"It's nothing more than to say we want to be your friends," Bush told Colombian television before he set out.And then the 'punks' got in on the act:
However, more than 6,000 anti-Bush protesters of all ages marched down Sao Paulo's famed Avenida Paulista, the business heart of South America, police said.
To the beat of Afro-Brazilian drums, they demanded an end to the Iraq war and what they called state-sponsored torture, U.S. imperialism and growing economic inequality.
"No. 1 Enemy of Humanity" and "Get out Bush!" read signs carried by workers, students, peasants and other activists.
"We're fighting against imperialism and Bush, who's interested in dominating countries in this region," said student Artour Barbosa de Queiroz, 29.1
Trouble broke out when a small group, most of them punks, threw rocks at the police. They responded by spraying tear gas, firing rubber bullets and clubbing them, witnesses said.What a crock. The 'punks'!? This classification is not even qualified - what is meant by 'punks'? Frankly this makes me think that the reporter was not even on the scene but took the propaganda content directly from a government party line press release.
A Reuters photographer, Caetano Barreira, was hit in the face by a chunk of wood thrown by protesters. At least two police officers were also hurt, the witnesses said.2
Hmmm, too bad for the Reuters fella, I wonder though how many protesters were hurt? Reports are sketchy, as usual, but it must be pretty damned bloody if the AP is reporting this:
Riot police fired tear gas at protesters and beat them with batons in Sao Paulo after more than 6,000 people held a largely peaceful march, sending hundreds of demonstrators fleeing and ducking into businesses to avoid the gas.Mr Bush was able to set the record straight on CNN En Espanol:
Authorities did not immediately report any injuries, but Brazilian media said at least six people were hurt after marching two miles through the financial heart of South America's largest city just hours before Bush was scheduled to arrive.3
"The trip is to remind people that we care," Mr. Bush said in an interview Wednesday with CNN En Espanol. "I do worry about the fact that some say, 'Well, the United States hasn't paid enough attention to us,' or 'The United States really isn't anything more than worried about terrorism.' And when, in fact, the record has been a strong record."4Still there are lingering doubts, and Hugo Chavez and millions of workers, students activists and others dedicated to creating another world stood side by side, staging anti-Bush protests all across Latin America, thereby dooming the Bush agenda.
Bush’s trip to Latin America is a calculated effort to counter Hugo Chavez’s growing influence in the region and to separate the “bad left” from the “good left”, namely Uruguay and to some extent Brazil. He hopes to add them to the dwindling bloc of pro-US nations, including Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico which he is visiting.At the same time that Bush is preaching peace in Latin America, he has appointed hardliner John Negroponte as director of US Latin American policy. We can expect a concerted effort of the same failed policies of lies, subversion and aggression that are the hallmark and legacy of the Bush Administration; and are unfortunately the signature of the balance of US foreign policy in Latin America and the world.
[Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador] are [all] raising the banner of socialism. In Venezuela Hugo Chavez is intent on leading the country to a “new socialism for the twenty-first century.” In Bolivia Evo Morales governing party is called Movement Towards Socialism, a “party of a new type” comprised largely of social movements. And in Ecuador, Rafael Correa in his inaugural address in January called for an opening to the “new socialism for the twenty-first century” and declared that Ecuador has to end “the perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society.”5