5 WikiLeaks Revelations Exposing the Rapidly Growing Corporatism Dominating American Diplomacy Abroad
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Monsanto's director for biotechnology for Spain and Portugal briefed embassy officials about the region, complaining that "Spain is increasingly becoming a target of anti-biotechnology forces within Europe. If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow."
In a random insult thrown into the cable, the ambassador says, "Within the agriculture sector, only left-wing farmers' unions have negative opinions of GMOs."
The cable ends with a dramatic call for intervention by the US government on behalf of Monsanto: "ACTION REQUESTED: In response to recent urgent requests by [Spanish rural affairs ministry] State Secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto, post requests renewed US government support of Spain's science-based agricultural biotechnology position through high-level US government intervention."
3. Pharmaceuticals + US diplomats = best friends forever. Public Citizen has discovered a cable from October 2009, when Ecuador's President Rafael Correa issued a decree to “improve access to medicines and support public health programs through a protocol that would reduce drug costs. Cables from US embassy personnel in Ecuador to the U.S. Department of State show “the United States, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and three ministers within the government shared information and worked to undermine Ecuador's emerging policy .”
In a cable dated October 13, 2009 , before the decree was issued, the US ambassador was troubled by Correa's plans because it would prioritize local production and eliminate pharmaceutical patents. In other words, Ecuador was about to makes changes that would negatively impact the profits of US pharmaceutical companies.
Immediately following word of Correa's plans, the US embassy staff met with local representatives of US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Scering-Plough, and Wyeth to share strategies that would prevent or limit Ecuador's licensing changes.
US concerns intensified as revealed by a cable written days later, which refers to meetings with "well-placed contacts" with "potentially sympathetic ministries." In what sounds like attempted blackmail, Minister of Health Caroline Chang -- one of the "well-placed contacts" described as an ally — assured multinational pharmaceuticals that she was looking into financial irregularities and business dealings of some of the local producers with the intent of “gaining some leverage.”
Despite efforts to undermine Ecuador’s access protocol, Public Citizen reports that “ Ecuador issued its first compulsory license in April 2010 , enabling generic imports of the HIV/AIDS drug ritonavir.”
4. Washington 'hearts' abusive mining companies in Peru. From Bolivia to Venezuela to Peru, American diplomats are obsessed with securing the profits of multinational mining corporations at the cost of indigenous rights and the environment. At least that is the impression given by WikiLeaks cables that detail the eruption of anti-mining protests near the Ecuador border against the mining firm Minera Majaz.
In August 2005, a group of protesters in northern Peru marched to the site of a copper mine operated by the firm Minera Majaz, a subsidiary of the British mining company Monterrico Metals. Of the hundreds of people who converged at the mine site from the surrounding communities, 28 were brutally tortured and three were shot, one of whom bled to death .
But you wouldn't know this from the WikiLeaks US embassy cables that describe the protests. The tone is one of sympathy for the mining company, while depicting the protesters as dark and sinister "militant anti-mining protesters" maliciously sabotaging Majaz.
In a cable following the protests , J. Curtis Struble, the former US ambassador to Peru, toes the Majaz line that communists and unions were to blame for sowing the seeds of rebellion, an accusation that reeks of Washington's typical red-baiting of anything opposed to abusive corporate practices in the developing world.