[Marxism] Latin American Integration

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 29 15:33:17 MDT 2006

In answer to the request to define Latin American integration...

Alarcon speaks well for himself. When Venezuela sells oil to the countries
of the Caribbean region at preferential rates, Latin American integration
is taking place. When Cuba sends doctors to Honduras and Bolivia, that's 
just Latin American integration going on. When the heads of state of the
major latin American nations meet at Mar del Plata, Argentina, preventing
the summit from endorsing FTAA, that's Latin American integration which is
being put into practice. When Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia open up their
markets to one another at very preferential rates, that's Latin American
integration. When Venezuela sells oil to poorer areas in the United States,
that's where heavy concentrations of Latin American immigrants live, and 
that's therefore part of Latin American integration.

Latin American Integration is an historical trend, a process, which is
going on, throughout the region in all of its countries at varying speeds
but its general direction of motion is what needs better understanding.

Latin American integration is a conceptual framework. It's a methond of
looking at and trying to grasp what is actually occurring. It has many
sources, but one of the best was written in 1898, by Jose Marti and it's
one which bears repeated reading, pondering and contemplating:

"I understand that duty and have the courage to carry it out-the duty
of preventing the United States from spreading through the Antilles
as Cuba gains its independence, and from empowering with that
additional strength our lands of America. All I have done so far, and
all I will do, is for this purpose. I have had to work quietly and
somewhat indirectly, because to achieve certain objectives, they must
be kept under cover; to proclaim them for what they are would raise
such difficulties that the objectives could not be attained.

"The same general and lesser duties of these nations-nations such as
yours [Mexico] and mine that are most vitally concerned with preventing 
the opening in Cuba(by annexation on the part of the imperialist from
there and the Spaniards) of the road that is to be closed, and is
being closed with our blood, annexing our American nations to be
brutal and turbulent North which despises them-prevented their
apparent adherence and obvious assistance to this sacrifice made for
their immediate benefit." FULL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?H32232B37

Marti was writing his final words above in 1898, but his conceptual
framework has guided many people ever since. One who absorbed Marti
and integrated Marti's thinking into his own ideas wrote this, and
consider the following and ask yourself if it couldn't have been 
written just yesterday?

"Just recently I had the opportunity to get together with tens of
thousands of Latin Americans who are working there, in a country
where they have been allowed to work, where they earn good wages,
where they should feel comfortable and contented....and yet, they
long for their own countries, they are homesick and want to come back
to work in their own lands...I have even seen cases of men who are
getting five hundred dollars a month and are ready to come back to
work in their own country for one and fifty or two hundred pesos. But
the truth is that our youth, our people, have to go North, they have
to look to the fully developed neighbor of the North to get the
opportunity to work they need so badly. We should create employment
in our own continent for all--those people who emigrate (and there
would be many more, millions of--them, if they were easily and
readily admitted there); we should give all those people who travel
North to try to make the decent living they can't find at home the
most cherished hope and aspiration of Latin America a real economic

Remarkably, these words were written not yesterday, but rather in
1959, long before the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution 
was ever PROCLAIMED! http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs148.html

Latin American integration, then, is the extent to which the peoples and
countries of Latin America develop and maintain their independence, in 
national, regional, political, economic, cultural and social terms from
the United States, which stuggles 25 hours a day, eight-days a week, to
subordinate the continent to Washington's appetites and whims. It's not
hard to understand if you learn to look at things in this framework.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

I think it might help, hell I know it would help if Walter (or anybody) 
would define exactly whaqt Latin American continental integration is, 
how we, or him, or comrade Alarcon measures continental integration.

There are real economic forces at work, and a realistic understanding 
of economic determinants is not economism.

Is Latin American integration evident in terms of trade?  Nature and 
origin of products traded?  Destinations of trade?  GDP/capita growth 
(that's a laugh since GDP/capita growth  1980-2005 is lower than the 
1955-1980 rate)?

How do we measure continental integration to get a realistic grasp on 
its meaning and direction?

let's take Brazil. If the FTAA was not implemented before, when not
even Chávez was around, it is because there was an obstacle called
Brazil. We don't include Fernando Henrique [Cardoso, former president
of Brazil] in the list of "progressive" governments, to use your own
words, but Brazil has always tried to defend its best interests
against free trade as promoted by the United States. To say the
least, there are sectors within the Brazilian bourgeoisie willing to
protect its interests from the most powerful market forces, as it
happened perhaps in Mexico in the past, if not even longer under the
free trade agreement. FULL:

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