From Volume 5, Issue Number 24 of EIR Online, Published June 13, 2006

Ibero-American News Digest

Argentina Revives National Nuclear Power Program

Argentina wants to build its fourth nuclear plant, either on the same site as the Embalse reactor, or the Atucha I (functioning) and Atucha II (which is now being completed, after being stalled for years) reactors, Undersecretary for Fuels Cristian Folgar announced at a conference in Cordoba on June 5.

Argentina's pride at what it has accomplished since the founding of its National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) in 1950 was expressed at the celebrations of "Atomic Energy Day" on May 31, and debunks a recent Greenpeace poll which alleged that "two-thirds of the Argentine people think that the nuclear-energy option should be 'eliminated.'" That pride is expressed not only by the scientists working in the field, but also by workers and the population at large. There are few nations in the world that still celebrate "Atomic Energy Day"!

Dr. Daniel Pasquevich, head of the CNEA-run Bariloche Atomic Center in Rio Negro, underscored in his May 31 speech that nuclear energy "is very important for consolidating the nation," and noted that as a nuclear pioneer, Argentina is well situated to provide technology to those nations which have not yet developed it. He lamented that many highly trained scientists had been forced to leave the country in "self-exile," because of past austerity and anti-science policies, adding that "our human resources are our most valuable ones."

Just about every newspaper in Bariloche, which is also home to the premier nuclear technology company INVAP, owned by the provincial government, issued heartfelt congratulations to CNEA. "We support the national government's decision to complete the Atucha II plant ... which will permit use of the extensive and proven experience of Argentina's nuclear sector," one declared. Another daily welcomed the government's commitment to completing construction of the CAREM prototype reactor "as a prior step toward construction of medium-potency nuclear plants made with Argentine technology."

Synarchists Seek To Revive 1970s Wars in Argentina, To Crush Kirchner

Argentine synarchists are determined to create a climate of left-right conflict, whipping up military hostility to the government by reviving the dynamic of the 1970s-era "subversives" vs. "the Armed Forces." As President Nestor Kirchner spoke at the El Palomar Military Academy, commemorating the 196th anniversary of the Army's founding on May 29, six officers turned their backs on the President, and another one walked out to protest Kirchner's denunciation of the former leaders of the 1976-83 military junta "who killed their own brothers."

Five days earlier, retired Army officers organized a 3,000-person demonstration in Buenos Aires to rail that Kirchner was siding with the former terrorist Montoneros against the Armed Forces—"the Montoneros are in the government" is the line—and to issue a death threat against him (see last week's Ibero-American Digest).

An angry Kirchner responded by leaving the ceremony at the conclusion of his speech, and not reviewing the troops. Lyndon LaRouche commented that he wanted it known, in his name, that Kirchner came out to the event looking for "shining military faces, and all he saw was a bunch of assholes, and he turned on his heels and left."

The old Kissingerian snake Mariano Grondona, columnist for the financiers' daily La Nacion, signalled what's really behind the attacks on the President, when he quoted synarchist Alexandre Kojeve—of "purgative violence" fame—in his June 4 column, to argue that Kirchner governs only through threats and personal attacks, and is therefore an "authoritarian" who is ultimately very weak, against whom the Army is much stronger.

In fact, Kirchner's speech referenced the most revered nationalist figures of Argentine military history, such as Gen. Enrique Mosconi (founder of the state-run YPF oil firm,) and Gen. Manuel Savio (founder of the state-run Somisa steel firm) as examples of the kind of military needed to participate in rebuilding the nation, and be "committed to its future"—at the same time, subordinate to its constitutional powers.

Nazi-Synarchist Humala Defeated in Bid for Peruvian Presidency

Would-be Black Shirt Ollanta Humala was soundly defeated in the June 4 Presidential elections in Peru, giving the victory to former President Alan Garcia, who was widely seen as the "lesser evil." In fact, Garcia publicly acknowledged after his victory at the polls that his 55% vote was only a 25% vote for himself, and the rest was an anti-Humala vote.

A share of the credit for that anti-Humala vote goes to the LaRouche movement, which has organized intensively against the international Synarchist threat that the Humala clan—and its backers both in Spain and across Ibero-America—poses to Peru, including last year's publication of the EIR book The Return of the Beasts: The International Neofascism Behind the Humala.

Garcia has urgently sought to distance himself from his failed first government (1985-1990), while attempting to curry favor with Wall Street, by advocating a free-market economy with a modicum of state involvement. His assertion that the free-market economy "can't solve every problem" is his nod to the widespread hostility to neoliberalism in Peru and throughout the area. At the same time, Garcia has vociferously denounced Venezuelan and Bolivian Presidents Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, and instead, embraced the "pragmatic" models of Brazil's Lula and Chile's Bachelet.

Garcia's pathetic attempt to kiss up to Washington has taken the form of setting himself up as the "anti-Chavez" on the continent, after the Venezuelan President announced a couple of weeks ago that, if Garcia won the elections in Peru, Venezuela would break diplomatic relations with Peru.

Inside Peru, Garcia is starting off with zero popularity. Since no political force has a majority in the Peruvian Congress, Garcia's APRA Party will have to negotiate with the followers of former President Alberto Fujimori, who retain a substantial power base, and with Humala. Despite the defeat of his Presidential bid, Humala took about 16% of the Congress, and had a strong regional showing in the border region with Bolivia—which some observers believe will spell trouble for Garcia.

Ethanol Drive To Revive Sugar Slavery Goes International

Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind) and Brazil's Ambassador to the U.S., Roberto Abdenur, published a joint op-ed in the Miami Herald May 6 which idiotically paints cooperation on ethanol as the strategic "key" to reducing frictions between the two countries and accelerating U.S.-Brazil cooperation on all fronts. The U.S. could dramatically lower its oil dependence by spreading the use of E-85 (15% gas/85% ethanol) from the Midwest to the East Coast of the U.S., they write; eliminating U.S. protective tariffs on Brazilian ethanol imports could help encourage East Coast use. They go so far as to propose that the two countries "undertake an international joint action to globalize the production and utilization of ethanol, including by sharing their technology with potential producers of ethanol throughout the world."

So, too, French President Jacques Chirac and Brazilian President Lula da Silva agreed to present a joint proposal on bringing ethanol "technology" to developing countries, Africa and the Caribbean particularly, at the upcoming G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg. Lula called the "Biofuels Declaration" issued on May 25, at the end of Chirac's visit to Brazil, which outlines this idea, one of the principal results of Chirac's visit.

Not to be outdone, Mexican Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador—who otherwise took the daring strategic move June 1, of announcing his intention to renegotiate Mexico's debt à la Argentina (see Indepth this week)—also jumped into the ethanol swamp. In a May 31 radio interview, the PRD candidate emphasized the need for "alternative energies" to oil, and said he would discuss implementing a Brazilian-style sugar cane to alcohol program for Mexico, should he win. Lopez Obrador said he has great relations with Brazilian President Lula da Silva, and after July 2, will contact him about this idea.

The Fox government of Mexico is already moving in this direction, as Agriculture Secretary Francisco Mayorga announced on June 2 that five ethanol projects whose production will be exported to the U.S. will be launched this year. Three of the projects will be based on corn, which means there will be less of this basic stable available to the already starving population.

All rights reserved © 2006 EIRNS