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June 2, 2006 [LINK]
OPEC meeting in Caracas
To no one's surprise, Hugo Chavez used the first meeting of OPEC oil ministers as a platform on which to draw public attention to himself, criticizing U.S. policy in Iraq and Iran. His proposal to reduce oil production quotas was rebuffed by other OPEC members, however. See CNN.com. Given the windfall revenues that oil exporters are getting at the moment, the idea of reducing output is not very popular, and runs counter to market logic. Chavez wants OPEC to establish a $50 per barrel minimum price of oil, but says the price ceiling should be "infinity." Just like Exxon/Mobil! Well, perhaps he is not completely opposed to capitalist economics, after all.
Land seizures in Bolivia?
President Evo Morales says his government intends to expropriate 77,000 square miles of farm land, for redistribution to peasants, and land owners have begun to organize to resist any such takeover. Supposedly, this only applies to "land that was not being tilled, land that was obtained illegally or land used for speculation." See CNN.com. As anyone familiar with agriculture knows, however, "unused" is a rather subjective term when it comes to land. Depending on the soil type, cropland usually needs to lie fallow every few years or so. A big part of the problem is Bolivia's history of corruption and weak legal system; in many cases there is simply no solid proof of land ownership. Peasants have already begun occupying land on their own initiative in some areas, and the police are not doing anything to stop them. This is setting the stage for a violent social confrontation much like Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe encouraged land seizures that had a devastating effect on the economy. In the 1950s, the Bolivian government undertook a land reform program, but as often happens, many of the beneficiaries eventually lost control of their land through debt foreclosures.
Campaign ends in Peru
It appears that Alan Garcia is headed toward election as president on Sunday, 16 years after leaving office in utter disgrace as Peru was plunging into total chaos, with hyperinflation and rampant terrorism. Presumably, Garcia has learned something in the mean time, and will avoid the reckless policies of his first administration. He would do well to heed the lessons of Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, the philosophical yet pragmatic founder of his party, APRA . The "House of the People," as the party headquarters is called, is a beehive of activity these days, as the party faithful prepare to relaunch their old careers in government. Working people can get cheap dental and medical care there, as well as classes in vocational arts. APRA is not just a party, however, it is an international movement aiming to unite Latin American countries, or "Indo-American," as Haya de la Torre used to call the region.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 02 Jun 2006, 10: 59 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
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This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
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- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)