Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Don’t understand your neighbors south of the border? Then why not “Ask a Mexican!”

Metafilter last month posted about “Ask a Mexican!,” a column from the Orange County Weekly where Gustavo Arellano replies to questions on all things Mexican such as “Do Mexicans make better soldiers and Marines?” or “Why does some Mexican music sound just like polka?”

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Eight Latin American nations elected to Human Rights Council

Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru were among the eight Latin American states that garnered enough votes to serve on the U.N.’s Human Rights Council. Several countries with terrible human rights records gained election to the Council such as Cuba. One blogger examined why Cuba was elected while Venezuela was not.

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“Which left is right?” redux: Chavez vs. Lagos

In a Spanish-language article from the latest edition of Foreign Affairs en EspaƱol, New York University professor Patricio Navia examines the different angles of the left in Latin America by comparing the “antagonistic discourse” of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez with the model espoused by former Chilean head Ricardo Lagos (image). (Original “Which left is right?” post can be read here).

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006

U.N.: more jobs needed for Latin Americans

The U.N.’s International Labor Organization reported that more than half of the region’s economically active population are either unemployed or in the informal sector. This work deficit could increase from 126 million to 158 million

by 2015 if governments do not increase employment in the formal sector.

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Chavez: Let me be prez for 25 years

Venezuela’s president threatened to have a referendum that would decide if he should be in power until 2031 in case the opposition pulls out of December’s general election. A recent poll showed Chavez with a very comfortable lead of nearly 30% over his nearest presidential opponent.

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Monday, May 8, 2006

"Is There Racism in Latin America?"

Rutgers University professor Tanya Hernandez looks at the differentiations of race in countries like Brazil to see if racism is prevalent in Latin America. (Previous post on race in Latin America here).

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Mixed feelings for Bolivia’s nationalization plan

Bolivia’s move to nationalize their gas fields last week has alarmed several Latin American governments such as Brazil who receives more than half of their natural gas from Bolivia. As this National Public Radio piece shows, others are worried that Evo is turning towards a less pragmatic political left-wing.

Bloggers have also reacted to Bolivia’s nationalization plan by disagreeing over the supposed split in the Latin American left over the plan. Other reactions range from jubilation to restrained optimism to repudiation.

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