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Friday, November 10th, 2006
3:26 am - sala de prensa

Hola, soy Aña, de Rusia.

Mi amiga pronto va a Venezuela. Es periodista (y activista) y quiere saber donde puede encontrar algún centro oficial para los coresponsales/periodistas extranjeros... en Rusia tenemos "Press-center" (centro de prensa) abierto a los extranjeros... creo que en Venezuela se llama "sala de prensa"...
¿Dónde se puede encontrar la dirección de esta "sala"?

¿Alguien puede ayudar?

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Saturday, April 15th, 2006
2:57 am - Opening the Community to Everyone

So it's become clear after four and a half months of inactivity that Shannon and I are unable to really keep this journal going the way that we had wanted it to be originally, due to our busy schedules at university.

For that reason, I've decided to open posting access to all members, assuming there are still interested members who follow Latin American politics closely and would like to update.

Shannon will be leaving the States in mid-July for a semester abroad in Chile, while I will be leaving for Tulum, Mexico in mid-May to teach English for seven weeks. Unfortunately, I'll be leaving the country on July 1st, the day before the presidental election. Had I realized sooner, I would've stayed an extra two days, but alas.

Posting in either Spanish or English is welcome, especially if you'd like to practice discussing politics in whatever your second language is. Enjoy!

current mood: peaceful

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Thursday, December 15th, 2005
1:18 am

Cuba's growth improves under own measure of economic activity

I think this article is more intriguing for those of you who are big econ fans. I'm fairly impressed that Cuba has improved growth at all -- in this fiscal year, 9% growth by its own measure, and 5% growth by the classical GDP measure of growth. Last year it was 5% (Cuban method) and 3% according to the GDP method. In the article, there's a brief mention of Soviet-style growth calculations which Cuba used until 1991, and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about that specific measure?

Article courtesy of Dan.

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
9:27 am

I read a bunch of articles on the BBC this morning. Sorry about the lack of commentary.

"Colombia ready for hostage talks"

"Peru's 'mermaid' girl doing well"
This one doesn't have anything to do with politics, but I found it interesting anyhow.

"Mayan treasure found in Guatemala"
I would love to go see this someday.

"Ruses that spring from Brazil's woes"
A little reminder that even the economically strongest country in South America has its problems.

"Cuba 'bars women from prize trip'"

"Bolivia's Morales meets military"

"Brazil to pay off IMF debts early"
Brazil is going to pay off its IMF debt early - yay!

"Venezuela jails opposition leader"

"Colombia rebels in Cuba for talks"

"Venezuela MPs accuse US of 'plot'"

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
1:05 pm

The following is an exerpt from an update on Mexico City that I got in an email from TheEconomist.com. Sorry I couldn't find the actual article, but this should be good enough I guess. It kind of goes back to what Elisa and I were talking about the other day about the upcoming elections in Mexico.

December 2005

News this month

The electoral march
On December 4th, the centre-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) chose its candidate for next year’s mayoral race. Marcelo Ebrard, a former chief of police of Mexico City and an ally of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former mayor and current front-runner in the presidential race, defeated Jesús Ortega, a party senator, by 60% to 40%. Mr Ebrard now approaches next July’s elections as the man to beat—the PRD has held the mayoralty since 1997, when it was first put to popular vote (previously, the mayor was appointed by the president). However, he will face a strong challenge from Beatriz Paredes, the expected Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate, who is renowned as a political operator.

Mr Ebrard’s nomination can be seen as an affront to Vicente Fox, the Mexican president, who had him fired from his police post over his response to the killing of two federal agents in November 2004. After his victory, Mr Ebrard appeared at a joint press conference with Mr López Obrador, stressing their alliance. Mr López Obrador is an enormously popular figure in the city, but will probably spend much time on presidential campaigns elsewhere, relying on Mr Ebrard to shore up his local base.

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12:49 am

Argentina sex workers go back to school

I'd simply like to note that all the pictured women are pretty clearly of indigenous descent, which says something about poverty and racism in Argentina.


And then, in the strange dualism that I frequently see in the news:

Colombian militia faction disarms


Haiti clashes mar Dominican talks

A bit more of a note on the Colombian disarmament of rightist paramilitaries . . . it was absolutely imperative that the disarmament movement continue after its pause in October. It seems all too clear that frequently when such gradual disarmaments get stalled, they never restart, or backslide, and I'm excited to hear that they've resumed -- it bodes well for all of northern South America.

And an interesting point in the Haiti article was that Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia are working together to put together some anti-drug trafficking agreements? I wasn't aware that Haiti and the Dominican Republic had a particularly prominent role to play in drug trafficking in the Americas, although I suppose it makes sense since transport via water as opposed to land is probably less risky? I don't entire know, and I'm curious to learn more.

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Monday, December 12th, 2005
10:28 am


I hope that this trade deal between Maine and Cuba sparks the rest of the country to work to end the trade embargo on Cuba. I think its really interesting to watch what this country is doing on the state level rather than the federal level, considering the individual states that recently ratified kyoto-like protocols in order to circumvent the federal government.


Like you said in your last post, Elisa, I really do hope that Chavez will be able to resist the temptation to further centralize power but yet keep his fiery ideals.

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Sunday, December 11th, 2005
11:42 pm

Some links of interest and hopeful discussion that Shannon and I were talking about earlier this evening:

Chilean election set for run-off

So fairly big news for Chile, since it seems fairly likely that Michelle Bachelet is going to become the next president. I'm certainly curious to see how an elected woman will affect regional politics. Although women tend to be cast as the peacemakers, I hope that, if she decides to follow that route, she won't compromise herself away to the United States as she bills herself a centre-left candidate. Perhaps this is the beginning of a gradual move back to the days of Allende?

Chavez to sit at Mercosur table

An already fairly strong customs union which seeks to avoid NAFTA-style American domination just might become more leftist with its newest addition. I'm hopeful that Mercosur will pressure Chavez to restore democratic institutions without compromising his anti-American stance or socialist social welfare policies.

Finally, A Year of Elections

A fairly superficial overview of the possible changes that are going to occur in the region in the next year and a half as a majority of the states face upcoming elections. Will we see a further swing to the left, or a rightist backlash? I worry the most about Brazil -- Lula's party and his Chief of Staff have faced persistent money laundering frauds over the past few months, which may cause public dissatisfaction that will carry over the polls in the form of the rightist backlash I happen to be fearing at a state level. This does not bode well for the region, as Brazil is without a doubt a regional powerhouse with its gigantic economy, both in terms of production and consumption. Lula and Kirchner of Argentina have been bringing leftism back to the region in a much more thoughful and diplomatic manner than Chavez, and I fear what will happen if Kirchner loses his most powerful ally.

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11:35 pm

OK another test try.

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11:28 pm - Does this work yet?
shan_man Ok...test try. Here we gooooooooooo!

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10:37 pm

This is a test post.

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