From Volume 7, Issue 22 of EIR Online, Published May 27, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Bloomberg Advisor Soderberg Threatens Argentina

May 23 (EIRNS)—Former UN Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, a foreign policy advisor to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and co-chair of the vulture-funds' American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), visited Argentina last week to intervene on behalf of the financiers. Soderberg demanded that Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner pay the speculative vulture funds that are still holding $20 billion in debt bonds on which Argentina defaulted in 2001.

Accompanied by ATFA co-chair Robert Shapiro, who is a founder of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Soderberg threatened that Argentina would face a new financial crisis, unless it showed proper respect for the financial predators she represents.

At a time when the local British Empire faction is using an agricultural producers' strike to destabilize or even topple the Fernández de Kirchner government, Soderberg charged that it was the President's policies that had caused the crisis in the first place. Had Argentina already paid off the vulture funds, she argued, it wouldn't be shut out of international capital markets, and wouldn't have to raise revenue by such other means, such as increasing taxes on soybean exports, which farmers are protesting. Moreover, according to this asset of Lazard Frères interests, Fernández is playing with fire by relying on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez for loans, as Chávez is a "threat to democracy and stability in the region."

Soderberg demanded that Argentina commit suicide, by "entering fully the global international markets" and being "firmly rooted in the 21st-Century global economy," which is disintegrating.

Haiti: A Case Study in British Empire Genocide

May 21 (EIRNS)—The International Monetary Fund (IMF), and more recently the World Trade Organization (WTO), have destroyed Haiti's agriculture and starved its population, to the point that desperately hungry Haitians are reduced to eating "dirt cookies": biscuits made of clay, salt, and oil.

Haiti and the Caribbean are being subjected, once again, to the policies of enslavement and extermination that the British Empire practiced in its Caribbean colonies, exposed so graphically by American System economist Henry C. Carey, in his 1853 book The Slave Trade, Domestic and Foreign, and by German scientist Alexander von Humboldt, in his 1825 The Island of Cuba.

Up until the mid-1980s, when trade liberalization was introduced, Haiti was self-sufficient in rice production, its main staple. By the mid-1990s, the situation had changed dramatically, especially after the government signed a "structural adjustment" agreement with the IMF in 1994, which slashed the 35% tariff on rice imports to 3%, and privatized health care and other services. Haiti joined the WTO in 1996, and has continued to be victimized by it and the IMF, accumulating an unpayable foreign debt.

According to a 2004 report prepared at American University, doing the IMF's and WTO's bidding earned Haiti the top spot in the IMF's 1999 Index of Trade Restrictiveness. But it didn't prevent its people from becoming more impoverished, and the country from maintaining its status as the least-developed nation in the Western Hemisphere. Today, 80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day, and about half live on $1 a day or less. Yet, Haiti has the most millionaires per capita in the region!

It is also the second-largest importer of rice among Central American and Caribbean nations, importing 82% of its total rice consumption from the United States. Hundreds of thousands of rice farmers, millers, and those engaged in other aspects of the trade were displaced by cheap imports, with no options for other employment. Those who migrated to the cities usually ended up in the "informal" sector, petty commerce, or as destitute slumdwellers.

Slave System Produces Brazil's Biofuels

May 22 (EIRNS)—Biofuels cartel spokesmen hype Brazil's ability to produces ethanol—half the world's production, in fact—cheaply, and without reducing the food supply, because they make it, by and large, from sugar cane. The apparent "efficiency" comes, however, from returning Brazilian labor to the slavery of colonial plantations.

Or worse. Brazilian sociologist Francisco de Oliveira reported (May 27, 2007, Folha de São Paulo) that working as many as 14 hours a day, often bringing in their children to help meet the production goal, the life expectancy of cane cutters today is less than that of colonial slaves!

Sugar cane workers working on ethanol plantations in the Riberao Preto region of São Paulo, are today expected to cut 12 tons of sugar cane a day, double the 1980 targets, investigative reporter Raul Zibechi reported in a July 23, 2007 exposé. A majority of the workers are migrants, recruited from the impoverished North and Northeast, and from the moment they step on a bus to travel to their destination, they become debt slaves to middlemen who cover the cost of transportation, or to the "company store" from which they are forced to buy essentials.

Workers are forced to live in squalid quarters with no running water, kitchens, or toilets. Health problems are rampant, but owners in Riberao Preto have found a "technical solution" to squeeze more out of their cutters, Zibechi reports. Sugar mills now distribute a free electrolyte and vitamin supplement, normally used by athletes, which cutters drink before they go to work. It dulls the pain caused by seizures, cramps, spinal pain, etc., but in order for it to be effective in the long term, its dosage must be increased every month.

President Uribe, What About the 'Grasso Abrazo'?

May 20 (EIRNS)—Amidst the charges and counter-charges over which government in South America is more penetrated by the drug trade, which played footsie more with Colombia's narco-terrorist FARC—all of which is blowing up the region on London's behalf—the head of the Lyndon LaRouche Association of Colombia, Maximiliano Londoño, issued a statement today challenging Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to reveal the "hard" stuff found on the computers seized in the March 1 raid in which the FARC's chief of finances, Raul Reyes, was killed. Londoño's statement begins: "Now that Interpol has certified the authenticity of the files on the computer hard discs of the FARC's Rafael Reyes, and now that Colombia's Defense Ministry has included in the chronology of Reyes' activities, the meeting that he held in June 1999 in the jungles of Caguan with Richard Grasso, at the time, president of the N.Y. Stock Exchange, it is urgent that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe himself make known to the world the details of that infamous meeting, so that the whole truth on the links between Anglo-Dutch high finance and the FARC's narco-terrorist activities be fully revealed.

"The infamous Grasso-Reyes embrace [the 'Grasso Abrazo'] is the biggest hidden elephant on Reyes' computer hard discs. What is the fear that this information be made public? If one truly wants to eliminate the drug trade and not merely clean it up by changing the executives on the payroll or sacrificing a few kingpins while keeping the cultivation, production, and marketing of the drugs intact, as has generally been done so far in Colombia during most of the so-called war on drugs, then it is essential that President Uribe and his defense minister reveal the ties of the FARC to Wall Street and the City of London," Londoño stated.

Londoño urged the next government in Washington, to recognize that today's opium wars run by the British must be defeated by transforming the present "Plan Colombia" aid program, into a great Marshall Plan, helping to industrialize Colombia, mechanize its agriculture, and build the railroads and other infrastructure projects required to replace the current domination of the drug cartels.

Will Coca Be Used for Ethanol?

May 21 (EIRNS)—Under the direction of Luis Alberto Moreno, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has become an enforcement arm for the British "biofuels" slave project. Moreno has used his position as an executive of the Inter-American Ethanol Commission (IEC), which he founded together with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, to turn the bank into a major player among the biofuels mafia that is planning to accelerate operations in Central and South America.

Moreno has a history of doing anything to make his friends a profit.

In 1999, Moreno, then, Colombia's Ambassador to the United States, is reported to have facilitated the arrangements for the infamous June 26 jungle tête-à-tête between his reputed good friend, New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso; Grasso's sidekick, NYSE Vice President Alain Murban; and Raul Reyes, head of finances for the largest cocaine cartel in South America, the narco-terrorist FARC—the meeting cited by LaRouche Association of Colombia head Max Londoño in his statement above. Colombian Finance Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo served as "translator" for the meeting; Grasso reported that "an exchange of capital" was discussed.

Eight months later, Moreno's wife, Gabriela Febres-Cordero, a Venezuelan banker, served as "translator" for AOL founder Jim Kimsey's similar confab with the FARC's Reyes, on a similar subject.

Which brings up an interesting question: Is there a project to use the basic ingredient of cocaine, the coca plant, for ethanol? It certainly would be high octane.

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