From Volume 4, Issue Number 44 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 1, 2005

Ibero-American News Digest

Ecuador Congress to Rumsfeld: Please Invade Us

On Oct. 27, an overwhelming majority of Ecuador's Congress voted to formally request that the Organization of American States (OAS) activate the "collective action" clause of the OAS Democratic Charter, and intervene in Ecuador in alleged "defense of the democratic order." This clause, originally designed by long-time Kissingerian State Department strategist Luigi Einaudi, has been Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's hobbyhorse since 2002, to justify his drive to establish supranational forces to "defend democracy." Just two weeks ago, Rumsfeld called in the Central American Defense Ministers, to work out details for the establishment of such a regional rapid deployment force for Central America.

The pretext cited by Ecuador's Congress for invoking supranational intervention was that President Alfredo Palacio plans to convoke a Constituent Assembly would have the power to throw out the current authorities, Congress included. The Congress charged the plan is unconstitutional. The OAS, headed by Chile's Jose Manuel Insulza, is now studying the Congress's request.

This request is likely to become a hot topic at the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has been fighting to make focus on the real issue: the urgency of a new international financial architecture.

Separatists Threaten To Carve Up Bolivia

Santa Cruz, Bolivia separatists threatened to proclaim themselves an independent nation, if their province is not granted four more seats in Congress before the Dec. 4 general elections. This is exactly the scenario for the break-up of Bolivia into two nations—one owned by the oil interests, the other by the drug-runners—laid out by Dick Cheney's American Enterprise Institute in June 2004. Previously, leaders of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee had claimed they only sought "autonomy," but at a meeting on Oct. 26, Senator Helen Hayes, from Rio Tinto Zinc representative Gonzalo Sanchez de Losada's MNR party, declared their objective to be outright independence. Whether the radicals of the Santa Cruz elite can rally support behind splitting their nation even as their Washington backers are battling to stay out of jail in the U.S., has yet to be seen.

Covering this crisis on Oct. 28, Chile's La Tercera raised the specter of regional intervention should the State collapse in Bolivia, and the country become "a perfect base for guerrilla groups," threatening its neighbors.

LaRouche Laughs at Those Who Think Mexican Presidential Race Is Locked In

Mexico nominates representatives of defeated U.S. causes as their batch of Presidential candidates for the 2006 Presidential election. Local pundits insist that the contending candidates for the three major parties—the PAN, the PRI, and the PRD—are now locked in place. Lyndon LaRouche's comment Oct. 26 was: "Ha, ha, ha! These guys are going to go. Mexico again is accepting second-hand politicians, leftovers from the departed Bush-Cheney Administration."

Those in Mexico who talk about "going with the majority in the U.S.," LaRouche added, are not in the real world, and are not to be treated as serious, intellectually. They like to pretend that they've got a friend in the U.S., and all that kind of stuff, but the Bush-Cheney gang is history.

The developments which supposedly have sewn everything up:

* The candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN), appears to be Felipe Calderon, an old-line, second-generation Synarchist, after he won such a strong victory in the party's third primary Oct. 23, that his chief opponent withdrew from the race. Calderon is a real neo-con piece of work, supporting a flat tax, a radical labor reform to do everything from eliminating the eight-hour work day, to effectively legalizing child labor disguised as an "apprentice" program, and "fusing" the state oil company Pemex with the international oil cartels. Jorge Castaneda, Wall Street's fair-haired boy, has been campaigning for Calderon for the past month, telling Wall Street heavyweights at a private dinner in Washington, D.C., organized by George Shultz's JP Morgan, on Sept. 23, that Calderon is the man to defeat "populism" in Mexico, once and for all.

* Roberto Madrazo expects to have the PRI candidacy locked up shortly, after the Fox government and former President Carlos Salinas—Bush, Sr.'s corrupt buddy who ushered in NAFTA—teamed up to threaten his chief opponent, former Mexico state Gov. Arturo Montiel, telling him that if he ran, he and his family would face a massive tax and illicit income investigation. Montiel quit the race on Oct. 20.

* Within the PRD, the Oct. 23 call for the PRD to unite around the candidacy of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by Lazaro Cardenas, the Governor of the state of Michoacan and son of Cuauhtemoc Cardenas (and grandson of FDR's friend General Cardenas), is being hailed in the media as a sign that Lopez Obrador opponent Cuauhtemoc Cardenas has also decided to join the bandwagon—although that is not a done deal, yet.

So the "word" in Mexico is that all three candidates, each of whom has Salinas/Cheney agents heavily within their camp, are now "locked in"—which is pretty amusing, given how quickly the Bush/Cheney Titanic is sinking.

Mexican Farmers to Peruvians: Free Trade a 'Nightmare'

Leaders of Mexico's National Peasant Federation (CNC) warned a visiting delegation of Peruvians, including Agriculture Minister Manuel Manrique Ugarte, to think twice before they consider accepting a free-trade agreement with the U.S., as is now being discussed, La Journada reported Oct. 10. Eleven years after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed, Mexican agriculture is destroyed—the nation has lost 41% of its food production self-sufficiency; 2 million peasants have been forced to abandon their lands. "Look at the Mexican peasantry as if you were looking in a mirror, because ... all [NAFTA] has left us is misery, unemployment, and migration" to the U.S., the CNC leaders warned.

NAFTA was supposed to increase Mexican exports and attract foreign investment, said CNC technical advisor Diodoro Carrasco Altamirano. But the result has been "chilling," as seen in the case of the Sonora wheat producers, who have been devastated. Congressman Cruz Lopez Aguilar, president of the Lower House's Agriculture Committee, underscored that NAFTA is "the dream that was never realized, turned into your worst nightmare."

Fox Gov't Caught Trying To Privatize Customs Service

Without consulting Congress, on Oct. 11, the official Mexican government daily published a quiet announcement that they were accepting bids for private interests to participate in Mexico's Customs Service. When they got wind of this, Senators and Congressmen from the opposition PRD and PRI parties denounced this wild plan as unconstitutional, and a threat to national sovereignty and security, and are demanding Treasury Minister Francisco Gil Diaz be hauled before Congress, to testify. Gil Diaz is now busy lying that only Customs' electronic data management would be privatized.

Anonymous officials of the Customs Service charged that the Swiss Societe General de Surveillance (SGS) is set to get the contract, in a statement warning that "giving the bid to that company would be like the Mexican Central Bank granting to a credit institution of the Cayman Islands, world center of money-laundering, the regulation of remittances from Mexican citizens living in the U.S."

The Mexican government appears to be on a desperate privatization bid. Presidential adviser Eduardo Sojo told Bloomberg Oct. 14, that, by the end of the Fox regime, the government intends to sign contracts worth $3.7 billion for private interests to build and manage hospitals and schools and upgrade toll-free roads, using the British "public-private partnership" model. Sojo bragged that this would be the biggest initiative yet in Ibero-America to use the British model, where private companies invest in infrastructure and provide public services in exchange for a fee paid by the government.

Brazil Gun Ban Goes Down to Defeat

The plebiscite to ban gun sales in Brazil went down to stinging defeat on Oct. 23, with nearly two-thirds, or 64%, voting "no." The ban failed in all 26 states and the Federal district of Brasilia. When the campaign began, supporters of the ban expected to win up to 80% of the vote, but the opposition turned this around by simply asking the question: "Do you feel safe, and do you think the government can protect you?" They also suggested that a "no" vote would be a vote against the government of beleaguered President Lula da Silva.

Lyndon LaRouche had warned in early October that "Those who are proposing to take guns away from the population in Brazil, are going to bring on a civil war. You have entire areas of Brazil, including the favelas in the big cities, which are terra incognita, armed camps. If they continue on this, if they disarm the poor, they will unleash asymmetric civil war," and this will play right into the scenario of permanent warfare being promoted across South America by Dick Cheney, the Moonies, Banco Santander, Prince Philip's WWF, and so forth, LaRouche stated. (See "Will Ibero-America Get It Right This Time?" EIR, Oct. 14, 2005.)

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