From Volume 8, Issue 29 of EIR Online, Published July 21, 2009

Ibero-American News Digest

Clinton to Chávez: Cease Interference in Honduras

July 17 (EIRNS)—Following a meeting yesterday with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts, before departing for India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated her support for a negotiated solution to the Honduran crisis, and urged other countries to "play a positive role in achieving that outcome, and to refrain from any actions that could lead to violence."

Clinton mentioned no names, but clearly alluded to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who has done everything possible to provoke violence, urging the Hondurans to mount an insurrection against the government, while warning that events in that country could lead to a "regional civil war" with much bloodshed.

The region is rife with rumors, including reports that foreign elements have entered Honduras from neighboring countries, and are prepared to wage guerrilla warfare on behalf of the deposed President, Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya does seem prepared to wait and see what happens in the July 18 negotiations in Costa Rica, but is warning that should no agreement be reached, he intends to return to his country and set up an "alternative government." He is currently in Nicaragua.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has proposed the creation of a "national reconciliation" government in Honduras, which would allow Zelaya to return as President, receive amnesty for his crimes, and govern with limited powers. This proposal nixes the proposed illegal referendum that Zelaya had planned, on revising the Constitution so as to allow his re-election. Arias was firm that any solution for Honduras must include Zelaya's return. This, he said, is the only "constitutional" solution.

LaRouche: The Last Thing Obama Needs Now Is Chávez's Support

July 17 (EIRNS)—As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was preparing to leave on her trip to India and Thailand July 16, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took the opportunity to announce very loudly from La Paz, Bolivia, that the State Department and the U.S. military had orchestrated the coup in Honduras, and that President Obama is "misinformed" about what's going on.

It's no surprise that Chávez would play on the "Obama vs. Hillary" profile that the British Empire is so carefully cultivating. But with all of the narcissistic excesses that the U.S. President has engaged in this past week, Lyndon LaRouche remarked today that the last thing he needs, is Chávez's support.

Chávez is more than happy to give it, however. The Bolivarian leader told a group of Ibero-American Presidents and foreign ministers, who were gathered to commemorate a July 16, 1809 rebellion in La Paz against the Spanish, that the Honduran military wouldn't have dared to move without the approval of the U.S. military, stationed at a base in Honduras, and "without the approval of the State Department. President Obama is between a rock and a hard place," Chávez said. "I don't think they told him what was going on." Chávez urged Obama to take measures to restore "constitutional" government in Honduras.

'Expanding Wave' of A/H1N1 Spreads Through Southeastern Mexico

July 16 (EIRNS)—As health ministers from South America's Southern Cone countries met yesterday to map out coordinated strategies to deal with the A/H1N1 virus, Mexican health authorities warned that an "expanding wave" of the virus was spreading through the nation's southeastern states, creating an "out of control" situation in the impoverished state of Chiapas.

Miguel Angel Lezana, director of the National Epidemiological Vigilance and Disease Control Center, explained that, after the virus hit central Mexico in April and May, it then moved into the Southeast, "with greater force." Obviously, it could return to central Mexico, or any other part of the country.

Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan, now in their Summer season, are in a state of high alert, Lezana said. The most serious situation is in Chiapas, with 100-130 new cases reported daily—a 350% increase. Between June 1 and today, Chiapas reported 1,980 cases, and the number continues to rise. The state is desperately poor, and the combination of poverty and current heavy rains "creates an incubation point for the virus," he explained.

The Federal Health Secretary has taken aggressive measures, with special emphasis on Chiapas and Yucatan. Coordinating with state health officials, mobile health units provide doctors, respirators, and other urgently needed supplies. Efforts are being made to bolster the health-care systems of Chiapas's neighboring states, so they can better deal with new cases. Within the past 48 hours, 109 new A/H1N1 cases have been reported in Yucatan, bringing the total number in that state to 1,846.

Dr. Lezana commented that the situation in the Southeast "is a reminder that we can't let our guard down; [we must] maintain sanitation and precautionary measures, because the virus continues to be present in the entire country."

The worsening situation in the Southern Cone of South America is seen in Argentina, where the death toll from the virus is over 137, and climbing.

In advance of the regional flu summit, Brazil's Health Minister, José Temporão announced that Brazil is proposing that medicine and supplies should be shared among the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) member governments, and that Mercosur and Unasur (Union of South American Nations) should demand total transparency of information about the flu, from the World Health Organization, so as to facilitate vaccine production, acquisition of medicine, and diagnostic tests. Negotiations should be held with the WHO for technology transfer for vaccine production, he told the Argentine daily Clarin.

Brazil has 9 million doses of antivirals, and has the capability to produce vaccine at the Butantan Institute. What is required now, Temperão said, is a "broad regional plan against H1N1 virus."

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