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Sunday, September 30, 2007

AHMADINEJAD'S DANGEROUS LOVE AFFAIR WITH LATIN AMERICA

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must love the tropics. He has spent more time in Latin America than President Bush over the past 12 months, and is promising billions in economic aid to his friends in the region. Last week's visit by Ahmadinejad to Venezuela and Bolivia marked his third trip to the region since September 2006. By comparison, Bush has only made one visit to the region over the same period. Read the full column here, and let us know what you think.

?QUE BUSCA EL PRESIDENTE DE IRAN EN AMERICA LATINA?

Al presidente iraní Mahmoud Ahmadinejad le debe encantar el clima tropical: en los últimos doce meses, se ha pasado más tiempo en América Latina que el presidente norteamericano George W. Bush. La visita de Ahmadinejad a Venezuela y Bolivia la semana pasada fue su tercer viaje a la región desde septiembre del 2006. Comparativamente, Bush solo ha hecho una visita a la región en el mismo período. Lee el articulo completo aqui, y dinos que opinas al respecto.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

AMERICA LATINA: ?CAMPEONA MUNDIAL EN "TRAMITOLOGIA"?

Qué ironía! China y Vietnam, gobernadas por partidos comunistas, y los países del ex bloque soviético están avanzando mucho más rápido que América Latina en reducir la ''tramitología'' y desmantelar las regulaciones que desalientan las inversiones. Según el nuevo informe del Banco Mundial Haciendo negocios en el 2008, los países de Europea del Este, junto con China, India y Egipto, son los que han realizado más reformas en el último año para facilitar la apertura de nuevas empresa y permitir el despido de trabajadores ineficientes. Lee los detalles aqui, y dinos cual es tu opinion al respecto.

LATIN AMERICA IS SNARLED IN RED TAPE

What irony! When it comes to cutting government red tape and creating a probusiness atmosphere, communist-ruled China, Vietnam and former Soviet Bloc countries in Eastern Europe are moving much faster than most of Latin America. A new World Bank report -- Doing Business 2008 -- which looks at the ease of doing business in 178 countries around the world, says that countries such as Croatia, Georgia, Estonia, China, India and Egypt were the most aggressive last year in making it easier for entrepreneurs to open a company or fire underperforming workers. Read the details here, and let us know what you think.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

EXPERTS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT LATIN AMERICA -- PERHAPS TOO MUCH FORE REGION'S OWN GOOD

I was really surprised about the level of optimism about Latin America among the top government officials, international economists and business tycoons who attended The Miami Herald Americas Conference last week. It was truly amazing. But was it justified? Read my opinion here, and let us know what YOU think about the region's future.

EL OPTIMISMO SOBRE AMERICA LATINA

Me sorprendió el grado de optimismo sobre el futuro de América Latina entre los funcionarios gubernamentales, economistas y líderes empresariales que participaron en la Conferencia de las Américas del Miami Herald. Considerando las noticias diarias de la región, fue realmente asombroso. ?Pero es justificado? Lee aqui los motivos por los que soy algo esceptico, y dinos cual es tu opinion al respecto.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LATIN EXPORTS TO U.S. ARE FALLING - THE BIG QUESTION IS WHY

New U.S. government trade statistics are setting off alarm bells among international traders in this corner of the world: Latin American exports to the United States are showing no growth -- and in many countries they are falling sharply -- amid a worldwide increase in exports to the U.S. market. Read the entire column here, get more figures in the comments section, and let us know whether you agree.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

?EL DESPERTAR DE LOS HISPANOS?

No importa lo que piense sobre el debate presidencial en español de la cadena Univisión - y hay cosas del mismo que me parecieron lamentables - se trató de la muestra más clara de la creciente influencia política hispana que está revolucionando la política de Estados Unidos. Enterate porque aqui, y dinos si estas de acuerdo.

HISPANICS ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF U.S. POLITICS

Whatever you may think about Sunday's presidential forum on the Spanish-language Univisión network -- and there were some things about it that I found dreadful -- it was the clearest evidence yet of a growing Hispanic clout that will revolutionize American politics. The debate among Democratic hopefuls averaged 2.2 million viewers -- an extraordinary audience for a debate that was broadcast in Spanish for an ethnic group that makes up 13 percent of the U.S. population. By comparison, the CNN-YouTube Democratic debate averaged 2.6 million viewers. Read the whole column here, and let us know whether you agree.

Monday, September 10, 2007

THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE UNIVISION DEBATE

Couple of things: 1) The questions by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas were very good; 2) The simulteanous translation was HORRIBLE (the guy who dubbed Sen. Christopher Dodd sounded like a character from Sesame Street); 3) Hillary Clinton, to her credit, criticized Hispanic bashing in the media (a close aide to Clinton was quoted in The New York Times today as saying that she was referring to CNN's Lou Dobbs and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh) ; 4) Sens. Clinton, Obama and Dodd did so-so when asked why they supported the border fence: instead of saying that they voted so in order to get a path to citizenship for 12 million people without legal status, they tried to defend the border fence (which is a bad idea, as we have said many times, because the only way to reduce the flow of migrants will be reducing the income gap between Mexicans and Americans.) Summing up, the debate was a great idea, but it got lost in translation.

DEMOCRATS MOVE TOWARD APPROVING FREE TRADE DEALS. DO WE HAVE TO THANK CHAVEZ?

Wow! All of a sudden, it looks like the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress will approve pending free-trade agreements with Peru, Panama and -- who knows -- perhaps even Colombia.
If you ask me, Venezuela's narcissist-Leninist leader Hugo Chávez deserves the biggest credit for the congressional U-turn. Read the column here, and let us know whether you agree.

EL ''EFECTO CHAVEZ" Y LOS TRATADOS DE LIBRE COMERCIO

Sorpresa! Contra casi todos los pronósticos, el Congreso de Estados Unidos -controlado por el Partido Demócrata- se está inclinando a aprobar los acuerdos de libre comercio con Perú, Panamá y a lo mejor incluso con Colombia. Si me preguntan a quién hay que agradecerle este giro de la mayoría demócrata, diría que habría que darle el crédito al presidente narcisista leninista de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, y a su campaña por obtener un liderazgo político en la región. Lee aqui la columna entera, y dinos si estas de acuerdo.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE GRILLED ON FREE TRADE

This is the first question I would ask the top Democratic presidential hopefuls at Sunday's first-ever Spanish-language television presidential debate in Coral Gables: How can you claim to be pro-Hispanic and at the same time oppose free-trade deals with Latin America that would benefit both U.S. Hispanics and their native countries? Read here why I would pose that question, and let us know whether you agree.

EL ERROR DE LOS CANDIDATOS DEMOCRATAS

Esta es la primera pregunta que les haría a los candidatos demócratas cuando se den cita el domingo en Miami para el primer debate presidencial en la televisión en español: ¿Cómo pueden proclamarse los mejores amigos de los hispanos, y al mismo tiempo oponerse a tratados de libre comercio que benefician tanto a los hispanos en Estados Unidos como a sus países de origen? Enterate aqui por que, y dinos si estas de acuerdo.

Monday, September 03, 2007

MEXICO WILL GIVE FINANCIAL REWARDS TO BEST PERFORMING STUDENTS

If you asked me what was the most significant news from Latin America last week, I would pick a little-noticed announcement by Mexico City's leftist government that it will give out millions of dollars in financial incentives to the elementary school students with the best grades. The Mexico City government announced that it will give about $300 a year in cash and savings' account deposits to about 100,000 public school students aged 4-12 whose grade averages are above nine on a scale from one to 10. Read more about this here, and let us know whether you agree with this idea.

EN MEXICO, OFRECEN DINERO A LOS MEJORES ESTUDIANTES

Si ustedes me preguntan cuál fue la noticia más significativa de América Latina la semana pasada, escogería una que paso casi desapercibida: El anuncio del gobierno izquierdista de la Ciudad de México de que dará millones de dolares en incentivos financieros a los estudiantes de la escuela primaria con promedios sobresalientes. Lee los detalles del programa aqui, y dinos que te parece.