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.