Saturday, November 22, 2008

Harper and Uribe shake hands on free trade deal

The handshake that represents Harper's decision to help Uribe in his war against his own people.
The handshake that would "destroy the livelihoods of many small Colombian farmers by flooding the market with subsidized agricultural imports", thereby paving the way for large agro-businesses in Colombia to buy up the land of destitute farmers for the production of biodiesel, palm oil and beef for export.
The handshake that supports the use of paramilitary organizations who have forced 4 million people off their land for the benefit of Canadian transnational mining and natural gas companies.
Some of these companies have even supplied the necessary military equipment.
The handshake that ignores involvement of Uribe's top aides in the killing of more than 800 union workers, teachers and journalists over the past six years.
In July 2007, Harper was in Colombia subbing for Bush.
There, with President Uribe at his side, he explained his position :
"When we see a country like Colombia that has decided to address its social, political and economic problems in an integrated way, that wants to embrace democracy and human rights, then we say, 'We're in,' he said."

"We are not going to say fix all your social, political and human rights problems and only then will we engage in trade relations with you. That's a ridiculous position," Harper said.
G&M, last night : [nice to see the Cons still adhering to late friday news dumps!]
"A Canada-Colombia free-trade agreement was announced Friday shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Peru.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said the deal “builds greater trust among investors.”
The agreement lifts tariffs on 98 per cent of Canada's exports to Colombia, including wheat, barley, lentils, peas, beef, paper products and machinery and equipment.

In their free-trade deal, Canada and Colombia agreed their laws must adhere to principles set out by the International Labour Organization. If Canada or Colombia violates the labour organization's principles, they will have to pay into a fund aimed at strengthening workers' rights."
This is known as the "kill a trade unionist, pay a fine" clause.
Canadian parliament will have their chance to reject it sometime in January.


Anonymous said...

Gracias, mi hermana hermosa.

Paz, amor y justicia,


Patrick Ross said...

And unless the government is willing to procure stronger protection for trade unions in Colombia, Parliament should do exactly that.

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