American and Colombian officials suspected that a decision by the Brazilian government granting political asylum to a prominent Marxist terrorist was made under pressure from former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose Workers’ Party (PT) has frequently been accused of receiving millions of dollars from the drug-trafficking terror group known as the FARC.

Hugo ChavezIn today’s extremely unsettled financial climate, one can hardly blame Venezuela or its erratic leader, Hugo Chavez, for deciding to bring home the gold.

Hugo ChavezVenezuela's President Hugo Chavez (left) has decided that one of the serious problems with the nation he bullies is that there are not enough prison cells. This is a common “problem” of collectivists.  Because coercion is their only real tool, although it is often artfully hidden, they must be able to force people to do what they want. On Friday Chavez instructed prison officials to build more prison cells because of recent prison riots.

After witnessing the massive economic crisis swamping the European Union and euro-zone countries in particular, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR or UNASUL) has slowed plans to create its own continental central bank and regional currency.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (left) is perceived by many to be leading his country down the road of Venezuelan-style statism, socialism, and dictatorship — increasingly so in the past several weeks.

In the most recent example, a May 7 constitutional referendum — despite opposition members and activists in the human rights community labeling the 10 proposed areas of reform a power grab on behalf of Correa’s government (including the proposal to give the President more of a say over judicial appointments) — the President's "reforms" received widespread support from Ecuadorian voters. While casting his vote, President Correa dismissed the opposition's concerns. "They've been saying it's totalitarian... [a word] used for a state in which things are done by force. We're doing this democratically," he protested.

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