rapid Advance may be bad news for poor people, as well as for much of the rest of the population in this part of Brazil. To take up the slack, Mr. Iglesias and Mr. Tavares are sponsoring microenterprise development and tourism because microenterprises are, essentially, poor people exploiting themselves, and tourism is also a form of export, since theoretically it brings in foreign money. The city of Fortaleza on the coast of Ceara, where the IDB Annual Meeting took place, will be a major beneficiary of both programs, although it is very possibly the hottest, wettest place on earth and hardly the ideal spot for a holiday unless you’re a snake or a maggot. Never mind. So long as there is a palm tree or salt water in sight, tourism is the IDB’s answer to any and all development lapses. In a highly publicized flourish, therefore, Iglesias signed a $240 million loan for the PRODETUR II program to bring casinos and cruise ships to Fortaleza in a manner that is both socially responsible and environmentally sound. He did say that. In the spirit of complete candor and transparency, the IDB now concedes that PRODETUR I was not all that it was cracked up to be, with individual and unplanned investments ballooning unexpectedlywithout adequate infrastructure. This apologia must refer to the 10 or so blocks of downscale Ramada-type hotels that are already choking up what must once have been a reasonably scenic beachfront boulevard and routinely dumping raw sewage into the bay. Mistakes were made, but economists “learn by doing.” In this case they learned too late that a fleet of turds will take all the fun out Eat, drink, and hear Molly! On the evening of April 27, 2002, join the ACLU of Texas in honoring a courageous champion of criminal justice reform State Representative Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Chair of the. House Criminal jurisprudence Subcommittee, who fought along side the ACLU last session to require corroborating evidence in drug stings, to ban executing children and the mentally retarded, to reform the indigent defense system, to ban racial profiling and to hold police accountable for misconduct. THE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER IS SYNDICATED COLUMNIST MOLLY IVINS. ’70\\ The ACLU of Texas’s Annual John Henry Faulk Awards Banquet April 27, 2002 $75 per person Cocktail hour 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Dinner and program begin at 7:30 p.m. Red Lion Inn, 1-35 & Hwy. 290, Austin, Texas Reserve your place now with a check made our to the ACLU of Texas, P.O. Box 3629, Austin, Texas 78764 of a day at the beach. But curiously, if you read the terms of PRODETUR I and compare them to PRODETUR II, you will discover that they are exactly the same. They did add some new blah-blah about promoting awareness campaigns among the citizens. In the tourism context, this generally means discouraging the locals from throwing trash on the street or mugging foreigners, and encouraging them to learn their national anthem, smile broadly at strangers, and wear colorful outfits. The IDB and the government have to be careful about this, though, because they don’t want to promote too much awareness. If the Brazilians are really paying attention, they will notice the following cautionary footnote in the PRODETUR II loan description: The public bank designated to handle the funds and lend them out to other government agencies has reached its limit for such loans under current law. The Central Bank of Brazil, however, intends not to question the IDB loan, but to change the law so that the federal government can guarantee the additional amounts. This means that when the Fortaleza Water Authority defaults on its loan because the Fortaleza Hyatt stopped paying its bills after the beachfront was transmogrified into a cesspool, the taxpayers of Brazil will have to cover the damage. Slavery was an ugly chapter in the history of the Americas; it was abolished later in Brazil than in the United States and, it seems, reinstituted earlier. But already there are signs of revolt. On March 24, some 300 members of the Landless ‘Peasants’ Movement occupied a plantation belonging to Fernando Cardoso, the President of Brazil, and his sons. They put on clothes that belonged to the President and his wife, threw a big party on the palatial groundseating and drinking everything in sightand finished by smoking cigars given to Cardoso by Fidel Castro. Those who could be accommodated slept in presidential beds; the following day they were all arrested and returned to the quarters. After official abolition, forms of bondage having to do with usury and debt achieve much the same ends as slavery once did: They rob whole populations of any meaningful role in politics, so that the peasants’ best shot is a plantation uprising. On a grand scale, the accumulation of billions of dollars in debt to the likes of the IDB effectively abolishes national sovereignty, along with democratic decision-making. The debt leaves policy-making in the hands of Massa Iglesias and his local administrator, Mr. Tavares, neither of whom seem to realize that Fortaleza is not Barbados, and that neither the Sheraton nor the Marriott Corporation are known for their commitment to social responsibility or environmental standards. But unfortunately, without the abolition of debt bondage, there is no emancipation from the crackpot policies of the IDB and their slavish implementation by the national overseer. Gabriela Bocagrande, who knows that Fortaleza is not Barbados, is based in Washington, D. C. 4/12102 THE TEXAS OISERVEN 13
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