Ibero-American News Digest
President Uribe's Parting Shot Against the British
June 14 (EIRNS)In a surprise strike yesterday on a jungle concentration camp run by the narcoterrorist FARC, some 300 Colombian Armed Forces commandos rescued four police and military officers who had been held in captivity for 12 years. Among the four was the highest-ranking hostage held by the FARC, police Gen. Luis H. Mendieta. Col. William Donato Gómez, who escaped into the jungle during the firefight, and was found today by Army troops, still wearing the three-meter long chain attached to his neck by the FARC.
The military rescue, named "Operation Chameleon," required six months of careful planning, once Army intelligence learned that the FARC was moving this group of hostages around in the jungle every 8-15 days.
This latest strike comes one week before the June 20 run-off Presidential election, which has been shaped by London's adamant insistence that President Uribe could not, and would not, run for a third term of office, since, for years he has been a thorn in the side of London's effort to legalize drugs internationally. The line from London is that you "can't win, so there's no point in fighting."
Uribe's latest, and final, Presidential action, has just shown, again, that that is a lie.
With Uribe out of the picture, the race is down to Juan Manuel Santos, Uribe's long-time Defense Minister and supposed heir apparent, and Antanas Mockus, the existentialist and psychologically unstable former mayor of Bogota. The successful freeing of the FARC hostages boosts the likelihood of Santos winning, since he has campaigned as the man who will continue Uribe's policy of making no deals with the narcoterrorists.
But that is an open question. Santos is also politically very close to the very London forcesespecially Tony Blairwho want the war on drugs ended, and they will be pressuring Santos to do their bidding. But institutional forces inside Colombia, including the military, and many institutional forces in Washington, will be pressuring Santos in the opposite direction.
Haiti Situation Is Worsening
June 8 (EIRNS)Half a million more displaced persons in Haiti came into the Port-au-Prince high-hazard zone over the month of May, as the nationwide dislocation and danger from storms and disease worsened. There remain over 2 million people, out of a population of nearly 10 million, in the flood and disease-prone area most hard-hit by the Jan. 12 earthquake.
No mass relocation logistics, CCC- or Army Corps of Engineers-style operations have been undertaken. All the particulars of the situation, document the perpetration of a death policy by the Obama Administration, which flatly rejected proposals for mass relocation and infrastructure-building required, and instead ordered the pullout of the U.S. military forces aiding in reconstruction. Henceforth, only small-scale, individual U.S. projectscalled "New Horizons"involving 500 U.S. National Guard personnel, will take place from June through September. This kind of micro-aid is a mockery of the need for mass relocation and infrastructure-building.
Former President Bill Clinton, UN Envoy for Haiti, visited there the first week in June, saying, "We have more than 1 million people that are living in very precarious conditions, in camping tents. We cannot allow people to die during this hurricane season because they inhabit temporary dwellings." He was in the Dominican Republic for the June 3 World Summit for the Future of Haiti, which appealed to 54 nations and 35 NGOs, for some $11 billion for aid to Haiti.
The June 5 operations update by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reports on the emergency:
"During the last month, the internally displaced population in Port-au-Prince increased by 500,000, due to lack of job opportunities, food, education and livelihood opportunities in host communities outside the city...."
"High population movement" is taking place all over the half-island nation, because of desperation. People wander back and forth to relatives, camps, and destroyed towns. Factors such as job shortages, education, food and shelter in non-direct-earthquake-affected areas provoke constant population movements from the outside of Port-au-Prince to the capital, in addition to movement within the same city from a camp to another that may be better maintained and supported.
"Recently, heavy rains have caused flooding in most vulnerable temporary settlements. Some households, which had set up temporary shelters at the site, were flooded by heavy rains and had to move to a nearby settlement. At the same time, the ground is becoming increasingly saturated and causing damage to water and sanitation facilities. The deteriorating conditions are now causing families to migrate towards the well-maintained camps, making it difficult to monitor population needs."
In the meantime, there are charades of relief. Among the fake housing "solutions," for example, is a new kind of storm-resistant hut, featured in a Deutsche Bank exhibit in New York City. The "cutting-edge" architects who designed it are on a promotional trip to Haiti this week, where a grant is to fund the building of a few thousand glorified sheds. The U.S. AID Washington, D.C. office likewise featured a different design for an impoverished person to build.
Among the farming rip-off "solutions," is a mango export project, in which a five-year, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deal is underway, between Coca-Cola and Haitian-based Carifresh, for the Coca-Cola product to be sold in the U.S.A., called "Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid." The funding involves $7.5 million, overseen by the PPP-consulting outfit, Technoserve, from Inter-American Development Bank and Coke money.
CCC-Type Program Proposed for Haiti
June 7 (EIRNS)Rep. Gary Miller, a Republican from Florida, introduced a bill at the end of April to create a U.S. program to aid in the reconstruction of Haiti, which is similar in principle to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Miller's proposed "'Partnership With America' Rapid Rebuilding of Haiti Act of 2010" does not cite the CCC, but the program coheres with Lyndon LaRouche's call for a CCC program to save Haiti, and giving a mission to U.S. youth, too.
H.R. 5171 would "create a program under which ... U.S. construction and reconstruction experts and workers who currently are unemployed or significantly underemployed shall begin work in Haiti on an organized and coordinated plan to help Haitians rebuild the infrastructure of Haiti, including roads, airports, energy facilities, schools, hospitals, and other services fundamental to economic development, including permanent housing for persons who lost their housing because of the earthquake."
Respectful of Haiti's sovereignty, the bill calls for a plan to be developed, "anticipating the needs of a Haitian economy that does not merely return to pre-earthquake levels but grows fast enough to provide jobs for Haitians and raise the overall standard of living in that country," and "seek to ensure that the U.S. workers do not take the place of Haitian workers, but instead supplement, coordinate, and mentor Haitian construction workers, and train them so that an adequate and adequately trained Haitian construction force is left in place to accommodate the hoped-for future growth of the Haitian economy."