From Volume 36, Issue 32 of EIR Online, Published Aug. 21, 2009

Ibero-American News Digest

Ecuador Highlights Pan-Americanism for Its Bicentennial

Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—The Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has issued a beautiful brochure promoting Pan-Americanism and U.S.-Ecuadorian historical cooperation on railroad building. The brochure was issued in preparation for Ecuador's Bicentennial celebration next year.

This stands in sharp contrast to the crazy antics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who wants to give an anti-U.S. "Bolivarian" stamp to next year's celebrations, when most of the nations of Ibero-America will be commemorating 200 years of national independence.

The flyer was published by the Ecuadorian Embassy and Ecuador's Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS), on the occasion of the unveiling of a bust of the country's nationalist President Eloy Alfaro (1897-1901, 1906) in honor of the Bicentennial.

It features fiery excerpts from remarks by Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President, Henry Wallace, on April 20, 1943, at Alfaro's tomb in Guayaquil, and a note on the importance of the Trans-Andean Railroad, built 100 years ago. "The railroad represents a joint project between Ecuador and the United States. Similar to the construction of the Panama Canal, the arrival of the train to Quito required the technology, management systems, and knowledge of public health that were developed in great projects within Ecuador and the United States."

Mexican States and Municipalities Going Belly-Up

Aug. 12 (EIRNS)—As President Felipe Calderón was issuing reassuring statements yesterday that Mexico is not a failed state, the National Association of Governors announced it had called a two-day emergency meeting in Mexico City with Federal officials to discuss what to do about double-digit drops in both their income and Federal funding.

Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira told reporters, however, that while the states are struggling, the municipalities have already been strangled. To wit, 95% of Mexico's 2,435 muncipalities—political units roughly equivalent to U.S. counties—all are bankrupt and collapsing, the National Conference of Muncipalities of Mexico (CONAMM) reported on Aug. 10.

Two weeks earlier, at the end of July, CONAMM leaders had estimated 70% were bankrupt.

Across the country, public workers are being fired en masse, or given pay cuts; fire and police departments are paralyzed, for lack of fuel; sewage and water projects are being cancelled; street cleaning and sanitation services have been shut down.

A "social explosion" is looming, CONAMM officials warn, if the municipalities do not receive funds quickly. Not said, but obvious, is that in Mexico today, where local governments collapse, the drug cartels move in.

The lead headlines in Mexican dailies today, however, were along the lines of "Mexico Facing Worst Financial Shock in 30 Years," citing Treasury Secretary Agustín Carstens's testimony before a Senate Committee yesterday. Former IMF official Carstens reported the government faces a 480 billion peso hole (US$37 billion), and new drastic cuts will have to be made, on top of the two budget cuts already made in 2009. He didn't answer Senators' questions as to whether the government planned to impose a VAT tax on food and medicine, or remove electricity subsidies, viciously regressive measures demanded by the money interests which Congress had successfully beaten back until now.

The Mexican economy is disintegrating under the collapse of the international monetary system. Industrial production was down 10.6%, year-on-year, in June, with manufacturing down by 15.2% (worse than after Mexico's banking system disintegrated in 1995), and construction down 6.5%.

New York Dem Fronts for Soros Drug Scheme in Ibero-America

Aug. 13 (EIRNS)—In introducing bipartisan legislation for an "independent" Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission, first floated by Soros toady Ethan Nadelmanm (aka, "Needleman") of the Drug Policy Alliance, New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel covers for the Nazi-trained drug kingpin George Soros.

Introduced last April, the bill suggests that the war on drugs is a failure, and that it's now time to "reexamine our counternarcotics efforts here at home and throughout the Americas." He piously asserts that he opposes legalization.

In an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor Aug. 11, entitled "The War on Drugs Needs a Time Out," Argentine drug legalization advocate Juan Gabriel Tokatlian and Colombian Presidential candidate Rafael Pardo endorse Engel's bill, and then take aim at U.S. support for Mexico's military war on drugs through the Merida Initiative. They warn, "If Mr. Obama intends to avoid a potentially catastrophic scenario in a bordering country, then he should support Engel's initiative."

The new commission would be required to submit recommendations on future U.S. drug policy to Congress, the Secretary of State, and the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 12 months after its first meeting.

LYM Bust-Up of Soros's Argentine Drug Fest Still Reverberating

Aug. 10 (EIRNS)—The fallout from the LaRouche Youth Movement's (LYM) aggressive Aug. 6 intervention into the George Soros-financed Latin American Conference on Drug Policy in Buenos Aires, was visible today on city streets, in signs posted by the Peronist Youth Movement. Plastered in many locations in the downtown area, the signs read, "NO, to Possession and Consumption of Drugs!"

The intent of the Soros decriminalization law that the government hopes to introduce into Congress, is to make possession legal for personal use, as consumption is already legal. The Peronist Youth are rejecting Soros's campaign.

The impact of the LYM's intervention is reflected as well in continued press coverage. Today, the ONLINE*911 website quoted at length the LYM's charge that the British Empire is behind the drug legalization push, to keep Argentina a colony, and destroy young people's power to think: "menticide."

The LYM intervention has driven more than one Argentine journalist to visit LaRouche's websites. The title of this month's Prometeo, the LYM publication, is "Obama's Medical Policy Is Nazi Genocide," ONLINE*911 reports.

And while they absurdly describe LaRouche as a "former right-wing Democratic parliamentarian, with an ideological line from extreme U.S. nationalism," ONLINE*911 illustrates the article with a large, legible picture of the front page of the August 2009 LaRouche movement's El Nuevo Federalista newspaper, with its banner headline: "Under Obama's Policies, the U.S. Is on the Path to Disintegration."

Another Argentine Governor Slams Decrim Plan

Aug. 12 (EIRNS)—Gov. José Alperovich, of Argentina's Tucumán province, has denounced President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's plan to decriminalize drug possession for personal consumption, bringing to eight the number of provincial governors who oppose the plan.

Alperovich is a political ally of the President and of her husband and former President Néstor Kirchner, as are several of the other opposing governors, but he parts ways on decrim. This policy, he warned, will "make drug trafficking easier, also because vendors will argue that they are selling for consumers. The damage caused by these substances is so great, that the more difficult it is to obtain them, the better."

In a country where drug consumption has vastly increased in recent years, popular opposition to any form of decriminalization or legalization is significant, standing at 54% opposed in a recent poll.

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