“It is in the front page of all major Argentine newspapers: “the Summit split up over FTAA” (Clarín); “The US fails to get support for FTAA” (Pagina/12). By all accounts, the Summit of the Americas ended up in total failure. After several weeks of intense debates before the actual Summit, the negotiators representing the countries of the Americas could not reach an agreement on a final statement. The drafts being debated were revealing of the main issues at stake: the FTAA, of course, but also the way in which the US relates to its neighbours in the region. Thus, for example, when the traditionally patronizing reference to the need to “fight poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean” showed up, the Venezuelan representative insisted on an addition pointing to the need to fight poverty “also in the US”, which was of course unacceptable.
“The fiasco of the Summit for Bush’s plans, the little “rebellion” of the “five musketeers” and the utter weakness of US diplomacy that all this revealed, may end up bringing about a reversion to a more “Clintonean” approach to Empire building, one in which local Aristocracies have more autonomy, resources and power to manage local discontents, and also one in which local economic elites get a bigger share.
“While these tensions in the making of Empire take place, let us hope that the common working men and women of the planet find a way to put an end to capitalism and to get rid of Empire in any shape or form.”