Monday, May 01, 2006

China and Latin America

Venezuela and Brazil - Latin America's Shifting Centres of Gravity
By Tony Soto

"Embraer's sale of airliners to COPA indicates the incipient displacement of European and US aerospace industry in Latin America by Brazil. Last week President Lula decorated Brazil's first astronaut, who had succesfully completed a mission with the Russian space programme. Brazil is also developing its nuclear industry. Both Brazil and Venezuela are making significant widespread use of free software in preference to proprietary software like Microsoft's Windows operating system. Global trade links between Brazil and China, Venezuela and Iran combine with regional integration initiatives that are remaking Latin America's traditional networks of international relations..." READ ARTICLE

Trade With China Primes Cuba’s Engine for Change

By Marc Frank
The Financial Times, 29 March 2006

"Cuba is turning to Chinese companies rather than western ones to modernize its crippled transportation system at a cost of more than $1bn, continuing a trend of favoring the fellow Communist country that has made Beijing Cuba’s second trading partner after Venezuela..." READ ARTICLE


By Daniel Erikson

"By contrast, the Chinese involvement in Cuba represents a consensus decision by a ruling party that is seeking to advance its main interests in the Western Hemisphere: securing natural resources to feed a rapidly growing economy and stripping Taiwan of its remaining diplomatic allies in the Caribbean and Central America. Moreover, China has a crucial veto on the UN Security Council that could potentially represent a counterweight to U.S. efforts in pursuit of its objectives in Cuba. While the Cuban leadership appears to believe that China’s friendship is based on socialist solidarity, this is probably incorrect. China is primarily seeking a return on its investment, and if Cuba fails to deliver economic results then the relationship will cool. In any case, the United States today remains far and away the most important actor in shaping an international response to post-Castro Cuba. Still, U.S. policymakers who dream of remaking Cuba should be aware that China and Venezuela are poised to loom ever larger in Washington’s rearview mirror." READ PDF


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