From Volume 6, Issue 48 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 27, 2007

Ibero-American News Digest

LaRouche Warns vs. 'Reckless' Cheering for Dollar Collapse

Nov. 19 (EIRNS)—The call by Venezuelan and Iranian Presidents Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for OPEC countries to break with the dollar, ignores reality: The world is not facing a dollar collapse, but a collapse of the system as a whole, Lyndon LaRouche warned today. The entire system is going down—theirs included! A common problem, requires a common solution, rather than political exploitation of the dollar problem. Either you propose a workable replacement for the collapsed system, or you are being "reckless," he said.

Chávez was on a manic macho binge at the OPEC meeting, and in his subsequent visit to Iran, praising God that "the value of the dollar on the global market is declining, and we will witness the fall of the dollar in the future." In his ideological fit, he celebrated the fall of the dollar as "the fall of the U.S. empire," suggesting that the euro could somehow survive the global disintegration which the collapse of the dollar system would produce, should no alternative system be established.

Even Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who has a far more realistic understanding of economics than Chávez, was sucked into this frenzy at the OPEC meeting, where he threw his support behind the idea that de-pegging oil prices from the dollar somehow represents a solution.

LaRouche, who since 1994 has been organizing for a New Bretton Woods agreement to replace the doomed floating-exchange-rate system, with a fixed-rate, physical economy-based monetary system, pointed out today that the primary center of the crisis, in fact, is the Bank of England, and people ought to talk about that, if solutions are to be found. If you're not talking about Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland and its Spanish associates, Santander Bank and BBVA, you're not talking about the problem, LaRouche said.

Brazilian General: Nuclear Weapons Not Ruled Out

Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Brazilian Gen. José Benedito de Barros Moreira, the Defense Ministry's Secretary of Policy, Strategy and International Relations, set off a ruckus on Nov. 13, when he declared during a television panel discussion, that Brazil should develop the technology necessary to build a nuclear bomb. Brazil's rich water, food, and energy make it a target of others' greed, he said, and it is therefore necessary to place a strong lock on our door.

"We have to have the possibility in the future of developing a nuclear weapon, if this is the state's view. We cannot stay outside the reality of this world." Pressed by his shocked fellow panelists—no one in Brazilian officialdom has made such a statement in years—he argued that Brazil could pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if a neighboring country built a bomb, or "when the state feels threatened." The world is an ever more dangerous and unpredictable place, he argued. "No nation can feel secure if it does not develop the technology which empowers it to defend itself when necessary."

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told an international security conference two days later that Brazil's plans "aren't for a nuclear bomb, that's just nonsense." Jobim did say, that Brazil's giant new oil find—an estimated 5 to 8 billion barrels of oil in the deep-sea Tupi field—demonstrated the necessity of completing Brazil's project to build a nuclear submarine.

LYM to Mexican Rally: 'It's Infrastructure, Stupid!'

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 19 (EIRNS)—LaRouche Youth Movement organizers introduced the much-needed concept of dynamic physical economy to a rally of some 100,000 people, organized by opposition leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador in this city's central plaza, the Zocalo, on Nov. 18. LYM organizers distributed 6,000 leaflets entitled, "On the Tragedy in Tabasco: It's Infrastructure, Stupid!" with a giant banner with the same message. The leaflet addressed the lessons of the devastating flooding of the southern state of Tabasco: that Mexico must return to a policy of building big projects, to defend the general welfare, as part of a global change in economic system (see EIR Online #46 for text), with the news included that the state of Sonora is putting itself on a war footing, around the North West Water Plan (PLHINO) project, for exactly this needed policy.

Addressing the rally, López Obrador identified two key upcoming battles: 1) the triple-whammy that will turn next January into a "black month" for Mexicans: new taxes on gasoline and on business hit, at the same time that the next phase of NAFTA ends all protection from imports of beans and corn; and 2) the IMF-run Calderón government's plans to move on privatizing Mexico's electricity and oil sector.

Mexico's state oil sector has been looted for 25 years, with no investment in exploration, modernization, refineries, or petrochemicals, he pointed out. No refinery has been built for 25 years, with the result that oil-producing Mexico today imports 25% of the natural gas and 40% of the gasoline it consumes. With the $10 billion that Mexico will spend this year on gasoline imports, it could build the three refineries required for Mexico to be self-sufficient in that fuel, he said. "Let us make Mexico an energy power," he declared, and use Mexico's oil to develop the country.

But when it comes to proposing how to do it, López Obrador falls off the cliff. He announced that his movement's "alternative program" for modernizing Mexico's oil industry is to cut the budget, by such gimmicks as reducing the salaries of high government officials, and eliminating the pensions of ex-Presidents.

Brazil, Argentina To Cooperate on Aerospace, Nuclear Energy

Nov. 24 (EIRNS)—During their Nov. 19 meeting in Brasilia, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Argentina's President-elect Sen. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, signed agreements to cooperate in the areas of aerospace and nuclear energy, and created a bilateral commission charged with strengthening relations between the two nations in many other areas.

On Nov. 19, a delegation led by the head of Argentina's National Space Activities Commission (CONAE), met with the Brazilian delegation led by interim head of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) in São Jose dos Campos, where they agreed to propose a joint space project, which will include the design, production, and launching of an Earth-observation satellite with advanced technologies. This will be the first satellite the two nations have produced together.

According to a Nov. 20 release issued by Brazil's foreign ministry, the mission's main goals will be to provide global information on the optical properties of the oceans, with applications in the areas of oceanography and climatology, and monitoring of natural resources.

What is exciting about the project—and viewed as a huge threat by the anti-science Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy—is the fact that the satellite's optical sensor is technologically very innovative. As specified, it will have the ability to select between 15 and 25 bands within the visible and infrared spectrum. "Such technologies will contribute to Argentina's and Brazil's technological independence in the area of space-quality sensors, access to which on the international market is subject to restrictions," the foreign ministry stated.

Speaking Nov. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, the president of Brazil's state-run Eletronuclear, pointed to the benefits for both nations of cooperation in nuclear energy as well. Reporting that technical cooperation already exists with Argentina, Pinheiro da Silva said there are plans to upgrade this cooperation to a full-fledged accord by early next year.

Bilateral Cooperation Follows Correa Visit to China

Nov. 24 (EIRNS)—Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa proposed that China and Ecuador establish a strategic alliance, centered upon Chinese investment in Ecuador's oil industry and infrastructure, during a week-long visit to China which concluded today. Correa proposed that Ecuador should become China's main entry port for all of South America, using in particular Manta, the country's largest fishing port on the Pacific, and the development of the Manta-Manaus sea/road/river bi-oceanic corridor which Brazil and Ecuador agreed to work on as a priority last August.

Ecuador is engaged in reversing the reversion to raw materials producer status which the long night of neoliberalism imposed on the country, Correa told the Economic-Trade Cooperation Forum in Beijing on Nov. 21. Foreign investment is needed and welcome to aid our industrialization and scientific and technological development, and the improvement of our roads, ports, and airports, as long as that investment follows Ecuador's laws, pays taxes, and meets labor, social, and environmental conditions, he said.

"It is time that China and Latin America get closer," he said, in a meeting with the President of China's Popular Assembly, Wu Bangui. The region looked to Europe in the 19th Century; to the United States in the 20th Century; and in the 21st Century, we want to look to our west, where China lies."

Fourteen agreements and preliminary agreements were signed, on technical and economic cooperation in areas as hydrocarbons and other energy sectors, mining, railroads, agriculture, fishing, and tourism. Among the agreements, was the extension of a $200 million loan from the Chinese Development Bank, with concessional conditions.

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