From Volume 7, Issue 30 of EIR Online, Published July 22, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Kirchner Loses Tax Vote Battle, But Not the War

July 18 (EIRNS)—Several hours after the government's export tax bill was defeated by a single vote in the Senate on July 17, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner spoke in the province of Chaco to reassert her government's mission—much to the dismay of the British-backed opposition, who want surrender.

"We can look you in the eyes, and say that we have never betrayed [our principles]," she said. "Our path, which fundamentally is to represent the interests of those who have least, is unrenounceable." In the course of building Argentina, sometimes you affect certain interests, she said. There are those who "perhaps haven't understood what we told people last October [during Presidential elections]. Well, perhaps they will understand later, because it takes some people longer to understand. What's important is that different Argentines ... are capable of uniting behind a common mission and walk together."

The export tax was the pretext chosen for the months-long agro strike, but as former President Néstor Kirchner told a group of intellectuals on July 14, the strike was never about export taxes; it was an offensive to "force Cristina out of the government," to overthrow her in a coup. The same cast of oligarchical characters and institutions involved in overthrowing Juan Perón in 1955 and Isabel Perón in 1976, he said, are mobilized against Cristina Fernández today.

Organizing outside the Congress, the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) reports that people were asking, "How did the opposition get so strong? How did they win [in the Senate vote]?" The LYM reply was: It's the British, operating from outside Argentina. That's the source of the opposition's "strength," nothing else.

Had it not been for outright thuggery made against pro-government legislators, the bill probably would have passed. Agricultural leader Alfredo DeAngelis, a Maoist who claims to represent small farmers, threatened legislators that if they voted up the bill, they wouldn't be able to return to face their districts, for fear of being attacked. Goon squads deployed in several locations to harass Congressmen and their families, even threatening some with death.

In this environment, the tie-breaking vote for the British Empire faction was cast against the bill by turncoat Vice President Julio Cobos, now dubbed by the oligarchic opposition as "Saint Cobos."

Out to eradicate the nation-state itself as a form of government, the British have no intention of letting up the pressure. The London Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, and Bloomberg News are not pleased that Fernández de Kirchner has shown no signs of accepting their dictate that she must now govern by "consensus" with the opposition, which would set her up for final overthrow.

Go for the PLHINO, Governors Tells Mexican President

SONORA, Mexico, July 18 (EIRNS)—The political momentum for construction of the tri-state water management project known as the Northwest Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO) as the answer to Mexico's food and employment emergencies, took a giant step forward this week, when a major meeting sponsored by Mexico's National Conference of Governors endorsed the PLHINO as vital for securing food sovereignty for Mexico.

Gov. Eduardo Bours of Sonora, who currently heads the governors association, put the PLHINO on the agenda in his remarks closing the July 15-16 National Forum on Federalism and Decentralization. The Mexican people want the federal government to resolve the problems of poverty and food, which means planning important works such as the PLHINO, which can open up land for cultivation, increase grain production, and generate employment for peasants, Bours elaborated.

A call for initiating the PLHINO was then included among the resolutions adopted by the meeting as a whole, attended by four state governors and representatives from more than 20 other states. These resolutions will be brought before the full National Governors Conference when it meets in Sonora in September.

"The principle of food sovereignty" must be recognized as the premise for agriculture policies, and national production promoted through "long-term projects of great vision," such as the North West Hydraulic Plan, the forum concluded. The resolution reports that the PLHINO would increase land under cultivation in the Mexican northwest by more than 800,000 hectares for new crops, generate 2,700 megawatts/hour of electricity, and allow imports of corn, wheat, and sorghum to be cut by between 30 and 45%.

British Provocateurs Snap at Heels of South American Integration

July 15 (EIRNS)—British stooges are working both sides of the "street" in Central and South America, to try and keep the empire's Opium War going.

So far, the Colombian and Venezuelan governments are sticking to their historic, July 11 agreement to work together on an audacious program of building regional rail and waterway infrastructure projects to expand their economies, and increase food production. The agreement, sealed following the Colombian government's devastating blows to the narcoterrorist FARC, opens what U.S. statesman Lyndon LaRouche identified on July 8 as a "revolutionary opportunity" to defeat the British Empire's Opium War against the Americas (see last week's EIR Online).

Within hours of President Alvaro Uribe's return from his summit with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos expressed public skepticism that Chávez would stick to the deal. It was not the first time in the past year that provocative statements by the defense minister—with his own Presidential ambitions—blew up regional cooperation, just as it was being reestablished. The Santos family ties to the Anglophile wing of U.S. intelligence go back to the days of the notorious Dulles brothers.

Chávez blew up, and said the whole deal was off, unless Uribe brought his minister into line. A brief but sharp policy statement quickly released by the Colombian Presidency, reiterated that Colombia's policy is to "advance in a new era of relations" with its neighbor, and all government spokesmen exercise "prudence, to not affect this path." That statement was accepted by Chávez.

Meanwhile, Nicaraguan President Danny Ortega is busy trying to save the FARC, and keep Colombia and Ecuador at loggerheads. Ortega told a crowd of supporters on July 16 that he accepts the request of "our brothers in the FARC," that he sit down with the FARC leadership to discuss how to bring about "peace" in Colombia—a de facto granting of belligerent status to the London-sponsored FARC, which otherwise is on the ropes, militarily and politically.

Ortega's FARC gambit followed on the heels of his provocative deployment into Ecuador on July 14, where he urged Ecuador not to restore relations with the Uribe government in Colombia, blustering that if Colombia wished to break relations with Nicaragua in response, all the better.

Dominican Republic President Demands Regulation To Slam Speculators

July 15 (EIRNS)—We Presidents must demand action against the speculators who are responsible for the continuous and systemic rise in the cost of petroleum, President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic told the V Petrocaribe Summit in Venezuela on July 13. He charged that "casino capitalism" and stock market betting are the greatest force destabilizing the world economy today.

He pointed to the fact that the number of oil futures contracts circulating today is ten times greater than the actual amount of oil available in the world. Without regulation, someone can buy what they never are going to receive, and someone is selling petroleum that they don't have, "and they are making money on both sides.... What is happening is a real abuse on a world scale; what is happening is an outrage, and we think that this abuse must be highlighted, pointed out, denounced."

International oil futures markets must be regulated, and the margin requirements on these contracts raised from the current 6% to 50%, he demanded.

The 17, mostly small nations participating in Petrocaribe, an oil cooperation agreement founded by the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chávez, included an "exhortation" to Wall Street and London to take measures to limit speculation, in the declaration issued at the end of their July 13 summit.

Without changes in the international system, these nations have no room to maneuver. On July 17, Fernández delivered a nationwide radio and TV address 17 to inform the population of new measures to deal with "the devastating effects of the economic hurricane which is pounding the world at this time." Without calling for changes in the system itself, Fernández was left to outline austerity measures, and attempts at ameliorating them for the worst-off, which won't work.

All rights reserved © 2008 EIRNS