From Volume 6, Issue 51 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 18, 2007

Ibero-American News Digest

Free-Trade Threat to Mexican Industry Drives Revolt

Dec. 13 (EIRNS)—Forty thousand businessmen and workers took to the streets in Leon, Guanajuato yesterday, demanding that the government defend their jobs by maintaining protective tariffs. The protest, joined by the governor and about a dozen mayors, was unprecedented in this conservative region, which has been a bastion of support for the ideologically free-trade Calderón government. The shoe industry organizers of the march were caught by surprise, having expected no more than 10,000 people. People from many other industries and services, and delegations from at least five other states joined their protest.

Mexican industry, crushed by the North American Free Trade Accord (NAFTA), is warning that it will be wiped out entirely, if the government proceeds with lifting all tariffs on Chinese imports for 17 industrial sectors, as it had committed to do on Dec. 12, under World Trade Organization agreements. Industries affected include textiles, clothing, toys, machinery and equipment, chemicals, minerals, basic metals and metal products, as well as shoes.

Shoe industry leaders warn that 225,000 jobs will be lost in the state of Guanajuato alone, should the government proceed with lifting the tariffs. People will have no choice but to go to the United States to try to find work, if these jobs go, marchers told the press.

For their part, leaders of the textile industry issued a statement on Dec. 13, warning that they employ more than half a million workers nationwide, and should the tariffs be lifted, at least half of them will lose their jobs within a year. "We cannot afford the luxury of losing jobs which the country needs so badly," National Chamber of Textile Industry chief Rafeal Zaga Klach stated. So, too, leaders of the clothing industry stated that they will defend their industry with all they've got, because they have already lost some 250,000 jobs in recent years, and cannot afford to lose more.

Ibero-American Leaders Act To Avert Bolivian Explosion

Dec. 12 (EIRNS)—As Bolivia moves dangerously close to territorial disintegration and race war, nine Ibero-American presidents, in addition to the Organization of American States (OAS), intervened on Dec. 10 to offer support "for the people and government" of Bolivia, and urge all political forces in that country to resolve their disagreements through peaceful dialogue. The presidents issued their statement from Buenos Aires, where they were attending the inauguration of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as Argentina's new President.

Bolivia is a powderkeg, set to blow apart along racial and class lines, exactly as orchestrated by the British gamemasters who are pulling the strings of both sides in this conflict:

* Right-wing separatist leaders in five states—Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija, and Chuquisaca—allied with Cheneyac forces in Washington, as well as with the fascist Bolivian Socialist Falange, are preparing to declare "de facto autonomy" from the central government on Dec. 15, citing opposition to the Constitution approved Dec. 9 by the Constituent Assembly. The Union of Cruceñista Youth, modelled on the Hitler Youth, is armed and looking for a fight.

* From the left, the actions of Jacobin hordes such as the "Red Ponchos" indigenous shocktroops, are fueling the right wing's claims of President Evo Morales's "anti-democratic" tendencies. They gained notoriety two weeks ago, when they were filmed during a violent protest in Sucre, gleefully decapitating and hanging dogs while screaming the names of separatist leaders, whom they have vowed to kill should they "touch the soil that belongs to all Bolivians."

Morales had appealed to the opposition to accept a truce over the Christmas and New Year's period, but separatist leaders rejected it. They reportedly have plans to seize government buildings once autonomy is declared, and in the case of Santa Cruz, an artist's drawing of a proposed new currency, the "cruceño," is said to be circulating. Interior Minister Alfredo Rada has warned that, if necessary, the government will deploy security forces to deal with these "separatist attempts."

The statement released by the nine Ibero-American presidents from Buenos Aires is an attempt to defuse the situation, knowing that should Bolivia explode, this would also have regional repercussions. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza met at length with Morales in Buenos Aires, and offered support for any initiative that would foster dialogue with the opposition.

Cristina Kirchner Honors Paraguayan Hero

Dec. 10 (EIRNS)—In her meeting Nov. 29 with Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who became Argentina's President on Dec. 10, paid tribute to Marshal Francisco Solano López, the Paraguayan President and military hero who led his outnumbered forces against Argentine, Uruguayan, and Brazilian troops in the British-orchestrated 1865-1870 "Triple Alliance War."

The mere mention of this history of Paraguay by Fernández de Kirchner must have international financiers sweating profusely. This was the war that London organized to annihilate the most advanced example at that time in South America of an industrialization process based on application of the policies of the American System of political economy. Britain ordered its South American lackeys to slaughter Paraguay's population, a genocide from which that nation has yet to recover.

Many perhaps don't know, she said, "that here in Paraguay, the very first process of industrialization in all America was developed, and like any dignified and honorable nation, its goal was to achieve reasonable autonomy in its decision-making. And, because of that dignified and independent national conviction, the Paraguayan people were annihilated and humiliated."

Today, Fernández de Kirchner said, "I want to express [the Argentine] people's recognition of Paraguay, and tell you that perhaps the reason that this is such a special moment for Latin America, is because these [pro-industry] ideas are once again flourishing."

The Triple Alliance War, Fernández de Kirchner said, should more aptly be called the war of "triple treason against Latin America, and its men and women," and against "that great Latin American patriot [Solano López], who was humiliated" and killed as a result of that treason.

Argentine Scientists: Sun, Not Man, Causes Climate Change

Dec. 4 (EIRNS)—A group of prominent Argentine scientists disputes the theory put out by Al Gore, that human activity is the cause of global warming. Eduardo Tonni, head of the Paleontology Department at the prestigious University of La Plata, notes that while it's not politically correct to dispute this theory, the evidence for global warming being a "natural" occurrence is far more compelling.

As reported by Dec. 2, scientist Rosa Compagnucci, a researcher with the National Science and Technology Commission (Conicet) and former member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stated at a recent conference at the Military Geography Institute that global warming is actually a phenomenon that has occurred quite frequently over the past 2,000 years. And, she noted, rather than being caused by carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activity, which many scientists accept as "irrefutable truth," it is much more likely related to "capricious" solar activity, which, over decades and centuries, has not been at all homogenous.

An author of two of the IPCC's 2001 reports, and an expert on the El Niño phenomenon, Campagnucci points to the period of global warming that occurred during the medieval period, between 800 and 1300 A.D., which she states was caused only by solar activity, and was what allowed the Vikings to make their trips to North America. With all the emphasis today on preparing to deal with global warming, she warns, this could leave man unprepared to deal with the possibility of a new ice age.

As for natural disasters such as tsunamis or Hurricane Katrina, Tonni noted that there is little evidence that they are more frequent today than in the past. "The alarmism we see today," he argues, "is justified by the fact that it generates funds.... Unfortunately, this is just another product of the market."

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