/** reg.carib: 204.0 **/
** Topic: Cuba,Chiquita,EU,US sugar **
** Written 2:06 PM Jun 18, 1997 by peg:jclancy in cdp:reg.carib **
subject:Cuba,Chiquita,EU, US Sugar 1.
The US government incurable sick need for wars ensures that any foreign land or corporation which beats the US to any lucrative market at all is in danger of being subjected to threats. No other imperialist nation still carries on like this -perhaps they, like England- sit back, content with their share of the spoils.
So it is that Granma writer Cino Colina reveals modern history. . .
"Diabolical", was the word used by Rupert Gajardhar, director of ST LUCIA's banana growers' association, to describe the Clinton Admin's campaign to abolish the EU's preferential treatment for CARIBBEAN bananas. St Lucia is one of the countries whose survival would be threatened if the WTO finds in favor of the US demand. Gajardhar told Newsweek that the US is conducting the worst kind of economic war against defenceless peoples. "This would leave them no alternative but misery and suffering."
In 1993, the EU set a 2.2 million-ton limit on LATIN AM banana imports to EU markets and a 170percent excess duty on sales above that figure with a regime of import licences.
The bulk of Latin Am banana production is handled by 3 companies operating with US capital: Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita, which control 2/3 of the world market. Carl Lindner, Chiquita's director is not sitting around idly. In an appeal to President Clinton, he claimed that in 3 years, losses have totalled $400 million.
Washington decided to take the case to the WTO.
In real terms, US protection of its banana producers is nothing new. It is enough to recall that in 1954, the CIA actively participated in the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz' gov't in GUATEMALA, with the aim of supporting the United Fruit Company (now restructured under the name Chiquita Brands).
Now the US is claiming to defend its companies' interests; but figures from the CARIBBEAN and from some US politicians, point to normal donations of $1million or more are made to Democrat and Republican Members to win over the White House and the Congress.
Meanwhile US aid to the Caribbean has been gradually waning since the end of the so-called 'cold war'. The total dropped from $226 million in 1985, to $22 million in 1995. At the same time, with advent of NAFTA -free trade, the region has been losing jobs, markets and investment. In 1995 and 1996, 150 plants closed down in the Caribbean, with the loss of 123,000 jobs, particularly in JAMAICA and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. The World Bank (US controlled) claims that if this situation persists, the region could lose a third of its annual exports.
St Lucia's police commissioner warns that if an alternative to banana cultivation is not found, the islands will be facing a serious drug problem.
(JC So here it is again. The US destroys the cultures and subsistence farming throughout Latin America, in favor of cash crops; the markets disclose over-production of that crop; the people die)