[DEBATE] : Fwd: Costa Rica Votes on CAFTA
tony roshan samara
straightup00us at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 4 00:40:04 BST 2007
New at the Americas Policy Program Costa Rica Votes on CAFTA
A New World of Citizen Action, Analysis, and Policy Options
Introducing the latest trade analysis from the Americas Policy Program
Dear friends and colleagues,
The people of Costa Rica are doing what no other country has been able to do so farthey are actually voting on a U.S. free trade agreement on Oct. 7. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would profoundly alter the structure of their society and their future. The Americas Policy Program has been analyzing CAFTA in Costa Rica since we formed a partnership with representatives of the NO movement at a meeting in Teotihuacan exactly a year ago. Since then, we've seen that their efforts have tremendous implications for the rest of the world.
In this latest packet of articles we include one I wrote on recent events in Costa Rica and what the nation stands to lose under CAFTA (a lot), an article by Americas analyst Umberto Mazzei on what Costa Rica would gain (very little), and another by Maria Eugenia Trejos on the impact of the agreement.
According to polls, if the U.S. public were permitted to vote on its country's trade policy we would have no more Free Trade Agreements. Instead, we have four new FTAs before Congress todayPeru, Panama, Colombia and South Korea. Following the Costa Rican example of an informed citizenry participating in public policy, we have launched a MORATORIUM ON FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS campaign.
To sign on, click here.
Opposition Gains Strength as Pro-CAFTA Forces Caught in Manipulation Scheme
By Laura Carlsen
An internal memo leaked to the press shows the lengths to which the Costa Rican government and pro-business forces will go to secure ratification of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The memo recommends, among other things, conducting a smear campaign against the opposition.
However, that opposition is stronger than everorganizations of public employees, farmers, teachers, students, and others have fixed their attention on Costa Rica's referendum. Already Costa Ricans have flexed the muscles of a strong grassroots democracy by actually voting on what are usually behind-the-scenes negotiations. They have taken on the task of learning what the agreement says and what it means. The ability of citizens to chart their own course will affect nations around the world.
Laura Carlsen (lcarlsen(a)ciponline.org) is the director of the Americas Program at www.americaspolicy.org in Mexico City, where she has been a writer and political analyst for more than two decades.
See full article online at:
CAFTA in Costa Rica Would Cause Deepening Inequality
By Maria Eugenia Trejos
In Costa Rica the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United States ran up against a huge opposition movement. The opposition stems from the fact that Costa Rica has developed extensive social services and the public knows that they have a lot to lose. Some of the nation's influential intellectuals have also dedicated themselves to study the agreement and share the analyses with the rest of the population.
A popular referendum has been called for Oct. 7 to decide the future of the agreement. There are serious questions as to how it is being conducted, including doubts about the impartiality of the Electoral Tribunal, which instituted voting rules that do not guarantee fair participation in the vote. As for the agreement, CAFTA is a legal instrument that favors multinational expansion without limits, leaving the most underprivileged sectors of our population totally unprotected, among them women and the poor.
Maria Eugenia Trejos is an economist specialized in labor studies, member of Pensamiento Solidario, a group formed to analyze the Free Trade Agreement and create public awareness about its contents. She is an analyst with the Americas Policy Program at www.americaspolicy.org. Translated by Tony Phillips.
See new article online at:
For more information on CAFTA see the entire Americas Policy Program series:
Costa Rica Stands Up to CAFTA CAFTA in Costa Rica Would Cause Deepening Inequality
Guatemala's Kafta-esque Year
Guatemala and Costa Rica: In and Out of CAFTA
Talking Points #7: Costa Rica Protests U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Costa Rica: Why We Reject CAFTA
CAFTA Second Year Report | The Stop CAFTA Coalition
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