Ibero-American News Digest
Correa Answers LYM on LaRouche's New Bretton Woods
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)In the course of his visit to Argentina, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa spoke on Sept. 20 at the University of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, in Buenos Aires, where Emiliano Andino of the Argentine LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) asked him the following question:
"The last 20 years of a system based on speculative bubbles, have looted the physical economy, nations, and the future. The last two months present clear evidence that the entire world is bankrupt. The proposal for the Bank of the South is correct and necessary, but it cannot coexist with a world system that will suffocate it. Mr. President, isn't it time to take an historic step, and express your support for Lyndon LaRouche's proposal for a new international conference of heads of state and governments, to define a new monetary and financial system, which would be fully at the service of productive development and the general welfare?"
Correa's response betrayed the inability to think beyond regional terms of even the best leaders in Ibero-America, notably, Correa himself, and his ally Néstor Kirchner, the President of Argentina. He answered Andino:
"This is 21st-Century socialism, and just a few weeks ago, we held a seminar in Ecuador on Socialism of the 21st Century. But more important than seminars, is building it, and that is what colleagues like Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, Lula Da Silva, Néstor Kirchner, and Michelle Bachelet are doing, along with myself.
"In any case, we must first build it in the region, because this is a question of power, friend. That is, social relations, economic relations, reflect relations of power. And we can issue all the proclamations you want about 'the new model must be humanist, just, etc.,' but so long as the relations of power do not change on a world scale, absolutely nothing is going to happen.
"But relations of power on a regional level have changed, and we are building that socialism of the 21st Century."
Correa and members of his entourage, including cabinet ministers, received copies of LaRouche's book So, You Wish To Learn About Economics?, the pamphlet The Sovereign States of the Americas, and the call for a New Bretton Woods.
Santander Dug Its Claws into Brazil Long Ago
Sept. 18 (EIRNS)On Sept. 17, Bloomberg News Service put out a sanitized version of the story that Lyndon LaRouche and Executive Intelligence Review publicized early this year, with the real scoop. That is, that Spain's Banco Santander, a front group for the British monarchy's financial interests through its partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland, has had its claws firmly dug into Brazil for some time, to impose its own oligarchical policy agenda.
The latter includes sabotaging the attempt by several South American Presidents to create the new Bank of the South, which LaRouche characterized in a June interview on Ecuadorian radio as "a matter of life and death for the nations of South America."
In its Sept. 17 headline, Bloomberg blared that Santander president Emilio Botín "Builds 'Republic of Santander' in Lula's Brazil." The article excitedly reported on what LaRouche and EIR exposed, beginning back in April, as a Santander "economic coup d'etat in Brazil." Botín poured almost $1 million into Lula da Silva's 2002 Presidential campaign; he also maintained a $2 billion trade credit line open, when other foreign banks stopped lending to Brazil, for fear that Lula might default on the country's debt. "Santander believed in Lula and Brazil at a critical time," one Brazilian consultant gushed.
The glaring omission in Bloomberg's coverage is the fact that Santander's coup in Brazil is aimed at the Bank of the South. In a July 5 statement, LaRouche warned that "the founding of the Bank of the South poses a problem in South America for financial interests typified by the Spanish Santander and BBVA banks, which are extensions of the British empire's scandal-ridden BAE company." As South America's geographical and economic powerhouse, Brazil is crucial to the success or failure of the Bank of the South.
Allied to one of the British Queen's leading personal financial institutions, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander succeeded in insinuating two "former" executives, Miguel Jorge and Mario Toros, into such sensitive posts as Brazil's Trade Minister and Central Bank Director of Monetary Policy, respectively, where they are well situated to voice their opposition to what LaRouche has described as the "regional component of a new international financial architecture."
When President Lula da Silva met Spanish Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on Sept. 17 in Madrid, a beaming Emilio Botín was also present, and offered an affectionate hug to Trade Minister Jorge. Responding to the question of whether Lula trusts Jorge, a top trade union leader told Bloomberg, "Well, he made him a minister. They've been very astute."
Bank of the South To Open Doors in November
Sept. 22 (EIRNS)Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced on Sept. 22 that, after discussing the matter with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, they have decided to launch the Bank of the South in November, even though there is not a total consensus among the nations involved. President Correa explained in an interview that "there are some countries that want to move rapidly, such as Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.... What we have decided among those who want to accelerate the pace of integration is that we will advance, and then the others will follow and will be welcome, but we cannot go at the pace of the slower ones."
Both Correa and Chávez were clearly referring to the foot dragging of the Brazilian government of Lula da Silva, which is under fierce pressure from the Banco Santander and other international speculators to sabotage the Bank of the South. Chávez said that Lula had agreed to start the bank in November, but if Brazil "is not ready then, we'll go ahead anyway."
According to Chávez, the current financial turmoil proves the need for mechanisms to protect nations against the crisis, and the Bank of the South could be one of them. "What is going on in the United States could be the first sign of a financial earthquake," Chávez said, and "one has to be prepared for the worst."
Chávez Tells Uribe To Cede Territory to the FARC
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)As part of his efforts to mediate a "humanitarian accord" between the Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe and the FARC narcoterrorists, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez publicly urged President Uribe to set up a "demilitarized" zone in the Caguán region of Colombia, control of which would be handed over to the FARC. Uribe promptly and angrily rejected the proposal, saying that there are some conditions which are simply not negotiable, such as handing over sovereignty of a part of the country to a terrorist group, and that this issue had been previously raised and rejected.
Uribe was referring to the well-known fact that his predecessor, Andrés Pastrana, had done exactly thathanded over control of the Caguán, the heart of the country's cocaine regionwhose only consequence was a strengthening of the FARC, more hostage-taking, and an increase in the drug trade. The region was only retaken years later by the military, under the Uribe government, at great cost.
The FARC is trying to parlay the thousands of hostages it has kidnapped and held for yearsincluding 45 high-profile cases such as congressmen and foreignersinto a "humanitarian exchange" under which some 500 narcoterrorists currently in Colombian jails would be freed.
In addition to Chávez, the Presidents of Ecuador and Brazil have stated their support for negotiations, as has French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Bankers Warn Argentina: Don't Expect Any Credit
Sept. 17 (EIRNS)Argentina's central bank president Martín Redrado found himself among the elite crowd invited to attend the early September gathering of central bankers, finance ministers, and other economic and academic bigwigs at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They had a crude message to deliver to the Argentine government: that under conditions of global financial crisis, no one is going to get any credit.
Redrado appears to have understood, telling the financial daily El Cronista that after attending the meeting, "my perception is stronger now than when I landed at the Jackson Hole airport: We are facing a cycle of credit restriction that will make access to financing much more selective and demanding."