Ibero-American News Digest
Argentina: Economic Policy To Dominate Summit of Americas
Just what the Bush Administration fears: The November 3-4 Summit of the Americas will offer "a different political view of the Hemisphere," Argentina's Deputy Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana told the state news agency, Telam, in an Aug. 16 interview. Targetting the so-called "Washington Consensus"the package of neoliberal, free-market policies imposed on Ibero-America during the 1990sTatiana said that "a good number of governments of the Hemisphere are reviewing the assumptions with which they applied those policies in the 1990s." Governments are evaluating the role of the state, and understand its crucial regulatory role, as part of their search for a development model to guarantee productive employment and the generation of real wealth.
"It's no secret that we as a government don't agree with the Washington Consensus," he said. "Its panacea of privatizations and open economies, without any regulation, wasn't positive for our peoples and translated into greater inequality and exclusion."
Tatiana reported that his government will insist that the reform of the international financial system be included in the agenda. There is also much agreement on adopting common policies for the region, he said, because especially in South America, "there is a clear sense that advancing integration is crucial and necessary.
Pro-Dope Wall Street Banker Seizes Helm in Peru
Greeting Donald Rumsfeld as he arrived in Peru on Aug. 18 was Peru's new Prime Minister, a man to Rumsfeld's liking: Wall Street banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Never satisfied with being "merely" Finance Minister in Alejandro Toledo's government, PPK, as he is known, is now fully in the driver's seat, and that means full-scale drug legalization is on its way. For more than a decade, PPK chaired First Boston International before running investment funds for various world financiers from Miami. Top among his employers in the 1990s was none other than the king of drug legalizers, George Soros, himself.
PPK seized his new post in the wake of a cabinet shake-up provoked by his ally, drug-legalization advocate Fernando Olivera. Olivera is head of the Independent Moralizing Front (FIM) party, which co-rules with Toledo's own minority party, Peru Posible. He is also the politician who delivered the coup de grace to the Fujimori government in 2000. Olivera released a stolen video to the media which revealed the dirty dealings of Fujimori's intelligence adviser Vladimir Montesinos, and worked hand-in-glove with Soros to bring Fujimori down.
Now, Olivera and his party are running an operation to legalize mass coca production in Peru. The governor of Cuzco, a member of Olivera's FIM, has just imposed a "regional ordinance" legalizing the cultivation of coca in his province. Former Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero declared ordinance illegal, and demanded the Constitutional Court rule on it. Toledo responded by naming Olivera Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister Ferrero submitted his resignation, which, by law, required the entire cabinet follow suit.
Olivera lost his Foreign Ministry post in the shuffle which followed, but he heartily endorsed PPK's appointment to the Prime Ministry as "the best news Peruvians can have.... I know that we are going to work well together" in the days ahead, said Olivera.
Protests Shut Down Ecuador's Oil Production
Mass protests which began Aug. 15 in Ecuador's two primary oil-producing provinces, led by "popular organizations," backed by the CONAIE indigenist movement, cut national oil production by about 65% by Aug. 19, and forced the government to activate "force majeure" clauses permitting it to suspend oil exports due to circumstances beyond its control, and consider importing oil to cover domestic needs. The protestors have seized oil installations, sabotaged an oil pipeline, burned down public buildings, and blocked highways.
The chaos has also forced the government to postpone its planned issuance of $500 million in sovereign bonds ($300 million of which Venezuela was to buy), and JP Morgan had sent Ecuador's country risk up to 7.38% by the morning of Aug. 19. Between the fall in oil revenues as exports came to a halt, and the financiers' warfare (the IMF, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank had already heavily cut lending to the country), Ecuador is staring at imminent national bankruptcyagain.
President Alfredo Palacios declared a state of emergency in the affected provinces on Aug. 17, and sent in the military to retake control of oil installations and public roads and buildings. In an address to the nation on Aug. 18, Palacios said the government is open to dialogue, but order must be restored, because the future of the state is at stake. He then replaced his Defense Minister.
The Bush Administration has been out to replace the Palacios government since it came to power on the back of popular protests in April of this year. Chief among its alleged crimes, is the government's attempt to put social investments before debt payments. On Aug. 4, anti-IMF Finance Minister Rafael Correa was ousted, under enormous foreign pressure. (Correa charged that certain foreign embassies, including the that of U.S., were behind his ousting.) His ouster is a step forward, Michael Shifter, a top official of the bankers' Inter-American Dialogue, told a Guayaquil radio station on Aug. 11but the Palacios governmentwhich is only a "transition government," he emphasizedhas created "confusion" in Washington over its economic policies, by putting social expenditures before debt payments, and the U.S. needs to see "clarity" on where the government is heading.
LYM Tells Colombian President: Go With Maglev!
A beautiful scale model of a magnetic-levitation (maglev) train was given to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe by LaRouche Youth Movement member Orlando Muevar, during President's speech to more than 600 people at a forum on "The Future of Infrastructure in Colombia," organized by the Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure Aug. 17. Holding up the model of the maglev train, Munevar announced: "Mr. President, here is the train. We need the train back! We need to integrate the country physically with infrastructure projects, like those carried out by [President] Rafael Nunez at the end of the 19th Century. We can't wait for the usurious banks to finance these projects. Integration with infrastructure is the new name of peace."
Uribe continued his speech, and raised the question of railroads, which, until that moment, had not been mentioned by any speaker. Uribe said he was trying to recover what remained of the old national railroads, which had been handed over for repair to some private concessions which, until now, have done nothing. Uribe stated, that despite the fact that a former minister had just sent him an extensive report arguing that the state should not invest a single peso in the railroads, he was nonetheless trying to at least rehabilitate what currently exists.
Thanks to the continuous interventions of the LYM in the national Congress, among other places, the debate on the importance of investing in infrastructure is unavoidable. Somelike the "experts" of the think tank Fedesarrollo, an appendage of the World Bankhave had to come out with delphic reports that investment in infrastructure is needed, but only by private investors. The LYM promises that the debate on the true role of infrastructure in driving the economy has just begun.
South American Synarchists Crawl Out of Their Crypt
Some of Argentina's leading synarchists gathered in Buenos Aires Aug. 12-15, to debate what they portray as "The Politics of the Common Good." Antonio Caponnetto, his brother Mario, and a gaggle of others centered around the infamous (and apparently now-defunct) Argentine magazine Maritornes, whose fascist credentials were exposed by EIR (See Indepth, Aug, 19, 2003 and Jan. 20, 2004), spoke on such topics as "Mexico's Cristero Movement," "The Carlist Ideal in Spanish Traditionalism," and "Cornelio Codreanu and the Romanian Legionnaire's Movement." One of Antonio Caponnetto's presentations will be on the Spanish fascist Antonio Primo de Rivera, while brother Mario will eulogize his deceased Nazi anti-Semite father-in-law Jordan Bruno Genta, as a "martyr." (He was assassinated in 1974 by the Montonero terrorists.) Naturally, such a gathering wouldn't be complete without a presentation on "The Political Thought of Father Julio Meinvielle"the fascist anti-Semite idolized by this Carlist coven.
The same fascist crew were also waving their banners in Peru. Last week, the History Society of Peru invited Miguel Ayuso, a leading Spanish Carlist "intellectual" and Maritornes board member to be their star speaker at the society's 60th anniversary celebrations. This is not surprising, given that the head of the History Society is Juan Vicente Ugarte del Pino, an avowed admirer of Hitler who proudly proclaims himself to be Spanish fascist Blas Pinar's "best friend in Peru." Joining Ayuso at the podium of the festivities was fellow Maritornes board member and avowed Franco-ite, Fernan Altuve Febres. Altuve, a Peruvian, is feeling the heat of EIR's exposes of his role in the New Fascist International. He complained to LaRouche organizers manning a booth at the recent International Book Fair in Limawhere EIR's new Peruvian book, The Return of the Beasts: International Synarchism Behind the Humala sold brisklythat what we have published about him being tied to Spanish fascist leader Blas Pinar is not true; he'd only met him once. I'm no fascist, Altuve protested feebly; I'm "a dyed-in-the-wool Carlist."