The G20, the G21 and the G192

As if there were not enough reasons to go mad, the proliferation of acronyms related to the crisis is such that one can hardly understand them. The first was the G20, a selected group meeting in Washington that pretended to represent all. The second was the also selective APEC group which met in Lima. There was the richest country, the United States; this is number one, with a per capita GDP of 45 thousand dollars a year. But there was also the number 100 country, the People’s Republic of China, with a per capita GDP of 2,483 dollars; this is also the number one investor in US Treasure bonds.

Now, G192 is the way that Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, which is not a member of either of the two, calls the member countries of the United Nations attending an economic conference with Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate of Economics.

George Soros, an immensely rich magnate of Hungarian descent and an American citizen, was one of the attending personalities.

One would have to be a chess player to disentangle the arguments of so diverse national and business interests as are represented in the G20 and the G21.

The truth of the matter is that if a Third World country signed free trade agreements with eight or ten developed or emerging countries, –some of them traditional producers of abundant and attractive low cost goods or sophisticated industrial products, such as the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, etc.– the nascent industry of a developing country would have to compete with the sophisticated products of the most developed countries’ industries or the hard working hands of their powerful partners, one of which handles world finances wantonly. The only thing left to them would be to produce inexpensive raw materials requiring large investments ultimately owned by foreign companies fully protected from nationalizing whims. They would only have their extended hands waiting for a pious development support and an eternal debt to be repaid with their children’s sweat. Isn’t this what has been happening until today?

That’s why I don’t hesitate to show my solidarity with Chávez’s position as he said that he disagreed with Lima’s recipe. There are plenty of reasons. Let’s see how the situation unfolds, and keep demanding out rights without ever bending our knees.

Fidel Castro Ruz
November 23, 2008
7:30 p.m.