Subject: Uruguay: The War on Drugs is a Great Imperial Hypocrisy
Monday 08 Nov 2004
Author: Alex Contreras Baspineiro
Eduardo Galeano: 'The War on Drugs is a Great Imperial Hypocrisy'
The Narco News Interview
By Alex Contreras Baspineiro
Narco News South American Bureau Chief
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY: 'The so-called war on drugs is a great imperial
hypocrisy - specifically of the United States and its allies - aimed at
militarizing the region and imposing policies that go against its peoples,'
said Uruguayan writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano last week.
In Montevideo, we had the great privilege of interviewing the acclaimed
author of The Open Veins of Latin America, Memory of Fire, and other books.
On October 31, Galeano took part, like the majority of Uruguayans, in the
triumph of the Progressive Conference/Broad Front party, the left-wing
coalition whose candidate Dr. Tabare Vazquez will be the next president of this beautiful country.
We spoke with Galeano about the current insurgency of the Latin American people, and also about the militaristic anti-terrorism and anti-drug policies that hold back this continent's - and the world's - potential.
'These policies are simply pretexts to militarize the people, to try to
impose new world orders that have nothing to do with nations' own
realities,' he emphasized. 'They are pretexts that insult human intelligence.
'The dominant system loves money. The U.S. loves money. That's why, in this fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, as long as there is supply
and demand, there will always be drug use. On the other hand, while there is a supply of weapons, there will always be wars.
In that sense, prohibitionist policies will never get results, because they
don't attack drug supply and demand, which are the root of the problem.
Instead, they serve geopolitical and other interests.
Plan Colombia: 'Synonymous with Death'
Galeano said that Plan Colombia, now being applied in Bolivia, Colombia,
and Peru, is not really aimed at eradicating drugs or fighting trafficking,
but is rather 'synonymous with death.'
'The world is being subjected to an invisible military dictatorship imposed
by the United States,' he said. 'And this dictatorship is not just
military, but also economic, political, and social.'
According to Galeano, the U.S. government has for years produced a series of 'demons' to justify its interventionist policy.
'Years ago, the war imposed by the United States was against the reds or
the communists,' he said. 'Later, narco-traffickers were identified as the
enemy, and the current pretext is the fight against terrorism. Those are
the demons. Those are the fabricated pretexts used to justify criminal
The United States, he said, spends $2.5 billion dollars per day on its
policies of militarization, an astronomical figure that could be spent on
ending hunger, or providing healthcare or education in countries all over
According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic
Studies, the global arms market grew by eight percent last year, with total profits of $40 billion dollars. Four countries lead in global arms sales:
the United States, Britain, France and Russia. Coincidentally enough, these four countries also hold veto power on the United Nations (UN) Security Council (along with China).
In practice, veto power means decision-making power. The UN General
Assembly, in which all countries are represented, makes recommendations, but it is the Security Council that ultimately decides. The Assembly speaks or is quiet, while the Council acts or does not act. In other words, four powers whose economies depend on wars around the world have the power to direct the course of the world's top international organization. According to its charter, the UN is charged with maintaining peace, human rights, friendship between nations and international cooperation.
A Lie Only a Fool Would Believe
Galeano is very clear in his opinions on drug policy, militarization, and
the so-called war on terror.
For example, he notes that international oil has fed the U.S. arms industry
more than anything else in recent years. The exchange of oil for dollars
and then dollars for weapons allows many countries to drown internal
protest in blood, and feeds the war economy that is one of the foundations of U.S. national prosperity.
'If there are still fools in this world, let them believe those who spread
the war on drugs and the war on terror. It is a great lie, one that no
person with any common sense believes anymore,' he said.
According to Galeano, the recent popular victories in several Latin
American countries - he did not specify which - have become 'a nightmare' for the empire. For that reason, he does not rule out intervention by other Latin American countries in an attempt to halt the advance of the social
The Uruguayan writer warns that if various Latin American countries with
overlapping political, social, and economic conditions do not establish
unity among themselves, the U.S. 'empire with its demons' - using the
pretext of fighting terrorism and defending national sovereignty - could
try to stop these new developments from below.
Think Cosmic, Act Global !
ARICA - Association for Research and Information on CAnnabis