About concessions and the movement for liberation
(Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN Volunteer Translator)
Libardo Gómez Sánchez, Diario de Huila [the Huila Daily—SC], Neiva, July 19, 2010
Tomorrow will be the 200th anniversary of what is known as the Cry of Independence in Colombia. In effect it was the first expression by those born in this land against the control that the Spanish Crown exercised over all economic, political and social activities, and which of course privileged foreigners to the detriment of native whites, mestizos, mulattos or native people. The capacity to generate productive activities or to move forward leadership functions within the social organization was truncated by the norms of the epoch, which allowed only the Spanish to exercise them.. The shadowy Casa de Contratación de Indias Occidentales [the Chamber of Commerce of the West Indies—the institution that controlled finances in the Spanish colonies—SC] reigned over all the commerce that entered or left through the ports, guaranteeing an intervention that would benefit the Spanish Crown and reducing the possibilities of the development of the colonies themselves. Constructing a future in that epoch for the American peoples was only possible by liberating themselves from that yoke, from that ballast that impeded their free [self-] determination. On the other hand, the colonies were so important for Spain that she did not hesitate to move thousands of soldiers from one continent to the other with the goal of impeding the liberation movement.
To some people this situation seems only like something from the past, since when they do not see troops with foreign helmets they suppose that we enjoy total independence; the forget that in these two centuries that have passed the world has evolved and has perfected other sophisticated and subtle forma of dominations, even though the old ones are used, as is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among these new instruments of intervention we have the presence of foreign capital when it has no restrictions, the commercial treaties known today euphemistically as "free trade," and recently the so-called concessions which hand over absolutely everything without countervailing benefits for the nations. The last has produced what we call those who sell their country, especially useful since they can deliver, without restrictions, natural resource like petroleum, coal, gold, nickel, water and the electromagnetic spectrum fort communication, the internet and television signals, freight roads, natural parks, jails, aqueducts, garbage—in general, exploitation of all the tangible and intangible [wealth] that is found under the ground, above it or in the air in the territory of the nations without their peoples being able to murmur when they are affected by the consequences that are generated the management of any wealth or activity is handed over to someone who, without any hindrance, seeks only his own profit.
All these forms of domination currently weigh upon Colombia, without mentioning the authorizing of the military bases; foreign investment does not demand a national peer, nor a transfer of technology, nor employment of national parties, nor supplying the national market, nor local reinvestment; the FTAs do not consider the asymmetries with the developed countries, delivering all the advantages to the foreign firms, making national production vulnerable, and in the end the concessions fair only generates journalistic controversies, such as the case of the third television channel, but in the end they deliver themselves and damage our national patrimony.
A concession by definition is the confirmation of inability to attend to or develop an activity, since it consists in authorizing a third party to carry out a function or so that a profit is taken from something that belongs to yourself for the benefit of another. At the same time, independence is understood as the capacity to make decisions on your own, without the undue influence of foreigners, as in the Colombian case, [where] the first definition is confirmed and the second is not applied; we should be ashamed for not having maintained the sovereignty for which our past heroes sacrificed their very lives, and the best way to pay tribute to them would be top commit ourselves to the second independence.