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This interview appears in the November 22, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

'If Brazil Goes Down,
So Does Wall Street'

On Nov. 5, Hector Benavides, the best-known television newscaster of Monterrey, Nuevo León, travelled to Saltillo, Coahuila, to interview Lyndon LaRouche for Benavides' Channel 12 program. The interview was broadcast Nov. 10, after news segments aired on previous days.

Q: Speaking of possible scenarios, what is the best possible scenario coming out of today's elections in the United States?

LaRouche: Just a general confusion, which people admit. War is a distraction from the real issue, which is the economy. For example, half the Federal states in the United States are bankrupt now. By normal standards, the United States government itself is bankrupt. These are worldwide conditions. We have to do more than a reform. We have to go back to a system like that of the original Bretton Woods system. And until we are willing to do that, the world is going to become worse.

Though there are many parts of the world—for example, the current conference in Phnom Penh: There is cooperation among India, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, which are trying to build up the Eurasia bloc of economic security, despite what they see as insanity in Washington.

So there's much concern around the world to have a reform now. . . .

Q: There's a lot of talk about hawks and doves within the government of the United States.

LaRouche: We have people whom we call "Chickenhawks." When they had the opportunity to serve in the military service, in wartime service, they avoided that. They are the ones who want war! Our leading generals, retired and in active service, do not want this war, so we say that only the draft-dodgers want the war!

Q: Who are they?

LaRouche: This is a group, controlled by organized crime, but which is known in the Americas, sometimes known as the Utopians. These are the people who have always been the problem in the Americas, for the nations of the Americas. Mexico, all the countries of South America. These are the people who have worked to destroy the economies and governments of South and Central America. Like [Moonie-sponsored] CAUSA, WACL [World Anti-Communist League], Oliver North—this is a special kind of fascist which we have in the United States, very annoying to the rest of the hemisphere.

Q: What is the position of Mr. Cheney?

LaRouche: [laughs] Mr. Cheney is the chief Chickenhawk! He's the mother, or, I guess, maybe his wife Lynne Cheney, who is worse than he is—she's the mother of the Chickenhawks.

Q: The mother of the pollitos, we would say in Spanish.

You've run for the Presidency on various occasions. What so far has kept you from becoming President?

LaRouche: If you look at my economic forecasts—and in each election, I stated an issue. I was always right. The American people always elected the wrong President. Now it's all come to an end. It can't work any more. What the result is, of all these 25 years of elections, now: I'm the only one with any credibility. You see, in history, people think of running for President, in history, like running for Hollywood movie star. They're like the dumb actor on the stage, who tells the audience, "Look at me! Look at me! Don't pay attention to the play. Look at me!" They come on stage, and fortunately, they go. I believe in making history, not in making a spectacle.

The time has come when we, in the Americas, are going to have to go back to the ideas of John Quincy Adams, of Franklin Roosevelt, and so forth, regarding relations in the Americas. The United States must now accept the fact, that we must not be an empire. We must be the leading nation among a group of perfectly sovereign states, who cooperate in a common interest.

For example, let's take the case of Mexico. The United States must immediately rebuild its transportation system. High-speed rail is the key. Mexico needs high-speed rail. The relationship between Mexico and the United States requires high-speed rail connections between Mexico and the United States. Water management, the same thing. The management of the problem of unemployment, among Mexicans in the United States, and here. These are matters of two, separate, sovereign states, with a common border, and with common and different problems. So therefore, the relationship must be on the basis of meeting together, to work out a program to address these problems.

And the increase of the productive powers of labor of the Mexican people, for anyone in the United States who is not an idiot, is in the vital interest of the United States. We do not want people of Mexico to be poor! It's bad for Mexico, and bad for us. Therefore, we must promote economic development in Mexico. We need that kind of Presidency from the United States now.

Q: After Sept. 11, the relationship between the United States and Mexico changed, dramatically. The problem of our compatriots who are there illegally, between the two countries, ended up at the bottom of the agenda of concerns. What is your view of this?

LaRouche: The point is this: We have a lot of Mexicans, in Mexico—as in this area—who depend upon relationships as suppliers to U.S. manufacturers. In two out of three of these categories, electronics and auto parts, we're faced with a collapse. The Mexicans who are employed in the United States, a collapse of opportunity. This is a social crisis for Mexicans in the United States, and a social crisis here. So, we have to address this problem. The only way that we can—and we're going to be working on that—we have to actually have large-scale infrastructure development projects. We'll have three objectives: absorb unemployment in large infrastructure projects; solve problems of environment—transportation, energy, and so forth; and also, stimulate private investment through infrastructural projects.

So, for example, in U.S.-Mexico relations, we can easily run between the two countries—we can determine what is the margin of unemployment expected in Mexico, especially in the north of Mexico, as a result of this economic situation. We also know the number of Mexicans now living in the United States, who are going to be hit. So the two countries have to say, "Here are the number of jobs we have to create. We have to plan a division of labor. We use infrastructure projects, in order to address this problem. And, what we need, is to set up a new system of credit, of state credit, 25 years long, 1-2% interest, for these infrastructure projects.

Q: Good. Do you see the capability for this in Presidents Bush and Fox?

LaRouche: When I look at Presidencies, I don't look at individuals. See, Mexico has one of the best institutional structures of the Presidency among South American countries. So, I think of the executive function of the Presidency of Mexico, not just the President as a personality. We have a President of the United States who has no mental capacity, whatsoever. But we have a Presidency. What my particular ties are, I have to try to make the Presidency successful. And, we have to deal with the personality of the President. I don't think that either President Bush or President Fox are prepared, to deal with the kind of crisis which exists now, but under the guidance of the Presidency of Mexico, and the Presidency of the United States, and with the help of the legislatures and state governments, we can work these problems out.

Q: How would you characterize these first two years of the government of President Fox in Mexico.

LaRouche: Well, he walked in, under an assumption, which is blown apart. Everything he was told to believe would happen, is gone. Everything he expected he would have in cooperation with President Bush, is gone, wiped out. So therefore, we have to rethink the relationship. And he, the President of Mexico, also needs to have advice on how to rethink the situation. He may not know what to do, but he has plenty of advisers on the state levels and in the parliament. He has to decide that he's going to accept a change in policy.

This often happens with governments. So it's not a question of the personality—this man's a genius, or that man is not. We require great leaders sometimes. If we do not have great leaders, we have to find ways to achieve the same thing.

Q: There's discussion now of the idea that U.S.-Mexico relations have become more distant. There was even a book that was called Distant Neighbors. What's your view of this?

LaRouche: I think this is useless kind of commentary. It's not positive. We have problems. The United States has problems in relations with every country in the world. The present Presidency of the United States is hated by virtually every government in the world today. So, we can not let this be the standard for dealing with each other. You have to have, in a situation like this, you must have put on the table positive alternatives to the crisis. Trying to blame each other doesn't work. . . . You must put solutions on the table, and organize politics around solutions, and not these kinds of comments.

Q: But then, how do we explain or understand this idea, that the United States has no friends, but only interests around the world?

LaRouche: Pay no attention to that nonsense. The United States, as an historical phenomenon, has great relations with the world. The objections to the present policies of the United States, are that the world sees this as repudiation of the United States' own mission in history. Prior to 1971, the United States was looked at as a champion of freedom of nations, of sovereignty of nations. Since that time, and since Indochina, there's been a highly visible, increasing, imperialistic tendency in Washington.

So, around the world, I find that most governments and peoples, their attitude toward the United States is, "Why can't you go back to being what you used to be?" Not under Woodrow Wilson, but under President Franklin Roosevelt. And that's the problem. We just have to put the focus on it. The United States policy is wrong, but the United States has to go back to becoming itself. The present policies don't work, so it's going to have to change.

Q: Mr. LaRouche, you have said that a generation, 25 years, is needed, for you to change the course of the United States and the world. Why 25 years?

LaRouche: Because you have to look at capital factors. We do not have, at present, the levels of income, among nations, to sustain themselves. So therefore, we must borrow from the future, to rebuild in the present. The borrowing should take the form of long-term capital improvements. That is, investment in infrastructure, which requires a quarter-century at least—water systems, power systems, they're all quarter-century investments. To develop new industries, is also a matter of a generation. You start small, but it takes a generation to bring them up to your objectives. So, we must create credit for capital investment, capital improvements. We must try to achieve full productive employment. The greatest cost in any national budget is large unemployment. If people are working productively, the nation can survive. If you have a vast army of unemployed, the nation may not survive.

So, we're going to have an indicative plan, like President Charles de Gaulle of France's indicative plan. I know in Mexico, for example, in the files of government, there are many plans. Every Mexican government used to make plans, new plans! Many of them were very good! The plan to move the water from the south to the north on the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, is good. To shift the population concentration from Mexico City, into areas which are not sufficiently developed, is good. But these are all projects which would go into about a quarter-century, to materialize, to become self-sustaining.

Q: Over these 25 years, what would happen in a country like Mexico, which has today 54 million poor out of a population of 100 million?

LaRouche: Well, let's take areas like agriculture and industry. You have to develop the agriculture with water management and other things. Self-sufficiency in the nourishment of the population is one of the standards of national security. Bringing the water from the south to the north, will create new cities, new centers, and will restore agricultural potential where it's now marginal. Much of the Mexican population has a natural ability to be successful in agriculture. We have to open that up. That will build new communities. It will be with school systems in these communities. You will now take the population of the peasant families, and they will develop the ability to become professionals and industrialists. We have to look at this as a generational development of the population, starting with the reality of the population as it is today. The perspective should be, that every Mexican adult male should have productive employment.

Q: Twenty years ago, you were in Mexico. What do you see as important changes in those 20 years that you were not here?

LaRouche: Well, I've been here in spirit and mind, very closely observing everything. I have some very dear friends, including the former President, López Portillo. We still think together! We remember what should have happened. We would like to do it. Not for me, I'm not a Mexican. But it's a beautiful idea. And he's a beautiful person. And I have many other friends in Mexico! What happened in Mexico, and also in Central and South America, went through two phases. Under Nixon, in 1971, we created a floating-exchange-rate system. It financially bankrupted every country in South and Central America. In 1982, with the attack on Argentina and Mexico, they moved in like vultures on the bankrupt nations, to loot the nations. Today, except for Brazil, which is in jeopardy, there's not a single country in Central and South America which has a secure future.

What we see in Mexico—which is very special because of its proximity to the United States, and also the history of struggle for independence and sovereignty in South America—we see a country which is threatened with destruction! Every country in South and Central America, now, is either extinct or threatened with destruction.

Q: Can what happened in Argentina happen in Mexico?

LaRouche: Sure it can! Fast! All you have to do, is have the dollarization of the Mexican debt, and have the kind of thing that's being applied to Brazil now, in Mexico, and you'll have a complete wipe-out of Mexico. Mexico may have lost much of its sovereignty, but at least there's a certain pretense of maintaining the institutions of sovereignty. The collapse of this area, the unemployment of 5 million Mexicans in the United States—if those remittances don't come to Mexico, in a world depression, and the New York crowd would have moved in here, the way they did in the Southern Cone, you would have a crushing of the institutions here. So, it's a danger to us all.

Q: What do we do to avoid that?

LaRouche: The solution is essentially political and of leadership. First of all, we have to build up what is already in motion. Around the world today—as my work in Italy shows, as my effort to build up this Productive Triangle relationship in Eurasia has succeeded to some degree so far—we have the emergence of a movement worldwide, within governments, among influentials, and so forth, step by step, in the direction toward a complete reform of the international monetary system. So, those of us who think, in universities, in institutions, in government, must discuss this more closely together: The opportunity to act is being put in our hands. The danger is, we might not be intellectually prepared to act when we have to.

In Mexico, you have a reservoir that I know of, of leadership, a core of leadership which, if mobilized, does have the intellectual capacity to play that kind of role. It's typified by López Portillo: typified by the intellectual capability within Mexico and in its institutions, with what López Portillo attempted to do between August and October of 1982. This was—even though I was involved in planning this kind of response—the way it was carried out by the President, and his associates, was specifically Mexican: You had a President of Mexico who had an understanding of natural law, history, a Classical mind. And many people around him as well.

Q: Nevertheless, the image that exists of him is that he was a corrupt President.

LaRouche: This was the idea of the liberals who tried to destroy Mexico in 1982. Look what they're saying about Brazil. Now Lula is not my favorite person, but Lula has shown himself at least capable of realizing what it is to be the President of a nation. They are telling Lula in the U.S. press, that if he does not betray the nation of Brazil and the people in it, if he does not submit to the markets, he's evil. That's their attitude toward López Portillo: They can never forgive him for showing courage.

Q: Good. Will they allow Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva to govern?

LaRouche: This is very interesting. If they don't, there won't be any United States. If Brazil goes down, the impact of this on J.P. Morgan Chase, the whole complex around Sandy Weill, around Citibank, and many other things—the investment of the United States banking interests, the exposure in Central and South America, in Brazil—if you crush these countries, you wipe out those banks on Wall Street! The solution is that the United States has to put these banks into bankruptcy reorganization. Then we can all live.

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