Analysis by Yuefen Li*

GENEVA (INPS | South Centre) - Argentina signed an agreement in principle on February 29, 2016 with four “super holdout” hedge funds including NML Capital Ltd, Aurelius Capital, Davidson Kempner and Bracebridge Capital. Buenos Aires would pay them a total of about $4.65 billion, amounting to 75 percent of the principal and interest of all their claims of Argentina’s bonds that were defaulted on during the 2001 debt crisis.

The payment is to be made in cash before April 14, 2016, provided that Argentina's Congress approves the repeal of Argentina's domestic laws, namely the Lock Law and the Sovereign Payment Law, which prohibit the country from proposing terms to the holdouts that are better than those Argentina offered to its creditors in earlier restructurings.

- Photo: 2020

Zimbabwe To Pay White Farmers for Lands Taken Under Mugabe

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – “The compensation of land is a settled issue, and we are not revisiting it.” Those were the words of government spokesman Nick Mangwana defending a $3.5 billion agreement to compensate white farmers whose properties were confiscated by the Mugabe regime to be redistributed to the majority Black population left landless by British colonial policies.

According to the agreement just signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare, white farmers would be compensated only for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

“If we say we are paying for the land – which we are not going to do – no government will stay in power because the people don’t want to pay for colonialism,” Mangwana added.

Neither will the southern African nation be cutting checks for white farmers at this time. Money will have to be borrowed from international donors and lenders, according to the agreement signed by President Mnangagwa.

Farmers will receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years.

Two decades ago, Zimbabwe was thrown into chaos when President Robert Mugabe launched a controversial land reform program where thousands of white farmers were evicted from their farms, sometimes violently, between 2000 and 2001. The seizures were blamed for destroying Zimbabwe’s economy, and ruined relations with the West.

Western countries rallied around the white farmers and made total compensation to them one of the key conditions for the lifting of painful sanctions still in force despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Little was said, however, about the unfulfilled obligations of the Lancaster House Agreement in which then U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the United Kingdom pledged to help fund an equitable land redistribution program.

In 1997, when Tony Blair and the New Labour Party came to power, the Lancaster agreement was essentially scrapped.

Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing white farmers, said the agreement will bring relief to members who were driven off their farms in the early 2000s.

“After almost 20 years of conflict over the land issue, representatives of farmers who lost their land through the fast track reform program and representatives of government have been able to come together to see a resolution of this conflict,” Pascoe said. “To me this is nothing short of a miracle.” IDN-InDepthNews – 03 August 2020].

Photo: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa talks with Nick Swanepol, former president of Commercial Farmers Union after the signing ceremony at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, on July 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Wanda)

IDN is the Flagship Agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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