From Volume 7, Issue 12 of EIR Online, Published Mar. 18, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Colombian, Venezuelan Presidents Calm Regional Tensions

March 14 (EIRNS)—Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez held a 20-minute phone conversation yesterday, in a further cooling-off of the tensions that nearly led to a shooting war just over a week ago, after Colombian troops entered Ecuador on March 1 to kill FARC kingpin Raúl Reyes.

Uribe interrupted a meeting at the Presidential Palace to take the call from his Venezuelan counterpart, and the two committed themselves to improving bilateral relations and to working closely together on security matters, so as to avoid any future problems. The two Presidents are expected to meet in person, most likely in the context of the March 28-29 summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), in Cartagena, Colombia.

The City of London's Economist, in its March 13 issue described the recent conflict among Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador as "soap opera," but added that the peaceful resolution of that conflict at the March 7 Rio Group summit is "as phony as the war that preceded it." It can't last, the Economist predicted, because "the fault line running through the Andes seems bound to produce more tremors before long."

Attempting to provoke a renewed conflict, the Economist salivates over the contents of the computers discovered at the Ecuadorian campsite of the now-deceased Raúl Reyes. But, the Economist avoids the real issue of the computers, which is Wall Street's sordid alliance with the FARC, reflected in the 1999 meeting in the Colombian jungle between Richard Grasso, then-president of the New York Stock Exchange, and Raúl Reyes. Instead, it argues that the information on the computers can surely be used to nail Chávez or Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa for being FARC collaborators, and demands that the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately pursue this (For more on this, see "What's Behind the FARC Cartel's South American Operation?" in this week's InDepth.)

Multinationals Move To Privatize Mexico's Oil

March 10 (EIRNS)—Mexicans are being told that they have "hidden treasure" under the sea, which will bring jobs and riches to everyone, if only they permit foreign oil interests to help them extract it. And if they don't, the lie goes, they face catastrophe when their current oil reserves run out, possibly within nine years.

With this message, contained in a slick five-minute spot which began broadcasting on Mexican radio and television airwaves four days ago, the Calderón government, and its Bloomberg allies in the U.S., launched the media artillery barrage they hope will prepare the way for privatizing Mexico's national oil industry. They don't mean next year, but by the end of April. It's an open secret that the government intends to present legislation soon after Easter, authorizing "risk contracts" for drilling in the Mexican part of the Gulf of Mexico, to be signed with foreign oil multinationals.

First came the insertion in TV shows and movies of the line: "There is treasure under the sea; wait for it!" Then came the ad itself, with its message that Mexico's new oil reserves lie so deep under the sea, that extracting it will be equivalent to putting men on the Moon. We Mexicans can do it, the ad assures, but before current oil runs out, we must bring in the experience, know-how, and technology of the multinationals.

Every assumption presented in the advertising blitz is a lie, starting with the claim that Mexican land and shallow-water reserves are about to run out, and the state oil company, Pemex, doesn't have the wherewith all to do anything about that. Sen. Manuel Bartlett (PRI), former Pemex head Francisco Rojas, and the PRD's Andrés Manuel López Obrador are mobilizing against this fraud. Bartlett told the daily La Jornada that the Secretary of Energy's own figures show that the oil multis would get $300 billion for simply installing the deepwater equipment they want to recycle from North Sea fields, before they even rake off 50% of the oil extracted, under those contracts!

It is the LaRouche Youth Movement in Mexico which has given content, however, to the opposition's slogan of "using oil as the lever for development": the in-depth development of Mexico through the great water, transport, and nuclear-centered energy projects for which Lyndon LaRouche and his movement have fought for decades. Mexico's treasure lies not under the sea, but in its minds.

Bolivia Advances Imperial Coca Legalization Project

March 13 (EIRNS)—The Bolivian government announced two days ago that it will invest $300,000 in a coca "industrialization" project, to prepare coca products for export to Venezuela and Cuba, which are "signed markets," according to Bolivia's Vice Minister of Coca, Gerónimo Meneses. Meneses added that the government expects the European Union to soon follow suit.

Despite the trappings of defending "our millenarian culture," the move comes straight out of the playbook of George Soros and his British legalization buddies, who lead today's modern-day imperial Opium War against the nation-state. This apparatus has declared war on the United Nations 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which outlaws and regulates production and export of narcotics internationally. Coca is the primary ingredient used for the production of cocaine.

The UN International Narcotics Board, in its annual report released on March 10, did not oblige, instead calling for the governments of Peru and Bolivia to outlaw chewing of coca leaves. The Morales government responded by organizing an 1,000-person public "acullicu"—coca-chew— in Bolivia and Peru, as a protest, with Meneses leading the La Paz "chew."

Evo Morales, a leader of the coca-producers until his election as President, had been promoted by the Soros apparatus as an instrument for this British imperial fraud, as EIR documented in 1998. Upon assuming the Presidency, Morales's darker side had been kept somewhat in check by the informal Presidents Club of South American heads of State, whose central focus had been regional integration and a new financial architecture built around the Bank of the South, until the British succeeded in blowing up the continent with their FARC operation in early 2008.

The role of George Soros in fomenting Bolivia's current problems has become a major point of discussion today, as is his ownership of one of Bolivia's largest silver mines.

Argentina President Calls for Calm at Rio Summit

March 10 (EIRNS)—At the March 7 meeting of the Rio Group of Ibero-American Presidents in the Dominican Republic, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner showed considerable insight into the mental states of her fellow Presidents, after listening to them hurl insults, accusations, and expletives at each other.

The Argentine President spoke shortly after the heated exchange between the Presidents of Ecuador and Colombia, in which Ecuador's highly agitated Rafael Correa, in particular, spared no adjectives in attacking his Colombian counterpart. It was feared at that point that the summit might fall apart altogether, without some resolution on the Colombia-Ecuador conflict which erupted after Colombia's March 1 military incursion into Ecuador to kill FARC kingpin Raúl Reyes.

In concluding her remarks, which along with those of the Presidents of Mexico and Chile, and Brazil's foreign minister, were crucial in calming the environment, President Kirchner had this to say:

"Forgive me for bringing up the gender issue, but we women have always been accused of losing it, and displaying a certain degree of hysteria at certain specific times [of the month]. But I would like to say that some of the things I've seen here, make women look like the most rational beings on the planet! Forgive me again for raising the gender issue, but I had to, because we're always being put to the test, and we always have to prove that we can be better than men. I think that in some areas, we're proving that; in some things, we're a little better than some men." Kirchner received enthusiastic applause for her intervention.

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