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Thread: Chavez-Bush Rivalry Threatens To Overshadow Americas Summit

  1. #1
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    Chavez-Bush Rivalry Threatens To Overshadow Americas Summit

    Chavez-Bush rivalry threatens to overshadow Americas summit

    http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx...fx2318307.html

    11.04.2005, 01:32 AM

    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AFX) - US-Venezuelan tensions and protests against US President George Bush Friday threaten to overshadow trade and anti-poverty agendas at a summit of hemispheric leaders in this Argentine resort.

    Some 8,000 security forces were deployed to Mar del Plata for the Summit of the Americas, as several thousand people were expected to march Friday in an anti-Bush rally led by Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a frequent critic of US policies, is expected to speak at a counter-summit, called the People's Summit, organized by the protestors.

    The leftist Chavez and Bush are not expected to hold one-on-one talks at the fourth Summit of the Americas, but their rivalry risks stealing the spotlight from the its agenda.

    Nelson Cunningham, who was former president Bill Clinton Latin America adviser, said he feared the summit would be limited to 'a confrontation between president Bush and president Chavez, which is likely to dominate the headlines, with the US having far fewer allies in that confrontation that we should.'

    While Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, insisted that the summit was 'not about Hugo Chavez,' other US officials have underscored the two nations' differences.

    'Our respective governments have very different visions for the hemisphere,' said Tom Shannon, the chief US diplomat for the Western Hemisphere.

    'It's thus hard to imagine a productive dialogue when the Venezuelan government has repeatedly made clear its negative intentions with respect to the summit and its personal animosity toward the president,' he said.

    Shannon said Bush would work at the summit on a 'positive agenda' to create jobs and 'help the poor and traditionally marginalized group fully join the economic life of their countries.'

    Argentine officials want leaders Friday and Saturday to concentrate on ways of eradicating poverty and creating jobs, but free trade will also figure prominently in the meetings.

    The United States hopes to revive the stalled Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) talks, which it proposed at the first summit in 1994.

    But Latin American countries are divided over the FTAA.

    'Every country or group of countries is standing by their positions and no one is ready to budge,' said a source close to Argentine negotiators.

    A US-led group that includes Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Caribbean nations wants the summit's final declaration to schedule a new round of FTAA negotiations in 2006.

    But the Mercosur trade bloc, which includes regional powerhouse Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, refuses to set a date and instead proposes general wording on economic integration.

    Setting a date 'is more rhetoric than concrete, because no one expects that a paragraph can relaunch negotiations,' said a Brazilian negotiator.

    For his part, Chavez, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has vowed to 'bury' the FTAA. Castro will not attend the summit.

    The summit participants will announce Saturday a series of commitments to combat poverty and unemployment in the Americas.

    The vast Western Hemisphere is a tale of two regions, with Canada and the United States living in prosperity while their southern neighbors struggle to lift their citizens out of poverty.

    Last year, Latin America reported record growth of around 5.5 pct, but poverty affects some 220 million of the region's 512 million residents.

    Worse, some 96 million people in the region survive on less than one dollar per day, according to the United Nations.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
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    The Partridge remix

    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AFX) - US-Venezuelan tensions and protests against US President George Bush Friday threaten to overshadow trade and anti-poverty agendas at a summit of hemispheric leaders in this Argentine resort.

    (Those opposed to the Bush/US Govt/ruling class 'vision' of an entirely subserviant Latin America threathen to expose US double standards in the region, and might highlight a vision based on mutual co-operation and respect, social and economic justice. Of course, it goes without saying that if a few anarchists have a little riot, that will be the focus of our next bulletin)

    Some 8,000 security forces were deployed to Mar del Plata for the Summit of the Americas, as several thousand people were expected to march Friday in an anti-Bush rally led by Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.

    (Cops are being sent in to crack skulls)

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a frequent critic of US policies, is expected to speak at a counter-summit, called the People's Summit, organized by the protestors.

    (Mr Chavez, who isn't willing to be cowed by US imperialism, will speak to those who represent the majority of the Latin American peoples - the poor, the working class and the peasants)


    The leftist Chavez and Bush are not expected to hold one-on-one talks at the fourth Summit of the Americas, but their rivalry risks stealing the spotlight from the its agenda.

    (Chavez might hit Senor Arbusto with a few home truths, and Mr. Prez doesn't like that.)


    Nelson Cunningham, who was former president Bill Clinton Latin America adviser, said he feared the summit would be limited to 'a confrontation between president Bush and president Chavez, which is likely to dominate the headlines, with the US having far fewer allies in that confrontation that we should.'

    (It's not fair!!! Why is Chavez so popular? Waaaaggghhh! Waaaagh!)

    While Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, insisted that the summit was 'not about Hugo Chavez,' other US officials have underscored the two nations' differences.

    'Our respective governments have very different visions for the hemisphere,' said Tom Shannon, the chief US diplomat for the Western Hemisphere.

    'It's thus hard to imagine a productive dialogue when the Venezuelan government has repeatedly made clear its negative intentions with respect to the summit and its personal animosity toward the president,' he said.

    (Chavez is the intransigent one, not us, right? We KNOW whats best for Latin America, and thats whatever we say. So Chavez can go fuck himself and his vision for the region)

    Shannon said Bush would work at the summit on a 'positive agenda' to create jobs and 'help the poor and traditionally marginalized group fully join the economic life of their countries.'

    (Just like we've done since the late 1800s. Just look at the historical record, from the Brazilian dictatorship, to Pinochet to the Contra war. It's been an unmitigated success!)

    Argentine officials want leaders Friday and Saturday to concentrate on ways of eradicating poverty and creating jobs, but free trade will also figure prominently in the meetings.

    The United States hopes to revive the stalled Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) talks, which it proposed at the first summit in 1994.

    (US corporations want to get their grubby little mits on the public sector and agriculutral industries of the region.)


    But Latin American countries are divided over the FTAA.

    'Every country or group of countries is standing by their positions and no one is ready to budge,' said a source close to Argentine negotiators.

    (Some countries leaders don't want to be arse raped by US capitalism, and are standing up, to some extent, for the mandate they were elected on)

    A US-led group that includes Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Caribbean nations wants the summit's final declaration to schedule a new round of FTAA negotiations in 2006.

    But the Mercosur trade bloc, which includes regional powerhouse Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, refuses to set a date and instead proposes general wording on economic integration.

    Setting a date 'is more rhetoric than concrete, because no one expects that a paragraph can relaunch negotiations,' said a Brazilian negotiator.

    For his part, Chavez, a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has vowed to 'bury' the FTAA. Castro will not attend the summit.

    (Castro will not attend, because to the best of my knowledge, he wasn't invited. Cuba is not a part of the OAS, and therefore not welcome)

    The summit participants will announce Saturday a series of commitments to combat poverty and unemployment in the Americas.

    (Some stuff will be 'committed to', but nothing will be done. And those, like Venezulea, who take active steps to use public resources to actually help the public will be vilified by the corporate media and the 'free trade' fetishists)

    The vast Western Hemisphere is a tale of two regions, with Canada and the United States living in prosperity while their southern neighbors struggle to lift their citizens out of poverty.

    (Thanks to 140 years of imperialist exploitation. Go imperialism!)

    Last year, Latin America reported record growth of around 5.5 pct, but poverty affects some 220 million of the region's 512 million residents.

    Worse, some 96 million people in the region survive on less than one dollar per day, according to the United Nations.

    (And FTAA will solve everything! And if you don't think so, then you're probably either a communist, a terrorist, an islamic fundamentalist or worse still, all three - and we'l have to 'take steps'!)

  3. #3
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    nice
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #4
    Partridge Guest
    Fox: Dissenters unneeded for trade zone
    AP


    Mexican President Vicente Fox said Friday that a majority of nations in the Western Hemisphere will consider moving forward with negotiations to create a free trade zone without the participation of dissenting countries like Venezuela.

    Speaking to reporters at the fourth Summit of the Americas, Fox said 29 of the 34 countries participating in the event support such a move. Aside from Venezuela, the dissenting countries include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, Fox said. The latter four countries are all members of the Mercosur trade bloc.

    Top-level negotiators at the summit have failed to agree on key language aimed at renewing talks next April for the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would stretch from Alaska to the tip of South America. The trade zone would eclipse the European Union as the world's largest, but its creation has been stalled for years.

    Fox came to this south Atlantic seaside resort planning to push the FTAA negotiations forward, but told reporters that a bilateral meeting that was scheduled between him and Argentine President Nestor Kirchner for Friday was canceled.


    He said Kirchner "must do more to save this conference."

    Analysts said the results of this summit could crush the hopes of creating a trade zone spanning the Americas, but might nonetheless lead to a large free-trade zone that dissenting countries would be forced to join later. The idea of the FTAA was proposed at the first Americas summit in 1994.

    It could also push forward U.S. moves to create bilateral free trade agreements with some South American countries, said Gary Hufbauer, an economist and senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C.

    "The practical outcome of Fox's statement is to give a green light to U.S. pacts with Colombia and Peru, and perhaps to create a 'small' FTAA: North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Peru and perhaps Bolivia and Ecuador later on - but leaving out Mercosur and Venezuela," Hufbauer said.

    Neither Kirchner nor U.S. President George W. Bush specifically mentioned the free trade zone in a brief appearance for reporters after holding a bilateral meeting Friday morning.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez bitterly opposes the idea of the 34-nation FTAA and has vowed to "bury" it at the Americas Summit.

    The dissenting Mercosur countries do not oppose the FTAA but have been reluctant to set a date at the summit for high-level talks to move forward on negotiations.

    Bush has said the FTAA would generate wealth, create jobs and help lift tens of millions of Latin Americans out of misery.

    About 10,000 protesters who have gathered in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata to protest the summit insist the zone would enslave workers and benefit big American companies.

    The effort to create an FTAA involving every country in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba has made halting progress for years, with Brazil and the United States far apart on key issues - including U.S. protections for American farmers and Brazil's laws covering the protection of intellectual property rights and market access.

    Negotiators missed an original January 2005 deadline for wrapping up the talks even under a scaled-down two-tier approach that has been dubbed "FTAA lite" by critics.

    Fox's declaration on the FTAA also had political significance, Hufbauer said.

    "This is a move by Fox to heal past differences with the United States," he said.

  5. #5
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    Bolivian Leader Slams US Campaign
    Caracas, Nov 4 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian Presidential candidate Evo Morales stated the US is spearheading a campaign in Bolivia to damage the reputation of social movements, according to an interview published by Venezuelan Pax Magazine on Friday.

    Morales, leader of the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement toward Socialism, MAS), asserted that power groups present farmers´ organizations as drug dealers and terrorists.

    These are tactics to discredit social movements, noted Morales, who is favored by surveys to win the December presidential elections.

    The MAS leader said Spanish landowners accounted for most coca growers in colonial times, and it was the US that promoted its cultivation among miners.

    Now they penalize the coca plant when it has become a cultural force that is part of the national identity and economy, he added.

    It is legal for Coca-Cola but illegal for the indigenous population, replied Morales, saying the World Health Organization has proven that coca leaves cause no damage to human beings.

    The indigenous leader also asked why agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency "wear uniforms, carry weapons and suppress demonstrators in Bolivia with impunity."

    He called to re-found the nation to seek justice and equity for an honourable, sovereign and productive country where all people can live, and defended his proposal for a Constitutive Assembly that represents all Bolivians.

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  7. #7
    Partridge Guest

    Well put Diego!


    The 'Hand of God' and Hugo Chavez.

    Bush feels hand of God as poll ratings slump
    The Guardian

    · President's popularity in US reaches all-time low
    · Maradona leads angry protests in Argentina

    America's faith in George Bush and in his decision to go to war in Iraq has plummeted in the wake of a White House intelligence scandal that went to court this week, according to a new poll.As the president encountered violent protests in Argentina at the start of his Latin America tour yesterday, a survey published by the Washington Post and ABC News showed that public confidence was eroding rapidly back home.

    Nearly six in 10 Americans, 58%, said they had doubts about the president's honesty, a 13% rise in 18 months. Only 32% believed Mr Bush was handling ethical issues well, a significantly worse score than Bill Clinton achieved in his last scandal-besmirched year in office. His overall popularity has plunged to 39%, a new low for the Washington Post/ABC survey.Mr Bush is no more popular in Argentina, where a protest by several thousand demonstrators turned ugly. In the coastal city of Mar del Plata, where he is attending a regional summit, protesters set fire to a bank, looted stores and battled riot police.

    Earlier, the tone was struck by the former football star Diego Maradona, who wore a "Stop Bush" T-shirt to an anti-Bush "counter-summit" that drew some 4,000 protesters from around the world and easily eclipsed the official summit in the public's attention. "I'm proud as an Argentine to repudiate the presence of this human trash, George Bush," said Maradona.

    Maradona's anti-Bush sentiment was replicated across a country driven to a near standstill by tens of thousands of people angry at the Iraq war and the US president's push for a region-wide free trade deal. Hospital and subway workers went on strike in Buenos Aires.

    The latest popularity poll was published after Lewis "Scooter" Libby became the first White House aide for 130 years to be indicted in office. He appeared in court on Thursday to plead not guilty to five charges of lying to investigators.

    At its core, the case concerns the evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction assembled by Mr Libby - at the time the vice-president's chief of staff - and other White House officials to justify the war in Iraq. The president's top political adviser, Karl Rove, is still under investigation for his role in the case, which has refocused attention on the WMD debacle.

    According to yesterday's poll, 55% of Americans think the president "intentionally misled the American public" in making the case for war, and 60% now believe it was not worth fighting. Yesterday, Mr Bush was asked whether Mr Rove would keep his job. He refused to discuss the issue on the grounds that the investigation was ongoing.

    "I understand the preoccupation with polls," he said. "The way you build credibility with the American people is to set a clear agenda ... and get the job done. And the agenda I am working now is important to the American people."

    He pointed to the growth of the US economy, but the poll suggested he was facing scepticism there too. Despite a 3.8% growth rate over the past three months, nearly two-thirds of respondents believed the economy was performing poorly.

    Mr Bush is hoping to revive a plan for free trade across the Americas. Yet his economic ideas find few fans in South America, where growing poverty and unemployment are blamed squarely on the free trade policies applied during the past 15 years by regional governments under pressure from the US and the International Monetary Fund.

    "We are marching against the creation of a free trade region in the Americas, against the repayment of the foreign debt and against the militarisation of Latin America," said the Argentinian economist Julio Gambina as he arrived with the marchers at the Mar del Plata sports stadium, where Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez, addressed the "counter-summit". Mr Chávez, possibly Mr Bush's most vociferous detractor in the western hemisphere, left the American president in no doubt about the opposition to his free trade pact, saying: "Every one of us has brought an a shovel, an undertaker's shovel, because here in Mar del Plata is the tomb of [the pact]."

    The 15,000-strong crowd broke out in a roar as Maradona, riding high on his rebirth as Argentina's leading television personality with his own weekly talkshow, embraced Mr Chávez at the microphone and roared: "Argentina has its dignity! Let's throw Bush out of here!".

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