Ibero-American News Digest
Bolivian TV Airs EIR Interview on World Crisis
Aug. 8 (EIRNS)EIR's Dennis Small was interviewed for an hour last night on Channel 13-TV in La Paz, the Bolivian capital, with a report on the global financial crisis and Lyndon LaRouche's policy solutions. Supporters of the LaRouche Movement put out the word to their networks in advance of the interview, and one labor leader taped it, in order to circulate it more broadly.
Host Aníbal Aguilar, who has interviewed Small several times on his weekly program, asked questions based on his thorough reading of the LaRouche websites, including on the mortgage blow-out and the U.S. infrastructure and auto collapse.
One theme which drew a strong response was that Dick Cheney is the Augusto Pinochet of the United Statesthe U.S. Vice President and the late Chilean dictator were both put in power by the same financial interests. Another was the refutation of the ethanol/global warming/C02 hoaxes, and LaRouche's insistence on the need for nuclear energy.
Lula Kicks Off Aggressive Infrastructure Drive
Aug. 6 (EIRNS)"We are going to transform this country into a real infrastructure construction site," Brazilian President Lula da Silva announced in his weekly radio show today. Roads, railroads, ports, and airports will be built under the government's over $250 billion infrastructure plan, the Program for Accelerated Growth (PAC). He underscored, however, that the first priority chosen by the government for the PAC, is to bring clean water and sewage services to the nation's poor.
Lula has been traveling the country for the past two weeks, launching basic sanitation public works projects, which he says are vital to protect Brazil's children from diseases like those which cause diarrhea, which can be deadly. In the process, he has been delivering exactly the kind of nationalist speeches, defending the population, which the oligarchic financial interests, such as the agents of Spain's Santander Bank and Boston's FleetBank which are esconced in the government, most fear. These bankers will do everything in their power to ensure that Lula's words are not translated into action.
For 30 years, no government has thought strategically about Brazil's development; not since the government of Ernesto Geisel in the 1970s has there been big investment in the nation's infrastructure, the President said in a July 26 speech launching the PAC's sanitation program in the state of Paraiba. People thought small, and listened to economists, who came with their "pretty, color graphs" to argue that investing in the poor Northeast, in railroads, in the great TVA-like water-management project for the São Francisco river basin, etc., are "not economically viable."
This is why today we have so many youth, aged 20 to 30, who are caught up in crime, violence and marginality, Lula said. These youth that we see today on television committing crimes "are the children of this country, the result of a historic period in our country in which social policies were not taken into account as a factor of our country's development. And why were they not taken into account? Because in this country, it became a custom to channel, as if they were investments, billions of reals [Brazil's currency] to economic groups, and to see the pennies channeled to attend to the poorest part of the population as an expense."
Ecuador's President Warns: Bankers Plan To Oust Him
Aug. 6 (EIRNS)Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa alerted his fellow citizens two days ago, to be prepared for two "extremely rough" months, as the bankers' political parties will do everything they can to overthrow him months before elections for the Constituent Assembly are held on Sept. 30. Correa is immensely popular, because he has adopted a Franklin Roosevelt-like posture of taking on the financier interests, in order to develop the country. As of this time, his supporters are projected to sweep the Constituent Assembly elections.
In his speech to a military graduation ceremony on Aug. 3, and in his weekly radio address the next day, Correa warned that strikes, staged attacks, electricity blackouts, slanders, and false accusations, perhaps even the bankruptcy of a little bank blamed on the government, are being prepared, in the effort to block the "historic change" which can follow the elections if he wins. The banking interests "are very desperate, and are capable of any idiocy," he said. Already, the government knows of attempts to buy a rocket to use against him, and meetings to plot how to move against the President. They are already preparing the terrain so that, if enough money flows, the majority of the Congress might vote to unseat him, Correa said.
Correa noted in his radio address that the bankers know that should his movement win in the elections, the government will pass a law prohibiting financiers and bankers from owning any form of mass media, in which they disguise themselves as "journalists."
And then there is the matter of the 1999 collapse of the banking system, in which the same bankers who scream that Correa is a "socialist or communist," carried out the biggest robbery in the history of the country, seizing the bank deposits of the entire nation, Correa said. He reported that his government is investigating how that robbery was carried out, and the bankers fear the prosecutions which will follow.
Correa Is 'Most Important Target' of Economic Hit Men
Aug. 7 (EIRNS)John Perkins, author of the best-seller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004), was interviewed in late July by the Los Angeles Spanish TV network, Telemundo T-52, on the most popular news show "En Contexto," where he said, "I am very afraid of what may happen to [Ecuadorian President] Rafael Correa.... I think his life is in danger," because he denounces the IMF's so-called "Washington Consensus," and opposes neoliberalism and the ongoing process of globalization.
The anchorman interrupted him to ask, "But, wouldn't [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez be first on the list?" to which Perkins replied: "I believe that the government of the United States is afraid of Hugo Chávez, because Venezuela has a lot of oil, and we are going to need increasingly larger amounts of it in the U.S. That's why Venezuela is very important for the United States, and that's why we are walking very softly, treading very carefully with Hugo Chav@aaez. Ecuador, on the other hand, doesn't have oil, and it's not so important, but President Correa can serve as a model. That's why I believe he is the most important target, and his life is in danger."
Perkins' remarks reinforce Correa's own warnings of possible assassination attempts against him. Perkins knows whereof he speaks, having spent years, in his early career, helping to destabilize countries like Ecuador on behalf of oligarchic financial interests.
Anti-Immigrant Clampdown Slows Remittances to Mexico
Aug. 9 (EIRNS)Mexican immigrants in the U.S., especially those living in states considered to be "new" destination sites, are sending less money to families back home, according to a just-released study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The decline is attributed to an increase in anti-immigrant legislation in several states, but especially in those where immigration is not an established trend, such as Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, among others. The hostile environment resulting from such action makes it more difficult for Mexican workers to find jobs, rent homes, or obtain services.
According to the IADB study, due to their increasingly uncertain circumstances, Mexican workers living in these and other Southern states are more likely to save money for future personal use rather than send it to family members back in Mexico. While 71% of Mexican workers in the U.S. regularly sent remittances home during the first half of 2006, that percentage dropped to 64% for the first half of 2007. And in 40 states where Mexican immigration is a newer phenomenon, the decline was even sharper, dropping to 56% this year from an average of 80% in 2006. In 2006, Mexico received $23.1 billion in remittances; but in the first half of 2007, remittances have increased only by 0.6%, compared to a 23% increase for the same period in 2006.
Mexico and other Ibero-American nations depend heavily on remittances sent by their citizens from the United States. Over recent decades, International Monetary Fund policies and such travesties as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), wrecked productive activity and employment in these nations, and forced large segments of their populations to emigrate in search of livelihoods. Now, under conditions of global financial breakdown, a reduction in remittances sent to Mexico could have a serious destabilizing effect. Only about half of the almost 2 million Mexicans living in the "new" U.S. migration destinations are sending back remittances, compared with four-fifths a year ago, London's Financial Times reported Aug. 9.