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Bush espouses free trade
Date: Tuesday, November 08 2005
Topic:


Bush espouses free trade
By Joseph Curl
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published November 5, 2005

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MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- President Bush yesterday pushed for free trade among the Americas stretching from Alaska to Argentina as thousands protested his visit and the president of Venezuela vowed to "bury" the trade pact.

Just as the opening ceremonies for the Summit of the Americas got under way, more than 1,000 anti-American demonstrators, most wearing bandanas across their faces, clashed with police by throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at officers clad in riot gear.


Police, backed by hundreds of soldiers armed with machine guns, shot tear-gas canisters into the crowd, at one point firing more than 50 rounds in succession. More than 60 people were detained, police said. It was not clear whether there were injuries. The clash did not interrupt the ceremonies just three blocks away, where Mr. Bush was cheered by Argentines when he arrived.

Despite the violence, the president forged ahead with U.S. efforts to establish the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) accord, which has been stalled by fierce opposition from Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. The leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay also have expressed concerns about the pact.

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