Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ALBA & Petrocaribe...a Timebomb?

There's this sword of Damocles hanging over the economies of the countries that are profiting from Venezuela's ALBA/PetroCaribe program. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was established on December 14, 2004 by Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro. Venezuela and Cuba sought to create a regional alliance committed to social, political, and economic cooperation and equality. ALBA says it offers an alternative to free trade accords (FTAA), on the basis of three principles: (1) opposition to free–market economic reforms; (2) not limiting the regulatory action of the State in favor of economic liberalization; (3) harmonizing relations between the State and the market.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ortega's 2011 Campaign Strategy

Daniel Ortega
I agree greatly on the opinion that Ortega is probably going to win this year's election, simply because he's the least worst choice for most Nicaraguans. Despite the widespread corruption, Ortega's illegal acts, breakdown of the democracy, his pacts, his orchestrated election fraud and so on. Remember, it's the wealthy and educated Nicaraguan (and gringo) who can afford to look further in Nicaragua's future and to fear for the deterioration of its democracy; for the surviving Nicaraguan the foreseeable future is probably much shorter and therefore he's obviously more interested in the short term gains that Ortega is offering. These gains are a growing economy (4.5% in 2010 and about the same for 2011), huge ALBA monies still coming in, social programs, friendly investors climate and an upgrade of Nicaragua's infrastructure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Balloon Effect

Coca eradication
The balloon effect - bringing to mind a balloon that swells in one spot when another is squeezed - seems to be the result in Latin America of the US' "Plan Colombia".

Friday, August 19, 2011

Was Simon Bolívar "the" Libertador of Venezuela?

Hugo Chávez
(Courtesy of Agência Brasil)

Hugo Chávez' great inspiration and example - the Venezuelan aristocrat Símon Bolívar - is undoubtedly South America's most famous Libertador. Together with other Libertadores, he led Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela to independence. However, he wasn't the first liberator nor the only one. All together about 14 Libertadores freed South America from Spanish and Portuguese dominion. Today, Venezuelans are still very proud that Bolívar liberated that many countries in South America and in these liberated countries he is still honored very much. Many, many biographies have been written about Bolívar and their hagiography level is usually much higher than the historical level. But let us take a closer look to what Simón Bolivar really meant for Venezuela's independence.