Ibero-American News Digest
LaRouche Webcast Heard Around Ibero-America
Citizens from many different Ibero-American nations listened to Lyndon LaRouche's historic Oct. 31 webcast, transmitted from Berlin. Audiences in Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, and Venezuela were among the international groupings who listened to LaRouche's powerful presentation, and participated in the dialogue that followed. A surgeon from San Miguél, El Salvador, who is part of a group of intellectuals and professionals who have been reading LaRouche's writings for a number of years, summed up the sentiments of many others: "I heard it, I heard it, we heard LaRouche!"
Other highlights include:
Argentina: The Berlin conference was shown at two locations in Buenos Aires, and scheduled to be retransmitted at one of them, the Lomas de Zamora University in Buenos Aires, where LaRouche's writings are studied and very well known thanks to Professor Julio González. On the morning of the webcast, LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) leader Emiliano Andino was interviewed live on a radio station in his native Neuquén province, in which he also invited people to listen to the webcast.
Eighteen people attended the second Buenos Aires showing, held at a downtown Buenos Aires restaurant, many of them attending after receiving one of the 20,000 leaflets distributed by the LYM in an outreach campaign that hit the capital's subways, streets, and universities. Seven people, including three youth and four members of the media, had either received or found the leaflet on the subway, and were profoundly moved by LaRouche's speech.
In the industrial city of Córdoba, a radio talk show host who has interviewed LaRouche on three previous occasions, organized a group of 50 peopleprofessionals, businessmen, politicians, and two reportersto listen to the webcast at a downtown hotel. He reported that people "embraced LaRouche ... they were completely moved, because he spoke with such passion.... This was an absolutely important speech." Two media representatives were also present.
Mexico: In Hermosillo, in the northern state of Sonora, LaRouche's speech was taped in its entirety by Radio Bemba 95.5 FM, and broadcast the same day from 8-9 p.m., prime listening time. Radio Bemba is a station that was founded by the students of the University of Sonora, and is listened to as well along the West Coast of the United States.
In addition to Hermosillo, in the U.S., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Midwest have a number of university audiences, as well as trade union and political circles who listen to Radio Bemba, which became famous for transmitting all of former Presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's speeches when his supporters were camped out at Mexico City's main plaza, the Zócalo) earlier this year. The directors of the station have been following the LaRouche movement for years. The Radio Bemba broadcast was especially important because many contacts who otherwise have no Internet access were able to listen in, thus multiplying the effect of the transmission.
Colombia: At three universities that showed the webcast, 200 people attended, with 80 at the INCCA University, 70 at the ECCI, and 70 at the Universidad del Llano, in Villavicencio, Meta (100 kilometers from the capital Bogotá). The webcast was also recorded and retransmitted at the Universidad Colegio Mayor of Cundinamarca on Nov. 3, attended by 20 law and political science students. Four other universities are scheduled to retransmit the webcast next week, including the Universidad Republicana, Corporación Universitaria Iberoamericana, and the Colegio Cafam.
Bolivia: The webcast was broadcast at four different sites, the Universidad Franz Tamayo (Unifranz), Universidad Mayor San Simón (UMSS), Unión Bolivariana universities, and the Bolivian-German Technological Institute. At the Unifranz in La Paz, there were approximately 30 people, including professors and students. This was the first time they had heard LaRouche, and they sent him questions during the webcast. University campuses in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba were also scheduled to show the webcast.
This was the third time that students and teachers at the UMSS in Cochabamba had watched a LaRouche webcast, and some 80 people attended. At the Bolivian-German Technological Institute, 20 students watched the entire broadcast, and responded enthusiastically, particularly to the youth chorus at the end. This institute has its own Schiller College of Music, and the idea that Classical music is a crucial part of educating youth is widespread.
Also in Bolivia, on the evening of the webcast, La Paz's Channel 13 interviewed EIR Ibero-America editor Dennis Small for one hour. Host Aníbal Aguilar, who has interviewed Small on three earlier occasions, touched on four themes: the global economic crisis; the political situation in the U.S.; Ibero-American developments; and what Bolivia can do. At the end, he asked on the air to have a follow-up program on Nov. 7 (Election Day in the U.S.). Small agreed, but made it contingent on Aguilar's agreement that he and other Bolivian leaders will actively participate in LaRouche's next webcast, to be held on Nov. 16, sending in questions, discussion documents, and comments. Aguilar agreed.
Bolivia Consolidates its Oil/Gas Nationalization
On Oct. 29, the Evo Morales government signed a last-minute agreement with Bolivia's top ten oil and gas multinationals, including Brazil's Petrobras, which had been threatening to pull out of the country, arguing that conditions set down by the government were unacceptable.
The foreign multis agreed to fork over 50-82% of their revenues to the Bolivian government in exchange for being allowed to remain in the country and operate as service providers to the national energy company YPFB. While the fine print of the new contracts has not been revealed yet, the signing is universally seen as a boost to President Morales, who urgently needed the breathing space the agreement provides. The support of Argentine President Néstor Kirchner, who agreed to pay significantly higher prices for Bolivian gas, and who recently signed a $17 billion industrialization package with Morales, helped to strengthen Morales' hand in dealing with the multis.
Brazil to Bolivia: Become Full Mercosur Member
On Oct. 31, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim extended an invitation to Bolivian President Evo Morales to become a "full member" of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the customs union which currently includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela as full members, and Chile and Bolivia as associate members. Becoming a full member of Mercosur "could only bring benefits to Bolivia," Amorim told Morales.
Integrating Bolivia more fully into Mercosur would also help ease regional tensions which friends of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney inside neighboring Paraguay are attempting to intensify, with Bolivia as the target. Responding to the alleged "threat" that Bolivia's military cooperation agreement with Venezuela represents, and warning of a Bolivian "arms race," Paraguay's Foreign Minister Rubén Ramírez said Oct. 31 that his government is contemplating signing a military agreement with the Bush Administration to counter this. Gen. José Kanazawa, head of Paraguay's Armed Forces, added that more troops would also be sent to the border with Bolivia.
Chilean Judge: Pinochet a 'Security Threat'
In explaining why he refused to grant provisional freedom to 90-year-old former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who is charged with multiple crimes of human rights violations and financial wrongdoing, Judge Alejandro Solis stated Oct. 30 that the retired general "is a threat to the safety of society." Pinochet, whose 17 years of dictatorship had the full backing of George P. Shultz and economic "hit man" John Train, was indicted Oct. 27 for 35 cases of kidnapping, 23 cases of torture, and one murder at the infamous Villa Grimaldi detention center run by his secret police, the DINA, during the 1970s and 1980s. He will remain under house arrest, and has been declared mentally fit for trial in several cases.
As for charges by Pinochet's defense team that the Bachelet government "invented" the report that Pinochet illegally held nine tons of gold at the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Interior Minister Belisario Velasco told Radio Cooperativa, "We don't have to invent anything.... Pinochet had $27 million in banks abroad," as legal authorities have proven. "We don't have to invent gold ingots or anything else to explain his government's corruption." Velasco pointed out that many of the right-wingers who are screaming about corruption today in the case of the government agency Chiledeportes, are the same ones who supported Pinochet while he was engaged in his sordid and illegal financial activitiesnot to mention torture and murder. "And they never said anything."
Ethanol-Crazed USA Gobbling Up Brazil's Ethanol
Brazil's ethanol exports increased by 91% over the past year, boosted mainly by sales to the ethanol-crazed United States. This is part of the U.S. and cartel offensive to develop more cheap, sugar-based ethanol sources in the Caribbean and Ibero-America. The Dominican Republic and Cuba are also in their sights. Only the $.54 tariff on such imports stands in the way of a complete flood of such sugar and sugar products to the U.S. in the future.