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8 February 2010 | | |

False step

Movements in Latin America on the European “offer” of Free Trade

Download: MP3 (1.3 Mb)

After the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced it would resume the negotiations of a possible Association Agreement with the European Union, the regional blocs called joint actions to avoid individual ways out.

Rafael Correa’s decision to resume the negotiations – which deadline is May, when the Summit of Heads of State and Government from the EU and Latin America is expected to take place in Madrid – disagreed with the decision of the governments of Venezuela and Bolivia to put an end to the talks by considering the terms of the Association Agreements as unilaterally in favor of consolidating the European transnational corporations in Latin America.

Correa justified the move, which was announced in a phone call with the Spanish Vicepresident Maria Teresa Fernandez, as a result of the EU’s decision of lowering the tariff on the Ecuadorian banana.

He even said that the Association Agreements do not represent a “free trade agreement”.

If Ecuador resumes the talks, it would be unbalancing the relation of forces in favor of the Association Agreements in the Andean region: while Peru and Colombia accepted the European conditions without saying a word, Venezuela and Bolivia and until recently Ecuador, were against them.

Meanwhile, in the MERCOSUR countries, only the outgoing President of Uruguay Tabare Vazquez would seem to be willing to resume the talks with the European bloc, while Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay kept their position against it, despite the growing pressure of Spain.

Meanwhile, last week the Latin America and the Caribbean Economic System (SELA) called a meeting to facilitate a common regional position at the 6th Summit with the European Union in Madrid.

The meeting will take place in Caracas, the agency’s headquarters, on February 25 and 26 with the participation of member states, representatives of the Association of Caribbean States and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and MERCOSUR.

Meanwhile, in Europe the background towards Madrid does not seem simple. The fall of several stock markets like Greece and Spain, with the subsequent loss of jobs are a headache for the EU, which is holding emergency meetings to soothe the crisis.

Meanwhile, the US President Barack Obama announced that he will not attend the Summit, upsetting the European officials.

In parallel to the official summit there will be a Peoples Summit of the social movements, where the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal will session to try European corporations for human rights abuses in Latin America.

The event is being organized by Linking Alternatives


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