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Failure in Cartagena

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Failure in Cartagena

Latin America no longer accepts US bullying and dominance.

by Stephen Lendman

On April 14 and 15, Cartagena, Columbia hosted the Sixth Summit of the Americas (SOA). Obama came, participated, and left empty-handed.

How different things were in three 1990s summits. James Petras calls the decade "the golden age of pillage." That was then. This is now.

America's imperial arrogance makes more enemies than friends. It also weakens influence. Ravaging the world one country at a time doesn't help. Neither does bullying nations to go along or else.

Summit theme this year was "Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity." Latin American nations have different visions than Washington. They no longer accept being "America's backyard." 

Perhaps Obama got the message, perhaps not. Others were delivered earlier. So will more from nations worldwide. Does he listen? His actions belie his rhetoric. 

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His agenda escalates same old, same old. He scorns democratic rights, equitable relations, and regional cooperation. He doesn't negotiate. He demands. He targets Venezuela and Cuba for regime change. Other Latin states wonder who's next.

On April 15, The New York Times headlined, "America's Meeting Ends With Discord Over Cuba," saying:

Excluding Cuba's participation drew sharp criticism. So did other issues raised. Perhaps Times writers didn't notice. They said Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos proclaimed success.

Maybe grudgingly, The Times admitted "the gathering yielded no major achievement." Neither did the previous 2009 Port-of-Spain Trinidad and Tobago SOA.

Three months into his presidency, Obama tried portraying imperial America as Latin America's friend. In fact, since SOA's 1994 Miami inaugural, their purpose advanced Washington's imperium and exploitive agenda. One-way trade agreements are featured.

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So-called free ones exclude fairness. Millions are gravely harmed. Only corporate profits matter, American ones mainly.

If enacted, The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) promises adverse impacts on food, water, education, healthcare, other essentials, and environmental protections. 

Like NAFTA, DR-CAFTA, and comparable bilateral deals, FTAA assures more privatizations and deregulation, increased economic inequality and concentrated wealth, environmental harm, and eroded or removed consumer protections and others for small farmers and private businesses.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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