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Eerie silence surrounds failure to ratify FTAA Treaty

Excerpts from Miami Today journalist Claudio Mendonca's 10/21/04 story " FTAA or no, Miami leaders forge ahead on Latin Trade".

Because of an impasse between the US and Brazil and Argentina on commercial issues ranging from dumping to subsides, the 34-country Free Trade Area of the Americas, originally scheduled for ratification by the end of this year, has been put on hold.
Stop the FTAA
Stop the FTAA
Nevertheless, Miami, campaigning to host the headquarters of the FTAA secretariat, is moving on its role as the financial center of the Americas, business leaders say.

"We should not tie the progress of our city to a specific event such as the FTAA," said Isilio Arriaga, a consultant at the law firm Ferrell & Schultz.

Mr. Arriaga said that although the FTAA would be a benefit to Miami, a treaty would be only one option for business.

"Miami has come a long way to make our city the permanent secretariat of the FTAA," said Mario Artecona, executive director of the Miami Business Forum, a coalition of private-industry executives. "It would be great. It would be the cherry on top of the sundae. But we have to keep on working.

Even if the FTAA is delayed a few years, the city has too much momentum going, he said. Even without the treaty, Miami has established itself as the capital of Latin America in the past two years, said Mr. Artecona.

homepage: homepage: http://www.stoptheftaa.org

keep it down 24.Oct.2004 21:48


Good news! Keep FTAA down, and do the same thing with CAFTA.

Stoptheftaa.org run by the John Birch Society 25.Oct.2004 04:54

Shayn Peitsch shayn_peitsch@hotmail.com

I'm inclined to believe that once again it's the mainstream corporate media who is the author of this silence. Their bowing down to business interests is no surprise - if the FTAA would have been ratified, the headlines would have been all about the story. Now that it hasn't.... that's not worth reporting is the message their silence has shown.

While I disagree with the FTAA and oppose it accordingly, I also have my differences of opinion with the John Birch Society, the group who runs the stoptheftaa.org website. Go to it, and scroll down to the bottom, and you'll see their name in the site information.

The JBS is a pro-capitalist, Christian, pro-status-quo organization with some distinct racist undertones. (example,  http://www.jbs.org/visitor/focus/refute/dont_glorify.htm). They're also vehemently anti-communist, and work towards persuading US society to disengage itself from the United Nations.

The reason why they oppose the FTAA is in no way progressive. The reason? They believe that the FTAA is a revolutionary act, designed to create a one-world government, and move the world towards a collectivist socialist world order. Even rudimentary research into the FTAA shows how laughable this position is.

In case you think this is conspiracy mumbling, here's what the JBS has to say about the JBS. From their own website:

"What Does The John Birch Society Believe?

We believe the American system of government, a Constitutional Republic, is the finest yet developed by man.

We believe the traditional moral values of our Judeo-Christian heritage form the cornerstone of Western Civilization, and that the family is the basic and most vital unit of society.

We believe the free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise afford the widest opportunity and highest standard of living for all.

We believe in the dignity of the individual. The Society welcomes and enjoys the participation in its ranks of individuals from every walk of life and from all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Judging others only by character and ability -- as we wish to be judged ourselves -- our common bond is a love for liberty and our rejection of totalitarianism under any label.

We believe that the rights of the individual are endowed by his Creator, not by governments; that the proper function of government should be limited to the protection of the rights to life, liberty, and property; and that individual rights are inseparably linked to individual responsibility.

We believe in patriotism based on principle, not on pragmatism, personality, or partisan politics."

Links to history and analysis of the John Birch Society:


I do not stand united with the JBS in opposition of the FTAA. Their vision of the world does not coincide with mine, and nor do I believe does it co-relate with that of most progressives.

Right site/wrong site 26.Oct.2004 09:40


Yeah. www.stoptheftaa.org is bad.

www.stopftaa.org = anti-oppression grassroots people who want to tear down capitalism.

that's the one we want.

"Capital of Latin America" indeed 26.Oct.2004 14:45


I didn't get a chance to read the whole article, but I'm reminded of a very important NOW with Bill Moyers I saw last Spring? about the FTAA protests the preceding year. There's a lot of info in that expose about how the desire of Miami's city fathers was/is to make Miami the HQ of FTAA, and also about efforts to turn the massive riot squad/security apparatus that was deployed into the "chamber of commerce." That is, their mission was to help the business interests of the city--the bottom line. I guess that's no surprise to anyone...

So what's my point? Miami isn't in Latin America, the last time I checked, so how it could become the capital of Latin America is beyond me.

changed link 27.Oct.2004 12:10


hola. i changed the link on the feature from stoptheftaa.org to stopftaa.org.

thanks for the criticisms and insight, you folks are awesome!