Carta en ingles de la peticion al presidente abama
Carta en Ingles de la peticion que organismos no gubernamentales norteamericanos estan haciendo al presidente obama en el marco de la cumbre delasamericas
Dear President Obama, April 13, 2009
At the upcoming Summit of the Americas, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate how the change you promise can translate into new policies towards the hemisphere. The history of relations between the United States and Latin America is a painful one, based on domination and military intervention to assure compliance with U.S. agendas.
Progressive governments have been democratically elected in many Latin American countries. These governments are promoting agendas that meet the needs of their impoverished majorities. The prevailing economic model has not worked for most people in Latin America or the earth. For this reason, many governments, spurred by their social movements, are implementing dramatic new policies. These policies reverse the concentration of resources so that the wealth of their countries is not controlled by a few, or stolen by transnational companies, but is used to serve the common good. Four countries in Latin America have made significant improvement between 2002 and 2007 in narrowing the gap between people at extreme ends of the income spectrum; Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and Nicaragua.
The upcoming Summit of the Americas will offer an opportunity for you to set a new course in U.S. relations with the hemisphere. The people of Latin America need the same things you have said people in the United States need: good jobs, education, healthcare, food, and a decent home. The United States must respect each country?s autonomy and not interfere in its sovereign right to seek the well-being of its people. New relations between the United States and the rest of the continent must be based on total respect for sovereignty, mutuality, and cooperation without conditions or impositions.
For the Summit of the Americas the people of the continent are not hoping for ?generous offers? from your government; they hope for horizontal relations between equals, so that together we can find solutions to the current crisis which was generated by the ambitions of a few. The people of Latin America should not be made to pay for a crisis they have not created.
To confront the global crisis and reestablish relations between the United States and the rest of the hemisphere, we need agreement on the following points:
Debt: In this moment of economic crisis, your own Administration has thrown away the rule book, articulating the need for unprecedented spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy with additional spending on education, health care, and greening the economy. Latin American countries have also been severely impacted by the crisis, yet they have no stimulus and fewer policy options available. Many countries are crippled with massive external debt which must be paid before responding to the desperate needs of their people.
The situation demands more radical debt cancellation programs, and elimination of the conditionalities imposed by International Financial Institutions which severely limit the ability of Latin American countries to respond to the crisis. We welcome your initiatives to make additional resources available, but these are only viable if they come without conditionalities which have forced privatization of public resources, leading to the further impoverishment of people in these countries. You must accept the re-nationalization of resources and services when governments determine that they belong in the public domain.
Militarization: We ask the United States to cooperate with efforts to de-militarize the countries of the hemisphere. Money spent on weapons or the military is money which is not available for food, education or health care. Latin American democracies and citizens have been brutalized by military solutions to social problems and troops trained in torture at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas. Their police and military should not be trained in U.S. schools to oppress and torture. It is time to shutter these programs. The United States must also recall the Fourth Fleet from the hemisphere and close our military bases in the region.
Increased funding for the Merida Initiative and Plan Colombia will only increase violence and human suffering. Funds should be spent on meeting basic human needs. It is time for a new, non-military approach to solving drug problems. It is also time for the United States to cease manufacturing and exporting weapons which only increase levels of violence in all of our countries. At the same time the anti-democratic, corporate-driven Security and Prosperity Partnership, which has resulted in intensified military intervention in Mexico and Canada, must be halted, and not extended to the rest of the hemisphere, given its failure to resolve the problems of these countries.
Democracy building: It is clear that countries in Latin America are engaged in profound democratic change. The U.S. role has often been to undermine these governments because they don?t defend the interests of our corporations. U.S. funds supplied through the National Endowment for Democracy and similar institutions are routinely used to subvert popular governments, promote instability, political turmoil, and violence. Ironically, these NED ?democracy building? programs are often used to undermine democracy. These institutions need to be dismantled and funds redirected to governments for use in meeting vital human needs. USAID programs which promote similar objectives must also be eliminated.
Trade: We believe that trade between our countries can, under proper conditions, bring mutual benefits. However, there are fundamental flaws in the current model which was designed exclusively to promote the interests of corporations rather than people. A comprehensive re-visiting of existing agreements must be the first step, and movement on all pending FTAs must be postponed. Our concerns are articulated in the comprehensive Alternatives for the Americas document, written by members of the Hemispheric Social Alliance. Two areas which demand urgent rethinking are investment and agriculture. Investment provisions must focus on empowering governments to raise standards of living. As currently written, investment provisions do nearly the opposite and function as a straitjacket, limiting governments? abilities to control transnational corporations and capital. Current rules inhibit governments from protecting food security and sovereignty. The economic crisis brings into serious question the benefits that were promised under the ?Free Trade? model.
We propose three immediate actions you could take before the Summit begins, which could signal a change of spirit. These actions would demonstrate that you recognize that the world has changed in dramatic ways, and that a new relationship with the hemisphere is imperative. They are:
1st- Normalize relations with Cuba and end the economic blockade: Recognize that the world has changed in the last 50 years; an embargo on Cuba serves no purpose. To jump start the new relationship, we challenge you to invite Cuban President Raul Castro to attend the Summit with full status.
2nd- Normalize relations with Bolivia: The expulsion of Ambassador Goldberg was a consequence of unacceptable U.S. intervention. We challenge you to normalize diplomatic relations with Bolivia and immediately restore ATPDEA preferences which were revoked as a form of revenge by the Bush Administration and against the will of the U.S. Congress.
3rd- Normalize relations with Venezuela: The United States should not penalize President Chavez, whose rule has been legitimized by more electoral processes than any other leader in the hemisphere. We insist that you extend your hand to the people of Venezuela, who have a profound connection to the United States. Venezuela is also one of our most important trading partners in the hemisphere. Secretary Clinton needs to stop the ?war of words? with Mr. Chavez.
These actions would send strong signals of good will, and demonstrate a concrete commitment to the change so urgently needed at this moment and for the future.
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