Good news : Chavez : “FTAA is dead”


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 13:42:38 -0800
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Justice International - PEJ News: Chavez Set to
     Face Bush at Summit Meetings
From: "•••@••.•••" <•••@••.•••>

Posted by: lex on Sunday, October 30, 2005
- 01:23 PM

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - In his weekly address to the
Venezuelan people, President Hugo Chavez says he's
anticipating debating George W. Bush at the forthcoming
Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina later
this week.

Chavez Set to Face Bush
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
October 30, 2005

Chavez told his television and radio audience he expects
Bush will focus on reviving the largely moribund Free
Trade of the Americas (FTAA) agreement, a massive trade
deal Chavez says is "doomed to failure," adding:

"The debate in Mar del Plata will be beautiful. I imagine
it will be, because the gentleman Bush is going to keep
making his point."

The FTAA has been a focal point of American trade
delegations for both the Bush and Clinton administrations,
but the failure of expanded "free trade zones" to improve
the quality of life for Latin America's largely
impoverished populations has turned public opinion against
the deal, and initiated a continent-wide political move to
the left.

Chavez left no room for doubt as to where he stands on the
deal, saying:

"The FTAA is dead. It will have to be buried. The people
of this continent will bury it, and another model of
integration will emerge... in the streets, there is a
Latin American fervor. We'll see each other there to
defend our model."

Chavez maintains, the so-called elimination of trade
"barriers" inordinately favours the wealthy and
trans-global corporations, while doing little to better
conditions for the poor. His "Bolivarian Alternative,"
named for the 19th century liberator, Simon Bolivar, is
based on more "socialistic" principles, the tenets of
which hold that a broader distribution of wealth will
bring prosperity to all.

Over the last year, Chavez has used Venezuela's
considerable oil reserves to bolster Cuba and other
Caribbean nations, selling oil under special terms, and
using the currency boon garnered from record world oil
prices to solidify his standing with his neighbours by
providing low-interest loans, accepting payments in
barter, and employing other development assistance.

Delineating his reform programme from the FTAA's goals,
Chavez said:

"Our mission is socialist because it puts social aspects
first, Capitalists put capital first."

As with other high-level trade missions, the Summit of the
Americas meetings will be shadowed by a "Peoples Summit,"
where indigenous, trade union, and social justice groups
from around the world will convene.

Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News. He also
hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program,
broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You
can check out the GR Blog here.

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Chris Cook, Senior Editor
PEJ News - Peace, Earth & Justice News

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