Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bush Faces The "New Axis of Evil"

George W. Bush heads out of the country this weekend (not a bad idea, all things considered) to attend the "Summit of the Americas" in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This was supposed to be the the occasion of theBush administration's completion of negotiations leading to the so-called "Free Trade Area of the Americas." It promises to be, in one observer's opinion, "a train wreck:"

Latin Americans, rich and poor, today condemn the Bush administration's aggressive unilateralism and its disregard for international institutions and norms. A recent Zogby poll of Latin America's elites revealed that 86 percent of them disagree with the Washington's management of world conflict. Anti-Americanism is resurgent in every country of the region. The United States is viewed as indifferent and unresponsive to Latin America -- in a period when many of the region's economies are stumbling, and political and social tensions are worsening. For its part, Washington has been mostly disappointed by developments in Latin America, particularly by the region's vehement opposition to U.S. international policies.
Latin America has, in the last decade or so, moved away from the right-wing military dictatorships of the past and has embraced elective, representative democracy. The net effect of these moves, however, has been to increase the distance between Latin America and the America of George W. Bush.

Alan Clendenning, Associated Press:

Most Latin American governments opposed the [Iraq] war, and only Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic overrode protesting publics to send troops or police to Iraq. The 380 Salvadorans are the only ones still there.
Security will be tight. Today, riots erupted in Mar del Plata, just days before the Summit is to begin.

Former Argentine soccer superstar Diego Maradona will lead an anti-Bush march when the President arrives in Argentina on Friday.
"I cannot accept the fact he will set foot on Argentine land,'' Maradona, 44, said on a television show in Cuba where he met with Cuba's President Fidel Castro Oct. 27. "He disdains us and tramples over us and yet we have to kowtow to him.''
Meanwhile, as Bush meets with leaders of 33 American nations (including those of the "New Axis of Evil"TM) Friday and Saturday, a separate “People’s Summit” will be held nearby, bringing together anti-war activists, socialists, students, indigenous leaders and union leaders.
"We think his policies are totally contrary to what we want for Latin America and are promoting genocide, domination of workers and their communities and the plundering of natural resources," said Argentine labor leader Juan Gonzalez, who is heading the "People's Summit" coinciding with Bush's visit Thursday through Saturday.

No comments: