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OP/ED: South America Moves Left, BRICS Moves West, America Better Be Sharp

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posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:55 AM
It is becoming clear to observers that South America as a whole is slipping to the left. Five nations have taken this move now, most of them in a responsible way that mirrors European social democracies, with Venezeula being the exception to that. America seems determined to fight the trend, but this could come back to kick us in the butt. It may be time for America to start thinking about how to create mutual peace and prosperity with neighbors who are becoming increasingly different from us, because no matter how far left they move, they'll still be right next to us. Some readers may be uncomfortable with the discussion of certain aspects of American policy in history, but the reader is assured that this is intended as a discussion of future necessities, not past mistakes.

From 1901 to 1909, the Roosevelt Collary to Monroe Doctrine frankly stated that America could seek leverage in South America through force. The result was a series of wars and occupations in the Caribbean and South America, which essentially marked the era of American imperialism. Wars fought in the region under the Collary included the following:Cuba (1906-09), Nicaragua (1909-11, 1912-25 and 1926-33), Haiti (1915-34), and the Dominican Republic (1916-24). Marine Legend, Major General Smedley Butler, compared the wars to organized crime in his book War Is A Racket, despite having served in most of those nations himself. Despite the "Good Neighbor Policy" of the 1930s, during the Cold War capitalism in South America continued to rely on American intervention and oftentimes military dictatorship.
In recent years though South America has experienced a new birth of freedom. With Soviet and American influence decreased, thanks to the fall of the former and the stigma of matters like Iran contra in the latter, South American voters have been free to turn the old guard on its head. In doing so, Five nations in South America have chosen to move to the left. Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and most recently Uruguay have been liberalizing to varying degrees along the lines of European Social Democracies. The fiery and more ideological Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has taken a more radical bent, but seems to be popular with the rest of the group as well as with Russia none the less. These nations are bringing a change in South America which the United States must react to in a competent manner.
A continental economy is growing between these five socialist powers. Just this week following the election of Uruguay's President Vasquez, an oil deal was signed between that nation and Venezuela. Cuba is partaking as well, trading teachers and medical professionals for resources, especially oil, to Venezuela. These nations have their own plans for the future, they are starting to do more business amongst themselves as well as overseas, and they are critical of the roles of both the USA and IMF in their economies. America is going to have to compete for trade with these nations from now on, and part of that is going to include dealing with them as equals, not as tenants in our back yard.
Unfortunately America has not learned this yet. America was gravely mistaken in backing the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela. Our hostility both leading up to and following that is alienating this growing and potentiall important trading bloc. What exactly are we hoping to accomplish through these errant policies? Apparently just the isolation of Cuba. We are continuing a hostile policy towards South America, especially Venezuela, in order to enforce the continuation of an idiotic policy on Cuba which has served only to make Fidel Castro the longest serving head of state currently in office. It's not working, and it's going to make things worse.
It has been shown that the approach we are using is ineffective. The all sticks and no carrot approach whereby we demand that nations submit to our agenda both within their own borders and in the UN is only helping our rivals to grow more powerful. You hear suprisingly little from the mainstream news about BRICS, but it is both a problem waiting to happen for America, and a symptom of other problems. The fact that a Brazil has aligned itself with Russia and that there is a strong chance of Venezuela doing so very soon should disturb us. We have more political and economic power than Russia, we are closer to those nations, it only stands to reason that if they had a choice of getting something from Russia or America, they'd want it from America. So why didn't that happen? Because we have shown ourselves to be rigid, intollerant, and selfish in our dealings with them, and they know that whenever we get upset with one of our weaker "friends" we arrange a coup. Their continent has seen more of our handiwork than most.
So here's the point. We have a massive organization growing backed by Russia and China, which includes military cooperation. We have an increasingly influential trading block in an area strategically important to our nation leaning in favor of that organization. We are facing a threat to our Venezuelan oil source, a shutout from a growing market, and perhaps military presence of Russian allies in our hemisphere. It seems to be a back burner issue for which only military and covert options are being entertained. This is a major mistake.
The way I see it, now would be a very good time for America to make nice with Hugo Chavez and step in to assisst with their populist measures in hopes of thus curbing the need for land redistribution. We need to work out new agreements with members of the South America trading block and cause cooperation with us to be in their best interest. We've got some "sorries" to say and a reputation to build if we don't want South America to become an outpost of rival influence in our neighborhood.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
POLITICS: Uruguay Elects Leftist, Opens Ties With Cuba

posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 02:20 PM
Good information and excellent analysis. Thanks.

Personally, I'm glad the FTAA didn't fly in South America. Kinda wish NAFTA would get sunk in North America.

posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:58 PM
Great story Vagabond, it deserves a bump methinks.

posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 05:26 PM
vagabond--reading your post was time well spent. Brazil wants a seat on the permanent security council and before long it will be difficult to keep them off. They have Nuclear power program that aren't entirely exposed. China is buying-up shipping and minning rights all over South America and will soon have a large share of it's oil.
But we'll continue to ignore the sophistacation of South Americas groth with arguements like, " hell, we can destroy them any time we want".

posted on Mar, 11 2005 @ 06:09 PM
I think Bush is looking the other way...
this is gonna bite and hurt...

He has assumed that all of N & S America were in the bag... his easiest sales...
now they wont buy...

it's nice when things don't go the way that the NWO wants them to though...
isn't humanity great...

just when you set the traps for the sheep...
they run the other way...

kinda like herding greased pigs...

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:15 PM
Roosevelt and his 'corollary' are late comers to the American penchant for Imperialism and aggrandizement. Below I have lift some (there are others, many failed) showing that from its earliest America has had an unquenchable greed for expansion.

By a treaty signed on Apr. 30, 1803,
the United States purchased from France the Louisiana Territory, more than 2 million sq km (800,000 sq mi) of land extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. The price was 60 million francs, about $15 million; $11,250,000 was to be paid directly, with the balance to be covered by the assumption by the United States of French debts to American citizens.

1783 The British return Florida to Spain.
Numerous people, many of whom have fled the American Colonies during the Revolution, leave Florida for the Bahamas and the West Indies. Florida's first newspaper, The East Florida Gazette, is published at St. Augustine by Williams Charles Wells. He rushes out an "extra" to proclaim the British defeat in the Revolutionary War.
1785-1821 Numerous Spanish-American border disputes occur. Encouraged by the Americans, a republic is proclaimed in northeastern Florida in 1812 by "patriots" who run up their own flag over Fernandina.
1819 American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish Minister Luis de Onis reach an agreement finally ratified by both nations in 1821, by which Spain gives the United States title to East and West Florida. The United States relinquishes its claims to Texas, and Spain assigns its rights in the Pacific Northwest to the U.S., leaving ownership of the Oregon Territory to be settled among the United States, Russia, and Great Britain. The United States pays about $4.1 million to Americans in Florida holding claims against Spain.
1821 Andrew Jackson receives the Floridas from Spanish authorities at Pensacola on July 17. He leaves Florida in October and resigns as U.S. Commissioner and Governor of the territories of East and West Florida in November from his home in Tennessee.

In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain.
The new nation included the northern provinces, as well as present-day Mexico. Soon, free trade with the United States was established in New Mexico. The government of the Republic of Mexico tried to regulate U.S. trade in New Mexico, which led to increasing resistance among the New Mexicans, many of whom did not feel especially loyal to Mexico.

Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe Trail
was primarily a commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until 1846, it was an international commercial highway used by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe ended the war in 1848, the Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories

That 1843 wagon train, dubbed "the great migration"
kicked off a massive move west on the Oregon Trail. Over the next 25 years more than a half million people went west on the Trail. Some went all the way to Oregon's Willamette Valley in search of farmland--many more split off for California in search of gold. The glory years of the Oregon Trail finally ended in 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was completed.

Walker presents us with William Walker
(Ed Harris), a qualified doctor, lawyer and journalist who, by the age of 24, sought a more adventurous career. At the request of rubber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt (a cameo by Peter Boyle), in June of 1855 Walker led an army of 58 mercenaries, dubbed 'the Immortals' by romantics stateside, into Nicaragua at the invitation of one of the country's revolutionary factions. Rife with bloodshed, the invasion was eventually a success when his capture of Granada brought an end to the fighting. After being granted recognition by the United States as a new government, William Walker declared himself president of Nicaragua. In the following year however, due to conflict with the man who sent Walker into Nicaragua in the first place, Vanderbilt, and with neighbouring Central American countries concerned by Walker's success, William Walker was overthrown. He attempted another invasion in 1860, but this proved disastrous. He was executed by firing squad at the age of 36.

From 1803 (America was a nation starting in 1783), only 20 years after becoming a nation, America was gobbling up territories.



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 01:45 PM
"It may be time for America to start thinking about how to create mutual peace and prosperity with neighbors who are becoming increasingly different from us, because no matter how far left they move, they'll still be right next to us. Some readers may be uncomfortable with the discussion of certain aspects of American policy in history, but the reader is assured that this is intended as a discussion of future necessities, not past mistakes."

Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly apparent that America can't even accept difference of opinion inside its borders, much less in terroritories it covets. Leading to that ever more mysterious question, "Who is America?"

We might find it necessary to answer that question if we want to move forward in peace, with prosperity.

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 04:23 PM
I am very concerned with America's warlike attitude and its implications for the the BRIC situation. It seems like we're content with the idea that our military can continue to make these countries feed our national gluttony, but I'm afraid that will not happen.

This was published in late 2003:

"We have the conviction that Brazil, India and China can become the biggest economic bloc in the world in the coming decades," said Yogeshwar Varma, India's consul in Sao Paulo.
China became Brazil's second-largest export market in terms of sales this year, up from 12th last year. Brazil sends 35% of its soybean exports to China and Volkswagen AG's Brazil unit exports semi-finished Gol cars to China's expanding market of first-time car buyers. China-Brazil trade during the first nine months totaled $4.9 billion, a 40% rise from a year earlier.
"We expect our exports to Brazil to grow 18% a year during the next five years," said Satish Dhanda, chairman of India's Engineering Export Promotion Council.

"These countries are continental in size with enormous economies of their own," added Amitava Tripathi, the Indian ambassador to Brazil. "The potential for growth is enormous."

A study by Goldman Sachs estimates China and India, along with the U.S., will be the three largest economies in the world by 2050. Goldman senior economist Dominic Wilson also predicts the combined economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil could be larger than the combined economic strength of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the U.K. by 2040.

And this was from November of last year:

Analysts say the Brazil and China are helping strengthen a new bloc of developing nations - namely Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as Bric - that flexed its muscles at trade talks in Cancun in 2003.

"They are trying to create a new axis of developing nations that work together, to form a counterweight to the industrialised nations," Latin America analyst Sue Branford said.

How long before this results in conflict? These countries are far less wasteful when it comes to resources, so what makes us think they'll tolerate our fat-arses for the next couple of decades? Americans need to slim down quick-like with regard to their oil consumption and over-fertilizing. We need to begin tightening our belts if we are to remain relevant in the next 10-20 years. Peak Oil will bring this issue to a head way before 2040, IMO.

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