Patience. I'll get to the point. May extend up to 4 posts.
Before FMLN party candidate Mauricio Funes was elected President, El Salvador was integrated into the US dominated world system via DR-CAFTA when the US-backed ARENA party was in power in 2005. Before the vote in Congress Carol Pier of Human Rights Watch commented on DR-CAFTA's workers' rights protections:
The Washington Post took a different view however. It gushes:Human Rights Watch: DR-CAFTA Falls Short on Workers’ Rights
Rather than playing a game of smoke and mirrors, the Bush administration should renegotiate DR-CAFTA to strengthen workers’ rights protections and provide the funds to make them a reality. For Congress to oppose DR-CAFTA until it does so isn’t protectionist or anti-trade, it’s pro-human rights.
^^The Washington Post: The Stakes in CAFTA
THE HOUSE is getting ready to vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a deal that would bind the five nations of Central America plus the Dominican Republic to the U.S. economy.
While the United States has been focusing on terrorism, a new challenge has been brewing in its own hemisphere. House members should consider this challenge before voting to slam the door on Central America's pro-American leaders.
The peace process in Central America succeeded, ending leftist insurgences in El Salvador and Guatemala and leading to elections in Nicaragua that removed its Marxist leadership. Democracy already had displaced often populist dictatorships across South America; in Mexico, a pro-American, pro-market presidential candidate succeeded against the long-ruling and traditionally leftist Institutional Revolutionary Party.
You would think this editorial was written at Langley. This is the liberal view in mainstreem articulate opinion in the United States.
Among US elites, "democracy" means "a country that is ruled by economic elites linked to the United States". That's it. Nothing else matters. The regime could be murdering and torturing it's population by the tens of thousands and it would still be described as an elected (by 99.7 % of the vote) democratic government, just as Washington's death squads were characterized as "democratic forces".
In contrast, democratically elected nationalist governments that respond to inreasing popular demand for immediate improvements in the low living standards of the masses and gear production towards demestic needs are denounced and condemned as "Marxist-Leninists", "anti-American" and "authoritarian" or smeared, independant of any facts. It just doesnt matter.
The "New Vision" of the "Gatekeeper" of so called Global "Free Markets"
At the end of September 1993, the Clinton Administration finally addressed "the vision thing" in the domain of foreign policy, with major addresses by the President and Secretary of State, and of particular significance, by National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, who laid forth the intellectual foundations of the new Clinton doctrine at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
A new National Export Strategy was announced that set guidelines for international economic policy, and a White House panel on intervention applied the doctrine in this particular sphere, all within a few days. The seriousness of the enterprise was duly recorded with such headlines as "U.S. Vision of Foreign Policy Reversed", implying a dramatic policy change.
The new vision is based on a picture of the contemporary world that has risen well beyond opinion, to the heights of truism. The picture is sketched eloquently by the New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent, Thomas Friedman:
The term "gatekeeper" has an ominous ring. The whole affair merits some thoughts about how we keep the gates, who we let in, and what kind of model we are to offer to the world. We begin with Anthony Lake's address, recognized to be the centerpiece of the new vision.America's victory in the cold war was a victory for a set of political and economic principles: democracy and the free market. At last, the world is coming to understand that the free market is the wave of the future -- a future for which America is both the gatekeeper and the model.
A long-time liberal dove, Clinton's National Security Adviser Anthony Lake explained that:
There is no need to review how we have "contained a global threat to market democracy" in "our little region over here," as FDR's Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, described the Western hemisphere. It is enough to recall a warning issued by Simon Bolivar in 1822, as he sought to liberate Latin America from Spanish rule:From Containment to Enlargement
Throughout the cold war, we contained a global threat to market democracies: now we should seek to enlarge their reach, particularly in places of special significance to us.
The successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement -- enlargement of the world's free community of market democracies.
Back to the Post's Editorial:There is at the head of this great continent a very powerful country, very rich, very warlike, and capable of anything. The United States seems destined to plague and torment the continent in the name of freedom.
Yes, that is what the masses in Central America are demanding. More sweat shops and exploitation. The Jesuit Priests have been the voice of the poor majority in the region for many decades:The Washington Post: The Stakes in CAFTA
In the past few years, however, an attempt has been made to revive the political challenge once represented by Mr. Castro. It centers on Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who combines Castroite rhetoric with the financial clout of Venezuelan oil. Mr. Chavez has spread his money around the region, sponsoring anti-American and anti-democratic movements and promoting alternatives to U.S. initiatives. To counter the U.S. trade agenda, for example, he has put forward a "Bolivarian Alternative."
This has given critics of the United States something to advocate. El Nuevo Diario, a Nicaraguan newspaper that is critical of CAFTA, praised the Bolivarian Alternative recently, asserting that "America is for the Americans, not for the North Americans." In Costa Rica, critics of CAFTA who draw inspiration from Mr. Chavez have made no secret of the fact that they oppose the deal because they oppose the United States.
Most House Democrats don't want to hear this; they claim that CAFTA is opposed by "pro-poor" groups in the region. But this claim is troubling on two levels. First, CAFTA would actually help the poor: It would create 300,000 new jobs in shoes, textiles and apparel;
But second, the defeat of CAFTA would help not anti-poverty movements but anti-American demagogues, starting with Mr. Chavez. For them, the retreat of the United States from partnership with Central America would be a major victory.
The Post has exposed itself as the unnoficial mouthpeace for the IMF, World Bank and WTO. It also highlights the underlying roots of the hostilty towards President Chavez.Report at Jesuit Priest Conference in El Salvador:
Central America today is experiencing globalization, a more devastating pillage than what its people underwent 500 years ago with the conquest and colonization. [The dominant force is not the market but rather] a strong transnational state that dictates economic policy and plans resource allocation.
The IMF, World Bank, Interamerican Development Bank, US Agency for International Development, European Community, UN Development Program and their ilk are all state or interstate institutions of a transnational character that have much greater economic influence over our countries than the market.
The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privalge and limiting debate and discussion accordingly.