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Latin America Bites Back

Since the end of World War II the USA has intervened in Latin America countless times in order to keep the balance of power in the interest of the USA. The Panama Canal and Bay of Pigs are just two of many examples. Like the UK in Africa, it was originally about the cold war and combating the rise of the Communist influence of Russia.

With the end of the Cold War, what ideological reason did the USA have for remaining in control both politically and economically in Latin America? It was all about money, big business and control. Some large multi nationals in the USA have bigger incomes than many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Isn’t it grotesque that companies are more powerful that presidents and heads of state? If they competed on a level playing field, then I’m sure that the companies would never have grown to the size that they are. Halliburton started by Dick Cheney is just one example of a multi-billion pound country working in Iraq and around Latin America, obtaining contracts often awarded by the IMF and World Bank.

The continuing poverty in Latin America has meant that indigenous leaders with an anti-poverty agenda have become popular for the first time in hundreds of years. This popularity has been sparked by the collapse of Argentina and the continuing privatization of everyday necessities such as water and communications. In Latin America these privatizations often to lead to huge price increases meaning that the majority poor of these countries cannot even get access to basic needs.

But the recently elected indigenous leaders of Venezuela and Bolivia are starting to bite back at the role of the USA, IMF, World Bank and other countries that they see have exploited the minerals and wealth of their countries. Morales in Bolivia recently offered to re-negotiate all contracts with the gas suppliers in Bolivia which included Centrica which owns British Gas. These contracts were to be renegotiated back into the favour of the government of the host country. The gas companies refused to agree to the terms which Morales said would still provide a return of 20-25% profit during the life of the contract. The gas companies refused on the basis that if they agreed for the terms to be renegotiated in Bolivia with them taking a smaller piece of the pie, then this would open the flood gates for other countries to do the same.

So what they do is they vilify those leaders via the press with the stance that they are anti-business and not to be trusted. The CIA has intervened many times in the past to remove leaders they don’t see as suitable to the big business interests and politics of the USA. A recent example is the removal of Saddam from Iraq, Halliburton and other big companies have now moved into Iraq and a recent audit commission by the USA government states that $8 billion has gone missing from oil revenues since the invasion. Governments in Africa and Latin America have been removed for less than half that amount but because this money has gone missing while the allies are in charge, they just say that they need to tighten procedures. All this info is available via reputable(?) media sources if you google it.

The end result is that Latin American leaders have had enough. They want to exploit natural resources for the good of the people of their own countries and not those located in the developed world. That’s why we will see a continuing polorisation and small scale trade agreements between these emerging countries in Latin America that are beginning to ‘bite back’ at their former masters. The way they do this….where it hurts the most…. Money, business and power!

Submitted by:

Davis Green

David Oglaza is the founder of the Green and Ethical business GuideMeGreen. This growing green resource lists 100s of Organic, Fairtrade, Eco and Ethical companies. We even have Green jobs and a Green Forum!




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