[Marxism] Four steps toward Latin American Integration

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 21 07:12:11 MST 2006

December 21, 2006
Chávez Backs Ecuador in Attacking U.S. Drug War


CARACAS, Venezuela, Dec. 20 (Reuters) — President Hugo Chávez of
Venezuela on Wednesday backed Ecuador’s president-elect in his
criticism of United States-financed spraying of Colombian drug crops,
accusing Washington of hypocrisy in its war on drugs.

Mr. Chávez also insisted that the United States was using its
antinarcotics drive to gain a military foothold in Latin America, and
he accused the American envoy in Caracas of lying when he said drug
smuggling was soaring in Venezuela.

“The battle against drug smuggling has been an excuse that
imperialists have used for several years to penetrate our country,
trample our people and justify a military presence in Latin America,”
Mr. Chávez told reporters at Caracas’s airport during a visit by the
Ecuadorean president-elect, Rafael Correa.

“The big cause is over there, the consumption, the drug money, the
banks that launder billions of dollars each year, but no one does
anything about it,” he said.

Mr. Correa has argued that spraying herbicides on illegal Colombian
crops along the Ecuadorean border ruins legal crops and harms
people’s health on Ecuador’s side. Ecuador has withdrawn its
ambassador to Bogotá in protest. “Colombia must look for other
methods,” Mr. Chávez said. Colombia insists that the fumigation is

Mr. Correa has also said he will refuse to extend the lease on a
major United States counternarcotics operation based in the
Ecuadorean port of Manta, from where American air crews fly missions
over Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Mr. Correa, who takes office next
month, is part of a growing alliance of leftist leaders in Latin
America. During his visit, he and Mr. Chávez were to discuss
increasing economic cooperation between the two countries.

In his comments on Wednesday, Mr. Chávez said that relations 
with the Bush administration would be stalled until the United States
ambassador in Caracas, William Brownfield, retracted his charge that
drug smuggling had soared in Venezuela. Mr. Chávez said that Mr.
Brownfield had uttered a “great lie” in saying that smuggling had
increased in part because Caracas severed cooperation with the United
States Drug Enforcement Administration last year.

December 21, 2006

Put Coca Leaf on a Plate, Peru Leader Says


LIMA, Peru, Dec. 20 (AP) — President Alan García on Tuesday suggested
an unorthodox use for the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine:
Why not toss it in a salad?

“I insist that it can be consumed directly and elegantly in salad,”
Mr. García told foreign correspondents at the Government Palace.

His comments put him in the company of Presidents Evo Morales of
Bolivia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, who have publicly promoted
mixing the high-calcium leaf into everything from toothpaste to soft

For centuries, coca has been considered a medicinal and ceremonial
plant in Andean culture, and Mr. García said it should not be
vilified as useful solely for producing the drug. He said Gastón
Acurio, one of Peru’s best-known chefs, recently served several
coca-based dishes for an event at the Government Palace.

A recent report by a Peruvian antidrug group, however, said that some
studies showed that coca’s nutrients could not be absorbed by the

For years, the United States has pressed Peru, the second largest
source of cocaine, after Colombia, to fight production of the drug.
The American Embassy declined to react to Mr. García’s comments.

Ecuador Correa: Neo-Liberalism is Dead

Quito, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) At his ratification ceremony at the
Supreme Court Tuesday, Ecuadorian President-elect Rafael Correa said
the neo-liberal model will be buried in his country in 2007.

The dignitary, who will be sworn-in officially on January 15 for a
four-year term, said that from the day he assumes power the country
will join the integrationist trend boosted by Argentina, Brazil,
Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela.

Fortunately, conditions are given to fulfil the dream of the great
Latin America homeland with friendly, fraternal and sovereign
governments in the region, noted Correa, 43, speaking to hundreds of
supporters attending the ceremony.

Assuring that the "long and sad neoliberal night is over for all of
South America," the president-to-be said the new struggle will be to
hold a Constituent Assembly, to have a Congress truly representative
of the people and change the 1998 Constitution.

Democracy was victorious in the November 26 elections and fraud was
defeated, thanks to the three and a half million of strong will who
were not to be bought, he concluded.

hr ccs abo lgo


Venezuela Backs Ecuador, Censures US

Caracas, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela voiced support to
Ecuadorian opposition to border fumigation in Colombia and pointed to
the United States as the true cause of drug trafficking.

In welcoming the president-elect of Ecuador, President Hugo Chavez
criticized efforts to clean out coca plantations with the highly
toxic glyphosate.

Chavez called to set up a joint South American policy to fight drug
traffic, based on common interests and avoid US-imposed provocation.
He also called on Colombia to seek new methods.

The statesman recalled that each year Venezuela eradicates thousands
of acres of illegal crops by hand and rejects using the scourge as a
pretext to harm the environment and humans.

President Chavez recalled that the United States has used drug
trafficking as an excuse to penetrate countries and harass the
peoples as well as justifying its military presence, as it did in the
past with Communism.

Chavez also accused US Ambassador William Brownfield of telling “a
great lie” that drug traffic increased in Venezuela after it
terminated cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

He added that these ties came to an end because the DEA ran secret
bases and blackmailed police and National Guard to do political
intelligence and support destabilization attempts.

In addition, the true source of drug traffic is the profits the banks
reap by laundering billions in drug money and no one says a word.

After Venezuela ended ties with the DEA, drug confiscation in the
country doubled, and he called on the US to respect the truth and
show respect to the people and government of Venezuela.

hr ccs emw Ml PL-41

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