From Volume 6, Issue 50 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 11, 2007

Ibero-American News Digest

LaRouche: Cuba's Fidel Castro Needs To Learn History!

Dec. 3 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche commented today that Cuban President Fidel Castro obviously never learned the history of his own country, or of the rest of Ibero-America. LaRouche was referring to the Nov. 29 commentary by Castro published in the daily Granma, on the situation in Venezuela and the region.

Noting that the Venezuelan people had inherited the ideas of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, "whose ideas transcend his era," Castro asserted that Venezuela today faces a "world tyranny"—referring to the United States—"a thousand times more powerful than Spain's colonial force combined with that of the recently-born Republic of the United States, which through [James] Monroe proclaimed its right to the continent's natural wealth and the sweat of its people."

LaRouche pointed out that the Monroe Doctrine was authored by then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1823, against the British Empire, which had designs on South America then, and is still the major source of problems in the region today—using its U.S. agents like Dick Cheney to do its dirty work.

If Castro had ever learned anything about history, LaRouche said, he would have known that Adams argued for the Monroe Doctrine on the grounds that the United States should never act as a "cockboat in the wake of a British man-of-war," because there could never be any "permanent community of principle" between the U.S. and Britain.

The Bolívar so admired by Castro as the model of anti-imperialist liberation, LaRouche added, was smart enough to realize, after a lifetime of cooperation with the British Foreign Office's Jeremy Bentham and his agents, that he had made a mistake, and proceeded to repudiate his former associate, in 1828.

Chávez's 'President for Life' Referendum Defeated

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—Hours after polls closed in Venezuela's national referendum on Dec. 2, President Hugo Chávez grudgingly acknowledged that a majority of Venezuelans had voted against his proposed Constitutional reforms. Chávez's attempt to anoint himself "President for Life" through the reforms, proved to be a mistake, because it smacked of dictatorship, and ignited opposition, especially from students and intellectuals, who had previously supported his government.

In a final rally before the vote, Chávez had put on a classic show of the Synarchism which turned voters against his reforms. Declaring anyone who opposed his reforms to be "an enemy," he said he could rule Venezuela until 2050, lashed out at Spain and Colombia, and threatened to cut off oil shipments to the United States.

Also contributing to his defeat was the role played by Gen. Raúl Baduel, a devotee of esoteric Eastern religions who had been high up in the Chávez camp, serving as Army commander in chief from 2004 until July 2007. Two months before the referendum, Baduel stepped forward as the leader of the opposition, calling upon the population to vote "no."

Chávez's initial acknowledgement of his defeat opens the possibility of heading off the confrontation between radicals within the government and opposition, that had been careening towards civil war. How long that opening will last remains in question. On Dec. 5, Chávez went into a rage, calling a press conference to denounce reports that the military High Command had forced him to accept defeat at the polls. Chávez called a reporter who put out that story "a piece of sh—," used the same word against the opposition victory, and declared that he will put through the rejected reforms by other means.

Baduel, who had been shot at as he left his voting place on Dec. 2, responded to Chávez's threats, with one of his own: "Mr. President, reconsider. Don't continue to play at being God.... I fear that if you don't reconsider, you will find yourself in the presence of divine justice."

Colombia Stalls on Entering Bank of the South

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—Colombia will hold off for the moment on joining the Bank of the South when it is founded on Dec. 9, although the political will to join, as expressed by President Alvaro Uribe, remains, Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo announced today. Perhaps Colombia will join later, when it has a more detailed picture of the conditions and commitments involved, Araujo told Colombia's RCN radio.

The founding document of the Bank of the South is scheduled to be signed in Buenos Aires by the Presidents of the initiating countries—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela—on Dec. 9, the day before Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's inauguration as President of Argentina.

Colombia's decision to not join at this time is the fallout from the brawl between Uribe and Hugo Chávez, which broke out after the Venezuelan President went behind the Colombian President's back, and personally called up the head of the Colombian Army, to discuss negotiations with the narco-terrorist FARC. Uribe denounced the Venezuelan President as a terrorist agent, and things took off from there. The efforts of various South American Presidents to cool both down have failed, so far.

Colombian Congress Hears LaRouche

Dec. 6 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche's "world land-bridge" high-speed rail corridor concept, and his New Bretton Woods strategy for a new monetary system to control the financial crash, were presented at a packed forum held in Colombia's national Congress today, by Maximiliano Londoño, president of the LaRouche Association of Colombia.

Londoño was one of seven speakers in the forum on "The Metro, a Challenge Which Cannot Be Postponed," organized by Congresswoman Gloria Stella Díaz, who represents Bogota. Transport Minister Andrés Santamaría closed the event, reiterating that the Uribe government now supports the metro. Organizing by the LaRouche movement played a key role in reviving the Bogota Metro project, in the recent Colombian elections.

Attended by 200 people, the event was broadcast nationally on the Congressional channel. Londoño defended the building of the metro and a national inter-city rail network, detailing LaRouche's global rail strategy and proposal for how to replace the dying world financial system with one financing great projects.

LaRouche's China Breakthrough Brought to Mexican Senate

Dec. 3 (EIRNS)—The Mexican Senate's Regional Development Committee, meeting on Nov. 27 to discuss how to get underway construction of the tri-state regional water management plan known as the North West Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO), were briefed on the good news that the official press agency of the world's most populous nation, China, is publicizing Lyndon LaRouche's proposal for the "Four Powers"—Russia, China, India, and the United States—to join together to force through the creation of a new world monetary system.

The coordinator of the Sonora-based 21st Century Pro-PLHINO Committee, long-time LaRouche associate Alberto Vizcarra, told the committee that there is a shift underway worldwide towards building great infrastructure projects again, and Russia and China are pressuring the United States to get on board, too. This is seen in Xinhua's coverage of "famous political activist" LaRouche's press conference before the "U.S.-China Relationship and China's Peaceful Reunification" forum in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, Vizcarra said. This global discussion of LaRouche's solution to the failure of the present system, sets the framework for our discussion in Mexico of how to secure construction of such great projects as the PLHINO, he told them.

The meeting on the PLHINO, broadcast live over Congress's cable channel, was attended by a number of Senators from the three states that would be directly involved in the PLHINO project (Sonora, Nayarit, and Sinaloa), the head of the Senate Water Resources Committee, and representatives of the National Water Commission and the Presidency. The meeting was also addressed by Manuel Frías, a Mexican engineer working with the Pro-PLHINO Committee, who has updated decades-old PLHINO plans, with an ambitious tunnel-and-dam project appropriate for the 21st Century.

Several Senators agreed with the Pro-PLHINO Committee, that Mexico needs to return to the great infrastructure policy it once had, and, after a discussion of whether or not Mexico could afford to do so, members resolved to open a discussion on the criteria which must govern budget, monetary, and credit policy.

ElBaradei Tour Sparks Enthusiasm for Nuclear Energy

Dec. 4 (EIRNS)—In his tour of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), sparked an enthusiastic debate in all these countries over how the peaceful application of nuclear energy in a myriad of sectors could be used to better living conditions for the region's population.

"For billions of people," ElBaradei said in a Nov. 28 speech at University of Buenos Aires, "the priority is to 'secure' the basic needs for survival: food, water, shelter, and health care—in other words, freedom from want. For others, it is to 'secure' other fundamental freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom from fear." These are Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "four freedoms," promulgated on Jan. 6, 1941, in an address to Congress.

"U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt once said, 'The test of progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little,' " ElBaradei said. About 33 million people are undernourished in South America, he said, recounting also the suffering of the Palestinian people. Poverty, too, is a "weapon of mass destruction." This is the challenge that the world faces.

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