…is definitely not the result of idle hands. This we know, thanks to Jose Maria Aznar who, for an ex-president is one busy busy bee. Right now he’s headlining a meeting at Ciudad de Rosario, Argentina, where every rightwing blowhard imaginable, including the insufferable Jorge Castañeda has come together to figure out how to rid the continent of its tiresome Bolivarian revolutionaries. As Modesto Emilio Guerrero explains below, it would be all too easy to dismiss the group, except that they aren’t stupid, they’ve got money, they control the media and they intend to win.
That North American tradition of keeping ex-presidents busy building their monuments to themselves otherwise known as libraries might not be a bad one. Can you imagine Bush Jr. occupying himself with such a thing as Rosario once his seemingly endless term actually comes to a close? (It’s a rhetorical question.)
Modesto Emilio Guerrero – http://www.aporrea.org
As if they were expecting the first signs of a Latin American Armageddon, some 40 well-known (some more than others) representatives of think-tanks, academia and pro-U.S. policies are meeting in the city of Rosario, on the shores of the majestic Paraná river.
Nothing at the event is accidental. Neither the name nor the scale of the meeting which has adopted a hemispheric aspect, nor its main academic, intellectual and political speakers. Not the time of its scheduling, nor its sponsoring organizations, nor the city, nor even the ethno-racist selection of the gallery of assistants; you are asked about your national “accent” and what institution you represent, to see if you are a potential risk. Nothing, absolutely nothing has been left to chance by the organizers.
The Challenges of Fear
It’s titled “The Challenges of Latin America,” with a routine subheading: “Between Institutional Failings and Development Opportunities.” Today and tomorrow, through March 28th, the dangers faced by Latin American capitalism and its dependency on U.S. imperialism will be analyzed.
This is the risky point where “challenges” are born which they want to verify and categorize in order to build public prevention policies for both the short and long term.
They observe what they call “institutional failings” in the latest Latin American governments which have led to what they also call “neo-populist danger,” and they aspire to play a central role that the present U.S. government is not capable of playing today: a hemispheric agenda, a political program and a long term, far-reaching strategy that would fulfill the following tasks.
A. Preserve the governability of the most pro-Yankee regimes in the region: Mexico, Chile, Peru, etc.
B. Avoid or impede at whatever cost, the continuance of the Venezuelan Bolivarian government’s economic and political consolidation, taking advantage of its current vulnerabilities in the runup to the November elections. This explains the presence of three Venezuelan university professors, and of Marcel Granier, owner of pro-Yankee media and propaganda outlets and president of Venezuela’s and the continent’s emblematic rightwing television station, RCTV. The ultra-rightwing student leader Yono Goicochea, the new generation of the lost Fourth Republic, will be there as well.
C. Interfere and undermine the development and consolidation of independence and political autonomy of the Bolivian, Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan governments, creating the internal and external conflicts (such as that in Ecuador, among others) necessary for destabilization. The goal in brief, is to prevent an extension of time for another regime such as that of Venezuela, where the revolutionary process has already reached its first ten years, or something worse in their view: Cuba, which has been an anti-imperialist bastion for fifty years. The open effort to break the political regime of Evo Morales corresponds with this.
D. Do whatever is necessary to ensure that moderate governments such as those in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Panama and others do not challenge the United States, who are getting closer than necessary to what the rightwing considers “destabilizers,” according to Vargas Llosa. This point is key to what is sought in Paraguay: impeding at all costs the victory of the priest Fernando Lugo, who would break with the political Strossnerites in the Paraguayan regime, whose closest relatives are the Pinochet followers who survive in Chile. These and other objectives are under construction within the program or agenda for the hemisphere, and they would not be directed by a Bush government, rather an Obama or Clinton one.
A Festival With Suspicious Overtones
The seminar is intellectually supported by 15 high-level international foundations, which the great Uruguayan Vivian Trías denounced in the 1970’s as “machines for the detection of dangerous revolutionaries.” From two Latin American universities, three university study centers and three European institutes which study political risk, come eight writers, some with international fame such as Vargas Llosa, the public voice shining at the side of dimwits such as Aznar and Macri, and two ex-ministers of foreign relations – one is Jorge Castañeda, the “political genius” who told me in an interview in Buenos Aires in 2000 that he wanted Mexico to copy “the successful political model of political unity and balance that brought De la Rua and Chacho Álvarez to power.” One year later, his model disappeared in social upheaval.
Six ex-presidents will also attend, all of them responsible for the neoliberal policies of the ’90’s. This group includes the warmongering José Maria Aznar from the Spanish empire, Bush’s man in Iraq, the true manager of the event, as he was for the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago, Chile. They come accompanied by nine deputies and national party leaders, each more rightwing than the other; also seven economists specializing in the awful theories of “supply” and “trickle-down,” such as Mora and Araujo, a shadowy figure who maintained the dollar economy of Carlos Menem for nine years and then left for better pay elsewhere; and seven journalists specializing in conservative ideas, such as Claudio Escribano, from La Nacion of Buenos Aires, a one-man anti-Chavez ideological factory for the continent.
The international consulting firm for multinational corporations, Deloitte and Touche, will also be prominently featured. This consultancy gave the most honest definition of neoliberalism within Mercosur. In December 1994, it produced a report that divided the geopolitical Mercosur map in two: one part called “Business Mercosur” and the other “Political Mercosur.” In the first Mercosur, it recommended multinational investment, because this was where the middle class and salaried workers were living, as well as the bourgeoisie, and it did not extend past 34 cities with 26% of the population of the four countries. Meanwhile “Political Mercosur” was redlined as an area of social and territorial castoffs.
The Ringleader’s Envoys
A conclave of such a high caliber as that of Rosario could not possibly go without personal representation from our hemisphere’s dominant empire: Roger Noriega, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs; Mark Falcoff, Republican party scholar, Carl Meacham, Staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (author of the legislative project for intervention in Afghanistan, by way of example) and Jim Roberts of the well-known Heritage Foundation in the U.S., whose studies and projects have influenced the governments of Johnson, Ford, Nixon, Reagan and Bush senior.
According to the researchers John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, in their paper The Israeli Lobby both Falcoff and Meacham have been the main promoters of military super-funding for the state of Israel, something that no country has received on behalf of the dominant empire since 1967.
A Meeting Where Nothing is Accidental
It would be a mistake to believe that this is any ordinary meeting of the continental rightwing. Or that the speakers and events are only “the bad guys,” as a leaflet from an Argentine leftist group indicated: “They are the usual enemies, ignorant about what is happening with our people.” It’s exactly the opposite. And there lies the danger.
It’s a reunion of thinkers, publicists, leaders and statesmen, economists, and centers of advanced studies, who work day after day to help maintain the capitalist way of life, with other economies and countries kept backward, dependent and subordinate to the North American state. The challenge of the rightwing orgy at Rosario is concentrated at this point in hemispheric relations.
They know that they don’t have much time because the social crises and corresponding government fragility will not give them a hundred years of peace and control. Argentina of recent days is an example. One sign of the short timeframe was demonstrated by the very president of the United States, George Bush, when he asked government lawyers three weeks ago to examine the conditions that would legally permit Venezuela to be declared a terrorist state.
Then there’s the open paramilitary recruitment campaign recently begun by the CIA on its website. And finally, there’s the Uribe government’s aggression against Ecuador and its provocations on the borders of Nicaragua and Venezuela, where it sought a “catastrophic event” that would permit the “international community” to intervene, with its U.N. and OAS managed media.
The word “orgy” was used by the former Venezuelan foreign minister Roy Chardetton seven months ago in Mexico to denounce a similar event which the International Democratic Christian Organization tried to put on there. The organization incidentally, is represented at Rosario.
This time the orgy begins in Rosario, but on a larger scale, and with more ambition and dangerous intellectual stature. This is the real “challenge.”