Ibero-American News Digest
Mexican Senator: Remove Agriculture from WTO, NAFTA!
June 12 (EIRNS)Pointing to free trade as the cause of the world food crisis, Sen. Heladio Ramírez López, chairman of the Mexican Senate's Rural Development Committee, called this week for agriculture to be removed from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Accord (NAFTA), as the only way to end the world food crisis.
Speaking to a June 10 hearing of his Senate committee, with World Bank and FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) representatives present, Ramírez López argued that to solve a world food crisis in which 845 million people worldwide are underfed, and another 100 million on the verge of malnutrition, markets and international trade must be regulated, agriculture removed from the WTO and NAFTA, free access to water, seeds, and land provided to peasant and farm families, and a stop put to speculation with hunger, he told the hearing.
The world has to decide between producing to eat, or for fuel, he added. Where does the Mexican government stand on this?
This old-line, nationalist politico, who formerly headed the PRI party's National Peasant Federation (CNC), demanded that the government take up its Constitutional responsibility to guarantee Mexico's food security. Food production and trade cannot be left in the hands of the multinationals, he said. Instead of repeating the British mantra that protectionism is the problem, Ramírez insisted that the Mexican government protect its farmers.
As food becomes the number one political issue in the country, six sitting and two former Mexican Congressmen, including Ramírez Lopez's counterpart, the chair of the Rural Development Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, Congressman Carlos Navarro López, have endorsed Schiller Institute international chair Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call to bury the WTO in order to double world food production.
WWF's Mexican Synarchists Praise Hitler
June 10 (EIRNS)Close associates of Synarchist agents José Luis Luege Tamargo, head of the water agency Conagua, and Agriculture Minister Alberto Cárdenas, are trumpeting their admiration for Adolf Hitler. The British Empire's Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has seized control over Mexico's food and water policy, operates through agents such as these.
The nazis in this case are two leaders of the National Synarchist Union (UNS), which just jointly established a new fascist party in Mexico with Rene Bolio, who is both the longtime protégé of Luege Tamargo, and the former national campaign manager for Cárdenas, when he was a Presidential candidate in 2006.
Fernán González, president of the UNS in the state of Puebla, proclaimed that Hitler, and Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco, "were great leaders in their day, correct in their policies to eradicate many evils which afflicted their people.... I admire them," González bragged, according to the May 26 edition of the Mexico City daily Excelsior.
Austreberto Martínez Villegas, national secretary of the UNS-Civil movement, was only slightly more circumspect, arguing that, while the UNS does not agree with everything Hitler did, his role in history must be analyzed "objectively.... We can see that he carried out interesting work in the context of the Germany of his time.... There are some economic measures which we could look into how they could be applied in our day."
Although González and Martínez represent the "civil" branch of the UNS, whereas it is the "political" branch which has organized the new party with Bolio, they share their support for nazi economics with Luege Tamargo, Cárdenas, and their British imperial controllers in the WWF. The new party, the Participatory Solidarity Movement Party, is slated to be officially recognized by the electoral authorities at the end of June.
Argentine President: We Will Defend the Nation
June 9 (EIRNS)In a nationally televised speech today, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner delivered a sharp message to agricultural producers who have been on strike intermittently for more than 90 days, to protest taxes the government increased last March, on exports of soybeans and sunflower seeds. The strike is an attempt by the British Empire faction to bring down the government, alleging that an "authoritarian" President is "robbing" producers' profits, by demanding more regulation. That argument has not worked too well, and the agro producers, led by the oligarchical Rural Society, are on the defensive.
The increased taxes are protectionist in nature, Fernández underscored, and are necessary for two purposes: to guarantee the nation's food security, and to ensure fair income-distribution, aiding citizens without jobs or homes. To those producers who are screaming about higher export taxes, the President noted with some irony, that perhaps she had failed to sufficiently explain her policies, or had been disingenuous in assuming that producers would understand the need to assist those who have less.
Let's get one thing straight, Fernández de Kirchner said. If we are serious about tackling poverty, people should understand that it is "impossible" to do so, "without income redistribution and without touching the extraordinary profits" of certain sectors.
She announced the creation of a Social Responsibility Fund, which will use the revenue from the higher taxes to build a series of projects nationwide, including 30 large hospital complexes, 300 primary health-care centers, and affordable housing and roads in rural areas.
Fernández stated: "I am the President of the Republic," not just the other side in some argument. "I must govern for all Argentines, and when I make decisions, I do so to benefit all Argentines."
Ecuador Documents Robbery Through Foreign Debt
June 11 (EIRNS)The special commission that is auditing Ecuador's foreign debt has reported to President Rafael Correa that a portion of that debt is illegitimate, and that the overall handling of the debt was so rife with irregularities and mismanagement, that millions of dollars were lost to the government.
As Correa put it, it was a "heist."
Speaking in the province of Chimborazo June 7, Correa said that after receiving the first report from the Commission on the Integral Auditing of Public Credit, he felt "indignation ... there is no name for what was done with the debtit is a assault on the country, it is illegitimate." He vowed that criminal charges would be brought against those "who sold out the country, who sold themselves, and there will be administrative and civil actions taken to annul the illegitimate debt."
Correa described one aspect of the fraud: Often, "Ecuador's lawyers were also the creditors' lawyers; their address in Ecuador was also the address of the creditors' law firm. Since Citibank prepared the documents for us, Ecuador's attorney would just come in and sign it. That is, our people were acting on behalf of the creditors instead of the country!"
Correa charged that in all of these dealings, the central bank acted in complicity with the finance minister at the time. Despite this, Correa said, "there are still people who say the central bank should be autonomousautonomous from the country and its fellow citizens, but totally dependent on the creditors ... and on that international bureaucracy, like the IMF.... They stole billions of dollars, always the same old miserable people who today work for the World Bank, IMF, or Inter-American Development Bank."
A final report is expected within 45 days.
Chilean Workers Strike vs. High Fuel and Food Prices
June 6 (EIRNS)This week saw an explosion of strikes in Chile by workers fed up with rising fuel and food prices, and frustrated by the Bachelet government's failure to overturn the neoliberal economic and social policy associated with the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship.
A strike by long-haul truckers, demanding government action on the price of diesel fuel and high tolls, particularly rattled the government, because this mode of transport is the only way that food, raw materials, and other essentials are delivered to the rest of the country. There are no functioning railroads, as these were destroyed by the Pinochet dictatorship and never rebuilt. Once the truckers' strike began to affect food supplies in the interior, and threatened mining operations in the North, the government agreed to a 50% decrease in the tax on diesel fuel, and promised to keep the price stable over the next three months.
But several other sectors mobilized over such issues as the rising cost of living. The consumer price index rose by an unexpected 1.2% for May, due to higher fuel and food prices. On June 4, employees for the postal service went on strike over wages. High school and university students, as well as professors, held a nationwide strike to protest the government's education reform law.
The reform is supposed to strengthen public education which was essentially dismantled by the Pinochet dictatorship, but students and teachers, with backing from Socialist Party legislators, say it doesn't go far enough. The right-wing Alliance for Chile is threatening to sabotage the reform altogether, should the government respond to protests by improving on the proposed law.
According to an activist who worked with the LaRouche movement in the 2005 fight to defend social security, people have had it with a "socialist" government "whose policies aren't socialist, but rather free-market ones."