June 26, 2009

The letter to Carl Bildt

Filed under: News — admin @ 12:07 pm

On June 22, Luciano Astudillo, a member of the Swedish parliament and the Social Democratic Party sent a public letter to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt.

(Our translation):

An American transnational is trying to stop a Swedish documentary

By Luciano Astudillo (s)
To: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt (m)

The Swedish journalist and filmmaker Fredrik Gertten has produced a documentary, BANANAS!*, which was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. The film depicts how Nicaraguan workers claim they were poisoned by pesticides used by Dole Food Co. on banana plantations during the 1970s.

Even before the premiere, Dole tried to stop the film from screening at the LA Film Festival and has threatened to sue the film company, since Dole thinks it contains false facts. In their efforts to try and stop the film, Dole initially turned to the Swedish Consulate General in Los Angeles, which led to the cancelling of a planned reception. Then Dole contacted the Swedish Ambassador in Washington D.C and demanded the film to be stopped from screening.

Thus, my question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs is:

Does the Minister for Foreign Affairs intend to, in an appropriate way, protest against the fact that an American transnational corporation uses Swedish government authorities to stop the screening of a Swedish documentary? And in that case, how does the Minister for Foreign Affairs intend to act?

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