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Democracy Now! February 14, 2003

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Program Title:
Democracy Now! February 14, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0517.099
Description: 

Nelson Mandela is condemning President Bush s plans to invade Iraq; meanwhile South African President Thabo Mbeki announced today Baghdad and UN inspectors have accepted South Africa s offer to help Iraq disarm; Empire may well go to war, but it s out in the open now, too ugly to behold its own reflection, too ugly even to rally its own people. It won t be long before the majority of American people become our allies : award-winning author Arundhati Roy condemns Bush s plans to invade Iraq; Deflowering Ecuador: the bloom is off the rose in Cayambe Valley, homeland of your valentine bouquet

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: South African President Thabo Mbeki today announced that both Baghdad and UN weapons inspectors have accepted South Africa s offer to help Iraq disarm. Speaking at the opening of the South African Parliament, Mbeki said a South African team had offered to share its own experience of the disarmament of weapons. Blix last month praised what he calls "the South African model of co-operation" with the United Nations and urged Baghdad to adopt it. A decade ago, Blix was the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, when its inspectors traveled to South Africa to verify claims that all the country's nuclear weapons had been dismantled. Today, Blix reports to the UN Security Council. The world s media is riveted on the deepening split between the US and Europe. But countries all over the world are opposed to the Bush administration s plans to launch a first-strike attack on Iraq. At the African Union summit in Ethiopia last week, 54 African heads of state issued a statement saying the African Union is firmly against any war against Iraq. African Union Chair and South African President Mbeki said many of Africa's economic problems stem from a sharp rise in oil prices following war in the Middle East in 1973. He warned that a new conflict in the Gulf would have a serious impact on Africa's economies by pushing up oil prices. Meanwhile, former South African President Nelson Mandela has strongly criticized the Bush administration. Mandela spent 30 years in prison for his leadership in the struggle against apartheid. In 1994 he was elected the President of South Africa s new multi-racial democracy. He spoke last month to the International Women's Forum meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tape: Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, political prisoner and anti-apartheid movement leader, speaking at the International Women s Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa on January 30, 2003 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40: Western media attention remains riveted on the U.S.-Europe split over attacking Iraq. But the vast majority of rest of the world is also opposed. We just heard Nelson Mandela s views, about how the African Union issued a unanimous statement about the war, and about how South African President Thabo Mbeki will be attempting to help Iraq disarm. We go now to South America, to Porto Alegre, Brazil, where the World Social Forum was recently held. World-renowned Indian author Arundhati Roy spoke out against Bush s plans to attack Iraq. She won the Booker Prize for her book, The God of Small Things. Tape: Arundhati Roy, award-winning author, The God of Small Things , and Power Politics. 9:40-9:41 One-Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58: Today is Valentine s Day, and a lot of people are going to give or receive Roses. I m going to turn to Ross Wehner s piece in Mother Jones magazine. It s called Deflowering Ecuador. The equatorial sun beats down on the clear plastic roof of a greenhouse in the Cayambe Valley of Ecuador. Despite the suffocating heat, the workers inside move at a frantic pace. In two weeks it will be Valentine s Day, and every rose in sight will be for sale in the United States. Women stand at tables, hands flying as they sort roses by the length and size of the head, arranging them in bunches of 25. Teenagers, mostly boys, run from table to table, carrying the roses to the next room. The flowers have already been treated with chemicals to kill insects and mildew; now they are dunked in preservatives to keep them from rotting during their journey through U.S. Customs. After being wrapped in cellophane and boxed, the flowers are chilled and flown overnight to Miami. By the time they reach florists and supermarkets across the country, a rose that cost less than 17 cents to produce in Ecuador will sell for as much as $8. The article goes on to say: But international agencies and workers in the valley paint a markedly different picture of the industry: Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and soil fumigants used in the greenhouses are causing serious health problems for Ecuador s 60,000 rose workers -- especially the women and children who sort and package the flowers prior to shipping. We ll be joined in a minute by the mayor of Cayambe and an organic farmer from Oregon. We start with Ross Wehner, author of the article in Mother Jones. Guest: Ross Wehner, wrote article in Mother Jones Deflowering Ecuador which documents the harsh conditions faced by workers in Ecuador s booming rose industry. Wehner said workers are paying a heavy price for the roses Americans will present to their loved ones on Feb. 14. Contact: www.motherjones.com Guest: Diego Bonifaz, Mayor of Cayambe Guest: Paul Sansone, organic farmer from Oregon 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster

Date Recorded on: 
February 14, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
February 14, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., February 14, 2003
Rights Summary: 
RESTRICTED. Permissions, licensing requests, Curriculum Initiative, Campus Campaign and all other inquiries should be directed to: Mark Torres, Archives Director, 800-735-0230, Mark@PacificaRadioArchives.org
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