Bush Visit to Brazil and LatAm Will Fail. Expect More Covert Operations

Graffiti against Bush in São Paulo, Brazil Bush's trip to Latin America is a calculated effort to counter Hugo Chavez's growing influence in the region and to separate the "bad left" from the "good left", namely Uruguay and to some extent Brazil. He hopes to add them to the dwindling bloc of pro-US nations, including Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, which he is visiting.

From the beginning the trip is provoking wide spread opposition. He will be greeted by demonstrators in Montevideo, Uruguay who are opposed to the special trade agreements being negotiated with the government of Tabare Vasquez. Even members of his ruling party, the Broad Front, are active in organizing the demonstration.

Across the border in Argentina, which Bush will not visit, massive demonstrations are being organized to coincide with his stay in Uruguay. And to add insult to injury, Hugo Chavez, is flying in to take part. While President Nestor Kirchner will not be participating, lower level government officials are.

This comes on the heels of a series of commercial and economic accords that Kirchner just signed with Chavez on a trip to Caracas, including the founding of the Bank of the South, which is seen as an alternative to US dominated institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank.

In Colombia and Guatemala, Bush will try to prop up governments shaken by recent political scandals. And in Mexico, his trip is designed to assist Felipe Calderon, one of the last presidents in Latin America to back the orthodox neoliberal free trade policies of Washington. His narrow election victory last year is widely perceived as fraudulent.

On the eve of Bush's trip the White House declared that he wants to "promote peace and prosperity" and that he will dispense US$ 75 million for a new education program for Latin Americans to study in the United States and US$ 385 million for programs promoting home ownership. These are token programs at best, and will do nothing to relieve the poverty and growing income disparity in Latin America.

New blows to US policy have come in the days leading up to Bush's trip. Panama has announced it will not sign the free trade agreement with Washington that was being negotiated. And in Nicaragua the new government of Daniel Ortega has just set up a special commission with Venezuela that will oversee the implementation of 15 economic accords, particularly in the areas of energy, agriculture, education and health.

A special initiative aimed at alleviating hunger will receive US$ 54 million and US$ 21 million will go to education and building schools. Investments are also being planned to modernize Nicaragua's electric plants, to construct an oil refinery, and to refurbish Nicaragua's main international port, Puerto Cabezas.

In South America a radical axis of nations intent on implementing profound social reforms at home and opposing US intervention in the region appears to be taking shape, comprised of Venezuela, Bolivia and the recently elected government of Rafael Correa in Ecuador.

Correa has rejected any free trade agreement with the United States and has announced he is closing down the US base on South America's Pacific Coast located at Manta.

Ostensibly set up to help monitor narcotrafficking over the ocean and the nearby Amazon basin, it has become a major operations center for US intelligence gathering and for coordinating counterinsurgency efforts against the leftist guerrillas in neighboring Colombia.

Upwards of 475 military personal are continually rotated between Manta and the US Southern Command headquarters based in Florida.

The Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Relations, Maria Fernanda Espinoza, in announcing the base will be officially closed in 2009, declared: "Ecuador is a sovereign country. We don't need foreign troops on our soil."

All three countries are raising the banner of socialism. In Venezuela Hugo Chavez is intent on leading the country to a "new socialism for the twenty-first century." In Bolivia Evo Morales governing party is called Movement Towards Socialism, a "party of a new type" comprised largely of social movements.

And in Ecuador, Rafael Correa in his inaugural address in January called for an opening to the "new socialism for the twenty-first century" and declared that Ecuador has to end "the perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society."

When Bush returns and finds out that his trip has done little to alter the growing leftist trend of Latin America, the iron fist of the new Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte, will take control of US policy.

Negroponte as ambassador to Honduras helped run the contra war in Nicaragua in the 1980's, which murdered thousands of innocent civilians in Honduras as well as Nicaragua, and he is known to believe that more aggressive measures have to be taken against Chavez and the gathering storm in Latin America.

He comes to his new post after serving as Director of National Intelligence, and prior to that ambassador in Baghdad. Given that Condoleezza Rice has little expertise in Latin America, Negroponte will set policy for the region, overriding the few remaining moderates in the State Department's office of Hemispheric Affairs.

With Negroponte we can expect a marked increase in US covert operations, aimed not only at Chavez in Venezuela, but also at the other governments and the popular movements in the region that are leading the charge against the historic US domination of Latin America and are bent on constructing more equitable societies.

Roger Burbach is director of the Center for the Study of the Americas based in Berkeley, California. He has written extensively on Latin America, including, "The Pinochet Affair: State Terrorism and Global Justice." He is also the co-author with Jim Tarbell of: "Imperial Overstretch: George W. Bush and the Hubris of Empire."


  • Show Comments (19)

  • ghettostreets


  • ghettostreets

    HIt me up Bush
    Wuts crackin cuzz? Brazil aint ever gone allow such a fucked up person to enter its land, Fuck bush, Representing RIo de janeiro, just know this cracka bush aint coming around our place, or its on….Ghs bz

  • Yeah we have bananas to you!!

    [quote]Bush’s trip to Latin America is a calculated effort to counter Hugo Chavez’s growing influence in the region and to separate the “bad left” from the “good left”, namely Uruguay and to some extent Brazil. He hopes to add them to the dwindling bloc of pro-US nations, including Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, which he is visiting. [/quote]

    No the Brazilian left which is making friendly ackwolegements to US is the most corrupt and criminous party that has overtaken Brazil. These are Bush’s partner such as our Federal Police which is sold to the American government. Dollars buy a lot here in Brazil. Fuck Bush AND LULA.

  • Yeah we have bananas to you!!

    Fuck USA! Fuck the gringo imperialist pigs
    Yes, you are right on that! All Latin Americans and Brazilians would like to burn American flags to get rid of this destructive ghost called USA. It is amazing how everybody here is talking very badly about Bush, a bucha. (troble)

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeah Get the fuck off gringos!!!! Locals only!

  • Andy Murphy


    When a “Porteiro ” of a condo in any city in Brazil makes 3 times the salary of the teacher of a school run by the municipal government,how do you expect the education to get better? So it is better to skip the school,be a “Porteiro” for a few years and climb up the ladder to become a “Zelador”. Of course the work is very hard. It is not easy to sit and open the gate to the residents and visitors of the Condo. Your fingers get numb after operating the remote controlled device to operate the gate.But there again,one can make extra bucks sueing the Condo.

    Knowledge Based Economy? What sort of desease is it?

    Finally, remember that Education is the 7 th in the list of priorities of the “Povo Brasileiro”,according to a poll taken last year.So it is not important.I forget what were the first 3 priorities and may be Ric or Van Beethoven can clarify.

  • Ric

    Covert Operations
    WeÀ‚´re told to expect more, but the beauty of covert ops is that you never know if your expectations were fulfilled or not.

    By the way, Baghdad Bob, some posters are not going to like the fact that you called ch.c a liar. Many venerate him. Not me personally, but several posters do. They have said so.

  • A brazilian

    Ch.c, the liar
    You have no evidence whatsoever, and for the little facts you gathered they are aren’t related to the conclusion you are trying to support.

  • Ric

    CanÀ‚´t have it both ways
    A few months ago they were complaining because South America was low priority in Washington, forgotten “back yard”, etc. So the Americans look this way and now they are doing what they do best, and in fact exercising their only option: ACHAR RUIM.

  • ch.c.

    Pre-gift to A brazilian ….typically brazilian !!!!!!!
    that is not yet the one I have in mind, but hopefully you understand how Brazil LATAM lag the world…..despite what you swallow from your
    governments liars and cheaters.
    Just think of how many tons of sugarcane or soyabeans or coffee or iron ore you need to buy 1 simple more technological product !!!!!!!!

    Contrary to the conventional wisdom in Washington and European capitals, the biggest threat to Latin America may not be the proliferation of radical populist strongmen but the region’s declining levels of technological education, research and development.

    Judging from a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank, the region is falling behind the rest of the world in almost every category of education and technological skills. In other words, while the rest of the world moves toward the knowledge economy — in which a software patent is worth millions of tons of raw materials — and high value-added exports, most Latin American countries remain stuck in their reliance on exports of oil, soybeans and other primary products.

    The report, Education, Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, includes some alarming data, which have received little or no attention in the region. Among them:

    ˢۢ The 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries together spend $11 billion a year in research and development of new products. That is less than the $12 billion spent for this endeavor by one single Asian country, South Korea.

    ˢۢ Brazil, the Latin American leader in research and development, spends about 1 percent of its gross domestic product in R&D. By comparison, China, which has comparable or worse poverty rates than many Latin American countries, spends 1.4 percent of its GDP in research and development.

    À¢€¢ While the business sector share of research and development is growing dramatically in China and other Asian countries, it is falling in Latin America, where most R&D is paid for by the state. While in communist China the business sector pays for 61 percent of that country’s R&D, in Latin America the percentage is only 32 percent, one of the world’s lowest.

    À¢€¢ Many Latin American countries haven’t even entered the research and development arena. Seventy percent of the region’s R&D is done by just three countries: Brazil (42 percent), Argentina (20 percent) and Mexico (11 percent).

    ˢۢ While Latin American countries are making progress in increasing the average years of schooling, the region is falling behind in raising educational standards, which is the primary focus of education in industrialized countries. Recent results of the international PISA mathematics test show that while students in Mexico got an average score of 385, Japanese students scored 534 and U.S. students 483.

    ˢۢ While Japan registered nearly 36,000 patents in the United States a year, South Korea about 3,000 and China 300, Brazil registers about 130 patents, Mexico 84 and Argentina 62.

    You see that your represent nothing in this planet….for knowledge and technology of whatever product you can think of !!!!!!!
    You are only a basic commodities country ! Thus your nickname….of BOOM AND BUST country !!!!!!!

  • Joao Silva

    Bush’s trip is clearly a lost cause. The vast majority of public opinion throughout Latin America has turned against him, and now favors a leftist alternative. Bush is completely discredited on the world stage. His approval rating in Latin America is in the single digits. All his presence will do here is intensify anti-Americanism that is already at an all-time high.

  • ch.c.

    To : Fuck USA! Fuck the gringo imperialist pigs !!!!!
    Was it your father AND mother who were NAZIS ? They transmitted you the good genes !

  • ch.c.

    To a brazilian….a typical brazilian !!!!
    Any Evidence ? Ch.c. is lying again !!!!!! Just these statements demonstrate how idiot you are….a brazilian !

    If you were only one tenth smart you could read by yourselves ALL the articles that appeared on this site on that subject, but being idiot AND lazy, it would hurt your brains doing so ! correct ? How ? Just scroll on top of this page and at the left you will see (if you can) a small Google window where you could write : ….education Brazil ……and you will have the 4090 articles published ON THIS SUBJECT AND ON THIS SITE ALONE during the last several years !!!!!!!!!

    Here is my confirmation that I dont lie and that ” a brazilian” is a perfect idiot totally uneducated, watching more brazilian TV soap operas than the sad news for his country :
    – Brazil Agrees It Needs More Education But Nobody Wants to Foot the Bill , from Buarque April 20, 2006
    – Lula Brought Poverty Down in Brazil, But Safety, Education and Health Are in Shambles, from Ituassu Sept.29, 2006
    – Brazil Has a Pact of Mediocrity in Economy, Society and Culture, from Buarque FEBRUARY 7 ….2007…only 1 month old….idiot !
    – Brazil Needs a Little Less Astuteness and a Little More Civic Engagement , from Buarque December 19, 2005. with interesting stats
    – While Jordan Brings Medical Tourists Brazil Does Sex Tourism, Buarque, April 5, 2006 interesting education comparison with Jordan, a country poorer than Brazil.

    the above is just a small sample…of course !

    You can find more at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1425&fuseaction=topics.event_summary&event_id=215902
    article Written by Daniel Budny, Brazil Institute, January 2007 , here is part of it :
    – the quality of education remains stubbornly low. A recent study by the Instituto de Pesquisa EconÀƒ´mica Aplicada (IPEA) shows that the average 25 years old Brazilian has completed only nine years of education. Almost 11 percent of the population is illiterate and a much larger proportion is functionally illiterate.
    – Many factors contribute to the dismal state of education within the SÀƒ£o Paulo public school system, explained Gall. First, not enough resources are invested into education. Whereas New York City spends about US$ 11,000 per year per pupil on education, SÀƒ£o Paulo might spend a mere 600. (despite SP is the wealthiest brazilian state)
    – Yes, the country has laudably achieved near total attendance for children ages seven to 14. The problem is that attendance rates for those ages 15 to 19 is only about seventy percentÀ¢€”and is not improving. The reason why teenagers do not remain in school, he argued, is because of the increasing difficulties in attending college. Universities are not expanding to accommodate the increasing number of high school students. Only 12 percent of the population enters college, and, only 15 percent of that cohort attend tuition-free schools. Teenagers drop out of high school because they see the pursuit of a college degree as futile and give up preparing for it.
    – More than one quarter of children will not complete basic education and only one half will complete secondary education.
    – Free college tuition, guaranteed in the 1988 Constitution, subsidizes the rich, as only the children of wealthy families are competitive enough to gain entrance to universities (thanks to private secondary education). Such distortionary measures perpetuate income inequality.

    As you can see this is a recent article, NOT GLORIOUS AT AT ALL FOR THE QUALITY OF BRAZILIAN EDUCATION !!!!!
    And if you want more of the same, please surf the Net…..yourself !

    And to add the cherry on my cake, just for you idiot, I will spend more time tomorrow and retrieve the article where it compared Brazil education with LATAM education !!!!!

  • all american

    better red then dead… and other anti america slogans
    latam leftists,socialists,communists,and their “usefull idiots”…More crap from the southern continent….who cares as you drown in your 300 years of disfunction….BLUFFING BLOWHARDS!!!!!

  • A brazilian

    To “Fuck USA”
    Listen, redneck in disguise, go back to elementary school and learn that in Brazil we don’t speak spanish and there aren’t hispanics. Pathetic ignorant fuck.

  • A brazilian

    Ch.c is lying again
    [quote]Sadly enough even poorer LATAM countries have a better education. [/quote]

    Any evidence?

  • Fuck USA! Fuck the gringo imperialist pigs!

    Kick USA and the imperialist gringos back to where they came from!
    Heroes like Chavez, Evo Morales, Fidel, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Ollanta Humala, and Lopez Obrador are what is needed in Latin America.

    No longer will Latin Americas be AmeriKKKaˢ۪s biatch!

    As comrade Chavez himself said: À¢€œGringos, get the fuck out!À¢€Â

    Latin Americans are now all too aware of US of KKKAÀ¢€™s intention, which is too exploit their people as slave and cheap maquiladores labor, steal their resources for a pittance, have lap dog and puppet leaders installed in their government, steal from the poor and give to the rich, and exploit their nations and make the Latin nations US of KKKAÀ¢€™s bitch.

    Latin America will not only rise up but we will conquer USA and make this nation a brown and hispanic nation and we will achieve the reconquest of North America.

    So gringos start learning spanish and know we will rule over you! remember what goes around comes around to bite back in your ass!

    No more gringos! down with the gringos! viva la izguierda revolucion!

  • ch.c.

    Brazil aint ever gone allow such…….
    ghettostreets is so educated he doesnt seem to know that Bush already went to Brazil a few times.

    And to a Brazilian who wrote ” stereotype some americans like to believe.” SORRY buddy you better read more about the lack of education in Brazil ! Did not you know that even in LATAM, Brazil has a lower education than the other countries. Sadly enough even poorer LATAM countries have a better education.

    For further references on that subject please scroll the news on this site. There was an article on that subject around a year ago or so !
    Therefore it is not only what Americans, but also the EU and even the Brazilians themselves.

    No need for a stereotype…you are what you are…and stats and comparisons is the only revealing factor.
    Because saying there is a good or bad education means nothing by definition if it is not compared with other nations.

    Ohhhhh and by the way NOOOOO brazilian made a comment on the today article concerning the rapist and killer of the 1 year old baby !!!!!!!
    Too accustomed by now for such things that happen on a daily basis ???????

  • A brazilian

    [quote]Well, they may be “token” to some, but it’s a helluva lot better than what some latin countries do in their own countries! [/quote]

    This statement and nothing are the same thing. It is too broad to be taken seriously, it doesn’t point any fact in specific and uses the common stereotype some americans like to believe.

  • bo

    [quote]On the eve of Bush’s trip the White House declared that he wants to “promote peace and prosperity” and that he will dispense US$ 75 million for a new education program for Latin Americans to study in the United States and US$ 385 million for programs promoting home ownership. These are token programs at best, and will do nothing to relieve the poverty and growing income disparity in Latin America.[/quote]

    Well, they may be “token” to some, but it’s a helluva lot better than what some latin countries do in their own countries!

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