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Tuesday, March 27

Banana Republicans



I'm Chiquita Banana, and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.
And when they are flecked with brown and have a golden hue,
Bananas taste the best, and are the best for you.
You can put them in a salad. You can put them in a pie - aye.
Anyway you want to eat them it's impossible to beat them.
But bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator.
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.
~The Chiquita Banana Song
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Amy Goodman writes, "Want to help finance terrorism? Buy a Chiquita banana."

...Chiquita made almost monthly payments to the AUC from 1997 to 2004, totaling at least $1.7 million.

The AUC is a brutal paramilitary umbrella group, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 armed troops. It was named a terrorist organization by the United States on Sept. 10, 2001. Among its standard tactics are kidnapping, torture, disappearance, rape, murder, beatings, extortion and drug trafficking.

Chiquita claims it had to make the payments under threat from the AUC in order to protect its employees and property. Chiquita's outside lawyers implored them to stop the illegal payments, to no avail....

...

Chiquita has had a long history of criminal behavior. It was the subject of an extraordinary exposé in its hometown paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, in 1998. The paper found that Chiquita exposed entire communities to dangerous U.S.-banned pesticides, forced the eviction of an entire Honduran village at gunpoint and its subsequent bulldozing, suppressed unions, unwittingly allowed the use of Chiquita transport ships to move cocaine internationally, and paid a fortune to U.S. politicians to influence trade policy....
Banana Republican: But you just knew somehow that the US politician's, particularly Republicans had to have something to do with this. After reading the whole above article, I did some "googling" and I found this transcript from Frontline January 30, 1996 called So You Want to Buy a President? Who buys presidents? Why it's the Chiquita Banana guy, Carl Lindner (still on the list of Forbe's billionaires), former head of Chiquita. Read more about Lindner in 1997 here at Frontline. This man and his bananas were verrrrry influential in American politics, even with the Clintons, but probably only because Clinton was the president despite all the money Lindner threw at Bob Dole who liked to use Lindner's private jet to get around. There was a banana war raging between the US and the EU- two countries that don't even produce bananas, but Lindner got US politicians to get the WTO to force the EU to open their markets to Chiquita bananas.

Why does that name sound familiar? He also contributed $300,000 towards the Swift Boat Veterans for Lies. Not unbelievable.
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Day, I said Day, I said Day-ay-ay-oh
Daylight coming and me wanna go home

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