Ibero-American News Digest
The Death of Dr. Eneas: Brazilian Patriot; Friend of LaRouche
May 7 (EIRNS)Dr. Eneas Carneiro, Brazilian cardiologist and Congressman, died on May 6 at the age of 68, from leukemia. Eneas, as he was known since he broke into national prominence in his first run for President of Brazil in 1989, was a fierce patriot and opponent of globalization, and an outspoken friend of the LaRouche movement. In 1998, when interviewed on national television during his third Presidential campaign, he cited the call of "the brilliant economist" LaRouche for a New Bretton Woods, and held up an EIR whose cover attacked George Soros.
In August 1998, he invited Helga Zepp-LaRouche to join him in speaking in Sao Paulo, and in June 2002, he organized an invitation for Lyndon LaRouche to receive honorary citizenship from the Sao Paulo City Council.
Five months later, Eneas was elected to Congress by the greatest number of votes received by any single candidate, before or since (over 1.57 million), in a campaign on which he spent, at most, $22,000. In his first address in the Chamber of Deputies, in February 2003, Eneas called on President Lula da Silva to break with the IMF system: "this nauseating and infected model that sucks out the innards of the nation," and spoke of the work of "the renowned American economist and thinker Mr. LaRouche, in the weekly Executive Intelligence Review, a publication in which he studies, dissects, and explains the crisis of the international financial system as heading towards an abyss which, if not stopped, will without doubt take humanity into a new dark age."
Eneas was a voluntarist. Born on Nov. 5, 1938, and working from age nine to help support his family after his father's death, Eneas became a mathematician, a physicist, and one of Brazil's preeminent cardiologists, teaching thousands of doctors and authoring a textbook on the electrocardiogram. He became a folk hero, a leader "who would not back down."
His stunning election victory in 2002, which carried him into Congress with five other deputies from PRONA (Party to Restore the National Order), the party he founded, in the same election in which Lula da Silva entered the Presidency, sent the financiers into a rage fit. The New York Times labeled Eneas a "neofascist." Within eight months of the election, EIR's office in Brazil broke with LaRouche, and went over openly to the international Synarchists. Over the next year, all but one of PRONA's deputies were "persuaded" to switch parties.
In February of 2004, Eneas gave an interview to EIR reiterating the urgency of changing the global financial system, as LaRouche proposes, and fully endorsed the idea of building a revolutionary youth movement: "I am an enthusiast for this idea, he said. "I want to believe that leaders will emerge from that collection of youth.... Further ahead, I have to participate in a process similar to that.... I am not yet able to do that. I lack the resources, but further ahead, I will do so."
Correa Ultimatum to Private Banks: End Usury or Face Jail!
May 9 (EIRNS)Ecuador's private banks have one week to lower their "intolerable interest rates" to consumers, or the government will file criminal suits against them, for usury, President Rafael Correa announced today, in a speech before 2,000 people.
Usurious interest ratesone bank was caught charging over 55% interest to consumerswhile the bankers make super-high salariesare a big factor in the inequality in the country, which has to change, the President charged.
Even before this ultimatum, the Association of Private Banks was hysterical, because the government had announced the day before that it would be sending a bill to Congress, within days, to reform the banking law so as to give the State authority to regulate the market and set interest rates.
The bankers protested that any such law would impinge upon private interests, but as Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly pointed out, government control over the credit system is a central instrument of the American System of Economics developed by the United States since its founding, and was used with great success by President Franklin Roosevelt to begin to pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression in 1933.
In announcing the bill to regulate the banks on May 8, Luis Maldonado, President Correa's representative on the nation's Banking Board, denounced the market as "something absolutely empty, brainless, and heartless. The market should be regulated. We are perfectly clear on the issue that the market should foster mutual benefit.... The financial system must align itself with our great national goals."
Chilean Fascist Piñera Cultivates 'Democratic' Ties
May 8 (EIRNS)Just a week before he hosts Al Gore at the May 11 "Climate Change and Global Warming" conference in Santiago, Chilean fascist and Presidential wannabe Sebastian Piñera attended a Citigroup conference in New York, where he reportedly swaggered around and posed as the next President of Chile.
According to the Chilean daily El Mercurio, Piñera's presence at the Latin American Business Leaders Summit held May 3-4 in Armonk, New York, was attended by such prominent Democrats as former President Bill Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; it is part of Piñera's ambitious agenda of upcoming foreign trips, and invitations to foreign personalities to visit Chile, aimed at promoting himself among these international networks as the man best suited to replace current President Michelle Bachelet. At the conference, he hobnobbed with former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, who share his enthusiasm for preserving the "Chilean model" of free-market looting.
On the assumption that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008, Piñera is particularly desirous of establishing ties with them. But which "Democrats" is he talking to? El Mercurio, still an ardent defender of the late fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, doesn't mention Felix Rohatyn, who helped install Pinochet in the bloody 1973 military coup against then-President Salvador Allende. But it doesn't have to. Now at the Lehman Brothers investment bank, Rohatyn works with managing director Theodore Roosevelt IV, who is not only involved in Gore's Climate Project, but runs Lehman's Global Center on Climate Change as well. Rohatyn may not attend the Santiago conference in person, but will certainly be there in spirit.
Fidel Slams 'Evil Idea' of Food for Fuel
May 10 (EIRNS)Even as Al Gore was getting on the plane to head to the Bush-sponsored First Inter-American Congress on Biofuels in Buenos Aires, Cuban leader Fidel Castro came out swinging against the "evil idea" of using food for fuels ("biofuels") as "ethically and politically unacceptable," in his latest article published in the Cuban daily Granma, on May 10.
Unlike Brazil's President Lula da Silva, when Cubans hear the plans to turn the Caribbean islands and large swathes of Mexico, Central, and South America back into sugar plantations for ethanol, they remember their history. Castro reported that a documentary film of real-life pictures of cutting sugarcane by hand was shown at a recent conference in Havana, and it "seemed a reflection of Dante's Inferno."
That conference was the "6th Hemispheric Meeting of Struggle against the Free Trade Agreements and for the Peoples' Integration," where Castro reported that the "irrationality of a civilization" that transforms foodstuffs into fuels, was discussed at length.
A National Development Bank on the Agenda for Argentina?
May 10 (EIRNS)Speaking May 8 in Buenos Aires at the swearing-in of the new president of the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA), Juan Lascurain, Finance Minister Felisa Miceli suggested that it is "perhaps time to think of creating an entity to finance the process of sustained growth" that has occurred over the four years that Néstor Kirchner has been President. Specifically, she said that the government was contemplating creating a National Development Bank, although she gave no details, the daily El Tribuno reported May 9.
Her remarks should come as no surprise, however, given Kirchner's leadership role continentally, in both challenging the International Monetary Fund's predatory practices, and in helping to forge the Bank of the South. The latter is expected to be founded in late June, and will operate completely independently of the IMF to finance the development and infrastructure projects the region so urgently needs.
Micelli underscored that "the country needs banks to finance industrial companies that, to date, have had to dip into their own funds or reinvest profits. It's time to consolidate what has now been reborn, but was almost destroyed in the past decade."