MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina – Delegates from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) joined over 50,000 people in the streets of this seaside resort today to celebrate a significant slowdown in the development of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).
“Who would have thought, when we assembled in Quebec City in 2001, that we would be celebrating today?” asked CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux at the end of the 3rd annual People’s Summit of the Americas.
“Everyone thought the FTAA would be signed off in 2005,” Généreux said. “Today we see it is not going to happen.”
As the People’s Summit winds up, the official Summit of the Americas opens here. But, along with changes in governments in South America, the free trade agenda has shifted.
“The people who have been meeting all week in the stadium here worked long and hard to elect leaders like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela because they had enough of the neo-liberal agenda,” Généreux said.
“We want trade but not the free trade advanced by George Bush and supported by Paul Martin,” Généreux said. “We are working on alternatives for fair trade that addresses hunger and the environment.”
Contact in Argentina:
Claude Généreux: 011 54911 6125 0509 (cell) English and French
Stan Marshall: 011 54911 6125 0509 (cell) English
Contact in Canada:
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878 1431