World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Latin America Moving Away from Washington's Influence

>The Quiet Revolution: Latin America Moving Away from Washington's Influence

By John C.K. Daly
August 1, 2011

Perhaps the biggest foreign-policy story of the past decade, thoroughly overlooked by the American media after 9/11 and its subsequent monomaniacal focus on terrorism, security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the fact that Latin America has essentially moved away from Washington's influence.

This quiet revolution from below, in rejecting the Monroe Doctrine, first enunciated in 1823 whereby the U.S. essentially barred European powers from influence in Latin America, has essentially for nearly 200 years served as an ideological platform for countless U.S. interventions south of the border but has yet to register on the radar the politicians in Washington.

From Ecuador to Paraguay, Venezuela to Brazil, governments increasingly composed of representatives of the indigenous people, are more and more rebuffing Washington's advice as they seek to determine their countries' futures without undue interference from their giant North American neighbor.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Brazil, which after suffering decades of corrupt government and intermittent military dictatorship in 2003 elected Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as president, who's adroit and progressive policies until he relinquished the proposed last year have laid the foundations for the dramatic rise of Brazil's economy.

President Lula focused on social equality and improving the lot of the nation's poor, and that and other policies such as reining in the rampant inflation that ravaged the country when he took office, saw him leave the presidency with an approval rating of 80 percent, a political achievement unmatched in any other country.

Lula put Brazil's economic interests first and foremost, and spoke his mind prior to a G20 summit in March 2009, when in Brasilia, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown squirming uncomfortably beside him, he addressed the issue of the global recession which had begun the previous year by telling reporters, "This crisis was caused by no black man or woman or by no indigenous person or by no poor person. This crisis was fostered and boosted by irrational behavior of some people that are white, blue-eyed. Before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics, and they have demonstrated they know nothing about economics." Challenged about his claims, Lula responded: "I only record what I see in the press. I am not acquainted with a single black banker."

Indirectly addressing the West's and in particular the United States' obsession with security against terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Lula continued, "We do not have the right to allow this crisis to continue for long. We are determined to make sure the world financial system is vigorously regulated. You go to a shopping mall and you are filmed. You go to the airport and you are watched. I can't imagine that only the financial system has no surveillance at all."

Last July while visiting Zambia Lula noted, "We had a debt of $30 billion to the International Monetary Fund but when I took office, we repaid the IMF and we don't owe anymore to the IMF. On the contrary, the IMF owes us $14 billion We have $250 billion in our currency reserves."

Now the crown jewel in Brazil's economy, the government-managed Petrobras energy company is to build on Lula's sound fiscal foundation and stated that it intends to double its output within the next four years. Furthermore, echoing Lula's reluctance to rely on foreign financial funding, Petrobras said that its plan to more than double oil output will boost the company's cash flow and eliminate the need to tap debt markets in less than a decade, as profits from oil sales will be enough to cover both operating and debt costs, according to Petrobras Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa.

Earlier this week Petrobras announced its plans to invest $224.7 billion in increasing production through 2015, more than any other major oil producer in the world, as it develops some of the world's largest discoveries in three decades outside of the Caspian basin.

Barbassa said modestly, "Cash flow will be enough to pay debt amortizations and the investments we will have. Few companies in the world can say this."

A government focused both on social reform and prudent economic policy while the country's largest company purchases a policy of minimizing foreign borrowing through a pay-as-you-go policy - what radical concepts.

It would seem that the future of Petrobras is quite bright, and if Washington bothers to listen to its rising southern economic superpower hemispheric neighbor it might even learn a few things about fiscal accountability, if the Republicans in Congress can be momentarily dissuaded from their efforts to drive America's international credit ratings over a cliff.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/South-America/The-Quiet-Revolution-Latin-America-Moving-Away-from-Washingtons-Influence.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Covid-19: Vaccines Donated Next Year, ‘Too Late For Those Who Are Dying Today’

Millions more COVID vaccines need to be donated now to save lives and help the UN health agency reach the key global target of having 70 per cent of all national populations vaccinated, by the middle of 2022... More>>


UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>



OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


COP26: Progress Made As May-June UN Climate Change Session Closes

The May-June Climate Change Session, the first to have been held virtually to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held at the end of the year in Glasgow, Scotland, closed today... More>>

UNFCCC: Halving Emissions By 2030 Is New Normal - Race To Zero Anniversary
Over 4,500 non-state actors from across the global economy have committed to halving emissions by 2030, joining the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign... More>>


UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>