Tuesday, August 15, 2006


It has been a while since I had the chance to read an article on Latin America that advocates the need for a new foreign policy in the region. It has certainly been extremely long since I have read an article that offers fresh and viable alternatives to the outdated and strategically moronic Cuban centric policy we have today.

The time has come though and I am delighted to encourage you to follow the link ahead and read this very insightful article; “
The Good Neighbor Strategy” by Moises Naim published in the July 17, 2006 issue of Time Magazine.

Mr. Moises Naim is Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy Magazine which I find to be a most interesting publication and therefore I am including a link to the magazine in this blog as well.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I went to Germany with the excitement and the jitters of not knowing what to expect from the US soccer team. I must say though that I was full of anticipation, eager to watch them play and, as in the past, did not expected to see many American fans in the stadiums.
I come back though, absolutely thrilled with the performance of Team USA and, further, amazed at the number of American fans that cheered our team in every game.

Yes, we did not classify and we certainly did not play well against Ukraine and Ghana but, that really matters very little after watching Team USA play Italy.

Contrary to common believe, soccer is not an easy game. It is not enough to know how to play, have good players, know the rules and follow a well rehearsed game plan. To be a great team you need something that runs much deeper and that can’t be bought. Something each national team has to create by themselves; something that eventually becomes a permanent feature and the fabric itself of soccer history and tradition. That magic is called personality and it is what makes a team unique.

Every great team has it and diehard soccer fans can tell which national team they are watching just by the way they play. At the end of the day, soccer is all about personality.

For years I have been watching Team USA play and though it was clear that they could play the game, they were lacking that magic ingredient that gives a national team a unique personality.

Team USA had shown some sparks of personality in the 2002 World Cup but it wasn’t until the game with Italy in Germany this year that everything came together and for the first time we could see the birth of a new soccer style and personality that from now on will make Team USA absolutely unique.

A team with a beautiful personality that was certainly a pleasure to watch unfold. A personality made up of a little country, a little salsa and a little blues. A personality brought out by the passion and talent of a great player called Landon Donovan.

I can’t wait to watch Team USA play in the next world cup!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

THE CHAVEZ SAGA II - "leftside"

The Chavez saga continues. I am herewith including additional excerpts of comments in this regard written by bloggers who visit the interesting Miami Herald blog of Andres Oppenheimer (link in this page).

leftside said:

Mousqueton: I don't quite get ya. You quote a wonderful T. Roosevelt paragraph about the need to get rid of our country's divisions but justify the "biggest house" in the barrio being able to control the others.

You urge Americans to "understand socialism as a civilized political alternative for many of our neighbors," but treat Chavez as the antichrist.

I have to ask which specific Chavez position do you disagree with? Beyond style, what exactly has he done that you thought was a mortal sin, worthy of "rubbing" our friends like Chile and Ecuador with some of our heaviest sandpaper possible?

You, like even the LA Times, seem to take for granted that Chavez is an enemy of democracy. But Chavez's real enemy is clear = neo-liberalism and capitalism. His democratic credentials are actually stellar in many ways (today's Venezuelans rate their democracy highest in Latin America). He's been elected more, by higher margins than about anyone. Participation is through the roof and the press and NGOs are as developed and oppositional (and free) as anywhere. And local participatory democracy is blossoming.

Is it just young idealism to want to eradicate illiteracy from your country (like Venezuela and now Bolivia)? Is it just irresponsible to want to earn the maximum value on your country's natural resources?

mousqueton said:

Off course you don’t get me!

Friday, June 09, 2006

THE CHAVEZ SAGA I - "leftside"

The Chavez saga in Venezuela is becoming more and more interesting. I am herewith including excerpts of some comments in this regard written by bloggers who visit the interesting Miami Herald blog of Andres Oppenheimer (link in this page).

By the way, we need to get those arrogant Washington idiots out of office and bring in people that think and are capable of designing a sensible, realistic and intelligent Latin American foreign policy. Enjoy!

leftside said:

It's laughable to hear some of you rant about the irrelevancy and anti-US bias of the OAS. It shows your contempt for democracy and regional diplomacy. The OAS' history as a US dominated institution is not debatable.

Because the region preferred a moderate Chilean over a Washington stooge is no reason to "cut them dead”. That type of bullying will get the US nowhere even faster.

Mora, you're proposal to boycott the OAS until they replace its leadership to suit your radical Cuban friends is revealing. And your shock at the "back scratching" that goes on in international foray is hypocritical and naive. Or are you unaware of the much more crude arm-twisting the US utilizes behind doors?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I believe it was Mario Vargas Llosa, the famous Peruvian writer, who, while attending a literary gathering in Madrid, said; “In literature, reality is a lie and fiction is the truth”.

This quote came to my mind while writing a comment on a very interesting Venezuelan blog (link on this page) and before I knew it, I had written a full and very long article.

I have indicated before that the future of America will not be found in far away lands. The future of America is here and now, and it is called Latin America. A region that we have neglected for far too long and that we have treated with very little respect

Regardless of what we do today (Immigration laws, fences, etc.), the United States of our children will be a little country, a little salsa and a little blues.

Therefore, it is time to wake up, drop the "Know nothings" attitude and start working to make the best out of it.

The following article belongs to the realm of fiction and, since literature and politics are twin brothers, I will leave up to you to decide how truthful it might be. Enjoy!

After reading many comments about Chavez I have concluded that people give him far too much credit. Maybe we should try to explain Chavez from a new and different angle.

It is most likely that in the coming years the world will reach what has been called the "Peak Oil" breaking point. This is, the point were the growth rate of oil consumption outpaces the growth rate of oil reserves. In economics this point is also known as the point of inflection.

The most conservative annalists, including Dick Cheney, Vice-President of the United States, have acknowledged that this will create a 3% annual demand/supply gap in the oil trade.

We should remember that the oil crisis in the 70’s was generated by a temporary and speculative demand/supply gap of 5% and that this was enough to send oil prices up 400% and the world economy into a tail spin.

Moderate and liberal annalists believe that this gap will be more like 7% the first and 10% the latter though there are some that have utter the figure of 13%. This is, 7%, 10% or 13% every year from “Peak oil” forward.

Of course you do not have to be a brain surgeon to realize that, when, rather if, this happens, the consequences of even the moderate predictions to the world economy are going to be mind boggling. This also begins to give us an insight as to why is the United States spending over 300 billion Dollars in Iraq.

Fidel Castro, whom I do not know and therefore can not objectively give an opinion about how intelligent he might be, seems to be at least pretty street wise and very politically savvy. He certainly is aware of the catastrophic consequences that “Peak Oil” could bring to the Cuban economy.

I am sure Fidel Castro has also realized that Chavez fits perfectly into that very spicy Latin American say, full of popular wisdom, that reads; “nada es mas peligroso que un bruto que piensa” (nothing is more dangerous that a thick who thinks).

Sunday, June 04, 2006


While engaging in the discussion of comments posted on the very interesting blog from the Miami Herald columnist Mr. Andres Oppenheimer (find link here), I have come to realize that sooner rather than later we have to leave the Cuba issue behind and move on. Latin America is far more strategically important for our future well being. I am herein quoting some of those comments and my response to them to illustrate the case at hand.
mousqueton said:

Mini-me: You are absolutely right. The US foreign policy in Latin America has been and continues to be Cuban centric and this has been both bad for Latin America and for our interests in the region. Cuba is a very small country, with a small population and a very small GDP. If at all it doesn’t deserve more attention that the one we pay to Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The problem is that Republicans are businessmen and therefore they feel comfortable selling out our interests in Latin America in exchange for the Cuban vote in Florida. A shame and a pity, but it did get them in the White House.

proudcubanamerican said:

“Oye Mosquito, In case you just crawled out from under a rock where you lived with the rest of the tira-flecha indios, Cuba has been at the center of a geo-political crisis in the Western Hemisphere since 1959. That makes it more relevant and important to US foriegn policy than Jamaica, Trinidad and even Mexico.

It was out of Cuba that the world almost got involved in World War III during the Kennedy Administration. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?

It was out of Cuba that approximately 2 million exiles have come to this country and built a region of this country (South Florida) that is quite prosperous and very beautiful, thank you.
It is out of Cuba that President Carter suffered his second greatest political defeat (the Mariel boat lift). The Iranian hostage crisis was Carter's worst mistake.

And it is out of Cuba that the US has the opportunity to win the final battle of the Cold War when Fidel dies and the country turns to democracy.

Also, you make a big mistake thinking numbers instead of power. There are only 2 million exiled Cuban Americans in this country. Yet we wield more political power and clout than perhaps the other 60 million Hispanics put together.

Instead of your poorly veiled passive aggressive rip on Cubans, you should try to learn something from us.”

mousqueton said:

My dear proudcubanamerican: Let me start by saying that I do not have any passively aggressive rip against Cubans. As a matter of fact I have the utmost respect for the Cuban people and the Cuban culture. This is, for all the Cuban people and the entire Cuban culture which off course is not limited to Cubans in the US.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Recently I read an article from AP, written by Douglass K Daniels, reporting on the potential fallout from the killing of Iraqi civilians by our Marines and I can not help but to wonder; will our troops be the scapegoat of the Iraq War fiasco?

This is a valid question because our troops were indeed the unfair scapegoat of the Vietnam War fiasco.

Our soldiers are not a bunch of great guys eager to fight to protect our freedom, democracy and well being. They are far more than that. They are the warriors of our country. In fact, they are very dangerous warriors who are trained to kill, highly motivated by purpose and committed to “live winning or die killing”. They are not blood thirsty but they will do whatever is necessary to win. That is what we train them for and what we expect from them.

War is a bestial endeavor and it brings out the worst in human nature. In order to survive in war, soldiers have to let loose the primal beast inside everyone of us and rely on its survival skills and instinct to keep them alive while hoping that, afterwards, they will be able to bring it under control again.

Our troops have not only sworn to die for us but they have voluntarily agreed to expose themselves to being wounded and/or mutilated and further, to jeopardize their own sanity to keep us safe. Many come back from war to broken homes and lives and all of them have to endure the long process of taming back the beast they had to let loose. A good number of those soldiers spend the rest of their life trying and are never able to succeed.

The sacrifice our troops are willing to make for all of us is so high that there has always been a silent covenant by which, we the people, have agreed to spare every soldier live that we can and to use our troops only as a last resort and in situations of clear and present danger.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


There are many language zealots out there that seem to think that the American English language is under attack and needs a law to protect it. There are also some who resent the way some minority groups use our language. Do not worry, the state of the American English language is sound and well.

English is a Germanic language an as a matter of fact the name of the language itself derives from “Englisc” which is the name of the language that the Angles tribes, originally from Engel, spoke during the fifth century.

Throughout the Norman Empire and up until 1362 the language of the British monarchy was French and Latin. At that time, the English underclass spoke four different English dialects. In 1399, King Henry IV became the first king of England whose mother tongue was English.

English has always been a bastard language and that is why the majority of modern English words come from foreign not old English roots. As a matter of fact only about 1/6 of known old English words have descendants surviving today and only about 5,000 or so words from this period have remained unchanged.

Languages that have contributed words to English include Latin, Greek, French, German, Arabic, Hindi (from India), Italian, Malay, Dutch, Farsi (from Iran and Afghanistan), Nahuatl (the Aztec language), Sanskrit (from ancient India), Portuguese, Spanish, Tupi, Quechua (from South America) and Ewe (from Africa). William Shakespeare himself coined over 1600 new words.

So, do not be alarmed if the Latinos or Blacks, for that matter, continue to enrich American English with their own creative use of the language.

That is what English is all about and why it has become the fastest growing and most widely published language in the world. There are at least eight main different regional standards of English and within each of these regional varieties a number of highly differentiated local English dialects.

More than 300 million people throughout the world speak English as a first language. One in five of the world’s population speak English with a good level of competence and within the next couple years the number of people speaking English as a second language will exceed the number of native speakers. In Latin America alone, English is a mandatory second language course in most schools throughout the region.

English is not under attack and certainly does not need to be protected by a law.

What you should be concerned though is with ignorance. Over 45% of Europeans can take part in a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue as can 77% of their students while less than 10% of our college students learn foreign languages.

If at all, we should be encouraging our people to learn foreign languages and certainly Spanish. In Brazil for example, both English and Spanish are now part of the elementary school curricula.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


While surfing the Internet I found this interesting website with a running counter of the taxpayer cost of the Iraq war based on Congressional appropriations.

Let me tell you something; this is not for the faint of heart. Do not click on the link below unless you are ready for some very scary stuff.


Like everything in life though, you have to be careful not to draw false conclusions.

While it is true that the amount of money being spent in the Iraq war is absolutely outrageous it is also true that what we are talking here is the lives of our soldiers and therefore any amount of money is worthwhile spending.

What we need to ask therefore is not how much, but, how come we got ourselves into this mess and who is responsible for this absurd and inept adventure.

Did the conveniently classified top secret meetings between Vice President Cheney and the good oil boys had anything to do with this?

Was Ted Kennedy right when he said that Iraq was a war “Made in Texas”?

These are all valid questions that need to be answered and hopefully, some day, they will.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I believe it was Goethe who once said “Nothing is more terrifying than ignorance in action”. We have become an ignorant society that is governed by slogans without even questioning what those slogans mean. Even worst; we act based upon those slogans with no regard for the consequences. The concept of Democracy just happens to be one more casualty of the slogan vortex.

There is no democracy if people do not have a clear concept of “freedom”. The problem is that this “God given right”, which is also a slogan, has been given in different measures and by different Gods.

For Christians, the freedom granted to us by God has no limit or boundaries. So much so that we believe we are free even if we are agnostic. To say it in other words, our concept of freedom allows us the right to even negate God himself.

Friday, May 19, 2006


As much as would like to start this blog by writing about the immigration debate I believe there are far more compelling issues that need to be addressed.
The senseless war in Iraq is certainly one of them and the threat from within to our democratic system is by far the most important of them all. Let me start therefore by expressing some thoughts in regard to what I believe is a serious internal threat to our democratic values and system.

Read my next posting!