As the summit's began Friday, rioters smashed the glass storefronts of at least 30 businesses, set fire to a bank and battled police with slingshots and rocks. Police fought back with tear gas and made 64 arrests. No major injuries were reported.Must be a lot of pissed off Argentinians for that to occur. Argentina in the 21st Century is not the backwater nation it was when Nixon or even Rockefeller visited and engendered such passionate outbursts. Even after a major monetary crisis in 1998 the country has a burgeoning and growing middle class.
The purpose of this trip, the main purpose, is to set up a FTAA (first, there was NAFTA and then CAFTA, and now FFTA. Did the run out of cute names?), or Free Trade Area of the Americas, an attempt to counter the growing economic power of the EU (while blindingly copycatting it). The way I see the world playing out, China will become the dominant world economy in the next decade, which means the Middle East and specifically OPEC will remain world players for at least 20 more years...which makes the EU, the only other large trading bloc, the second most powerful economic force in the world.
So the US will fall far (and I do mean far) behind.
Sounds this FTAA like a pretty good idea, right? I mean, I'm all for free trade, you know, so long as the big partners in it...play....fair...
The bloc would rival the European Union as the world's largest, but its creation has been stalled for years amid bickering over U.S. farm subsidies and other obstacles....oh.
Which might explain this recent story...
ZURICH (Reuters) - The United States proposed on Monday deep cuts in farm subsidies and the future elimination of agricultural tariffs in a bid to unblock world trade talks and meet an end-year deadline for a deal.So the free traders in the administration are going to go head to head with the heartland congressmen and Senators over farm subsidies worldwide, but in the FTAA, they're rolling over?
Something is very confusing about that.
Maybe it has something to do with this guy?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez emerged as the most strident opponent of the free trade bloc, addressing more than 10,000 protesters hours before the summit inauguration.Tough choice: Bush or the socialist....whom to support here?
Speaking at a soccer stadium before heading over to the summit, Chavez urged some 20,000 leftist supporters to help him fight free trade.
"Only united can we defeat imperialism and bring our people a better life," he said, adding: "Here, in Mar del Plata, FTAA will be buried!"
Chavez wants an anti-FTAA deal based on socialist ideals, and he has used his country's oil wealth to build support, offering fuel with preferential financing to various Caribbean and Latin American countries.