Raul Zibechi, Upside Down World
Although every Latin American government pays lip service to integration, here taking the concrete steps needed to attain it is much more difficult than simply issuing declarations. In the wake of the collapse of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), medicine Latin America faces the dilemma of remaining divided and at the mercy of the interests of the great powers, or setting out on the road to continental unity. Even if the forces in favor of integration prevail, the type of integration to be constructed remains to be defined.
Two centuries after gaining independence, Latin America’s republics have been unable to overcome their Balkanization, one of the worst legacies of colonialism. In progressive circles and among social activists, the obstacles to Latin American unity are usually deemed to be the division sown by different forms of imperialism throughout history. But a closer look at what has happened over the past two centuries—from Simón Bolívar’s failed attempt to unify the northern part of South America to José Artigas in the Río de la Plata—leads to the conclusion that the difficulties also stem from the conflicting interests of the many players squaring off on the regional chessboard.
The year 2005 concludes with the collapse of the FTAA as envisioned by the United States and with it the fall of Washington’s principle strategy for the region. The idea of creating a single market with the 34 countries of the Americas was predicated on consolidating the hegemony of U.S. multinationals and structural adjustment policies—that is, neoliberalism—until they became practically irreversible. This in turn would be a major step toward establishing U.S. hegemony over the international system. 1 At the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, many noted that January 1, 2005 should be a day of celebration for social movements, since that was the day of an important defeat of U.S. diplomacy in its attempt to impose the FTAA. Despite that victory and several countries’ efforts to turn the expanded Mercosur into an alternative, the road to regional integration continues to be paved with good intentions but has produced little more than lofty speeches with proposals that fail to materialize.
The Summit of the Americas that took place in Mar del Plata, Argentina in November didn’t change regional relations, although it demonstrated the progress made by Washington in achieving that 29 of the 34 countries in the hemisphere approved the revisitation of the FTAA. The key continues to be Brazil, the largest economy in the region that continues to opt for its own path, rejecting agricultural subsidies, although not out and out rejecting the FTAA.
The FTAA’s Failure and Washington’s Limits
In recent years, the White House has found it difficult to bring its policies to fruition. The most important obstacles have been the region’s social movements coordinated through the Continental Social Alliance. The Alliance staged numerous protests and campaigns against the FTAA, and starting in 2002, succeeded in taking the debate from institutional and specialized forums to the street and to common citizens. At the government level, the most tenacious opposition came from Brazil’s current administration, led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula). Brazil has fashioned a new foreign policy, clearly distancing itself from U.S. proposals and becoming a point of reference not only for the countries of the region but for a large number of southern countries throughout the globe. Itamaraty, as Brazil’s ministry of foreign affairs is known, has long been known for his independent stance. The current minister of foreign affairs, Celso Amorim, has taken decisive steps to establish a new kind of South-South ties. Brazil played a decisive role in the formation of the Group of 20 (G-20), an alliance of countries opposed to Northern agricultural subsidies that contributed to derailing the September 2003 WTO summit in Cancún. 2
Brazilian diplomatic efforts have led to substantive agreements with emerging countries such as China, India, and South Africa, aimed at breaking trade dependence on the European Union and the United States. In that vein, it has played a dual role in postponing the creation of the FTAA and vying to expand Mercosur until it encompasses nearly all the countries of the region. It has convincingly fulfilled the first objective, although—as we will see below—it is running into problems with the second, linked to asymmetries and opposing interests, principally with Argentina. In other words, Brazil has proven more adept at putting the brakes on the FTAA than at developing alternative integration.
Indeed, for the first time in many years, Washington’s ability to impose its policies on the region is restricted largely due to the new continental climate that has led to an erosion of the neoliberal model. The recent history of the FTAA bears witness to this. The FTAA project stumbled at the WTO Summit in Cancún, where deep differences were revealed between the U.S. model and developing countries. Robert Zoellick, then the U.S. Trade Representative, attempted to tone down the initial proposal at the Eighth Summit of the Americas Meeting held on November 20, 2003, in Miami. It was a key event. By the time of the meeting, Washington had opted for flexibility—accepting different levels of commitment among the members, or what was called an “FTAA Light”—but the result of the meeting was a setback for U.S. policy. In Lula’s words, Brazil got “what we had been dreaming of: making an FTAA only where possible, and leaving the rest to fight over at the World Trade Organization.” 3
Lastly, the collapse of the FTAA was due to the tenacious resistance of the movements of the region, but also to U.S. inflexibility on issues of agricultural subsidies and antidumping practices. For their part, Latin American countries were reluctant to open up government procurement to the powerful companies of the North. In 2004, after the Miami summit, the negotiations remained stymied, and some scheduled meetings were even called off. At this point, the contending parties began to move their pieces on the regional chessboard: Mercosur, led by Brazil, has sought to encompass all the countries of the continent, including the Andean Community of Nations (CAN). 4 At the same time, it has tried to reach agreements with other countries such as India, South Africa, and even the European Union. The United States, for its part, hastily tried to reach bilateral free trade accords similar to one that it had signed with Chile and with the CAN countries, especially Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. Far from changing course, Washington has sought to advance its strategy through other paths. In the United States’ struggle to win allies and isolate adversaries, the fate of regional integration is being played out.
Mercosur at an Impasse
However, there is nothing to indicate that Mercosur is going to break is its current impasse in the short term. Even though, as a report from the Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas points out, Mercosur “is successfully circumventing the United States’ attempt to isolate it from the rest of the countries of the continent as punishment for its position on the FTAA,” what is certain is that the regional alliance “is far from consolidating its basic core agreements on how to move the integration process forward.” 5 The Minister of Economy of Uruguay’s left-leaning government, Danilo Astori, recognizing the weaknesses of the regional alliance, described its future as “uncertain.” “I cannot support the idea of a regional parliament when we don’t even have a functioning free market in the region,” said Astori. He believes that it would be impossible to begin a process such as the South American community of nations (entailing the integration of ten countries) when Mercosur, after more than a decade, has extremely weak institutions and has been unable to facilitate the exchange of goods among member countries and trade confrontations between Argentina and Brazil continue unabated. 6
At the 26th Mercosur Heads of State Summit, held on July 8, 2004, in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, the alignment of alliances was drawn up. The four charter members were joined by six other countries: three that already had the status of “associated states” (Chile, Bolivia, and Peru) as well as Venezuela and Colombia, as a result of the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with the CAN. A fierce struggle is being waged, since some of these countries are negotiating or have already signed FTAs with the United States. In some cases, the difficulties stem from old disputes (such as the one between Chile and Bolivia over Bolivia’s demand for a sea route); in others, there are problems stemming from neoliberal policies (such as the gas conflict between Chile and Argentina, because of the lack of investment by privatized Argentine companies, putting gas exports at risk). But, above all, there are confrontations stemming from the subordination of nearly every government to the large companies—domestic or multinational—that are attempting to impose their particular agendas.
To summarize, although Mercosur has grown in size, it has not succeeded in strengthening the ties among its members. In a report submitted in July of last year, the Mercosur Secretariat admitted that “the institutional model in effect today does not necessarily reflect a collective project, or common vision on regional integration.” 7 The Mercosur Summit, held in Ouro Preto, Brazil in December 2004, failed to clear the air and was marred by the debate on unilateral protectionist measures taken by Argentina to protect its incipient industrial recovery, in violation of the bloc’s internal rules. After Argentina’s Minister of Economy complained that industrial imports from Brazil were thwarting the consolidation of Argentine industry, Brazil’s minister of Development, Industry, and Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, noted, “Brazil did not stop investing in all these recent years. Even in times of crisis, the business sector continued investing. Argentina needs to invest and to remodel and redesign its production. This is a challenge much more for Argentines than for us.” 8
Mercosur is not even progressing on non-economic topics, such as the creation of a parliament, the installation of which is supposed to take place by the end of 2006, because no agreement has been reached on the number of representatives from each country.
A good example of the difficulties is the Third South American Summit, held from December 7 to 9 in Cuzco, and convened with the intention of creating a South American Community of Nations (SACN). The SACN is composed of the four Mercosur countries, the five CAN countries, and Chile. Guyana and Surinam will also be invited to join. This is the most ambitious integration project ever undertaken, and it has the enthusiastic support of both Lula and the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. The SACN could become the largest bloc in the world: 17 million square km, nearly 400 million inhabitants, and a gross product of US$800 billion; it would be the world’s leading producer of food and the planet’s largest biodiversity reserve ; moreover, it has a third of the Earth’s fresh water as well as petroleum and gas resources for more than a century. 9
However, the Cuzco meeting was a relative failure. No substantive agreements were reached, since the presidents of three Mercosur countries failed to show up, the absence of Néstor Kirchner, of Argentina—reportedly for health reasons—being the most important. What was behind the Argentine ploy that left Lula and Brazilian diplomacy out on a limb? Basically, two problems: one, of substance, linked to the deep asymmetries between the two countries. Brazil’s industry is buoyant, and Argentina is beginning to recover, despite great difficulties, from the destruction of its industry in the 1990s by the savage neoliberal model implemented by Carlos Menem. Moreover, Brazil and Argentina are competitors in nearly every area: they export the same products to the same countries—basically commodities to China and the Northern countries—and they compete for investment. Secondly, there is Argentina’s resentment over Brazil’s failure to support it in its bitter struggle with the International Monetary Fund to get out of default. Kirchner is known to have demanded support from Lula in his confrontations with the international financial agencies, but that support never arrived.
In addition to Kirchner and the presidents of Uruguay and Paraguay (Jorge Batlle and Nicanor Duarte), the heads of state of Ecuador (Lucio Gutiérrez) and Mexico (Vicente Fox) also failed to attend the Cuzco Summit. The problem is that the regional integration being spearheaded today by Brazil does not appear capable of advancing without the cooperation and support of Brazil’s most important trade partner, Argentina, a nation whose economic and political influence continues to be decisive.
Nonetheless, the twelve countries present signed the Declaration of Cuzco, the document formally establishing the SACN, which it defines as a “South American space integrated in political, social, economic, environmental, and infrastructure terms that will strengthen South America’s own identity.” The mechanisms for attaining those objectives include the strengthening of ties between Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, integration in energy and communications matters, and political and diplomatic coordination, although the SACN will lack institutions until the next meeting, to be held this year in Brazil.
In its declarations, the SACN clearly sets itself apart from preceding experiences such as Mercosur and the CAN. Priority is given not to free trade but to democracy, solidarity, human rights, freedom, social justice, respect for territorial integrity, diversity, non-discrimination, and the assertion of autonomy, equality among sovereign states, and peaceful conflict resolution.” 10 If reality conforms to what the SACN’s charter proclaims, we are witnessing an authentic “project to integrate peoples.” 11 But in light of recent events, this could be nothing more than a statement of good intentions, although a “politically correct” one.
The regional puzzle is very complex and the different stakeholders contribute little to solving it. There are now three relatively complementary integration initiatives in the region: Mercosur, CAN, and SACN. In addition, it is worth noting a fourth one, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), launched in 2001 by Hugo Chávez.
ALBA was never more than a statement of intentions, with more acceptance among social movements than among the other governments of South America. However, in late December president Chávez and his Cuban counterpart, Fidel Castro, signed a draft agreement for ALBA in Havana, although no other government has approved the initiative. According to the economist Manual Hidalgo, of the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC), there is the possibility of a convergence between “the two trends that have been confronting imperial policy in the region: on the one hand, the Bolivarian trend, led by Venezuela and supported by numerous social and political movements in the region, and on the other, the ‘neo-developmentalist’ trend, represented by the governments of Brazil and Argentina.” 12 Although this convergence—which could have materialized in the meeting in Cuzco that created the SACN—has not yet become a reality, in recent months some steps have been taken that might help bring it about.
Parallel Paths: the Bilateral Initiatives
Faced with enormous obstacles to regional integration, the countries most interested in it are taking specific steps to promote bilateral accords. The principal actors for now are Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina. Venezuela’s trump card is petroleum wealth, which it habitually plays both domestically and internationally, by offering cheap petroleum on good terms—a strong temptation for poor countries. Argentina and Brazil are each playing their own hand, seeking to solve domestic problems or needs: the former hopes to solve its energy deficits caused by a lack of investment, and the latter wants to expand markets for its buoyant industrial entrepreneurs and agribusiness.
Chávez’s fifth visit to Argentina, at the beginning of 2005, led to the signing of strategic agreements between Caracas and Buenos Aires; these agreements assume, among other things, that Venezuela will begin to replace American suppliers with Argentine ones. 13 The agreements encompass energy, trade, communications, and agriculture matters. The state-owned oil companies of the two nations—Argentina’s Enarsa and Venezuela’s PDVSA—reached an understanding to carry out exploration, drilling, refining, marketing, and transportation projects. There is even talk of bringing in Brazil’s Petrobras to make up a regional oil giant that would go by the name of Petrosur. Argentina will build four oil tankers for Venezuela, at a total cost of US$240 million, and Venezuela will supply liquid hydrocarbons for the generation of thermal energy, the supply of which has been insufficient during the harsh Argentine winter.
Moreover, Venezuela is studying the purchase of Royal Dutch/Shell’s assets in Argentina, in conjunction with Enarsa and Petrobras. This would be a huge step on the path to regional energy integration. Because Shell is divesting from Latin America and PDVSA is in an expansion phase, PDVSA could purchase Shell’s refinery, gas stations, and distribution channels in Argentina. Argentine exporters in the automobile, paper and cardboard, plastics, and manufactured goods sectors stand to benefit in the medium and long term, and its cereal exports could also increase markedly. Venezuela wants to import pedigree cattle to boost its meager output of meat and milk. Trade between the two countries is still low (in 2004, Argentina exported US$430 million to Venezuela, and imported only US$52 million), although it has risen constantly in recent years.
On February 14, Brazil and Venezuela signed a “strategic agreement” in Caracas. The 20 bilateral accords on hydrocarbons, infrastructure, and military cooperation, including the sale of fighter planes made by Brazil’s Embraer, is a significant step forward for ties between the two countries. Bilateral trade has risen from US$880 million in 2003 to US$1.6 billion in 2004, and this year is expected to climb to US$3 billion. But the most important area of cooperation is petroleum products, where Venezuela’s PDVSA and Brazil’s Petrobras are expected to join forces with large private Brazilian companies for gas and oil development in the main gas development regions—the Gulf of Venezuela and the Orinoco Oil Belt. In addition, an oil refinery will be constructed in Brazil to process crude oil from both countries, and the two countries are also expected to jointly build oil tankers and platforms. 14
Lula disclosed that he is prepared to sign “strategic agreements” with other countries in the region, underscoring Brazil’s clear intention to draw other countries into its orbit. However, these kinds of pacts seem aimed at benefiting Brazilian businesses, which have a very strong trade balance with Venezuela and need to continue to expand their markets. For some analysts, the “strategic agreement” between Brazil and Venezuela entails an “unexpected and surprising” change of course by Lula, which might be tied to Washington’s troubles in achieving the Andean Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. 15
Lately, despite efforts at cooperation, disputes over regional hegemony have arisen. As recent trade negotiations with China show, each country is implementing policies to promote its own interests, although these policies inevitably clash with the interests of their neighbors. Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to the region laid bare the differences between Brasilia and Buenos Aires, with Lula’s government offering to recognize China as “a market economy” (a requirement for becoming a full member of the WTO), leaving Kirchner’s government no choice but to follow suit. 16 Industrialists and social movements in both countries strongly criticized the agreements signed with China based on fears in the first group that Chinese competition will ruin local industry, while the latter group (in particular the landless movement) distrust an economic policy geared to exporting commodities and strengthening the neoliberal model.
Within the region, national interests and even personal leadership styles seem pitted against one another, leading, for example, to alliances between Kirchner and Chávez that exclude Brazil. Brazil has countered by establishing agreements such as those recently signed by Lula and Chávez. These rivalries can be attributed to national interests, but what exactly is “national interest?” Behind the conflicts among countries, and at times also behind some positions in favor of integration, are the interests of big business.
Free Trade and Inequalities
One of the problems faced by regional integration is that nearly all governments are subordinated to and taken hostage by large companies, whether domestic or multinational. In turn, these governments do little to free themselves of the influence of business. The question should be: can regional integration be built on the basis of free trade?
A recent example illustrates these problems.
Days before the Mercosur summit in Puerto Iguazú, a serious conflict between Brazil and Argentina put a damper on an important meeting for defining the future of the regional alliance. Argentina decided to limit imports of Brazilian appliances that were invading its market and displacing domestic manufacturers. The Argentine multinational Techint had lobbied for such restrictions, alleging that Brazilian industry was subsidized. It is true that the Brazilian government gives preferential loans to exporters, and, in addition, that products made with components brought in through the Manaos foreign trade zone are considered of “Mercosur origin,” which gives Brazilian manufacturers substantial advantages. Nevertheless, there are other asymmetries, linked to the low investment made by Argentine industrialists in the last five years of stagnation and crisis, to the different sizes of the domestic markets (180 million Brazilians versus 38 million Argentines), to the more solid foundations on which Brazil’s banking system is built, and to its low rate of deposits in foreign currency versus the massive dollarization suffered by Argentina in the 90s.
In light of these asymmetries, Techint—once an enthusiastic defender of Carlos Menem’s government—made a proposal before the Argentine Industrial Union in late 2003 in favor of rethinking Mercosur and transforming it from a customs union into a free trade area, for the country to recover ground lost during the previous decade. 17 The ongoing disputes between Argentina and Brazil, in which Uruguay often sides with Argentina, are paving the road to integration. In the dispute over appliance imports, Lula and Kirchner decided to tone down the confrontation and negotiate. But this conciliatory attitude earned Brazil’s government a stinging editorial from the influential O Estado de São Paulo , which accused it of an assuming an attitude of “complacency vis-à-vis Argentina’s aggressions against free trade.” 18 It is clear that Brasilia’s and Buenos Aires’ foreign policy stances were shaped by the interests of large companies.
Finding a way out of this labyrinth will not be easy. It is essential to clarify what is at stake. There is no reason integration will necessarily favor the people of the continent. As was noted by Venezuelan sociologist Edgardo Lander, an integration project oriented to further opening up economies and “envisioned as a free trade area, conceived principally as the construction of an economic space for the free circulation of goods and capital” is destined to accentuate existing inequalities and to guarantee the success of the strongest based on the exploitation and exclusion of the weakest 19
Free trade is, intrinsically, a generator of social and spatial differences and inequalities within each country and region and all over the planet, since it is guided by the profit motive and is conducted by large companies. Not only does it polarize social sectors, increasing the gap between rich and poor; it also generates poles of development and pockets of marginalization and poverty, and brings prosperity to some areas and countries while maintaining others separated or causing their deindustrialization. The price of Brazil’s growth in the 1990s was, to a certain extent, the decline of Argentine industry.
Lastly, a shift that appears to be spreading throughout the continent could prove troublesome, to the extent that the promoters and beneficiaries of “development” will change once again but the deep-seated pattern will remain unchanged. The conditions are ripe for a partial but certain withdrawal from South America by large European and American multinational firms. They might be replaced by a more or less egalitarian and equitable integration in favor of people, through what Lander calls “a defensive integration aimed at conquering spaces of autonomy and sovereignty to define public policy and local economic options.” Or, on the other hand, regional relations could be redefined in favor of a new master. The candidate, in this case, is the Brazilian business class.
Brazil is the only country to possess an important industrial production structure, whereas the remaining countries have been dragged along the path of deindustrialization. It has a heavy industry with highly advanced technology, one of whose flagship companies is the aeronautical firm Embraer, capable of winning bids in first-world countries. Although the presence of multinational companies is important and large Brazilian companies are allied with international capital, most industrial enterprises are Brazilian-owned, and Brazil is “the only country where [locally owned] financial capital has a dominant position.” 20 It has the only authentic Latin American bourgeoisie; according to Quijano “the only one that appears to have the attributes of a national bourgeoisie, because its interests are rooted in and have branched out through the country’s economy.” But why does Quijano qualify his statement with “appears to?” Perhaps because Brazil is the world champion in inequality, the most socially polarized country in the world, where the wealthiest 10% controls 70 times more national income than do the poorest 10%. And it is, for this same reason, the least democratic country of the region, “the only Latin American country where the ancien régime has succeeded not only in remaining [but also in] modernizing itself in terms of technology and its consumption habits.” 21 In short, Brazil’s business class owes its position to its undemocratic control of an undemocratic state, and to the brutal exploitation of Brazil’s poor.
It is this business class that is behind Brazil’s rejection of the FTAA, since it needs to protect itself from a project that would ruin it. But this business class also appears to be leading the “really already existing” integration. In Caracas, at the signing of the strategic agreement between Brazil and Venezuela, the Binational Entrepreneurial Business Forum was inaugurated. Lula told business people (in reality, Brazilian business people, since Venezuelan business people are trying to oust Chávez) in attendance: “Form partnerships, do business, generate income and jobs. The individual successes of each of you will also be the successes of us all.” 22
1. Atilio Borón, “El ALCA y la culminación de un proyecto imperial,” OSAL No. 11, Buenos Aires, May-Aug 2003.
2. Walden, “The Meaning of Cancun,” Yes Magazine http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=670 2003
3. “Análisis de coyuntura sobre ALCA y Mercosur,” Rafael Gentili, www.outrobrasil.net
4. Mercosur, created in 1991, is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The Andean Community of Nations (CAN) is made up of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
5. “Informe sobre el Mercosur,” Rafael Gentili, Nov. 2004, Politicainternacional.net.
6. La República , Montevideo, Jan. 4, 2005.
7. “Informe sobre el Mercosur,” Rafael Gentili, Nov. 2004, Politicainternacional.net.
8. Folha de São Paulo , Dec. 15, 2004.
9. “Informe sobre el Mercosur,” Dec. 2004, Politicainternacional.net.
10. Declaración de Cuzco, www.comunidadandina.org.
11. Edgardo Lander, “¿Modelos alternativos de integración? Proyectos neoliberales y resistencias populares,” OSAL No. 15, Buenos Aires, Sept.-Dec 2004.
12. Gustavo González, “América del ALCA al ALBA,” www.ipsenespanol.net.
13. APM (Agencia Periodística del Mercosur), “Acuerdos Argentina-Venezuela: un ejemplo a seguir,” www.alainet.org.
14. Agencia Latinoamericana de Información y Análisis-Dos, “Hagamos que esta sea la gran hora de Venezuela y Brasil,” www.alia2.net.
15. Aram Aharonian, “Acuerdo estratégico Brasil-Venezuela,” www.brecha.com.uy.
16. “Informe sobre el Mercosur”, Nov. 2004.
17. Raúl Zibechi, “El Mercosur y la integración regional: Una interminable carrera de obstáculos,” Masiosare , July 18, 2004, www.jornada.unam.mx.
18. O Estado de São Paulo , July 9, 2004.
19. Edgardo Lander, “¿Modelos alternativos de integración? Proyectos neoliberales y resistencias populares.”
20. Aníbal Quijano, “El laberinto de América Latina, ¿hay otras salidas?,” Revista Venezolana de Economía y Ciencias Sociales , Vol. 10, No. 1, Caracas, Jan.-April 2004, www.revele.com.ve.
Raúl Zibechi, a member of the editorial board of the weekly Brecha de Montevideo, is a teacher and a researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina as well as an advisor to several social groups. He is also a monthly contributor to the IRC Americas Program (www.americaspolicy.org), where this article first appeared. Translated from Spanish by Alan Hynds. Photo from igtn.org
For More Information
CAN: Andean Community of Nations, composed of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela: www.comunidadandina.org
SACN: South American Community of Nations, composed of twelve countries of South America (every country on the continent except Suriname and Guyana).
Mercosur: Southern Common Market, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay: www.mercosur.org.uy
Agencia Latinoamericana de Información y Análisis-Dos: www.alia2.net
Agencia Periodística del Mercosur (APM): www.prensamercosur.com.ar
Bello, Walden, “The Meaning of Cancun,” Yes Magazine http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=670
Borón, Atilio, “El ALCA y la culminación de un proyecto imperial”, OSAL No. 11, Buenos Aires, May-Aug. 2003.
Statement of Cuzco of the SACN: www.comunidadandina.org
Instituto de Estudios y Formación de la CTA, “Diferencias entre Brasil y Argentina,” Buenos Aires, April 2003, www.cta.org.ar
Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas: www.Politicainternacional.net
Lander, Edgardo “¿Modelos alternativos de integración? Proyectos neoliberales y resistencias populares,” OSAL No. 15, Buenos Aires, Sept.-Dec. 2004.
Observatorio Social de América Latina (OSAL): http://osal.clacso.org
Quijano, Aníbal, “El laberinto de América Latina, ¿hay otras salidas?,” Revista Venezolana de Economía y Ciencias Sociales , Vol. 10, No. 1, Caracas, January-April 2004, www.revele.com.ve
Enrique V. Iglesias, treat President of the Inter-American Development Bank
The celebration of INTAL’s 35th Anniversary is an opportune time to stop and reflect on where we have been, stuff where we are and where we are going in our processes of regional economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. Indeed, such a review is timely in light of the explosion of regional initiatives over the last ten years. As seen in the attached table, more than twenty new agreements have been signed since 1990 – ranging from free trade areas to customs unions with wider common market objectives – and many more are in different stages of negotiation. Indeed, now virtually all the Bank’s member countries are embarking on one or more regional integration initiatives.
Regionalism also is a world-wide phenomenon that is paralleling the forces of globalization: today nearly all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are members of a regional agreement and those few who are not are in discussions that could lead to one.