From Volume 6, Issue 40 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 2, 2007

Ibero-American News Digest

Ecuador's President Raphael Correa Defends Human Dignity at UN Assembly

Sept. 27 (EIRNS)—Ecuador's President Raphael Correa has stepped into history to defend human dignity, by pointing a finger at the fraud of the UN's so-called "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs), adopted by consensus in March 2002 as the new cloak for imperial, genocidal, free trade.

Human beings have the right to more than mere subsistence; they have "the right to enjoy a life worthy of being lived," Correa stated in his address before the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 26.

"Mr. President, Your Excellencies: We believe that to have the goal of living on a dollar plus one cent a day, to, supposedly, overcome extreme poverty, or keep from dying prematurely, as could be inferred from the MDGs, does not signify living a dignified life."

Who could oppose preventing the premature deaths of children and mothers? "However, by focussing only on that, we run the risk of resigning ourselves to the idea that human life is simply a process of resistance whose purpose is to extend people's existence a few hours longer," Correa said.

"We propose ... common goals not only for the life's minimums, but for social maximums," Ecuador's President countered, referring to the "minimum" Millennium Challenge goals which have been attached as conditions for international aid since they were put forward in 2002 by megaspeculator George Soros and President George W. Bush.

To conform to these "minimums" would be to legitimize today's unacceptable reality, Ecuador's President affirmed. We believe it is possible to secure for all "a job which guarantees the right to earn one's own sustenance, to have time for contemplation, artistic creation and recreation." We fight for "the recognition of the equal dignity of all human beings"—including those forced to migrate in search of a dignified life.

"For the government of Ecuador, there are no illegal human beings, and the United Nations should insist on this point. There is no such thing as illegal human beings. That is inadmissible!"

Correa proposed that voluntarism can change the world. We refuse to accept that the present is a fate before which we must capitulate, he told the representatives in conclusion. We must not be fooled by those who proclaim the "mean and self-complacent worldview" that history has ended. "We hold that it is possible to carry out collective, conscious, and democratic action to direct our lives and organize world society in another way, with a more human face....

"Ecuador wishes to invite you to build that world, that dream."

Former Ecuadorian President Was Offered $10 Million to Overthrow Correa

Sept. 26 (EIRNS)—Former Ecuadorian President Abdalá Bucaram told Ecuador's Channel 1 TV that he had been offered $10 million last March to help overthrow current President Rafael Correa.

Speaking Sept. 25 from Panama, where he is in exile, Bucaram named no names, but described the offer as coming from a millionaire businessman, adding that other political figures, who consider Correa a traitor, "have made very generous offers to me." A plan to overthrow Correa was brewing last March, he said, related to a dispute in Congress over the firing of 57 Congressmen. Bucaram told his interviewers that he fears for Correa's life.

Since he took power Jan. 15, President Correa has received numerous death threats, as he has reported. Former self-described "economic hit man" John Perkins has stated that he considers the Ecuadorian leader to be "the most important target" of oligarchical financial interests.

Ibero-America Reaches for Nuclear Power

Sept. 28 (EIRNS)—Debate over nuclear energy in Chile is red hot, especially after the Russian government extended an invitation to members of the Senate's Energy and Mining Committee to visit that country this month to tour its nuclear plants. Members of the committee are speaking out on why Chile must decide now to build a nuclear reactor.

Chilean Environment Minister Ana Lya Uriarte responded hysterically to a report that President Michelle Bachelet had discussed nuclear energy with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, when the two met in New York this week. "This government will not take a nuclear option," she shrieked. "The President has promised not to implement nuclear energy!"

In Uruguay, Industry Minister Jorge Lepra announced on Sept. 25 that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Mohammed ElBaradei will be visiting that nation on Dec. 3, and that the government has already taken necessary technical steps in preparation for moving into the nuclear field. He underscored the importance of Uruguay's agreement with Argentina for cooperation in technology and training of personnel.

And in Argentina, already a leader in the nuclear field, the vice president of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), Carlos Rey, said that the country could move to having nuclear energy meet 30% of its energy needs, up from the current 8%, the Telam news agency reported. Aside from finishing the Atucha II reactor, and getting the small CAREM prototype reactor ready for marketing to other developing nations, the CNEA also plans to step up uranium mining, suggesting it could produce enough to fuel at least seven reactors through the year 2060.

How Long Will Brazil Delude Itself on Hot Money?

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)—The speculative capital which sustains Brazil's financial system has begun leaving Brazil. The head of the Central Bank's Economic Department reported on Sept. 21 that there was a net outflow of $2.83 billion in short-term capital in the first 19 days of September, and the bank now projects that $11 billion will leave by the end of the year. Central Bank chief Henrique Meirelles assured a Senate committee today that Brazil's more than $162 billion in foreign reserves will protect the country at this time of international "volatility," but he neglected to mention that much of those record reserves are precisely the short-term, speculative capital which can vanish in an instant.

Lula's Chief of Staff Kisses Santander Bank's Butt on Main Street

Sept. 26 (EIRNS)—In a slavish display of the pragmatism which in today's global breakdown crisis could destroy Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, chief of President Lula da Silva's Cabinet, used a Sept. 24 interview with the Brazilian financial daily, Valor Economico, to kiss the British-Spanish Santander Bank's butt—not once, but three times in a single interview.

Rousseff, who is a leftist from Lula's PT party, hailed Santander's grip on Brazil as exemplary of the kind of public-private partnership the Lula government needs and wants. Should the Santander-Royal Bank of Scotland-Fortis buyout of Holland's ABN-Amro bank go through, Santander will get its hands on Brazil's Banco Real, and become the second largest private bank in Brazil.

"The government thinks this is perfectly natural, welcome, no problem," Rousseff stated.

Last April, the LaRouche PAC warned that the British monarchy was using Santander Bank to try to stage an economic coup in Brazil, and ensure that Brazil sabotages the project to create an independent Bank of the South. Judging by Rousseff's slavishness, Santander is not satisfied with having placed its former employees directly in the Cabinet and the leadership of the central bank, and is applying the screws to demand more.

Provocation Against Argentina over the Malvinas Islands

Sept. 22 (EIRNS)—At precisely the moment when Argentina is preparing a new offensive at the United Nations, to assert its claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, Britain has provocatively announced plans to annex thousands of square miles around those islands in the South Atlantic. Britain illegally seized the islands from Argentina in 1833, and has held them, under the name "Falklands," ever since. When Argentina retook them in 1982, Britain and NATO unleashed a colonial war against that country, to punish it for daring to assert its sovereignty.

Under the headline, "The New British Empire? U.K. Plans To Annex South Atlantic," London's Guardian reports, "Britain is lodging its claim at the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf which will extend the normal 200 mile limit to 350 miles, which could bring it into conflict with Argentina, which also claims the Island." It is preparing similar claims around Ascension Island and Rockall, the latter being in the North Atlantic.

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