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Evo Morales accuses the US of using the FTA to divide Latin America

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ABI | 26 August 2008

Freely translated by Anoosha Boralessa (Aug 2015); not revised by or any other organization or person.

Evo Morales accuses the US of using the FTA to divide Latin America

Last Monday, the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, accused the US of extending its Free Trade Agreements program to divide Latin American countries.

Morales participated in the act of accession of Honduras to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (Alba) and used this as an opportunity to indicate that FTAs were driven by the US after the US’s failed attempt to impose the Free Trade Area for the Americas (“FTAAs”) on the region.

“They are coming up with free trade agreements that are far more dangerous because, taking CAN (the Andean Community of Nations) as an example, they are dividing countries, dividing organizations for integration and confusing the population.” said Morales.

CAN is the oldest organization in America and is made up of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. It faces a new crisis after La Paz requested the removal of the bloc’s Secretary–General, the Ecuadorian Freddy Ehlers.

The basis for the request by the Morales government was that Ehlers endorsed the breach of the Cartagena Agreement and failed to defend the interests of the sub-regional organization when the Andean Commission approved the amendment to Decision 486 which is referenced to the intellectual property of CAN, with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador voting for and Bolivia voting against.

The measure will allow Peru to implement its free trade treaty with the United States.

Bolivia has staged frequent frictions with its other CAN partners stemming from differences arising from the bloc’s negotiations with the European Union for a free trade agreement.

Some days afterwards, the cabinet of the Ecuadorian President, Raphael Correa, expressed its “complete confidence” in Ehlers’s management in his role as the CAN Secretary - General.

Peru put forward its position that it will not support Bolivia’s request and the President of the Andean Parliament (Parlandino), the Ecuadorian Ivonne Baki, asked La Paz to amend its position.

Yesterday, Morales ruled out that Bolivia was considering leaving CAN. “Through [CAN], we are going to combat the empire and its instruments of North American imperialism”, he emphasized.

On the other hand, Morales recalled that last weekend, he met with social movements in Cochabamba (downtown) to define action to deepen the process of change and to define the strategy to approve the draft for the new Constitution.

The President affirmed that he prefers to submit to the people rather than being subordinated to North American imperialism.

He asserted: “I prefer to listen to the suggestions, recommendations of the social movements rather than receiving instructions or having programmes and projects imposed from abroad, from top to bottom, as previous governments used to.”

 source: Opinión