From Volume 7, Issue 29 of EIR Online, Published July 15, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Colombian, Venezuelan Presidents Foil British War Plans

July 12 (EIRNS)—Much to the dismay of the British Empire's gamemasters who've been trying to unleash regional war in South America for the past several months, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met for a day-long summit on July 11, in the Venezuelan state of Falcón, and agreed to a broad-ranging and optimistic agenda of joint infrastructure projects, involving railroads, food production, energy, and water. Prominent among the projects discussed was a Colombia-Venezuela railroad, although the technical details still have to be worked out.

In the press conference following their long private meeting, both Chávez and Uribe emphasized that "a new phase" has begun in their relations: They frankly discussed the causes for past tensions, and committed themselves to working together to bring about improved living standards and economic development of their combined population of 71 million people, through a series of joint "productive projects."

A summit of this nature between the two Presidents would have been impossible a month ago. But the Colombian Army's stunning July 2 rescue of 15 hostages held by the narco-terrorist FARC, followed by Uribe's acceptance of Chávez's proposal to build a Colombian-Venezuelan railroad, have completely altered the regional dynamic, and laid the basis for "kicking the British out of the Americas," as Lyndon LaRouche has proposed.

This new dynamic also holds the potential to revitalize cooperation among Ibero-American Presidents, which was undermined by last year's uproar over the FARC hostages, and Colombia's cross-border entry into Ecuador last March 1. Brazil is interested in access to the Pacific through Colombia's Putumayo River, and should be brought into the regional infrastructure debate. Brazilian President Lula da Silva will be visiting Colombia July 20. Greater collaboration among the Presidents might also assist Uribe in reestablishing relations with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who still stubbornly refuses to have anything to do with him. Chávez will be in Ecuador on July 17.

The Colombian-Venezuelan railroad, which would eventually connect the region to Central America and the Caribbean to the north, and to Ecuador—and beyond—to the south, was a key agenda item at the summit. "What a wonderful idea," Chávez said. "This can become the great project to strengthen our relations and the economic development of our people." Uribe noted that both Colombia's and Venezuela's plains regions are one of the few areas in the world where land under cultivation for food production could easily be increased. But, he added, these big agriculture projects "need railroads and water transportation. We have the possibility of building the water transport, and with great effort, we can build the railroad too."

Within eight weeks, foreign ministers and other relevant officials will be meeting to determine follow-up (See this week's InDepth Feature for more on the Colombia-Venezuela railroad project.)

Mexico's Water Commission Threatens Pro-PLHINO Committee

July 12 (EIRNS)—The deputy director for hydroagricultural infrastructure development of Mexico's National Water Commission (Conagua), Sergio Soto Priante, threatened to stalk, spy on, and harass leaders of the Pro-PLHINO Committee, if they did not stop "raising false expectations" that the Mexican government could take measures to ensure there will be enough food to eat in the country.

"Is this the way the Bush Administration influence in Mexico is being expressed?" Lyndon LaRouche asked, when the threat was reported to him. LaRouche has campaigned for U.S. support for the Northwest Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO) project for decades.

Meeting with three leaders of the Pro-PLHINO Committee on July 4 in Mexico City, and in the presence of other Conagua officials and a representative of the Congressional Rural Development Committee, Soto Priante attacked the Pro-PLHINO Committee's campaign to build the great tri-state project, which would transfer water currently being lost to the sea in the states of Nayarit and southern Sinoloa, moving it north through a series of dams, tunnels, and canals, to open extensive new agricultural lands in Sinoloa and its northern neighbor, Sonora. The Committee has gained tremendous support in the three states for its demand that the Mexican government immediately get the project underway, as an emergency measure to secure Mexico's food supply and provide jobs as the global financial system collapses.

Soto Priante lied that the PLHINO would cost too much, is too far off, etc., but then got nasty, threatening Nazi-like measures if the Pro-PLHINO committee did not stop letting people know that real solutions to the food and economic crisis do exist: "We know who is doing this press campaign.... It were better if you didn't go around creating false expectations," Soto Priante reportedly threatened. "But if you continue this press campaign, we are going to respond, too. We can tape, photograph, and monitor you."

Such fascist threats coming from Conagua reflect the character of its current leadership. Soto Priante's boss, Conagua director José Luis Luege Tamargo, works for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), founded by Britain's human-hating Prince Philip and the late card-carrying one-time Nazi Party member Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. In 2007, Luege Tamargo's protégé and former Conagua official under him, René Bolio, led the organizing for a new political party of the National Synarchist Union, which was founded in the 1930s by agents of Hitler's Nazi Party.

Caribbean Nations Balk at More Free Trade

July 8 (EIRNS)—At the just-concluded annual conference of the nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), member governments discussed delaying, until September at the earliest, the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.

There is no consensus on signing the free trade agreement that will open 90% of Caribbean markets to duty-free EU imports over the next 25 years. The summit was supposed to issue a declaration on the proposed signing by no later than Aug. 30, but failed to do so.

Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo strongly opposes the EPA, and is refusing to sign until he gets an accurate assessment of how his population feels about it. "I am very worried that we are giving up economic sovereignty to the EU," he said. It may be hard to withstand the "might" of the European Union, and its "bullying tactics," Jagdeo told reporters, especially if other governments sign. But, he added, "I am not going to give up fighting, and I want my people to know exactly what we are entering into." Jagdeo has the lead responsibility for agriculture within CARICOM.

David Jessup, director of the Caribbean Council, wrote in the Jamaica Gleaner on July 6 that Jagdeo's stance reflects a growing "change of political mood" in many small nations about trade liberalization. Against the backdrop of a deepening global financial crisis, which finds many advanced-sector nations "teetering on the brink of recession," it's lawful that Caribbean nations would opt for delay in signing the EPA. In fact, globally, Jessup notes, "all trade relations and relationships will need careful reevaluation, to ensure that the outcome does not create long-term instability." There is grave concern among governments that they won't be able to finance national budgets, or bear the burden of high food prices, which could lead to social unrest.

Chilean Interior Minister Says Nuclear Energy a Must

July 11 (EIRNS)—Chile's Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma broke ranks with President Michelle Bachelet on July 9, and declared himself an "advocate of nuclear power as a clean source of energy" which must be seriously considered. To date, no cabinet minister has countered Bachelet's position that the nuclear option requires a great deal more study before it could be considered a viable option for Chile.

Speaking before an energy conference in Santiago, Pérez Yoma warned that Chile's energy crisis is so acute, that it is a matter of national security. Nuclear power cannot be rejected on the basis of "dogmas or prejudice," he said, and warned that "developing nations cannot tolerate anyone prohibiting us the peaceful use of nuclear energy. To use it or not, is our decision."

Were Chile to reject nuclear, Pérez Yoma added, all of the country's hydroelectric and non-conventional renewable energy sources would still only provide for 50% of the electricity demand projected for 2020. He noted that while wind and solar may be environmentally acceptable, they are so expensive that they should only be used to meet a very small percentage of total demand.

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