of the International Monetary Fund, and its primary focus will be on channeling credit into infrastructure development projects. According to Impulsobaires, Argentine Finance Minister Felisa Miceli announced June 9 that the discussion surrounding the bank's founding has sparked such interest in the region, that for the first time, Chile decided to send an observer delegation to the June 11-12 meeting, even though President Michelle Bachelet has said that for the time being, her government will not join the bank.
Senator Kirchner Speaks Out Against Globalization
June 15 (EIRNS)Argentina's First Lady, Sen. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, delivered a blistering attack on globalization June 13 during a speech at the International Labor Organization in Geneva. The globalization model imposed on Argentina by the IMF in the 1990s, Kirchner said, was based on the idea that money was made by looting the labor force through programs of labor "flexibilization," which destroyed benefits and job security. In the 1990s, that model in Argentina showed high growth rates of 7%, she noted, but "if economic growth brings with it the destruction of jobs and of the labor force," then it cannot be sustained. The implosion of the Argentine economy in 2000 proved that, she emphasized.
Kirchner pointed out that, unlike the "casino economy" or "bubble economy" associated with globalization, the policies of President Néstor Kirchner are based on production, job creation, the creation of an internal market, and defense of living standards. "The adoption of a model of accumulation that emphasizes capital and labor, and which gives labor the centrality which we've experienced in other eras in terms of social organization and development, has been the key to our recovery that is still astonishing the world," Kirchner concluded.
(See InDepth for Lyndon LaRouche's June 14 webcast dialogue with Ibero-American labor leaders.)
Correa Urged To Be 'Ecuador's 'Railroad President'
June 12 (EIRNS)On June 6, hundreds of former railroad workers and citizens descended on the town of Huigra in central Ecuador, to declare President Rafael Correa "the Railroad President," and applaud his decision to rebuild the Guayaquil-Quito railroad.
In 1895, nationalist President Eloy Alfaro Delgado (of whom Correa is a descendant) restarted the Guayaquil-Quito railroad project, initially begun in 1861, and completed it with the assistance of American engineers in 1908. This was not only a major engineering featit was known as "the most difficult railroad in the world." It also integrated the country economically, joining the disparate regions of the coast and the Andes mountains, between which communication and commerce had been previously greatly restricted, if not impossible in some cases.
Before the southern tranche of the railroad was shut down eight years ago, due to natural disasters and economic incompetence, Huigra had been a thriving town along that route. Correa has vowed to rebuild the railroad to provide cheap and efficient freight and passenger transportation. In Huigra, he attended a meeting of Ecuador's State Railroad Company and drove the first symbolic spike into the track, launching the rehabilitation of the railroad's now moribund Durán-Quito branch. With a $110 million investment, the government plans to complete that project by June of 2008, to coincide with the centennial celebration of the completion of the Quito-Guayaquil railroad.
Pinochet Proud To Be 'Lickspittle of the British Empire'
June 14 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche's June 14 charge that the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was the "lickspittle of the British Empire" was confirmed in spades by Pinochet's own Nov. 7, 1998 statement issued in London, where he had been arrested and held on charges of human rights violations.
Published Nov. 8, 1998 by the BBC, the statement argued that while Pinochet hadn't been invited to London as the guest of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, his trip there was "with their full knowledge and cooperation." He bragged that he had been a guest the previous year of Royal Ordnance, the subsidiary of British Aerospace (BAE), now at the center of a scandal of global, strategic proportions.
"I always love visiting Britain," Pinochet gushed. "The friendship between our two countries is, of course, an historic one which long predates my own term in office. In 1818, our country finally obtained its freedom from Spanish, colonial domination, in part thanks to the enlightened policy of Britain's Foreign Secretary Lord Canning. Since then, Chile has been a force for stability amidst the turmoil of South America.... We owe much of our stability and prosperity to the strong ties that have existed with the people of Great Britain."
Pinochet of course failed to mention that many Chilean patriots of the Independence period, such as the Carrera brothers, embraced the American System of political economy, and hoped to model the newly independent Chile on the United States. It was Lord Canning who did everything possible to ensure there would be no repeat of the American Revolution in any nation of South America, and it was against his imperialist meddling in the Americas that John Quincy Adams authored the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.
LaRouche Youth Set Agenda at Biofuels Forum in Guatemala
June 6 (LPAC)At the Jun 6 conference on biofuels held in Guatemala City, and sponsored by the Professionals Association of Guatemala, Mexican LaRouche Youth Movement leader Ingrid Torres was a featured speaker. In her polemical presentation before 60 people, she detailed the idiocy of ethanol, from the perspective of Lyndon LaRouche's concept of physical economy, the strategic alliance needed among China, India, Russia, and the United States for a new economic system, and LaRouche's and the LYM's work to bring this about.
Other speakers included representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Cattle, and Food (MAGA); San Carlos University Agronomy School; the Association of Committees for Peasant Development (CODECA); the Institute of Community Development and Mayan Research Center; Carlos Wer, Economic Studies Committee of the Professionals Association; and an economist representing Cuba who, as could be expected, said that the United States was to blame for everything, and emphasized that global warming is real.
In general, all the speakers opposed ethanol and emphasized that corn should be for human consumption and not for fuel. Carlos Wer, who hosted Torres in Guatemala, charged that the drive for ethanol development is deliberate genocide, and outlined the effect this would have on Guatemala.
In a discussion that occurred after the forum, some economists said that the United States was the problem, and that it was threatening Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Torres insisted that as long as Bush and Cheney remain in office, the whole world is threatened, including the United States. The fight is not one of Chavez against the United States, but humanity against the financial oligarchy, she told them.