liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Email to Rumsfeld re CAFTA

Rumsfeld published an op-ed piece in the Miami Herald last Friday. I read about it in Sara Stillman's blog on Huffington Post. I sent him an email today in reply.
I am urging my Representatives to vote "No" on the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

I read your piece in the Miami Herald, and I hope you exercise enough fairness and openmindedness to reconsider your position.

While expanded trade can benefit everybody if done thoughtfully, this flawed agreement puts the profits of large U.S. corporations ahead of protection for workers, the safety of communities and poor farmers in Central America.

According to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, "[CAFTA] fails to require compliance with even the most basic internationally recognized labor rights norms and specifically fails to protect women workers against discrimination." This could have far-reaching implications for American workers as corporations open up shop in countries with low wages and poor labor rights laws.

Expanded trade could swell economies and assist impoverished workers, but not under this CAFTA.

Your unqualified disparagement of Cuba and Venezuela in the editorial are disturbing words from an officer of your stature in a country as influential as ours. Surely as a spokesperson for the armed forces of the world's key democracy, you can be a little less dismissive and exclusionary in your posture towards governments with different philosophies and practices.

In particular, your reference to "Marxist radicalism" (probably in connection with Sandinistan Nicaragua) does not distinguish between economic and political systems.

As you know, Marxism is funadamentally a socialist ECONOMIC structure, but it can function within the POLITICAL parameters of a democratic process. By the same token, traditional, Adam Smith capitalism is an ECONOMIC structure, too, but in the global economy, governments may practice laissez-faire capitalism while exercising tyranny and non-democratic autocracy POLITICALLY.

As long as ordinary people are economically disempowered, they will be politically marginalized. This is the real threat to "hemispheric security." The military has no value other than as protector of the people and the guardians of liberty. As soon as hemispheric security is used as an excuse to deprive the poor of opportunity and political power, then the military has lost its usefulness.

Don't oppose human progress, Mr. Secretary. Please oppose this corporate race to the bottom. I look forward to hearing how you will continue to address this important issue.


Mr. Florindo Troncelliti
255 W. 108th Street 7B1
New York, NY 10025


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