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Und für nächsten Donnerstag:
...und was mache ich eigentlich gegen rassisten?
AKTIONEN UND ANKÜNDIGUNGEN
01 Guatemala - Buchpräsentation 15. 11. 2002
From: "Infoladen Wels" <email@example.com>
Guatemala El Salvador
Niederlagen des Friedens
Buchpräsentation Diskussion mit den AutorInnen
Freitag, 15. November 2002 - 19 Uhr
Infoladen Wels, Spitalhof 3
In Guatemala wurden nach 36 Jahren blutigen Bürgerkriegs im Dezember 1996 die Friedensabkommen zwischen Regierung und URNG unterzeichnet. In El Salvador legte die Guerilla bereits 1992 die Waffen nieder und wechselte in die legale Politik. Dieses politische Reisebuch beleuchtet diverse Auswirkungen des Konflikts auf Gesellschaft und Politik, beschäftigt sich mit der aktuellen Krise der Linken Mittelamerikas und setzt sich kritisch mit Aspekten jener Krise wie etwa Nationalismus, verkürzter Kapitalismuskritik, Antiamerikanismus, Antisemitismus und Rassismus auseinander.
Niederlagen des Friedens. Gespräche und Begegnungen in Guatemala und El Salvador. Von Mary Kreutzer und Thomas Schmidinger. Mit Karikaturen von Camoch. edition wahler 2002.
Thomas Schmidinger, professioneller Nestbeschmutzer und Student der Politikwissenschaften, Wien
Mary Kreutzer, antinationale Kellnerin und Langzeitstudentin an der Uni Wien
Tel. 07242/910432 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Öffnungszeiten: Mi und Do 14 18, Fr 14 - 22, Sa 11 14 Uhr.
02 Veranstaltung: PETRITSCH: VOM KRIEGSVETERAN ZUM AUßENMINISTER?
From: "Antiimp Koord" <email@example.com>
VERANSTALTUNG DER JUGOSLAWISCH-ÖSTERREICHISCHEN SOLIDARITÄTSBEWEGUNG
Mittwoch, 13. November 2002 um 19 Uhr
Podiumsdiskussion im Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8 a in 1070 Wien im großen
Raum unten mit:
Dr. Wolfgang Petritsch (angefragt)
Kurt Köpruner, Buchautor und Jugoslawienspezialist aus Deutschland
Dr. Hannes Hofbauer, Journalist und Verleger aus Wien
Wolfgang Petritsch ist schuldig, weil er als Sonderbeauftragter der
Europäischen Union am Diktat von Rambouillet mitgewirkt hat.
Er ist damit mitverantwortlich für den völkerrechtswidrigen Aggressionskrieg
Wolfgang Petritsch war Kolonialverwalter von Bosnien-Herzegowina und hatte
dort diktatorische Vollmachten.
Sein anvisierter Posten als Außenminister Österreichs ist ein Schlag ins
Gesicht der Demokratie.
Jede Stimme für ihn ist eine Stimme für Krieg und Unterjochung.
Keine Stimme für die Kriegstreiber und NATO-Freunde aller Couleurs!
Antiimperialistische Koordination (AIK)
PF 23, 1040 Wien, Österreich
Tel / Fax +43 1 92 02 083
03 Das Depot-Programm in der Woche von 11. bis 17. November
Liebe FreundInnen des Depot,
sehr geehrte PartnerInnen,
in der Anlage erhalten Sie das Programm des Depot in der kommenden Woche.
Vor-Wahl ist - nach der Kulturpolitik-Diskussion im Depot in dieser Woche - weiterhin ein Thema: die IG Kultur Wien veranstaltet eine Diskussion zur Lage der freien Kulturszene in Wien mit PolitikerInnen der Grünen, der ÖVP und der SPÖ (Mittwoch).
Einen Tag später lädt das Depot gemeinsam mit dem BEIGEWUM NationalratskandidatInnen der SPÖ und der Grünen zum Hearing. Dabei geht es um die Frage, was ein Wahlerfolg der beiden Oppositionsparteien bedeuten könnte.
Am Freitag findet der für dieses Jahr letzte MQ-Rundgang mit Georg Schöllhammer statt. Um Anmeldungen wird gebeten.
Auf einen Besuch freut sich das
Dienstag, 12. November, 19.00
Quer durch Europa versuchen Regierungen Dienstleistungen zu privatisieren, Pensionen und Sozialleistungen zu senken. Der Gesundheits- und Bildungsbereich, die Wasserversorgung, und der öffentliche Verkehr sollen zunehmend am Profit ausgerichtet werden. Angeblicher Sachzwang regiert die Politik, das Dasein wird zur Ware. Doch der Protest wächst. Porto Alegre und das Europäische Sozialforum in Florenz sind lebhafter Aus-druck einer stärker werdenden weltweiten Gegenbewegung.
ATTAC ist Teil davon und setzt sich in seiner Kampagne gegen das GATS (Dienstleistungsabkommen der WTO) gemeinsam mit vielen anderen für die Demokratisierung und Stärkung der Da-seinsvorsorge ein.
Mittwoch, 13. November, 14.30 bis 17.00
Reisen: Klischee und Wirklichkeit
Welches Bild der Entwicklungsländer" wird in den Reisemedien vermittelt und wie wirkt es sich auf das Verhalten der Urlau-berInnen und den Tourismus aus? Der Reisejournalismus dient vorwiegend zur Verkaufsförderung. Aber könnte mit ihm nicht auch eine Sensibilisierung für soziopolitische Zusammenhänge geschaffen werden?
Christina Dany, CR Reisemagazin
Thomas Rottenberg, Der Standard
Dr. Irmgard Strach-Kirchner, CR Südwind-Magazin
Ulla Schickling, Frankfurter Rundschau
Moderation: Helga Neumayer, Frauensolidarität
Eine Veranstaltung gemeinsam mit respect - Zentrum für Tourismus und Entwicklung, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Kuratorium für Journalistenausbildung. Anmeldung: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mittwoch, 13. November, 19.00
Eine Gruppe rund um die Straßenzeitung Augustin schlägt vor, das angeblich Unglück bringende Datum Freitag, der 13." zu nutzen, um auf die Situation der Unterprivilegierten, Marginalisierten und Ausgeschlossenen aufmerksam zu machen. Treffen für InteressentInnen an Maßnahmen für den nächsten Freitag, den 13. im Dezember (im Depot-Café).
Mittwoch, 13. November, 19.00
Rien ne va plus - Nichts geht mehr?
Zur Lage der freien Kulturszene in Wien
Podiumsdiskussion der IG Kultur Wien
Trotz des höchsten Kulturbudgets in der Geschichte der Stadt Wien ist laut MA 7 im Juni schon kaum Geld für die Fiinanzierung von Projekten aus der freien Kulturszene verfügbar. Im Oktober ist die Aussicht auf Finanzierung von Investitions- und Strukturkosten für das nächste Jahr gleich null. Ist dies Abbild der Realität oder Abbild einer beabsichtigten Vorgehensweise?
Marie Ringler, Kultursprecherin der Wiener Grünen
Ernst Woller, Vorsitzender des Kulturausschusses und Kultursprecher der Wiener SPÖ
Peter Marboe, Stadtrat der ÖVP
Moderation: Andrea Schurian, ORF
Donnerstag, 14. November, 20.00
Anspruch und Wirklichkeit? Oder:
Was dürfen wir uns von einer rot-grünen Regierung erwarten?
VertreterInnen des BEIGEWUM, ATTAC und des Sozialstaatsvolksbegehrens fragen Nationalratskandidaten der SPÖ und der Grünen, was sie sich von einer allfälligen Regierungsbeteiligung dieser Parteien erwarten können.
Soziale Bewegungen haben in den letzten Jahren - insbesondere während der Regierungszeit von Blau/Schwarz - wesentliche Schwachstellen in der Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik aufgezeigt: Die einseitige Orientierung in der Budgetpolitik auf einen Fetisch Nulldefizit", die zunehmende Entlastung von VermögensbesitzerInnen, den Rückzug des Staates aus wesentlichen Politikbereichen, die Benachteiligungen von Frauen am Arbeitsmarkt etc. Sowohl die SPÖ als auch die Grünen haben sich in den letzten Jahren der Opposition stark mit den Anliegen dieser Organisationen solidarisch erklärt und sie teilweise zu ihren eigenen gemacht. Die Frage ist, was von dieser Unterstützung auch nach einem möglichen Wahlerfolg übrig bleibt und welche Ideen es zur Umsetzung dieser Anliegen gibt.
Christine Mayrhuber, Obfrau des BEIGEWUM
Sieglinde Rosenberger, Mit-Initiatorin des Sozialstaatsvolksbegehrens
Christian Felber, ATTAC Vorstandsmitglied
Vertreter der SPÖ und der Grünen:
Markus Marterbauer, Kandidat für die SPÖ zum NR
Bruno Rossmann, Kandidat für die Grünen zum NR
Moderation: Christa Schlager, BEIGEWUM Vorstand
Eine Veranstaltung in Zusammenarbeit mit dem BEIGEWUM (Beirat für gesellschafts-, wirtschafts- und umweltpolitische Alternativen)
Freitag, 15. November, 15.00
Der andere MQ-Rundgang
Das Museumsquartier bietet seit Jahren Führungen an, die das Areal von seiner besten Seite zeigen. Es gäbe natürlich auch die Möglichkeit, alles düster und dunkel zu zeichnen. Und es gibt die Chance, an einer Führung teilzunehmen, die unterschiedliche Aspekte gegeneinander abwägt und ursprüngliche Absichten und Entwicklungen mit den Ergebnissen heute in ein Verhältnis setzt.
Georg Schöllhammer, springerin, Wien.
Die Teilnahme an der Führung ist kostenlos. Anmeldung unter 522 76 13 oder email@example.com. Treffpunkt: Depot, Breitegasse 3.
T: 01/522 76 13
F: 01/522 66 42
MELDUNGEN UND KOMMENTARE
04 Betreff: Offene E-mail an Wolfgang Schüssel
Von: Bernhard Kraut <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Von: Bernhard Kraut [mailto:email@example.com]
> Gesendet: Samstag, 9. November 2002 13:51
> An: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Betreff: Offene E-mail an Wolfgang Schüssel: Erinnerungsblatt zur
> österreichischen Nationalratswahl: "In Österreich wird das
> NS-Verbotsgesetz gegen einen kritischen jüdischen Journalisten eingesetzt"
> Sehr geehrter Herr Grasser,
> obgleich Ihre Partei nur noch ein paar Tage eine Regierungspartei sein und
> bei der bevorstehenden Nationalratswahl auf eine für eine Demokratie
> aushaltbare Größe von 0,5 bis maximal 3,9% Wahlstimmenanteil, so ist zu
> hoffen, reduziert werden wird, ist es dennoch notwendig, auf die von dem
> einen oder anderen Ihrer Parteifreunde gerne ins Spiel gebrachten
> "Weltverschwörung" einzugehen, und zwar nicht deshalb, weil es ein
> diskussionswürdiger Beitrag ist, sondern weil es konkrete Auswirkungen auf
> Menschen in Österreich haben kann und hat, und aufgrund der feststellbaren
> Es wird für uns Wähler und Wählerinnen von Interesse sein, von Ihnen, der
> seine Karriere in der Politik und wohl indirekt auch in der Wirtschaft
> (vulgo Frank Stronach) aufgrund seiner politischen Ämter der FPÖ zu
> verdanken hat, hierzu endlich Ihre konkrete ethisch-politische Position zu
> erfahren. Denn als Wähler der ÖVP möchte ich nicht ein Kuckucksei mit
> Die "Ostküste", die Ihr Förderer Dr. Jörg Haider diese Woche wieder einmal
> ins Spiel brachte, ist von Kärnten nur einen zeitgeschichtlichen Steinwurf
> entfernt: 1989 schrieb Kriemhild Trattnig im "Kärntner Grenzland-Jahrbuch
> 1989", für das damals Ihr am heutigen Tag wohl noch aktueller Parteiobmann
> Herbert Haupt die alleinige politische Verantwortung übernahm, schon über
> die "westliche Hochfinanz" in ihrem Artikel unter der Überschrift "Wer
> regiert in Österreich oder Kärnten". Im Schlußbefund des
> "Wissenschaftlergutachtens zum Grenzlandjahrbuch" in der "Forvm"-Ausgabe
> August/September 1989 ist u.a. zu lesen:
> "In einigen Beiträgen finden sich drückende Belege
> expliziter rassistischer, antisemitischer, deutschnationaler sowie (z.T.
> auch früher) nationalsozialistischer Propagandasprache, Etikettierungen,
> Vorurteilsstrukturen und Feindbilder.
> Relevante Konzepte und manipulative Techniken
> rechtsextremer Ideologie sind vertreten: Volksgemeinschaft,
> biologistisch-rassistisch akzentuierter integraler Nationalismus,
> Schaffung von Sündenböcken, Provozierung von Gruppenhaß und Ausgrenzung
> z.B. von Slowenen, Juden, Intellektuellen, Künstlern, Sozialisten,
> Kommunisten usw.; deutschnationales Geschichtsbild, Negierung der
> Ergebnisse der wissenschaftlichen Zeitgeschichte und Politikwissenschaft
> zum Nationalsozialismus, Aufwertung und Verharmlosung faschistischen
> Gedankengutes, Legitimierung bzw. Verharmlosung von Kriegsverbrechen.
> Einige Autoren zeigen in ihren Beiträgen besondere
> Affinität zu (para)nazistischer Sprache, Gedankengut und
> Geschichtsbewußtsein wie Kr. Trattnig, B. Petrei, J. Aichhorn, H.
> Flattner, A. Mölzer, bei einigen Autoren, wie NSDAP-Mitglied P. Petrei,
> dem Salzburger Bücherverbrenner K. Springenschmid, widerspiegelt sich ihre
> biographische Kontinuität in der Kontinuität ihrer Sprache und ihrem heute
> noch von ihnen vertretenen weltanschaulichen Positionen.
> NS-Verklärung: Nirgends wird die Legitimität des
> NS-Regimes in Frage gestellt, dessen inhärent verbrecherischer Charakter
> angesprochen, nicht ein einziges Mal kommt die Seite der NS-Opfer in den
> Blick, statt dessen wuchern unreflektierte Heroisierung und Verklärung der
> Wie konkret diese Weltdeutung einen Menschen in einem von ÖVP und FPÖ
> regierten Österreich des Jahres 2002 persönlich betreffen kann, soll Ihnen
> die folgende von Karl Pfeifer aktuell erstellte Zusammenfassung über seine
> Erfahrungen mit der österreichischen Justiz schildern:
> In Österreich wird das NS-Verbotsgesetz gegen einen
> kritischen jüdischen Journalisten eingesetzt
> Andreas Mölzer schrieb in einem Bettelbrief an die Bezieher
> "Zur Zeit" im Februar 2001 u.a.: "Der langjährige Redakteur
> der Zeitschrift
> der israelitschen Kultusgemeinde Karl Pfeifer wurdeaus Anlaß
> des Todes von
> Prof. Pfeifenberger in den Reihen jener Jagdgesellschaft
> die den konservativen Politikwissenschafter in den
> getrieben hat. Gegen Pfeifenberger sollte bekanntlich ein
> Gerichtsverfahren wegen NS-Wiederbetätigung wegen seiner
> Aussagen im "Freiheitlichen Jahrbuch 1995" eröffnet werden.
> Der jüdische Journalist Karl Pfeifer hatte dies als
> denunziert und damit die juristische Lawine gegen
> ausgelöst. Als Zur Zeit es wagte, dies aus Anlaß des
> Selbstmordes aufzuzeigen, klagte Pfeifer."
> Das Oberlandesgericht Wien (18Bs 184/02) schließt sich
> Argumentation an: Die Kernsätze im von Dr. Werner Röggla
> Unterzeichneten Urteil - das im Oktober schriftlich vorlag -
> lauten: "Im
> gegenständlichen Fall hat der Privatankläger und
> Antragsteller [Karl
> Pfeifer] Prof. Pfeifenberger zunächst vorgeworfen, sein
> Artikel im "Freiheitlichen
> Jahrbuch" würde "Nazitöne" enthalten und er betreibe "die
> Verherrlichung der Volksgemeinschaft", was der Vorwurf
> nach § 3 VG ist. Dementsprechend scharf darf auch die Kritik
> an diesem Vorwurf (und deren Folgen) sein."
> Ohne auf die rechtlichen Probleme dieses Urteil
> einzugehen, ist folgendes zu bemerken:
> 1) Der gleiche Richter Dr. Röggla hat in seinemUrteil
> für Strafsachen Wien, 1997, 9bE Vr 4166/95, Hv 2466/95)
> mit keinem Wort das Verbotsgesetz erwähnt, sondern u.a.
> "daß die vom Beschuldigten gezogenen Schlüsse aus dem
> Prof. Dr. Werner Pfeifenbergers wahr sind." (S. 9) weiters
> "Die Bewertung des Beschuldigten hat sich (sogar)als wahr
> erwiesen... daß
> von Karl Pfeifer eine auf Tatsachen basierendezulässige
> Kritik geübt wurde."
> 2) Im Urteil des Handelsgerichtes Wien 1997(Dr. Friedrich
> Heigl, 35 Cg
> 35/95a-21) heißt es: "Vor dem Hintergrund der Geschichte des
> 20. Jahrhunderts, ist es
> wichtig, den Anfängen zu wehren und Artikel wie jene des
> aufzuzeigen und zu kommentieren."
> 3) Das Oberlandesgericht Wien (18 Bs 7/98) hat sowohl den
> Freispruch des Handelsgerichts wie auch das des
> Landesgerichts für
> Strafsachen 1998 bestätigt.
> 4) Es ist nicht zu akzeptieren, dass in diesendrei Urteilen
> in der Sache
> Pfeifenberger gg Pfeifer kein einziges Mal das Verbotsgesetz
> wird und nun Dr. Röggla dieses heranzieht, um damit die
> der Berufung zu begründen. Auch hat Pfeifer in seiner
> Rezension (Die Gemeinde, 3. Feber 1995) das Verbotsgesetz
> nicht erwähnt,
> geschweige denn eine Anklage gefordert.
> 5) Offensichtlich haben weder das Landesgericht für
> Strafsachen, noch
> das Handelsgericht oder das OLG 1998 eine derartige Anklage
> Dr. Pfeifenberger für erforderlich gehalten.
> 6) Karl Pfeifer schrieb in seiner Rezension folgenden Satz:
> "Freilich kann die
> Verherrlichung der "Volksgemeinschaft" durch Pfeifenberger
> auch als
> Vorbereitung für die "Dritte Republik" und die von Jörg
> Haider gewünschte
> "Abschaffung der repräsentativen Demokratie" gesehen
> Wenn dieser Satz wirklich "der Vorwurf nach § 3 VG ist",
> dann ist die Frage
> zu stellen, weshalb Dr. Röggla diesen Satz in seinem Urteil
> 1997 nicht
> erwähnt hat.
> Sind Sie, Herr Grasser, nicht ebenfalls der Ansicht, Karl Pfeifer müßte
> seine Zeit nicht auf österreichischen Gerichten zubringen, würde es einen
> "ordentlichen und anständigen" Umgang mit der Zeitgeschichte von allen
> auch in der FPÖ geben, die ja in anderen Bereichen gerne und oft
> "Ordentlichkeit und Anständigkeit" einfordern?
> Da Sie für die FPÖ bereits seit 1992 in verantwortungsvollen Positionen
> tätig sind, ist von Ihnen, Herr Grasser, eine tatsächliche und seit zehn
> Jahren längst überfällige Klarstellung nicht nur verbal gefordert, sondern
> endlich auch durch Handlungen glaubwürdig zu machen. Eine gute Gelegenheit
> dazu wäre, in der Rechtssache Karl Pfeifer gegen Andreas Mölzer Herrn
> Pfeifer aktiv zu unterstützen, auch auf die Gefahr hin, daß Ihr neuer
> Förderer Sie dann nicht mehr als Finanzminister haben möchte, unterstützt
> doch diese von Dr. Wolfang Schüssel stumm geführte Regierung, der auch Sie
> angehören, von Jahr zu Jahr mit mehr Steuergeld die Wochenzeitung "ZZ" von
> Andreas Mölzer.
> Abschließend möchte ich mich bei allen Adressaten für die sich nun ein
> wenig gehäuften offenen E-mails entschuldigen, aber meines Erachtens ist
> es konstruktiver, vor der Nationalratswahl auch diese Fragen in bezug auf
> die Wählbarkeit von Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel und der von ihm geführten ÖVP
> vorzubringen. Lassen Sie es mich bitte dennoch wissen, wenn ich Sie aus
> dem Verteiler nehmen soll; denn möglicherweise wird die eine oder andere
> offene E-Mail bis zum 24. November 2002 noch notwendig sein - dafür aber,
> so ist zu hoffen, danach keine mehr.
> Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
> Bernhard Kraut
05 November 9 to 10, 1938 Innsbruck - judenpogrom.at
From: "M. Muehlmann - Judenpogrom" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Orte des Judenpogroms in Innsbruck, Tirol, Österreich - updated 03.11.2002
Virtuelle Stadtrundfahrt zu den Schauplätzen des Judenpogroms in Innsbruck vom 9. auf den 10. November 1938
Sites of the Pogrom against the Jewish People in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria - updated 03.11.2002Virtual City Tour of the Main Sites of the Pogrom during the Night of November 9 to November 10, 1938
06 Iraq Liaison Update No 8
From: "No War on Iraq Liaison Group" <email@example.com>
No War on Iraq Liaison news release
below and attached, please circulate
UN resolution is war resolution says MP
Alice Mahon MP today issued a strong condemnation of the British governments role in procuring support for the United States resolution on Iraq that is currently before the United Nations Security Council.
President Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq and the British government continues to support him, she said.
Alice Mahon MP said: The resolution before the UN Security Council is a war resolution, full of trip wires designed to ensure military action takes place. And we can be confident that the United States intends to make sure that happens.
Shamefully, with the help of the British government, the consensus that Jack Straw claims is emerging on Iraq is built on bullying and bribery. Security Council members will be falling in line behind the USA either because they see no alternative to doing so, because their economies cannot withstand the loss of aid or trade, or because they have been promised a cut of the war spoils oil, which is what this conflict is all about.
When the Security Council votes, weaker and poorer members such as Mauritius will be recalling the plight of Yemen which lost $70 million worth of aid after it voted against the 1990 resolution authorising the Gulf War while members like France will no doubt be calculating their percentage share of Iraqs oil business.
President Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq and the British government is as determined as ever to support him.
07 RAWNEWS on Latin America - 9/11/02
From: "RAWNEWS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RAWNEWS on Latin America - 9/11/02
1) It's a New Day, and Brazil Wants a New Deal - Los Angeles Times
2) Thousands march in Ecuador's capital in protest ahead of free trade talks - Associated Press
3) RESISTANCE TO FTAA - Eyewitness report from Quito, Ecuador
4) NO TO FASCISM IN COLOMBIA - Colombia Solidarity Campaign
5) ECLAC report: Social Panorama of Latin America 2001-2002
6) Future of migration accord in doubt after GOP victory in U.S. elections - THE NEWS MEXICO.COM
It's a New Day, and Brazil Wants a New Deal
Los Angeles Times - November 1, 2002 - by Mark Weisbrot
Last Sunday's election in Brazil should send a message to Washington's
economists and policymakers that their prescriptions for economic progress
are no longer viable. But these people are slow learners.
The conventional wisdom among economists is that Brazil faces a grave
danger: that the Workers' Party government of the victorious Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva might deviate from the orthodox economic policies of the past,
causing a financial and economic disaster.
Most of the financial news reporting in the near future will center on
whether Lula can gain the trust of the financial markets by convincing them
that he will continue the economic policies of his predecessor.
But this stands the world on its head. It is the current set of economic
policies that have directly caused Brazil's current problems.
Over the last eight years of the administration of Fernando Henrique
Cardoso, Brazil's public debt swelled from 29% to more than 62% of gross
domestic product. This is mostly because of very high interest rates: The
average after-inflation rate of interest on the public debt has been more
than 16% annually. This rate of debt accumulation is not sustainable; either
interest rates will have to come down or the government will have to
renegotiate its debt.
But the economists of the International Monetary Fund, who came through in
September with a $30-billion loan package, have not offered assistance for
either strategy. Instead, they have used this loan to try to lock Brazil
into the same high-interest-rate, budget-austerity, low-growth policies of
the past. The short-term rate set by Brazil's Central Bank is 21%, one of
the highest in the world.
Imagine if our own Federal Reserve set interest rates that high instead of
the current 1.75%; nobody would be able to afford a home mortgage loan.
Brazil used to have one of the fastest-growing economies in the world: From
1960 to 1980, its income per person grew by 141%. Since 1980 it has hardly
grown at all. Over the last eight years, income per person has grown about a
modest 1.3% annually, and the economy has accumulated a high level of
foreign debt in addition to the public debt buildup. The $100 billion in
privatizations over the last eight years have not seemed to help Brazil with
its debt or with economic growth.
What is true for the Brazilian economy also is true for the Latin American
region as a whole.
It is one thing for a regional economy to undergo a cyclical downturn; it is
quite rare, in modern economic history, for the average person to be no
better off -- and, given changes in Latin America's distribution of income
and wealth, probably worse off -- than he was two decades earlier.
One would think that a prolonged economic failure of this magnitude might
cause its architects to reconsider their policy prescriptions. There could
be a healthy debate about what has gone wrong and what policies need to be
changed. Yet there has been very little of that within the IMF, which is the
leader among policymaking institutions, or within the economics profession.
Rather, the great fear among economists, echoed on Wall Street and in most
of the media, is that Brazil and Latin America will abandon the
"free-market" policies adopted over the last 20 years, including the
proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas.
In 1932, during the Great Depression, the American electorate overrode the
business community and the economics profession by choosing Franklin D.
Roosevelt as president. The Brazilians now have demanded a New Deal for
their own country of 175 million people. Other countries are likely to
The IMF and the U.S. government should step back and not interfere rather
than try to defend the economic orthodoxy that has put Brazil into its
Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
in Washington. Web site: www.cepr.net.
Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times
Thousands march in Ecuador's capital in protest ahead of free trade talks
Associated Press.- October 31, 2002, Thursday - By EDISON LOPEZ
Thousands of demonstrators marched in Ecuador's capital Thursday to protest
free trade talks scheduled for Friday, setting off clashes at police
Police fired tear gas to disperse several groups that tried to get by 500
policemen blocking access to a hotel where some 900 business leaders from
across the Americas held related meetings before the talks. "No to the FTAA,
no to imperialism," read signs carried by protesters, who included Indians
in traditional clothing and university students.
Demonstrators have been descending on Quito from across Latin America all
week ahead of Friday's meeting between ministers and representatives from 34
nations to debate the so-called Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA.
The trade agreement would create a free trade zone in 2005 throughout the
Americas, excluding Cuba. While supporters see it as a way out of poverty in
the hemisphere, opponents say American companies will use market access to
steamroll Latin American competition.
In response to growing demonstrations, Ecuadorean authorities have assigned
more than 5,000 police agents to provide protection for the gathering and
have dispatched elite police teams to boost security at the U.S. Embassy.
Business leaders from smaller economies in Latin America and the Caribbean
said they want the United States to drop agricultural subsidies and import
tariffs as part of the agreement. They want Friday's negotiations and final
agreements to include compensation that will strengthen their weaker
RESISTANCE TO FTAA - Eyewitness report from Quito, Ecuador
This report features sounds, music and interviews from the Hemispheric day of action against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) on October 31st. Listen to interviews from the street with participants in the Student Strike of Montreal which brought out over 10,000 participants. Listen also to an interview with Justin Ruben an organizer in Quito Ecuador, who speaks about the Quito mobilization and the Hemispheric movement to stop the FTAA.
-> To listen to the report of the Hemispheric day of action visit: http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=5707
-> For more information about the Quito mobilization visit: http://www.ecuador.indymedia.org/
-> For more information about the Montreal Student Strike visit: http://www.montreal.indymedia.org
-> For general information about the Hemispheric anti-FTAA campaign visit: http://www.stopftaa.org
Report from Justin Ruben in Quito
Please accept this [unedited] bulletin from the edge of consciousness. I don't know whether I feel like crying because I am so moved by what I saw today, because my mucous membranes are all shot to hell from too much tear gas, or out of sheer exhaustion. But I want to get this out while it is still fresh in my mind, and tomorrow will be another insane day.
Tonight I watched some of the most oppressed people in this world confront some of the most influential. Tonight I watched a group of poor farmers, indigenous people, and workers speak, shout, sing truth to power. Tonight, I think, I think, although we will not know for a few days, I watched the terrain of hemispheric politics shift before my eyes. I feel so inspired, and so humbled.
When the day started, I was 20km south of Quito with maybe 300 indigenas, one of two protest caravans that had crossed the country spreading the word about the protest against the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit in Quito. As we crowded into buses to head north, I called the other caravan, who reported that they had 80 people. "And this is how it ends," I thought. 4 months of work, promising reporters, funders, countless activists in North America that thousands of people would come to disrupt the FTAA ministerial meeting. And we were going to end up with 500 people rallying in a park. But soon after we got down off the buses and began a 15km trek to Quito, the number of people seemed to mysteriously increase, as buses from the South caught up with us and disgorged fresh groups of protesters.
The procession was a riot of color, filled with red and blue ponchos and hundreds of rainbow flags (the symbol of the Andean indigenous and campesino movements). People lined the street to watch as it passed by. One shopkeeper explained to me that the indigenous people were like burros, dragging along the rest of the country, who were also opposed to the FTAA because it would devastate the Ecuadorian economy, but who let the indigenous movement carry the torch for their opposition. Old women chanted ceaselessly for four hours, "No queremos, y no nos da la gana, ser una colonia, norteamericana," (We don't want, and it doesn't do us any good, to be a North American colony). One group of Bolivians, led by Evo Morales, the coca-grower who almost became president there, marched with coca leaves taped to their foreheads.
When we finally reached our destination in Quito, we rounded the corner and found not 80 but somewhere between 2 and 6,000 people waiting. As the two groups approached each other, people on each side were visibly stirred, and some began to run. At this point, I realized that after 4 months of frantic organizing, the mobilization was a reality, that whatever happened we had already won, that thousands of campesinos and indigenas had come to Quito to unequivocally reject U.S.-style 'free'
trade. And I simply began to bawl.
Our group didn't even pause, but continued straight toward the Marriott Hotel, where the 34 trade ministers from North and South America were arriving to negotiate a treaty that promises to wipe out small farmers, to hand corporations a sweeping new set of tools to evade environmental, consumer and labor laws, to force the privatization of water, health care, education, culture, and biodiversity. In other words, a really crappy treaty.
As we headed north we were joined by large groups of campesinos, students, trade unionists, and international activists who had already been fighting running battles with the police, who were attempting to turn everyone back several kilometers from the Summit.
The march was led by a line of campesino and indigenous leaders ("dirigentes"), walking arm-in-arm, preceded by a Shaman conducting rites to improve the success of our efforts. Soon we were stopped by several hundred riot police. The dirigentes asked to send a elegation of civil society groups in to the summit to present a giant letter made up of the proposals and demands of thousands of people who had joined the caravans along their route. They were soundly refused
So the dirigentes deliberated and decided to head west toward the Volcan Pichincha. As we rounded the corner we saw a thousand or more people ahead of us. More groups drifted in from the sides, and soon la Avenida Colon, one of Quito's widest streets, was packed for perhaps 8 or 10 blocks, with more people out of sight. There must have been between 8 and 15,000 people. There were giant puppets, a smattering of black-clad anarchists, a surprising number of international activists and lots and lots of campesinos: 75 year-old women, small children, 20 year olds who wanted nothing to do with traditional dress, mothers and teenage sons marching together. And they were all psyched.
As the most important social movement dirigentes approached the Avenida Amazonas, the police opened fire with a LOT of tear gas. They shot it at the crowd and over the crowd, so that as people ran away, they ran into more gas. I walked until I couldnÕt see or breathe, then began to run,by then someone grabbed my hand and led me away (Why do I never carry goggles to these things?) The president of the National Judicial Workers Union was hit with three tear gas cannisters and taken to the hospital. Several young kids passed out and almost asphyxiated. One woman fell on her baby, who was injured and taken to the hospital. A reminder that 'free' trade can only proceed via brutal repression, which is now so commonplace at trade summits that it hardly elicits comment.
And so people retreated to the south to regroup, and I retreated to the communications center to try to get the word out about the success of the mobilization, and its repression.
At 6 PM, folks decided to try once more to deliver their giant letter, this time at the Suissotel, where the trade ministers were meeting with assorted CEOÕs and trade lobbyists at the 7th Americas Business Forum. As a strategy to boost legitimacy and head off disruptive protests, the government had already made offered to allow a couple civil society representatives to address the ministers. On these terms, the indigenous and campesino groups had refused. But tonight, 2000 people marched up to
police barricades, where they demanded that a much larger delegation be allowed in to deliver the letter.
Clearly hoping to avoid the kind of confrontations that have occurred in past uprisings here, the government allowed 40 people from across the hemisphere to come in and meet with the ministers.
Hearing this was going on, I ran to the hotel, easily passing through several police lines because I have press credentials for the summit. In the lobby I simply asked "Where are they?" and several people pointed down. Once in the basement, I followed the shouting until I reached an auditorium where 25 or so trade ministers sat uncomfortably on stage while 40 campesinos chanted that they had no desire to be a U.S. colony. Peter Rossett of Food First stood up, his arm in a rainbow colored sling thanks
to a protest injury. He yelled to Bob Zoellick, the U.S. Trade Representative, that he should be ashamed for pushing an agreement that would impoverish Latin Americans, not to mention many U.S. citizens. Zoellick stared fixedly at his shoe. It was a scene that is, I think, pretty much unprecedented in the history of trade negotiations.
Soon the civil society presentations began. A line of people fanned out in front of the ministers (and TV cameras) holding signs that said "Si a la vida, No al ALCA" (Yes to life, No to the FTAA). Behind the podium stood an indigenous representative holding a beautifully painted inca sun with North America and South America, and the words "Si Una Integracion Solidaria Con Respecto a la Soberania de los Naciones" (Yes to an integration based on solidarity, with respect for the sovereignty of nations).
The first speakers were representatives of an international meeting of parliament and congress members from across the hemisphere. They condemned the FTAA process, and called for an alternative integration, one that respects the needs and particular situations of the people of each country.
Next came several representatives of a "civil society" forum organized by a number of pro-neoliberal NGO's with close ties to the government. Their proposals were generally tepid, but they were for the most part drowned out by the crowd. (When one speaker asked that the FTAA process be opened up to include civil society observers, the whole crowd responded by chanting, "Plebiscito, Plebiscito").
Finally, the social movement representatives spoke. Leonidas Iza, the President of the CONAIE (the Ecuadorian indigenous federation), stated the social movements' clear rejection of the FTAA and of neoliberalism in general. "We are in desperate shape," he told the ministers. "You couldn't possibly understand, you who were born in golden cradles and have never suffered" (at this the ministers looked even more uncomfortable). "But we don't have food to feed our children. Our markets are flooded with cheap imports. Imported milk is dumped in Ecuador for half of what it costs to produce it, but transnationals [mostly Nestle] sell it back to us at $1.80 per litre. We have no way to live, and the FTAA will only make it worse. When we complain, the U.S. government calls us terrorists. We are not threatening anything, but we are hungry and tired and things have to change.Ó In the wake of widening protest throughout Latin America, the message was not lost on anyone.
Then a woman worker from Nicaragua spoke powerfully of the details of the FTAA, of the privatizations and poverty and social exclusion it would bring, particularly for women. "Don't think you can simply take your picture with us and push forward," she told the ministers. We will stop the FTAA.
The meeting ended and, unable to contain myself, I stood up and shouted in English and then in Spanish that never again could Bob Zoellick claim that the people of Latin America were clamoring for free trade, because today they had unequivocally rejected it. Then Peter Rossett chimed in that polls consistently showed that the majority of U.S citizens oppose free trade, and that the Bush administration had no right and no mandate to push forward with the FTAA. There were loud cheers, and the moderator hurriedly announced that the ministers were leaving and could we please sit down so they could leave. "NO!" screamed the civil society folks in unison, and they pushed out the door, leaving the ministers sitting on stage.
And, at that moment, I felt something shift. I realized that (unless the media bury this entirely despite our best efforts to get the word out, which is always possible) the FTAA has in 24 hours gone from something whose praises its proponents sing, to something they have to defend. Like the WTO before it, the FTAA has become the treaty that has to be sold to an America that doesn't want it. Or so I hope. I hope I hope I hope. This is how it feels here. But it may be different elsewhere.
If I am right, the hemispheric resistance to free trade and the FTAA has taken a huge step forward, even if this is but one day in a long struggle in which many more battles will be fought. Tonight's show of force may also strengthen the resolve of poor countries in the negotiations that follow here, which will piss off the U.S. and make it harder to reach agreement. In any case, it was a beautiful day for some of the nation's most powerful social movements. Not to mention a shitty day for Bob Zoellick and his buddies in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
We marched out of the Suissotel, reached the police barricades and were greeted by hundreds of cheering protesters, who had been dancing to traditional Kichwa music while we were inside. Then the partying began, and it is still going 5 hours later (these folks are not lightweights when it comes to cane liquor). I just said goodbye to a compa-era from one of the rural provinces of the Sierra, a woman I met when I was giving workshops on the FTAA several months ago. I asked her what she thought of
the day's events, and she said, "I am happy. Very happy. This was the first time I have ever done this, and I think today we achieved something important, something that will improve our lives. And now I can go back to my children."
I am so proud, so proud and amazed by the incredible work people have done here over the last few months, so moved by their commitment to this struggle, so humbled by the generosity, patience, tolerance, and trust they have shown me. I am so honored to be part of this fast-coalescing hemispheric movement for a new economic and political order, one based on reciprocity and social justice, on true democracy and respect for human and natural diversity And IÕm so happy to be going to sleep.
Justin Ruben is a US activist who has been working with campesino groups mobilizing against the FTAA in Quito, Ecuador.
NO TO FASCISM IN COLOMBIA
Vigil on International Human Rights Day
4pm - 7pm Tuesday 10th December 2002
BP Headquarters, Finsbury Circus London EC2
(nearest tubes Moorgate and Liverpool Street)
We call on all democratic people to join us on 10th December, International Human Rights Day, in nationwide vigils calling attention to the devastation of life in Colombia. Colombia has the worst human rights record of any country in the western hemisphere, and it now hovers on the brink of fascism.
The horrific scale of the violence goes unreported in the mainstream media. In Colombia:
last year 201 trade unionists were assassinated or 'disappeared', 90% of all such killings worldwide. The rate has increased this year, with 118 trade unionists murdered to the beginning of September
Amnesty International estimates that 20 people are killed every day due to political violence
The main perpetrators are right wing paramilitary death squads who are linked to the army and who carry out massacres and targeted assassinations with impunity from prosecution
There are over 2.5 million Colombians displaced from their homes due to violence, one third of Afro-Colombians have been driven off their land and displaced women especially suffer violations.
The Colombian people are suffering under the grip of the World Bank and the IMF
Like most of Latin America, Africa and Asia the Colombian economy has been plundered for centuries. Since 1990 the imposition of the 'neo-liberal model' - a Thatcherite mix of privatisations, markets rigged for the benefit of the multinationals, slashed social services and attacks on the right to organise - has driven the country to its worst ever economic crisis. Only a quarter of the working population have a regular job, only 43% of Colombians have access to health care, and at least 68% live in absolute poverty.
Any form of social protest is met by official and unofficial repression. Despite the death threats there is widespread resistance from unions and communities. Public service workers in SINTRAEMCALI occupied to stop the sell-off of water, electricity and telephones, the U'wa people have blocked the robbery of their oil, and there have been united general strikes on 16th September and 30th October.
Under new President Álvaro UribeVélez the human rights violations are even worse
The son of a landlord narco-trafficker, friend of dodgy businessmen and a long time promoter of official support for the right-wing paramilitaries, Uribe was elected by just one quarter of all Colombians. He aims to double the size of the armed forces, recruit hundreds of thousands of village guards and create a network of one million informers - all in the name of 'democratic security' to defeat the social movements and the guerrillas of the FARC and the ELN. Uribe refuses to seek a political solution to the conflict. He has introduced measures that take Colombia down the road of dictatorship. His ministers state openly that they must curtail democratic rights. After his inauguration Uribe immediately declared a 'State of Internal Unrest' allowing rule by presidential decree, bypassing Congress and sowing fear amongst the people.
Uribe's Decree 2002 was issued on 10th September with provisions to establish 'Zones of Rehabilitation and Consolidation', whole regions under direct military rule with the army and police empowered to move residents, establish roadblocks, raid homes and make arrests without a warrant. Already in these zones:
the army is carrying out mass arrests and has set up detention centres for thousands of captives
the armed forces are acting without any restraint or oversight by official watchdogs. For example, the Prosecutor in Sucre says that enquiries concerning human rights violations cannot be answered before 12 February 2003
foreign journalists are restricted and international observers are denied access.
Uribe - Bush's main man in Latin America
The USA has spent $2.3 billion in military aid to Colombia, more than the rest of Latin America combined. The US military intervention programme was first called Plan Colombia and then the Andean Regional Initiative, supposedly for the war on drugs. Two years of fumigations have caused massive ecological damage in Colombia's Amazon region, contaminating all flora and fauna, inflicting serious health problems on hundreds of thousands of peasants and forcing them off their land. Three new battalions and eighty helicopter gunships later and the USA now admits that it has barely dented the supply of cocaine. But this was always an excuse to justify intervention.
Direct US involvement is growing. Officially there are 400 US armed forces and 400 civilian contractors in Colombia, in fact there are up to 2,000 US personnel at any one time including special forces teams, Green Berets, military intelligence, top advisers, trainers and satellite station staff. US spy planes fly over Colombia 24 hours a day, a US trained unit called the Urban Anti-Terrorist Force smashed into a working class district of Medellin killing ten people and making over 200 arrests.
In exchange for Washington's weapons of mass destruction, the Colombian government has agreed that any US forces in Colombia will be immune from prosecution by the International Criminal Court. And Uribe is helping Bush to force through the Free Trade Area of the Americas which will subject the whole of South America to US commercial domination. Popular resistance is pushing Latin governments to make a stand for a fairer deal, but at every turn Uribe takes Washington's side.
Behind the Violations is the Drive for Oil ...led by Britain's richest company BP
US oil company Chevron is prospecting in the Zone of Rehabilitation and Consolidation covering Sucre and Bolívar departments, and another US multinational Occidental Petroleum has big investments in Arauca department. Arauca, as well as being declared a special zone, will see US troops arriving in November to establish a new battalion to protect Occidental's pipeline.
BP is the biggest foreign investor in Colombia. Through its management of the Casanare oilfields, BP controls over half of the country's crude oil production. Its human rights and environmental impact has been disgraceful. There is no trade union organisation in BP's oilfield. BP uses a shadowy private security operator Defense Systems Limited, and it makes payments to the 16th Brigade of the Colombian army that has been involved in human rights abuses. Yet BP has refused to pay just compensation to hundreds of peasants forced off their land by its OCENSA pipeline and who now live in complete destitution.
Occidental, Texaco and BP are members of the "US Colombia Business Partnership" a grouping that lobbied in Washington for Plan Colombia. Altogether BP and other oil companies have spent $25 million pushing for US military intervention to protect their investments. And now BP's interests have led the British government into backing Uribe and his crackdown on the Colombian people.
It is high time that respect for human rights and not BP's profits formed the basis of policy.
I/we would like more information/ join / donate funds to the 'Colombia Solidarity Campaign':
Name................................................................ Telephone/email ....................................................
Return to: Colombia Solidarity Campaign, PO Box 8446, London N17 6NZ.
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk
Press Release - ECLAC report: Social Panorama of Latin America 2001-2002
If the region's economy contracts as all the indicators suggest (by
around -0.8%), poverty is expected to rise this year to 44%, indigence to
20%. As in 2001, this greater increase will be particularly pronounced in
Argentina, with important increases in Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay as
well. It is likely that only in Peru and the Dominican Republic the poverty
level will fall slightly.
Projections for 2002 suggest that the number of people living in poverty
will rise by about 7 million, of which 6 million are indigents. These
figures, however, do not reflect a proportionate rise in poverty spread
across the region's 18 countries, but rather the impact in the region as a
whole of a significant increase in poverty in Argentina.
Toward 1997, Latin America saw the end of a growth cycle that, with some
fluctuations, permitted many countries to make significant progress toward
reducing poverty. But in the two years since 2000, when the number of poor
people was estimated to have reached 206.7 million, the region has performed
more poorly than desired, with very low growth rates in per capita output,
which even became negative in some countries. More sluggish economies and
more volatile growth caused unemployment to rise and hampered progress or
even brought regression in income distribution, which has once again pushed
the region's poverty indices upward.
Following the decline in economic growth, poverty and indigence in Latin
American countries seems to have declined in 2000, before rising
significantly in 2001 and 2002.
The current issue of Panorama Social reviews the feasibility of meeting the
United Nations target, expressed in the Millennium Declaration, of cutting
extreme poverty around the world by half between 1990 and 2015. Progress to
date is uneven, given that while some countries have already met their
target, others have fallen even further behind.
The most favourable situation has occurred in Chile and Panama, both of
which successfully cut extreme poverty by half in 2000, while Brazil, the
Dominican Republic and Uruguay managed some partial but significant progress
toward the target, reaching more than 95% in the case of the first two
countries and 82% in the case of the third. Similarly, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua have advanced toward meeting about
40% of the target, while Bolivia, Honduras and Peru have also made some
progress, but too slowly to meet the target by period's end, if they
continue at the same pace. Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela, where
the levels of extreme poverty in 2000 were higher than those in 1990, face a
more complex situation.
According to ECLAC calculations, to cut extreme poverty in half toward 2015,
the region's total output would have to rise by 2.7% per year for 15 years,
that is, 5.7% for the countries with the most poverty, 2.7% for those in the
mid-range, and 2.5% for those with the least poverty. In terms of reducing
total poverty by half, a target that in principle is more in line with the
region's degree of development, the possibilities are practically
non-existent for some of the poorest countries, because these would require
growth rates well beyond their past performance.
ECLAC underlines the need to resort to economic and social policies that
reinforce the possibilities of expanding the productive base, but at the
same time involve the progressive redistribution of income, which allows
economic growth to improve the standard of living of the population with the
least resources more quickly.
Because of the importance of income distribution in Latin America in the
fight against poverty, Social Panorama analyzed the income structure
underlying the region's patterns of concentration. Last year's report found
that distribution in the region was among the most unequal in the world.
Household Heads Still Main Providers
An analysis of income breakdown indicates the enormous importance of
work-related income (wages and profits) in most households. In 1999, these
accounted for an average of 63% (in Brazil) to 90% (in Ecuador and
Nicaragua) of total household income, with its share reaching over 80% in 11
Of all the income from the labour market, wages are the most important, as
well as constituting the least concentrated source of income, followed by
income for those self-employed. Similarly, transfers, mainly in the form of
pensions paid out by pension systems, constitute an important source of
household income, averaging around 13% of total income. In almost every
case, income from property is the smallest source of resources.
One constant in every country: household heads continued to be the main
income providers, although their contribution fell during the 1990s.
Similarly, the percentage of household income provided by women rose
significantly, comparatively speaking, and today represents 32%. Finally, in
the specific case of work income, the contribution of young people from 15
to 24 years of age reached 12.5%, while for those over 65 years, it averaged
A breakdown of family income confirms that the possibilities of correcting
distributive problems through direct intervention are limited and, except
for public transfers, an improvement is only apparent over the long term.
Because of this, ECLAC recommends that governments take advantage of the
relatively slim margin for action that they have to encourage improved
income distribution, if they seek to improve the living standards of the
poorest sectors more quickly and thus meet the goal of cutting their numbers
by half by 2015.
Future of migration accord in doubt after GOP victory in U.S. elections
THE NEWS MEXICO.COM:
Michael O'Boyle, The News Staff - 11/7/2002
Following the Republican's victory in U.S. midterm elections, Mexico will relaunch its efforts to clinch a migration accord, but analysts doubt either U.S. President George W. Bush or a conservative U.S. Congress will accede.
Officials from the Foreign Relations Secretariat on Tuesday said Mexico would renew efforts to strike a deal with Washington to regularize millions of Mexicans living illegally in the United States and expand legal opportunities for the tens of thousands who slip across the Mexico-U.S. border each year.
In a Monday television interview, Foreign Relations Secretary Jorge Castañeda said the end of the volatile political atmosphere of the U.S. elections allows for a new attempt to reach a deal.
Starting Tuesday, "we will begin to work very hard to convince the U.S. government a migrant accord is indispensable," Castañeda said.
Castañeda said the next few weeks would be crucial to see if Bush and his administration show any signs of willingness to take up negotiations again.
Early in Bush's administration, a migration deal between the two nations seemed likely, but following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Mexico has slid off Washington's radar.
Fox began his term with an aggressive push to secure a far-reaching migrant accord. His most ambitious hope - amnesty for illegal migrants already living in the United States - long has been considered dead in the water, but a new temporary worker program or an increase in the number of legal migrants per year still are seen as possible components of a deal.
However, after Tuesday's elections, which gave Republicans control of the U.S. Congress, the possibility of any migrant accord has been pushed off the table, said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, director of the journal Foreign Affairs En Español.
"Democrats had every intention of pushing a deal forward, but now we are in the hands of Bush," Fernandez said. "The personal relationship between Fox and Bush is tapped out. We can't expect that to play for anything. Most worrying, Bush may be angry with Fox and Castañeda for not supporting his war with Iraq."
08 RAWNEWS on Central Asia - 0/11/02
From: "RAWNEWS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RAWNEWS on Central Asia - 0/11/02
1) Kyrgyz defense minister to meet U.S. secretary of defense - Interfax
2) Bishkek's support for anti-terrorist coalition boosts Kyrgyz-French ties - Interfax
3) Plans for Pipeline From Caspian To Mediterranean May Reignite Regional Conflicts - Rosbalt
4) The 'Great Game' for Caspian Sea Oil: by Andre Gunder Frank - Central Asia Online
Kyrgyz defense minister to meet U.S. secretary of defense
Interfax - November 4, 2002
Bishkek. (Interfax) - Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen
Topoyev will visit the United States on November 6-11
at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld in connection with plans for military ties
between the two countries.
Topoyev told Interfax on Monday that his ministry's
delegation will meet in the Pentagon with senior
defense officials, in particular with the secretary of
defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The
delegation will also visit the headquarters of the
anti- terrorist coalition units acting in Afghanistan,
he said. A group of Kyrgyz officers is staying at the
headquarters where the delegation will meet with
General Tommy Franks, the head of the U.S. Central
Command in charge of the anti-terrorist operation, he
Topoyev said that Kyrgyz-U.S. military ties are "of a
working nature and are not covered by special
documents, but are developing within the framework of
documents on defense financing, border protection and
training that were signed in Bishkek last winter."
Bishkek's support for anti-terrorist coalition boosts Kyrgyz-French ties
Interfax - November 5, 2002
Bishkek. (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan's backing of the
anti- terrorist coalition has boosted Kyrgyz-French
relations, French State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Renaud Muselier told Interfax on Tuesday.
At a meeting with Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev,
Muselier handed him a message from French President
Jacques Chirac. Chirac thanked the Kyrgyz leadership
for its support of the eradication of international
terrorism in Afghanistan.
Chirac expressed gratitude to Kyrgyzstan, which
permitted the deployment of a French military
contingent, part of the anti-terrorist coalition, in
Plans for Pipeline From Caspian To Mediterranean May Reignite Regional Conflicts
Rosbalt - November 2, 2002
MOSCOW, November 2. Plans by BP to construct a
1,100-mile pipeline from the Caspian sea to the
Mediterranean will reignite regional conflicts and
deliver few benefits to communities.
The decision to build the line is the culmination of
10 years of US and British investment in the oil
fields of Azerbaijan and central Asia. The route,
through Georgia and Turkey, aims to avoid Iran,
Chechnya and Russia. It will lessen reliance on oil
from the Gulf. The project, supported by British
contractors, crosses sensitive political faultlines in
the Caucasus and Turkey, development groups claimed it
would destroy historic local sites. The alternative
route, sending more tankers through the narrow
Bosporus to Georgia's Black sea ports, was rejected
because the straits around Istanbul are congested. The
long overland route ended up as the favoured option.
Critics of the pipeline point out it avoids the most
direct line through Turkey and skirts the heart of the
Kurdish south-east. © Neftegaz.Ru
The 'Great Game' for Caspian Sea Oil
by Andre Gunder Frank
Central Asia Online - November 25 - December 1, 2000
A book OIL AND GEOPOLITICS IN THE CASPIAN SEA REGION
[edited by Michael P. Croissant and Bulent Aras,
Westport, Conn. & London: Praeger 1999] with a
foreword by Pat Clawson of the National Defense
University and editor of ORBIS, and dedicated to
Ronald Reagan and Turgut Ozal, announces its far-right
wing political pedigree and U.S establishment
legitimation literally up front. Clawson already
explicitly, indeed brutally, lays out the groundwork
in his two page foreword: The Caspian Sea region is a
world-class oil area with complex econo- and
geo-strategic conflicts of interest and corresponding
competing policies among surrounding states and the
West, particularly the United States. The issues are
not only the oil per se, including its low price at
the time of publication, but also the related
conflicts of interest over pipeline routes and the
U.S. intent to deny them to Russia and Iran. The rule
of law, democracy and human rights come in at the tail
In his chapter on the United States, Stephen Blank has
done enough of his homework to bring along multiple
strategic [in more senses than one] quotations from
the horse's mouth in Washington and at NATO
headquarters. The background of it all is of course
the ongoing American competition with Russia, now also
with the regions under review, among which "the
Transcaspian has become perhaps the most important
area of direct Western-Russian contention today"
[p.250 in the book]. Therefore, the author argues,
that the new geo-economic competition cannot be
separated out from the old but still ongoing
geo-political one. That is, the nineteenth century
"Great Game" competition for the control of Central
Eurasia is still alive and kicking also in the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Blank writes that "Washington is now becoming the
arbiter or leader of virtually every interstate and
international issue in the area"  and indeed also
"the main center of international adjudication and
influence for local issues" . However in the face
of the Russian bear, old style gun-boat diplomacy is
too dangerous and is now replaced by its "functional
equivalent ... peace operations" . Washington is
pursuing these with intense "actual policy making on a
daily basis throughout the executive branch"  in
Washington and by a myriad of "Partnership for Peace"
programs of which the Strategic Research Development
Report 5-96 of the [U.S] Center for Naval Warfare
on activities of these forces that provide dominant
battlespace knowledge necessary to shape regional
security environments. Multinational excersizes, port
visits, staff-to-staff coordination - all designed to
increase force inter- operability and access to
regional military facilities - along with intelligence
and surveillance operations.... [So] forward deployed
forces are backed up by those which can surge for
rapid reenforcement and can be in place in seven to
thirty days [256-257]
-- all as a 'partnership for peace" in - we may
understand - Orwellian double-speak. Indeed, U.S.
local diplomats and the Clinton administration now
regard the Transcapian as a 'backup' for Middle East
oil supplies and some insist that the U.S. "take the
lead in pacifying the entire area" including by the
possible overthrow of inconveniently not sufficiently
cooperative governments . The policy and praxis
of common military exercises also includes distant
Kazakstan. All this and more "reflects a major shift
in U.S. policy toward Cental Asia ... coordinated by
the National Security Council," as the author quotes
from the hawkish U.S. JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION MONITOR.
The Security Council's former head and then already
super anti-Soviet Russian hawk, Zbigniew Brzezinsky,
now promotes a modernized Mackinder heartland vision
of a grand U.S. led anti-Russian coalition of
Europe,Turkey, Iran, and China as well as Central Asia
This is where the NATO connection comes in. Former
U.S. Secretaries of State and of Defense Christopher
and Perry stated in 1997 that "the danger to security
... is not primarily potential aggression to their
collective [NATO] territory, but threats to their
collective interests beyond their territory....To deal
with such threats alliance members need to have a way
to rapidly form military coalitions that can
accomplish goals beyond NATO territory" . Note
that this was two years before "humanitarian" NATO aid
to 'out of area' Kosovo. Also, U.S. Central Asia
experts met at NATO headquarters and discussed
extensive U.S. interests in Caspian basin energy
deposits. Not to be outdone, Javier Solana, the former
Defense Minister in the 'Socialist' Party government
of Spain, become Secretary-General of NATO also during
its war against Jugoslavia, and now promoted to czar
of European Union [EU] foreign policy, pronounced
himself at a Washington conference on NATO enlargement
to say that Europe cannot be fully secure without
bringing the Caucasus into its security zone .
U.S. Ambassador Nathan Nimitz agrees: "PAX NATO is the
only logical regime to maintain security in the
traditional sense... [and] must recognize a need for
expansion of its stabilizing influence in adjacent
areas, particularly in Southeastern Europe, the Black
Sea region (in concert of course with the regional
powers...) and in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. The United
States must continue to play the major role in this
security system" . This statement is not only a
guide to policy making in Washington and NATO
headquarters in Brussels. The policy is in fact
already being implemented on the ground in that the
U.S. has been assiduously using economic,diplomatic
and military carrots to engage more and more 'regional
powers' to play assigned roles in this 'concert' under
its own regional direction. These countries include
especially Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan on the
western wing to distant Kazakstan and Kyrgyztan on the
eastern one of this American and NATO PfP concert
hall. All of these states, whether in the oil business
or not, happen to be former Soviet republics on the
underbelly of Russia.
All this was written and begun to be implemented
already in 1997 and earlier. well before the NATO war
against Jugoslavia that was allegedly fought to defend
'human rights in Kosovo,' which along with the new
NATO 'out of area' south-eastward projection toward
the oil producing countries can now be better seen in
the light of the above considerations. Indeed, "NATO's
regional involvement, especially through PfP
[referring to the above mentioned "Partnership for
Peace"] is intensifying on a yearly basis. Military
excersizes also already in 1997 were supposed to show
that "U.S. and NATO forces could be deployed anywhere"
. "The obvious implication of current policy is
that NATO, under U.S. leadership, will become an
international policeman and hegemon in the
Transcaspian and define the limits of Russian
participation in the region's expected oil boom"
. Now the precedent of "humanitarian defense of
human rights" in Kosovo also embellishes the
"Partnership for Peace" in the Caspian Sea Basin,
where it alone might otherwise not evoke enough
popular political support from the folks back home. So
now in Orwellian language again, not only "War is
Peace," but now it also is highly "humanitarian."
Preferably that is also placed under a mantle of
'legitimation' by United Nations, as now is the NATO
military occupation of Kosovo after the war ended. But
if that is not available to make war itself, as it was
not against Jugoslavia, then 'legitimation' may at
least sought by the agreement of the "International
Community," whose states [mis]represent at most 15
percent of humanity, but whose bombs spoke so
eloquently in 1999 over Jugoslavia. Where will they
fall next - yet farther south-east ?
"It is highly unlikely that Russia will accept such a
position 'lying down'," writes Blank, especially in
its own Caucasian and Caspian underbelly. Thus, he
outlines four main reasons why he regards this U.S.
policy not only misguided but also counterproductive:
1. Structural conditions. Military forces will be
deployed in the guise of the now sanctioned
'peacekeepers' or 'peace enforcers,' as Kosovo has
begun to confirm since he wrote. But that can mean
also overextending these forces beyond domestic
acceptance. [Contrary to the propaganda, NATO bombs
did NOT bring Milosevic to heel and ground troops
would have been necessary, had not Russia eventually
withdrawn its support from Milosevic, which is what
really obliged him to accept Western terms that by
then were far less than those for which it had gone to
war]. But what if Russia no more plays along at all?
U.S. policy and praxis over Jugoslavia and in formerly
Soviet Central Asia and the Caspian Sea area has
already shifted the Russian political center of
gravity towards sharpened nationalism and a renewedly
increase in the influence of the military. Yet,
already before that, Blank wrote that "Russia will
resolutely contest the United States' expanded
presence" , which can drive Russia into the arms
of China and India as "Kosovo" already did, even if it
does not threaten a Third World War, as it well may.
2. This U.S. policy also drives Russia to cooperate
with Iran, which is certainly not in the interest of
current American policy. 3. "It is impossible to
discern any strategic context for the Clinton
administration's Russia policy...[which] only enhance
Russia's sense of regional threat and propensity to
reply in kind, while not preventing it from doing so"
. 4. For all the power at the disposal of the
U.S., Washington "remains singularly unable to use
such instruments to obtain a comprehensive and
insightful understanding of regional trends and their
implications" . Kuwait, Somalia, and Iraq - since
then also Kosovo - "suggest that this is a structural
failing of U.S. policy" .
Thus, the U.S. is enlarging its commitment
absentmindedly, Blank writes, in the contemporary
continuation of the nineteenth century "Great Game" in
Central Eurasia -- with still the same major players,
excepting the replacement of erstwhile Great [now
small] Britain by the United States.
The US also wants to use NATO's Partnership for Peace
alliance, which includes the Central Asian Republics
of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as part of
any multilateral force....However, Uzbek sources note
the considerable cooling of official Tashkent's
relations with Moscow in the sphere of military
cooperation and at the same time the unusually
extensive plans for joint Uzbek-US actions and
CENTRAL ASIA Online # 109
November 25 - December 1, 2000
9. 11. 2002, 24:00 Uhr
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9. 11. 2002, 24:00 Uhr