I laughed out loud (not quite like a maniac troll, though...) when I saw the following headline on GOOGLE NEWS (who proved an absolutely fantastic free service, by the way):
Bush pushes for improved ties to South AmericaI guess he said something like this:
Bush suggested that the key to greater prosperity for all is to persuade South American countries to enter a trade agreement with North America...
"Listen up, hombres. I'm running up the biggest deficit the world has ever seen while destroying just about every international alliance, convention, protocol and treaty in existence. I'm also hijacking foreign nationals, sending them to my "friends" in places like Uzbekistan for some softening up treatment, then locking them away forever in a whole gulag of stinking hell-holes which I am building around the world. You think Guantanamo Bay is bad? You got no idea what's going down in Diego Garcia! So hitch your wagon to my train or, ummm... errr.... Karl? Are you there? Is this thing switched on?It's a seldom noted fact (in the US press anyway) that while Bush has been dragging the USA towards Fascism, most of South America has been pushing steadily in the opposite direction, sometimes in quite revolutionary fashion (Venezuela and Brazil being the most obvious examples).
After all, these countries are already far too familiar with right-wing governments that advocate torture, having suffered decades of such abuse from US-installed and -backed dictators like Pinochet. Torture? Disappearances? Rampant big business corruption? Militant, ideological governments destroying basic civil liberties? As a citizen of Beunos Aires might say, "Been there, done that - that stuff is jut so Seventies, man..."
Go back even further in Latin American history and you will hear stories that are quite astounding, like US businessmen launching their own attacks by sea, with private armies of mercenaries, to take over whole Central American countries, with US government blessing.
The USA has been widely hated across Latin America for centures, and not witout reason. Under Bush's stewardship, nothing has changed for the better and many, many things have changed for the worse. While Latin Americans still seek a path out of poverty and globalized injustice, don't expect anyone to go making deals with Bush that are not secured firmly in their own self interest. Big Business Bush pays lip-service to "free trade" buzzwords while greedy US citizens complain than some paisano in Guatemala is going to put them out of work by earning ten bucks a day... The song remains the same.
Hey, but wait a minute!!! That will all change when Paul Wolfowitz becomes head of the World Bank!!! Right? ... right? .... er... Karl?