[News] Latin America Winning 7-0
News at freedomarchives.org
Sat Feb 18 13:01:44 EST 2006
Latin America Winning 7-0
Havana._ The United States, the European Union
and the international financial institutions are
watching their economic order being bashed in
Latin America, where popular sectors are having
their demands heard for the first time.
Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and now
Chile, with the victory of Michelle Bachelet, the
first woman president in that southern country´s
history, lead the silent (for the mainstream
media) revolution taking place in the continent.
Already Brazil and Argentina have cut their ties
with the International Monetary Fund by paying
their outstanding debts with the institution,
while announcing their intention of doing so with
official creditors represented in the Paris Club.
President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela has made great
strides in uniting the continent by offering the
region a free trade alternative that really
works, which takes into account the differences
in development levels of each nation.
Part of the Bolivarian Alternative of the
Americas (ALBA in Spanish) is initiatives in the
energy sector that are already alive and working.
PetroCaribe, PetroSur and PetroAndina will lead
later on to the creation of PetroAmerica,
designed to achieve independence and
sustainability in the region´s energy sector.
Also in public health and education, continental
programs are underway to address urgent problems
in the region, among them illiteracy and eye surgery.
Analysts in the United States are acknowledging
the change. For one, John Perkins, author of
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man says most
Americans know that a transit strike crippled New
York City, but few are aware that seven South
American countries, representing 80 per cent of
the continent´s population, have recently elected
presidents with anti-American sentiments.
In Ecuador, the president was thrown out of
office by a popular grass-roots uprising when he
capitulated to economic threats and bribes, and
went against his campaign promises to force US
oil companies to pay more for the Ecuadorian oil they extracted.
During the past year, points Perkins, a rising
tide of people throughout the world has been
rebelling against policies they see as unjust.
This has occurred not only in Africa, Asia,
Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, but
also in the United States, where workers resent
corporations and their executives for receiving high tax breaks.
According to this man, once employed by the US
Treasury Department to submit developing
economies to bribes and political pressure,
transnational corporations have taken control of
much of the production and trade in developing countries.
For example, 40 percent of the world´s coffee is
traded by just four companies, while the top 30
supermarket chains control almost one-third of worldwide grocery sales.
A trade surplus of one billion dollars for
developing countries in the 1970s turned into an 11 billion deficit by 2001.
The income ratio difference between wealthy and
poor countries widened from 30 to 1 in 1960 to 74
to 1 in 1995. Another astonishing fact is that of
the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are
corporations, of which 47 are US-based.
The gap also gets wider inside industrialized
nations. Slaves before the US Civil War received
room and board, while wages paid currently by the
sweatshops that serve many US industries do not cover the most basic needs.
The number of poor in the US has increased by 5 million in the last four years.
Unrest throughout the planet is the harbinger of
the difficulties that will haunt future
generations, unless reason prevails. All people,
and not just those at the top, have the right to justice and dignity.
Voters throughout South America have warned that
people and nature´s interests must be taken into
account if the human race is to survive.
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