From Volume 37, Issue 3 of EIR Online, Published Jan. 22, 2010

Ibero-American News Digest

National Banking vs. British Monetarism Fought Out in Argentina

Jan. 11 (EIRNS)—The British Empire's financial oligarchs, in London and on Wall Street, are throwing an hysterical fit over Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's defiance of "central bank autonomy." The fight is such that the British Empire's toadies threatened the Argentine President with removal from office—or worse—if she doesn't fall into line.

Since early January, the Argentine President has been in a brawl with Harvard man, Central Bank president Martín Redrado, over the latter's refusal to transfer $6.5 billion in foreign reserves to a special "Bicentennial Fund," which the government set up to pay 2010 debt obligations. When Fernández tried to fire Redrado, the courts stepped in to reinstate him, braying that the Central Bank is autonomous, and that the President was breaking the law in insisting on Redrado's compliance.

While City of London assets joined in the attack on the Argentine President, U.S. Federal Judge Thomas Griesa placed a restraining order on up to $3.9 billion worth of Argentine assets held in the U.S. Federal Reserve. Griesa's pretext was the lawsuit brought by two of the most notorious of the predatory vulture funds—EM and NML—seeking full payment on the defaulted Argentine bonds they hold. But the message to the Fernández de Kirchner government was broader: Back off from asserting control over the Central Bank.

Under the British global financial system, no sovereign government is allowed to touch the "autonomous" power of the financiers over a nation's money. Much of Argentina's 20th-Century history was characterized by the battle between this British imperial system and Peronist and allied nationalists, who sought to establish national banking with sovereign control over currency issuance and economic policy. In Cristina Fernández's defiance of central bank autonomy, London sees the specter of what it calls "authoritarian" and "populist" Peronism, which did indeed spit in the Empire's face, beginning in the mid-1940s, with its promotion of national banking and industrial and scientific development.

A New Dark Age Looms Over Mexico

Jan. 12 (EIRNS)—An entire generation of Mexican youth is facing only two options for the future under the current system: suicide or the drug trade—courtesy of the policies that the British Empire has imposed on the planet over the last four decades.

There are 7 million youth between 12 and 29 years of age who are now part of what is being described as the "Neither-Nor" generation: youth who neither go to school nor work. In an interview published in today's daily La Jornada, Mexican Youth Institute director Priscila Vera decried the lack of a decent future for young Mexicans, which means that growing numbers of them are turning to suicide.

The report cites a 2008 study by the Mexican government's National Public Health Institute, in their National Survey of Addictions (ENA), which states that in 2008, 350,000 Mexicans, aged 12-29, tried to commit suicide. Of these, 7 out of 10 had no job; 6 out of 10 were not going to school.

Ten times that many—about 3.3 million—reported that they had thought about killing themselves. That number is a staggering 10% of the entire 12-29 age cohort of 35 million.

One is reminded of the 14th-Century New Dark Age which, besides the mass deaths directly due to the Black Death, produced such a wave of pessimism that, according to accounts of that time, almost no marriages occurred for years, and even decades, in major portions of Europe.

One of the ENA study's researchers, Alfredo Nateras, noted that "the State and its institutions no longer address adolescents, and do not mediate conflicts or social tensions, because they have abdicated their responsibility of meeting the basic elements needed for development. Thus, the majority of that sector of the population has lost all possibility of obtaining housing, of having the prospect of living with a spouse, of recreation, health, and education. Many youth find it more attractive to approach the realm of illegality.... So, when some are asked what they want to be, they answer: 'a narco.'"

Socialist Soap Operas Have Consequences

Jan. 11 (EIRNS)—Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez devalued the bolivar currency Jan. 8, by 50% for most items: from 2.15 to the dollar, to 4.3. Under the new two-tier system, food, medicines, and some machinery can be imported at a subsidized rate (2.6 per dollar). Finance Minister Alí Rodríguez admitted the devaluation could add about 5% to the country's current 27% inflation rate, as imports become more expensive.

The devaluation will deliver a massive blow to the country's working and middle class, in particular. Under Britain's "Bolivarian project," Venezuela's economy has become even more colonial, importing up to 90% of its consumption needs, and dependent on raw materials, with oil accounting for 90% of its exports.

Quipped Lyndon LaRouche: the Bolivar has been "Castro-ated."

In related news, Chávez yesterday urged television producers to make "socialist soap operas," like those he saw on a recent visit to Cuba. Surprising. You'd think he wouldn't want the competition.

Arctic Cold Wreaks Havoc in Mexico

Jan. 12 (EIRNS)—Sub-zero temperatures have provoked chaos in Mexico, including nine deaths, as the country is ill prepared to deal with weather that one Argentine global-warming skeptic calls "calenfriamento global" (global warm-cooling).

Northern, central, and western Mexico have been hardest hit, with snowstorms, ice, rain, high winds, and temperatures ranging from between 8 and 11°C below zero. Winds have been so strong that 12 ports in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche and Yucatán were forced to close. In the Yucatán Peninsula, constant rain, combined with 100-km-per-hour winds have almost paralyzed the crucial Campeche oil-producing region.

Roads made impassable by ice and snow have cut off communities located in the higher altitudes of Nuevo León, Hidalgo, and Veracruz, and emergency crews have deployed to bring warm clothing and blankets to many localities where people are freezing. On Jan. 8, schools in 9 of Mexico's 32 states were closed, because the buildings have no heat.

In a country where there is generally no central heating in homes and buildings, people have resorted to using dangerous heating sources (kerosene/gasoline heaters, etc.), which in some cases have had deadly consequences. Carbon monoxide poisoning caused four of nine deaths that have occurred since Oct. 29, while hypothermia was responsible for the remainder.

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