Subscriber Services
Weather

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SUNDAY'S VOTE MAY OFFICIALLY TURN VENEZUELA INTO AN ''ELECTED DICTATORSHIP''

Will Venezuela still be considered a democracy if it approves a referendum Sunday that would give President Hugo Chávez near unlimited powers? Will Chávez still qualify as an ''elected'' leader? I asked these questions earlier this week to Tom Shannon, the State Department's top official in charge of Latin American affairs. I was curious about his response, because when I asked him a few weeks ago whether Venezuela can still be considered a democracy, he answered ``Yes.'' Read his response and my opinion about it, and let us know what you think.

Monday, November 26, 2007

BRAZIL'S HUGE OIL FIND WILL LEAD TO NEW WEALTH....OR A PETRO-POPULIST GIANT

No wonder that Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, proclaimed ''God is Brazilian'' after the discovery of massive oil reserves in his country earlier this month: The find could soon turn Brazil into a major oil exporter, and a big player in world affairs. But it could also threaten to derail Brazil's slow but steady march into a successful economy, and turn it into a petro-populist country...Read more about it here, and let us know what you think.

BRASIL, LA NUEVA POTENCIA PETROLERA, Y EL PELIGRO DE UN GIGANTE PETRO-POPULISTA

No es extraño que el presidente brasileño Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva haya proclamado que ''Dios es brasileño'' tras el descubrimiento de enormes reservas petroleras en su país a principios de este mes: el hallazgo convertirá a Brasil en un gran exportador de petróleo, y en un país cada vez más importante a nivel mundial. Lee aqui los detalles - y los temores sobre un posible brote petro-populista en Brasil - y dinos que piensas.

Friday, November 23, 2007

HILLARY, DON'T SUCCUMB TO THE POPULISTS' ANTI-TRADE PROPAGANDA

Now that Sen. Hillary Clinton has moved closer to accepting the U.S. labor movement's claim that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free-trade agreement has been bad for America, let's set the record straight before such isolationist nonsense becomes an uncontested dogma in the Democratic presidential race. Read here why, and let us know what you think.

HILLARY CLINTON Y EL LIBRE COMERCIO

Ahora que la Senadora Hillary Clinton se ha acercado a la posición de los sindicatos de Estados Unidos, según los cuales el Acuerdo de Libre Comercio de Estados Unidos con México y Canadá ha sido malo para los trabajadores norteamericanos, veamos que hay de cierto en semejante afirmación. Leelo todo aqui, y dinos que piensas.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A READER'S THEORY ABOUT CABLE TV'S ANTI-IMMIGRATION CRUSADERS

Here's a reader's interesting theory - cable tv's anti-immigration crusaders are trying to divert attention from their recent enthusiastic support for the Iraq war:
"Dear sir, thanks for sharing your thoughts in my morning's paper. I might be wrong but my memory tells me that this whole issue of immigration policy was a smoke and mirrors stunt to deflect the heat for the way things were going after "mission accomplished" by O'reilly and Limbaugh. I live near an area with a large hispanic population, including two gangs that are currently under court injunctions. People are shot and stabbed in broad daylight over there! I wouldn't go near that area after dark. and most of those guys are not illegals., in this case mexican americans have been living in oxnard, cal for generations. But i write just to say, ignore the idiot O'reillys of the world they're not worth the time it takes to write a column."
What do you think?

MORE ASIANS, FEWER LATIN AMERICANS IN U.S. UNIVERSITIES

Here's a new statistic that should sound alarm bells in Latin America: The region is falling increasingly behind China, India and other Asian countries in the number of students it sends to U.S. universities, which are still ranked in international studies as the best in the world. Read the column with the figures of the newly released Open Doors report by the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE), and let us know what you think.

LA GLOBALIZACION ESTUDIANTIL

Un estudio que acaba de darse a conocer debería causar alarma en América Latina: la región se está quedando cada vez más atrás de China, India y otros países asiáticos en el número de estudiantes que envía a las universidades de Estados Unidos, que según evaluaciones internacionales siguen siendo las mejores del mundo. Lee aqui la columna sobre el reporte Puertas Abiertas, del Instituto de Educación Internacional (IIE), y dinos que piensas al respecto.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

WHO'S CRAZY, ME OR BILL O'REILLY?

On Nov. 8, I had the distinction of being called ''a crazy columnist'' and a ''nut'' on prime time television by conservative Fox News anchorman Bill O'Reilly for a column I had written about the urgent need for a comprehensive solution to America's immigration crisis. Read my response to O'Reilly here, and let us know what you think. Who is crazier?

LA INMIGRACION, LA TELEVISION Y LA LOCURA

El 8 de noviembre, tuve el honor de ser llamado repetidamente ''un loco'' en el aire por el conductor conservador de la cadena de televisión Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, a raíz de una columna que escribí pidiendo una solución integral para el problema de la inmigración en Estados Unidos. Lee aqui mi respuesta, y dinos tu opinion.

Monday, November 12, 2007

WHY CHAVEZ'S SPAT WITH THE KING OF SPAIN SHOULD NOT SUPRISE ANYBODY

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s verbal confrontation with Spain’s King Juan Carlos during the weekend Ibero-American summit of 22 heads of state in Santiago, Chile, shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone. It was vintage Chavez -- and the same headline-grabbing strategy used by Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro before him on similar occasions.
What’s more, after having covered dozens of these regional summits, I would have been surprised if the Venezuelan president had not picked a fight with Spain.
Chavez, as you know, interrupted Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero several times while the latter was addressing the summit, shouting - while his microphone was turned off - that former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar was a “fascist.” When Spain’s leftist Prime Minister Zapatero, a strong foe of Aznar’s, protested that Aznar had been elected by the Spanish people, and Chavez continued interrupting him pressing on the same issue, a visibly exasperated king shouted to Chavez, “Por que no te callas?,” - “Why don’t you just shut up.”
There are several reasons why this behavior by Chavez should not come as a surprise.
First, Chavez needed to divert attention from the escalating student protests in Venezuela, and the bloody government repression of peaceful demonstrators. Dozens of Venezuelan students were injured last week, many of them by masked gunmen widely believed to be government-backed urban militias, while they were protesting Chavez’s call for a national referendum Dec. 2.
The government-organized referendum seeks to approve constitutional reforms that would among other things allow Chavez to be re-elected indefinitely, appoint his own caretakers in states now ruled by opposition governors, and end with the autonomy of the Central Bank. (Chavez is also offering, as a sweetener to get his reforms approved, to reduce the workday from 8 to 6 hours - an offer that will be hard to resist by millions of Venezuelan workers.)
In addition, Venezuela’s narcissist-Leninist leader thrives on headlines, and the way he makes headlines - like Castro before him - is by picking fights with whoever is around whim who represents the world’s most developed country. In this case, it was Spain’s prime minister, and the Spanish king.
Chavez, like Castro, needs to create conflicts - with business leaders, with the Church, with the United States, with Spain, with whomever -- to create a climate of permanent confrontation that allows him to wrap himself in the national flag, and justify amassing extraordinary powers under the excuse that he is defending the fatherland. If there is no conflict, there is no justification for demanding increasingly wider powers that erode citizens’ basic rights.
Almost every year, when he attended these summits, Cuba’s Castro would grab the headlines by attacking the host country, or the United States, or Spain, or all of the above. Perhaps the only difference between Chavez and Castro is that, I don’t remember any instances in which the Cuban dictator would interrupt other speakers, and try to speak over them outside his allotted time. Chavez did it repeatedly at Saturday’s summit.
Chavez’s personality may be more rowdy than Castro’s, but the reason why his excesses have increased in recent months has to do with oil prices. Chavez’s megalomania, is directly proportional to the rise in oil prices.
When Chavez took office eight years ago, oil prices were at $9 dollars a barrel. Today, they are reaching a record $100 dollars a barrel. So nobody should be surprised either at the fact that Chavez interrupted a fellow head of state, nor by the way in which he did it. If oil prices keep climbing -- in part, thanks to massive U.S. purchases - he’s only going to get worse.

IN VENEZUELA, THERE IS NO FREEDOM "AFTER" EXPRESSION

Critics of Venezuela's narcissist-Leninist President Hugo Chávez often joke that in Venezuela there is freedom of expression, but not freedom after expression. Last week, their pun proved right. Read why here, and let us know what you think.

LA ESCALADA REPRESIVA EN VENEZUELA

Los críticos del presidente narcisista leninista venezolano Hugo Chávez suelen bromear que en Venezuela hay libertad de expresión, pero no hay libertad después de la expresión. Los acontecimientos de los ultimos días parecen darles la razón. Lee la columna entera aqui, y dinos que opinas al respecto.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

ENFORCEMENT-ONLY IMMIGRATION POLICIES WILL NEVER WORK

MEXICO CITY -- As was to be expected, a new U.S. congressional study saying that U.S. customs officers fail to stop thousands of undocumented workers a year at airports and other legal entry points has added fuel to U.S. anti-immigration zealots' anxiety levels. This time, their concerns are legitimate. Read the full column here, and let us know your opinion.

LA CORRIENTE AISLACIONISTA

CIUDAD DE MEXICO - Como era de esperar, los sectores anti-inmigrantes de Estados Unidos han armado un alboroto tremendo tras la publicación del nuevo informe del congreso de Estados Unidos según el cual los agentes fronterizos estadounindenses dejan entrar al país a miles de inmigrantes indocumentados en los aeropuertos y otros puntos de entrada legales todos los años. En este caso, sus preocupaciones son legítimas. Lee la columna entera aqui, y dinos que opinas.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

ANGRY MIGRANT UNDERCLASS MIGHT ERUPT IN U.S.A.

The rapid escalation of the U.S. anti-immigration hysteria -- fueled by ratings-hungry cable-television hotheads and leading Republican presidential hopefuls -- is a dangerous trend: It may lead to a Hispanic intifada that may rock this nation in the not-so-distant future. Read here more about the danger of a "Hispanic intifada," and let us know what you think.

EL PELIGRO DE LA "INTIFADA HISPANA"

La creciente histeria antiinmigrante que se está dando en gran parte de Estados Unidos -impulsada por conductores de televisión irresponsables en búsqueda de mayores ratings y por los principales aspirantes republicanos a la presidencia- es una tendencia peligrosa: podría resultar en una ''intifada latina'' en un futuro no muy distante. Lee aqui por que, y dinos que opinas.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

PERU MAY BE NEXT RISING STAR IN LATIN AMERICA

When I asked senior World Bank economist Marcelo M. Giugale in a recent television interview which countries will be the economic stars of Latin America over the next 20 years, I was surprised by his answer. The first country he mentioned was Peru. ''Peru?'' I asked, somewhat incredulous. Read the whole column with the data here, and let us know what you think.

?EL MODELO PERUANO?

Cuando le pregunté a Marcelo M. Giugale, un alto economista del Banco Mundial, qué países serán las estrellas económicas de América Latina dentro de veinte años, me quedé sorprendido por su respuesta: el primer país que mencionó fue Perú. ¿Perú?, le pregunté, algo incrédulo. Lee la columna entera aqui, y dinos que opinas.