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How can Bush address poverty and job creation at the Americas Summit? Venezuela

Venezuela’s Electronic News —


Thursday, November 03, 2005 commentarist Mary MacElveen writes: As Bush makes his way to the Americas Summit to discuss free trade, many people are of the opinion that his idea of free trade “will allow corporations to dominate the poor” … this must be the focal point of this summit.

The purpose of the summit is to discuss ways to increase employment and create jobs from Alaska to Argentina.

But, I want to remind readers that more jobs have been lost during the Bush administration and he has failed at the creation of new jobs. Under his watch, more American jobs have been shipped overseas … this is what happens when you have corporations setting the agenda in Washington, D.C.

According to the AP: “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and top Cuban government officials — say Bush is bent on opening up Latin America even more to corporations that will end up enslaving already poor workers.”

In America the evidence is clear that these corporations have enslaved us all. One only has to look to Wal-Mart where workers are paid wages that barely put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. These workers are not even allowed to discuss the creation of unions and, if they do, they’re fired.

Evidence of this practice is seen through the testimony of a former employee who worked for Wal-Mart for seventeen years: Confessions of a Wal-Mart Hit Man: According to his testimony some who work for this company are on welfare. I would like to know where the United States government is when it comes to the plight of these employees and Wal-Mart’s indecent anti-worker practices?

But before Bush goes lecturing anyone … especially President Hugo Chavez … on how to address this problem, he (Bush) must address abject poverty in the United States first.

According to Bill Quigley who teaches at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in his most recent article: Why Are They Making New Orleans a Ghost Town? He states: “Housing is scarce and rents are soaring. Over 245,000 people lost jobs in September. Public education in New Orleans has not restarted. The levees are not even up to their flawed level in August.”

What lessons can other world leaders gain from Bush?

Some people have written to me stating President Hugo Chavez is not doing enough to help the poor in Venezuela … but what I have found is that he is at least addressing the problem.

The alleviation of poverty does not happen overnight … but by continuing to bring this problem to the world stage President Hugo Chavez is to be commended … he is not turning his back as Bush has consistently done.

What must come before any talks on poverty is for the United States government to put an end to their war of lies that are draining our federal reserves.

As many of you around the world know, Lewis “Scooter” Libby … who was vice president Cheney’s Chief of Staff .. was recently indicted and resigned his position for the outing of Valerie Plame, whose husband Joe Wilson refuted Bush’s assertion that Iraq was looking to purchase weapons grade uranium from Niger.

While some were hoping for a similar indictment against Karl Rove, he still remains under suspicion.

Just the other day, US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid led the Republican controlled senate into a forced closed session to discuss the intelligence that lead up to the Iraq War.

“They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why,” Democratic leader Harry Reid said. In response Senator Frist the Majority leader said: “The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership!”

He then went onto say: “They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas!”

Discussing the lies told to the American people shows conviction and that the principle of truth does matter.

I only wish those Senate Democrats who voted for this war had listened to the ideas of those who did not … any elected officials who are truly moral must unite in one voice calling for the immediate pull-out of our US troops from Iraq.

Former President Jimmy Carter said of Bush on Wednesday: “manipulated, at least, to mislead the American people”

If the Bush administration and his government truly want to address the needs of the poor, they must heed the words of the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Only through that lesson can we fully address the needs of the poor.

At this summit, Bush must prove to the rest of the world community that lives do matter … a war of lies must come to an end and the well being of the poor does matter.

Do I have hope that Bush can communicate this to the world leaders gathered at the summit?

No, I do not.

If you think I’m the only one who feels this way … according to a CBS poll Bush’s approval rating now stands at 35%.

At the summit there will be those who wish to follow the corporate track and those who follow the people’s agenda.

We have seen, time and time again, that many of these corporations are not looking out for the well being of humanity.

The evidence is clear when it was reported in the L.A. Times that,0,695414.story Exxon Mobil Posts Record Quarterly Profit: High prices for oil and natural gas propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to their best quarterly results ever on Thursday, with Exxon becoming the first U.S. company ever to ring up quarterly sales of $100 billion.”

So, while US corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart are making gains such as this, very little is being done for the poor in this country.

What possible lesson can Bush present to world leaders on how best to improve the plight of the poor worldwide?

World leaders would be better served listening to President Hugo Chavez since he, at least, is trying through various socialist programs in Venezuela to better the lives of those living in poverty … he may not be alleviating the problem overnight … but that is what happens when even he must deal with opposition forces within Venezuela and abroad.

On an end note: It is worth special mention here that Bush has afforded his own extensive Secret Service protection in Buenos Aires although Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez was denied his security detail when he attended the United Nations General Assembly in September. Do you remember how Chavez’ security men and personal doctor were NOT even allowed off the plane by the specific order of the US State Department?

Mary MacElveen More commentaries by Mary MacElveenņol

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