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Open letter to the Argentine people concerning the expropriation of the petroleum multinational Repsol
24 April 2012

CADTM Abya Yala Nuestra America, (CADTM AYNA) and CADTM Europe firmly support the sovereign right of the Argentine nation to declare YFP, the principal petroleum company operating within its territory, to be of public utility and to proceed to the expropriation of the stock held by the Spanish multinational Repsol.

We fervently reject the international campaign of menaces and calls for heavy sanctions against Argentina initiated and transmitted by unscrupulous bosses, the Spanish government, eminent members of the European Union and the conservative establishment and media.
We are shocked to see that public opinion is deliberately misinformed and led to believe that the defence of the special interests of Repsol merit Spanish and European public concern. Repsol is a private multinational company regularly accused of non-respect of its contractual obligations, labour laws and environmental regulations. It is also to be noted that Repsol uses tax havens to avoid tax payments whilst the Spanish and European populations are in the grip of austerity measures.

We consider this measure, in spite of its insufficiencies and limits, to be a positive step toward the re-appropriation of strategic natural resources by all countries in parallel with the development of an integrated energy policy between Latin American countries permitting the affirmation of independence from multinational companies and supranational powers.
We also call on the governing bodies to renounce the exportation and extraction based economic models actually pursued in favour of a prudent, reasonable and environmentally respectful use of natural resources. It is essential that ecological debts be repaid and the living conditions of the populations be improved.

We call for the Argentine government to immediately denounce bilateral investment treaties without renewal, leave the ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes), a dependancy of the World Bank and to repudiate the debts that public and transparent audits have shown to contain an illegitimate character.

We call for the greatest support and solidarity with Argentina in the face of manoeuvrings, aggressions, exclusions or sanctions resulting from pressure by powerful foreign petroleum interests and welcome this initial step towards the social management of strategic natural resources.

Signatures: CADTM Abya Yala Nuestra America, CADTM Europe, CADTM international secretariat

The Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt is an international network comprising members and local committees.

Translated by Mike Krolikowski


Abya Yala Nuestra América
Abya Yala is the name given by the Kuna Indians of Panama and Colombia to the American continent before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Europeans. The expression “Abya Yala” means “land in its full maturity” in the language of the Kunas. The indigenous Aymara leader of Bolivia Takir Mamani proposed that all indigenous peoples of the Americas should name their homelands by this name, and use this name in their documents and oral declarations, arguing that “to place foreign names on our cities, towns and continents is to subjugate our identity to the will of our invaders and their heirs.” Abya Yala was chosen in 1992 by the indigenous nations of America to name America instead of Amerigo Vespucci.

CADTM Europe

Le CADTM Europe (Comité pour l’abolition des dettes illégitimes) est présent en Grèce, en France, en Belgique, en Espagne, en Suisse, en Italie, en Pologne. et au Luxembourg Au niveau mondial, le réseau CADTM est implanté dans plus d’une trentaine de pays.