CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized a trade deal that eliminates barriers between the United States and Central American countries, calling it a misguided deal that will harm the region's small economies.CAFTA should be yet another wakeup call to the masses the bourgeious democracy does not and CANNOT take into account the voice of the majority. It is a government of the business, by the business, and for the business.
Chavez, a frequent critic of the U.S. government, also said he had read reports of President Bush "putting money in circulation to buy votes and to blackmail, through the so-called (U.S.) intelligence agencies, to approve an initiative which is perverse."
Massive worker protests across Central America were supressed, sometimes violently. Guatemala has seen demonstrators killed, wounded and beaten by police officers (more...). In El Salvador, riot police attacked a student protest in San Salvador on July 5, seriously injuring several demonstrators, in a country with a less than stellar human rights record.
In the US, many Democrats and Republicans who claim to represent the working people of their districts voted to approve CAFTA (for a list, check here...), even after seeing how NAFTA has destroyed working class jobs and made manufacturing in the US a dream of the past. The US labor movement stood firm in its opposition to CAFTA and let Congress know, to no avail. Note also that there was a a lot of horse trading on the Republican side. Several Republicans were able to save face by voting no to CAFTA, but only after the party leadership was able to ensure that the deal, er legislation, would go through. These politicians do not represent the people.
Chavez calls it right - this trade pact is truely 'perverse.'