(AA) CNT - April Latin America (cast)

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Sat, 4 May 1996 22:09:14 +0200


THE AMERICAS
Floreal Castilla
=======================

We Latin americans have lived through the impositions of the IMF without
defending ourselves. This can be explained by the fact that the revolutionary
movement was squashed in the 1970s A few groups survive in Peru, but too
many have moved towards terrorism. In its turn, the zapatistas raised the
hopes of the indigenous people of Chiapas in the framework of the free trade
agreement between Canada, the US and Mexico. However, as has always
been the case in the lands of the Aztecs, the radicals soon took to the
indirect route. In various ways, with some exceptions in Uruguay and, perhaps,
Colombia the revolutionary movement has failed to overcome its state of
dispersion and defeat.
Of course there are also internal factors which must be mentioned. Firstly
the lack of ideological clarity in the movement itself. The critic of the USSR
at the time did not take itself to its ultimate conclusions because this would
entail criticising the very bureaucratic aparatus which was still
functioning in a Leninist
style. Secondly, the posibilist temptation that industry would
prosper from denunciation and gambling. Thirdly, money and repression - it is
quite common throughout the world to find radicals who will not refuse a gift
of 5,000 US dollars (or even less). Inconclusion, there was no ideological
homogeneity but also there were no ethical principles.
Thus Latin americans only became aware of the existence of the IMF when
the water was already up to our necks. We 'cepalists' CEPAL (Latin
American Economic Commision) were dazzled by the 'model' of import
substitution right up until the point when the facts reveled another truth:
Latin american external debt was unpayable or perhaps would have been were
it not for the volume of capital flight from the continent. We knew about
dependence and that the US Embassy would at the end of the day be the ones
who sent the orders to our governments until we met Cardosa, the current
flamboyant Brazilian president and one of the radicals of the 'dependency
theory' group of the 1970s aplying the structural adjustment programme of the
IMF.
For those who were becoming less and less taken in by the hope of an
invincible 'Socialist Cuba' now the genuflections of Fidel towards world
capital are simply 'clever tricks' which failed to realise that Fidel was
the first of all of us to be beaten. No present day nostalgic leftist wants
to go back to
Havana with Fidel and that species propagated by the poisonous tongues of
the right like the Venezuelan Interior Minister, a deserter from the trenches
Dr Ramon Escovar Salon - so that the idea that Latin american street
protestors should be listened to in Cuba make the local police fall about
laughing. Fidel, for simple reasons of survival prefers to dine with North
American business men rather than Latin American guerillas.
That Latin American countries should fail on the road to what the local
bourgeoisie calls 'the second independence: economic independence' can be
seen from the statistics and from a visit to the miserable shacks throughout
the continent. The minimum Latin American wage, to take but one example,
is at the same level as it was at the end of the 1940s. Thus a lot of
propaganda lies behind the words of those who fill the pages of the North
American press with news of Chile's and Peru's economic 'miracle'. By this
euphamism what is really meant is that North American business men find it
useful to go to these countries because the labourforce is becoming ever
cheaper and because labour is virtually slave labour. This is the reality
and no other.
Monoproduction and mono export are so obvious that today Latin America
finds itself where it was in 1950 with the threat of demogogues in a Perronist
style (such as Fujimori) rising once again here and there. With the agravated
theft that the state seeks to sell off all the publicly owned corporations
which have been financed collectively by civil society. However, some countries
hope for special treatment and defered payments for fundamental geopolitical
reasons linked to NA foreign policy. One of the hopefuls is Venezuela - one
of the main suppliers of petrol to the empire's factories. In an edition of
21st February the NA journal The Miami Herald - the voice of the bourgeois latin
mafia in Florida, said in an editorial that the economic success of Venezuela
was of the highest interest to the US. It called on the IMF to give Venezuela 7
million dollars credit which they had been demanding for one year and
qualified its demands by saying that the Fiund had made 'foolish prescriptions'
given the explosive social situation in Venezuela. The editorial ended by
saying that Venezuela had overtaken Saudia Arabia as the most important
providor of liquid gold to the US which for Washington the capital of a
country with an iron heart is of the highest importance. Knowing that the
social position in Saudia Arabia has become complicated recently. Perhaps
this strategy of ditching certain allies, useful when the Middle East seemed an
burning volcano that would never be extinguished but useless ultimately
because it will not be able to contain the fundamentalist drive. But
already the Venezuelan bourgeoisie has reopened the oil concessions to the
big world
companies covered by the euphemism 'open petrol'. To reward us we saw at
the beginning of March a visit from no less than Mr William Perry the US
secretary of state for defence. What could he be doing in Venezuela - a small
Caribaean country - such an important man?
Some say to monitor from Caracas the fall of the Colombian president
Samper. Others, the more gullible, to support Venezuelan democracy. And
some claimed that Perry would simply play some golf at the Country Club
and would give no explanations when they were told he could do so just as
easily in the gardens of the Pentagon. But perhaps he came to contain the
Venezuelan military who along with the rest of the Middle Classes are losing
hope faced with those things we have always known: inflation, devaluation
etc. up to the point when that very creole minister of defence forced the
President to put up the minimum wage. The gorillas of Fuerte Tiuna say - or
so it is said - that if Venezuela has oil then there must be stability and
to hell with the rest. No doubt hedonistic gorillas. It is with some truth
that the
Venezuelans say after the Pope will come the devil himself.

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