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July 01, 2005

INHOFE SPEAKS OUT FOR CAFTA

“Failing to Pass This Could Undo the Democratizations of the Reagan Era”

WASHINGTON---U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in remarks on the Senate floor announced his support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The Senate later passed the CAFTA treaty (S.1307) with a 54-45 vote. What follows are excerpts from the Senator’s remarks:

“The only argument I have heard against this treaty from five conservative groups that I almost always agree with is that this is yet another multinational treaty. I have led the opposition to the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), the Kyoto Treaty, and was the only member of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation to vote against NAFTA. In the recent rankings from the American Conservative Union I was ranked as the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. ...”

“The groups we have heard from in favor of passing CAFTA include but are not limited to: Americans For Tax Reform, Center for Security Policy, National Tax Payers Union, The Heritage Foundation, American Conservative Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, The Club for Growth, The National Tax-limitation Committee, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Empower America, and the James Madison Institute, just to name a few. ...

“By failing to pass this treaty, we could undo all of the successful democratizations of the Reagan and first Bush eras. ...

“The five counties in the region (Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) have all committed to the Iraqi Coalition Forces and have demonstrated their support of the Global War on Terrorism. ...

“CAFTA Approval for these countries and their economies should aid security there and counter influence by Cuban and Venezuelan governments under Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and others opposed to US influence in the region. ...

“Chavez and Castro are amongst the anti-US forces in the region that are against CAFTA. They fear its passage will show support for and facilitate the efforts of the pro-American politician and parties in the region. ...

“Also, Daniel Ortega, the former Nicaraguan president and Sandinista leader is making attempts to elevate his obsolete ideology based on Marxist-Leninist theory. Further, he has expressed solidarity with Saddam Hussein, upon Hussein’s capture, ‘against the Yankee occupiers of Iraq.’ ...

“Failing [Central American] economies will create an environment in which regimes like those of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez may once again poison the future of these nations. ...

“I believe this is an opportunity for us to keep the Castro forces from undoing all of the progress made throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s. ...

 


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