Internationalization of Amazonia and internationalization of financial assets

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at
Fri Oct 27 17:10:28 MDT 2000

I am forwarding a very sensible counter-proposition to those who are
for internationalization of Amazonia. I would add, following the
logics exposed below, that since they are essential to cover the
basic food necessities of humankind, all croplands in North America
down from the Canadian prairies to the Gulf of Mexico should also be

[translation by Néstor Gorojovsky for personal use]

Cristovam Buarque on internationalization of Amazonia:
O Globo
A world for everybody

During a recent debate, I was questioned in the United States on what
did I think of the internationalization of Amazonia. The young person
introduced the question by explaining that he was expecting the
answer of a humanist and not the answer of a Brazilian. For the first
time, a fellow in the discussion determined the humanist point of
view as a starting point for an answer of mine. In fact, as a
Brazilian I would simply speak against internationalization of
Amazonia. Even though our governments are not careful enough with
this patrimony, it is ours. I answered that, as a humanist, and
sensing the risk of environmental degradation that Amazonia is
sufferning from, I could imagine its internationalization, in the
same way I could imagine the internationalization of everything else
that was important for humankind. If, from a humanist point of view,
Amazonia must be internationalized, we should also internationalize
the oil reserves of the globe. Oil is as important for the well fare
of humankind as Amazonia is for our future. The owners of those
reserves, however, feel themselves with a right to increase or
decrease the rate of extraction in order to get higher or lower
prices. The rich of the world, in their right to burn away this
enormous patrimony of humankind.
In the same way, financial capital in the rich countries should be
internationalized. If Amazonia is a reserve for the whole of
humanikind, then it cannot be burnt away because of the will of an
owner, or of a country. Burning Amazonia is as serious as the
unemployment rates that other arbitrary decissions of global
speculators provoke. We can't allow financial reserves to be used to
burn away whole countries in the voluptuosity {"volúpia", I don't
know if the translation is a good one) of speculation. I would even
like to see, before the internationalization of Amazonia, the
internazionalization of the large museums of the globe. The Louvre
should not belong just to France. Each museum in the world keeps
under custoty the most beautiful products of human genius. This
cultural patrimony, just in the same way the Amazonic natural
patrimony,  cannot be left to manipulation and eventual destruction
by an owner or a country.

A Japanese millonary, not long ago, made a masterpiece of painting be
given to earth with himself. This masterpiece should have been
internationalized, instead, before this could happen. During the
meeting where I was made that question, the United Stations were
convening the Millenium Forum, but some Presidents of countries had
problems to assist to the forum, due to restrictions in the frontiers
of the USA. I thus proposed that New York, since it is the home to
the United Nations, should be internationalized, Manhattan at the
very least should belong to the whole of humankind!. The same runs
for  Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Recife,
evert town, with its specific beauty and its world history, should
belong to the whole world.

If the United States want to internationalize Amazonia, because it
would be risky to leave it in the hands of the Brazilians, let us
also internationalize all the nuclear arsenal of the United States.
At least because they have already shown that they _can_ use those
weapons, thus provoking a destruction thousands times larger than the
destruction provoked by the regrettable burnings in Brazilian
forests. The current candidates to the American Presidency have,
during their debates, defended the idea that global forest reserves
should be internationalized in exchange for foreign debt. Let us
instead begin by using this debt in order to ensure that each child
in this world has a possibility to go to school. Let us
internationalize children, caring about each one of them, no matter
the country where she or he was born, as a patrimony that deserves
global care by humankind. They deserve this still more than Amazonia.
The day the world leaders care about the poor children in the world
as a patrimony of humankind, they will not allow those children to
work when they must be learning, they will not allow them to die when
they would be living. As a humanist, I accept to defend the
internationalization of the world.

But, while the world will deal with me as a Brazilian, I will fight
for Amazonia to remain ours. Only ours.

CRISTOVAM BUARQUE is a professor at the UNB (National University of
Brasília), and he has written " A cortina de ouro"

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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