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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 09:04:00 CST
From: Workers World <ww@wwpublish.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Workers around the world: 10/30/97
Article: 20853

Bill Clinton: Yankee Imperialist

Workers World, 30 October 1997

U.S. President Bill Clinton's handlers tried their best to make his visit to Latin America a public-relations success. Thousands of people did their best to thwart those plans. There were protest demonstrations at every stop of his six-day tour.

Clinton made the trip, his first official tour in Latin America, to pressure both Latin American governments and the U.S. Congress to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement. He is proposing a Free Trade Area of the Americas.

On Oct. 14 Clinton got a taste of mass sentiment in Brasilia, Brazil's capital. Protesters pelted his limousine with manure. Demonstrators held banners calling Clinton a Yankee imperialist and an exploiter of the Third World. Protesters burned effigies of Uncle Sam and waved Cuban flags.

During his Oct. 17 stop in Argentina, thousands filled the streets of Buenos Aires. We see Clinton as the representative of the big monopolies who support the economic model of [Argentinian President Carlos] Menem, which is hurting the majority of Argentinians in terms of education and health, said Communist Party Deputy Floreal Gorini, a march organizer.

Battles broke out when riot police blocked the demonstrators' march route and arrested over 200.

Clinton felt the heat from other sectors as well. Brazilian officials, representing South America's largest economy, were reportedly cool to the U.S. free-trade proposals. Brazil is the major force in Mercosur, a free- trade zone of four South American countries that has tried to jockey between U.S., Japanese and European imperialism.