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PRESS RELEASE


FAO Summit Ends with Fight Over Free Trade

ROME, June 5, 2008 (EIRNS)—The showdown which was underway at the Rome Food and Agriculture Organization conference, between the forces of national sovereignty and the pushers of globalization, broke out in the open in the fight over the final communique in Rome, according to EIR's correspondent Alexander Pusch. Pusch describes the situation as follows:

"This [the showdown] became very clear during the final hours of the summit, when the Committee of the Whole after many hours was still not in a position to agree on the final declaration from the conference. This was, thanks to, first and foremost, the delegations of Argentina, Venezuela, and many other countries of the 'South,' who would not bend to the pressure to support a condemnation of 'restricted trade' in the declaration.

"Out of this allegedly formal protest grew a full-fledged rebellion of the Ibero-American countries, who had solidarity with the hungry of the world, and denounced the mendacity of the debate. The representative of Venezuela made clear in a very moving way, in her final intervention, that with this summit, an opportunity would have been tragically passed up. The 900 million people who suffer each day from hunger, cannot wait.... All that was lacking, in addition, was that this was the result of willful sabotage of initiatives by the delegations of Great Britain, the U.S.A., and other countries true to the empire."

The Egyptian delegation was equally angry, insisting in closed door discussions on food as a human rights issue, and going after speculation in food and energy, hard, EIR organizers here also reported. Action, not diplomacy is needed, they demanded. The President of Senegal also was a forceful opponent of the free trade/WTO dogmas, peddled by some of the advanced sector delegations.

Thus, the release of the final declaration kept being put off. What was first to be released at 5 pm, then became 7 pm, then 9 pm, and was yet to be posted as the day ended. There are reports from Rome that at least one country, Argentina, will submit a dissenting statement, rejecting the final communique, as it was being worked out.