We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

To Starve Or To Smother: US Bad-Neighbor Trade Policies

by Mike Fox,Mark LaMalfa,Taleigh Smith, Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2005 at 7:38 AM

For those who are following the latest news on the topic of revolutions in motion and rotten u.s. policies, this an excellent op ed piece, feel free to send it onto other media sites.

To Starve Or To Smother: US Bad-Neighbor Trade Policies

DR-CAFTA & the Cuba Blockade

By Mike Fox, mike@hodownquartet.com

Mark LaMalfa, pdxed@msn.com

& Taleigh Smith, taleighs@yahoo.com

The US government has blocked and seized humanitarian aid destined for hurricane-swept Cuba, even as Congress approved cementing Central America and the Dominican Republic with DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement.) It is time for the US public to consider what it means to be a good neighbor and demand that the US government comply.

The Bush Administration brokered sweetheart deals to convince representatives to approve the agreement, prioritizing multinational corporations over the needs of the majority. Bush claims that DR-CAFTA is essential for the region; that sweatshops and loose regulations are the only possible niche for these countries within the global economy.

One little country has threatened this assumption for over 40 years, provoking the US attempt to starve and bury it. Systematically prioritizing the good of the whole, Cuba has provided high quality education and health care for the entire island.

Homeland Security and the Commerce Department blocked Pastors for Peace from entering Mexico with over 100 volunteers carrying 140 tons of humanitarian aid destined for Cuba in it’s 16th challenge to the US economic, informational and travel blockade. The US “no-trade” policy on Cuba is designed to isolate and force the island into hardship and misery. A complex of regulations prohibit US trade partners and individuals from visiting or trading freely with Cuba. Shortages of antibiotics are common, power outages frequent and Cuba’s world-acclaimed education system often lacks the technology necessary to prepare its children for the modern world. Yet contrary to the US mantra that communism has failed, the sought-after doctors and scholarships that Cuba offers developing countries demonstrate the success of the Cuban model despite the world-denounced US blockade.

US prescriptions for development in Central America and the Dominican Republic have left millions without access to public education or affordable health care. DR-CAFTA opens remaining public education funding to multinationals who choose to set up local schools, and encourages privatization of water and other resources. It eliminates access to generic HIV and other drugs while patenting the use of traditional plants; a death sentence for many poor. While huge US-based corporate agricultural producers dump genetically modified crops into the region, undercutting local producers and threatening people’s health, Cuba’s organic, sustainable production is modeled world wide and NO ONE IN CUBA GOES HUNGRY.

Got Democracy?

As the Bush Administration cloaks Free Trade as “democracy” and “stability” in Central America and the Dominican Republic, a cursory examination screams the opposite. DR-CAFTA was negotiated between hand-picked advisors with zero civic participation. Legislators in all DR-CAFTA countries were denied the document until after it was negotiated. No revisions were allowed, and it was debated only two hours.

Guatemalan military fired upon its people as they marched toward the capital when President Oscar Berger side-stepped a promised public referendum and signed DR-CAFTA under pressure from US negotiators. Military repression of DR-CAFTA protests is not unique, but the two people killed forced media attention otherwise dedicated to the corporate party line.

The US threatened to eliminate the DR from the treaty for its protective agriculture subsidies (the island’s global and local lifeline), even as it guarantees yearly billion US agribusiness subsidies through 2008, a pattern repeatedly cited in the World Trade Organization. The DR subsequently revoked the law in a Saturday morning session without quorum under the watchful eyes of US negotiators, Commerce Department officials and Ambassador to the DR.

Popular leaders throughout the region who’ve spoken publicly against DR-CAFTA have been accused of terrorism and suffered threats to themselves and their families. Salvadoran students critical of President Saca’s policies have lost their scholarships, currently how the poor receive education. Nicaraguan president Bolaños was nearly run out of town when he rejected the preferential price on oil that Venezuela’s alternative development plan PetroCaribe offers the region, opting instead to increase public transportation costs. And Bush funneled million of Iraq reconstruction money into militarizing his brother’s city when activists from across the US came to Miami to protest negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) that excludes only Cuba.

Cuba’s response? To host “Hemispheric Encounters” for workers, farmers, students, indigenous, health care providers and others for discussions on development alternatives. Popular referendums on free trade launched in multiple countries as a result, with the unprecedented dual goals of educating the public on “free trade” and asking their opinion. Concrete alternative trade and development models such as PetroCaribe have been developed, encapsulated in ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, cosponsored by the Cuban and Venezuelan governments. These encounters re-enforce conclusions from five MesoAmerican Forums- grassroots gatherings in Central America strategizing alternative development plans since talks of the FTAA began. By consensus they’ve rejected DR-CAFTA and the FTAA as flawed development models that serve the elite.

The border show-down encapsulates these trade hypocrisies. Since Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada in 1994, over 1.5 million Mexicans have lost their land, tripling the number of undocumented immigrants in the US. Maquila industry waste has infested Mexico with asthma and water-bound illnesses as environmental regulations are disabled by NAFTA’s Chapter 11 (Chapter 10 of DR-CAFTA), which allows corporations to sue governments for perceived profits lost as a result of state protections. Children line the fields picking crops for multinational producers, while their parents face death threats or starvation when they organize to demand decent working conditions in sweatshops.

The caravanistas are not passive observers. Many represent US communities drained of between 800,000 and 2 million manufacturing jobs and 38,000 small farms. Some have recruited youth in their communities to study medicine in Cuba, where the only payback required is using the education to serve poor communities. This international “people to people” foreign policy has traversed Cuba, Mexico and Central America 36 times since 1987, building relationships between people from the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean; exposing the true effects of US military and development policy.

People intent on exposing the truth will not be silenced: the end results of “free trade” and the Cuban Blockade are suffering, inequality and poverty. As Pastors for Peace refuses to compromise the right to be good neighbors, the US public must take an active role in designing and implementing friendly trade policies that reflect our true values and are based upon a democratic process like those already taking place in Cuba, Central and South America. The current discussions on ALBA in Brazil and the American Social Forum in Venezuela in January 2006 call the US public to participate in creating alternatives.

The struggle to defeat DR-CAFTA brought an alliance together that can answer that call. US workers, environmentalists, farmers, indigenous and students listened to each other and their southern neighbors, many for the first time. Battles are brewing in the trenches of the Mexican border, the streets of Central America and the depths of Congress. As we learn from the tenacity and dedication of a people long outweighed in traditional terms of power and influence, our perspective broadens and new solutions emerge. US creativity, resources and experience will enhance already evolving alternatives for the entire hemisphere.

Millions have demanded a rejection of “free trade” tyranny and a repeal of the cruel Cuba Blockade. Let the release of the donated aid for Cuban people signify our evolution to the good neighbor we want to believe ourselves to be.

Report this post as:

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

Sexual Harassment Charges of Men Suing Women who are accused of Harassing Men are now 10% J05 4:08AM

Stases psychiques et stases sexuelles J04 11:34AM

Paraphysique de la sous-vie J02 9:01AM

Paraphysique de la biomasse mondialisée J01 9:45AM

La mathématisation du monde D31 7:42AM

Refugee other Asylum I.D. reraly granted U.of :ouisiana DEc 29 ,2018 D30 5:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy