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The Marshalltezuma Plan

Indigenous Peoples

new internationalist
issue 312 - May 1999

Who owes whom?

The Marshalltezuma Plan

The gold and silver Europe borrowed from the International
Indo-American Fund after the Crusades, reckons Cuaicaipuro Cuautémoc,
are little different from the dollars Europe borrowed
from North America through the Marshall Plan at the end of
the Second World War – and repayment is long overdue.

I am a descendant of those who colonized America 40,000 years ago and I’ve got a bone to pick with those Europeans who claim to have ‘discovered’ us 500 years ago.

Why is it that your banks and money-lenders ask me to pay for debts which I never authorized to be sold to me in the first place? You tell me that all debts must be paid with interest, even if it means selling human beings and sometimes even whole countries without their consent.

But I also have payments to claim. And I, too, can claim interest. The evidence is in the archives where paper after paper, receipt after receipt, signature after signature, show that from 1503 to 1660, 185,000 kilos of gold and 16,000,000 kilos of silver were shipped from America. Plunder? I wouldn’t say so. Because that would mean that our Christian brothers were violating their seventh commandment. Genocide? May Tanatzin have mercy on me for thinking that the Europeans, like Cain, kill and then deny their brother’s blood! Pillage? That would mean giving credit to slanderers like Bartolomé de las Casas, who equated the discovery of the Indies with its destruction, or to extremists such as Dr Arturo Petri who thinks that the growth of capitalism and of the current European civil-ization was due to that early flood of precious metals from the Americas!

But I would rather consider those thousands of kilos of gold and silver as the first of several friendly loans granted by Native Americans for Europe’s development. The contrary would presuppose war crimes, which would require their immediate return and also compensation for damages. I prefer to believe in the least offensive of the hypotheses. Such fabulous capital exports were nothing short of a Marshalltezuma Plan to guarantee the reconstruction of a barbarian Europe, ruined by deplorable wars against the Muslim foe.

For this reason we must ask ourselves: what have you, our European brothers, done in a rational, responsible or at least productive way with the resources so generously advanced by the International Indo-American Fund?

The answer is, unfortunately, nothing. Strategically, you squandered it on wars, invincible armies, Third Reichs and other forms of mutual extermination, only to end up being occupied by the Yankee troops of NATO. Like Panama, but without a canal.

Financially, you were incapable – even after a moratorium of 500 years – of either paying back capital with interest or of becoming independent from raw materials and cheap energy imported from the Third World.

This pitiful picture corroborates US economist Milton Friedman’s assertion that a subsidized economy can never function properly. And it compels us to claim – for your own good – the repayment of capital and interest which we have so generously delayed reclaiming for all these centuries.

Nonetheless, we want to make clear that we will refrain from charging our European brothers the despicable floating rates of 20 or even 30 per cent that they charge Third World countries. We shall only demand the return of all precious metals advanced, plus a modest fixed interest rate of ten-per-cent per year accumulated over 500 years. On this basis, we want to inform our discoverers that they owe us, as a first payment against the debt, only 185,000 kilos of gold and 16-million kilos of silver. And to this sum, of course, we must add the European invention of compound interest.

What huge piles of gold and silver! How much human blood would weigh the same? To say that in half-a-millennium Europe has not been able to produce sufficient wealth to pay back this modest interest is to admit to the total failure of capitalism.

Cuaicaipuro Cuautémoc, a Mexican indigenous leader, came to Europe in 1992 for commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of America.

Reprinted from Renacer Indianista No 7, and from the translation in Resurgence No 184.
See the Resurgence website at http://www.gn.apc.org/resurgence/index.htm

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