This article appears in the April 16, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Make Space for the Belt and Road in the Americas
Dennis Small is the Ibero-America Intelligence Director for Executive Intelligence Review. Mr. Small delivered this speech on March 20, 2021 to Panel 2 of the Schiller Institute conference, “The World at a Crossroad—Two Months into the Biden Administration.” Video of Panel 2 is here.
Ibero-America today is being wracked by a pandemic that is also wracking the world. It is facing approximately 45% real unemployment, if you measure unemployment in Lyndon LaRouche’s terms of actual physical economic parameters. It is being destroyed by a drug trade which is run by the same financial interests of Wall Street and the City of London which are also behind the collapsing global speculative bubble of about $1.7 quadrillion. In fact, we have a situation where millions of people throughout the region, but especially in Central America and Mexico, have been driven by that drug trade, by the poverty, and by the misery overall, into forced migration to try to find survival, sustenance, or simply fleeing for their lives.
So, if we are, in fact, serious about solving these problems—which we should be in the United States—there is only one approach that is going to be possible and will actually work. There is, when we look at this, a straightforward solution at hand, and that is the extension of the Belt and Road Initiative into the Americas.
There is going to be an upcoming trip in May, of the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, to China, where he will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Belt and Road Initiative. This is of enormous importance as an initiative in the direction of the policy which must be adopted. All the more so, since President Fernández of Argentina has developed a close and important working relationship with the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has consistently proposed—first with President Donald Trump, and now to President Joe Biden—the concept that the joint development of the region is in the common interests of both nations.
And what we would add to that is that the urgent requirement is that it be done in conjunction with China and its Belt and Road Initiative, without which it will not have the physical economic basis to actually function. So, such an idea, of a China-United States-Mexico or China-U.S.-Mexico-Argentina axis of cooperation, is nothing but a win-win-win proposal.
Impossible, you say? Well, it’s only so, if you limit the options that you’re willing to consider to those that are acceptable under the current bankrupt and collapsing financial system of the trans-Atlantic region, of the City of London and Wall Street. If you think outside that box, then the solutions are at hand.
Belt and Road Routes
Now, let’s look quickly at a couple of the components of this Belt and Road Initiative for the Americas. Figure 1 shows the Caribbean area, which is really the centerpiece of trade of the crossroads between the Pacific-based countries and the Atlantic-based countries. The maritime routes now do go through this region, and in fact, through the expanded Panama Canal—through what should be a new sea-level Nicaraguan canal—and the basis laid for developing major industrial ports, such as in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Mariel, Cuba, for transshipment of goods, increased trade flow of goods, for the ports of the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic coast of the United States. These ports must be upgraded and rebuilt for these purposes.
The second area, besides the maritime route which connects the Americas into the Belt and Road Initiative, is the land-based Belt and Road Initiative, the World Land-Bridge. High-speed rail lines have to be built to extend from Tierra del Fuego in the very south of Argentina, all the way up through South America, through the Darién Gap—which now has no passable road, let alone a high-speed rail line, even though a functional alternative to do that had been designed going back to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 19th Century, and proposals from President McKinley.
Then you have those rail routes going through Central America, through Mexico. This is the way to address the problem of under-development and poverty and the drug trade—around high-tech industrial corridors of development stretching through this region, linking into the United States, and through the Bering Strait tunnel into the Eurasian Land-Bridge.
This is something which would immediately benefit the United States. We can estimate that approximately 1 million jobs would be created in the United States in exporting the needed capital goods, along with China, to make these projects possible.
The Space Silk Road
As important as the maritime and the land World Land-Bridge or the Silk Road are, perhaps more important still is the Space Silk Road. Just look at it from the standpoint as shown in Figure 2. The point of the matter is that the entire planet, and especially its productive workforce, is best developed by a high-technology scientific orientation to develop what is, in fact, the driving force and the motor of all human economic development. And that is, creative scientific discoveries, both in the hard sciences and in Classical culture. And in this case, the role of space science is absolutely critical.
It just so happens that two of the world’s premier space launch sites are in the South American continent. We are talking about Alcântara in Brazil, and Kourou in French Guiana shown in Figure 1. They’re very close to the equator, which is the reason their location is so advantageous. But in the case of South America, Argentina and Brazil both have very significant aerospace capabilities, and can help be the basis of linking those capabilities into cooperation with China, with the United States, with other space-faring nations such as Russia and India, to develop those space launch sites in those two locations as centers of scientific and economic development for the entire region.
Those hubs of development should be linked, and I would suggest that this would be an extremely important theme for President Fernández to take up on his trip to China—to establish two polytechnic institutes, or institutes for space science educational activity, one in Mexico, perhaps in the small city of Querétaro near Mexico City, and one in Argentina. Such institutes can serve as the poles of the educational process required to bring the entire continent into this kind of high-technology space development. That kind of approach, combining the countries of South America, Central America, North America, and China, is, in fact, the only way to solve the global breakdown crisis now underway.
Impossible, you say? Well, with my apologies to President John Kennedy, let me simply say the following: We do these things not because they are hard, but because they are impossible; or at least, we are told they are impossible.
End poverty in the world? “Well, that’s impossible!” And yet, China has done it in their country.
“Have a small Arab nation send an orbiter around Mars? Get serious! That’s completely impossible.” And yet, the UAE just did it.
“Turn poor Ibero-American youth and children into space scientists? It can’t be done!” And yet, it is happening in Argentina and elsewhere.
And perhaps most fundamental of all, get the United States and China to cooperate in the development of Mexico and all of the Americas. “Stop dreaming! We all know this is the law of the jungle, and that America’s gain means China’s loss, and vice versa. You can’t do that; it won’t work. Grow up!”
And yet, the Belt and Road is a win-win-win proposition, and it is coming to the Americas, so we’d best make space for it.