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阿涅斯、易夫思:拉丁美洲被切开的血管

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从海地到玻利维亚到秘鲁,外国矿业公司都面对着该地区人民和政府的抵制。"很不幸,这些所谓的跨国公司......他们的竞争是兄弟、舅子、堂兄、邻居、同乡间的竞争。"莫拉莱斯在谈到决定国有化南美银业时这样说。

拉美国家人民与政府日益高涨的一波波反对外国公司及其操纵政治的浪潮为投资者及他们的政治马前卒敲响了警钟。

在海地,美国与加拿大的金矿公司摩拳擦掌,他们认为巨大财富正等着他们。海地"草根观察"最近的研究报告估计,按目前每盎司1600美元的金价,海地的金矿价值200多亿美元。

这就是为什么华盛顿要利用美洲国家组织(OAS)来作代理,建立一个顺从的、以迈克尔·玛特利为总统的非法政权,他的施政方针是:"对商业开放的海地"。华盛顿与渥太华,代表着美洲的绝大多数跨国矿业公司的利益,在这整片大陆上日渐加强干涉。

加拿大《环球邮报(Globe and Mail)》7月11日报道说,"从委内瑞拉、玻利维亚及阿根迁对矿业的国有化没收到秘鲁与智利那样传统上对国外矿业公司友好的国家内的激烈反对,日渐紧张的政治局势对享受了10多年好日子的国际矿业公司形成了威胁。"

前一天,玻利维亚总统莫拉莱斯宣布将取消总部设于温哥华的南美银业集团的开采权,据该公司消息,其在玻利维亚Mallku Khota地区的矿是世界最大的银、铟与镓矿。

五月,玻利维亚国有化了一家西班牙投资的电力公司。几星期后,阿根廷高调宣布国有化一家西班牙石油公司正在阿根廷经营的矿产,该公司是阿根廷最大的石油公司。6月,莫拉莱斯政府国有化了瑞士的全球矿业巨头嘉能可(Glencore International)拥有的Colquiri锡锌矿。

矿山国有化是斗争的结果,玻利维亚政府指责那些矿业公司在玻利维亚大捞特捞。在采矿地,跨国公司职员、矿工与当地居民间的关系日益紧张。国际市场矿价的飞涨更是火上浇油。

同时,由于玻利维亚的社会抗议运动,矿产资源国有化是政府必须做的一件大事,然而对Mallku Khota矿山国有化来说,这显然不是最大的因素。

"很不幸,这些所谓的跨国公司......他们的竞争是兄弟、舅子、堂兄、邻居、同乡间的竞争。"莫拉莱斯在谈到决定国有化南美银业时这样说。

一些拉美国家的人也反对矿业跨国公司化,尽管他们的政府支持跨国化。在秘鲁这种情况越来越多。在7月初的第一周,秘鲁有5人因反对数十亿美元的Conga金铜矿项目而被警察杀死,这个项目如果运行,将成为秘鲁历史上最大的矿山项目。项目拥有人为美国的纽曼矿业(Newmont Mining Group)。

当地居民反对这个项目,说它将毁坏当地的水源供应。近年秘鲁已出现一系列抗议矿业项目的运动。

在智利,人们由于担心水供应、水质及因为矿业供电而产生的问题,也进行了一些抗议。加拿大议会发布了一个《2012年3月详细报告》谈及了在智利巴塔哥尼亚地区的项目的进展及问题。

美国可持续发展战略集团2010年的研究报告中谈到智利时是这样说的,"如果现在反矿业社会运动是矿业前景的一部分,如果矿业使水和能源竞争越来越紧张,现在的真正问题是,智利如何从制度上、政治上、法律上安抚国内民众对矿业发展的反对声音。"

据温哥华太阳报,加拿大商务部长法斯特7月11日给玻利维亚商务部长写信,对玻利维亚准备国有化南美银业表达深度关切。法斯特的发言人鲁迪.哈斯尼说部长已指示手下官员"加强与玻利维亚政府的沟通以保护加方利益并寻求解决这一问题的有效方法。"

该报道说加拿大官员期望与玻利维亚政府及玻利维亚驻加大使会面。

南美银业CEO克雷格.强森在加拿大广播公司(CBC)7月12日的一个节目中说他的公司受到了不公正对待。他说,现在他很满意,加拿大政府正对玻利维亚政府施压以改变这个决定。

CBC这个节目的主持人听起来仿佛是这家公司的发言人似的。在一个访谈中,他以一种威胁的口气问玻利维亚驻美大使,南美银业是否会获得补偿,同时他还攻击莫拉莱斯对外国矿业公司长期掠夺拉美财富的指责。

显然,电台主持人还没有读过爱德华多•加莱亚诺(Eduardo Galeano)有关这片大陆历史的杰作《拉丁美洲被切开的血管》一书。加莱亚诺在书中描述了拉美如何成为一个"巨矿"。书中详细描写了数世纪以来从西班牙征服者到今天欧美矿业公司施加于拉美人民的令人难于置信的苦难与环境毁灭。

"从殖民地开采出的金属不但刺激了欧洲的经济发展,甚至可以说这使它成为可能"加莱亚诺写道。书的副标题很适当,"对一个大陆长达五个世纪的掠夺"。

加拿大矿业协会估计在玻利维亚运营的加拿大矿业公司超过20家。

一个最近从西班牙文译为法文并发表在比利时免除第三世界债务委员会的系列文章详细描述了英澳铝业巨头力拓集团(Rio Tinto)在6月22日推翻巴拉圭总统费尔南多.卢戈的议会政变中扮演的角色。

这家公司为了在电解铝项目上获得廉价电力长期合同而拼命游说。巴拉圭与巴西及阿根廷合作过几个水电大坝。这些大坝装机容量约相当于加拿大全国电力的5%。2007年,力拓收购了加拿大的Alcan及其在魁北克与英属哥伦比亚的大型铝生产项目。

这次政变使权力重新回到巴拉圭传统经济精英们的手中,他们,无意外地,乐意与力拓签订长期协议。加拿大是少数几个承认这次政变的国家,它与美国也迅速承认2009年洪都拉斯的政变。

几周后,华盛顿与渥太华无疑将加强反对莫拉莱斯政府的说辞,他们正企图进一步加强对玻利维亚的干涉。

2004年二月,美国、加拿大与法国合谋发起一个政变推翻海地民选政府总统阿里斯蒂德(Jean-Bertrand Aristide)。维基解密去年一则消息说,这三个国家一起迫使阿里斯蒂德流亡南非七年多。

在他于2011年3月18日重回海地时,他在机场作了一个全国讲话。

他说,向海地国父致敬,我们将赶走外来势力,我们的后代将能享受埋在海地地下的财富,金、铜、铀、矾、银等等,在Miragoane地区发现的碳酸钙的价值超过230亿美元,石油储量的价值无疑会比估计的更多。

这些偶尔见到的民族主义信息准确地说出了为何美国、加拿大政府支持放逐阿里斯蒂德并至今还在维持联合国维和部队对海地的武装占领。在这个地方,美国与加拿大已扶持起了马特利的"开放"政权。

纽曼矿业与加拿大欧亚矿业合作,将在海地三个北部地区开采金矿。海地草根观察的报告,"淘金海地:谁将获得财富?",发表于5月,详细描述了金矿公司如何规避海地法律。

海地草根观察联合撰写者简.里根在6月1日一篇文章中谈到了这个报告。其中一些发现是:

*海地前经济财政部长现在是纽曼矿业的一个顾问。

*两位海地部长最近与纽曼矿业和欧亚矿业签了一份谅解备忘录,这两家公司可以在他们的一个勘探区开钻,这违反了海地法律。海地法律原本规定,如果没有开矿协定,不能开始钻探。

*没人告诉海地北部地区的人们那里进行的是什么以及签了什么密约。

*海地的矿产税几乎全球最低。

联合国对海地的武装占领正是帝国主义者所期望的,这样才能确保海地的矿业财富能如同殖民时期一样被掠夺。

加莱亚诺去年九月在乌拉圭国家图书馆时谈到海地当前的困境与它在拉美的位置。"联合国对海地的武装占领每年花费达8亿美元,如果联合国将这些钱用于技术合作与社会团结,海地将获得快速发展,海地人将从那些特别喜欢侵犯、屠杀并传播致使疾病的拯救者手中被拯救出来。"

"海地不需要任何外人来使他们的痛苦加倍。"但海地确实需要团结,需要医生、学校、医院以及真正的协作以使其基本主权重新成为可能,这些都被国际货币基金组织、世界银行与其它慈善组织毁掉了。

如果这些跨国矿业公司继续在海地干下去,必将"使海地的痛苦加倍"。

译者高强,人文与社会略校


Latin America's open veins

From Haiti to Bolivia to Peru, foreign mining operations are encountering resistance from both people and governments throughout the region, explain Roger Annis and Kim Ives.

A silver mine in Bolivia (Magnus von Koeller)A silver mine in Bolivia (Magnus von Koeller)

PEOPLE AND governments across Latin America are rising up against foreign mining companies in a wave of revolt that is generating alarm among investors and their political operatives in the imperialist governments.

In Haiti, U.S. and Canadian gold-mining companies are rubbing their hands over the riches that they believe await them. A recent study by Haiti Grassroots Watch estimates up to $20 billion, at gold's current price of $1,600 an ounce, lies in the ground.

So it's no coincidence that Washington has used its proxy, the Organization of American States (OAS), to illegally install a compliant regime--that of President Michel Martelly--whose operative watchword is: "Haiti is open for business." Washington and Ottawa, which represent most of the international mining firms in the Americas, are adopting an increasingly interventionist response throughout the continent.

"From expropriations in Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina to violent opposition in traditionally mining-friendly jurisdictions such as Peru and Chile, the rising political tensions pose a risk to a decade-long bonanza mining companies have enjoyed," reports the Canadian national daily Globe and Mail on July 11.

The previous day, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his government would expropriate the Vancouver-based South American Silver Corp. According to the company, its claim in Bolivia's Mallku Khota region contains one of the world's largest undeveloped silver, indium and gallium deposits.

In May, Bolivia nationalized a Spanish-owned electrical generation company. That followed by several weeks a highly publicized nationalization of a Spanish oil company's operations in Argentina, the largest oil company in the country. Then in June, the Morales government nationalized the Colquiri tin and zinc mine owned by the Swiss global mining giant Glencore International PLC.

The mine nationalizations were prompted by inter-Bolivian conflicts that the Bolivian government accuses the companies of stoking. Tensions have arisen at mining sites between employees of the operations of large companies, artisanal miners who have a long tradition of working through cooperatives and local indigenous residents. The stakes are further fueled by skyrocketing prices for minerals in international markets.

As well, nationalization of resource industries has been a key demand on the government by social movements in Bolivia, though this demand had apparently not been a large factor in Mallku Khota.

"Unfortunately, the so-called transnational companies...pit brothers, in-laws, cousins, neighbors, brothers from the same ayllu (community) against one another," said President Evo Morales about the decision to nationalize South American Silver.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SOME LATIN American populations are standing up to the mining transnationals, regardless of their government's stand. That's increasingly the case in Peru. Five people were killed by police during the first week of July at protests against the multibillion-dollar Conga gold and copper project, which would be the largest mine in Peru's history if it goes ahead. The project's owner is the U.S.-based Newmont Mining Group.

Area residents do not want the Conga mine, saying it will damage local water supplies. A string of protests against mining projects have occurred in Peru in recent years.

In Chile, similar concerns over water supply and quality as well as the effects of mining on electrical supply are driving protests. The Council of Canadians released a detailed report in March 2012 looking at recent developments and concerns in Chile's Patagonia region.

The U.S.-based Sustainable Development Strategies Group wrote in a 2010 study on mining in Chile, "If social movements in opposition to mining are now part of the landscape, and if mining is creating increasing intense competition for water and energy, the real question now is how, institutionally, politically, and legally Chile will accommodate the citizen voice in mineral development."

According to the Vancouver Sun, Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast wrote to his Bolivian counterpart on July 11 expressing "deep concern" with reports that Bolivia was preparing to nationalize South American Silver. Fast's spokesman Rudy Husny said the minister has instructed officials to "intensify their engagement with the Bolivian government to order to protect and defend Canadian interests and seek a productive resolution of this matter."

The paper reported that Canadian officials were expected to meet with the Bolivian government and with Bolivia's ambassador to Canada.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the South American Silver Corporation Greg Johnson appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Radio One's The Current on July 12 and argued that his company has been wronged. He reported, with satisfaction, that the Canadian government is pressuring the Bolivian government to reverse its decision.

The CBC host of the program sounded like a public relations spokesperson for the company. In an accompanying interview, he hectored Bolivia's ambassador to the U.S., asking if South American Silver would be compensated. He also expressed offense at Evo Morales' statements accusing foreign mining companies of "looting" Latin America's wealth for generations.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

EVIDENTLY, THE radio host has not read The Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano's classic history of the continent. Galeano describes how Latin America became "a huge mine." The book details the unbelievable human toll and suffering and the environmental destruction perpetrated over the centuries starting with Spanish conquistadors until today's European and North American mining companies.

"The metals taken from the new colonial dominions not only stimulated Europe's economic development; one may say that they made it possible," Galeano writes. The book is appropriately subtitled, "Five centuries of the pillage of a continent."

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada estimates there are 20 Canadian mining companies operating in Bolivia.

A recent series of articles translated from Spanish into French and published by the Belgium-based Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM) examines the role of the British-Australian aluminum-mining giant Rio Tinto in the parliamentary coup d'etat against Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo on June 22.

The company had been lobbying heavily for a long-term agreement for cheap electricity prices as an incentive for it to establish aluminum-smelting operations. Paraguay shares several very large hydroelectric dams with Brazil and Argentina. It has substantial installed electrical generation capacity, approximately equal to 5 percent of all of Canada's. In 2007, Rio Tinto acquired the Canadian-owned Alcan and its large aluminum operations in Quebec and British Columbia.

The coup has returned to power Paraguay's traditional economic elite, who, not coincidentally, are amenable to making a long-term deal with Rio Tinto. Among the few countries to recognize Paraguay's coup government is Canada, which, with the U.S., was also quick to recognize the Honduras coup d'etat in June 2009.

In the weeks ahead, Washington and Ottawa will inevitably sharpen their rhetoric against the Morales government as they contemplate how to further intervene in Bolivia.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

IN FEBRUARY 2004, Washington and Ottawa worked with Paris to carry out a coup d'etat against the elected and socially progressive government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. As Wikileaked diplomatic cables released last year by Haïti Libertéshowed, those three governments worked hard to keep Aristide in exile in South Africa for seven long years.

During his triumphant return to Haiti on March 18, 2011, Aristide gave a speech to the nation at the airport.

"To honor [Haiti's founding father] Jean-Jacques Dessalines, we come to bring you our little bit of help," Aristide said in his metaphor-laden Kreyòl. "With the little ball of education centered in the court of dignity, we will kick exclusion off the field, and this way, the new generation will begin to benefit from the wealth that slumbers deep within Haiti: gold, copper, uranium, bauxite, silver...The calcium carbonate to be found in Miragoâne is valued at more than U.S. $23 billion. The petroleum reserves are no doubt larger than estimated."

This thinly veiled nationalist message is precisely why U.S. and Canadian governments backed Aristide's ouster and maintain the ensuing UN military occupation of Haiti to this day. In his place, Washington and Ottawa have placed Martelly's "open for business" regime.

Newmont Mining is partnered with Canadian Eurasian Minerals in seeking to open gold mining operations in Haiti's three northern departments. The Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) study, "Gold rush in Haiti: Who will get rich?" published in May, examines how Haitian law has already been circumvented by the gold-mining companies as they forge ahead with exploration.

HGW co-director Jane Regan spoke to Democracy Now! on June 1 about the study. Among its findings are:

--Haiti's former Minister of the Economy and Finances is now a paid consultant for Newmont.

--Two Haitian ministers recently signed a "memorandum of understanding" with Newmont and Eurasian that says--in violation of Haitian law--the companies can begin drilling at one of their exploration sites. Haitian legislation states no drilling can occur without a mining convention.

--Nobody appears to be telling the communities in Haiti's north what is going on and what deals have been made behind closed doors.

--Haiti has the lowest mining royalties (production taxes) in the hemisphere.

The UN military occupation of Haiti is what the imperialists hope will ensure that Haiti's mineral wealth can again be plundered like in the days of the conquistadors.

Eduardo Galeano spoke last September at an event at Uruguay's National Library discussing Haiti's current plight and its place in Latin America. "The military occupation of Haiti is costing the UN more than $800 million yearly," he said. "If the United Nations dedicated those funds to technical cooperation and social solidarity, Haiti could receive a good boost to its creative energy. Then they would be saved from their armed saviors who have a certain tendency to violate, kill and deliver fatal illnesses."

"Haiti doesn't need anyone to come and multiply its misfortunes," Galeano concluded. "But Haiti does need solidarity, doctors, schools, hospitals, and a true collaboration that makes possible the rebirth of its alimentary sovereignty, killed by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other philanthropic societies."

If the transnational mining companies get their way in Haiti, that will surely "multiply its misfortunes."

First published at A Socialist in Canada.

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