FTAA deepens neoliberalism

Mireya Castaneda
Thursday, May 3, 2001

IN his closing speech at the 18th Congress of the Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions (CTC), President Fidel Castro made an analysis of the situations faced by workers of the world today, comparing them with what is happening in Cuba, where "there is a just socialist society" and "unity and consensus" exists.

The Cuban head of state and government utilized international news agency summaries referring to May Day activities in various countries, presenting a panorama of poverty, unemployment, fundamental human rights violations and democracies with police violence.

"For Latin America," he affirmed, "the date has arrived with little reason to celebrate and many protests on account of high unemployment rates, against globalization and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)."

The examples he gave included Chile, with 8.8% unemployment, where the cables reported workers demonstrating for "decent jobs, respectable wages and democratic reforms," and Uruguay, with 14.1% unemployment.

"That system has no prospects," Fidel stated, "because it is a society where persons are considered excess, hence it could be seen as a savage society."