Sunday, January 08, 2006

casting aside neoliberal chains

The New York Times recently reported that one-time International Monetary Fund (IMF) poster-nation and current neoliberal nightmare Argentina will soon complete payment of its debt to the IMF, and, upon doing so, will "simply walk away from further negotiations with the group." According to the article, President Kirchner is able to pay off the debts due both to booming exports and the fact that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has purchased $1 billion in Argentine bonds, with perhaps $2 billion more still to be acquired.

Kirchner has also been fostering closer ties with Venezuela as part of what Chávez is calling "a Caracas-Buenos Aires axis." In a further move to strengthen regional cohesion, Chávez has "announced plans to build a gas pipeline to Argentina and to make fuel available on highly favorable terms, an important guarantee with an energy shortage said to be looming."

Such moves towards intra-Latin American cooperation are indeed necessary given the powerful intervention-happy master living to the north, and one can only hope that for the first time, the region is on the path to meaningful independence.


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