4th Media: China as Financial Stabilizer for Latin America?

4th media cropped“China Has Good Reason to Help Stabilize Latin American Economies”

Although these alliances will primarily be closer to home, most of Latin America is a naturally ally not only because of its increasing trade and commercial relations with China, but because of its common interest in an international political order that favors respect for national sovereignty and independence over unilateral intervention and military force.

In the last week or so much of the international business press has been focused on the problems of financial stability in developing countries, some of whom have recently become more vulnerable to capital outflows.

The main cause is that investors are trying to get the jump on possible moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to allow U.S. interest rates to rise, which will draw capital from developing countries and cause their borrowing costs to rise.

Argentina has gotten some of this attention, as it allowed the peso to fall by 15 percent in one day and increased some access for Argentines to dollars on the official market.

Venezuela is not so much affected by these market developments, but is always negatively portrayed in the international media, and more so in the last year since its exchange rate system problems have caused its inflation to rise to an annual rate of 56 percent over the past year.

The two countries face different sets of problems, but they will both likely have to stabilize their exchange rates in order to resolve them.

This is where international help can make a big difference, and there is one country that has both the ability to help and a compelling interest in doing so: China.

China has already helped Venezuela with tens of billions of dollars of loans – much of which has already been repaid – as well as investment.

It has also provided significant lending and investment in Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, and other countries. But there is more that they could do at this moment.

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Feb 1

Robert Ellis: Russia, Iran, and China in Latin America

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis

I am writing to share with you my new article, “Russia, Iran and China in Latin America,” just published by the American Foreign Policy Committee in their e-journal “Defense Dossier.”  The work comparatively examines the activities of the three extra-regional actors in Latin America and the Caribbean, including ways in which commercial and governmental initiatives by each compliment (and occasionally conflict or compete with) each other.  I emphasize that each actor presents a different type of challenge to US interests in the region, on a different time-scale.

Defense Dossier, December 2013 (pp. 7-10)

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Jan 6

Evan Ellis: China in Venezuelan Oil

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis

In the aftermath of elections in Venezuela, I am writing to share with you my new publication “China, Russia, India and the Venezuelan Petroleum Industry,” just published by Latin Business Chronicle.

PDF (5 Pages): CN RU IN & VE Oil

Given the amount of confusion that has existed about the role of external actors in Venezuela, the article seeks to present the key  facts and data regarding Chinese loans, oil investment and other support to the Venezuelan petroleum sector, in the context of Indian and Russian activities in the sector as well.  I would like to offer my sincere thanks to a number of experts in the Venezuelan petroleum, financial, and other sectors who shared their knowledge and dedicated the time so that I could get the story right.

Dr. Evan Ellis is a professor of national security studies, modeling, gaming and simulation with the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University, with a research focus on Latin America’s relationships with external actors, including China, Russia and Iran, as well as work on populism in the Andes, transnational criminal organizations and gangs in Mexico and Central America, energy security, and non-traditional national security topics. Dr. Ellis has published over 50 works, including the 2009 book China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores, as well as articles in national security, finance, and technical journals.

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Dec 13

SchwartzReport: South America Rising + New World Order II Meta-RECAP

schwartzreport newThe America media, like a long chain of administrations, never really seems to understand the South American psyché, in all of its national complexity, nor what is going on there. So there is very little coverage or attention, and what there is trades in stereotypes and shallow commentary. In contrast I think the nations of our Southern Hemisphere, are undergoing an extraordinary transition, which constitutes one of the most interesting geopolitical developments going on. As you read this keep in mind Uruguay’s recent legalization of marijuana.

Ecuador’s President Denounces Chevron As ‘Enemy of Our Country’
Agence France-Presse (France)

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Aug 19

Mother Jones: Latin American Nations Distance Themselves from USA, Debate Legalizing Marijuana

"Do Not Piss Me Off!"Latin American Nations Debate Legalizing Pot

—By

Mon Jun. 10, 2013

At last week’s annual summit of the Organization of American States, Latin American leaders distanced themselves from the United States’ drug policies and agreed to consider the widespread legalization of marijuana.

The OAS summit “was really a tipping point for this movement” to end the war on drugs, said Pedro Abramovay, a campaign director for Avaaz, a global nonprofit group that has petitioned the OAS to liberalize its drug policies.

The move comes as Uruguay debates a bill to legalize the production and sale of pot (it is already legal there for personal use) and as Chile considers decriminalizing it. Latin American leaders also have kept a close eye on how Colorado and Washington, having legalized marijuana, will go about regulating its consumption.

At the summit, which wrapped up on Friday in Antigua, Guatemala, delegates reviewed a recent OAS study that explores a range of options for a new regional drug policy that might include legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis, and even abandoning the fight against the coca production in some areas. “Never before has a multilateral organization engaged in such an inclusive and intellectually legitimate analysis of drug policy options,” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. The delegates agreed to create a high-level commission to debate the study and make policy suggestions.

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Jun 11

John Steiner: Alternative Perspective on Hugo Chavez & Venezuelan Public — Todos Somos Chavez — and More Questions on School of the Americas

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John Steiner

John Steiner

This moving letter was sent to me by a friend Janie Rezner who has a radio program in CA.  Gen

I have interviewed Lisa Sullivan on KZYX, (born in this country, but moved to Venezuela many years ago) , who is with the organization School of the Americans Watch headed up by Fr. Roy Bourgeois. The goal of SOA Watch is to close down the dreadful School of the Americas, who trains young men to kill and torture, back in their own countries. I too am very very saddened by the death of Chavez and wanted to share it with you. . . . .Janie

Greetings friends and thanks for so many lovely messages from so many of you. We are living through such a painful moment here in Venezuela, but an extraordinary moment as well: the passion, conviction and hope of my friends and neighbors is inspiring.

So many have asked how we are doing, and so I took a few moments to put together some thoughts, which you will find below. Feel free to share, especially with folks whose only news source is the mainstream press. Best to all, abrazos, Lisa

YO SOY CHAVEZ , TU ERES CHAVEZ, TODOS SOMOS CHAVEZ
Reflections by Lisa Sullivan on the death of President Chavez
Barquisimeto, Venezuela May 5, 2013

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Mar 9

Greg Palast: Free Download of the Movie – Otto Reich & Neo-Cons Plan Venezuela’s Next Election

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Greg Palast

Greg Palast

Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo

By Greg Palas – www.gregpalast.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chàvez, who passed away today.

As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television.  DVDs also available.

Media may contact Palast at interviews (at) gregpalast.com.

Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It’s the oil. And it’s the Koch Brothers – and it’s the ketchup.

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Mar 6

Yoda: Organization of American States Dead? Chile Playing Both Sides Cuba to Lead the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)?

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Spanish, Force Speaks.  English Not.

CELAC Rising: The Monroe Doctrine Turned on Its Head?

Last Monday, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC) met for its second summit in Santiago, Chile, one year after its founding meeting in Caracas, Venezuela in 2011.  The Summit is the culmination of roughly a decade of efforts to create a viable mechanism for greater integration in the Americas, and particularly a year of planning by a “troika” of representatives from, believe it or not, Chile, Venezuela and Cuba.  They were able to pull it off successfully, despite their obvious differences, and all 33 presidents or heads of state from the region attended, with the exception of Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, who sent a letter with his Vice-President Nicolás Maduro.

CELAC explicitly excludes the US and Canada, a historic first for a hemispheric organization with huge symbolic importance, because it answers a long-standing dream for unity of the subcontinent that harks back to Simón Bolívar and the struggles for independence from the European colonial powers.  Beyond the symbolism, however, it is strategically crucial:  It means that there is now a subcontinent bloc of developing nations that can speak with one voice,, and also serve as a counterweight to US political and economic hegemony.

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Feb 2

SchwartzReport: Local and Regional Restructuring of the American Continent

Here is an excellent analysis of an important aspect of the Great Schism Trend: the move to localism, and regionalism.

This “Chapter Fourteen” is part eighteen of Truthout’s continuing series of excerpts from Gar Alperovitz’s “America beyond Capitalism.”

 

Click on Image to Enlarge

The Regional Restructuring of the American Continent

By Gar Alperovitz, Democracy Collaborative Press | Serialized Book

truthout.org, Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:44

Americans committed to a renewal of democracy are likely to discover this can only be meaningfully achieved in units of scale smaller than a continent, but also of sufficient size to be capable of substantial semiautonomous functioning: the region.

The Pluralist Commonwealth model attempts to deal seriously with long-standing arguments that the sheer continental size of the United States and its very large population are ultimately inimical to a robust system-wide vision of democratic practice. Community-oriented strategies appear to be within the range of realistic political possibility in coming years. What of the larger and seemingly utopian idea that much more far-reaching – indeed, radical – decentralization is both necessary and possible?

Five major considerations suggest that, contrary to conventional assumption, the logic of regional restructuring is likely to become of increasing importance as the twenty-first century develops. These include trends in Supreme Court and congressional decision making; an explosion of state-based initiatives; the impact of global political-economic forces on the current federal system; very large-order projected changes in the economy and population; and new trajectories of expanding ethnic political power concentrated in key regions experiencing economic distress.

Read full article.

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Dec 7

NIGHTWATCH: 6 Latin American Countries Reject Rio Pact

Organization of American States (OAS): For the record. At the end of the 42d General Assembly of OAS members in Bolivia, the foreign ministers of Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua announced that their countries had decided to withdraw from the Inter-American of Reciprocal Assistance, better known as the Rio Pact.

In making the announcement, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Patino said, “Our countries have made the decision to bury what deserves to be buried, to throw into the trash what is no longer useful.”

Article Three states, in pertinent part,”The High Contracting Parties agree that an armed attack by any State against an American State shall be considered as an attack against all the American States and, consequently, each one of the said Contracting Parties undertakes to assist in meeting the attack in the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations”

Twenty-two American countries variously have ratified the Treaty since 1947, but Cuba withdrew after the revolution and Mexico withdrew in 2004.

Comment: This is primarily a symbolic snub because the Pact is a relic of the Cold War and no surprise because the US Secretary of State did not attend the meeting.

All four withdrawing states have leftist governments and are the members of Venezuelan President Chavez’ initiative known as the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our Americas (ALBA), which is supposed to be a counterweight to the OAS. They appear determined to assert their distance from the US.

Argentina invoked the Rio Pact when it fought the British in the Falklands, but no American state rallied. The US invoked the Pact after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to enlist the aid of the other American states in the War on Terror. Only four Central American states agreed to participate actively.

NIGHTWATCH KGS Home

Phi Beta Iota:  The creation of CELAC — the alternative to the OAS that excludes Canada and the US, has not been covered by the mainstream media.   A sustainable revolution is occurring in the South; the US Government will be the last to understand this.

See Also:

DuckDuckGo on CELAC

CELAC at Phi Beta Iota

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Jun 6