Saturday, April 18, 2009

Summit of the Americas

Harper at the Summit-of-the-Americas-of-34-countries-minus-Cuba is described in the G&M as a lone wolf boosting free trade :
Steve : "There are some countries that want to keep fighting the Cold War and frankly wars that go a lot farther back than that."
United Fruit Co?
After urging a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations : "That said … we don't turn a blind eye to the fact that Cuba is a communist dictatorship and that we want to see progress on freedom, democracy and human rights as well as on economic matters."

Indeed, ALBA - the trade group comprised of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela - had a few points of its own to make about progress, freedom, democracy and human rights, including the embargo of Cuba. ALBA has said it will not sign the Summit Declaration until they are addressed.
Excerpted :
  • Capitalism has provoked an ecological crisis by subordinating the necessary conditions for life on this planet to the dominance of the market and profit.
  • We question the G20’s decision to triple the amount of resources going to the International Monetary Fund, when what is really necessary is the establishment of a new world economic order that includes the total transformation of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO [World Trade Organisation], which with their neoliberal conditions have contributed to this global economic crisis.
  • We condemn discrimination against migrants in all its forms. Migration is a human right, not a crime.
  • The solutions to the energy, food and climate change crises have to be integral and interdependent. We cannot resolve a problem by creating others in the areas fundamental to life. For example, generalising the use of agro-fuels can only impact negatively on the price of food and in the utilisation of essential resources such as water, land and forests.
  • Basic services such as education, health, water, energy and telecommunications have to be declared human rights and cannot be the objects of private business nor be commodified by the World Trade Organisation. These services are and should be essential, universally accessible public services.
  • [E]liminate interventionist practices such as covert operations, parallel diplomacy, media wars aimed at destabilising states and governments, and the financing of destabilising groups. It is fundamental that we construct a world in which a diversity of economic, political, social and cultural approaches are recognised and respected.
  • The legitimate struggle against narco-trafficking and organised crime, and any other manifestation of the denominated “new threats,” should not be utilised as excuses for carrying out acts of interference or intervention against our countries.
Hugo Chavez presented Obama with a book : "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent." He then suggested that the next Summit of the Americas be held in Cuba.

1 comment:

Boris said...

That so many states will parse and argue and ignore ALBA's points is simply tragic. I read things like that and think a better, fairer, and just world seems so easy to achieve - it's right there. And then I read about Canada boycotting the UN racism conference over Israel and the illusion is revealed.

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