Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks very much for the offer. I believe it's a real one. Time will tell. I actually have some ideas, and I'll speak to you again on that, e-mail.
As for ALBA, SUCRE and Petrocaribe, yes. There's an idealism there, a hunger for change, and the willingness to slap some petrodollars on the table to jump-start the process. I long to dive into the area and get some sense of, on a grass-roots level, what the real-economy people think and feel. Ivonne is native-fluent in Spanish, and ---dear God, I'm tempted.
Nicaragua under Ortega seemed to be like this- that's why, in my opinion, Reagan was so determined to murder the post-Somosa infant nation that was succeeding so brilliantly at first.
"Populist" is now a perjorative term in Washington, and has been twisted to elicit an image of a witless mob stupidly careening about the economic landscape breaking things. In Ortega's Nicaragua the reality was rather like Venezuela today- a somewhat chaotic but idealistic policy machine with many talented people, a group that actually worked often, and produced huge, widely praised increases in literacy, reductions in poverty, improvements in health care, small community developments such as tiny but highly efficient and reliable hydroelectric projects that powered up hundreds of small isolated communities. Real Change. Contrast this to the US health care reform fiasco.
Fake Change.

Might we say, Chump Change?

Sadly, I think the same forces that did in Ortega, at the cost of so many young lives, remain a very powerful element in the Latin American equation. Hence the US buildup in Colombia, and the covert support for the oligarchs at the helm of the USS Honduras. And Obama seems utterly unable to grab the wheel.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 6th, 2010 at 10:49:42 PM EST
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