From Volume 5, Issue Number 13 of EIR Online, Published Mar. 28, 2006

Ibero-American News Digest

LaRouche's "The Principle of 'Power' " Now Out in Spanish!

Great news for our Spanish readers: EIR's Spanish-language magazine, Resumen Ejecutivo de EIR, has released a translation of "The Principle of 'Power,'" a special project of Lyndon LaRouche and his youth movement (see EIR, Dec. 23, 2005). The full package, which LYM members in Ibero-America helped to translate, is published in Resumen's Feb. 15-March 1, 2006 issue.

Kirchner Government Re-Nationalizes Water Company

"Potable water is considered to be a human right," declared Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido in a press conference March 21, announcing that the government had rescinded the contract of French utility Suez due to non-compliance. De Vido scathingly denounced the French utility's failure to invest in infrastructure, or to provide Argentines with clean water and sanitation. In fact, Suez—the majority stockholder in the company Aguas Argentinas—provided water containing unacceptable levels of nitrates, and even included a warning on its bills to customers, that children should not drink tap water!

Because of Suez's negligence, de Vido said, the Argentine state has decided to step in and take over its operations, forming a state-run company that will immediately invest 400 million pesos to upgrade infrastructure. The most vulnerable citizens—the 3 million who reside in the metropolitan area served by Suez/Aguas Argentinas, many of whom are poor—must be protected, de Vido said, especially young children. "While Aguas Argentinas views potable water exclusively from the standpoint of a market economy, the State intends to ensure that [potable water] is valued and managed for what it is, a social and cultural product which, in legal terms, means a human right."

On March 22, in an address to a local municipality, in the company of Chile's new President Michelle Bachelet, President Nestor Kirchner charged that only Suez's executives profited from its operations. "Yesterday, the Argentine State decided to take control of the company, to make the investments so that water will be given back to Argentines ... and that it return to being a social good, and stop being something only available to the very few." Suez has been in Argentina for 15 years, Kirchner said, and walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars. "But we had to beg to get just a drop of water."

Bolivian President Evo Morales has also said he wants to set up state companies to manage water resources, as part of his hydrocarbons nationalization plan. Suez's failure to provide potable water in the city of El Alto, Bolivia, has led to repeated social conflict.

Kirchner to Chirac: You Can Keep Suez's Dirty Water

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean Baptiste Mattei demanded on March 22 that the Argentine government guarantee "juridical security" for the French water company Suez, which the Kirchner government just re-nationalized, so that it can exit the country without problems. He also made clear that Suez is expecting monetary compensation from Argentina, supposedly for breach of contract, and will go before the World Bank's arbitration board to plead its case. French President Jacques Chirac will be visiting the Southern Cone at the end of April, but pointedly will not go to Argentina.

In a speech in San Isidro March 23 before a group of school children, Kirchner warned: "Let it be clear that I am not willing to let down my guard, and allow Argentines to drink contaminated water in exchange for a President's visit, or to make a Foreign Ministry feel better." The health of Argentines "is fundamental and crucial," he said, to loud applause.

Bachelet and Kirchner Launch Strategic Partnership

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet met in Buenos Aires on March 21, in an environment characterized by great warmth and cordiality, with Kirchner referring to Bachelet repeatedly as "my dear friend," twice telling her she should feel in Buenos Aires as if she were in her own home. Only three days away from the 30th anniversary of the March 24, 1976 military coup in Argentina, Kirchner underscored that both nations had suffered "the crimes of the bloodiest dictatorships in memory," but today, live in democracy, and are committed to combatting poverty.

In 1982, under the Pinochet regime, Chile allowed British military planes to run bombing raids on Argentina from Chilean air bases, during the Malvinas War. However, the current visit demonstrated that relations between the two countries have entered a new era. The two Presidents signed a joint communique which states: "This State visit by President Michelle Bachelet to Argentina ... ratifies the policy of integration," given that both countries "have decided to advance together toward a common destiny."

Following her meeting with Kirchner, a smiling and relaxed Bachelet said, "You will find in me, Mr. President, a colleague and neighbor who will devote all her energy to working for a much better Chile and Argentina, and for a much better America." It is no accident, she said, that her first trip abroad was to Argentina. "It was a decision to give an unequivocal signal of the priority that my government gives its relationship with Argentina."

For his part, Kirchner noted that Bachelet's visit holds "enormous importance. That she chose our country [to visit] is a message that both countries will together face the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century."

Agreements to move forward a number of specific integration projects, such as the Central Trans-Andean Railroad, an international tunnel at the Agua Negra border crossing, and the Rio Turbio-Puerto Natales Railroad, were signed.

Argentine LYM Invites Bachelet To Join Fight for NWEO

In her visit to Buenos Aires, President Bachelet found three things: a nascent strategic alliance with Argentina; Chileans and Argentines who cheered her; and the LaRouche Youth Movement, at every step of the way! The Argentine branch of the LYM, despite security and mobs of press, delivered packets of LaRouche literature to the Chilean President three times during her brief visit. Their message to her was straightforward: "Michelle, work with Kirchner and LaRouche to build a New World Economic Order."

Chilean President Addresses Argentine Congress

Argentine-Chilean integration doesn't just have economic goals, said Chile's President Michelle Bachellet in a March 21 toast to President Nestor Kirchner and First Lady Cristina Fernandez. "Chileans and Argentines understand that integration has a deeper meaning, one directed toward improving living conditions for our people, distributing opportunity more fairly ... so that the development we seek reaches everyone equally...."

The next day, the Chilean President addressed both houses of the Argentine Congress, a historic occasion in itself. Bachelet told the Congress that both governments understand that "market policies aren't enough." The progress I see in Argentina, in the areas of health, education, and housing, she said, "goes in the direction of what we want to do, giving citizens the possibility of moving forward." Chile has admired "Argentina's struggle" to recover from its 2001 crisis. "I want to lead a government that is close to its citizens, and that is why I am very happy to be here with you."

Another Effort To Stoke Conflict in Andean Region

Colombia's Cambio magazine published a report March 20 that the State Department had delivered a CIA document two weeks earlier to Colombia's Foreign Minister, charging that the Cuban Ambassador in Colombia, Jose Antonio Perez Novoa, is working to strengthen the Hugo Chavez (Venezuela)/Evo Morales (Bolivia) "axis" in the region, and is working to strengthen ties with Colombia's narcoterrorist FARC. Perez Novoa is a spy with a "hidden agenda," the document allegedly claims. Cambio published this as its cover story, under the headline "Spy or Diplomat?"

The document was reportedly analyzed at a meeting of Colombian Cabinet members, including the entire military command and Colombia's Ambassador to Cuba, Julio Londono Paredes. Although no unanimous agreement came out of the meeting, Londono Paredes charged that the U.S. accusation was "overblown," and called for "prudence and moderation," so as to preserve the good relations between Cuba and Colombia. A March 20 Foreign Ministry press release said that the Foreign Minister Carolina Barco had no knowledge of the alleged CIA document.

Chavez Joins Lunatic Chorus for Coca Bread

While touring a state cooperative with visiting Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez on March 14, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez embraced the idea of mass-producing bread made with flour from the coca leaf, insisting that it would go a long way to justifying the legalization of coca cultivation which employs tens of thousands—while purportedly fighting the illegal drug trade, Nueva Herald reported. "Coca is not the same as cocaine," he insisted. For years, the Andean Indian population has been "chewing it, and taking a good part of their nutrition" from the coca leaf.

Taking off from the recent proposals by both Bolivian President Evo Morales and Peruvian Presidential contender and Nazi-communist Ollanta Humala, of feeding coca-bread to schoolchildren, Chavez suggested that "We could try it here [in Venezuela], as part of the effort to de-satanize this product that our Indians have been producing for centuries."

All rights reserved © 2006 EIRNS