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News :: Environment
Third Encounter of Fight Against the FTAA
26 Jan 2004
The 3rd Hemispheric Encounter of Fight Against the FTAA, that will have place in Havana from January the 26th to the 29th, will turn into an alternative to the “Summit of the people”, which has recently finished in Monterrey, Summit in which the American presidents defined the integration policies according the north American model.
The president of the committee in charge of the organization of the encounter and director of the Center of World Economy Studies, Osvaldo Martinez, said that this will be possible for the “amount, diversity and representation of the delegates from all the countries of the continent that will assist the event to create strategies and actions to face the main project of hemispheric domination, that nowadays auspicates the US government” the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas)

The Center of World Economy Studies is one of the 15 NGO’s that conform the Cuban Chapter of the Continental Social Alliance, an important network that impels the struggle against the FTAA not only in Latin America and the Caribbean, but also in Canada and the US.

According to Martinez, the especial importance of this third edition of the event has to do with the changes that have place in the negotiations and perspectives of the FTAA and with the strength in the 2003 of an integrationist Latin-American feeling by the new governments of Brazil and Argentina.

Martinez assures that North American policy is affected by its failure in the WTO Cancun meeting, by the resistance of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela as well as by the people's increasing protest against neoliberalism and against the FTAA. Because of that North American policy adapted in Miami to a “light” or “a la charte” FTAA that doesn’t try to impose in a short term the acceptation of some agreements and a same discipline to all the countries of the continent.

This policy has a "plan B", the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), which are the formula to achieve the same outcome, but using different means.

According to Osvaldo Martinez, the III Hemispheric Encounter of Fight against the FTAA in Havana, few days after the Extraordinary Summit of the Americas, is just a coincidence, a non-planned answer that will unavoidably be the protest expression of the continent's social movements.
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