From Volume 7, Issue 46 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 11, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Head of Mexican Congress Calls for New Bretton Woods

Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—The President of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, PRI Cong. César Duarte, called for "a new Bretton Woods of the 21st Century ... to change the current extremely financial, speculative and savage orientation [of the system], which is in crisis," in his speech to the opening of the Biaritz Forum on Europe-Latin American Relations on Nov. 4.

Duarte supported French President Nicolas Sarkozy's call to discuss a new global financial accord, "which will help us get out of the morass we are in.... We have to recognize that the State has a great responsibility. It previously abdicated its responsibility as the regulatory agency.

"We demand of the countries participating in the [Nov. 15] Washington Summit that they establish new rules, not based on submission, which will help us get out of the crisis that is shaking the world, and that will project for the world a new global agreement of shared development."

Duarte comes from the National Peasant Federation (CNC) sector of the PRI party; the CNC also supports the proposed tri-state Northwest Hydraulic Plan (PLHINO), as a great infrastructure project urgently needed to secure Mexico's food sovereignty and provide jobs.

All Not So Quiet on Brazilian Banking Front

Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—If Brazil's banking system is as solid as it insists, why is the Lula government pressing Congress to urgently approve a decree enabling the state banks, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal, to buy up the bad paper of the private banks, while at the same time encouraging the just-announced merger of two large private banks, Itau and Unibanco, to create what would be the largest private bank in Ibero-America?

Could it be that the whole Brazilian banking system is blowing out?

Argentine President on Real Economics

Nov. 4 (EIRNS)—Economics "is not an exact science, or econometrics, as we've been taught in certain places. It's not just the value of currencies; it's not just monetarism. Rather, economics is a profoundly social science, which reflects the desires, needs, aspirations and hopes of society," Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner reminded fellow Heads of State at the Oct. 30 Ibero-American summit in El Salvador.

Noting that she will participate in the G-20 financial summit in Washington on Nov. 15, she called today's crisis one of the most serious in history.

Those who conceived of the so-called Washington Consensus—as the neo-liberal model is known in Ibero-America—thought it was possible for money to just reproduce itself, without industry or labor. They had "brilliant young men who sat at computers and dreamed up financial instruments which promised unending and infinite profits to the banks, without anyone understanding how this would work, or prosper." It was inevitable that such a system would fail, the Argentine leader said.

When there is no proper conception of economics at the service of humanity, she said, you get phenomena such as the private pension system—the AFJPs—that was imposed on Argentina in 1994, and looted its enrollees to the point that the State was forced to step in and guarantee their pensions. The pension fund administrators made off like bandits, earning exorbitant commissions and profits, leaving the retirees to die. And the debt the State had to incur to prop up the private system accounted for 50% of Argentina's total foreign debt.

Argentine-Russian Ties Developing

Nov. 5 (EIRNS)—A large delegation of Russian diplomats, businessmen, legislators, and other officials is visiting Argentina from Oct. 17 until Nov. 17, in the run-up to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's trip to Moscow on Dec. 8.

According to Konstantin Kosachov, head of the international affairs committee of the Russian State Duma, Russia is interested in going beyond traditional trade relations with Argentina, to establish "profound cooperation" in industry, agriculture, science, and technology. Top priorities should be nuclear energy, rail, and other infrastructure development, and defense cooperation, he told Ria Novosti press service.

LYM Revolutionizes National Peronist Leaders

Nov. 3 (EIRNS)—The Argentine LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) shaped discussion at the First National Leadership Conference on Development, Growth and Social Inclusion, and enjoyed silencing a British agent in the process.

Organized by the Kirchner apparatus within Peronism known as "Compromiso K." the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 conference was attended by 500-1,000 leaders of various groups, NGOs, trade unions, and their rank-and-file.

The opening presentation was given by Ricardo Etchegaray, director of the agricultural trade regulatory agency ONCCA, who said the financial crisis wasn't going to affect Argentina. Not so, said Emiliano Andino of the LYM, who spoke later that day on the youth panel. He introduced LaRouche's concept of the "Brutish Imperialist" threat the world is facing, and demanded that the very attentive audience mobilize to ensure Argentina that play an adequate role in the dramatic economic, political, and social changes that will be taking place between now and the end of the year.

After the intervention, the six-member LYM delegation was bombarded with questions: "What's really going to happen?" And, the majority of the speeches which followed, demonstrated the impact of LaRouche's ideas, since no one after that questioned whether the financial crisis was going to affect Argentina.

The LYM happily did its part in cancelling the scheduled speech by Stephen Wheeler, a Brit by birth and imperialist by outlook, who has recently been promoted by oligarchic outposts as an alleged "guru" of the Kirchners. Funny thing: While Wheeler argued that Argentina should be one of the powers leading the change in the world system, and not the United States, which he denounces as "the problem," he pushes the old colonial line that Argentina must stick to agriculture, and not develop technology.

Colombian President Joins Calls To Ban Speculative Capital

Nov. 3 (EIRNS)—Calls for the world to "put up the barricades" against speculative capital came from an unusual quarter last week, when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe addressed a summit of Ibero-American leaders in San Salvador on Oct. 31.

Harvard-trained economist that he is, Uribe has heretofore stridently defended the free-trade system in a region where that system had been widely discredited. But now, he told the assembled heads of state: "I think we were all, in some way, fooled by this speculative crisis." Speculation brought about the international financial crisis, he said, and nations of the region must unite, hear all proposals for what actions to take, and consider what measures must be taken jointly.

"The world has to establish all the regulations necessary to guarantee that there be only one expression of capital: productive capital as a factor for the creation of social wealth. By putting full barricades around it, we will put an end to the possibility for speculative capital," he argued; we, together, must contribute to coming up with the plans for new regulations of the global economy, with the goal of ensuring capital only has one form: "productive capital creating social well-being."

This includes defending government spending on labor and social programs, he said. "Let's hope at this point, the usual old prescriptions do not start arriving: that public spending has to be cut."

Uribe insisted yet again that "the world is wrong" in proposing a debate over whether to legalize drugs, which he called nothing but "the path to link children and youth to criminality."

Chilean Blair-ite Pushes British World Dictatorship

Nov. 3 (EIRNS)—Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos (2000-05) proposed yesterday that the Ibero-American countries join him in championing the British plan to use today's breakdown crisis to consolidate global financial dictatorship.

"The time has come to speak frankly.... Why not an International Central Bank? Why not a new currency for world exchange?" Lagos wrote in a guest column in Argentina's leading daily, Clarín. Lagos asserts that the discussion of "a New Bretton Woods" means a new world conference to establish some global financial institution, and asks if the International Monetary Fund could be transformed into an International Central Bank.

Such arguments could be expected from a Chilean Socialist Party leader who, as President, presented himself as a supporter of Tony Blair's Fabian imperialist "Third Way," made a point of associating himself with British agent George Soros, and refused to dismantle dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet's genocidal economic system.

Lyndon LaRouche's comment? "Fascism."

All rights reserved © 2008 EIRNS