Monday, November 17, 2003

Lula Raises the Stakes

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil is another leader we should take a look at in the same light as Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand. These two great leaders are developing paths away from the failed "Washington Consensus" aka "The Bretton Woods System" aka economic fundamentalism. I applaud them. I wish them the best.

Lula Raises the Stakes
by William Greider & Kenneth Rapoza

The bearded political leader they call Lula is the new phenomenon of globalization, a man with audacious ambitions to alter the balance of power among nations. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the new left-wing president of Brazil, envisions a united South America that gains economic strength by drawing closer together in trade and bargaining collectively, much as the European Union does. He wants to create a global coalition speaking for the not-rich countries--reminiscent of the "nonaligned nations" that decades ago tried to stand between the cold war's two superpowers. And he wants to push the IMF, the World Bank and the United Nations to become more democratic....

....In South America, Lula traveled to Peru and Colombia, where he urged closer economic relations between the Andean Pact nations and their southern rivals in Mercosur (the Southern Common Market), anchored by Brazil and Argentina. He offered to mediate talks between the Colombian government and the revolutionary guerrillas of FARC. In Venezuela he gave embattled President Hugo Chávez a $1 billion line of credit to buy Brazilian exports. In mid-October Lula joined with Argentina's President Néstor Kirchner to unfurl the "Buenos Aires consensus," a proposed alternative to the much-despised "Washington Consensus," which has straitjacketed developing economies with its harsh economic rules. The future, they declared, must give poorer nations the sovereign space to determine their own development strategies, balancing social necessities with economic stability. ...Article Continued

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