Leaders of Latin American and Caribbean governments gathered in Caracas, Venezuela, on Friday and Saturday to forge a new regional organization that includes representatives from every country in the Western Hemisphere except the United States and Canada. According to socialist rulers backing the new scheme, it is aimed at providing a counterweight to U.S. “imperialism” in the region while promoting “integration.” The communist regime ruling mainland China celebrated the news and vowed to support the group.
When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced last Tuesday the imposition of new price controls on a long list of consumer items, he expressed optimism that they would help curb inflation:
With the discovery of huge oil fields off the coast of Brazil in the fall of 2007 came estimates of just what impact they would have on Brazil’s already booming economy. Prior to the discovery of “pre-salt” reserves estimated to be the size of Florida and in excess of 120 billion barrels, Brazil’s economy was already considered to be the 7th largest in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the CIA.
A top court in Brazil has weighed in on homosexual marriage, ruling that two women can legally tie the knot. According to the Associated Press, Brazil’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) is the nation’s highest court to side for same-sex marriage. In May Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that homosexual civil unions could be recognized, despite the constitution’s restriction that such unions were restricted to a man and a woman. The high court stopped short of ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
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.
Venezuela'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.