“Good Neighbors and Good Friends”

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three amigos.jpg Today the “Three Amigos” wrapped up the annual two-day summit between Canada, Mexico, and the United States with a press conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. Expectations going into the summit were muted as the leaders mostly followed up on previously agreed upon measures rather than breakthrough negotiations over new issues. The three heads of state, President Calderon of Mexico, Prime Minister Harper of Canada, and President Obama, presented a happy trio at the press conference where they outlined the regional priorities agreed upon during their meetings.
The North American response to the economic crisis and efforts to increase regional competitiveness was a top priority for the leaders. Of special concern is the “protectionist wave sweeping the U.S.” Canada and Mexico would be especially hard hit by the “buy America” clause in the $787 billion stimulus package as they are our number one and three trading partners respectively. Mexico has the added grief of addressing the congressionally-imposed ban prohibiting the use of US highways by Mexican trucks. Hoping to ease the fears of our two closest neighbors, President Obama promised to “reject protectionism” and work to expand regional trade, not limit it.
Health and security were also top of the agenda with a special focus on the impeding return of the H1N1 virus (the virus formerly known as the swine flu) to the region. The three leaders committed their countries to working together to prepare for the coming flu season. When it comes to transnational issues such as global health, a regional approach is not only prudent, it is required.
Mexico’s war on drugs is another security matter of great concern for the region. Canada and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Calderon’s fight against the powerful drug cartels. President Obama was clear that human rights must not be sacrificed to win this fight, which touched on a sore spot between Mexico and the United States. The US Congress is currently withholding funds promised in plan Merida because of human rights concerns arising from harsh tactics used by the Mexican military.
The leaders also addressed climate change and energy concerns, each calling for agreement and action at the upcoming UN Climate Change conference to take place in Copenhagen later this year. President Obama hailed the example being set for other developing countries by Mexico’s actions to cut carbon emissions in a creative way that did not stifle economic growth.
An interesting point that came up in the Q&A portion of the press conference was the critique that the United States is not putting enough pressure on the government of Honduras to reseat ousted President Zelaya. In a response clearly aimed at Hugo Chavez, Obama stated, “The same critics who say the United States is not intervening enough in Honduras are the same that say we interfere too much and tell the Yankees to get out of Latin America. They can’t have it both ways.” President Calderon echoed this sentiment by stating that the United States is doing exactly what Latin America wants them to do, which is primarily to support regional organizations. It was, however, Prime Minister Harper that had the money quote of the day, “I’m just going to also weigh in a little bit, as a friend of the United States, on that question that was posed to President Obama. If I were an American, I would be really fed up with this kind of hypocrisy. You know, the United States is accused of meddling except when it’s accused of not meddling.”
— Faith Smith

Comments

31 comments on ““Good Neighbors and Good Friends”

  1. JohnH says:

    More information inconvenient for spin meisters trying to show that the US has not been meddling in Honduras: “the fingerprints of U.S. institutions like the NED, USAID, and School for the Americas — plus bipartisan lobbyists, powerful corporations, and dedicated Cold War warriors — are all over the June takeover.”
    http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6329
    And, can we please dispense with the BS that the coup was some kind of humanitarian mission to preserve democracy. An international mission, composed of fifteen independent professionals (legal experts, journalists, anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, and human rights experts) from Germany, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, Nicaragua, Peru, Sweden, and Uruguay, “confirms the existence of grave and systematic violations of human rights in Honduras subsequent to the coup d’état. Some of these violations originate from the application of norms in open violation of the international agreements for the protection of human rights, the militarization of security functions and state institutions, abuses on the part of the State security forces, and lack of response from the guaranteed mechanisms of the State.”
    http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2040/68/

    Reply

  2. JohnH says:

    Oops! Maybe Ramonet was wrong–not 15 families behind the coup. Maybe only 10…
    http://www.namnewsnetwork.org/v2/read.php?id=90882
    Anyway, the question remains: why should the US taxpayer be funding these oligarchs? Don’t they already have enough to do coups by themselves?

    Reply

  3. JohnH says:

    “So why was the coup carried out? Because Honduras remains the “property” of a handful of fifteen leading families that control everything in the country…” And because the US really likes its Soto Cano airbase and the oligarchs who work with them.
    http://ipsnews.net/columns.asp?idnews=48016
    Also, more evidence of US meddling in Honduras, despite well publicized claims to the contrary.
    http://www.narconews.com/Issue59/article3760.html
    Since Faith Smith’s knowledge base on Honduras appears to be deficient, despite her stellar education, I thought she would welcome being brought up to speed. [WARNING–publicly acknowledging these things could be harmful to one’s career.]

    Reply

  4. melvin says:

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    Reply

  5. JohnH says:

    “maybe they(oligarchs) can eventually relocated to florida”
    I think most of them already have, at least partially. Second homes in Dade Country can easily become primary residences…

    Reply

  6. ... says:

    dan kervick nice to see you back..

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    them too- (the countries they came from. see cuba for an example)..

    Reply

  8. ... says:

    johnh – maybe they(oligarchs) can eventually relocated to florida as they did when fidel kicked them out of cuba… i am sure the americans will welcome them with open arms, and have a never ending axe to grind with them too… it is hard to make up a more boneheaded policy, but covering it up with cheap superficial journalism is the next best thing…

    Reply

  9. JohnH says:

    yes, the gods of Olympus rarely descend to the level of the mortals…
    It is indeed hard to believe that anyone could have studied Latin America and still believe US foreign policy propaganda about the region. People, even the oligarchs, in the region have a very clear understanding of their history and the ongoing effects of colonialism. And the oligarchs are petrified that the US won’t continue to diligently watch their backs. For them, nothing could be worse than living the lives of ordinary folks in the region.

    Reply

  10. ... says:

    johnh – you are doing some great posts.. don’t be so apologetic.. are you a canuck too? lol
    “””doing a lot” behind the scenes”””….. that sums it up johnh… apparently one can never underestimate the gullibility of people, and if you can make silly jokes about it while claiming not to meddle it is a good distraction…
    what i want to know is does the article writer faith smith actually believe this stuff? she is the one who has highlighted it at the end of her commentary… i doubt we will find out as it requires a certain amount of jam to comment in the open section, as opposed to writing from a position of supposed ‘authority’…

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    Sorry for the blank post. The spam filter at TWN apparently does not like links in their usual format, hence my putting in [dot]com.

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    US not meddling? What BS!!! Meddling behind the scenes is still meddling.
    This is very similar to the Iranian elections, where the US claimed not to be intervening (unless you happened to count the $400 million in covert operations). More specifically, the US was doing a lot to help the protesters. “In an interview today on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while the US didn’t want to come out too publicly in favor of the protesters in the wake of Iran’s disputed June elections, the State Department was “doing a lot” behind the scenes to support the opposition.”
    http://news.antiwar[dot]com/2009/08/09/clinton-us-supported-iran-protesters-behind-the-scenes/
    Kind of explains the media frenzy about the plight of the poor Iranian protesters, doesn’t it? Of course, nobody spilled any ink about the poor Hondurans protesters the overthrow of their democratically elected government.
    As for Honduras, “A review of documents obtained from MCA-Honduras outlining its projections for future MCC funding reveals that a total of $28.5 million in MCC funds are slated for delivery between July and September 2009. And, for the following three quarters (through June 2010) the MCC is scheduled to disburse nearly $80 million in funding to MCA-Honduras under the Honduran foreign-aid compact.” The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US taxpayer-funded agency that oversees a multi-billion dollar foreign-aid fund called the Millennium Challenge Account.”
    http://narcosphere.narconews[dot]com/notebook/bill-conroy/2009/08/millennium-challenge-corp-poured-millions-honduras-months-leading-putsc
    Hmmm–amazing timing. And no word that the US government has asked MCC to stop funding the coup regime.
    As for the rest of Latin America, budgets of the State Department and USAID have allocated $447.7 millon dollars to “promote democracy” in Latin America.
    http://www.chavezcode[dot]com/2009/07/sigue-el-dinero-la-ofensiva-imperial-en.html
    Of that, $101 million is allocated to Bolivia, where Evo Morales won the presidency with 53.7% of the popular vote (approximately 45% of the total electorate, including abstentions.) In a recall referendum on August 14, 2008, more than two thirds of voters (67.4%) voted to keep him in power (approximately 57% of the electorate). To the US 67.4% of the vote is obviously not enough to constitute a democratic result! The US seems to still be smarting about the fact that Sanchez de Losada got thrown out in 2003 after winning the the presidency the year before with a whopping 22.46% of the popular vote!
    Elsewhere, the State Department and USAID plan to spend $13 million to “promote democracy” in Venezuela, $3 million for a special fund to “consolidate democracy” in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and $20 million for the
    “transition towards democracy” in Cuba.
    But I agree with Stephen Harper on one point: we should all be “really fed up with this kind of hypocrisy.” As usual the US is saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. In this case, claiming not to meddle, while spending massive amounts of money to quietly meddle behind the scenes.

    Reply

  13. JohnH says:

    US not meddling? What BS!!! Meddling behind the scenes is still meddling.
    This is very similar to the Iranian elections, where the US claimed not to be intervening (unless you happened to count the $400 million in covert operations). More specifically, the US was doing a lot to help the protesters. “In an interview today on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while the US didn’t want to come out too publicly in favor of the protesters in the wake of Iran’s disputed June elections, the State Department was “doing a lot” behind the scenes to support the opposition.”
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/09/clinton-us-supported-iran-protesters-behind-the-scenes/
    Kind of explains the media frenzy about the plight of the poor Iranian protesters, doesn’t it? Of course, nobody spilled any ink about the poor Hondurans protesters the overthrow of their democratically elected government.
    As for Honduras, “A review of documents obtained from MCA-Honduras outlining its projections for future MCC funding reveals that a total of $28.5 million in MCC funds are slated for delivery between July and September 2009. And, for the following three quarters (through June 2010) the MCC is scheduled to disburse nearly $80 million in funding to MCA-Honduras under the Honduran foreign-aid compact.” The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US taxpayer-funded agency that oversees a multi-billion dollar foreign-aid fund called the Millennium Challenge Account.”
    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2009/08/millennium-challenge-corp-poured-millions-honduras-months-leading-putsc
    Hmmm–amazing timing. And no word that the US government has asked MCC to stop funding the coup regime.
    As for the rest of Latin America, budgets of the State Department and USAID have allocated $447.7 millon dollars to “promote democracy” in Latin America.
    http://www.chavezcode.com/2009/07/sigue-el-dinero-la-ofensiva-imperial-en.html
    Of that, $101 million is allocated to Bolivia, where Evo Morales won the presidency with 53.7% of the popular vote (approximately 45% of the total electorate, including abstentions.) In a recall referendum on August 14, 2008, more than two thirds of voters (67.4%) voted to keep him in power (approximately 57% of the electorate). To the US 67.4% of the vote is obviously not enough to constitute a democratic result! The US seems to still be smarting about the fact that Sanchez de Losada got thrown out in 2003 after winning the the presidency the year before with a whopping 22.46% of the popular vote!
    Elsewhere, the State Department and USAID plan to spend $13 million to “promote democracy” in Venezuela, $3 million for a special fund to “consolidate democracy” in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and $20 million for the
    “transition towards democracy” in Cuba.
    But I agree with Stephen Harper on one point: we should all be “really fed up with this kind of hypocrisy.” As usual the US is saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. In this case, claiming not to meddle, while spending massive amounts of money to quietly meddle behind the scenes.

    Reply

  14. Outraged American says:

    The mentions of Israel were in response to other comments on the
    thread.
    That crappy little country is way more trouble than she’s worth and
    is about to start WW III.
    All Weimaraners will be exterminated by the oncoming nuclear true
    “Holocaust,” and they’re all German so genetically hate Jews. NOT.
    Israel had some plot going in Mexico a while back.
    ONE STATE. The Zionists need to realize that we live in the 21st
    century and that Jews are not hated, in fact they’re flourishing in
    the diaspora, unless the Zionist make them hated.

    Reply

  15. Zathras says:

    My guess is that because it’s Israel, it has to do with everything. That includes Mexico, Canada, Honduras and Oakley the Weimeraner.
    Anyone who can’t see that is a bloodstained warmongering hate-filled whore. With VD. And BO also.

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    “I hate BLOODYISRAEL and all of it’s appologists and Pissed off American states it well. Loath, detest, totally against the imperialism of BLOODYISRAEL the whore for the Military/Industrial/PETROLEUM/Media mob.”
    Interesting. And I hate cauliflower and the NRA. But what this has to do with a post on Canada, Mexico, the US and hemispheric issues is anybody’s guess.

    Reply

  17. Outraged American says:

    I called Hoyer’s office to ask about his regular trips to Israel. I
    also asked who the other Congresspeople who went with him
    that year. This was a few years ago.
    Hoyer’s office REFUSED to name the Congresspeople on the
    junket to Israel.
    So much for “our” elected officials. They’re bashing off to Israel
    BUT WON’T EVEN TELL THEIR CONSTITUENTS.
    Rumsfeld had something to do with Tamiflu, the purported
    antidote for this hyped-up flu.
    And Amen on legalizing drugs. I don’t touch the stuff, but this
    “War on Drugs” is for the Prison Industrial Complex.
    I never thought I’d agree with Schwarzenegger (and I despise the
    man so can’t be bothered to look up the spelling of his name)
    but I totally think that CA should release non-violent drug
    offenders and that pot should be legalized.
    Calderon is a thug and was helped out by the Cheney
    administration in his own non-election.

    Reply

  18. Erik says:

    There sure are some strong emotions in here!
    Let’s not forget Israel has Universal Health Care
    funded in part by US taxpayer dollars.
    I sure wish my own tax money could be used to keep
    me and my fellow citizens healthy, but apparently
    all that money has been earmarked for wars and
    corporate welfare.

    Reply

  19. Rose Hunter says:

    I hate BLOODYISRAEL and all of it’s appologists and Pissed off American states it well. Loath, detest, totally against the imperialism of BLOODYISRAEL the whore for the Military/Industrial/PETROLEUM/Media mob.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Speaking of friends and allies, I see Hoyer and 28 of his fellow Washington whores are over in Israel right now, vocally and publically pulling the teeth out of Obama’s “hardline” with Israel.
    Both sides of the aisle are in a suck-off, Cantor and Hoyer in competition to see who can raise the thickest knee callouses. Meanwhile, Reid is staying close to home, where he can do the most damage to Obama’s stated policy goals in regards to Israel.
    Meanwhile, Israel laughs all the way to the bank, spreading out acre by acre like some smog belching earthmover, lubricated by Palestinian blood.

    Reply

  21. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    One may be hailing the trio conference whereby the two dynamic head of states-the US President Barack
    Obama and the Canadian Premier Harper along with the Mexican head of State Mr Calderon- joined their symbolic efforts of promoting regionalism.

    Reply

  22. Peter says:

    It is an awesome article. I liked it. Last night I went through a site where I shared my personal feelings. If anybody wants to share their personal feelings like that they can visit http://www.lastnightwas.com and post their feelings like me in this site.

    Reply

  23. Triphasil says:

    President Calderon of Mexico apparently assumed office under a mountain of vote-count fraud accusations, since suppressed in the media.

    Reply

  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama needs to sit his ass down in the Oval Office, put his check signing pen away, and carefully examine his Oath of Office, particularly as it applies to the Constitution, and his sworn duty to protect and uphold the rule of law.
    Because, so far, all I’ve seen is just one more batch of scumball crooks protecting the backsides of the last batch of scumball crooks.
    Obama is a huge dissappointment in EVERY respect. Check out Taylor Marsh’s site. Even the Marshmellows are getting fed up with Obama.
    The guy is exposing himself as a rabid narcissist, who can’t get enough of the limelight. He needs to close the curtain on the friggin’ stage show and stop spending money like a whore in Frederick’s.
    But thats a tall order for a guy that was elected on the merits of pure theatrics and money.
    It may be that he’s already given us the best he’s got. War, more war, and a historic deficit. And the same kinds of abuses of power that Bush/Cheney are being given a free pass on.
    Change, my ass.

    Reply

  25. arthurdecco says:

    Stephen Harper has the support of about 32% of the voting population of Canada. He governs with an iron fascistic fist despite of his party’s minority status only because the opposition parties are presently in disarray and our media are 200% behind this “friend of Israel”. His personal political proclivities lie somewhere to the right of Dick Cheney, psychopath, and Ariel Sharon, vegetable.
    President Calderon of Mexico apparently assumed office under a mountain of vote-count fraud accusations, since suppressed in the media.
    President Obama campaigned from left of center and was elected on that basis and is governing just like every other oligarchy groupie has done since Ronnie RayGun in direct opposition to the wishes of those who marked their ballots with his name.
    None of these men has a mandate to change anything anytime anywhere in the ways they would like to. Every one of them is a shill for big business in direct opposition to the interests of the majority of their electorates.
    And as far as Harper’s sound bite goes – it’s HIS picture that should be displayed as the penultimate “whore to power”. He will say anything to anyone at any time if he thinks it will gain him brownie points with those he expects to pay him off after he’s been unceremoniously thrown out of office with corporate directorships and sinecures like the disgraceful Tony Blair has been.
    Oh…and as far as the impending Swine flue “epidemic” goes. More people die from the common flu every year that have died since forever from the Swine flu which is looking more and more like just another MSM/Corporate-designed method of shoveling even more billions of our tax dollars into the maws of the drug companies who fund these assholes who are terrorizing their collective citizenry with heavy-handed warnings of impending doom to make them more amendable to manipulation.
    And if these three bozos really want to win the “War on Drugs”, all they have to do is legalize the crap. Alcohol destroys more lives in an afternoon than coke has in a generation.
    Smoke and Mirrors Inc. They sicken me. The Hypocrisy is all theirs.

    Reply

  26. DonS says:

    How nice for them, the three amigos. Particularly since Harper is considered a genuine jerk here in Canada, where we are currently situated. Can anyone forget his sucking up to Bush? Could it be, seeing that everything is apparently all smooth with the Obama, that Harper is also a genuine chameleon.
    Or could it also be that Obama ain’t all that different? Ah, well.

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    US not meddling? What BS!!! Meddling behind the scenes is still meddling.
    This is very similar to the Iranian elections, where the US claimed not to be intervening (unless you happened to count the $400 million in covert operations). More specifically, the US was doing a lot to help the protesters. “In an interview today on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while the US didn’t want to come out too publicly in favor of the protesters in the wake of Iran’s disputed June elections, the State Department was “doing a lot” behind the scenes to support the opposition.”
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/09/clinton-us-supported-iran-protesters-behind-the-scenes/
    Kind of explains the media frenzy about the plight of the poor Iranian protesters, doesn’t it? Of course, nobody spilled any ink about the poor Hondurans protesters the overthrow of their democratically elected government.
    As for Honduras, “A review of documents obtained from MCA-Honduras outlining its projections for future MCC funding reveals that a total of $28.5 million in MCC funds are slated for delivery between July and September 2009. And, for the following three quarters (through June 2010) the MCC is scheduled to disburse nearly $80 million in funding to MCA-Honduras under the Honduran foreign-aid compact.” The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US taxpayer-funded agency that oversees a multi-billion dollar foreign-aid fund called the Millennium Challenge Account.”
    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2009/08/millennium-challenge-corp-poured-millions-honduras-months-leading-putsc
    Hmmm–amazing timing. And no word that the US government has asked MCC to stop funding the coup regime.
    As for the rest of Latin America, budgets of the State Department and USAID have allocated $447.7 millon dollars to “promote democracy” in Latin America.
    http://www.chavezcode.com/2009/07/sigue-el-dinero-la-ofensiva-imperial-en.html
    Of that, $101 million is allocated to Bolivia, where Evo Morales won the presidency with 53.7% of the popular vote (approximately 45% of the total electorate, including abstentions.) In a recall referendum on August 14, 2008, more than two thirds of voters (67.4%) voted to keep him in power (approximately 57% of the electorate). To the US 67.4% of the vote is obviously not enough to constitute a democratic result! The US seems to still be smarting about the fact that Sanchez de Losada got thrown out in 2003 after winning the the presidency the year before with a whopping 22.46% of the popular vote!
    Elsewhere, the State Department and USAID plan to spend $13 million to “promote democracy” in Venezuela, $3 million for a special fund to “consolidate democracy” in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and $20 million for the
    “transition towards democracy” in Cuba.
    But I agree with Stephen Harper on one point: we should all be “really fed up with this kind of hypocrisy.” As usual the US is saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. In this case, claiming not to meddle, while spending massive amounts of money to quietly meddle behind the scenes.

    Reply

  28. ... says:

    close enough martin…
    i don’t think the usa could ever be accused of ‘not meddling’ especially when it comes to south and central america… give me an example, lol…

    Reply

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