Rich Guys in Business Suits
copyright 1997 Bob Darby
Jimmy Carter is dreaming, of giving Latin
America the splendid gift of "free trade" with the
United States! And Bill Clinton and Al Gore must share that same
fluffy bed, and dream the same sweet dreams, because a Western
Hempisphere Free Trade Summit Meeting is scheduled by all of
them at the Carter Center, starting April 28. Lots of rich
guys in business suits will be in Atlanta for that Big conference
- VIPs like Mexiscan President Zedillo, U.S. drug czar General
Barry McCaffrey, Newt Gingrich, Gerald Ford plus various bosses
from Coca-Cola, Bell South, Delta Airlines, Nations Bank and
United Parcel Service.
The Atlanta Constitution says that corporate donars
will pay for much of the conference cost. These "donations"
buy influence with prospective Latin Trading partners and firm
up the loyalty of eager politicians who are already facilitating
access to new markets in countries like Mexico and Guatemala.
Thanks to "free trade", corporations like General Motors
have already relocated factories from Michigan to Mexico, where
real labor unions are illegal and where workers often are required
to work sixty hour weeks for a dollar an hour or less, with no
benefits or rights. In Guatemala the Chiquita corporation - formerly
known as United Fruit - has access to thousands of landless peasants
who will work for almost nothing, harvesting bananas so that
El Norte (that's us) can have cheap fruit, Chiquita executives
can have high salaries and stockholders can get their usual return.
This is what Mr. Carter's and Mr. Clinton's dream of "free
trade" is all about: for everybody except rich guys
in business suits and their servile politicians, it's a grim
nightmare. For El Norte workers like us, it means losing job
security and having our incomes pushed downwards. It means more
homelessness and more prisons. For Latin workers, it means a
desparate and permanent struggle for meager survival. For many
others - for some homeless here, for the Latino "disappeared"
there - it has already meant death, brought on by rich guys
in business suits, their hired politicians, their military
and police employees.
Mr. Carter's "dream" of Free Trade with Latin America
is better described as "scheme", or perhaps "sham",
than a "gift". It's a bloody and evil business, constructed
over decades and masterminded mostly in the United States by
rich guys in business suits, by people not unlike those
attending the Carter Center conference.
The U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning GA,
has been accused of teaching Latin soldiers to rape, torture
and kill their own people.The Pentagon's recent , and reluctant,
declassification of torture brochures used in the curriculum
is pretty solid proof of the allegations. For more information
on U.S. training in torture, kidnapping and death squads, write
Father Roy Bourgeois at SOA Watch, PO box 3330, Columbus GA 31903.
The SOA curriculum is a bloody servant for a ruthless corporate
pillage of Latim America. But the pillage is global, degrading
the lives of workers in the U.S. and everywhere else on the planet.
What our rich guys in business suits are already doing
in Latin America they will get around to doing here, when it
Mr. Carter knows what the School of the Americas does. He remembers
how, when he was president, the U.S. covertly aided the genocidal
Khymer Rouge. How could he not know about Cia involvement in
heroin trafficking during the Viet Nam war, about the role of
the Pentagon and Cia in cocaine trafficking during the Iran-Contra
affair? Read Bob Woodward's Veil: the secret wars of the
CIA, and Alfred McCoy's The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity
in the Global Drug Trade to find out what Mr. Carter knows.
Our famously devout Southern Baptist should consult his own Southern
Baptist bible, which clearly states, "He who has ears to
hear, let him hear" (Matt. 11 - 15). back