Tuesday, April 08, 2008



Mark Penn aside (please), the issues surrounding the Colombia Free Trade Agreement are huge. Today I want to address one aspect, which explains, at least partially, why the Bush Regime is so gung-ho on shoving this one down our throats. Colombia isn't simply the most violent place in the Western Hemisphere; it is also the most viciously-- and deadly-- anti-organized labor country in the world. Being a trade unionist in Colombia is like asking for a death sentence. In recent years the percent of Colombia's workers in unions has dropped from 15% to 5% and is headed towards 1%. The number of murders of trade unionists has skyrocketed.

Death squads allied with GOP surrogates in Colombia routinely assassinate union organizers (or their children) and they do it publicly-- to send a message-- and they do it with impunity, knowing full well they will never be brought to justice. We might expect this kind of behavior from the right and we might expect that Republicans in our country will countenance and even reward it. But Democrats? Absolutely. And I'm not talking about an egregious corporate whore like Mark Penn, whose "Democratic credentials" are far less an identify than his credentials as a lobbyist or... egregious corporate whore, however you want to put it.

What I'm talking about are Democratic members of Congress who support and countenance-- along with the GOP-- the deaths, this year along, of 40 trade unionists. And the year is young. Who killed the trade unionists? Well, aside from the Republican Party and the Bush Regime, accessories to the crimes would include reactionary Democrats-- mostly Blue Dogs-- who wish to enter into these so called "free" trade pacts. Who are they? Let's start with the CAFTA 15: Melissa Bean (IL-08), Jim Cooper (TN-05); Norm Dicks (WA-06); Henry Cuellar (TX-28); Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15); William Jefferson (LA-02); Jim Matheson (UT-02); Gregory Meeks (NY-06); Dennis Moore (KS-03); Jim Moran (VA-08); Solomon Ortiz (TX-27); Ike Skelton (MO-04); Vic Snyder (AR-02); John Tanner (TN-08); and Edolphus Towns (NY-10).

I'm betting that not all of these members will vote with the GOP again but they all bear watching. And I'm also betting that there are other Blue Dog reactionaries who have been recipients of some nice fat contributions that will sway them over Bush's way. If you think DWT won't inform you which ones do vote in favor of murdering trade unionists, well, you probably haven't been reading this blog long.

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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Talk abut timing...The Teamsters are on a tour here in PA talking about Obama in regards to working folks and unions. And I just got an email from a friend on "loan" to the Obama campaign here that the campaign is going to be connecting the dots regarding Penn,Columbia and "free" trade.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow, the GOP (and their paid lackeys otherwise known as Fox Prolefeed) won't be quite satisfied until and unless Congress passes through legislation proscribing "insulting Americanism" (cf. Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which proscribes "insulting Turkishness").


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