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Thursday, April 05, 2007


Stop the presses! While this column often lashes out against Venezuela's narcissist-Leninist leader Hugo Chávez and his mentor, Cuba's political glyptodont Fidel Castro, this time it will have a qualified word of support for their latest tirades against U.S. plans to mass-produce corn-based ethanol. Read here my column on why Chavez and Castro are partially right on this issue, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anders, why is the 54 cent subsidy to Midwestern farmers "obscene"?! The USA is a sovereign, independent country, not a UN created buffer zone, and we should look out for our own. Right? I mean, do you expect us to enact legislation that benefits Latin America and hurts USA farmers? That's the problems I have with you Hispanics. You people force your way into the USA and force us to adopt policies that favor Latin Americans under the threat of being called a "racist". You people aren't Americans, you are Latin Americans living in the USA vowing to use the power of the USA to better the lives of Latin America. I see nothing in you people that tells me you want to be American. All the USA is to you Hispanics is just another place for you people to rob blind of all our wealth and to force your language and culture on, as is the historic legacy of the Hispanic people.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


For once we agree. We need to know though; How much land? What land? What water? and who will own both land and mills?

As for the "obscene" subsidy and allowing Brazilian ethanol into the US; I am sorry and a bit ashamed to agree with president Bush; It is not going to happen!

This has little bearing on Latin America though since for most countries accomplishing the goal of energy self sufficiency should be more than enough to develop the industry and bring wealth to these countries.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jorge Piñon said...

I am not aware that anyone is proposing ethanol to fully replace gasoline as a transportation fuel for “rich people’s cars”. Ethanol is being considered as a complimentary fuel and/or blend to gasoline.

There is no basis for politically motivated scare tactics that ethanol would take away food from the mouths of the world’s poor.

I would encourage Chavez and Castro (and also Runge and Senauer)to analyze the economies of Vietnam and Zimbabwe to fully understand what it would take to feed the world’s hungry. In the early 1990’s communist Vietnam turned its collectivized agricultural system into a free and open market, turning Vietnam today into the world’s third largest exporter of rice. On the other hand Castro’s friend, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, confiscated the agricultural sector turning what was Africa’s grain basket and largest exporter of grains into a country at the border of starvation.

World hunger is not a battle between the rich and the poor or between ethanol versus gasoline; it is the result of outdated and inefficient centrally planned economic systems trying to survive into the twentieth first century.

11:41 AM  
Blogger auntie-auntie said...

If the Caribbean comandantes are right on this one, why spend time on the five words summation (it is seven words, by the way). We jnow you as a well ballanced commentator: you do not have to prove yourself in every column.

Your columns misses one important option: using non-edibles (think tree-bark) to make biofuels and/or additives.

As to the 54 cents tariff/subsidy and the 100% luxury tax (bravo !!!), we hispanics who live in America without becoming Americans and blah, blah, blah, just do not get it: "the business of America is business", and "what is good for GM is good for America".
Of course, we Americans who understand this can only hope that its corollary is not "what is bad for GM is bad for America" -especially now, whan after finally getting rid of GMAC, the ghost of sub-prime lending is haunting GM.
Texans are somewhat sharper on this one: they never claimed what was good for ENRON was good for Texas (although some who love living in white houses may have felt that way).

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you will recognize me as the person who has openly questioned Andres Oppenheimer's views in particular regarding his tendency to invite "special guests" such as Donald Rumsfeld and Otto Reich whom he has invited some 10 + times on his show. I pointed out that Otto Reich has a very dark history which any citizen can research for herself online.

Unfortunately I have to let you know that Oppenheimer has deleted all my comments on this blog including those comments which pointed out that the newspaper that Andres Oppenheimer works for "El Nuevo Herald" was found in 2006 to have several reporters on the payroll of the US government.

Anyways I thought that everybody should know about the censorship on this blog which puts Oppenheimer's views in perspective when he calls for Fidel Castro to allow freedom of expression in Cuba etc....

Fortunately the internet provides some technical solutions for the deletion of documents or posts etc- there is a very useful tool called the "Wayback Machine" which allows you to look up archived web pages even if they were later modified or deleted.

One such interesting "archived" webpage is the announcement on the webpage of the US Embassy in Caracas on April 12 2002 when the US Embassy in Caracas announced to the world that Chavez had "resigned"..... No wonder people do not believe the US Government when it later said that it had not actively coordinated or supported the coup against the democratically elected Chavez.

Here the link of the archived document:


"The results of these provocations are: Chavez resigned the presidency. Before resigning, he dismissed the Vice President and the Cabinet. A transition civilian government has promised early elections."

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush wants to change the old oil for a new biofuel addiction.

But the main reason of the addiction remains without a treatment.

The inefficient usage of every day logistic boost a huge energy waste, causing enviroment damages and now, according Fidel, hungry.

So, in our countries (not only in america) we should begin to use public transportation as often as possible.

In Buenos Aires (Argentina) i.e. the state is analysing to increase the highways fees for those persons who are driving alone. This action can be a first good step to optimize the logistic usage.

I hope (without any expectations) that our goverments pay more attention in more efficients uses of the available food and energy sources.


Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

1:41 AM  
Blogger Cogito Argentum said...

I agree with the latest post. You, Alconada, and Diament are Argentinians that live in the U.S. undermining this Nation at every opportunity that you have hidding under the false pretense of "free speech."

In part you do it because of your liberal/progressive/socialistoid nature, and in parte because the half-truths that you write sells in the illegal latino community and, of course, in Argentina.

You will always be a disgrace for all of us who have embraced this blessed country like we were born here.

Enough said.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Along with Ford Runge, Minnesota is also the academic home of distinguished plant ecologist
David Tilman. He just published an opinion piece in the Washington Post (must have been the Post because there was a live discussion) explaining that growing corn for ethanol in the Midwest isn't a good idea, and it would be better to create meadows of native species (restored prairies,
if you will), and mow them periodically, using the hay to make alcohol from cellulose. He based this conclusion on many years of patient experiments in which plants were grown in single and multi-species plots to experimentally address basic questions about the relation of species diversity to biomass production and similar questions. I doubt that he or anyone else expected his patient work to become a touchstone for the looming biofuels debates.

I'm not sure what Tilman's work could mean for Brazil or, perhaps
Paraguay, or even Cuba.

While I was a college student, soil scientists at North Carolina State University were discovering that the tropical soils in much of Brazil were surprisingly
similar to North Carolina's. Or more accurately, North Carolina has
tropical soils despite the present-day temperate climate. I suspect that the soil research might possibly have had something to do with the Brazilian soybean boom. Another fresh news story (NY Times, yesterday, I think) points out China's increasing need for Brazilian soy and the increasing difficulty of getting soy from the field to the ports. Could the Chinese government perhaps help Brazil build a railway, perhaps with engines running on soy diesel? And a port?

On the side, Tilman reports that his plots with numerous native grass and herb species need little care. They are inhospitable to weeds, don't need irrigation, and are more productive than single-species meadows. His insights, applied in the tropics, might yield some valuable new farming techniques

5:50 PM  

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