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Thursday, May 05, 2005

AIDS funds refused over prostitution clause - May 4, 2005

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/05/2005

The only reason I bring this story up is because of a link to another random thought in my head.

The head of Brazil's anti-AIDS program, Pedro Chequer, sent a letter to the U.S. government last week saying that his country would not accept the money under the conditions imposed in funding agreement.

Brazil is one of the first countries to oppose the Bush administration's policy of linking foreign aid to policies favored by the religious right.

Brazilian officials said that condemning prostitution represented a serious problem for their anti-AIDS program, which works with many non-governmental organizations that encourage the use of condoms by sex workers -- one of the groups with the highest risk of getting AIDS.

Condemnation of prostitution is not necessarily a "religious right" policy. In fact, it my estimation that the group of people that condemn prostitution and are not "religious right" is a pretty sizeable group. The bias of CNN in reporting this added the "religious right" tag to help jab at Bush...that countries are now rebelling against Bush/religious right/conservative ideals.

And, unless I missed something, there is a request that Brazil simply condemn rather than embrace prostitution.

"We don't accept this meddling because it interferes with our sovereignty. We have our anti-AIDS program and they have their way of fighting AIDS," said a press officer at the Health Ministry who declined to be identified.

The second random link for me is that it is considered interference on sovereignty for one country to tie conditions to money being given to another country.

This is either saying that merely the request of social policy that the US is asking of Brazil (to condemn prostitution) is the interference OR this is saying that tying conditions to the money is interference.

Both versions are wrong. The world was condemning the U.S. for opting out of the Kyoto Treaty. That condemnation then was also an interference on sovereignty...if you listen to Brazil. But every nation has its right to voice its opinions, praises or condemnations. That does not hurt another country's sovereignty.

If we give money to any country but add conditions on the money the country (in this case Brazil) still has the option to accept the money and the conditions or to refuse the money and conditions. That is a sovereign decision. The problem with Brazil's line of thinking is mentality that assistance is a right makes them think that money from all should be their own, thus have no conditions tied to the money. The fact is that the money belongs to you & me and we, as a nation have a right to put conditions on money we are giving away.

CNN, Brazil and the global left: Get a grip. It is our money and you are lucky that we even offered it in the first place.


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