BBC News - How the US 'lost' Latin America.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SouthAmerica, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. .

    April 6, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Recently, the BBC News broadcasted some news item that everybody in South America knows that is happening – But the mainstream media in the USA still in denial regarding this subject. Quoting from their broadcast they said: “It is one of the most important and yet largely untold stories of our world in 2006. George W Bush has lost Latin America.”

    The BBC News said: “Virtually anyone paying attention to events in Venezuela and Nicaragua in the north to Peru and Bolivia further south, plus in different ways Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, comes to the same conclusion: there is a wave of profound anti-American feeling stretching from the Texas border to the Antarctic.”

    But the BBC forgot to mention that Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador are also under the leadership of the left and there is profound anti- American feeling as well.

    It would be easier to describe with a single picture: over 90 percent of South America has very strong anti-American feelings today – and they are the result of George W. Bush and the policies of his administration.

    I would make a more precise description of the situation: instead of generalizing and saying that South America is anti-American – I would be more precise and say that South America is profoundly anti-Bush and his administration.


    BBC News – April 3, 2006
    How the US Lost Latin America
    Gavin Esler on the troubles facing the US in the region

    Analysis: How the US 'lost' Latin America

    As the BBC begins a special series on Latin America, Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler gives his view on the region's leftward trend and its changing relationship with the US.

    There is trouble ahead for Uncle Sam in his own backyard. Big trouble.

    It is one of the most important and yet largely untold stories of our world in 2006. George W Bush has lost Latin America.

    While the Bush administration has been fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, relations between the United States and the countries of Latin America have become a festering sore - the worst for years.

    Virtually anyone paying attention to events in Venezuela and Nicaragua in the north to Peru and Bolivia further south, plus in different ways Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, comes to the same conclusion: there is a wave of profound anti-American feeling stretching from the Texas border to the Antarctic.

    And almost everyone believes it will get worse.

    President Bush came into office declaring that Latin America was a priority. That's hardly surprising. It's been a priority for every American president since James Monroe in 1823 whose "Monroe Doctrine" told European nations to keep out of Latin American affairs.

    In pursuit of American interests, the US has overthrown or undermined around 40 Latin American governments in the 20th Century.

    For his part, President Bush even suggested that the United States had no more important ally than... wait for it... Mexico.

    None of that survived the attacks of 9/11.

    More ulcers?

    Mr. Bush launched his War on Terror and re-discovered the usefulness of allies like Britain.

    While Washington's attention turned to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Iraq and now Iran, in country after county in Latin America voters chose governments of the left, sometimes the implacably "anti-gringo" left, loudly out of sympathy with George Bush's vision of the world, and reflecting a continent with the world's greatest gulf between rich and poor.

    The next country to fall to a strongly anti-American populist politician could be Peru.

    Voters there go to the polls on 9 April to elect a president and Congress.

    The presidential frontrunner is Ollanta Humala, a retired army commander who led a failed military uprising in October 2000 and who is now ahead in the opinion polls.

    Now, opinion polls in Peru are not especially reliable. They under-represent poor voters in the countryside.

    But that is the point. The rural poor form the backbone of Mr Humala's support. If he is ahead even in the flawed opinion polls which tend to under-count his key constituency, Mr Humala is confident he can take the presidency.

    And if he does, there will be more ulcers in George Bush's White House.
    Shades of red

    Like President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and President Evo Morales in Bolivia, Mr Humala talks of the evils of what he calls "the neo-liberal economic model that has failed to benefit our nation".

    He dismisses the role of multinational companies that "offer no benefits" to the people of Peru, and he speaks of a new division in the world.

    Where once Cuba's Fidel Castro could harangue the US with talk of the colonisers and the colonised, Ollanta Humala attacks globalisation as a plot to undermine Peru's national sovereignty and benefit only the rich on the backs of Latin America's poor.
    "Some countries globalise, and others are globalised," is how he puts it. "The Third World belongs in the latter category."

    All this may discourage foreign investment, but it is mild compared to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

    He compares President Bush to Hitler. "The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the US president has no limits," Mr Chavez says. "I think Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George W Bush."

    If you were to colour a map of anti-Americanism in Latin America, for nearly 50 years Fidel Castro's Cuba has been the deepest red. Three of the most economically developed countries - Brazil, Chile and Argentina - are now in varying shades of left-of-centre pink.

    Peru - if Mr Humala wins - would join Venezuela and Bolivia in bright post-box red, with two other countries - Mexico and Nicaragua - possibly about to follow.

    Bogeyman returns?

    Nicaragua is close to my heart. What has happened there for the past 20 years sums up the failures of US policy across Latin America.

    As a young reporter I travelled across Nicaragua witnessing the fall of the left-wing Sandinista government led by the revolutionary Daniel Ortega.

    For years Mr Ortega was Washington's Enemy Number One, the ultimate bogeyman.

    President Bush's father, George Bush senior, was a key player in undermining Mr Ortega and the Sandinistas.

    Mr. Bush senior had been Director of Central Intelligence and Ronald Reagan's vice-president before he became president of the United States in January 1989.

    During the Reagan administration money was channeled - illegally Democrats said - to the Nicaraguan "Contra" guerrillas, a motley crew of CIA trained anti-communists, paramilitaries and thugs.

    The resulting scandal - known as "Iran-Contra" - almost brought down the Reagan administration. George Bush senior survived the scandal, and as president managed to see his policies finally work when Nicaragua's own people threw out the Sandinistas in a democratic election in 1990.

    After the polls closed in the capital, Managua, I stood in a counting station next to a young Sandinista woman in green military fatigues. Shaking with emotion she brushed away a tear as the voting papers piled up for the Washington-supported opposition candidate, Violeta Chamorro.

    "Adios, muchachos," the Sandinista girl called out to her defeated comrades, "companeros de mi vida!!!" (Goodbye boys, comrades of my life.)

    Money issue

    That was then. This is now. The young Sandinista revolutionary, Daniel Ortega, is back. He may well be re-elected president of Nicaragua.

    Can you imagine it? The man who survived CIA plots and Contra death squads, who relinquished power peacefully to Washington's candidate, Violeta Chamorro, sweeping back into the Nicaraguan presidency?

    It will be a huge embarrassment for George Bush junior, a symbol of everything that has gone wrong with American foreign policy in the hemisphere. And guess who predicted it would go wrong? Violeta Chamorro herself.

    The night before her election victory over Mr Ortega I was invited to dinner at the walled compound of Mrs. Chamorro's house in Managua. She told me that Washington politicians could always find money for wars in Latin America - but rarely for peace in Latin America.

    She said even a slice of the money used to back the anti-communist Contra guerrillas could build a new Nicaragua - but she predicted that if she won the election Washington would declare victory - and then cut off the money supply. She was right.

    Potential realised

    And now? Well, most of my traveling in Latin America in the 1990s was to cover bad news: insurgency in Peru, American troops invading Panama, the killings by the Contras in Nicaragua, the repressive regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, and armed thugs burning the rainforest in Brazil.

    Even then, the potential of this wonderful continent was obvious. Now in this new century things are changing, and the potential is being realised. With the exception of Cuba and Haiti, democracy has flourished, almost everywhere.

    Latin American voters have thrown out their governments and - often - given a two-fingered salute to Washington. That is their prerogative.

    Economically, some countries - including Peru - have been roaring ahead.

    Their cultures are flourishing too. A new generation of novelists is following the path blazed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Carlos Fuentes.

    ...I will be reporting shortly for Newsnight from Argentina on the New Generation cinema which is hotter than a chilli pepper and cooler than a long-neck beer. Plus we'll be covering the run-up to Peru's elections live from Lima, and assessing the huge leftward shift from Argentina to Venezuela.

    Oh, yes, and I've also been an extra in a film being made in Buenos Aires. (I don't think the Oscar judges are likely to get too interested. But it was fun.)

  2. profound, dude!
  3. .

    BBC News – April 1, 2006

    “How telenovelas conquered the world”
    By Javier Lizarzaburu
    BBC World Service's

    The telenovelas - Latin American soap dramas - are stereotypical, over the top and melodramatic - but, also, highly successful.

    In fact, they are possibly the number-one form of human entertainment on the planet.

    The facts are something to be reckoned with. This addictive formula has captivated audiences in Africa, Asia and Europe, and telenovela stars are mobbed at airports in Poland, Indonesia, China and the US.

    Hundreds of millions of people watch telenovelas around the globe, everyday. Some go as far as saying two billion people - a third of the human race - are glued to these programmes on a daily basis.

    But having been established on the simplest of formulas, they are now expanding their audiences by raising social issues.

    'Love and logic'

    Traditionally, most telenovelas tend to reproduce the same idea: one couple falls in love and have to fight disapproval and obstacles, until they end up together, usually on the last episode.

    "You have the struggle between good and evil, between poor and rich, and this process of trying to finally fulfil your dream of a romantic relationship and live happily ever after," said Antonio La Pastina, professor of communications at Texas A&M University.

    One indication of the degree to which they are taken seriously was given when women took to the streets in Venezuela protesting about a plot centring on a husband who cheated on his wife.

    The writer was planning for the wife to forgive him in the last episode, but after he was threatened by some of the protesters in a grocery store, he changed the script to allow the wife to get a divorce.

    Carla Estrada, one of the foremost telenovela producers in the world, said that a good script is the most important aspect of a successful telenovela.

    "You need suspense, emotion, love and logic, in order to carry the story through 190 episodes," she said.

    "It's not easy."


    According to some estimates, Mexico alone produces almost 3,000 hours of telenovelas each year, at a total cost of about US $250m - more or less the cost of, for example, the Hollywood film Titanic.

    In the end, though, it is the audience who decides what really works.

    "The telenovela has managed to create a very loyal market," Ms Estrada explained.

    "They're loyal to a market that thinks of them. It's like having a daily date with someone.

    "For some people, the telenovela is like their own life - and this is a continuing process that creates a feeling of belonging and identity."

    And now, people are beginning to see the telenovela as a tool for social change.

    Even the producing countries have now developed styles of their own. Venezuelan telenovelas are designed purely for entertainment.

    Meanwhile Mexican ones tend to be the more melodramatic, and are very conservative. Colombian telenovelas tend to show the diversity of the country - with a feeling of more contemporary issues, like corruption, transvestites and greed, and with the use of irony and comedy.

    It is worth remembering also that it was the Colombians who broke with the mould of telenovelas by producing the enormously successful Betty the Ugly, where the main character, as the name suggests, wasn't the prettiest girl in town.

    The Brazilian soaps, however, are more sophisticated, with different stories, like human cloning or love between Muslims and Christians and more of the social realism.

    When one soap - Family Ties - dealt with a character who needed a bone marrow transplant after getting leukaemia, the Brazilian attitude towards organ donation was completely changed.

    Cultural influence

    And beyond the world of dreams, some telenovelas, it seems, have began to push the envelope a bit further and deal with issues that before were considered taboo.

    For decades, the main telenovelas producers in Mexico and Brazil were often criticised for being aligned with the political powers of the moment and not allowing any criticism of the government.

    But the opposite is also happening, says Maria Luisa Alves, of Mexico's Television Azteca.

    "They have started making more political telenovelas," she says.

    "More controversial events are being included in the Mexican telenovela - and that is a new trend. They have featured homosexuality, having a child with special needs, abortion, and sex before marriage. In a very Catholic society, I think that is a lot to say on public television at prime time."

    And the more global telenovelas become, the bigger the cultural influence they seem to have.

    But regardless of the weakness or the strengths of this very Latin American product, the truth is that millions of people around the globe, love them.

    "For an hour, six times a week, we can forget about our sorrows, our fears, our personal little mysteries - and embrace a wonderful love story that works as a balm for our souls," explains Carolina Espada, one of the main writers for Venevision, the main telenovela producer in Venezuela.

    "Long live the Telenovelas."


    Telenovela Info:

    Literally Spanish and Portuguese for "television novel"

    Produced in nearly all Spanish-speaking countries and in Brazil

    Standard length is 180 episodes

    First telenovela was Brazil's Sua Vida Me Pertence (Your Life Belongs To Me) in 1950

    Preceded by radionovelas

    Famous former telenovela stars include Gael García Bernal and Salma Hayek among others.

  4. Welcome to my ignore list.


    :cool: :cool: :cool:
  5. we never had it
  6. fhl


    This is really breaking news: that a bunch of almost communist countries don't like a conservative US. Of course the bbc doesn't think that latin america needs to change. No sirree. It is the good ol US of A that needs to be more like them. Almost makes a person want to gag.
  7. Gueco


    being a loser sucks, thats why they hate america... they can blame us for their problems just like they blame luck
  8. Cesko


    That's what's going on in Europe too. (my own experience).U.S. being blamed for most ridiculous stuff:mad: .

    P.S. Guys why do you even react to Southamerica's posts? That prick has nothing to say about trading,just repeats the same nonsense over and over again.It seems to me that he is actually paid for this systematic spread of propaganda. This is a freaking trading site, trading being one of the most capitalistic activity there is,yet he comes here and post stupid shit nobody believes in anyway (on this site at least)
  9. This thread belongs in chit-chat, not in Economics.

    P.S.--southamerica sucks. :D
  10. .

    Cesko: This is a freaking trading site, trading being one of the most capitalistic activity there is, yet he comes here and post stupid shit nobody believes in anyway


    April 8, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Cesko

    I have received a lot of criticism from fools like you over the years including when I published my letter to the European Central Bank in March 2002, and also in a later article in June 2002.

    Most of the criticism came from Wall Street traders like you. They told me that I did not know what I was talking about on my article. They told me I was completely wrong about the price of gold – They gave stories about the gold standard and so on – and they also told me that the euro was not going anywhere other than collapse and disappear.

    You probably belong to that bunch of fools. I hate to see your performance as a trader.

    In November of 2004 I wrote that the Fed was going to continue increasing the Fed Funds rate at least to 5 percent. And some of you guys gave me a hard time.

    By May or June of 2006 the Fed Funds rate is going to reach the level that I predicted.

    I also predicted that the price of gold would reach the $ 600 price per oz in 2006.

    Mission accomplished!!!!!!!

    My only prediction that has not come to past as yet is the decline of the US dollar. But I am sure I will be right about that prediction as well. You will see a declining US dollar before the end of 2006.

    By the way, I am glad when people like you ignore me. Because that saves me time when I don’t have to spell out the basics.


    June 2002
    The Euro, Now

    On December 12, 2001 I sent the enclosed letter to the president of the European Central Bank, regarding Brazil adopting the euro as its new currency. In January 2002. I received a letter from a senior official of the European Central Bank in response to my letter. I was pleasantly surprised by the content of that letter. It is clear to me by their answer, that the door is open to Brazil at the European Central Bank, if Brazil decides to adopt the euro as its new currency.

    In my letter to the president of the European Central Bank I mentioned that the US dollar was overvalued over the price of gold at US$ 295/oz at that time and the euro trading at US$ .85¢.

    Six months later, on June 4, 2002, gold was trading at US$ 325/oz and the euro was trading at US$ .95¢; during this period the US dollar declined in value by 10.2 percent in relation to gold and also declined by 11.8 percent in relation to the euro….

    …Letter to the European Central Bank
    December 12, 2001

    Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg
    European Central Bank
    Postfach 16 03 19
    D-60066 Frankfurt am Main

    Dear Dr. Duisenberg:

    In the last two years I have written various newspaper articles published here in the United States regarding Brazil and the euro. Enclosed is a copy of my last article of that series. I have been recommending that Brazil replace its current currency the Real for the currency of the European Monetary Union the euro.

    In the coming years most countries of the world will have to make a drastic decision; they will have to decide if they will adopt as their new currency the euro, the US dollar or some other currency from Asia . I believe that Brazil should adopt the euro and also should integrate its economy with the European Union's economy.

    Keep in mind that it will be just a matter of time for the European Central Bank to be forced to deal with that issue triggered by some major international monetary crisis.

    Today, the Brazilian economy has an Achilles heel, which is its currency the real. On January 1, 2002, the international monetary game played in the last 30 years comes to an end.

    Starting in January the US dollar will not be the only game in town. I believe the euro will become a major competitor to the US dollar, and will be accepted around the world as a major currency. The euro will become an important part of the monetary reserves of most countries.

    When the time comes for the European Monetary Union to make the decision to accept Brazil as one of its members, that decision will be very important not only to Brazil, but will have a major impact on the international monetary scene for decades to come. It will be for the benefit of the members of the European Monetary Union to offer Brazil membership in that monetary club.

    Brazil has a young and vibrant population and can offer to the European Union a growing market with 170 million people. The adoption of the euro by Brazil would stabilize the Brazilian economy and would open the door to many new economic opportunities between Brazil and the members of the European Monetary Union. This new stable monetary environment would provide new opportunities for European investments in Brazil.

    I want you to keep in mind when the European Monetary Union debates the merits of accepting Brazil for membership, that the country Brazil is one of the jewels of our planet. Brazil has a privileged geopolitical location on our globe. Brazil has an up-coming emerging market economy with abundant natural resources, including the magnificent Amazon jungle, and also a modern economy evolving and adapting very fast to accommodate the new technologies developed around the world.

    The next time that Brazil decides to change its currency again, they will have only two alternatives to choose from this time around; either they adopt the euro or they adopt the US dollar. I believe that it would be a privilege for the European Monetary Union to have Brazil as a member of that club. Brazil and the members of the European Monetary Union will have much more to gain from that association than if Brazil adopts the US dollar. Please be prepared in the future to welcome and to offer Brazil membership to the European Monetary Union.

    I believe that the Brazilian economy matches much better with the economies of the countries which comprise the European Monetary Union than to the economy of the United States. From a Brazilian point of view, it is more appealing to adopt the euro instead of the US dollar, because of the US dollar's vulnerability to the international monetary market system.

    The long term US trade imbalances have created a large pool of US dollars in the hands of relatively few central banks around the world. These nations continue to run large trade surpluses with the United States, and they continue to increase the pool of US dollars held by their central banks.

    Forbes Magazine's columnist Steve Hanke estimates that today 70 percent of US currency circulates outside the United States. The major holders of this currency are the euro countries, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore.

    Probably today, there is an oversupply of US dollars outside of the United States. Gold at US$ 295/oz might be undervalued when compared to the US dollar.

    At US$ 295/oz gold provides about 15 percent of official world monetary liquidity. Central banks hold only one-third of the above ground gold supply available. Gold is the second largest component of international monetary reserves after the US dollar.

    Gold and the euro will became increasingly important parts of the international monetary reserve system and their gains will be at the expense of the US dollar.

    If any of these countries decides to move their monetary reserves from the US dollar into gold, the price of gold would increase versus the US dollar. If that happens in the near future we will have a major international monetary crisis in the world.

    About 75 percent of the US dollars circulating outside the United States are in the hands of these few Asian central banks, and if any one of these countries decides to sell their US dollar monetary reserves to buy gold it will produce a stampede to exit the US dollar, creating a gold and euro buying panic.

    Remember the euro countries also have a large supply of US dollars, which they can use to buy gold. When the European Central Bank moves from US dollar into gold, the euro will become stronger versus the US dollar, in turn giving an incentive to the other countries to move their international monetary reserves also from US dollar into euro or gold.

    When this US dollar collapse becomes reality, the less developed countries will be the most devastated by this event, because these countries hold only a small fraction of their reserves in gold or euro.

    This oversupply of US dollar circulation outside the United States might prove to be the Achilles heel of the US economy and also can become a nightmare to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve would need to raise interest rates in the US, creating a major problem for the US economy and the financial markets.

    I believe that it will be too risky for Brazil to adopt the US dollar because of this oversupply of US dollars circulating around the world. It will be better for the Brazilian economy in the long run for Brazil to adopt the euro.

    The current US dollar based international financial system is about to go through a dramatic change because of the new competition from the euro. I don't know, when or what will trigger the coming events, since no finance minister or central banker wants to be blamed for launching the world into a major international monetary crisis.

    I hope you will enjoy reading the enclosed article about Brazil adopting the euro, and please share this information with the Finance Ministers of the countries which are members of the European Monetary Union.
    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Ricardo C. Amaral
    Author / Economist

    #10     Apr 8, 2006