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This article appears in the July 5, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

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Schiller Institute Conference

Discussion: Integrate Continental Infrastructure for Development

June 19—June 15, the first day of a two-day Schiller Institute conference, “The World on the Brink: For a New Peace of Westphalia!” brought together, in Panel 2, titled “The Development Aspirations of the Global Majority,” Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche and two South American statesmen: former Guyanese President Donald Ramotar, and Prof. Henry Baldelomar, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Bolivian Embassy in Washington, speaking in his capacity as Professor of International Affairs at Nur University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for a question-and-answer session. The following are excerpts from the half-hour discussion, moderated by Dennis Speed, Schiller Institute–United States.

Zepp-LaRouche: I want to thank all the speakers. I think they all contributed very useful aspects of the international picture, as you normally do not get it from the mainstream media. President Ramotar naturally made a very important highlighting of how the persistence of the neo-colonial mechanisms exists. This was also featured by Mr. Baldelomar; I think his emphasis on the weakening of international law is also of high concern, because that is clearly a symptom of a breakdown of order. I also want to say, his emphasis on the lack of integration of infrastructure in Latin America was addressed first of all by Alexander von Humboldt in the 19th Century, and that was developed by my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, with a very important, comprehensive, Latin America-wide integration plan called Operation Juárez which started to be implemented by President López Portillo at the time.…

Bi-Oceanic Corridor, Chancay Port

Speed: The first question is from New York. “In Peru, the opening of a new deep-water mega-port will commence in November of this year on the Pacific coast of that country. The Chancay Port is being built by China’s COSCO shipping company, and is expected to transform the economy of all of South America. In Bolivia on May 28, a hearing was held at the Parliament in La Paz in which Peruvian Admiral Carlos Tejada gave an exciting briefing on the economic and strategic implications of that project. It was already mentioned by President Ramotar and Henry Baldelomar that the intention of multilateral institutions like the BRICS is to transform South America from a raw materials exporter into a continent exporting value-added products. Another aspect is the medium-term objective of building a bi-oceanic railroad from Brazil to Bolivia to Peru. Do you believe that the inauguration of the Chancay Port will help achieve this goal?”

Baldelomar: Yes, undoubtedly the development of the Chancay Port, together with the bi-oceanic corridor, is one of the main projects not just for Bolivia, but for South America. Keep in mind that this will link the Atlantic to the Pacific—that is, to join the South American giant Brazil with the Pacific—and will also allow optimization of opportunities that are now exclusive to the Pacific. It is clear that in this first half of the century, the Pacific will become a very intense trade and development potential. So the possibility of integrating these two extremes, the South American Pacific with the Shanghai port in China, will clearly increase the trade activity. Therefore, such expectations can be met with the successful implementation of the bi-oceanic corridor.

Unfortunately, political events since October 2019 have frustrated a greater development of this project, particularly the project that Bolivia [envisioned] in terms of the development of Puerto Busch. As everyone knows, Bolivia does not have access to either ocean—the Atlantic or the Pacific. Nonetheless, the development of Puerto Busch would give Bolivia sovereign access to the Atlantic through Paraguay. And of course, the bi-oceanic corridor construction would increase the efficiency of transportation to ports on the Pacific. For this reason, the possibility of economic resources arising from the BRICS New Development Bank may strengthen this project and eventually bring it to fruition, so as to allow qualitative leaps not only in terms of production, but also in terms of trade exchange.

Türkiye Joining the BRICS?

Speed: A question from New York: “There’s been some discussion in recent days of the possibility of Türkiye joining the BRICS. What implications would such a development have on the future of NATO? Would this create a sufficient shock to force a shift in the position of other European governments?”

Ramotar: I think it would be a very important move, because, I think, not only with Türkiye joining BRICS, yes, it will have some implication, because they will develop a new type of relations. And it could create some type of contradiction within the NATO forces themselves; that is quite possible. There is no guarantee that that would happen, but that is a possibility. But what it will also do is create within NATO countries another country that would want to have peace for development purposes, as we are seeing right now in the situation with Hungary. The position Hungary has taken is an extremely realistic one. I think Hungary’s position is probably the most realistic in the European countries at this point in time. They recognize that Russia will forever be their neighbor, and there is need for cooperation with Russia. They don’t want to be part of the process of trying to suppress Russia so the United States can forever be at the top of the world practically, as they are doing right now.

So, I see that as a very positive thing. If that materializes, I see it as a very positive development that can contribute generally towards the goal we all seek; to have a world with less tension, less danger, and one that will be a more peaceful world. I think it could be a positive development.

Zepp-LaRouche: I agree.

New Laws, New World Security Relations?

Speed: A question from Germany. “There are two types of laws: the laws of nature, which we have to deal with carefully, and the laws that we humans make for ourselves to ensure peaceful coexistence. These laws are changeable, and as a new, neutral democratic Germany, we would change the laws for the benefits of our citizens. The BRICS countries show us how we can move from the old system to a new multipolar world, if we do it together…. [Describes shifts in Germany, including leaving NATO.]

Ramotar: First, I can imagine Helga as being Chancellor…. We need some sober, cool heads, and with the kind of internationalist outlook that Helga has. I think she would make an excellent head of state.

As far as some of the laws are concerned, I don’t think [changes or reforms] are impossible, but I don’t think that we can expect them to happen immediately. I think it will take much more time, because there is too much self-interest and not enough viewing our world as an integrated whole, as one unit. The idea that Helga just expressed about humanity, we don’t have enough of that.

There is too much interest about trying to make the nation-state that we see in the United States and some other NATO countries wanting to be the number-one power in order to dictate to the rest of the world what they want, not necessarily what is good for the individual countries or for themselves. I think that the ideals and hopes are ideas that are worthwhile struggling for and fighting for….

Baldelomar: [As summarized by the translator] We have a situation where the entire international architecture has been complicated. You cannot have a Hobbesian view. The legal structure internationally in its first stage of development has been based on a Hobbesian view of the main powers. To be able to fulfill that purpose of having an international society where universal citizenship becomes a reality, it’s absolutely necessary to change the paradigm. There, of course, this is going to take a long, very in-depth effort, so that the minds of the decision-makers—especially in the great powers—realize that the path which they have undertaken is not going to ensure a peaceful international situation; and therefore, we have to change the paradigm.

Of course, to the degree to which we are carrying out great efforts in the area of education, that is where you can start to change people’s minds. There is a saying that “Wars begin in people’s minds.” Therefore, we have to work on the minds of people to be able to modify that problem and allow us, then, to achieve that long-standing desire which leads to the views more associated with Kant, who said that the nature of man is not necessarily what Hobbes said, but, rather, his human nature is one based on solidarity and a more noble view of man.

To the degree to which, I repeat, we work in the field of education, on those values, and that we are able to internalize not only in civil society but especially in the decision-making structures, then the probability [grows] of being able to make in reality, concretely, such a view in a society based on solidarity and peace, and that the exercise of individual rights as well as collective rights becomes a reality over a period of time.

Collaboration To Stop Nuclear War

Speed: Question from Venezuela: “Greetings from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Can we organize an international coalition of diplomats, lawyers, and politicians from the whole world, and fight under international law against the United States government before they push the nuclear bomb button?”

Baldelomar: Undoubtedly, to the extent that the various venues for dialogue are opened up for various social, political, and economic layers that will join in these dialogue spaces where diplomats and politicians can be included, these will obviously encourage the generation of ideas in necessary synergy. Clearly for these venues to be productive and efficient, the participating parties need to have the ability to listen. One of the great difficulties in these dialogue trials is that the participants do not necessarily have the skill to listen wisely. This is fundamental, because to the extent that such capabilities can be grown, then common points can be arrived at to identify joint actions in which collective conscience can achieve results.

So then, to reiterate, venues for dialogue are always welcome and need to be stimulated and cultivated. But they must be complemented with an ability to listen on everyone’s part, so that these values can be explored in a very creative way, and technical means and judicial means can be developed to facilitate international relations in the framework of respect and reaching primarily the conditions of integrated development for the peoples.

Ramotar: I consider myself an internationalist, so I will cheer your sentiment. I think that that would be extremely good, if something like that could be created. I don’t think it’s impossible, because what we have done here today and what we have been doing for the past year or so, having these types of meetings, bringing people from different parts of the world together to exchange views, to find consensus, to look for solutions to different problems—I think that this very process that we’re in here is making a contribution directly to the aspiration that the colleague from Venezuela mentioned just now.

The other point I would like to make here is one of the points that I had—you said that one of the reasons you think that it’s important for that to happen is to try to do it before the U.S. pushed the nuclear button. That reflects one of the things I had in mind of the quality of leadership that we have in the international arena today, particularly in Western society. The quality of leadership is part of the problem that we have.

The same United States hasn’t changed its character, but when John Kennedy was President, we saw the realistic position that he took in these matters, and we saw that he was moving towards— It was under him, and General Secretary Khrushchev that the first agreements and arrangements were made about limiting the nuclear weapons, and the idea then, when they signed those first treaties, was in order to try and go towards total liquidation of nuclear weapons. I think that is an idea that should come back up more strongly, particularly given the dangers that we are all talking about now. Back then, there were only two countries with nuclear weapons; now they’re proliferating all over the world—many other countries have them. More countries will want them for their protection and so forth. So, I believe that we should continue to mount the fight for a safe world to get rid of these weapons of mass destruction.

I once said on one of the programs that we had here, that I liked very much a remark that I read from the famous scientist, physicist [Einstein], who said, “You can’t prepare for war and expect to have peace.” The danger that exists that frightens me every day, and every night when I go to bed, is the fact that these terrible weapons exist, and once they exist, there is always a possibility that they can be used. That is something that we cannot afford. The need to fight for a world without nuclear weapons, without chemical weapons, without even weapons of mass destruction, is very important. That is what I would say in conclusion as well.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think that I can only hope that enough people are joining our efforts and other people’s efforts for peace so that the idea of this incredibly dangerous militarization which is going on in all of Europe right now can be reversed….

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