The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

It seems the truth will out.

After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………

JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

Good evening.

Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

I am doing very well.

And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

He is a great mutual friend yes.

Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.


I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

Can you hear me out Mr. President?

Yeah, go ahead.

Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

Who made the deal? Obama?

Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

This is our experience.

Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

That is the point I have been trying to make.

How does that help you?

Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

Correct, we have stopped the boats.

Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

They were from wherever they were.

Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

You will not.

Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

[inaudible] this is crazy.

Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

Okay, thank you.

* My yellow highlighting.


Película: Comanchería. Título original: Hell or High Water. Dirección: David Mackenzie. País: USA. Año: 2015. Duración: 102 min. Género:Drama. Interpretación: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster. Guion: Taylor Sheridan. Música: Nick Cave y Warren Ellis. Estreno en España: 30 Diciembre 2016.

Tras la muerte de su madre, dos hermanos organizan una serie de atracos, eligiendo solo distintas sucursales del mismo banco. Solo les quedan algunos días para evitar el desahucio de su propiedad familiar y pagar al banco con su propio dinero. Tras ellos, un Ranger cerca de retirarse y su segundo, están decididos a atrapar a los ladrones.

En Pat Garrett y Billy el Niño (1973) no era el personaje de Bob Dylan quien pronunciaba la famosa frase (“los tiempos han cambiado”), sino el sheriff encarnado por James Coburn, antiguo pistolero ya resignado a la desaparición de la cultura de frontera y la libre circulación de forajidos. Por ‘desaparición’ se entiende su sustitución por entidades chupópteras más respetables en el mundo civilizado que los atracos a mano armada, claro, como las entidades de crédito. Así llegamos hasta la ambientación contemporánea de un western como Comanchería, donde los bancos no se roban a caballo sino en coche, los indios regentan casinos y los sheriffs siguen resignándose al devenir de los tiempos. Esto último lo encarna un Jeff Bridges enorme, quizás hermano de leche del Tommy Lee Jones de No es país para viejos (2007), que, tan astuto y quejumbroso como su acento texano, se debe al cumplimiento de la ley como último lazo con el mundo.
Un mundo, erosionado por el viento y las baladas de Nick Cave, donde dos hermanos (Chris Pine y Ben Foster a tope de empatía) intentan pagar con su propia moneda al banco que ahoga la granja familiar: saqueándolo. El guión de Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) prefiere que la crítica política llegue a cañonazos y suministra las mismas pinceladas de (anti)heroísmo a policías y ladrones; en un país de comanches, todos somos enemigos.(CINEMANIA).

...La película de David Mackenzie habla de todo esto, del mundo moderno, de la injusticia y del crimen que provoca, a través de una historia clásica de policías y ladrones. El prestigioso guionista Taylor Sheridan (SicarioHijos de la anarquía) se muestra muy lacónico en el entramado narrativo, tan parco en explicaciones como escaso de elementos es el territorio del que habla. Gentes duras, almas en pena, como las de los dos hermanos, de los que con cuentagotas nos enteramos de sus problemas, de qué les ha llevado a la situación que viven. Al igual ocurre con la relación entre los dos policías, el veterano con olfato y el fiel cumplidor del deber. Cuatro vidas que se persiguen y se enfrentan en el oeste, que juegan a la vida salvaje del pasado. A tal efecto, quizá el film apuntaba al principio a algo más, a una suerte de hondura existencial, que finalmente apenas se ofrece. El resultado es bueno pero queda el sabor de que podría haber sido extraordinario.
Ante el sencillo planteamiento, en Comanchería resulta sobresaliente la atmósfera y la ambientación nostálgica de una época legendaria de bandidos, de buenos y malos que se enfrentaban cara a cara, en un duelo personal. De gran lirismo son los largos planos de las desérticas llanuras texanas y notables para tal fin son también las evocadoras notas de la reconocible banda sonora de Warren Ellis y Nick Cave, muy similar en su instrumentación a la que sirvieron en La propuesta o El asesinato de Jesse James por el cobarde Robert Ford. Los actores –Jeff BridgesChris PineGil Birmingham– brillan en sus duros personajes, mientras que el eficaz rol tarambana de Ben Foster resulta más convencional, típico de su filmografía.(DE CINE 21)

Han transcurrido casi dos siglos desde que los hermanos James se hicieron forajidos por culpa de la voracidad de los bancos que arrebataron la granja familiar, pero parece que todo siga igual. Los dos hermanos, separados por la vida, protagonistas de 'Comanchería', un neowestern más cercano al universo desesperado del escritor John Steinbeck que a Terrence Malick o Cormac McCarthy, son un eco de aquellos fueras de la ley rodeados por un hálito romántico y trágico. Al igual que los dos vagabundos de 'De ratones y hombres' o los indignados (y esta es una película sobre indignados) de 'Las uvas de la ira', el paisaje, la huída y puntuales oasis/refugio que no dejan de ser espejismos son incluso más importantes que las personas.
Una Texas desértica y quemada por el Sol, vista por el estilista director con mucho humor negro, como escenario de un film sobre la pérdida (de fronteras, ideales, familiares, de la esperanza) pero también sobre el encuentro y el conocimiento, aunque se trate de toparse con la muerte y saber que en ella está la verdad.(FOTOGRAMAS)

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          Cel putin 37 de morti din cauza intemperiilor din America Centrala        
Ploile torentiale inregistrate in zona Americii Centrale de la inceputul saptamanii au provocat moartea a 37 de persoane, alte 70.000 fiind sinistrate. In Guatemala, cel mai grav afectata de intemperii, au fost inregistrate 22 de decese, in Nicaragua - sapte, in Salvador - sase, iar in Honduras -...
          Women Around the World: This Week        
Honduras bans child marriage

          Small bites: Dynamite Roasting Co. hosts Honduran coffee suppliers in Asheville        
A tasting event hosted by Dynamite Roasting Co., will bring together two Honduran coffee purveyors with the locals who drink their harvests; Chelsea Wakstein leads a workshop on fermented condiments at Villagers; Firestorm Books and Coffee hosts a vegan pressure cooking demonstration; and ASAP is awarded a $45,000 grants to assist farmers and markets.
          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.

          When It Comes to Flu Shots, the More Influenza Strains, the Better        
Researchers conducted a test of the new four-strain influenza vaccine, available for the first time this year, to determine how well it protected against the flu in young children. The four strain vaccine, which protects against four types of influenza–two viruses from the A class and two from the B class–does as good a job of protecting against flu than the three-strain shot, but is better at preventing moderate to severe disease than the traditional immunization. The international group of researchers, who described their findings in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, attributed the four-strain, or quadrivalent vaccine’s effectiveness to the fact that it contained both circulating B types of influenza. In previous years, in which only one of the B strains was included, the immunization had a 50-50 chance of being mismatched to the circulating virus, making it less effective. The scientists tested the quadrivalent flu vaccine in 2,379 children ages three to eight in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, Panama, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey and compared their rates of flu infection to a control group of 2398 children who received a hepatitis A vaccine. The study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, which donated both vaccines for the trial. Compared to the control group, the four strain vaccine was 55% effective in protecting against flu. That’s similar to the efficacy of the three strain shots, but, the research team found, the quadrivalent shot was 70% effective in preventing more serious cases of the flu; most of the children who did get sick after getting vaccinated only had mild symptoms. The four-strain shot also resulted in 69% fewer medical visits, 75% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer absences from school, and 61% fewer parent absences from work. That’s an important benefit, since flu can result in lost school days for children and lower productivity for adults. “The efficacy of the vaccine was higher against moderate-to-severe disease–a potentially important end point associated with the highest clinical, social, and economic burden–than against illness of any severity,” the authors conclude.
          Los mareros y el resto de nosotros en Honduras        
          Los gobiernos olanchanos en Honduras        
          Si yo fuera Presidente de Honduras - Parte 2        
          Si yo fuera Presidente de Honduras - Parte 1        
          Desde Honduras, muchas gracias The Miami Herald        
          Honduras: Liberales ó Nacionalistas        
          From Victims to Detainees by: Gabriela Hernandez        

In 2014 the United States saw a sudden increase of children crossing the U.S./Mexican Border. The majority of these children and adolescents came from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. United States Custom and Border Protection reported 68 thousand unaccompanied children (UAC) that year. The year 2015 proved that this influx of UAC’s was not a […]

The post From Victims to Detainees by: Gabriela Hernandez appeared first on Children and the Law Blog.

          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-04-2014 with Michael Buck        

Real Estate- Had To Hear - Atlas
- voicebreak -
The Black Keys- Weight Of Love - Turn Blue
Timber Timbre- Run From Me - Hot Dreams
Grieves- Like Child - Winter The Wolves
Typhoon- Common Sentiments - White Lighter
Conor Oberst- Desert Island Questionnaire - Upside Down Mountain
- voicebreak -
Anglique Kidjo- Bomba with Rostam Batmanglij - Eve
Jolie Holland- Waiting For The Sun - Wine Dark Sea
Rodrigo Y Gabriela- The Soundmaker - 9 Dead Alive
Bry Webb- Policy - Free Will
Should- Mistakes Are Mine - The Great Pretend
- voicebreak -
Lumerians- Life Without Skin - The High Frontier
Juakali- Take Off - Feathers Too Bright
Elliphant- Booty Killah feat The Reef - Look Like You Love It
Camper Van Beethoven- Classy Dames And Able Gents - El Camino Real Bonus Track Edition
Honduras- Borders - Morality Cuts EP
TuneYards- Find A New Way - Nikki Nack
Mr Scruff- Where Am I - Friendly Bacteria
- voicebreak -
Son Lux- Build A Pyre Begin Again - Alternate Worlds EP
Mungos Hi Fi Prince Fatty- For Me You Are Mungos Hi Fi Mix feat Hollie Cook - Prince Fatty Versus Mungos HiFi
Modern English- Gathering Dust - The Best Of Modern English Life In The Gladhouse 19801984
- Heim - Made In Iceland VII
Haley Bonar- Heavens Made For Two - Last War
Nathaniel Rateliff- Laborman - Falling Faster Than You Can Run
- voicebreak -
Fujiya Miyagi- Little Stabs At Happiness - Artificial Sweeteners
Lapcat- Tropfen - Trickster Trickster
The Twilight Sad- That Summer At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy - The Twilight Sad
Tinariwen- Koud Edhaz Emin - Emmaar
Thomas Blondet- Check One - Future World
The Souljazz Orchestra- One Life To Live - Inner Fire
Damon Albarn- Heavy Seas Of Love - Everyday Robots
- voicebreak -
The GOASTT- Devil You Know - Midnight Sun
Archie Bronson Outfit- Cluster Up And Hover - Wild Crush
St Vincent- Regret - St Vincent
Guided By Voices- Males Of Wormwood Mars - Cool Planet
Rodrigo Amarante- Hourglass - Cavalo
Eno Hyde- When I Built This World - Someday World

playlist URL:
14 de Abril
Día de las Américas
 Esta fecha conmemora la fundación de la Unión de las Repúblicas Americanas, posteriormente llamada Unión Panamericana y a partir de 1948 Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA).
Fue celebrada por primera vez el 14 de abril de 1931 como símbolo de la unión voluntaria de distintos países del continente americano.
Actualmente, la OEA está integrada por más de treinta y cinco Estados que buscan consolidar una agenda con temas comunes. El espíritu de esta unión responde a la consolidación de relaciones diplomáticas para velar por los estados de paz en el continente.

¿Qué países celebran el día de las Américas?
Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, República Dominicana, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Estados Unidos, Uruguay y Venezuela
Fuente: Organización de los Estados Americanos

          Tattoo Table #2: bloody hard work        

After getting the exact wood that i wanted i started cutting the pieces down. I choose a table from a woodworking book to copy and modify. Im using 2.5×3x13 inch african mahogany legs and will cut the ends to be flush with the 3/4 hondura mahogany. the idea is from a tile top coffee table but instead of tile, i have oak panels i will lay inside and then the tattoo shop owners will draw all over it and then ill cover it with bar top epoxy.

if this post has a few errors its because its hard to type with three huge bandages on my fingers.

You ever have one of those moments when you realize you should have bought something and didnt? well mine was a first aid kit today. I lost my concentration for a split second and before i knew it i had cut deep into my pinky, ring, and middle finger at the tips. To make things worse i had to call a friend over to drive me to walgreens because for one, no first aid kit in the house and two, i drive a scooter and it is my right hand that was cut. I’m fine now and i dont think ill need stitches but it sure was one hell of a wake up call to stop being so comfortable at a table saw.

Also fortunately i wasn’t cutting anything for the customers table, just cutting down some stock to make it more manageable. I promise i will write a more definitive blog once its easier to type

          Encuestas Remuneradas Honduras        
Descarga Aquí >>la lista de empresas encuestadoras válida para Honduras Gracias a que Honduras es un país en constante desarrollo y con una económica cada vez más estable, muchas empresas están empezando a migrar a este país, lo ven como una gran oportunidad y un nuevo mercado en donde expandirse y porque no en donde […]
          Comentario en El CD Tenerife sigue de cerca al japonés Shoya Nakajima por Thor        
¿ Ya se jubiló LLorente , está asesorando al sr . Serrano o que ? De lo que no cabe a dudas es que me recuerda al más puro estilo de la vieja escuela del sr. Llorente. Me vienen a la memoria aquella época de fichajes " exóticos " made in LLorente , como el Australiano " cocodrilo " Vidmar . Ahora toca " pescar " en Honduras y Japón . ! Ay mi cabeezaaa ! . Por todos los dioses , ¿ no hay en el pais otro director deportivo , secretario técnico o como lo quieran llamar , mejor que el que tenemos en la actualidad ? .
          4 tarinaa alkuperäiskansojen ilmastokamppailuista        

Kaivosyhtiöt, rasismi, kolonialismi, öljyteollisuus – alkuperäiskansat ympäri maailman joutuvat kamppailemaan monia asioita vastaan saavuttaakseen oikeudenmukaisuutta ilmastoasioissa.

Kanadasta Hondurasiin, Brasiliaan ja Suomeen, alkuperäiskansat ovat puristuksissa hallitusten politiikan ja suuryritysten ahneuden välissä. Nopea ilmastonmuutos kasvattaa haasteita entisestään. Kun koko elämä, olemassaolo ja kulttuuri ovat uhattuina, ei ole mahdollisuutta juosta pakoon. Ainoa keino selvitä on pitää ääntä.

Maailman alkuperäiskansojen päivänä neljä aktivistia kertoo kamppailuistaan.

Arnaldo Kabá Munduruku – Päällikkö – Cacique

Amazonin sademetsään, Tapajós-joen alueelle suunnitellut padot uhkaavat ajaa Munduruku-heimon heidän kodeistaan, tuhoten satoja vuosia vanhan kulttuurin, elämäntavan ja elinkeinot. Yli miljoona ihmistä on jo osoittanut tukensa Munduruku-heimon pyrkimyksille estää Amazonin tuhoisa patoaminen. Päättäjät ovat vihdoinkin alkaneet kuunnella heitä: ensimmäisen patohankkeen rakennusluvat peruttiin viime viikolla! Munduruku-heimo jatkaa kuitenkin taistelua, sillä vireillä on useita muitakin patohankkeita. Heimo pyrkii myös viimein saamaan virallisen tunnustuksen asuinmailleen, mikä pitäisi sademetsän turvassa tuhoisilta hankkeilta.

Kuten kaikki tähän artikkeliin haastatellut henkilöt, myös Arnaldo on täynnä sellaista energiaa ja päättäväisyyttä, joka takaa että hän tulee voittamaan. Arnaldon päättäväisyys vie hänet Iso-Britanniaan asti, jotta hän voi kohdata Siemensin – yhden niistä yrityksistä jotka ovat mukana Amazonin patohankkeissa.

“Sademetsä ja joki antavat meille kaiken, mitä tarvitsemme. Ruoan, juomaveden, lääkkeet. Jos joelle rakennetaan pato, joki kuolee. Samalla kuolevat myös heimoni jäsenet, koko kulttuurimme. Lastemme tulevaisuutta uhkaa yritysten ja hallituksen kunnianhimo. Sademetsä on tärkeä myös muille ihmisille eri maista, sillä se kuuluu kaikille.”

Jenni Laiti - Saamelainen â€“ Taiteilija ja aktivisti - Suohpanterror

Saamelainen Jenni on taitelija ja aktivisti. Hän on ilmastosoturi, jonka loppumaton tahto tekee kaikesta mahdollista. Saamelaiset ja heidän perinteiset  elintapansa ovat uhattuina. He ovat taistelleet oikeuksiensa puolesta aiemmin ja aikovat tehdä niin vastaisuudessakin.

“Meitä ei oteta mukaan, meiltä ei kysytä eikä meille vastata. Emme ole asialistalla. Tilanne on sama kaikessa politiikassa Ruotsissa, Norjassa, Suomessa ja Venäjällä. Me käytämme maitamme kestävästi, perinteisten saamelaisten tapojen mukaan, mutta samaan aikaan elämme kolonialistisissa maissa, heidän lakiensa ja järjestyksensa alla. Omaa saamelaista tapaoikeuttamme ei tunnusteta. Perintömme, kielemme ja tietomme heikkenevät niin kauan, kuin elämme uudisasukkaiden kulttuurin varjossa.”

“He näkevät Lapin ja sen viimeisen eurooppalaisen erämaan kolonialismin kautta: tyhjänä periferiana, jonka he voivat yhä valloittaa. Jonka he voivat viedä meiltä, ja jota he voivat hyväksikäyttää kuten haluavat. Joku kysyi minulta kerran “Mitkä alkuperäiset asukkaat?”. Me! Emme taistele vain kolonialismia ja kapitalismia, vaan myös ilmastonmuutosta vastaan. Näemme, että elämämme ovat uhattuina ja seisomme reunalla. Jotta voimme selvitä, ei ole tilaa kolonialismille, eikä mitään annettavaa kapitalismille. Olemme jo nyt nurkkaan ajettuja. Koen että minä, perheeni, kansani ja alueeni olemme uhattuina.”

Gaspar Sanchez - COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras)

Gaspar kuuluu Lenca-nimiseen alkuperäiskansaan ja on jäsen Lencan alkuperäiskansajärjestö COPINH:ssa, jota oli perustamassa Berta Cacerés. Alkuperäiskansan asuinalueille on myönnetty 51 toimilupaa patohankkeille. COPINH on tehnyt 49:sta niistä valituksen. Heidän kamppailunsa on vienyt joidenkin aktivistien hengen. 

“Kaikki nämä projektit ovat lainvastaisia ja luvattomia. Lainvastaisia, koska ne eivät seuraa kansainvälisiä konventioita, kuten artiklaa 169, joka takaa oikeuden etukäteiseen, vapaaseen ja tiedostettuun hyväksymisprosessiin. Ne ovat luvattomia, koska yhdenkään päätöksen kohdalla ei ole keskusteltu meidän kanssamme.

Alueemme ovat laajasti militarisoituja. Kun yhteisöt päättävät nostaa äänensä kuuluviin, heistä tehdään rikollisia, heitä ahdistellaan ja jopa tapetaan. Tovereitani on tapettu, koska he ovat puolustaneet jokiamme ja alueitamme. Pyhien Gualcarque ja Blanco -jokien tapauksessa viisi toveria on tapettu. Kuusi, jos lasketaan Berta Cáceresin salamurha. Ennen heitäkin on ollut uhreja, koska on selvää ettei tässä maassa ole alkuperäiskansojen tarpeisiin vastaavia toimielimiä. Olemme tällä hetkellä täysin puolustuskyvyttömiä. Hallitus ja sen instituutiot tekevät yhteistyötä poliitikkojen ja yritysten, joskus jopa huumekaupan ja organisoidun rikollisuuden kanssa, joten alkuperäiskansoja ei puolusta kukaan.”

Clayton Thomas-Müller – Mathais Colomb Cree -alkuperäiskansa – Stop it at the Source- kampanjoitsija,

Clayton kuuluu Mathais Colomb Cree -alkuperäiskansaan (Pukatawagan), Pohjois-Manitobassa Kanadassa. Hän on Cree-aktivisti, joka ajaa alkuperäiskansojen itsepäätäntävaltaa ja  ympäristöllisiä oikeuksia.

“Olen hyvin vakaasti sitä mieltä, että useimpien Kanadassa elävien alkuperäiskansojen edustajat jakavat ajatukseni siitä, mikä on ratkaisu kansainväliseen kriisiin ilmastonmuutokseen puuttumisessa ja sopeuttamisohjelmien kehittämisesssä. Ratkaisut piilevät syvällä kolonialismiin ja tunnustamiseen liittyvissä asioissa. Jotta Kanadan nykyinen talousmalli olisi menestyksekäs, täytyy heidän toteuttaa politiikkaa, joka siirtää alkuperäiskansat mailtaan ja vie näiltä oikeudet niihin. Näin alueilta voidaan kiskoa irti kaikki luonnonvarat, jotka sitten myydään eniten tarjoaville kansainvälisillä markkinoilla. Tämän täytyy muuttua.

Alkuperäiskansojen mailla tapahtuva luonnonvarateollisuus on uuskolonialismia – se on kaksiteräinen miekka. Yritysten toimet ja ilmastonmuutos vaikuttavat meihin suhteettoman paljon ja uhkaavat laissa säädettyjä oikeuksiamme metsästää, kalastaa ja käyttää pyydyksiä. G8-maat haluavat hyötyä ilmastokriisistä. Kanada rahastaa erilaisilla päästökompensaatiohankkeilla. Niiden turvin Kanada voi istuttaa miljoona öljypalmupuuta kehittyviin etelän maihin, ja kuitata näin kyseenalaiset öljyhiekkateollisuuden laajennukset pohjoisessa. Alueellamme on maailman toiseksi suurimmat luontoon sitoutuneet hiilivarannot, joten meillä on valtava vastuu pitää öljy maan sisällä. Jos Kanadan öljyhiekkateollisuus kehitetään sen täyteen mahtiin, ihmiskunta kohtaa loppunsa.”

Miten minä voin tukea alkuperäiskansoja?

“Jätä etuoikeutesi ovensuuhun. Kun järjestän asioita, resurssini eivät keskity hallitseviin luokkiin. Katson enemmän niitä yhteisöjä, joiden vapautus on sidottu minun vapauttamiseeni; joiden sorto on sidottu minun sortooni. Yhteenkuuluvuus on voimakkain väline sosiaalisissa liikkeissä”, Clayton sanoo.

Lisätietoja alkuperäiskansojen kamppailuista:

Indigenous Environmental Network

Indigenous Climate Action

Environmental Justice Atlas

Indigenous Rising


Kirjoittamiseen osallistui Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Networkin apulaisjohtaja


          Comentario en Lo que no sabías de cocinar con leña por Lourdes rodriguez        
Hola muy interesante y practica En que países la.venden yo vivo en Honduras orita estoy en houston pero quiero una estufita
          That how I became a librarian thing        
I got tagged by a member of the LauraCon (secretly, I was quite excited to be tagged. I almost never get tagged!) for one of the recent memes - the "How I became a librarian" one. So:

Libraries were always someplace we went growing up, and when I went off to undergrad, after working initially in the dining hall, I ended up working in the library, where I keyed government documents into the catalog, printed the labels and stacked the docs on a shelf where the eventually got shelved. I also did prep on paperback items that came in - contact paper, reinforcing front and back covers.

I graduated, and my first job was with a payday loan company. I started working for them as a customer service rep, then became a branch manager, and finally an internal auditor. In the process, I moved from Chattanooga to Murfreesboro to Nashville in TN, then down to Jackson, MS and finally over to Atlanta. A note: after starting with this company in February 1996, I intended to apply to library school to begin in Fall 1996, but was concerned about more student loans right then, so postponed it.

About six months after moving to Atlanta, those of us who had been asked to move (this was after the original company was bought out - I had continued working for the original company), everyone who had moved to Georgia (there were 4 of us) was laid off in May 2000. We were given interviews with another company based in Cleveland, TN that was in the same business and trying to expand, but I didn't like the vibe I got from them. I'd been thinking that it was time to move on from that company anyway - I was holding out for a year from the relocation to be up.

I still wasn't heading to library school! I got another job as an internal auditor, this time with a publicly traded company, Oxford Industries, in Atlanta. This was a good job - and I started about a month after the layoff, so the timing was perfect to have seen the opening! I learned a lot there, and worked with some fantastic people, including both my direct supervisors, one of whom is now the Vice President of Capital Markets and Treasurer. I got to travel some with this position - including to San Pedro Sula and Tegucigapla in Honduras. I'd been there almost two years when my boss called me into my office and asked me if I wanted to be in her job in five years - and said that if I didn't, then maybe I should think about what I wanted to do. She wasn't firing me, and if I'd wanted to stay, she was encouraging me to take some classes in accouting at one of the local universities. But it didn't take me that long to make the decision - with about 10 days (I was leaving on an audit trip), I let her know that what I wanted was to go to library school. Within 10 days of that, I took the GREs (and kicked some serious ass), got my recommendations and got my application off to the U of TN School of Information Science. She kept me on until I left - and she didn't have to - and in August, I moved to Knoxville to start grad school. I graduated in May 2004, and moved to Youngstown, OH to start my first professional gig at YSU in September 2004, and last summer I moved out here to Tucson to begin my second one.

Am I happy about the change in profession? Yeah. Sure there are days I understand just what salary I gave up in the career change, and I know where I could be now. But being in a job where you are sick every morning before going to work does you no good and does the organization you're working for no good, because you're not productive. I like being a librarian. I love working with the students and teaching instruction sessions. Are there things I don't like about the profession? Yes, of course there are. But those things aren't going to make me give up on the whole thing. Because how many people would I not know if I hadn't done that? My life would be a hell of a lot duller without the vibrant librarian personalities I now know!
          Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics        

poverty%20chickens.jpg Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importance of growth vs. smaller interventions and the state of development economics.

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Readings and Links related to this podcast episode

Related Readings
This week's guest: This week's focus: Additional ideas and people mentioned in this podcast episode: A few more readings and background resources: A few more EconTalk podcast episodes:


Podcast Episode Highlights

Intro. [Recording date: June 12, 2017.]

Russ Roberts: Today's episode is a little strange. It starts with the fact that a while back you wrote--not so long ago--you wrote an open letter to Bill Gates, a very wealthy man, reacting to his idea of giving poor people chickens--poor people in Africa--as a way to escape poverty. That open letter of yours to Bill Gates prompted a response from Lant Pritchett. And so, I interviewed Lant about the topic of how do we help the poor. And inevitably some of your arguments and points came into the conversation. So, I want to get your side of the story today on some of those issues and more broadly and more generally on how we should think about development. Let's start with Bill Gates's original idea. What was he suggesting, and how did you respond to it?

Chris Blattman: So, Gates and the Gates Foundation have a lot of big ideas; and this includes driving down financial transaction costs and tackling serious diseases. And generally terrific programs. One idea that Bill Gates has floated a few times in the last year is the idea that chickens are the future for Africa: basically, that they are very poor people who don't have a lot of income, and they are basically scrounging around a subsistence [?]. And, if we could give them chickens, they they'd be able to raise them. They could eat them, of course. But more importantly, they could sell them or they could sell the eggs, and make some extra money. And, this would make them much less poor: maybe they earned $2/day; maybe now they'll earn $4/day. Who really knows? And he called this one of the best investments we could make. Which is probably true to some extent, except what was unusual about his idea is that he envisioned perhaps 30% of Africans. So, this would be 300 million people raising these chickens rather than the existing number, which is maybe 5% of Africans--so, maybe 15 million people, for argument's sake.

Russ Roberts: And, you wrote this open letter. What did you say in that letter?

Chris Blattman: Well, I mean, so, you know, we share a common premise is that one of the reasons people are very poor is that they don't have the opportunity to engage in business: that it's actually not so hard for a lot of people to go from earning $1 a day to earning $2 a day or $2-$4 a day, or $5-$10 a day by starting up a small enterprise; and that the main thing stopping them from doing this is they don't have any capital. If they had capital, they wouldn't be poor. So, they don't have a lot of cash; they don't have a lot of assets; they don't have productive assets. And that could be tools, it could be buildings to build things in; that could be the raw materials, and the skills to build these things. It could be animals. A cow is an asset, or a form of capital; a chicken, or a bunch of chickens is. So, they don't have these things; and they generally don't have access to borrowing. And so, if they get access to capital, you often see people leap ahead and start businesses. So, I think we share this idea. And chickens probably aren't a bad--they aren't a terrible investment. I guess I--before Bill Gates, who is one of the most influential people in development--writes influential development letters--I think it's important to try to correct some possible problems. One is that it's not clear that anyone's going to actually make money if you suddenly go from 15 million to 300 million Africans producing--I think I've actually got my numbers wrong, actually: I'm not doing division and multiplication in my head.

Russ Roberts: It doesn't matter. It's a big [?] increase. And we're pretty sure that--

Chris Blattman: Yeah, 33%--a third of Africa.

Russ Roberts: That could affect the price of eggs. You know. Hypothetically.

Chris Blattman: Yeah. You know. I was surprised he made this argument because he's a very smart guy and he understands economics. So, this isn't a crazy idea: If a third of Africans start producing chickens and eggs, that the price of chickens and eggs are going to fall pretty fast. And there's probably limits to how many chickens and eggs people can eat. So, that's--it just struck me as an odd idea. And if it was some other organization saying, 'We're going to do this,' then I sort of roll my eyes. But when Bill Gates says he's going to do it, there's a good chance he's really going to try, and maybe succeed. So, it's not the best--not everyone should invest in the same thing. And then, of all the things people could invest in, it's not clear to me--and I think there's a lot of evidence pointing to the idea that: Chickens are a fine investment. But they are not necessarily a great investment. And so, why were folks [?] on giving people chickens? I don't know.


Russ Roberts: But, I thought your real point was: If we gave them money, they'd be free to buy chickens if they wanted; or they could buy a piece of a cow [i.e., a share of a jointly-owned cow--Econlib Ed.]; or they could buy a hammer; or they could buy access to electricity--or whatever it is. And presumably, people have a pretty good idea of what they need relative to what you think they need. And, chickens just obviously--to me--we're going to get more deeply into the economics of this--but it's obvious that chickens is the wrong answer. Whatever the virtues of chickens are, it can't be the case that giving 300 million something is--it's going to be better to give them money. I'm pretty confident about that. Now, you could argue that if you give them money they are going to use it on gambling, or drinking, or partying, or whatever you think is the wrong use of the money; but, 'They can sell the chicken, come on! They can convert it into money.' So, this romance, I think, 'Chickens are the key to the future,' like plastics are in the movie, The Graduate--it's just--or computers in 1978--it does seem a bit naive for someone who is clearly not a naive person. You could think of it as symbolic. But I think your point was: We've had these debates--which is what I think we talked about in a previous episode about different ways to help people with small amounts. Obviously, if you give them 1000 chickens--one person a thousand chickens, and one person a thousand of something else, and another person a thousand of something else, maybe it would really change their lives. But if we're going to give micro-amounts, like 5 chickens, or 1 chicken, cash might be even better. And you and I are both kind of fans of cash. There are problems with cash. That's a different episode. That's not what we're talking about today. We all understand that cash has drawbacks, too. But, I think you proposed--what was interesting about your response to Gates was: 'Let's have a horse race,' to add another animal to the metaphor mix. 'Let's see whether chickens outperform cash.' Right? Wasn't that the thrust of your point?

Chris Blattman: Yeah. And the reason is, is because it may be like a deeper point. It's not about whether--there's lots of reasons cash could be better than chickens, and for the reasons you've just mentioned; and there's some risks, as well. Those are all--and we don't have to talk about--I think generally the picture looks pretty good for cash, and we don't have to talk about the details today. But, the deeper point is the problem with a lot of programs--given that we're already giving--a lot of aid is donor agencies and governments giving very poor people stuff. It's giving them skills-training. It's giving them chickens. It's giving them cash. It's giving them other forms of capital. It's giving them productive assets. Right? And I'm excluding all the stuff that's about public goods, and water, and health--these are huge and they are important. And we're going to set them aside because they are just a different kind of thing. A lot of assistance is giving poor people stuff to either eat or to turn into something they can eat. Meaning, they can start a small business with it. And that's what the training and the cows and the [?] and some of the cash are mainly for. So, the problem with most of these programs is everyone thinks about the numerator: What's the impact of this program? And nobody thinks about the denominator, which is: What's the cost of providing this program? And then, we sort of divide that to get some sort of return. And when we compare those things, if you ignore the fact that some of these programs are dramatically more costly than others to deliver, then even if one is more effective in terms of its impact, in terms of how big a business someone can grow, if it's also 10 times as costly, that's a problem. And this is the problem with chickens, in some sense, is: Somebody has to go and buy the chickens; and then deliver them to the people. Or, somebody has to go and hire a trainer and bring them to the village, to train people in whatever it is you want to train. Maybe it's raising chickens--this is often a big part of these chicken programs. But maybe it's something that's standalone, like how to start a business. Or something. So, this is a problem, because those people--all that labor and all that transport is really, really, really expensive. And these people are often in remote areas. They are very poor. Even if they are in an urban area and not that remote, they are earning so little that giving some reasonably middle-class person in that country to go off and buy the chickens and then deliver them, or deliver the training, or even get the training to go and deliver the chicken, is so costly that it totally outweighs any potential benefits that--maybe not totally, but it grossly outweighs a lot of the benefits. Such that, some of these programs--the studies that have looked at chickens and giving people chickens and cows and goats randomly pay off, but it takes something like 15 or 20 years before they cover the costs. Basically, the impact is as much as the program costs. And that's a lot.


Russ Roberts: But I also thought your main--and that's a great point. Those are great point. And they raise a separate issue we may come back to, which is: 'Hey, I know what you need. Here.' I alluded to that earlier. It's like, 'You need to learn how to make butter. Here, let me teach you. I'll give you some butter machinery.' There's a certain lack of appreciation for knowledge and how hard it is to understand how to impact a person's life, and the material versus spiritual, and [?]--

Chris Blattman: Well, one of the other things that's going on--I have a lot of friends in these organizations. My wife works for an international rescue committee. I've spent a lot of time working with these organizations. And one of the--if you put yourself in their shoes--first of all, you don't always know. And the thing is that you've seen a lot of programs where people get chickens without the training--because that seemed like a good idea. Or they just get cash. Like, you see a lot of examples where people fail. You don't know if everyone fails. You don't know how many people succeed. You know a lot of people fail. And we know this is true. Like, the big cash experiments I've done, others have done--at least half the people don't really move ahead as a result of this cash. They start a small enterprise and it fails. This is what business is. And that's hard to--you don't know if on balance people are succeeding or failing, especially when you just give them cash. At least with the chickens you can see something there. And you are really hesitant to let people fail. So, you want to do, you want to invest as much as possible in people to minimize the risk of failure, because they are in your circle. You see them, you care about them, you are responsible, you've done something to their lives and in some ways you are responsible. And you have the ability to continue to help them. And you don't see all these other people you are not helping. So, doubling or tripling or quadrupling or even further increasing the cost of a program--not to make them dramatically more successful but just to reduce their costs of failure--is really natural human instinct. Some people would say that's their responsibility; you could make a moral argument that that's appropriate. But I think that's what drives this cost up. So, it's easy for me to sort of, from afar, say, 'Well, I don't know any of these people. They are all strangers to me, and I'd rather see more people helped for less; and if some fail, that's going to happen anyways,' rather than just investing in a small number of people and trying to keep them from failing. But, if I were in their position--certainly when I raise my children I don't take that approach. And that's another extreme example, right? So, you know, I'm sympathetic. But as a small NGO--a small Non-Governmental Organization--you can afford to make your own moral choice about whether you help a lot of people a little bit and let them fail sometimes, or if you help just a few people and really foster them through. But if you are the U.S. Government Aid agency, or you are the Ugandan Bureau of blah-blah-blah that's in charge of this, in some sense you don't get to make that choice. In some sense, your responsibility, I think, is to help the most people.

Russ Roberts: But I also thought you are making a methodological point with Gates which is really interesting, which is: Well, maybe it will have a good impact; maybe it won't. Obviously if you sat down, if you and I had 30 minutes with Mr. Gates we'd say, 'Gee, 300 million is a big increase. Maybe that's going to have an unexpected effect on--you wouldn't want to generalize from the 5% who have chickens now to the 30% you'd like to have them.' And he'd nod, say that's a good point. But I think you are trying to say, 'Let's try to actually measure this. Let's try to actually see--let's learn something. Before we launch this enormous, grandiose experiment, let's do a pre-experiment where we try to see which is better. And we'd learn so much that we would be able to help people much more down the road, not just with your venture.' Is that a fair summary?

Chris Blattman: Yeah. This is actually--I make [?] this point sort of in general: If I go to--pick a country--if I go to Uganda or like Uruguay[?] or Colombia which are all places where I spend a lot of time or have spent a lot of time, you'll see that the government or the World Bank or somebody saying, 'All right, we have this $5 million, or $100 million, or $500 million dollar program that we're going to roll out over the next 5 years; and we've written the program manual and we [?] spend all that money doing x.' And x is quite specific. It might be like chickens. It might be job training. And then they just launch into it. And inevitably it fails, because, what are the chances that you ever get that formula right from the outset when you implement it? And so, 2 or 3 years in they redesign and they start figuring it out; and, they don't have a lot of sense of what's going on. Maybe then they run some evaluations or they turn to more of the evidence. And let's say they get a slightly better program for the last half of that 5-year program. Then, that's a lot of money wasted. And if it's a credit to that country, meaning it's a loan to that country, then some future taxpayer of that country has to pay that back. Which seems kind of tragic. Or it has to be forgiven--some future taxpayer of this country has to pay that back. And that just was all money that--you know, that could have been averted. And I, so every time I'm there, I'm saying, 'Listen, instead of doing this, I'm saying: Why don't you do 5 or 10 things on a small scale for the first year? You have to scale up, you have to get moving. I understand the political pressure. So get moving; but why don't you just try 5 or 10 things? And maybe you then really rigorously study what you're going to do?' That would be fine. Sometimes we should do that. But even if you don't, it will probably be obvious which of those 5 or 10 things seems to be more successful than the others. Certainly the ones that are failures will be more obvious. And then you'll know with more precision, if you invest some money in studying it. So, as a general principle, this is just something that's not done with aid--the sort of trial and error and with some rigorous testing. And we've managed in the last 10 years to introduce the idea of randomized testing with randomized trials without introducing this idea of trial and error and moving ahead and trying many ideas. And that's a problem. I would like to see both. So, that's kind of what I'm saying--this is just another case. Instead of just scaling up your crazily specific program that's only been a little bit tested, why don't you try a few different things and then push ahead with the thing that's most successful? And in this case, I think we've got enough evidence to say, 'Actually, we're doing a lot of this chicken stuff, regardless of what Gates is doing. We're doing a lot of handing out of chickens and cows. And--I don't know if it's $1 billion, or $10 billion, or $100 million dollars a year, but it's somewhere in that range. And if we could spend $10 million dollars just to, like, tweak the direction of that, to sort of kill a bad idea and replace it with a less bad idea'--that's kind of what I want to see. I want to see us rigorously evaluate, like, run a horse race between these different things that we could do, these different varieties, kind of like trial and error but in a structured way. And then just replace the bad things with less-bad things. And thereby make a lot of very, very unfortunate people a bit better off. That's basically it.


Russ Roberts: So, I have a lot of things to say to that. It's a fantastic summary of, I think, the position you are taking. I just have to mention in passing, though: you said, 'Well, of course it fails.' And I think a lot of people would say, 'How could it fail? You are injecting all this money into these sectors, regions, poor people, whatever. It's got to have some effect--some overwhelmingly good effect. You're putting--you are going to add $100 million into this community?' And it's really, I think, a sobering reality that it often doesn't work very well. So I just want to mention that to the point where you say, 'Well, of course it doesn't work.' But I think most intuitive, everyday people would say it would work, akin to their natural inclination to inject money into the U.S. school system. 'Because the more you spend, the more education you get.' Which of course isn't true. It might be true. But it need not be true. And, if the incentives--

Chris Blattman: Right. And I would say, even if you are more optimistic--and I think if you put in more input you are going to get more output. You put in more money to the educational system, I think probably you are going to get more education, or better outcomes--not always, you are right. Same with this aid, chickens. The chickens are not going to be a bad idea. They are not going to all fail. It's just: We're putting so much money into this that--not only is someone going to have to pay back in future, but it's such a missed opportunity. Like, it's really desperate to--if you were making $1 or $2 a day, this means like, your child is probably going to--the chance your child dies in infancy or of some disease or that some crisis hits and really terrible things happen to someone in your family is just so high. And that's also true at any level of poverty. And it's just more dire and risky, the poorer you are. So, to sort of callously and irresponsibly, in my mind, not try to use the sort of trial-and-error approach and try to do the right thing, and rather than just have 33% of Africans or something producing chickens--they might be a bit better off, they'd probably be better off. What if--that's such a missed opportunity to really change some people's lives? One of the rare instances where I really think aid can have a big impact. It really is an area where we can be super-effective; and I don't say that about a lot of things. And so, it's such a sad, tragic thing not to do this more responsibly.


Russ Roberts: Well, I want to challenge the premise that underlies that, even though I'm sympathetic to it and it sounds great. We had on the program a while back, Adam Cifu, author of a very provocative book, co-author of a book, Ending Medical Reversal, where he shows that so many times a study will be done, a cross-sectional, longitudinal study, a statistical analysis of some device or some dietary change, some relationship in epidemiology, is alarming or effective, whatever it is. And people start doing this technique or avoiding this technique. And then, 15 years later, there's an actual randomized control trial where people are put into two different groups: You're not using statistical techniques to try to hold things constant; you are actually using a real experiment, not a pseudo-experiment. And you find out that the original finding doesn't hold up under the randomized control trial. So, this is why--we can call it the gold standard of experimental science. It's what scientists do: They see if things can be replicated; they try to actually test things directly. It's a really nice thing. And, there's a huge--I don't want to call it a fad--a trend, we'll call it a trend--it could be a fad--in Development Economics to do randomized control trials. Which is what you're talking about: Wouldn't it be great, do 5 or 10 experiments to see what works and what doesn't work? But, the problem it seems to me is that unlike epidemiology or medical things where a trial could actually often illuminate what does and doesn't work, it strikes me that in human societies, that's a lot more difficult. So, an example we've mentioned before on the program is deworming. Deworming, a lot of excitement about it because some experiments had showed it to be very effective in helping children--if you took the worms and parasites out of their system, they could sit in school longer, make more money, etc.--have better lives. But, it's not obvious that it scales. It's not obvious that it worked in other villages. It's not obviously--etc. So, isn't [?] part of the problem here--and is this a reality or am I being too skeptical?--that, the kind of knowledge that you would like to produce with those trials in the early stages of a large-scale rollout of a program--they are not necessarily going to be as reliable as a true scientific experiment would be?

Chris Blattman: Right. Well, yes. So, this is basically right. But the question is--I guess, my argument would be, I guess I think is a pretty basic premise: Through the accumulation of lots and lots of empirical evidence and theoretical thinking and then using that empirical evidence to sort of understand our theory of poverty--why are people poor and what kinds of things make them less poor? The accumulation of lots of evidence from lots of places is how we get a better theory. This is just how it works; and it will be harder than in physics or medicine for exactly the reasons you say. But, there's a big difference here. So, the deworming excitement is coming off of--I don't know if you know this: I worked on this experiment when I was a graduate student. This was like one of my first jobs in development: I ran one of the followup surveys.

Russ Roberts: I did not know that.

Chris Blattman: Yeah. So, I ran the 5-year followup survey. So, I spent a lot of time with these kids who got this deworming medicine. It's a very incestuous group, a small, incestuous group, development economics. So, listen: There was one big trial showing big effects, and it was on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, which is the birthplace of humanity, and then not coincidentally the birthplace of human parasites. So, an impact of deworming medicine there is going to be not surprisingly quite impactful; and if you go somewhere else, where you are not on the shores of a parasite-filled lake, then maybe it's going to be different. And that doesn't surprise me. And we don't actually have a lot of trials of deworming medicine elsewhere. And, the other ones haven't been very good, or they haven't been very long term, or they haven't measured economic outcomes and educational outcomes. So, we just don't know. Whereas, when it comes to policy, we have dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens. So, it's not just randomized control trials but all sorts of evidence. A great book is Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who sort of pulled together all the descriptive and observational and qualitative, and experimental data. And just a lot of it points to a particular view of poverty--that people have constraints; that from little access to credit and to capital and little access to insurance; and overwhelming evidence that just one of those constraints is relieved, maybe cash, maybe by a chicken, that people leap ahead. That you can make improvements on the margin. And it's not some magic formula. And you can also improve the way financial markets function; and then people get more access to insurance and credit and capital and things. So, it's just a totally different story. And everything I'm saying about both chickens and cash are very consistent with that theory. And now, the randomized trials which I was proposing we do, on large numbers of people and large numbers of countries in different parts of the world, in a way that we could get at what you're saying is sort of getting at the finer details: saying, okay--not knowing if we can make any general statements but, do we see a general pattern across many types of people in many types of places that chickens tend to be lower return than cash? That, people tend to use cash wisely in many places. And then also, very importantly, to figure out what we call the general equilibrium effects. Or the spillover effects. Like, what happens to the whole local economy when you get this giant influx of chickens, or cash? Like it's good? Bad? And it could go either way. We don't really know. So, there's a really different evidence base. And then, the kind of experiment I was proposing, which costs $15 million dollars or some number like that because it's much bigger than anything that's ever been run, is in some sense designed to get around exactly this concern.


Russ Roberts: So, that's a nice defense. In fact, you are kind of channeling your inner Lant Pritchett there. When you talked about the accumulation of knowledge, he made this similar argument, which I found unpersuasive. But, I find it a little more persuasive in your case. He was talking about general economic theory that's small--any one piece of economic research may not be that informative but it eventually creates this great base of knowledge. And I think that's romanticizing what economic research does, somewhat inaccurately. But let's put that to the side--

Chris Blattman: Well, if I could just interrupt--one thing is: I don't think that knowledge is accumulated to a consistent understanding of how something works across lots of different areas. I also study--I mean, I'm a professor of global conflict studies. In principle, I spend most of my time studying violence, as well. And, we don't really have a good understanding of what reduces violence. Like the things have not accumulated to a coherent answer. Or if you take the macro study of aid, and whether aid is good or bad, and what its good or bad affects our economics or politics--we don't have a coherent answer. It's sort of cumulated into a mess. That was my--

Russ Roberts: Yeah, that was my--it's my, it's close to my view.

Chris Blattman: But there's--but, right. But, other things have turned out--sometimes in certain medical research, and in this case, I think [?] our micro-understanding of poverty turns out, 'Oh, this thing seems to work pretty much similar ways'--you know, we're wrong in lots of details I'm sure. But, more than other things I've understood. And this is why I come on podcasts, you're right, about we should act on this and I don't come on and talk about violence. I don't have a coherent message about what we should do to reduce violence. I don't know that we've accumulated a coherent answer. But, in this case the world works in a simple or straightforward-enough way to have enough evidence, or something about, something the situation is just, I think, points us to more confidence than a lot of other areas. And so, great. And the wonderful thing is it can, like, a lot of people who are in a really, really, really terrible place can benefit from that, in a relatively simple way. This is one of the things that aid does well. Like, just logistically, like just get a lot of stuff out there that seems to work on its own.


Russ Roberts: This isn't where I thought we'd end up. But let's stay here for a while, because it's so interesting. You are telling me that the aid literature is indecisive--imperfect. Which I think is true. Many people would disagree with you, by the way. I think some people would say, 'Oh, we know exactly what works.' In fact, Lant Pritchett said so: we know it's property rights and free markets and prices. And, while I'm sympathetic to that, I think it actually is more complicated than that. Other people would say, 'We know what works.' Jeffrey Sachs, on the program, 'We just need to give a lot more money. We need to spend it well.' And he thinks he knows how to spend it well. But you are skeptical. Okay. Fine.

Chris Blattman: Well, you know, but Jeffrey Sachs--if you want to say, like an African nation--how do we help an African nation go from $1500 a head to $3000 a head? That's not necessarily a hard problem. Or, you know, that's a hard problem. But it's a much different problem to say, how does that nation, what could we do as outsiders or what could that government do as insiders to get to $20,--- a head? Some sort of like middle-income status. And then nobody has a good answer to that. So, sometimes they are just talking about different changes. When you are talking about development, they can be talking to different things.

Russ Roberts: That's a great point. Just what I was going to say, actually. So, what I was going to say is that, if you are telling me that at the micro level, we know that it's good to give people more access to financial markets--the ability to borrow--because they are often financially constrained. Or, we know that if we give them things they will be better off--it's not so interesting, really. But it really comes to what I think is the crux of the matter. Which is, the, what I would call, the real essential point that Pritchett was upset about in that previous episode, which is the following. He is claiming that--and I have mixed feelings about this, but I don't care, it doesn't matter; whatever you have to say--he's claiming that the real problem isn't poor people. It's poor countries. These people are in places with bad economies: Bad government, bad economies. And to put a band aid on their economies with a chicken is the wrong thing to be spending time on. We ought to be spending time on [?] we ought to figure out how to liberate their economy, liberate the skills to cooperate together in a market setting--which is how we know, that's [?] how you get to $20,000. When you get to $20,000, you've got to have a vibrant labor market. You've got to have a vibrant skills market. You've got to have people trade and exchange with each other within a country and outside of a country. And, we know all that already. And so that's what we ought to be spending our time on, not whether 5 chickens are going to improve somebody's life. Of course they would. They'd improve mine, too. I'd eat them. I like chicken. My wife, she's a vegetarian, but she'd be happy to see me happy. We know all that. So, what's the--what is the defense of the approach that you are suggesting of these micro-experiments to get people truly out of poverty? We understand--what you're saying is all true. It's not important.

Chris Blattman: So, you know, these things aren't in complete contradiction. So, if you want to make--I think Lant's larger--he's got two big points. Lant--I think I've mentioned to you in the past--Lant is, I mean, Lant was one of my first teachers in Development, and still remains sort of one of my idols in Development. And everything of his I can read, I do read, because I think he's got--you know, he has a really, he says a lot of original things and he has his finger on the pulse of these things. And he's made two points here that I think are true. One is that the Development community at large has tended to focus on sort of this weird, extreme form of poverty rather than just thinking of other people who are vey poor instead of extremely poor. So, there's this artificial threshold of $1, $2 a day that distorts a lot of policy. That's fine; I agree with that; and a lot of things--all the chickens and cash stuff I'm talking about, you can ignore that concern. You could say, 'Well, I think the chickens and cash could help someone who is extremely poor and very poor and just a little bit poor.' All these people have limited access to capital. I think that's what we would, what we are learning from the evidence, what we would learn from my experiment. His bigger point is that there is maybe a misallocation of time and policy in academia: That, a lot of people are just focused on the small stuff; that there are these bright, shiny [?]s that come along; it's very appealing to get an answer that a lot of people--there's all this data and computer technology that lets us do, answer a lot of small questions while [?]--

Russ Roberts: You get an article real quick; you get an article on your CV (Curriculum Vitae).

Chris Blattman: Yeah. And so there's two--with a profession--the world would be a better place if more smart policy-makers and more smart economists and political scientists were spending more sweat and brains and money on big questions about growth in this case[?]. And then, and so--and I think that's probably right. I think we probably do have a slight misallocation--I think you could make a good argument. But that doesn't mean--it doesn't mean--he sort of made a--he sort of exaggerates as some do and say, 'We should only focus on growth. Most people should focus on growth.' And I think that's wrong for two reasons. One is, I think it's wrong big thing to focus on. And we could get to that. But I think more immediately, I think you can't ignore the poverty. Because, what this says--so listen: If I say, 'I'm going to--everyone needs to be focused on growth.' If we just dedicate all this time, even if he's right, and we were able to make future unborn generations better off, because we're spending all this time and money and brains and energy, on growth, the fact is that there's still a lot of horribly-off people today. Now, if you, if you sort of--some people make that tradeoff. They'll say, 'Listen. Better make 20 generations much better off than trade off making them slightly better off just to make these people less poor.' That's just--someone who is, say, a utilitarian who wants to make the most good for the most people, would say we need to sacrifice today's generation and help these future generations. That's the way to maximize the good. But if you have sort of a different moral calculus--that if you think, for example, that we're only as good as, say, the least among us; or that we have a responsibility to help the very, very least among us even if that means we wealthy people or future wealthy people who are not yet born will be substantially worse off--that's also a defensible claim. And I guess I would say I'm willing to make that tradeoff, to some degree. And I think a lot of--I think that's fundamentally why so much policy is dedicated toward alleviating poverty. That, even if we knew how to make future generations off with certainty, it would still make sense to spend a lot of time worrying about poverty today. That's a--not everyone is going to feel that way, but it's a totally justifiable way. And that's how I feel.


Russ Roberts: So, I'm not a utilitarian. But I do think we should improve future generations at the expense of the current one--for a different reason. So, let me lay that out. And you can respond. The people themselves who are alive today would want us to do that, because they love their children and their grandchildren. And if I said to them, 'I'm going to give you a choice. I'm going to give you a bunch of chickens and I'm going to make your suffering less dire,' or, 'You're not going to get any chickens. You're going to lead a miserable life, but your children and grandchildren are going to lead very, very greatly improved, materially improved lives,' I think most, if not all people would jump at the chance. And we see that people do that all the time. They take risks, and they impoverish themselves. They risk death to come to richer countries. So, that would be my argument there. But I think, to me, the real issue is just the severity of the poverty. For people who are, you know, near death, that, yes, we need to do something for those people now. For people who are just having a hard time--if we can, I add that proviso of course, if we know how. And I think people should choose morally to do that. But for people who are just uncomfortable, I think they'd be thrilled to live with that discomfort and have their children thrive.

Chris Blattman: Right. So, I mean, we can debate this. On some level it's a moot point to--yeah, I mean, it's a moot--sort of the defense of my argument--where we should--and I want--I'm, personally in my life, I agree with Lant[?]; I spend too much time on stupid randomized control trials and on poverty alleviation. It's important, but this is not what I think is really important or really where I can, you know, contribute in some way. So, in some sense I'm unbalanced. I fundamentally agree. But still I think this experiment, this grand thing that I pitched to Bill, Bill Gates, is important. And I would even work on it. The last thing I really want to do--it's really miserable to run these--it's really, really hard and miserable. I hate running these things. It's so logistically and managerially intensive. And you don't think. You just sort of make things happen. And I'm okay at that, I'm pretty good at that. But I don't enjoy it. And I would rather spend my time on something else. But I will do it, if I have to. Because nobody else seems to be doing it. I will do it, because we live in a world not where we are making these grand, philosophical choices, but how to orient aid--and we live in a world where the rich countries and poor countries have made the decision that we are going to spend $10 or $100 billion a year giving the very poorest people stuff. And if I can do a little thing, spend, like 10% of my time for 3 years and $15 million dollars, somebody else's money, to sort of say, 'Guess what? You could be twice as effective and really make an impact on people's lives if you just killed this bad idea and did something less bad,'--that's a huge thing. There's a way to just sort of--given the world we live in, on the margin, there's a handful of studies that I think could really reallocate how this giving people stuff is done. And, and that would be a big thing. And I think that's actually what--I think because I look back at the last 10 years and the cash-transfer work that's been done, including my own experiments--and I say, 'That's the impact this had.' Despite the fact that I wasn't working on what I really wanted to work on, it was important to work on and I actually think that had a lot more immediate impact, precisely because we live in a world where there's just buckets of money, pipelines of money going to these places, being spent poorly. And that can be improved, on the margin.

Russ Roberts: Superbly said. I salute that. Beautiful.


Russ Roberts: Has Bill Gates responded?

Chris Blattman: No. And, you know what? Someone pointed out to me--

Russ Roberts: Sound of crickets--

Chris Blattman: Well, I even--I got a chance to--so, someone pointed out to me after I wrote this letter that, 'Do you know that Bill Gates follows your Twitter?' Then it turns out he only follows, like, 300 people; and a number of them are development people, for obvious reasons; and one of them, it turns out, was me. So, I thought--I had no idea. I'm going to direct-message Bill Gates. Maybe he reads his Twitter feed. Like, why else would he only follow it, 2-300 people? So I even direct-messaged him on Twitter--politely, saying, 'With all due respect, this was my [?]; I'd love to have a conversation about this, if you're interested.' And then: Crickets.

Russ Roberts: Well, I don't know that he listens to EconTalk; but this could put him over the edge, if he does. You may be getting--when this comes out, you'll probably get a summons. And I'd be happy to interview Mr. Gates, by the way.

Chris Blattman: I'm a marginalist, right? I think that every little bit matters.

Russ Roberts: Definitely raised the probability. And I want to just say publicly I would love to interview Bill Gates for EconTalk. So, Bill, if you are listening, or if someone who knows you is listening and thinks that would also be a good idea, please get in touch. But it is an interesting question. By the way--this is a sub-point; and you're sort of--I think you have feet in all the various camps: The academic world--there's the academic world; there's the money world--which would be the Gates foundation--and then there's this weird, nether-region of international organizations like the World Bank that has academic people in it, in and out of it--they come and go. So, that whole thing is--they all have their own rules. I'd like to hear you react to the idea that the incentives are what ruin where development economists spend their time. Of course, people have written not-so-nice things about the appeal of traveling to exotic places and having nice meals and Range Rovers to carry you around, and all that. But, talk about the incentives that you experience as an academic, but also as somebody who is in these different worlds, even if you're not--you don't get calls from Bill Gates's cellphone.

Chris Blattman: Mmmhmmm. The incentives to go do these kinds of--

Russ Roberts: Whatever it is. I mean, they are incentives that encourage some people to just do all kinds of things--articles on this or that, spend time in a particular country because the World Bank funds it. And all of the--we do what we like, and we also care, most of us do, about what makes the world a better place. As you point out. And you confessed a minute ago that you wish you'd maybe spent a little less time on some of these things and more on the bigger things. So, just reflect on that.

Chris Blattman: Well, answering the bigger questions would still put me firmly, even more often, in foreign places. Like, right now, I'm really interested in, I happen to be studying a lot of gangs in Latin America and also in Chicago. And, the thing that's holding me back from being more effective is my lack of tie-in to go and spend time in these places. One of the fundamental incentives is that, I think that to answer important questions about other parts of the world, you have to spend a lot of time in other parts of the world. And you also--not just talking to people and collecting data, but also building relationships with other academics who are there or other policymakers. Because it's not an individual production function. So, that's--answering the question requires be there, big or small question, whatever if you are going to do this right. The incentives in the economics profession, for a long time, and to a lesser extent now, were always against young economists and especially graduate students going and spending lots of time in the field. And in some sense, there is still a discouragement to spend a lot of time often in other countries: still spend relatively little time compared to other academic disciplines. And it used to be zero. There's--an interesting set of people to bring on would be people like Michael Kremer, Chris Utry, who are development economists who broke the path in the, maybe the 1980s and 1990s by spending a lot of time in places like Ghana in Chris's case, and Kenya in Michael's case, doing this kind of work, pioneering it. There are others as well. They sort of stand out in my mind. And showing that you could do important work, and making development economics credible again in the profession. And showing--and sending their students to Ghana--like, this is why--why was I in Busia[?], Kenya running this deworming experiment? Because Michael's student, Ted Miguel [?], he sent to run some experiments and collect data. And Ted did his dissertation there; and he started his own studies in Busia[?], Kenya. And then I showed up at Berkeley, and Ted was this young prof, maybe just one or two years in, who became my dissertation adviser. And he sent me to Kenya, my first semester. And then, why did I end up working on violence in northern Uganda? Because the second time I got sent to Kenya, I was sitting in a cafe, and I met a woman--because it takes 20 minutes or 30 minutes for the Hotmail page to load up, which should tell you what year it was. And so I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who was doing this qualitative study of children affected by conflict and child soldiers in northern Uganda. And then a year later I was landing by plane in northern Uganda to run a survey that looked a lot like what Ted was doing in deworming except I was studying the effects of violence. And that became my dissertation. And it also so happens that we produced several papers and a marriage, and now two children. Because they're more important than the papers.

Russ Roberts: Yeah; of course it is. But the best part about that story is--most unintended consequences are negative. But here we have the positive unintended consequence of a lousy internet access. That you were sitting there for 20 to 30 minutes waiting for your page to load, and you meet your future wife. What a great--

Chris Blattman: Right. But my--then I've sent my students to go work on my project in northern Uganda, and later Liberia; and now, Colombia. And now, they are graduating, they're Ph.Ds., they're getting jobs; and they are doing amazing research; and they are sending their students to these--or wherever they happen to work. And so, this has been this amazing thing that has happened: You talk about the incentives. It's against the grain, against the incentives to go and invest all this time really understanding a place. All the inputs required for all these experiments, or any big study, data--you have to collect your own data in a place like Africa. Most of the time. And so, the incentives are all against that. So, why are people doing it? I think they are really passionate about the questions. And, of course, now there's its own set of esteem[?], and you have your own dysfunctions as a profession; and we're doing a lot of the wrong things; and so on, and so on. But, nonetheless, like, this is still a big, positive change. And I've always said that the most important thing about randomized control trials is not the causal effect that lots of people, we've identified. The effect of like--the important part about the deworming experiment in all this time in Kenya by all these people is not--it's now[?] the fact that Ted Miguel and Michael Kremer could lecture you for hours on Kenyan politics and development in a very sophisticated way that has nothing to do with the causal estimate. Economists now have a much richer understanding of the way world works, how the aid sector works, what the political and social and organizational dysfunctions are from everything from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to some government in some far corner of the world. There's this rich knowledge that was just not there before that I think is really affecting the way the theories were developing. It's affecting the cognitive teaching; it's affecting the questions we're asking; it's affecting the advice. And I think that's been so much more important than any stupid little causal effect.

Russ Roberts: That's great. And I think Adam Smith would be happy about it. Maybe I'm wrong. I like to think of Adam Smith--maybe I'm romanticizing, which I am prone to--but I do think of him as open to the richer understanding of human activity than our sort of blackboard theories; and obviously was a student of many aspects of human life, not just the financial and monetary side.

Chris Blattman: Right, right.

Russ Roberts: What you are really arguing is that it's good that we've become more like sociology. Which could be true.


Russ Roberts: I would have argued that the reason we shouldn't work on big picture issues and big picture questions is because we don't know much about them. So, I think most people would argue that governance, political institutions are a big problem. I suggested recently that what we should do with that $15 million dollars, say, is pay a leader to leave, and replace him with someone more--of course, obviously, replace him with another dictator is the problem. But if you could change a political system, that would be the way you'd spend your money. We don't know how to do that. And the idea that we should be spending more time understanding that doesn't necessarily follow; the idea that that's the most important thing. If we can't figure out the levers to improve it, it really doesn't matter. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Chris Blattman: I'm more hopeful. I think we don't know a lot about it. I think we also--I think that--I actually teach a class on this, and it turns out Lant Pritchett has just written a book on this as well, with two co-authors. He's focused more on building, on something a bit narrower, which is building state capabilities--which is basically making states more effective. And that includes public sectors and governments. It's actually a free book online, and I think it's actually one of my favorite books I've read this year. So, he didn't talk about that, but--

Russ Roberts: What's it called?

Chris Blattman: I think it's called Building State Capabilities.

Russ Roberts: We'll put a link up to it, for this episode.

Chris Blattman: Exactly. And he even negotiated to be able to get this free online. And I think he has a course, as well, where you can go along this as well. And so, there's both a book and a free course online. And I teach a class. Sometimes I call it "Order and Violence." Sometimes I call it "Political Economy Development." But, it's really about these big questions about saying: You know what? What doesn't--I think Lant would agree with this: Growth is the wrong way to think about this. We don't need more people focused on economic growth. I think we need more people focused on understanding state capabilities, and democratization, and politics in these countries. There's a fair amount already: most other political science--there's a lot of bad research; there's a lot of good research. And I--by spending a lot of the last 10 years reading that research and trying to teach it, and learning it; and when I say I want to reorient what I do, in some ways, I--this is the book I would like to write. Probably I won't write it for 10 years. But one day I will write this book about this kind of political development, if you will. And I think that's fundamentally the problem. And it's hard for me to believe, partly because I've read so much that really has changed the way I think about how the world works; and I think if it could be translated into terms, sort of messages that people could absorb and understand in a less academic way, I think it would be really impactful. So, one, I think we could translate more; two, I think we could do more of it. But it kind of a big--it's a big risk. It's hard to see immediate payoffs. Yet, I guess the reason I think it can't be ignored is, maybe you could put it simply like this: That, China and Brazil and Russia and Vietnam and a whole host of countries that are currently like middle income, or a little poorer or a little richer, are generally growing, you know, at a reasonably quick pace--like, say, I don't know, maybe it's 5% a year. In some years that will be higher; in some years that will be lower. But they are basically on their way to being high-middle, or upper-middle--or even upper-income countries. So, they are growing. And as long as there is no major world cataclysm, then in 20 years, those are going to be basically rich countries. And that's going to be most of the population of the world. And that's probably most countries in the world. But there's a bunch of countries, a couple in, you know, Central and South America, maybe Bolivia, certainly Guatemala, and maybe like a Honduras or Jamaica, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, and some parts of Central Asia that are just not growing at all, or they are growing a little bit but not very fast. Or, they are growing a little bit but there is a lot of inherent political instability and it's hard to imagine that growth lasting for long before there's some tanking[?]. So, it's possible that in 15 or 20 years there will be about 20 or 30 countries in the world that are still enormously poor and unstable, next to what are generally a relatively homogenous group of middle- and high-income countries. And that's going to be a bad situation. It's not--it's a better situation than today, where we've got a lot of poor people. But there's going to be this growing inequality; and these are going to be places of instability. And there's going to be a lot of negative spillovers for the

          Mexico wins 1st World Cup qualifier in US since 1972         
  • Mexico's Hector Herrera, right, falls to the ground as United States' Matt Besler looks for the ball during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A pro-American crowd of 24,650 chanted "Dos a cero!" at the start.

Mexican supporters yelled "Dos a uno!" as they left.

Rafa Marquez scored a tiebreaking goal on a header in the 89th minute, giving Mexico a 2-1 victory Friday night and its first victory at the United States in World Cup qualifying since 1972.

After winning four straight home qualifiers against Mexico by 2-0 scores — all in Columbus — the U.S. hoped to open the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region with another victory. Instead, the Americans began the hexagonal with a loss for the second straight cycle, and they play Tuesday night at Costa Rica, where they have never won in qualifying.

"It gets a sense of anger in us. It gets a sense of absolutely urgency," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It's not a problem, but it's obviously disappointing."

Miguel Layun put Mexico ahead in the 20th minute, but Bobby Wood tied it in the 49th.

The U.S. dominated the second half before the 37-year-old Marquez, unmarked and drifting across the penalty area at the near post, got a glancing nod on Layun's corner kick. The Mexican captain lifted the ball over goalkeeper Brad Guzan for his 17th international goal.

Mexico's previous win at the U.S. in qualifying was also by a 2-1 score, at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"I think we deserved this match," Layun said. "We were focused."

Klinsmann said John Brooks was supposed to mark Marquez on the corner kick. Jozy Altidore blocked the defender from getting there.

"We lost him there. Individual mistake," Klinsmann said.

The Americans had been 30-0-2 at home in qualifying since a 3-2 loss to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium in September 2001.

"They're very good in terms of when they have a little time circulating the ball, and they start to find space," American captain Michael Bradley said.

Guzan had lost the U.S. goalkeeper job to Tim Howard, who started at the last two World Cups. But Howard pulled a muscle in his right leg on a goal kick and was replaced in the 40th minute.

Howard was to have a scan Saturday, a day before the U.S. travels, and Klinsmann said Howard likely will miss the match at Costa Rica.

"He knows it's not looking that good," Klinsmann said.

The top three teams in the six-nation round qualify for the World Cup, and the fourth-place country advances to a playoff.

With the U.S. struggling early in what Klinsmann called a 3-4-3 formation, Mexico could have led 3-0. Howard tipped Jesus Corona's 10th-minute shot off a post and Carlos Vela's 25th-minute header hit a crossbar.

"Out midfielders didn't get into the one-on-one battles we expected them to," Klinsmann said, citing Jermaine Jones and Bradley.

After switching to a more familiar 4-4-2 in the 27th minute, the Americans began to find their rhythm, and Wood scored off a pass from Altidore.

It was 44 degrees at game time, half the 90-degree temperature for the 2013 match in Columbus, when the U.S. clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth.

Mexico went ahead after Bradley and Giovani dos Santos battled for the ball 30 yards out. The ball skipped to Layun, who took a touch, and his right-footed shot deflected off Timmy Chandler past Howard's left for his fourth international goal in 46 appearances,

Wood tied the score after Brooks forced a turnover. Altidore turned his defender and passed to Wood, who took two touches as he split defenders. His 8-yard, left-footed shot deflected off a leg of Layun for his eighth goal in 28 international appearances. Wood also scored against Mexico last fall during an extra-time loss in the playoff for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Altidore and Wood have combined for seven goals in 11 games they've started together.

Notes: All three visiting teams had victories in their openers. Costa Rica won 2-0 at Trinidad and Tobago on goals by Christian Bolanos in the 65th and Ronald Matarrita in second-half injury time, and Panama won 1-0 at Honduras on Fidel Escobar's 22nd-minute goal. ... CONCACAF and Fox extended their Gold Cup agreement to cover the 2017 and 2019 tournaments. ... Mexico's Carlos Salcedo is suspended for Tuesday after receiving two yellow cards late in the match.



          Hány ország van a földön?        
Elég gyakran felmerülő földrajzi kérdés, hogy tulajdonképpen hány ország van a földön, másként hány ország van a világon? Természetesen ezt nehéz pontosan megállapítani, hiszen ahogyan a történelmet figyelemmel kísérjük, rengeteg állam jött és jön is létre az évszázadok, olykor évtizedek alatt, éppen úgy, ahogyan egyesek megszűnnek vagy integrálódnak más országokba.

A legelfogadottabb és legmegbízhatóbb adatok szerint a világ jelenleg 196 országot különböztet meg bolygónkon.

Ezt az adatot, más megbízható adatok is alátámasztják, melyek jól feltérképezik a világ országait és ezzel együtt arra is rámutat, hogy mely országokat nem ismer el az adott szervezet, tehát kvázi mely országokat hagyja ki a számításából.

Ilyen például az Egyesült Nemzetek Szervezete (ENSZ), angol nevén United Nations, melynek 193 tagja van. Ellentétben a gyakori tévhittel, ez a szám nem reprezentálja a földön található összes országot. Nyilván való, hogy vannak az ENSZ-től elkülönülő független országok, ilyen például a Vatikán és Koszovó.

Az Egyesült Államok külügyminisztériuma 195 országot különböztet meg a világon. Ez a lista viszont politikai okokból nem ismeri el különálló országként Taiwant, mely 1971-ig az ENSZ-nek is tagja volt.

Érdemes megemlíteni a témával kapcsolatban, hogy vannak olyan tartományok, régiók, melyek bár a köztudatban gyakran országként jelennek meg, valójában nem rendelkeznek a független állam címével, illetve bizonyos irányítási szerepet más ország gyakorolja felettük. Erre kiváló példa Észak-Írország, Skócia, Wales, Anglia.

Biztosak vagyunk benne, hogy néhány olvasónkat egészen konkrétan érdekli, hogy mely országok tartoznak a nagy 196-os listába, ezért elkészítettük a listát az országokhoz tartozó fővárosokkal. Ne tévesszen meg senkit, hogy egy országhoz adott esetben több főváros is tartozik. Bizonyos országok több főváros kijelölésével oldják meg közigazgatási ügyintézésüket.

Afganisztán - Kabul
Albánia - Tirane
Algéria - Algiers
Andorra - Andorra la Vella
Angola - Luanda
Antigua és Barbuda - Saint John's
Argentína - Buenos Aires
Örményország - Yerevan
Ausztrália - Canberra
Ausztria - Vienna
Azerbajdzsán - Baku
Bahamák - Nassau
Bahrein - Manama
Banglades - Dhaka
Barbados - Bridgetown
Fehéroroszország - Minsk
Belgium - Brussels
Belize - Belmopan
Benin - Porto-Novo
Bhután - Thimphu
Bolívia - La Paz (közigazgatási); Sucre (bírói)
Bosznia és Hercegovina - Sarajevo
Botswana - Gaborone
Brazília - Brasilia
Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan
Bulgária - Sofia
Burkina Faso - Ouagadougou
Burundi - Bujumbura
Kambodzsa - Phnom Penh
Kamerun - Yaounde
Kanada - Ottawa
Zöld-foki-szigetek - Praia
Közép-afrikai Köztársaság - Bangui
Csád - N'Djamena
Chile - Santiago
Kína - Beijing
Kolumbia - Bogota
Comore-szigetek - Moroni
Kongói Köztársaság - Brazzaville
Kongói Demokratikus Köztársaság - Kinshasa
Costa Rica - San Jose
Cote d'Ivoire - Yamoussoukro (hivatalos); Abidjan (tényleges)
Horvátország - Zagreb
Kuba - Havana
Ciprus - Nicosia
Cseh Köztársaság - Prague
Dánia - Copenhagen
Dzsibuti - Djibouti
Dominika - Roseau
Dominikai Köztársaság - Santo Domingo
Kelet-Timor (Timor-Leste) - Dili
Ecuador - Quito
Egyiptom - Cairo
El Salvador - San Salvador
Egyenlítői Guinea - Malabo
Eritrea - Asmara
Észtország - Tallinn
Etiópia - Addis Ababa
Fidzsi - Suva
Finnország - Helsinki
Franciaország - Paris
Gabon - Libreville
Gambia - Banjul
Grúzia - Tbilisi
Németország - Berlin
Ghána - Accra
Görögország - Athens
Grenada - Saint George's
Guatemala - Guatemala City
Guinea - Conakry
Bissau-Guinea - Bissau
Guyana - Georgetown
Haiti - Port-au-Prince
Honduras - Tegucigalpa
Magyarország - Budapest
Izland - Reykjavik
India - New Delhi
Indonézia - Jakarta
Irán - Tehran
Irak - Baghdad
Írország - Dublin
Izrael - Jerusalem
Olaszország - Rome
Jamaica - Kingston
Japán - Tokyo
Jordánia - Amman
Kazahsztán - Astana
Kenya - Nairobi
Kiribati - Tarawa Atoll
Észak-Korea - Pyongyang
Dél-Korea - Seoul
Koszovó - Pristina
Kuvait - Kuwait City
Kirgizisztán - Bishkek
Laosz - Vientiane
Lettország - Riga
Libanon - Beirut
Lesotho - Maseru
Libéria - Monrovia
Líbia - Tripoli
Liechtenstein - Vaduz
Litvánia - Vilnius
Luxemburg - Luxembourg
Macedónia - Skopje
Madagaszkár - Antananarivo
Malawi - Lilongwe
Malajzia - Kuala Lumpur
Maldív-szigetek - Male
Mali - Bamako
Málta - Valletta
Marshall-szigetek - Majuro
Mauritánia - Nouakchott
Mauritius - Port Louis
Mexikó - Mexico City
Mikronéziai Szövetségi Államok - Palikir
Moldova - Chisinau
Monaco - Monaco
Mongólia - Ulaanbaatar
Montenegró - Podgorica
Marokkó - Rabat
Mozambik - Maputo
Mianmar (Burma) - Rangoon (Yangon); Naypyidaw or Nay Pyi Taw (közigazgatási)
Namíbia - Windhoek
Nauru - Nincs hivatalos főváros; A kormányzat Yaren tartományban található
Nepál - Kathmandu
Hollandia - Amsterdam; The Hague (a kormányzat helye)
Új-Zéland - Wellington
Nicaragua - Managua
Niger - Niamey
Nigéria - Abuja
Norvégia - Oslo
Omán - Muscat
Pakisztán - Islamabad
Palau - Melekeok
Panama - Panama City
Pápua Új-Guinea - Port Moresby
Paraguay - Asuncion
Peru - Lima
Fülöp-szigetek - Manila
Lengyelország - Warsaw
Portugália - Lisbon
Katar - Doha
Románia - Bucharest
Oroszország - Moscow
Ruanda - Kigali
Saint Kitts és Nevis - Basseterre
Santa Lucia - Castries
Saint Vincent és és a Grenadine-szigetek - Kingstown
Szamoa - Apia
San Marino - San Marino
São Tomé és Príncipe - Sao Tome
Szaúd-Arábia - Riyadh
Szenegál - Dakar
Szerbia - Belgrade
Seychelle-szigetek - Victoria
Sierra Leone - Freetown
Szingapúr - Singapore
Szlovákia - Bratislava
Szlovénia - Ljubljana
Salamon-szigetek - Honiara
Szomália - Mogadishu
Dél-Afrika - Pretoria (közigazgatási); Cape Town (törvényhozói); Bloemfontein (bírósági)
Dél-Szudán - Juba (Áthelyezve Ramciel-be)
Spanyolország - Madrid
Srí Lanka - Colombo; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (törvényhozói)
Szudán - Khartoum
Suriname - Paramaribo
Szváziföld - Mbabane
Svédország - Stockholm
Svájc - Bern
Szíria - Damascus
Tajvan - Taipei
Tádzsikisztán - Dushanbe
Tanzánia - Dar es Salaam; Dodoma (törvényhozói)
Thaiföld - Bangkok
Togo - Lome
Tonga - Nuku'alofa
Trinidad és Tobago - Port-of-Spain
Tunézia - Tunis
Törökország - Ankara
Türkmenisztán - Ashgabat
Tuvalu - Vaiaku village, Funafuti province
Uganda - Kampala
Ukrajna - Kyiv
Egyesült Arab Emírségek - Abu Dhabi
Egyesült Királyság - London
Egyesült Államok - Washington D.C.
Uruguay - Montevideo
Üzbegisztán - Tashkent
Vanuatu - Port-Vila
Vatikán (Vatikánváros) (Holy See) - Vatican City
Venezuela - Caracas
Vietnam - Hanoi
Jemen - Sanaa
Zambia - Lusaka
Zimbabwe - Harare

          Mark your calendars!        
Unbound’s Global Insight Series: Latin America Join us at our Kansas City headquarters on September 13 for an evening of discovery with Unbound’s program coordinators from Bolivia, Guatemala and Honduras. They’ll share insights on our programs, with stories on the challenges families in their regions face and how sponsorship benefits are customized for each family. Global Insight Series: Latin America […]
          World Cup Sounds #22: Denmark        
Okay, so maybe I was a little harsh on Honduras when I described them as the nondescript country in the World Cup. It was true, sure, but it was harsh. There are, after all, no small number of European countries with diminutive personalities taking part, and unfortunately, today I have to turn to one that […]
Me puedes oir en el susurro de una cremallera de tienda que se abre en una mañana llena de rocío.

Me puedes escuchar en el griterío de cien voces cantando el "ani-kuni" alrededor del fuego.

Me puedes ver desde lejos en el círculo multicolor de camisas en el prado.

Me puedes oler, con un matiz ligeramente mohoso, al entrar en una tienda que se acaba de instalar bajo los árboles.

Me puedes gustar en el sabor incierto de una comida preparada al aire libre sobre una fogata.

Me puedes palpar, con mucho cuidado, en el filo de un hacha recientemente afilada.

Me puedes tocar en la frescura de una camiseta que seca al sol después de lavarla en el río.

Me puedes ver, si miras bien, entre el desorden de un montón de mochilas junto a la fuente.

Me puedes notar en la emoción de alguien de 13 años que dice solemnemente: "Por mi honor..."

Me puedes observar en la actitud de unos niños que van aprendiendo a compartir.

Me puedes sentir en el grupo de jóvenes que van notando cómo su felicidad consiste en hacer felices a los demás.

Yo he servido en lugares cercanos y también en sitios como Kosovo, Honduras, Mozambique, ... y aún sigo sirviendo a millones.

Yo soy el Espíritu del Escultismo.

          LIAM 012 – You Are A World-Changer! You and the Butterfly Effect        
In this episode, I tell you that you are a world-changer! You may not think you are, but you absolutely are. Every day, in every way you interact with people and the world around you, you are sending out messages and energy into the universe that, through the phenomenon of the Butterfly Effect, change the world. The changes may be small or large, but you are changing the world and have since the day you were born. Listen to the show to hear what I mean. Show outline: I want to tell you something you may not have heard in a while, if ever: YOU are a world-changer! Stop looking around. Yes, I mean YOU! You matter! What you do matters. But why you do it matters the most! Email to a friend who stepped out of her comfort zone and went on a medical missions trip to Honduras Rose, the old woman at Sam's Club, impacts the lives of countless people! The story of 3 Bricklayers: Someone approaches three bricklayers and asks "what are you doing?" They reply in turn: What does it look like I'm doing? I'm sweating in hot sun laying bricks. I'm laying bricks to make a day's wage to feed my family I'm building a magnificent Cathedral. People will come from all over the world to see its beauty and marvel at God's blessings. It will change their lives and they will tell more people who will come and their lives will be changed. My part is small, but these bricks and my work are part of a beautiful creation! It's all about perspective: how you see your life as being intimately, directly connected to the lives of others Everyone is important and significant Everything you do and, more importantly, the attitude with which you do it, effects the universe You don't have to go on missions trips or build cathedrals. What you do where you are is vitally important Being a mom or dad, sister, brother, neighbor, coworker Saying "Hi" and smiling to strangers Sharing your faith or world-view Sharing an inspirational message or fun story It doesn't matter how old or young or how popular you are My 11-yo son is a world changer, has been since he was born So are you! We are all connected. We don't live in isolation Think of how others have changed you and your world-view It's about your attitude, how you see yourself and how you show up in the world The Butterfly Effect is constantly working, whether you know it or not. We all effect change in the world. It's never too late to start making a positive impact When you start to feel unimportant, insignificant, remember that YOU are a world-changer and nobody can take that away from you! Mentioned in this show: Bruce Van Horn - LifeThought: You are a world-changer! Community Orange Magazine - "Who Will You Be at the Masquerade?" Run For Fun Cruise Subscription/Social Links: Subscribe on iTunes! Subscribe on Stitcher Radio! LIAM on Twitter: @LifeIs262 LIAM on Facebook / LifeIsAMarathon Subscribe to the LIAM Mailing List Bruce Van Horn on Twitter Bruce Van Horn on Facebook     Please share this episode with your friends and followers. You may even embed a copy of the show directly on your website!
          Western Caribbean Cruise Shore Excursion        
Most Western Caribbean cruises stop for a day in Roatan, either at Mahogany Bay or Port of Roatan, depending upon the cruise line. When you choose your Roatan shore excursion, you want to make sure you’ll have a fun-filled day taking advantage of Roatan’s beautiful island environment. So come join us at Jolly Roger Roatan Sailing and Snorkeling with Lunch! Where is Roatan? Roatan is the southernmost port for Western Caribbean cruises. Many stop in Mexico and Belize, and then come to Roatan before heading back toward the U.S. Roatan is located off the coast of Honduras and is surrounded [Read More]
          Semangkuk Meggi 3 : Rebat RM200 untuk telefon bimbit.        
Assalamualaikum. Haha. Lama dah tak update ni. Bukan busy tapi malas nak menaip. Idea pun kering nak kongsi dalam blog ni. Tapi takpa, lepas ni mungkin aku akan selalu update. Muahaha.

Oklah isu kali ni berkenaan dengan Rebat RM200 untuk telefon pintar.

Pergh gila ah. Dapat rebat beb. Cayalah kerajaan. Memang rakyat didahulukan betul! - Mahasiswa Universiti swasta.

Haha, suka kan? dapat rebat untuk beli handphone. Bukan senang nak dapat tu. RM200 pula tu. Dah la banyak, handphone sekarang pun makin murah. memang akan dapat lebih penjimatan la. Haha

Semua orang pun suka dapat bonus. Rebat ni pun kiranya macam reward dari kerajaan sebab jadi rakyat Malaysia bawah umur 30 tahun. Bangladesh, Nepal, Honduras, Brazil dan Uruguay tak dapat rebat ni beb. Nak dapat kena lahir kat Malaysia dulu atau jadi warganegara Malaysia yang bertauliah. Haha. Sekarang telefon pintar ni dah merata ada, baik yang murah mahupun yang mahal. Peranti Android dikatakan lebih ekonomi dan mesra pelanggan berbanding dengan peranti yang lain. Ada kelebihan dan kelemahan masing-masing.

Ok stop dulu bebel benda yang menyimpang tajuk tadi, kita fokus pada tajuk utama. Mungkin orang ramai masih tak nampak apa yang dimaksudkan dengan pemberian rebat ini. Rebat ini untuk membantu belia-belia negara kita untuk lebih berilmu pengetahuan dalam bidang teknologi selain membantu rakyat yang kurang berkemampuan untuk membeli gajet ini. Dalam membuat permohanan rebat ini, anda perlu meneliti beberapa terma dan syarat yang telah ditetapkan. Syarat-syaratnya adalah :

  • Hanya untuk rakyat Malaysia yang berumur dari 21-30 tahun
  • Pendapatan bulanan adalah sebanyak RM3,000 dan ke bawah
  • Model Telefon Pintar (Smartphone) bawah harga RM500
  • Setiap Belia hanya layak untuk membeli satu telefon pintar
  • Pelanggan boleh menggunakan jalur lebar mudah alih mereka yang sedia ada atau memohon untuk pakej baru

Abaikan syarat yang ketiga. Kerajaan telah meminda syarat untuk menghadkan hanya telefon pintar RM500 kebawah. Kiranya kerajaan dah setuju untuk membolehkan semua jenis telefon pintar layak untuk menggunakan rebat ini.

Aku hanya tertarik dengan syarat kelima. Syarat untuk memohon pakej baru.

Ermmmmm . . . . . . . 

Apa pandangan hangpa semua? Nak pakai rebat ni kena daftar pakej postpaid baru. Mungkin ada diantara kita yang agak keberatan terutamanya pelajar universiti. Mana tak nya nak kena bayar sewa rumah, makan minum, buku, alat tulis. Macam-macam lagi la.

Aku bukan tak bersyukur, jangan pulak anda semua salah anggap. Tapi aku simpati dengan orang yang tak berkemampuan kalau bertul-betul nak pakai telefon pintar ni tiba tiba kena langgan postpaid dahulu. Mungkin mereka agak keberatan. Aku pun agak keberatan juga sebabnya aku cuma pakai BIS sebulan RM20 ringgit saja. Tak mampu den nak pakai postpaid bulanan dan ikat kontrak dengan syarikat perkhitmatan talian. Kepada yang sudah sedia ada mengguna khidmat pascabayar, ini satu kelebihan pada mereka.

Mungkin ada yang tak bersetuju dengan pendapat aku. Aku tak kisah. Cuma rasa tak berbaloi semata-mata nak rebat ni kena ikat kontrak selama setahun. Ada yang dua tahun. Kepada yang mampu tu, sila abaikan pendapat aku. Haha

Kerajaan cuma nak membantu, aku faham niat mereka. Sebab aku pun memohon rebat ni. Aku rasa prabayar pun sudah memadai untuk melayari internet jika diperlukan. Mungkin di rumah sudah tersedia WIFI. 

Jangan ambil hati dengan nukilan aku ni ye. Hehehehe

Luis Britto García

Quien conozca las más elementales nociones sobre Derecho sabe que las condiciones existenciales para crear un Estado son: pueblo, territorio y autoridad política. En los artículos 119 al 126 de la Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela se sientan las bases para constituir numerosos Estados distintos del Venezolano. En dichas normas son mencionados once veces “pueblos” con derechos distintos y superiores al  resto de la población venezolana. El artículo 119 les reconoce “su organización social, política y económica”. Los artículos 119 y 120 les atribuyen “tierras” y “hábitats” en los cuales el aprovechamiento por el Estado de los recursos naturales está “sujeto a previa información y consulta a las comunidades”. Parecerían referirse a las condiciones para crear Estados distintos de Venezuela. Apenas lo impide el que los territorios sean también definidos como “hábitats”, y que el artículo 126 afirme que el pueblo venezolano es “único, soberano e indivisible” y concluya que “El término pueblo no podrá interpretarse en esta Constitución en el sentido que se le da en el derecho internacional”.
   ¿Cree usted que en Venezuela hay  “pueblos” distintos del venezolano, con organización “política” propia y con  “tierras” o “hábitats” cuyos recursos naturales el Estado no puede explotar sin “consulta”? En ese caso, está sentando las bases para que previa declaratoria de independencia, una generosa potencia extranjera los proteja y nos secesione en varias decenas de países. 
  Organizaciones no gubernamentales de Estados Unidos, como el International Indian Treaty Councily el Indian Law Resource Center de Washington se han adjudicado una suerte de tutoría sobre las movilizaciones étnicas latinoamericanas: sostienen que los indígenas latinoamericanos son pueblos diferentes del resto de los habitantes de sus respectivos  países, que tienen autonomía y derechos exclusivos sobre los que consideren sus territorios originarios y sobre los recursos del suelo y el subsuelo de éstos, y que pueden prohibir al poder nacional el acceso a dichas áreas. Bajo su inspiración,  los misquitos demandan al Sandinismo; la Confederación de Naciones Indígenas de Ecuador apoya el golpe contra Correa; los tupí guaraníes intentan secesionar la Bolivia de Evo.
Así, por ejemplo, el  Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), desde su fundación en 1987 ha ejercido desde Washington  una activa tutela y dirección sobre las estrategias y proclamas programáticas de gran parte de los movimientos indígenas de América Latina. Fundado en 1978 como ONG,  en 1984 gana un proceso entablado contra la asediada Nicaragua ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. En 1989, conjuntamente con el presidente Carter logra el regreso a Nicaragua de varios dirigentes indígenas, entre otros el “Contra” Brooklyn Rivera. En 1992 ya está interviniendo en la demarcación de territorios indígenas yanomami en la Amazonia. El año siguiente traza el mapa de los territorios de los misquitos en Honduras. En 2004 se atribuye la representación de los mayas de Belice ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, la cual falla que Belice viola los derechos de propiedad indígenas.  En 2007  el Indian Law Resource Centerlogra que la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas adopte la Declaración de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, cuyo borrador, según confesión propia había sido redactado por el Center (
El International Indian Treaty Council es apenas una de las numerosas organizaciones  estadounidenses vinculadas con organizaciones internacionales que intervienen en los asuntos indígenas latinoamericanos. El ILRC fue fundado en 1974 y reorganizado en 1977 como ONG con estatus de Consultor de la Unesco, y en tal condición trabaja en la relación  de las etnias indígenas con organismos claves de las Naciones Unidas tales como la Comisión de los Derechos Humanos, el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Pueblos Indígenas, la Subcomisión de Prevención de la Discriminación y Protección de Minorías, la Conferencia de las partes de la Convención sobre Diversidad Biológica, la misma Unesco y la Comisión sobre el Desarrollo Sustentable. Participa asimismo en la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (a la cual seguramente aportó el borrador de la Convención sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de 1989), en las Conferencias de las Naciones Unidas, la Unión Internacional por la Conservación de la Naturaleza y el Congreso Arqueológico Mundial. Este organismo estadounidense se presenta como “una organización de pueblos indígenas de Norte, Centro y Sur América y el Pacífico, cuya misión es trabajar por la soberanía y autodeterminación de los pueblos indígenas y el reconocimiento y protección de sus derechos indígenas, sus culturas tradicionales y sus sagradas tierras” (
Eva Golinger, especialista en el monitoreo de las subvenciones de los organismos públicos estadounidenses, me confirma en comunicación de 19-7-2009 que tanto la USAID como el National Endowment for Democracy (NED) han financiado organizaciones y proyectos en las comunidades indígenas en América y específicamente en Venezuela. Dichos entes se niegan a identificar a los beneficiarios de sus subsidios, pero, según Golinger, “los dos admiten financiar ONGs que trabajan en las comunidades indígenas, tanto como proyectos y programas dirigidos a las regiones donde habitan las indígenas venezolanas”.  Entre otras, menciona “una organización que fue creada para ese fin, que se llama la Asociación Civil Kapé Kapé, han recibido muchos aportes de la NED y la USAID, e incluso de la alcaldía de Chacao cuando estaba Leopoldo López”. Dicho grupo habría trabajado intensamente en las comunidades indígenas de los estados Delta Amacuro y Bolívar. Las mismas áreas donde operaron las afortunadamente expulsadas “Nuevas Tribus” del Summer Linguistic Institute.
En posterior comunicación de fecha 30 de noviembre de 2009, Eva Golinger nos confía el resultado de sus investigaciones relativas a los aportes del National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Organización No Gubernamental fundada por la United States Agency for Developement (USAID), a los movimientos étnicos en Ecuador. Entre dichos grupos subsidiados figura la Corporación Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador (CEIE), la cual, señala Golinger, “es una organización creada en el 2005 con dinero de la NED por los ecuatorianos Ángel Medina, Mariano Curicama, Lourdes Tibán, Fernando Navarro y Raúl Gangotena. CEIE cuenta con un miembro honorario, el Sr. Norman Bailey, quien es un veterano de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia y ocupó el cargo de jefe de la Misión Especial para Venezuela y Cuba de la Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia (DNI) de EEUU de 2006-2007. Bailey también fue miembro del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional (NSC) durante la presidencia de Ronald Reagan”.
Vale la pena detenerse en algunos de los integrantes de estas organizaciones subsidiadas por la National Endowment for Democracy y la USAID. Ángel Medina es, según informa Golinger, " …fundador y presidente de la Fundación Qellkaj” (otra organización “indígena” en Ecuador financiada por la NED). Fernando Navarro es  " …Presidente de la Federación de Cámaras de Comercio del Ecuador…". Raúl Gangotena "…Tiene relación con los siguientes organismos internacionales: Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) … Fue Embajador de Ecuador en los Estados Unidos y Consejero para la Subsecretaría de Defensa en 2001 …". Lourdes Tiban es "…Asesora del Consejo Político de la ECUARUNARI y Asesora Jurídica del CONAIE” (ECUARUNARI es uno de los grupos claves de CONAIE). No debe extrañar, entonces, que CONAIE haya declarado la oposición acérrima al gobierno de Correa en cuanto éste se negó a concederle el dominio sobre los recursos naturales de Ecuador, y que haya apoyado el golpe contra el Presidente ecuatoriano.
Además de ellos, la Corporación Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador (CEIE), según informa Eva Golinger,  “es una organización creada en el 2005 con dinero de la NED por los ecuatorianos Ángel Medina, Mariano Curicama, Lourdes Tibán, Fernando Navarro y Raúl Gangotena. CEIE cuenta con un miembro honorario, el Sr. Norman Bailey, quien es un veterano de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia y ocupó el cargo de jefe de la Misión Especial para Venezuela y Cuba de la Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia (DNI) de EEUU de 2006-2007. Bailey también fue miembro del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional (NSC) durante la presidencia de Ronald Reagan”.
          El subsidio para estos grupos no es una minucia. Nos informa asimismo Eva Golinger que “El financiamiento de la NED a grupos políticos en Ecuador sube de 333.047 dólares durante el 2007-2008 a 1.372.691 dólares durante el 2008-2009”. Numerosas Organizaciones No Gubernamentales se reparten este botín: entre las directamente relacionadas con los movimientos étnicos  está la  “Fundación Q'ellkaj, que obtiene  $76.170” para  “Fortalecer la juventud indígena y sus capacidades empresariales”. Añade, Golinger, a manera de alerta, que el presupuesto de la USAID para 2009 ascendía a 35 millones de dólares, pero que el previsto para 2010 asciende a 38 millones de dólares. Y resume que los objetivos declarados de la USAID en Ecuador consisten en: “Consolidar territorios indígenas: La consolidación de los  territorios indígenas dentro de la zona del desarrollo alternativo. Fortalecer organizaciones indígenas: organizaciones indígenas más fortalecidas serán más capaces de contribuir a la política y monitorear a los funcionarios públicos electos y el uso de los fondos públicos. Alimentar la capacidad empresarial en las comunidades indígenas”.
Vemos así cómo  entes estadounidenses pretenden representar a los “pueblos indígenas de Norte, Centro y Sur América”,  trabajar por su “soberanía y autodeterminación”, y “consolidar territorios indígenas”, no para mantener su tradición cultural comunitaria, sino para “alimentar la capacidad empresarial”. Los bienes y recursos que se les reconocieran entrarían así al mercado capitalista. No es posible confesión más palmaria de que se intenta dirigir tales movimientos en contra de la soberanía y unidad de los Estados Nacionales de la región. Por una de las paradojas de nuestra Historia, la orientación de muchos de las dirigencias de algunos de movimientos indígenas es entonces ejercida desde Estados Unidos por  ONG´s financiadas por la USAID y la NED, exentas de impuestos y con activa influencia sobre la ONU y la OEA, dos organizaciones para nada afectas a los intereses de Nuestra América. No necesariamente opera tal financiamiento en todos los casos, pero lo que sí opera es la identidad entre las orientaciones que tales entes de Estados Unidos imparten y las vindicaciones que los autoproclamados representantes de los indígenas exigen en toda América Latina.
Contrasta esto con la actitud del gobierno estadounidense hacia los indígenas en su propio territorio, a quienes mantiene confinados en los campos de concentración llamados reservas, y para nada les reconoce ni remotamente derechos de “soberanía y autodeterminación”, y mucho menos financia ONGs para promoverlos. A principios de noviembre de 2009, el presidente Barack Obama expidió un memorando en el cual prevé un simple mecanismo de consulta no vinculante con las etnias o sus representantes, pero en el cual niega expresamente que dicho memorando o las consultas creen derechos distintos de los del ordenamiento jurídico estadounidense, y sujeta las definiciones de “tribus”, “autoridades” y “políticas que afectan a los pueblos indígenas” a dicho ordenamiento. Además, categóricamente declara que “Este memorándum no pretende crear ni crea derecho o beneficio alguno, sustantivo o procesal, exigible en derecho o en equidad, para parte alguna frente a los Estados Unidos, sus organismos, agencias, funcionarios o funcionarias, empleados o empleados”. Mientras tanto, las ONGs estadounidenses, algunas de ellas financiadas por la USAID y la NED, pretenden imponer a los países latinoamericanos la entrega de su soberanía, sus territorios y sus recursos.
Jaime Salvatierra compila algunos datos sobre la forma en que Estados Unidos trata hoy en día a sus indígenas, que revelan de manera elocuente las miras que los animan a asumir la tutoría de los indígenas latinoamericanos. Las reservaciones indígenas en Estados Unidos no son en absoluto “territorios originarios”, sino campos de concentración inhóspitos y sin recursos donde fueron relegados los aborígenes que escaparon del exterminio. En ellos las tasas de desempleo oscilan entre el 50 y 80%, con altos niveles de violencia, delincuencia y tráfico y consumo de drogas. Las minorías étnicas tienen ocho veces más posibilidades de padecer enfermedades como la tuberculosis que otros ciudadanos, y un 37% muere antes de cumplir los 45 años. La tasa de suicidio triplica la nacional,  la mortalidad infantil es un 60%, y se registran elevados porcentajes de alcoholismo y diabetes. En la comunidad indígena de los Lakotas, de la familia Sioux, los hombres tienen una esperanza de vida de menos de 44 años, más baja que en cualquier país del mundo, incluyendo Haití. La mortalidad infantil es  300%, mayor que en el resto de Estados Unidos; el suicidio de los adolescentes llega al 150% del  promedio de ese grupo etáreo en Estados Unidos. Los enfermos de tuberculosis superan en 800%  el promedio nacional, al igual que los enfermos de diabetes. El 97% de esa comunidad vive por debajo de la línea de pobreza, junto con casi 50 millones de estadounidenses. La tasa de desempleo en las reservas es del 80%; el alcoholismo afecta a 9 de cada 10 familias: hay niños indígenas presos en proporción 40% superior a la de los infantes  blancos. En Dakota del Sur el 21% de la población penal es de indios, aunque éstos sólo son el 2% de la población de ese estado. Solo el 14% de la población Lakota habla el mismo idioma; el prisionero político más antiguo del mundo es el activista lakota Leonard Peltier, condenado a dos cadenas perpetuas tras un juicio amañado por el FBI (Jaime Salvatierra: “¿Si estos mensajes no son subversivos, entonces qué son? Lo que EE.UU. vende a los indígenas bolivianos”, La Época, 23-09-2011, Sólo la insolencia imperial puede pretender que corresponda a organizaciones subsidiadas o tuteladas por Estados Unidos asumir la tutoría de los indígenas latinoamericanos.
    Si usted no propicia la secesión de nuestro país, debe apoyar una reforma constitucional que sustituya la expresión “pueblos” por la de  â€œcomunidades”; sustituya “tierras” por “hábitats” y elimine toda mención que trabe o cuestione la soberana potestad del Estado de explotar los recursos naturales, sobre todo los del subsuelo, en la totalidad  del territorio nacional y en representación y provecho del “único, soberano e indivisible” pueblo venezolano. Somos un solo pueblo “único, soberano e indivisible”: el venezolano. Un solo territorio: el de Venezuela. Un solo cuerpo político: la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Todo el que quiera dividirnos es nuestro enemigo.




Dictadura Mediática en Venezuela:
El Imperio Contracultural: del Rock a la Postmodernidad:
La invasión paramilitar: Operación Daktari:
Socialismo del Tercer Milenio:
La Ciencia: Fundamentos y Método:
El pensamiento del Libertador: Economía y Sociedad:
La máscara del Poder:
La lengua de la Demagogia:

          32 convicted sex offenders nabbed on Long Island, held by ICE.         

ICE officials collected 32 convicted sex offenders on Long Island.

ICE officials collected 32 convicted sex offenders on Long Island.

During a sweep, immigration agents nabbed 32 convicted sex offenders on Long Island and held them for deportation.
The offenders, with convictions ranging from sex abuse to attempted rape, were grabbed during a 10-day crackdown that ended Aug. 3, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.
The initiative was dubbed “Operation SOAR,” an acronym for Sex Offender Alien Removal.
“These actions focus our resources on the most egregious criminals and promote public safety in the communities in which we live and work,” said Thomas Decker, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations field office director for New York.
Twelve of the nabbed are registered sex offenders, including a 24-year-old man from El Salvador arrested for sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl in Wyandanch, ICE officials said.
Twelve of the nabbed are registered sex offenders, including a 24-year-old man from El Salvador arrested for sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl in Wyandanch, ICE officials said.

Twelve of the nabbed are registered sex offenders, including a 24-year-old man from El Salvador arrested for sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl in Wyandanch, ICE officials said.

A 36-year-old Guatemalan man was picked up Aug. 2 in Brentwood because he had a rape conviction involving a 13-year-old girl.
A 32-year-old Honduran man who was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl was arrested in Brentwood on Aug. 1.
Others from El Salvador, Haiti, and Trinidad with convictions involving children were also swept up in places including Riverhead, Mineola, and East Hampton, ICE officials said.
ICE doesn’t provide further details or identify the people it rounds up — a departure from what police departments do as a matter of course when they make arrests.

          Illegal Cellphones Are Being Used To Assassinate Police Officers And Their Families. Beginning to sound more like we live in Mexico!        
Posted By Eric Lieberman On 11:00 PM 08/08/2017 
The assassin broke through the front door shouting “police” as Capt. Robert Johnson of Bishopville, S.C. was getting ready for work early in the morning March 5, 2010.
Johnson, a prison guard at the Lee Correctional Institution (LCI), immediately knew two things: He had to get the assassin’s attention in order to protect his wife — sleeping quietly in the nearby bedroom — and the hit was undoubtedly connected to a strange visitor he encountered the evening prior.
“I instantly knew this was a hit,” Johnson explained in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I came out of the bathroom and yelled to try and draw the guy away from the bedroom ’cause my wife was in there. I drew him to me.”
His diversion plan worked. The assassin came down the hallway and tussled with him, while his wife was able to escape to the front yard. But during the struggle, the attacker raised his gun and fired six times into Johnson’s stomach and chest.
The hit was connected to the massive influx of contraband cellphones in Johnson’s prison, where he’d worked for 15 years. Prisoners smuggle these phones into the correctional facilities so inmates running gang-related activities can still call the shots on the outside. They put them in inmates’ rectums, hollowed-out Bibles, or footballs thrown over a fence, bandages and prosthetic legs, and anything else they can think of to get the phone to the inside.
The problem is quickly becoming pervasive in America’s prison system, and regulators are starting to catch on. But as the bureaucratic processes move at a snail’s pace, corrections officers like Johnson have become targets for hitmen.
“A couple bullets went through me and landed on the floor,” Johnson said. “So he must have been standing over me shooting me, that’s how much he wanted me dead.”
An inmate at LCI coordinated the hit through a smuggled cellphone. He targeted Johnson because he was responsible for the detection and seizure of contraband at the prison. Johnson confiscated more than 5,000 illegal cellphones during his career, leaning on his 23 years of military intelligence experience.
After the assassin fled the crime scene, Johnson’s wife returned and called 911.
Capt. Robert Johnson’s scars more than 7 years after the assassination attempt. He says the state and police department helped pay for more than $1 million in medical expenses.  (Photo provided by Capt. Johnson)
“I asked if I had to go the hospital,” Johnson recalled. “She said, ‘Of course, dummy.'” The two of them began reciting scripture together as they waited for help to arrive.
In transit to the hospital, Johnson told emergency responders he recognized the assassin as an ex-inmate who had been released from LCI just a few months before.
“The doctor said I was literally dead when I got off the helicopter,” he said, referring to his transfer to a trauma center. “Doctors thought I was going to die.”
While he doesn’t mind retelling the story, Johnson said he is still haunted by the beeping noises from the hospital room. “They gave me 63 units of blood,” he told TheDCNF. “They said I bled out three times and died on the operating table twice.”
Doctors placed Johnson in a drug-induced coma for two weeks, and told his wife there was very little hope he would survive.
Contraband found by Capt. Johnson and other law enforcement agents outside of the prison in a wooded area. The items, including footballs, were waiting to be thrown over a fence or brought in by external conspirators.  (Photo provided by Capt. Johnson)
More contraband found in the woods. (Photo provided by Capt. Johnson)
A shank Capt. Johnson seized during a Rapid Response Team training session in which he was the teacher.
(Photo provided by Capt. Johnson)
The night before that fateful morning, Johnson recalls a man approaching his front door and asking for a “jump” to his car, which he claimed had a dead battery. Johnson didn’t go outside, and communicated with the man through his window. He had a personal rule of thumb not to leave the house after 9 p.m — an apt suspicion heightened by inklings of a potential hit he received from some of the inmates he looked over.
“I call them good citizens,” Johnson told TheDCNF. “They said ‘there’s a hit on you.’ The warden got a letter from an unknown inmate that there was a hit on me. So I took it seriously.”
While Johnson’s story is remarkable, it isn’t uncommon.
An inmate from Louisiana who escaped prison at the end of July is suspected of murdering the assistant warden’s daughter right after he slipped away. Police eventually shot the prisoner dead, but not before he completed the hit, which was allegedly coordinated through a contraband cellphone.
And there are more examples. In Georgia, a gang leader for the Sex Money Murder crew, a subsidiary of the infamous Bloods, ordered a murder of a baby from inside the prison. In April of 2014, nine people were charged in North Carolina for successfully organizing the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father. In yet another instance, a 29-year-old man was charged for shooting a correctional officer while she was in her car. Through a contraband cellphone, an inmate directed the assassin within the local prison to murder the law enforcement agent.
Johnson says a lot of prison department leaders either don’t feel comfortable admitting they can’t control the criminal enterprises that occur within the confines of their prison, or fear violent retaliation. Some, though, aren’t so headstrong or worried.
Jon Ozmint, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections from 2003 to 2011, said he’s been trying to persuade U.S. officials to take the problem seriously for years. There have been some formal meetings to discuss the issue, like a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Senate Committee hearing in 2009, but none have led to materialization of official policy.
“I was there in the hospital when his [Johnson’s] wife came out covered in blood, an innocent man we all presumed was killed because of an illegal cellphone,” Ozmint told TheDCNF in an interview. “We were one of the first states to file with the [Federal Communications Commission] on this issue. We were the first administration to bring contraband cellphones to the forefront.”
Ozmint was appointed by Republican Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who was serving as the state’s governor at the time. A large portion of the work during their tenures, which almost perfectly coincided, was to decipher ways to decrease contraband cellphones in the state’s prisons.
“I’m not a law and order kind of guy. I’m big on civil liberties,” Sanford said in an interview with TheDCNF. “But you actually lose rights when you’re incarcerated; you go to jail. The idea of somebody running a business, dealing drugs, planning hits, or whatever else, is unfathomable.”
“There was a recent escape here in South Carolina that was orchestrated by cellphones inside the prison,” he added.
Sanford sent a letter to the FCC in July asking the agency to review the use of cellphone jamming technology within prisons. While jamming is explicitly illegal under the Communications Act of 1934, there are a number of growing technologies that appear to fall outside the technical bounds.
Managed Access Solutions, or Systems (MAS), for example, is a technology that works by creating a local cellular network at a prison that all devices must access before communicating to the outside world.
“In simple terms, any device that is unknown to the prison-based cellular system is prevented from accessing the commercial mobile network of ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint as examples, and is continually managed by the specialized local prison cellular network that we install,” an executive at Securus, a company that develops and offers such technology, told TheDCNF in an interview. Securus urgently requested that the executive remain anonymous out of fear of violent retribution coordinated through contraband cellphones. “We call this our Wireless Containment Solution (WCS),” the executive continued, which is essentially an updated, superior version of most MAS technologies.
WCS is completely different than jamming, according to the company, which acknowledged that such a rudimentary method is unlawful. Jamming indiscriminately blocks out all network signals, while WCS treats each signal uniquely, basing the decision to obstruct signals based on “policy entries for known vs. unknown devices.”
“Jamming is like shouting in a room over everyone else’s conversation such that no two people can hear or understand each other,” the Securus executive said. “Our WCS communicates with cellphones using the same U.S. cellular bands and radio protocols used by commercial mobile carriers and does not drown out a room, but rather speaks each individual language (ex. LTE [Long-Term Evolution]) to each individual cellphone in order to connect to it and manage its ability to either access the public network or not.”
Dr. Patrick Diamond of Diamond Consulting, a firm that specializes in synchronization of networked systems among other functions, co-authored an extensive 2012 study into MAS with several other researchers. The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) conducted and sponsored the report in response to an inquiry to investigate from California state senators. The study showed that illegal cellphones are not just endemic to South Carolina.
“Contraband cellphone usage is a problem that CDCR [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] takes very seriously,” Scott Kernan, secretary of the CDCR, said in an official statement.
The study found that contraband cellphones in prisons are a growing state and national security issue, and several different factors contribute to the problem, including inconsistent screenings at state prisons. It concluded at the time, however, that while more research is needed, MAS is not yet ready for the prison environment due to a number of reasons, including the fact that the capabilities of mobile devices are constantly evolving.
But just as cellphones can improve, so can MAS technology.
“In 2011/2012, managed access was in its technical infancy, as I noted in the CCST report,” Diamond said in an interview with TheDCNF. “Five years is several technical generations of improvement. As the NIJ [National Institute of Justice] report of July 31, 2017, states, ‘Managed Access appears to be able to provide a reasonable degree of protection, within technical boundaries.'”
Another proprietary possibility is Cell Warden Prison Protocol Beacon Technology, created by the company Cell Command.
“Cell Command has the only technology that literally turns the phone off, thereby shutting down every available function on the wireless device,” CEO John Fischer said in an interview with TheDCNF. “Competing technologies such as Managed Access Systems are easily defeated simply by switching sim cards. With one mobile hotspot, changing sim cards regularly provides a handful of non-carrier active phones full internet access complete with email and WiFi calling.”
“If the phone is turned off, none of this is possible,” he continued. “Sim cards and SD [secure digital] cards hold vast amounts of data, are very small, and are commonly transferred to nefarious visitors permitting outside instruction to other gang members.”
In countries such as Brazil, Honduras and El Salvador, barbaric gangs use contraband cellphones to videotape rape, decapitation, and dismemberment of rival gang members and correctional staff, according to Fischer, who adds that MS-13 is one of the most prevalent culprits. They also make the savage content “available for sale to the public where there is a sick appetite for brutal torture,” he said. “In the eyes of an inmate, just another means to make a living.”
Like Ozmint and Johnson, Fischer described how prisoners have essentially taken over the very area where they are supposed to be controlled, severely compromising correctional facilities’ ability to prevent, or at least contain, the criminal activity.
For Fischer’s technology to work, though, it would have to be automatically installed on every device the telecommunications industry manufactures and offers — something the private sector thinks is a pipe dream.
Ozmint and Fischer don’t understand why it’s such a far-fetched concept, since the U.S. already mandates technology for other means of public safety. Rear Adm. Jamie Barnett (Ret.), the outside counsel for Cell Command who served as the FCC’s Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau for several years, said there is plenty of precedence for the FCC designating such a technology. Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), the public safety system that delivers Amber Alerts and other notifications, for example, is very different in the technical sense but is similar in regards to the policy that could bring it to fruition.
Companies voluntarily entered into the WEA at the encouragement of the FCC, Barnett told TheDCNF in an interview, arguing that force is not required to bring companies on board. In that case, the carriers joined in under the Wireless Response Network Act.
“The same concept could work for Cell Warden beacon technology, and it doesn’t need legislation,” Barnett said.
AT&T declined to provide comment but did cite input the company submitted to the FCC.
“AT&T supports rules that aggressively prevent and terminate the use of contraband wireless devices in correctional facilities, but these rules must not come at the expense of law-abiding wireless consumers,” the filing reads.
The conglomerate cited stories in Baltimore where drivers traveling near the city’s main prison have complained of their wireless communications being inappropriately swept up in the MAS system and blocked. The report comes from 2014, so the technology has improved, according to Securus. And those concerns don’t appear to address Cell Command’s beacon technology, which can limit its scope down to one meter.
Both AT&T and Verizon referred TheDCNF to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), the trade organization which represents all major wireless providers, for comment. CTIA told TheDCNF that a “comprehensive remedy” for the illegal cellphone problem requires “action by all stakeholders,” which includes the “government, the public safety community and technology providers.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai seems more than willing to discuss potential solutions. Johnson told TheDCNF he met with several lawmakers on a recent meeting tour in Washington D.C. He said the only person to sincerely show interest was Pai, while others seemed dismissive, unmoved, and “didn’t write anything down.” While Johnson remembered Pai, he declined to name specific congressmen because he “met with so many, the names have blurred.”
TheDCNF sat down with Chairman Pai to discuss the issue of contraband cellphones in prisons.
“I’ve had the chance to visit correctional facilities from Bishopville, South Carolina, all the way up to Massachusetts, and all the way west of Fort Leavenworth [Kansas],” he told TheDCNF. “What I’ve heard from a variety of officials, both federal and state, is that these devices all too often are weapons, and also enablers of criminal activity.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I highlighted this issue over the previous couple of years and part of the reason why we took action this past March to implement some solutions,” he continued.
Pai cited his meeting with Johnson as “incredible” and “inspiring.”
“We don’t want to see another Captain Johnson, he’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Pai. “I’ve talked to other correctional officers who live in fear of opening up the garage door at night when they come home, or getting in the car in the morning.”
Since CTIA said any decisive action would require all stakeholders, TheDCNF asked if Pai could envision sitting down with wireless carriers and other policymakers to come up with a potential solution, including discussing the implementation of MAS and Cell Warden technology, respectively.
“That’s one thing we’re trying to figure out, is there a solution that works for all the stakeholders involved,” Pai said. “This is one of them [Cell Warden] that has worked in a couple facilities that we’ve heard about. We want to figure out is this a reliable path forward?”
Ozmint, who is an expert on various technologies related to the blocking of contraband cellphones and now works as an attorney, said wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon are not being genuine. He also voiced his frustrations with the FCC of years past, saying no one ever fully took law enforcement’s concerns of contraband cellphones seriously because â€œtheir masters of industry” influenced the agency.
Johnson felt the effect of that apparent neglect. He spent seven months in several medical facilities following the attempted hit job. But he has a lot more than scars to remind him of the severely traumatic event.
(Photo provided by Capt. Johnson)
“I spent the last 6 years with holes in my stomach cause they couldn’t close them up,” he told TheDCNF. “I’ve had 23 different surgeries with more to come. I suffer from pain in my left leg 24/7. One of my lungs is badly damaged; I am only operating on one lung. I look forward to going to sleep at night cause I don’t want pain. I don’t take pills cause I don’t want to get addicted.”
The would-be assassin, Sean Echols, was able to inflict such serious damage because of a contraband cellphone belonging to the mastermind of the plan who was behind bars in the prison Johnson served. Echols was sentenced to 40 years for a separate crime, according to Johnson, a punishment that was actually more than he was set to face for the murder attempt.
After being asked why Echols took the larger punishment, Johnson said it was “because he was afraid of the mastermind” who is, of course, supposed to be unable to intimidate people and commit criminal acts while incarcerated. The architect of the hit would be able to hurt Echols or his family if the failed assassin cooperated with authorities because of inmates’ access to contraband cellphones.
Public attention to illegal cellphones within prisons is only in the nascent stages, despite the efforts made by Johnson, Ozmint, Fischer, Securus, and others over the last decade.
“Clearly, this is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Nicol Turner-Lee, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, told TheDCNF. “I think it’s important for the FCC to continue to explore the policy implications of any deployed technologies to ensure that it specifically solves the problem and does not encroach on the rights of others.”
Mobile phones reportedly seized by Mississippi authorities at prisons across the state are seen here. (Photo provided by REUTERS/Mississippi Department of Corrections)
Other policy analysts agree, particularly about the notion that the FCC should explore possibilities.
“More recently, newer technologies have enabled prisons to monitor contraband cellphone use and block unauthorized calls, without jamming, while allowing legitimate calls to connect,” Tom Struble, tech policy manager at the think tank R Street, told TheDCNF. “Hopefully, with technological advances and an engaged FCC, prisons can finally start to clamp down on contraband cellphones.”
Ozmint believes the Cell Warden’s beacon technology is the only way to fully address the complex issue of contraband cellphones. Johnson, who receives monetary compensation from Securus to help pay for medical expenses, advocates for the company’s WCS technology because he’s seen it work and knows firsthand that something must be done.
“I truly believe that while technology started this problem,” Johnson said, “technology will also solve this problem.”

          Corn Dogs-Firstborn, Firstborn        
We went to the Puyallup Fair a couple of weeks ago. I grew up going to this fair and my kids grew up going also. I have probably bought every gadget they have hocked there over my 38 yrs of marriage.
Firstborn, Firstborn
(my firstborn with his firstborn)
A few years ago I even took Peoples Choice 1st place in the international photography competition. I wasn't even able to go that year but sent in my entry.  I hadn't told anyone outside Mark and the kids that I had entered the competition. You send the entry in so long before the judging that I had actually forgot about it. All of a sudden one day I started getting phone calls from friends telling me  "You have a great big 1st place ribbon on your photo"...they actually recognized my son in this photo. (I did not intend on sharing about this photo, however the memory came flooding back as I wrote about the fair....nice memory). Now that we are in the desert more I often miss getting to go.

I digress.....Back to the fair...
Of course every year we ate our way across the fair. One of the treats I looked forward to, of all things, THE CORN DOG!!! I shutter now, although I must say seeing them walking  by got my mouth salivating.
My husband is in Honduras right now, so I am home for a few days on my own. Since the corn dog would not be his treat, I decided to ravage the Internet to see if I could find something that would come close and still be LC, SF, GF.
Many of the online interpretations for LC didn't come close to something I would recommend. Then doing a search on one of my favorite sites....Score!!! Maria always has great recipes she has developed. The  reason she would have a corn dog is because.....she has kids. My kind of house. We always have one, two, three or all four grand kids here so I refer to her site often.
I see that there is a corn dog gadget made specifically for corn dogs. Didn't have one of them lying around BUT...I do have a little Baby Cakes gadget that I got around Christmas last year. Bought them for all the women in our family during one of those blow out sales at Kohl's.                   
Voila!!! Let's try it...
Of course me being me I had to tweak Maria's recipe just a bit.
The Process
2 TBS coconut flour
2 TBS almond flour
2 eggs
4 TBS beef broth
1/2 tsp gelatin
2 beef dogs-(all natural, no nitrites or nitrates)

Heat beef broth & add gelatin, stir to dissolve. Mix all other ingredients except hot dogs. All broth/gelatin mixture, mix well. Set aside to thicken up a minute or two. Cut hot dogs into 1" lengths or however long your procedure accommodates.
Turn on what ever cooking gadget you are using .
When your unit is hot, fill 3/4 full of batter, push corn dog down into middle. Close lid, cook for 4 to 5 minutes depending on the darkness you like.
You can try cooking these in simply oil in a skillet as well. I have not used this method, however I'm  sure it would work with practice
Take out serve with ketchup & mustard or toppings of your choice.

Results: The Baby Cakes gadget worked beautifully. There are many other little gadgets along the same line that would work as well. Experiment with whatever you may have. Of course the "ol skillet with a bit of oil" will work I'm sure.
          Isola dei Famosi 2017 Paola Barale manda un ultimo messaggio a Raz        
Isola dei Famosi 2017 Paola Barale manda un ultimo messaggio a Raz. Paola Barale, dopo la visita in Honduras a Raz Degan, ha continuato a seguirlo e ha voluto mandargli un nuovo messaggio. Isola dei Famosi 2017 Paola Barale e il suo amore per Raz Durante la diretta della semifinale, dopo che Raz aveva vinto
Leggi tutto
          Weitere Todesopfer nach Dengue-Ausbruch        
In Mittelamerika grassiert das Dengue-Fieber. Vor allem Honduras ist von der Epidemie betroffen: Dort sind weitere vier Menschen an der Krankheit gestorben, gegen die es bisher keinen Impfstoff gibt. Insgesamt stieg die Zahl der Todesopfer auf 36.
A continuación reproduzco el discurso del ex-presidente de Costa Rica dado en la Cámara de Comercio de Guayaquil:
Óscar Arias Sánchez
Guayaquil, Ecuador
121 Aniversario
Cámara de Comercio de Guayaquil
10 de junio de 2010 
Amigas y amigos: 
      Para cualquier habitante del mundo, Ecuador tiene un significado particular. Este país en el centro de la Tierra, este rincón en el vientre del planeta, nos recuerda las clases de Geografía que nos repetía la maestra de escuela. Dentro de las memorias primeras de cualquier ser humano, está aquella imagen de Ecuador en el cinturón del globo terráqueo, aquel punto que aprendimos a señalar con orgullo, cuando éramos chiquillos de pantalones cortos.

      Hoy visito aquella tierra que de niño señalaba en el mapa. Visito aquel país que era un retazo en la colcha del globo terráqueo. Vengo ante ustedes con pantalones largos, en el cuerpo y en el alma. Vengo ante ustedes cargando cuarenta años de lucha por América Latina. He visto muchas maravillas en nuestro subcontinente. He visto, también, dolores inconcebibles. Pero en todas las esquinas se repiten las notas de una misma tonada, las claves de un mismo código. Por eso confío en que mi mensaje, que es un mensaje costarricense, pueda ser entendido por este pueblo hermano.
      Me han pedido que les hable sobre la democracia y la libertad en Ecuador. Y he accedido porque comprendo que la democracia y la libertad no son idiosincráticas, no dependen del lugar en donde se las evoque. En Ecuador, en Suiza o en Indonesia, democracia quiere decir un núcleo básico de instituciones, derechos y deberes, que permiten la expansión de las libertades fundamentales de los individuos en una colectividad. Es un juego en el que cambian los jugadores, pero no cambian las reglas.
      Una de las grandes falacias políticas, en América Latina y en muchas otras partes del mundo, consiste en vender la idea de que cada lugar puede desarrollar una democracia específica o un sistema de libertades particular. Muy a menudo, esas justificaciones no son más que disfraces para ocultar una vocación opresiva o autoritaria. Para ponerlo en términos sencillos, muchos argumentan que el juego se juega diferente en todas partes, tan sólo para cometer fouls sin recibir tarjeta roja.
      Yo estoy plenamente convencido de que las reglas democráticas son universales, y que los países son más o menos democráticos, dependiendo de cuánto se acercan o cuánto se alejan de ese sistema que esbozaron los griegos, que perfeccionaron los estadounidenses, que sofisticaron los nórdicos y que hoy intentamos impulsar, con mayor o menor éxito, la mayoría de los países de la Tierra.
      Por eso no hace falta que hable de las características distintivas de Ecuador. Nadie conoce este país mejor que ustedes. En cambio, prefiero hablar de las amenazas que percibo para la democracia y la libertad en América Latina, que se repiten en muchos países de la región. Porque, a pesar de que abandonamos las dictaduras que marcaron con sangre la segunda mitad del siglo XX, es claro que todavía queda mucho camino por recorrer.
      Cuatro son las amenazas principales que percibo en nuestra región: la concentración del poder, supuestamente justificada por el respaldo electoral; el irrespeto a la ley y la debilidad del Estado de Derecho; la ineficiencia de nuestros aparatos estatales a la hora de brindar los frutos de la democracia; y la tentación militar que desde siempre ensombrece los más claros días de nuestra región.
      El poder democrático es un poder insalvablemente limitado. Por definición, un gobernante demócrata tiene oposición política, es controlado por los medios de comunicación, recibe críticas por parte de sus detractores, es supervisado por el Poder Legislativo y el Poder Judicial, tiene un periodo establecido para ejercer sus funciones, tiene un marco legal definido en el que puede operar, y se encuentra siempre sujeto al escrutinio ciudadano y a la evaluación pública de su gestión. Éstas son las reglas incuestionables del poder democrático y cualquiera que pretenda saltarlas, incurre en vicios autoritarios, aunque haya sido elegido por el pueblo.
      Se trata de una trampa en que han caído algunos gobiernos latinoamericanos. Al recibir el apoyo electoral, interpretan que el mandato del pueblo les permite modificar las reglas democráticas para llevar adelante su proyecto político. Entonces, si la Constitución se interpone en su camino, la cambian. Si el Poder Judicial objeta sus decisiones, nombran nuevos jueces y magistrados. Si los medios de comunicación cuestionan sus comportamientos, los cierran. Si sus adversarios políticos se pronuncian, los amenazan. Y si su periodo no les alcanza, lo prorrogan.
      Tengamos mucho cuidado. Las elecciones son una parte esencial del proceso democrático, pero no son el proceso democrático. Si un gobernante coarta las garantías individuales, si limita la libertad de expresión, si restringe injustificadamente la libertad de comercio, subvierte las bases mismas de la democracia que lo hizo llegar al poder.
      El dilema que esto presenta, y que aún no hemos logrado resolver, es cómo lidiar con democracias en donde los gobernantes se comportan autoritariamente, pero no son dictaduras. Porque, en honor a la verdad, en América Latina sólo existe una dictadura y es la dictadura cubana. Los demás regímenes, nos guste o no, son democracias en mayor o menor grado de consolidación. Pretender derrocar esos gobiernos, o removerlos de alguna forma violenta o contraria a la Constitución y las leyes, es caer en el mismo juego autocrático que pretendemos combatir. Un verdadero demócrata no pide jamás la caída de un gobierno electo por el pueblo. Si algo nos ha enseñado la dolorosa experiencia de Honduras, es que un golpe de Estado es siempre, siempre, una pésima idea.
      La única vía para restarle poder a quienes lo han concentrado luego de recibir el apoyo popular, es minando ese apoyo popular. Con educación cívica, con debates, con ideas, con argumentos, con ejemplos. Los pueblos mismos deben aprender a apartar los espejismos de la demagogia y del populismo. Los pueblos mismos deben aprender a condenar, en las urnas, el comportamiento antidemocrático de un régimen. Los pueblos mismos deben aprender a separar la paja del trigo. Porque el problema no son los falsos Mesías, sino los pueblos que acuden con ramas y palmas a celebrar su llegada. De nada le sirve a América Latina deshacerse de líderes con delirios autoritarios, si tan sólo van a ser sustituidos por nuevas estrellas del teatro político.
      No nos corresponde “proteger” a nuestros pueblos de las amenazas. Nos corresponde, en cambio, educarlos para que ellos mismos aparten esas amenazas. El paternalismo debe ser sustituido por una fe genuina en el poder transformador de las sociedades, un poder que, hoy más que nunca, puede ser canalizado de forma efectiva. Las redes sociales como Facebook o Twitter, los foros de debate como esta Cámara de Comercio, los espacios de discusión, que pueden ir desde la mesa del comedor hasta el anfiteatro más grande, nos invitan a pregonar el credo democrático. El argumento más convincente que podemos dar, la forma más honesta de convencer a alguien de la necesidad de apoyar únicamente a los líderes que respetan las reglas del juego, es que, tarde o temprano, sólo esos líderes mejoran las condiciones de vida de los ciudadanos. Tenemos que convencer a nuestros pueblos de la vacuidad de la promesa mesiánica, si es que queremos construir una verdadera vocación democrática en América Latina.
      La segunda amenaza que percibo, está profundamente ligada con la anterior, y es la fragilidad de nuestro Estado de Derecho. Gran parte de los problemas que ha tenido América Latina en los últimos años, son producto de una incapacidad estatal de evitar la concentración del poder. Muchos tribunales carecen de la autoridad para decirle a un gobernante “hasta aquí”. Muchos congresos carecen de la facultad para controlar, verdaderamente controlar, a los mandatarios. Hay un uso perverso de los instrumentos legales y una flexibilización constante de las normas, para perseguir fines particulares.
      En parte, esto es producto de una debilidad cultural. A los latinoamericanos les cuesta mucho identificarse con el Estado, y como consecuencia, les cuesta mucho obedecer las normas públicas. La evasión fiscal, por ejemplo, no sólo no es vista como delito en nuestros países, sino que incluso es vista como astucia. Lo mismo sucede con el irrespeto a las leyes de tránsito o a las normas ambientales o a las reglas de la competencia. Parece elemental, pero necesitamos entender que una región que no respeta las normas del juego, no puede pedir que sus gobernantes las respeten.
      Esto tiene serias incidencias sobre la capacidad de hacer negocios, y estoy seguro de que ustedes lo saben mejor que yo. Al final del camino, la inseguridad jurídica, la incapacidad de confiar en el sistema legal de un país, la incertidumbre en torno a las consecuencias que nuestros actos pueden tener, es uno de los peores enemigos del crecimiento económico. A ustedes, más que a nadie, les conviene fortalecer el Estado de Derecho, a partir de su ejemplo y a partir de su discurso. Les corresponde contribuir responsablemente con la educación cívica de las escuelas y colegios. Les corresponde demostrar que el sector privado no cae en el mismo juego de atajos que critica en el sector público. Les garantizo que un respeto indiscutible a las normas y a la autoridad, de parte de los empresarios, es uno de los principales alicientes con que puede contar un pueblo para abrazar la democracia.
      La tercera amenaza que he mencionado es la ineficiencia de nuestros aparatos estatales. Con muy pocas excepciones, como Tailandia y Nepal, los pueblos latinoamericanos son los que han luchado durante más años, desde su Independencia, por cruzar el umbral del desarrollo. El retorno democrático de fines del siglo XX, vino aunado a una promesa de prosperidad que aún hoy no ha sido cumplida. Nuestros habitantes todavía esperan que la democracia les cambie la vida, todavía esperan que la libertad ponga pan sobre la mesa.
      Esa incapacidad para traducir en realidad las promesas, es culpa de una esclerosis estatal que nos tiene paralizados. En muchos sentidos, nuestros gobiernos trabajan muy duro para obtener muy pocos resultados. Hemos construido Estados hipertrofiados, a los que les cuesta mucho ejecutar las acciones más esenciales, en primera instancia, porque son Estados desfinanciados, que deben lidiar con el perpetuo dilema de construir sociedades de primer mundo con impuestos exiguos; y en segunda instancia, porque son Estados amarrados, obsesionados con controles duplicados y triplicados que hacen muy poco para detener la corrupción, pero mucho para detener el crecimiento económico.
      Sé que, como empresarios, a ustedes les genera ansiedad la posibilidad de pagar mayores impuestos. Pero también sé que el costo de hacer negocios en un país subdesarrollado es, muchas veces, prohibitivo. Es mejor pagar mayores tributos, pero transitar por carreteras en buen estado, tener trabajadores educados, contar con un sistema de salud universal, realizar rápidamente los trámites públicos, tener barrios y ciudades seguros, recibir el producto de la investigación y la innovación en las universidades, y en general disfrutar los beneficios con que cuenta el sector empresarial en las naciones industrializadas. Es crucial que entendamos que si nuestros países no mejoran su competitividad, nunca podrán dar el salto al desarrollo que nuestros pueblos esperan y merecen.
      Una reforma estatal, que revise nuestra maraña legal, que elimine las trabas innecesarias para el  buen funcionamiento de nuestros gobiernos, es un elemento esencial no sólo en la generación de mayor riqueza, sino en la profundización de nuestra democracia y en la expansión de nuestras libertades individuales, porque un pueblo satisfecho es menos propenso a rendirse ante las tentaciones autoritarias. Presionar por la reforma del Estado, desde las campañas políticas pero también en la vigencia de los Gobiernos, debería ser una de las principales preocupaciones de cámaras como ésta.
      La última amenaza que quería mencionarles, es la persistente tutela militar de la región, que se resiste a abandonarnos a pesar de los dolores infligidos en el pasado. Cuando era estudiante en Inglaterra, y del otro lado del océano llegaban las noticias de una retahíla inacabable de golpes de Estado en América Latina, mis compañeros se burlaban diciendo que yo venía de una región que era como un disco de larga duración, es decir, de 33 revoluciones por minuto.
      Aquello que era una broma cruel para mí, es una realidad que ha lacerado incansablemente a nuestra región. Guerras civiles, revoluciones sangrientas, golpes de Estado, represiones brutales, torturas, desapariciones: a pesar de la retórica nacionalista, el expediente de los ejércitos de la región tiene muy pocas glorias, sobre todo durante el último siglo.
      El año pasado, el gasto militar de la región ascendió a 60 mil millones de dólares, lo cual es más del doble de lo que era hace seis años. Muchos países destinan alrededor del 2% de su Producto Interno Bruto a sus ejércitos, aunque algunos destinan mucho más. Esto es alarmante per se, pero sobre todo cuando recordamos que la carga fiscal de nuestros países es, en promedio, del 18% del Producto Interno Bruto, con casos extremos que apenas llegan al 10%.
      Â¿En qué fortalece esto nuestra democracia y nuestra libertad? ¿Cómo contribuye a brindarles a nuestros ciudadanos una mejor calidad de vida? Cuando digo estas cosas, hay quienes me argumentan que los ejércitos combaten el narcotráfico o realizan labores de rescate, en caso de emergencia. Pero ninguna de estas razones es una función propia de los ejércitos, ni justifica la carrera armamentista en la que actualmente se encuentra América Latina. Por el contrario, la presencia de fuerzas armadas cada vez más poderosas no hace sino reforzar la idea de que es con la violencia, y no con la razón, con que se resuelven las cosas; y que es la fuerza, y no la ley, la que debe regir la convivencia entre los seres humanos.
      Reducir el gasto militar no sólo sería una demostración de la fe en la democracia y en las reglas del juego, sino la oportunidad de disponer de una liquidez necesaria para invertir en escuelas y colegios, en clínicas y hospitales, en carreteras y aeropuertos, en laboratorios y centros de cómputo, en escuelas de música y teatros. Un gasto ocioso pasaría a ser una inversión en la competitividad de nuestras economías.
      No hablo por hablar. Costa Rica fue el primer país en la historia en abolir su ejército y declararle la paz al mundo. Nuestros hijos no conocen los tanques de guerra, los submarinos o los helicópteros artillados. Desde hace más de sesenta años, destinamos a la educación, a la salud y a la protección del medio ambiente, lo que destinábamos a nuestro ejército. El producto es que somos uno de los países con mejor Índice de Desarrollo Humano en la región y el país más feliz del mundo, según recientes publicaciones.
      No estoy abogando por la abolición de todos los ejércitos latinoamericanos, aunque ganas me sobran. Comprendo que se trata de instituciones que son respetadas, y cuya necesidad es percibida por la mayoría de personas. Pero no veo razón alguna por la cual nuestra región deba embrollarse en una carrera armamentista. Un aumento en el gasto militar es injustificable para países que, con la sola excepción de Colombia, no experimentan actualmente ningún conflicto armado.
     Con un poco de memoria uno comprende que, en América Latina, fortalecer a los ejércitos es, casi siempre, debilitar las democracias. Dejar de invertir en la industria de la muerte, empezar a gastar en la prodigiosa empresa de la vida, debería ser una prioridad para países que están en deuda con la paz, con el desarrollo y con la libertad. 
Amigas y amigos:
      He venido a esta hebilla del cinturón de la Tierra, recordando mis años de infancia. Aquel globo terráqueo con que jugaba en la escuela, se convirtió luego en el escenario de las largas luchas de mi vida. La búsqueda de la paz me llevó a comarcas lejanas, “y me gradué doctor en sueños”, para usar una expresión del gran po
eta ecuatoriano,  Jorge Carrera Andrade. “Vine a América a despertar”, nos dice el poeta. Yo también vine a despertar a América, a darme cuenta de que los sueños no sólo hay que pensarlos, sino que hay que construirlos.
      He dedicado mi vida a construir el sueño de una América Latina más pacífica, más libre, más próspera, más democrática, más acorde con la idea que me inculcó la maestra. Aún hoy sigo construyendo esa visión: una América Latina en donde el poder no se concentre, sino que se distribuya; en donde la ley no se irrespete, sino que se fortalezca; en donde los aparatos estatales no se ahoguen, sino que se vuelvan eficaces; en donde el militarismo no se atice, sino que ceda campo al desarrollo humano. Esa América Latina es posible. Existe en cada uno de ustedes. Hoy les pido que, como yo, se gradúen en sueños y despierten a esa América que espera más allá del esfuerzo y el trabajo.
      Muchas gracias.

          Alucinaciones Socialistas        

Pensé no comentar sobre la visita de Rafael Correa a la Isla de Cuba dada la necedad de sus declaraciones y la poca importancia que dicha visita brinda al país (mas allá de sus evidentes intentos de salamería socialista).  Sin embargo no queda duda que pareciera que el compañero Correa sigue sufriendo de alucionaciones, pues se niega a reconocer (como lo hacen todos los socialistas trasnochados) que en Cuba lo que se vive es una dictadura.  Yo me pregunto hasta cuando vamos a escuchar tanta sandez, y si tanto les parece interesante el infierno cubano porque no emigran a Cuba y de una vez por todas experimentan en carne propia el gulag Cubano. 

Para muestra me remito a las pruebas y vean las declaraciones vergonzosas que ha dado en Cuba donde para empezar su idea de una nuevo país incluye el que se larguen los que no están de acuerdo y por supuesto se niega a ver el desastre Cubano.  Seguramente lo llevaron a comer a la casa del abuelito Fidel, chocho y enloquecido y se pasaron tomando vinos de los más finos y fumandose un puro cubano mientras discutían como apoderarse del resto de latinoamerica o como ejercer el control total. 

Ojalá si algún día se acaba esta revolución ciudadana y el compañerito decida irse, que Cuba le de asilo, para que viva en carne propia el paraiso cubano.  Pero seguramente no hará eso, e irá seguramente a establecerse a Belgica, patria de su señora a disfrutar de los beneficios de una sociedad capitalista, libre y próspera.

‘La burguesía quiere desestabilizarnos’


Redacción Política

presidente Rafael Correa   tiene una creencia: los grupos de poder 
utilizan a la mayoría de los  medios  para desestabilizar su

Así lo señaló en su reciente visita oficial a
Cuba. Allí ofreció  una entrevista con el diario Granma, el periódico
oficial del Régimen cubano, donde explicó en detalle esa idea de una
supuesta alianza entre la prensa y lo que el Jefe de Estado  denomina

En palabras del presidente  Correa,  la  burguesía
cubana salió de la isla e intenta atacar al Gobierno de ese país. En
cambio, a su juicio, la burguesía ecuatoriana prefirió quedarse en el
país para frenar su “revolución ciudadana”.

“En Ecuador, la
burguesía se quedó adentro y trata de torpedear todos los procesos de
cambio desde adentro, a través de una llamada prensa libre que en
verdad es prensa en función de ciertos privilegios e intereses; a
través de supuestas cámaras de producción; a través de ciertos sectores
de la Iglesia; a través de supuestas organizaciones sociales”.

el Primer Mandatario, esa supuesta conjunción entre grupos de poder y
una parte de la  prensa se acentuará en el  proceso electoral,
para afectar al Gobierno y a sus candidatos.

“El panorama es
complejo, será difícil, van a hacer lo imposible por desestabilizarnos,
lo imposible por hacernos perder las elecciones. Ese es el desafío,
pero nuestra respuesta será más democracia. Pondremos nuestros cargos
siempre a consideración del pueblo ecuatoriano cuantas veces sea

El 26 de abril el Ecuador asistirá a las urnas para
elegir a todas sus autoridades de elección popular. El  Régimen y su
movimiento  Acuerdo País se han trazado  tres grandes objetivos
electorales: la reelección del presidente Rafael Correa, obtener la
mayoría en la Asamblea Legislativa (Congreso) y captar la Alcaldía de

“Los grupos de poder saben que están siendo
derrotados por sucesivos procesos electorales en Ecuador, y van a poner
toda la carne al asador para tratar de desestabilizar al Gobierno y
hacernos perder las elecciones”.

En su diálogo con el órgano de
información oficial del Gobierno cubano, el Presidente también se
refirió al proceso de integración en América Latina. En ese punto, 
responsabilizó  al modelo económico de libre mercado de la ausencia de
los problemas  que hay en la región.  “En lo social creo que falta
mucho y no se va a lograr ese mucho mientras sigan los mismos modelos
de antes, no es con más capitalismo, con más neoliberalismo, con más
mercados que se van a solucionar esas cosas. A.  Latina necesita un
modelo alternativo y en algunos países, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia,
Venezuela, está tratándose de hacer”.

En sus dos años de
mandato, el  gobierno de Correa ha intensificado sus relaciones con los
países que forman la Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas (Alba). 
Ese bloque está integrado por Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua,
Haití, Honduras y Dominica. La Alba busca ser un contrapeso geopolítico
a la influencia de Estados Unidos en la región y cuenta con Irán como
país observador.

“Los gobiernos neoliberales se derrumbaron como
castillos de naipes, por ahí sobreviven unos que otros, pero en general
ha habido muchas victorias sucesivas de gobiernos de izquierda”.

pronto podamos construir esa nueva estructura o arquitectura financiera
regional, con un banco de desarrollo, con un fondo de reserva, con una
moneda común incluso”, agregó.

En la entrevista con el rotativo
cubano, el presidente Correa  también formuló ciertos paralelismos
entre la revolución cubana  y el proceso político que él lidera en el
Ecuador. Incluso, dijo que su denominada revolución ciudadana también
es “guevarista”, en referencia a Ernesto Guevara.

un símbolo de lo que quiere ser la revolución ciudadana, esa clase de
sacrificio al extremo, darlo todo por los ideales que nos sostienen,
darlo todo por el servicio a los demás, darlo todo por la solidaridad.
Así que es también un símbolo y un mensaje de que nuestra revolución
ciudadana es alfarista, bolivariana, pero también guevarista”.

“Los grupos de poder  van a poner toda la carne al asador para  hacernos perder las elecciones”.

Derechos reservados ® 2001-2009 GRUPO EL COMERCIO C.A.

Prohibida la reproducción total o parcial de este contenido sin autorización de Diario El Comercio

          Midsomer Murders        
While binge watching Midsomer Murders on YLE Areena ... yes, I know....but there is a correlation between watching crap TV/Movies and intelligence - or at least I hope there is.... anyway, there seems to be a remarkably high rate of murder, which prompts some interesting shower thoughts....

  1. Firstly any detective posted to Midsomer is obviously at the peak of his career - you're never going to be bored and solving the crime is always going to be a challenge. Positions in the Midsomer police force must therefore be highly coveted.
  2. It is probably a good thing that Morse was never assigned to Midsomer...given the frequency that pubs play some role in the cases would imply that Morse would be succumb to severe alcohol poisoning after just a few cases.
  3. Jessica Fletcher could be one of the most prolific mass murderers ever...even surpassing Miss Marple...

Various people have calculated the murder rates for fictional TV towns and come up with the conclusion that...well...let's see:

  • The average rate in England and Wales (2010) is approximately 9-10 murders per million.
  • The rate in Midsomer is around 32 murders per million, approximately 3 times the UK average
  • In rate in Cabot Cove, home of Jessica Fletcher is 1490 murders per million (approx 130 times the UK average and 38 times the US average)

Here are the current rates worldwide for comparison, and summarised in murders per million

UK  9
USA 39
Honduras  846
Midsomer 32
Cabot Cove 1490

Squad: Goalkeepers: 1 – Jimmy Stewart – Real España; Era: SH 1970’s 18 – Noel Valladares – CD Olimpia; Era: FH 2010’s 21 – Julio César Arzú – Real España / Racing Santander (Spain); Era: FH 1980’s Defenders: 2 – José Luis Cruz – CD Montágua; Era: FH 1970’s 3 – Maynor Figueroa – Wigan (England); Era: FH 2010’s 4 – Samuel Caballero […]
El continente Américano se encuentra dividido por America de Norte, America del Sur y Centro América, ésta ultima división es caracterizada por estar compuesta por 6 paises (Belice, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panamá y Costa Rica), los cuales se identifican enormemente por sus culturas y la diversidad de lugares turisticos que ofrecen a todas aquellas personas que deseen tener una experiencia diferente y agradable.

          Review: Sin Nombre        
We are not born free. We are born into our culture, religion and the environment. Almost everyone gets carried away with the tide that has been around forever. You take whatever is handed out to you and do not question. Life is hard and relentless. Always brings you down. In some places it is more than the others. If you want to rebel, it stamps you down. If you want to run away it hunts you down. If you want to break free. It destroys your soul. Off the millions there are a few thousands thinking of the fight, a few hundred start it and eventually a handful might win. Now if one is among the millions or the thousands or the hundreds or the handful victors one knows not until the struggle is over. Only to start out a new struggle all over again.

You are born in a place where you are easily sucked into a criminal gang with a violent subculture and find yourself deprived of a life you want to live or deserve. Your loved ones are snatched away from you and you know that any form of dissidence and rebellion will only end with definite punishment. Yet in the spur of the moment when the deepest of your emotions overcome your resolve to stay sane to stay alive, you commit the ‘unforgivable’ and live with the dire consequences.

We always have a measure of a better life. Instincts tell us to get away from the decadent current state in pursuit of a dream in the land of opportunities. We are ready to suffer a seemingly never ending string of hardships for the tantalizing promise of a better future. In this pursuit we need to trust those instincts which tell us what to do for more often than not we know no better. Sometimes the instincts make you take a dive headlong in trusting someone who you barely know.

Why do we have to take those decisions we take which alter our paths? We do not think of the consequences and live in the instant as it happens. When life is happening too fast and danger at all times, that’s all we can do. We now don’t even care why you take each decision; it’s all about surviving the decision regardless of why we took it and what it resulted in. We don’t have the luxury of holding on to spare some time to think. At the end of the day it’s all about doing what you thought was right and of course survival.

Sin Nombre is almost as harsh reality can get in the wake of an attempt for a better life. Be it sneaking into US from Honduras or running away from your own clan which is out to hunt you down you are out there battling random scenarios against bad odds and the utmost detail to which this movie goes into capturing this is phenomenal. Never did I ever feel that I was watching an enactment, I was right there with the migrants on the top of the train trying to sneak into the US alive. I was there with a south Mexican gang witnessing their initiations, meetings and hunts in all the colours and violence they are used to. I was there facing certain death while having an inexplicable need to safeguard a person who trusts completely and unwaveringly.

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s brave attempt in capturing the reality and weaving into a wonderful tale has come off well. It is an amazing movie and I cannot vouch if the life is exactly the same as he portrayed but he damn sure convinced me. The performances by Casper, Sayra and Smiley are spot on lending a little more grip to reality and in turn on our heartstrings.


          Malamud: Y dale con el hiperpresidencialismo        
En esta nota (acá), A. Malamud, el buen provocateur (siempre más interesado en ironizar que en presentar razones), vuelve a la carga (contra mí y otros) para minimizar o ridiculizar las referencias que solemos hacer en crítica al hiperpresidencialismo.

Alguna vez busqué aclararle por qué hablamos de hiperpresidencialismo, y por qué dicha categoría no es, como él dice, una mera "licencia poética". Carlos Nino fundó la categoría, no a partir de una cuestión de gustos o por énfasis retórico (finalmente, Nino era un filósofo analítico, y no un politólogo). Él ponía atención en los poderes formales adicionales que en América Latina, las Constituciones, le concedieron al presidente, vis a vis el modelo que sirvió de ejemplo, el norteamericano. Los presidentes nacieron aquí con facultades especiales, como las de intervención federal que eran negadas en Estados Unidos; fuertes poderes para limitar derechos a través del estado de sitio (también hiper presente en la historia latinoamericana, y ausente en Estados Unidos); capacidad para nombrar y remover a puro gusto a sus ministros; y capacidades legislativas que la práctica (volveré sobre esto) convirtió en extraordinarias. Si a eso le sumamos su capacidad de control sobre el presupuesto, y el hecho de que la coparticipación federal, en países como la Argentina, se decide sobre la mesa presidencial, podemos entender las implicaciones de las diferencias de poderes concedidos de las que hablaba Nino. Insisto entonces, y éste es mi primer punto, no se trata de retórica, sino de funciones concedidas constitucionalmente, y de sus implicaciones prácticas. Si Malamud no entiende lo que implicó la intervención provincial o el estado de sitio en la historia de la Argentina, o Colombia, para decir dos casos notables, tiene un montón de libros de historia a mano que pueden ayudarle a detectar el problema, en lugar de ridiculizarlo (insisto también, lo conversé con él, y se muestra todavía impermeable al hecho, porque prefiere seguir ironizando).

El segundo punto que quiero hacer tiene que ver con el sentido de la nota, que me resulta absurda y fuera de lugar. Porque, aunque es claro a quién(es) ataca A.M., no es claro qué es lo que tiene por decir; ni cuál es el problema que quiere confrontar; o el argumento que quiere controvertir. Esto es:  qué está haciendo A.M.? 

Porque el (en este excepcional caso) aburrido racconto que presenta, nos dice que algunos presidentes latinoamericanos dejaron sus cargos antes de tiempo; o que otros están acosados judicialmente, o viviendo en el exilio. Pero entonces qué? Qué es lo que nos dice o agrega ello? Su escrito resulta realmente curioso, porque, en buena medida, eso era justamente lo que Nino, Linz and co., querían decir cuando atacaban al hiperpresidencialismo que A.M. ridiculiza: al concentrar el poder de decisiones en una persona, se genera una dinámica de no-cooperación y suma cero, que afecta la estabilidad de los presidentes; tornándolos objeto de persecución y ataques. O sea que lo que Malamud cita para refutar aquellos escritos es justamente lo que reafirma el sentido y "éxito" de aquellos.

Ninguna de las críticas hechas al hiperpresidencialismo quiso decir nunca que ellos (los hiperpresidentes) no tienen controles, o que duran para siempre, o que no van a enfrentar procesos judiciales, o que no van a ser impopulares en un momento, o que no van a enfrentar procesos al fin de su mandato. Exactamente todo lo contrario (tales estudios quisieron predecir que los hiperpresidentes estaban destinados, habitualmente, a perder de modo abrupto popularidad, iban a ser perseguidos, y todo ello iba a poner en riesgo la misma gobernabilidad del sistema que con las "facultades del rey" venían a salvar de la anarquía). Entonces, qué quiere afirmar A.M.? Qué argumento desafía o refuta, salvo las caricaturas o espantapájaros que se ha construido?

Citar, por lo demás, algunas decisiones judiciales en Colombia, contra la reelección (aunque debería leer algo más de la jurisprudencia colombiana en torno a los poderes presidenciales), no agrega mucho, sino que más bien resta, porque Colombia es considerada en la materia la excepción y no la regla en la región. Quiere A.M. que cite uno 20 o 50 casos alternativos en Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua o Venezuela, sobre las relaciones entre el poder judicial y el poder ejecutivo, y el sometimiento del primero al segundo? 

Porque ésa es finalmente la cuestión: la práctica del hiperpresidencialismo distorsiona el funcionamiento del sistema de frenos y contrapesos. Típicamente, y esto ha sido una realidad en la historia latinoamericana, esa distorsión ha implicado el sometimiento del poder judicial; la ampliación de la capacidad de impacto del presidente, muchas veces opacando al poder legislativo o convirtiéndolo en mera escribanía; y siempre con recursos económicos y coercitivos infinitos, y beneficios y posiciones también infinitas para repartir que le permiten expandir su capacidad de dominación sobre el resto. Se trata de datos que constituyen ya rasgos definitorios de la historia contemporánea de América Latina, de la que Malamud debiera tomar nota (aunque no es claro que le interese hacerlo). 

Dos últimas cuestiones. Por un lado, la crítica al hiperpresidencialismo no implica un elogio a la "institucionalidad de los países normales." En mi caso, repudio por sus componentes elitistas y contra-mayoritarios a ese tipo de sistemas (escribí mi tesis doctoral sobre/contra ese estilo de democracias constitucionales), y eso es perfectamente consistente con agregar otro tipo de críticas hacia los hiperpresidencialismos regionales.

Finalmente, cito su conclusión: "En síntesis, los presidentes latinoamericanos suelen tener poder limitado, mandato acortado, sucesor renegado y libertad denegada."

Otra vez, A.M. muestra un mayor interés en cerrar con una frase de impacto que en presentar un argumento. La frase es puro fuegos artificiales, incapaz de dañar a nadie, ni aportar nada serio al debate público sobre el tema. Será la próxima, sin dudas.

          Politics - USA        
 Kilkrazy wrote:
If you google this story the first 15 links are all right-wing blog-style pieces generated in the past couple of days, probably referencing each other.

The only substantiated fact is the court records I linked above. These show that basic elements of the story are false.

I think we can put this one down as another lot of Republican poo-slinging, just a bit more sophisticated then ripping a pic of some woman with facial injuries and claiming she was beaten up by Bernie Sanders's supporters.

Does Bloomberg qulify as right wing? Michael Bloomberg was a Republican for a few years but I've never seen him referred to as right wing.
Laureate, which runs for-profit colleges, hired Clinton just as the Obama administration began drafting tougher regulations for federal financial aid that goes to students who attend for-profit colleges. Around the same time, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions launched an investigation into the industry. In his book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Schweizer writes that after Bill Clinton accepted the position at Laureate in 2010 in exchange for unspecified payment, his wife “made Laureate part of her State Department Global Partnership.” The State Department subsequently provided tens of millions of dollars to a nonprofit chaired by Becker, the International Youth Foundation.

Citing the foundation’s tax filings, Schweizer writes that while IYF had received government grants (mainly from the U.S. Agency for International Development) as far back as 2001, they “exploded since Bill became chancellor of Laureate,” accounting for the vast majority of the nonprofit’s revenue. In 2010, “government grants accounted for $23 million of its revenue, compared to $5.4 million from other sources. It received $21 million in 2011 and $23 million in 2012.” The link between International Youth Foundation and Laureate has not been previously reported, he said.

The Clinton campaign disputed Schweizer’s characterization. "This is yet another false allegation in a book that is fast being debunked," said Brian Fallon, a campaign spokesman. "The International Youth Foundation was funded by the Bush administration, well before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. In fact, the group's USAID funding actually went down in the year that she arrived at the State Department, not up."

A Bloomberg examination of IYF’s public filings show that in 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped: IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.

Laureate has declined to say how much it has paid the former president. Hillary Clinton’s financial disclosure forms in 2012 revealed only that her husband received nonemployee compensation of more than $1,000 from the company that year. The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosures showed that Laureate cumulatively gave between $1 million and $5 million through 2014. In his book, Schweizer noted that Bill Clinton, during the period when his wife was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, spoke at Laureate campuses in Honduras, Mexico City, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Malaysia, Brazil, Peru, and the United States. Schweizer wrote that “based on his typical fee scale,” the half dozen speaking events Clinton has done annually for Laureate “means perhaps $1 million per year.” He dubbed this blend of government service and private remuneration the “Clinton blur.”
Since 2010, Bill Clinton brought in just short of $16.5 million for his role as honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, a for-profit college company. He left the position earlier this year weeks after his wife launched her campaign.

In 2014, Bill Clinton made $9 million off of paid speeches and $6.4 million in consulting fees. Of that, $4.3 million came from Laureate and another $2.1 million from GEMS Education, a Dubai-based company that runs preschool and K-12 programs. He made less from those two gigs in previous years – $5.6 million in 2013 and $4.7 million in 2012. In 2011, the former president was paid $2.5 million by Laureate, $500,000 by GEMS and $100,000 by Teneo Holdings, a firm co-founded by former Clinton aide Doug Band.

I don't think this is the type of scandal that will move the needle in any meaningful way. I does add further support/evidence to the politics as usual pay to play characterization of the Clintons and politics in general that can get a lot of people upset but that's nothing new.

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Primero que nada para comenzar a hablar acerca de este tema tan importante es relevante destacar su definición, la Alianza Cooperativa Internacional (ACI, 1995:38) Expresa a la cooperativa como “una asociación de personas que se han unido voluntariamente para hacer frente a sus necesidades y aspiraciones económicas, sociales y culturales comunes por medio de una empresa de propiedad conjunta y democráticamente controlada”
Su evolución radica de años atrás las cooperativas agrícolas vienen acompañada por la necesidad de superación de un grupo de personas, en Venezuela la eficiencia de las cooperativas refleja el arduo trabajo que ha tenido resultados satisfactorios y beneficiosos para la sociedad donde se desarrolla, por medio de técnicas que se han implementado para alcanzar la competitividad y el crecimiento sostenido de esta actividad que aunque parezca básica necesita atención especial y asesoramiento para que se pongan en juego herramientas políticas económicas y tecnológicas que aseguran el crecimiento de esta actividad que va mas allá de una organización y constituye un sujeto representativo que promueve el crecimiento económico y el bienestar social evolucionando constantemente y adaptándose siempre en la medida de lo posible a su entorno, se crean ventajas competitivas que permiten establecer un carácter dinámico en términos de diferenciación y producto que con el tiempo van mejorando los niveles de eficiencia y productividad son un motor importante que Constituye una alta fuente de empleos directos e indirectos, Igualmente se encuentran atentas para responder necesidades colectivas de los pequeños productores. Las cooperativas Agrícolas se orientaron hacia los servicios de apoyo a los productores en todas las fases del proceso productivo
Se presenta una visión más clara, sustentada en los logros alcanzados en los planes y proyectos diseñados por las cooperativas que son fuente fundamental de trabajo que se han introducido en la economía de forma organizada y los productos y servicio que ofrecen se encuentran en una ámbito de alta calidad lo que le permite competir en los mercados locales con otras industrias. Es importante que continúen con su funcionamiento de manera organizada lo cual les permitirá continuar participando en una cuota del mercado y las actividades económicas les fortalecerán para la obtención de financiamientos para seguir creciendo y ampliando sus mercados en el ámbito agrícola.

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          TPS Designation for Syria         
Today the USCIS released details on Temporary Protective Status (TPS) application procedures for eligible Syrian nationals.  In addition to Syria, other designated countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. TPS designation can be made by the Secretary of Homeland Security when a foreign country has conditions that temporarily prevent the...
          Bro. Raul Castro: Our Strength is Honduras’ Strength        

Cuban News Agency July 3, 2007

Our Strength is Honduras’ Strength

“Our first message for the Honduran people is of solidarity and encouragement”, affirmed Cuban President Raul Castro during the extraordinary session of the Summit of the Rio Group held in Managua, Nicaragua last Monday.

During the meeting, important agreements were approved in favor of reinstating constitutionally elected President Manuel Zelaya as the legitimate representative of Honduras, after being brutally ousted in a coup perpetrated by the right wing military serving the country’s oligarchy.

The withdrawal of Latin American ambassadors from Honduras, the cutting of oil supplies, the closure of the Honduran border with other Central American nations, a surging wave of international condemnation, the suspension of economic agreements and bank credits with the country while the power remains in the hands of the de facto government, are just some of the measures agreed on by the heads of states that attended the Managua Summit.

These are valid accords in favor of truth and democracy on behalf of the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas and the Rio Group.

Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly held a session condemning the coup [...]

          Honduras: UFO Sightings On The Rise        

Source: Planeta UFO (Argentina) and La Gente (Honduras)
Date: 07.16.2017

Honduras: UFO Sightings On The Rise

Tegucigalpa, Honduras -- Her sleep was disturbed by the parrot squawking at that time of the morning. Upon stepping out to the yard, she found the bird staring skyward and her amazement was indescribable as she witnessed a luminous object moving beside the sun. The object descended and its surroundings acquired an aqua-green intensity before it sped off to the north at a tremendous rate of speed.

The time was around 6:00 in the morning last Sunday. The singular vision shocked her out of her Sunday slumber, giving her enough time to reach for her smartphone and take three photos of the strange object as it moved in the heavens.

The first two photos showed a bright spot, but in the third, the object lit up in such a way that it made it clear that it had a force field. When it dashed off into the clear blue skies, "Sandrita" was sure that she'd seen an unidentified flying object (UFO).

Others in Honduras, much like "Sandrita" (who preferred to conceal her surname), and hundreds of others around the world are seeing from one to entire flotillas of objects, as well as the added shock of encountering one of their occupants or extraterrestrial beings.

The event has left the girl from a Comayaguela neighborhood full of questions after having photographed a UFO without meaning to do so. Many others worldwide are also wondering about the purpose or goals such craft might have.

Humanity has kept records of so-called extraterrestrial contact since the dawn of times. An increase in UFO sighting reports is occurring in every country on the planet, including Honduras.

[Translation (c) 2017, S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo Giménez]

          Honduras: Drones or Saucers?        

Source: Planeta UFO and Tiempo Digital
Date: 05.24.17

Honduras: Drones or Saucers?

In recent hours, residents of Valle in southern Honduras claimed seeing objects similar to flying saucers. Commotion gripped the southerners, as this is the first time they have seen such a large object flying over the area. According to local residents, the alleged saucer flew as though "monitoring" the area. The unusual event occurred between 8:00 and 9:00 in the evening in southern Honduras on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Information from Aeronáutica Civil de Honduras suggests that El Salvador has a large drone, which was seen by the southerners.

According to an officer in charge of state safety, Salvadorans pilot the drone with the aim of interdiciting drug traffic in their area. That is to say, our Salvadoran brothers use this drone to provide security to their country.

The drone they use is immense, according to photographs taken. What was seen in Valle is indeed the Salvadoran device.

Some time ago, an unidentified flying object was recorded by residents of the village of Las Planchas in Patuca, Olancho. The alleged UFO alarmed locals, who immediately tried to record the event. The photograph shows an oval object flying among the trees. It is up to the reader to decide whether this is a fraud or a UFO.

Drones are UAVs - unmanned aerial vehicles. These are reusable, crewless devices capable of maintaining controlled and sustained flight autonomously. The drone is propelled by an electrical or jet engine. Their design covers a wide range of shapes, sizes, configurations and characteristics. Historically, they emerged as remotely piloted vehicles.

[Translation (c) 2017 S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo Giménez, Planeta UFO]

          Drugs crossfire        
Meet the victims of the drugs war in Honduras
          El Zika la notícia        
El Zika es una enfermedad importante. Arribat a:Barbados, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Guyana, la Guayana Francesa, Haití, Honduras, Martinica, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, la isla de San Martín, Surinam y Leer más:
          Neymar Tak Terpengaruh Cacian Publik Inggris        

NEWCASTLE, Selama laga perempat final melawan Honduras, Neymar kerap dicaci diberi sorakan negatif oleh publik Inggris. Namun, "Sang Pele Baru" tak terpengaruh.

Neymar dimaki penonton yang mengira akibat ulahnya pula pemain Honduras, Wilmer Crisanto, dikenai kartu merah. Laga yang berakhir 3-2 untuk kemenangan tim "Samba" itu memang berlangsung keras. Delapan kartu kuning dan dua kartu merah jadi bumbu tak sedap laga di St James' Park.

"Aku sudah mempersiapkan segalanya. Diberi aplaus atau dicaci adalah sesuatu yang normal," ucap Neymar kepada Marca Brasil.

Menurutnya, pemain Honduras itu memang mengasari dan membuatnya terjatuh. Itu yang diingatnya sebelum wasit mencabut kartu merah.

"Aku tak ingin segala kritik memengaruhiku. Aku hanya ingin membantu Brasil meraih prestasi lebih. Buatku, sepak bola tak ada bedanya, baik ketika aku bermain diberi aplaus atau dimaki," tandasnya.

Brasil akan terbang ke Manchester pada Selasa (7/8/2012) mendatang, untuk menghadapi Korea Selatan di partai semifinal. "Selecao" pun kian dekat dengan emas pertama Olimpiadenya.
Editor :Daniel Sasongko


Tomado de

Con ello, Trump se ha quedado corto en sus medidas y Maduro se ha envalentonado ante la duplicidad del único adversario que puede ponerle fin a su régimen sin necesidad de disparar una sola bala.

Por Alfredo M. Cepero
Director de
Sígame en:

Quienes carezcan de la habilidad de leer entre líneas o no hayan sido testigos de las contradicciones entre la retórica y la acción de la política exterior norteamericana de los últimos 60 años, podrían pensar que Donald Trump se prepara a defenestrar al dictador Nicolas Maduro. Pero no hay nada más lejos de la realidad. Trump habla como defensor y líder de la libertad en el mundo en sentido genérico pero actúa como defensor de los intereses específicos de su país. Con todos los retos que confrontan los Estados Unidos en este momento, la libertad de Venezuela anda muy por debajo en su agenda.

Y aunque esta conducta nos moleste a quienes queremos la libertad del pueblo que regó con sangre los surcos de cinco repúblicas americanas, Trump está actuando como actúan los presidentes de todos los países. De la misma manera han actuado los presidentes de países hermanados por geografía, historia, tradición, cultura e idioma con Venezuela que forman parte de esa desarticulada e incoherente América Latina.

Pero el derroche de patriotismo y coraje de un pueblo que se ha lanzado a las calles para recuperar la libertad que le ha sido robada no han podido ser ignorados ni siquiera por los más contumaces aislacionistas. El pasado 30 de julio la prensa internacional dio cuenta de la muerte de 125 venezolanos y de centenares de muertos y desaparecidos en los cuatro meses que ha durado esta avalancha de heroísmo.

Estos farsantes tienen que decir algo para cubrir las apariencias y mitigar su complicidad con la barbarie desatada por Maduro y sus amos cubanos. Media docena de cancillerías latinoamericanas se han empezado a distanciar de la dictadura venezolana condenando la burla de la Asamblea Constituyente. Donald Trump, con la locuacidad compulsiva que lo llevó a la presidencia y le crea constantes e innecesarios problemas, no podía quedarse atrás. Mandó entonces a hablar a su gente.

A mediados de julio, funcionarios estadounidenses revelaron que el gobierno del presidente Donald Trump se estaba alistando para imponer nuevas sanciones a Venezuela. Dichos funcionarios agregaron que las nuevas sanciones podrían ser impuestas en pocos días y que probablemente apuntarían al sector petrolero de Venezuela, incluso posiblemente a su compañía estatal de petróleo.

Veamos el impacto de una medida tan drástica en el contexto de la actual situación venezolana. Venezuela atraviesa por una severa crisis económica, con una prolongada escasez de medicamentos y alimentos; así como un alarmante cuadro económico para este año de una inflación que podría llegar a 720% y una caída del PIB de 12%, según el FMI. Asfixiados por esta crisis, un 80% de venezolanos rechaza su gestión y el 72% su proyecto de constitución, según Datanálisis.

Si a esta situación crítica de la economía de Venezuela añadimos el hecho de que el petróleo representa el 96 por ciento de sus ingresos en divisas, cualquier recorte en las ventas internacionales del producto podría resultar desastroso para una dictadura que se tambalea. Sobre todo si pierde a un cliente como los Estados Unidos, que le compra y le paga en moneda dura la cantidad de 800,000 barriles diarios de petróleo de una producción total de 1,9 millones de barriles. Sería el clavo final que podría cerrar en forma hermética el ataúd de un ya moribundo Nicolas Maduro.

Pero todo indica que Trump no está dispuesto a clavar ese clavo porque traería consigo consecuencias negativas para su partido en las elecciones parciales del 2018 y para sus aspiraciones reeleccionistas en las generales del 2020. El precio del galón de gasolina en los Estados Unidos podría aumentar en un respetable porcentaje. Y ahí es donde ha empezado la marcha atrás y la adopción de medidas cosméticas que cubren las apariencias pero no son suficientes para acelerar el final de la dictadura.

En tal sentido, el pasado 31 de julio, el Gobierno de Estados Unidos se limitó a imponer sanciones económicas directas contra Nicolás Maduro, no contra su régimen. Le congelaron sus activos personales bajo jurisdicción estadounidense. Un pellizco en la fortuna de un ladrón que tiene inversiones y cuentas bancarias en todo el mundo. Con ello, Trump se ha quedado corto en sus medidas y Maduro se ha envalentonado ante la duplicidad del único adversario que puede ponerle fin a su régimen sin necesidad de disparar una sola bala.

Entonces aparecieron las contradicciones, siempre las contradicciones en una Administración Trump que parece incapaz de la coherencia y la disciplina. Por una parte, el Secretario de Estado, Rex Tillerson, hablaba de crear condiciones para que Maduro se convenciera de que “no tiene futuro y se marche por decisión propia” o que el Gobierno regrese a la vía constitucional.

Por otra, mientras Tillerson hablaba de “convencer” a Maduro de abandonar el cargo, otro funcionario del Departamento de Estado enviaba un mensaje contradictorio. Michael Fitzpatrick, el encargado del Departamento de Estado para Suramérica, en entrevista con la agencia EFE el 01AGO17, afirmó que EEUU “respeta al gobierno oficial de Venezuela y del presidente Maduro en este momento” con el cual “queremos dialogar”.

Si esta tragedia de sangre y lágrimas no fuera tan dolorosa estas declaraciones serían motivo de risa y hasta de burla. ¿Cómo es posible que funcionarios de la nación más poderosa y próspera de la Tierra se expresen con tanta ignorancia sobre un régimen manipulado y asesorado por una tiranía feroz de 58 años como la de Cuba? Me inclino a pensar que, más que ignorancia, estamos en presencia de un subterfugio diplomático cuyo objetivo es justificar la inercia.

Sin embargo, hay un ingrediente en todo este entuerto que no controlan ni Trump ni Maduro: el pueblo heroico de Venezuela. Esta gente sabe que no puede regresar a casa porque la dictadura se graduaría como tiranía, al estilo de la cubana. Saben que es ahora o nunca y vaticino que seguirán desafiando la muerte para que viva la patria. Eso podría desencadenar un mar de sangre como no visto antes en la historia reciente de América. Los ciegos tendrían que ver y los paralíticos tendrían que andar.

Esa cosa inútil que es la Organización de Estados Americanos y su diletante amanuense Luís Almagro cobrarían importancia transitoria como vehículo para solucionar la crisis. Una convocatoria por parte de Washington de una reunión de cancilleres podría ser la fórmula para crear una fuerza interamericana de intervención en Venezuela. Esa fórmula salvó del comunismo a la República Dominicana en abril de 1965.

En aquel momento Lyndon Johnson decidió cortar por lo sano y frustrar los planes del ex Presidente Juan Bosch y del Coronel Francisco Caamaño Deñó, de crear un eje comunista con la tiranía castrista con el potencial de extenderse a otras islas del Archipiélago de Las Antillas. Johnson convocó a la OEA y los demás miembros votaron a favor de la ponencia de Washington de intervenir en la República Dominicana.

La fuerza interamericana estuvo integrada en su mayoría por soldados norteamericanos pero Brasil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Costa Rica y El Salvador enviaron tropas. Para acentuar aún más la condición multinacional de las fuerzas invasoras, el general brasileño Hugo Panasco Alvin fue designado jefe de las fuerzas terrestres de la OEA.

Como antes en nuestra historia, América se encuentra una vez más en una encrucijada donde se decidirán la esclavitud o la libertad. El desenlace del drama venezolano nos impactará a todos los que vivimos en este continente, incluyendo a los Estados Unidos. Luego nuestra suerte está estrechamente ligada a la de esa tierra rebelde y bravía. En este momento todos tenemos que actuar como venezolanos para garantizar nuestra democracia y nuestra libertad. Ojalá Donald Trump entienda el mensaje y actúe en consecuencia.

          Video sobre Venezuela: 16 Países firman la Declaración de Lima contra dictadura de Nicolás Maduro en Venezuela.         
16 Países firman la Declaración de Lima contra dictadura de Maduro en Venezuela.

Published on Aug 9, 2017
Diplomáticos de 16 países se reunieron en Lima Peru para evaluar una propuesta de salida a la crisis que atraviesa Venezuela, donde gobierna una dictadura. 🇦🇷 🇧🇷 🇨🇱 🇨🇦 🇨🇴 🇨🇷 🇬🇹 🇭🇳 🇲🇽 🇵🇦 🇵🇾 🇵🇪 🇯🇲

Los Cancilleres y Representantes de Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Panamá, Paraguay y Perú, reunidos en la ciudad de Lima, el día 8 de agosto de 2017, para abordar la crítica situación en Venezuela y explorar formas de contribuir a la restauración de la democracia en ese país a través de una salida pacífica y negociada;

Animados por el espíritu de solidaridad que caracteriza a la región y en la convicción de que la negociación, con pleno respeto de las normas del derecho internacional y el principio de no intervención, no atenta contra los derechos humanos y la democracia, y es la única herramienta que asegura una solución duradera a las diferencias;


1. Su condena a la ruptura del orden democrático en Venezuela.

2. Su decisión de no reconocer a la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, ni los actos que emanen de ella, por su carácter ilegítimo.

3. Su pleno respaldo y solidaridad con la Asamblea Nacional, democráticamente electa.

4. Los actos jurídicos que conforme a la Constitución requieran autorización de la Asamblea Nacional, sólo serán reconocidos cuando dicha Asamblea los haya aprobado.

5. Su enérgico rechazo a la violencia y a cualquier opción que involucre el uso de la fuerza.

6. Su apoyo y solidaridad con la Fiscal General y los integrantes del Ministerio Público de Venezuela y exigen la aplicación de las medidas cautelares emitidas por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.

7. Su condena a la violación sistemática de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales, a la violencia, la represión y la persecución política, la existencia de presos políticos y la falta de elecciones libres bajo observación internacional independiente.

8. Que Venezuela no cumple con los requisitos ni obligaciones de los miembros del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas.

9. Su seria preocupación por la crisis humanitaria que enfrenta el país y su condena al gobierno por no permitir el ingreso de alimentos y medicinas en apoyo al pueblo venezolano.

10. Su decisión de continuar la aplicación de la Carta Democrática Interamericana a Venezuela.

11. Su apoyo a la decisión del MERCOSUR de suspender a Venezuela en aplicación del Protocolo de Ushuaia sobre Compromiso Democrático.

12. Su decisión de no apoyar ninguna candidatura venezolana en mecanismos y organizaciones regionales e internacionales.

13. Su llamado a detener la transferencia de armas hacia Venezuela a la luz de los artículos 6 y 7 del Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas.

14. Que, teniendo en cuenta las condiciones actuales, solicitarán a la Presidencia Pro Témpore de la CELAC y a la Unión Europea, la postergación de la Cumbre CELAC-UE prevista para octubre de 2017.

15. Su compromiso de mantener un seguimiento de la situación en Venezuela, a nivel de Cancilleres, hasta el pleno restablecimiento de la democracia en ese país, y de reunirse a más tardar en la próxima sesión de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas, oportunidad en la que podrán sumarse otros países.

16. Su disposición a apoyar de manera urgente y en el marco del respeto a la soberanía venezolana, todo esfuerzo de negociación creíble y de buena fe, que tenga el consenso de las partes y que esté orientado a alcanzar pacíficamente el restablecimiento de la democracia en el país.

          Honduras Nasıl Bir Ülkedir?        
Guetamala, El Salvador ve Nikaraguaa ülkeleriyle komşu olan Hondurass Cumhuriyeti Orta Amerika ülkesidir,, Karayip Denizi ve Kuzeyy Pasifik Okyanusu'na kıyısı bulunmaktadırr. Ülkenin ismi Hontula isimli birr meyveden gelmektedir. 18 bölgeden oluşan Honduras'ın önemlii şehirleri arasında San Pedroo Sula, başkent Tegacigalpa, Laa Cei...
          El Salvador'a Nasıl Gidilir?        
Orta Amerika'da bulunan Ell Salvador Guatemala vee Honduras'a komşu Büyükk Okyanus'a ise kıyısıı bulunan nüfus yoğunluğununn fazla olduğu birr ülkedir. Ülkede çoğunlukla İspanyolca konuşulur.   Ülkee bulunduğu iklim kuşağınaa bağlı olarak ikii mevsim yaşar. Buu iki mevsim kuruu ve yağışlı olarakk adlandırılabilir. Kasımm ve nisan a...
          Demands grow for a thorough investigation of Berta Cáceres’ assassination in Honduras        
Two weeks ago, the activist Berta Cáceres was shot and killed while she slept in her home, in the city of La Esperanza, in western Honduras. The news of her assassination travelled around the world generating sadness and frustration not only among her colleagues and admirers, but also among thousands of people who work in the defense of the […]
          Piden que se investigue el asesinato de Berta Cáceres, en el país más peligroso para defensores del medio ambiente        
Hace dos semanas la activista Berta Cáceres recibió un disparo que la mató instantáneamente mientras dormía en su casa en la ciudad de La Esperanza, al oeste de Honduras. La noticia de su asesinato dio la vuelta al mundo generando tristeza y frustración no sólo entre sus colegas y admiradores, sino también por parte de miles de personas en […]
          Yurumein (Homeland): A Documentary on Caribs in St. Vincent        
(Director) Andrea E. Leland. Yurumein (Homeland). January 2014. 50-minute documentary / DVD format / 4:3 aspect ratio / surround sound.

Resistance, Rupture, and Repair: The Story of the Caribs of St. Vincent in the Caribbean


Yurumein by Andrea E. Leland effectively begins twice: first it begins in St. Vincent, and then, as a reflection of the contemporary relocation of the Garifuna, it begins again in Los Angeles, which probably has the largest number of Garifuna people outside of Central America and the Caribbean. The core of the film ostensibly follows the journey of Cadrin Gill, a Los Angeles family doctor, who self-identifies as Carib and who was born in Sandy Bay, St. Vincent, one of the residential areas of the island that contains a sizeable Carib population. Focusing on the reclamation of pride in Carib identity, and the beginnings of a cultural resurgence that happens in part as a transnational process of reconnecting indigenous communities in the Caribbean region (in this case the relinking of Honduran Garifuna and Vincentian Caribs), this film serves as an important document of the contemporary presence of indigeneity in the Caribbean. The film thus helps to fill in the map of indigenous cultural resurgence in the Caribbean, of indigenous communities that did not simply vanish due to European colonization, but that resisted and repaired what they could. In this sense the documentary helps to further challenge centuries of writings, and even modern historiography, whose emphases have been Carib decline and extinction. In addition, as there has been so little produced, whether in film or in writing, about the Caribs/Gairfuna of St. Vincent, apart from the occasional thesis or conference paper offered within regional institutions, this film further serves to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.

Yurumein represents part of a growing series of films on indigenous Caribbean topics, but is unique as one that focuses on St. Vincent. As a contribution to documentaries about the indigenous Caribbean, this film joins Last of the Karaphuna (Philip Thorneycroft Teuscher, 1983, focusing on the Dominica Carib Reserve); Caribbean Eye: Indigenous Survivors (UNESCO/Banyan, 1991, focusing on contemporary indigenous communities in Guyana, Trinidad, Dominica, and St. Vincent); The Garifuna Journey (also by Andrea Leland, 1998, focusing on Belize); The Quest of the Carib Canoe (Eugene Jarecki, 2000, focusing primarily on Dominica’s Caribs, but also bringing special attention to Trinidad and Guyana); Three Kings of Belize (Katia Paradis, 2007, focusing on Belize, including a focus on a Garifuna musician); and The Amerindians (Tracy Assing, 2010, focusing on Trinidad’s Carib Community).

“That paradigm has changed,” Dr. Gills says in the film, a change in paradigm that involves increased recognition of “our history and our heritage.” It is an important point, as he adds that this has happened “only recently.” Indeed, we are now in the third decade of a region-wide indigenous resurgence in the Caribbean, one that arguably began at least on a formal, organizational level in St. Vincent itself in 1987, with a conference on the indigenous peoples of the region that would later result in the formation of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP), whose first president was the Belizean Garifuna anthropologist Dr. Joseph Palacio.[1] (Coincidentally, in my own research context in Arima, Trinidad, 1987 was the first year that Trinidad’s Carib Community received delegates from seven different Guyanese indigenous tribes.[2])

On a local level in St. Vincent, this paradigm change has also occurred. “We were brought up as Englishmen, so we had an English mentality,” Dr. Gill explains, “and consequently there was not much knowledge about my history…. [I]n my days, it was not ‘fashionable’ to be called ‘Carib.’” Echoing what I found in my research in Trinidad, the film presents a series of individuals in Sandy Bay who explain that they did not know of their Carib ancestry until they reached adulthood, while others did know and could not hide it and were thus targeted for discrimination in the wider society as “ignorant,” “backward,” “warlike” and “cannibal” people, leading some to suppress their own identification as Carib. (Unfortunately, this juxtaposition of lack of self-awareness as Carib, while the wider society discriminates against them as Carib, is a paradox left unexplored in the film.) While there is now a positive acknowledgment of their ancestral ties (and explaining why this has happened recently exceeds both the scope of the film and this review), Caribs in this film also reflect on what they say is their own lack of personal knowledge of Carib history and language. While they point to a number of surviving traditions, such as the making of cassava bread (which one woman claims, without much credibility, to have learned to do all on her own), it is clear that the identity is also understood in racial terms, with a not infrequent reference in the film to phenotypical markers, specifically dealing with one’s face and one’s hair. The kind of racialization that historically distinguished the Caribs of northern St. Vincent, especially in the towns of Orange Hill, Oven Land, Sandy Bay, Point, Owia, and Fancy, from the Garifuna or “Black Carib” of the southern town of Greggs (which is never mentioned in this film), is not confronted in this film. Indeed, the seemingly inexplicable adoption of “Garifuna” for all Carib descendants was one of the surprising things I learned from this film, and as a local historian explains, this is “relatively new” (but we are not informed as to why it has happened).

On an international level, the film speaks of examples where Caribs today are still stereotyped as “wild cannibals” in a few yet influential quarters. Here the film showcases Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean (2003- ) as one of the latest examples of this malignant stereotyping. Those presented in this documentary explicitly comment on their task as one of combating the influence of Hollywood.

What “loss” means, what constitutes “knowledge,” and knowledge of loss, are all difficult questions that the film brushes against on occasion. If the Vincentian Caribs do not know what “was” their culture, how do they know what was “lost”? Rather than risk diving into and drowning in an essentialist exercise of trait-listing, I prefer the formulation of the New Zealand anthropologist Steven Webster, who argues that “Maori culture is not something that has been lost, it is the loss; being ‘a Maori’ is struggling to be a Maori.”[3] There is more to this however, as some knowledge of what it means to be “Carib,” that is actually in line with its original political meaning in the first century of European imperial invasions, is knowledge that persists. As Odette Sutherland, a Vincentian Carib, says in the film: “They were rebellious people. They didn’t want to work as slaves. The Caribs always liked to be independent and work to help themselves and their family,” then adding as she continues working in her yard, “I am proud to say that I am a Carib.” Another person declares: “That is our king … the chief of the Caribs … Joseph Chatoyer. He fight for the Carib country.” Cadrin Gill expands on this theme of resistance in remarking that during colonial rule in the Caribbean, “St. Vincent was the mecca of freedom,” where escaped slaves from nearby territories often sought refuge and were welcomed by the Caribs. This historical knowledge, of the Caribs as the original anti-imperialists of the modern world system, is further attested to in a dramatic fashion, on display for tourists and all visitors, at Fort Charlotte. There a sign states, “built by the British as the chief defence against the indigenous people and their allies,” and all of the cannons are pointing not out to sea, but inland. (It is also possible that the message of anti-imperialism is simultaneously lost by being displaced into talk of centuries past, focusing on the British, as Dr. Gill does not seem conflicted about displaying a portrait of Barack Obama behind his desk.)

One of the unresolved tensions in this film is that of claiming lack of knowledge on the one hand, yet currently producing knowledge of contemporary Caribness that in some senses accords with the original political content of the identification. Colin Sam, Gill’s nephew, repeats the complaint of a lack of cultural knowledge of self. Yet he and his fellow Caribs clearly know a great deal, but it is not formatted, packaged, and labeled in the same way that academics produce cultural history in writing. Hence, rather than a detailed report produced by an archaeologist, in this film we have: “the Caribs were here ever since.” It is simple, perhaps, but it is also an understanding that is necessary for any sense of indigeneity. In addition, among those speaking in the film is Nixon Lewis, a Carib researcher who spends his spare time doing archival research during annual trips to London, and when not there, then being “on the Net all the time.”

Further adding weight to the idea of a paradigm shift are the words of the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, who in speaking of the brutality of British rule declares: “let us not mince words: genocide by the British.” What is significant is the occasion on which these words were spoken: National Hero’s Day—an annual public commemoration of Joseph Chatoyer, a long sought-after national holiday first demanded by the Committee for the Development of the Carib Community (CDCC), an organization not mentioned in this film.[4] Demands for such a commemoration were rejected by the government for numerous years. In one scene of the film, we can barely make out a banner in the background on which these words are painted: “Indigenous People’s Day Rally.” Indigenous People’s Day is another of those events that Sherelene Roberts explained the CDCC had long pursued.

Some shortcomings of this film should also be noted, aside from some of the gaps and silences noted above. We are told that 2 percent of St. Vincent’s 120,000 people are Caribs, but the source for this not indicated, nor is the deeply problematic issue of counting such a contested and suppressed identity considered. Moreover, Roberts reported a figure of 3.1 percent reporting themselves as Carib during the 1991 Population Census.[5] The film might then lead some to believe that there has been a decline since then. The film also reports that there are a total of 400,000 Garifuna in the United States, Central America, and Caribbean combined, which is a very significant size (again, a source would have been useful). Aside from these points, there is no debate in the film about the problems with attempting to phenotypically define Caribness by the quality of one’s hair, and whether this could mean an implicit rejection of one’s Africanness. The film in fact generally ignores the African dimension of Garifuna identity and history (even when some of the traditions being taught by Honduran Garifunas to their Vincentian hosts are creole Afro-Caribbean ones). The fact that a largely African-descended population is the only population in the region to have kept the Island Carib language alive is surely one of the most spectacular stories of Caribbean history, and a key sign of trouble for any attempts to racialize indigeneity or to distill it out of larger processes of creolization. There is also no discussion in the film about the relations between Garifuna/Caribs and the national government. We hear Prime Minister Gonsalves delivering a stirring speech about British genocide against the Caribs, but then the film ends by pointing out that the Vincentian island of Balliceaux, where the Garifuna were imprisoned in 1795 before their exile to Honduras, rather than being safeguarded as land the Garifuna consider to be sacred has instead been put up for sale to private buyers. Also in the context of Balliceaux, the narrative in the film first claims that a radical cultural eradication occurred, but that then the survivors carried their culture intact to Honduras. Left like that, the statement makes no sense, and we should expect that a project that lists dozens of contributors in its credits would permit the opportunity for some to review and point out such contradictions that sometimes rendered the film’s narrative a bit too shaky.

In summary, several aspects of Andrea Leland’s Yurumein documentary are particularly noteworthy. One is the emphasis of an acute consciousness by Vincentian Caribs of their “cultural loss” and at the same time a renewed pride in their Carib ancestry. Another is the dimension of transnational resurgence, with Garifuna from Central America (originally from St. Vincent) returning to spearhead a renewal of Carib pride and to share traditions. A third observation we can make is about the degree to which this documentary is a nonacademic production, moreover one that is not mediated or narrated by any academic expert. A fourth notable aspect is the extent to which the project involved in making this documentary was locally constituted.
While the film’s gaps and the level of the narrative are bound to receive mixed reviews from academic audiences, this documentary could be useful for first- or second-year students in the North American university/college setting, and for the general public. With twenty years of immersion in indigenous Caribbean research, my own special interest has me enthusiastic to see just about any serious attempt at a documentary on the region’s indigenous peoples, given the paucity of such materials and my continued inability to complete my own long overdue video productions. One has to recognize the considerable effort that went into the making of this documentary, especially given its broad-based network of local contributors, the abundance of available narratives, the political implications of those narratives, the numerous topics deserving special attention, coverage of key local events, and on top of it all an effort to insert the viewer into some aspects of the daily lives of today’s Vincentian Caribs. With so many “moving pieces,” frustration and even failure are more likely than success. This documentary instead succeeds in encompassing a wide range of contemporary issues and historical processes, in a visually engaging manner, and really without trying to tell viewers what to think. In this last respect, it becomes ideal for the classroom setting because it leaves gaps to be filled in by a lecturer, and the work of interpretation open to discussion in the classroom.

I do not think, however, that this documentary should be viewed alone in the context of a course on the Caribbean or on indigenous peoples (or both), that is, in the absence of any other scholarly materials in this topic area. Having said that, it is at present the best current filmic resource on an indigenous community in the Caribbean, one that has long been virtually invisible in the academic literature and documentaries. Others may have done more, but they are becoming increasingly dated. That this documentary has already received some excellent reviews, including by specialists in Garifuna studies, further underscores its virtues.


[1]. Joseph O. Palacio, “Caribbean Indigenous Peoples’ Journey toward Self-Discovery,” Cultural Survival Quarterly 13, no. 3 (1989): 49-51.
[2]. Maximilian C. Forte, Ruins of Absence, Presence of Caribs: (Post)Colonial Representations of Aboriginality in Trinidad and Tobago (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005).
[3]. Steven Webster, “Postmodernist Theory and the Sublimation of Maori Culture,” Oceania 63, no. 3 (1993): 222-239.
[4]. Shereline L. Roberts, “The Integration of the Caribs into the Vincentian Society” (BA thesis, University of the West Indies, 1996).

Citation: MAXIMILIAN FORTE. Review of (Director) Andrea E. Leland, Yurumein (Homeland). H-Caribbean, H-Net Reviews. June, 2014.

          Â¡Real España amenaza con no jugar más en el Torneo Apertura 2017-2018!        

La Prensa

San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

En el Real España están analizando abandonar su participación en el actual Torneo Apertura 2017-2018 si la Comisión de Apelaciones de Honduras le quita los tres puntos que el equipo aurinegro ganó, el sábado contra el Platense correspondiente a la primera jornada.

La polémica viene del caso Javier Portillo.

El futbolista le ganó la demanda al Real España y el Tribunal Nacional de Arbtiraje del Fútbol (TNAF) pidio al club sampedrano hacer efectivo el pago de la deuda.

Pero el Real España emitió el cheque #00010316 de un millón cincuenta mil lempiras a nombre del TNAF y no a nombre de Javier Portillo, quien no ha podido cobrar el dinero debido a esa acción del equipo catedrático.

Debido a esto, la Máquina podría enfrentar la pérdida de puntos por incumplir con el pago directamente con el futbolista.

LO QUE DICEN EN EL REAL ESPAÑAFuad Abufele, uno de los presidentes del Real España, se ha manifestado al respecto en declaraciones al Diario Diez y adelantó lo que podría pasar si el club pierde los tres puntos ganados al Platense.

"Nosotros sabemos que la gente de la Comisión de Apelaciones son abogados respetables, buenas personas que tendrían que tomar una decisión salomónica en este caso, yo solo me anticipo a comunicarles lo que pasaría si le quitan los tres puntos al Real España, pero sé que son responsables", declaró Abufele.

"Si nos quitan los puntos, el Real España no vuelve a poner un pie en ninguna cancha de Honduras hasta que nos los reintegren, abandonaríamos el torneo", sentenció Abufele.

Por último, al mandamás del club aurinegro dijo que "esta es una situación radical, clara y contundente porque hay demasiadas anormalidades en este proceso y mejor estamos dando la medicina a la enfermedad antes que llorar sobre el muerto".

El próximo partido del Real España será este sábado 12 de agosto contra la UPNFM en el estadio Nacional.

          Jorge Luis Pinto envuelto en un escándalo por defender a su hija        

La Prensa

Bogotá, ColombiaEl técnico de la Selección de Honduras, Jorge Luis Pinto, se vio envuelto en un escándalo familiar tratando de apoyar a su hija Verónica en una discusión con su esposo Andrés Felipe Villamizar.

En el video Verónica se lanza con un cuchillo contra Villamizar y en eso la sujetan policias junto con Pinto, quien le da un manotazo para calmarla.

Villamizar, congresista liberal, fue quien grabó el video y lo dio a conocer este jueves Semana.

comDe acuerdo a la cinta, Verónica, quien desde hace tres meses no vive con Villamizar, denunció que sufría agresiones por parte de su cónyuge, pero después Villamizar dio su versión, asegurando que es ella quien lo maltrata.

La hija del técnico colombiano reconoció que su padre es el único que la ha apoyado a superar su situación.

Versiones“He venido sufriendo una agresión sicológica, física y verbal durante los últimos meses”, denunció Verónica en La W Radio.

La hija de Pinto explicó que desde hace nueve meses cuando nació su hijo la situación con el congresista se volvió muy compleja.

Sin embargo, Villamizar afirmó que “ella ha sido quien me ha maltratado física y emocionalmente”.

“Una cosa es que ella me muerda, me golpee y me amenace de muerte, pero otra muy distinta es que ponga en riesgo la integridad de mi hijo”, detalló.

          Jerry Bengtson y su sorpresiva visita al Olimpia en Costa Rica        

La Prensa

San José, Costa Rica.

El delantero hondureño Jerry Bengtson sorprendió al plantel del Olimpia y llegó a visitarlos a la concentración del equipo en Alajuela.

La delegación del equipo merengue arribó por la tarde a tierras ticas donde enfrentará el jueves por la noche a la Liga Deportiva Alajuelense en la vuelta de su serie de la Liga Concacaf.

Bengtson aprovechó para saludar al equipo y algunas excompañeros de la Selección de Honduras.

El atacante milita en el Saprissa de Costa Rica.

Carlo Costly colgó en sus redes sociales una imagen con Jerry Bengtson.

"Con el goleador de la H", escribió el "Cocherito" para acompañar la foto.

En el Instagram de Jerry Bengtson también se subió la foto con la frase: "Con el mero mero papá", en referencia a Costly.

Con el goleador de la H @bengtsonespinalfamilia #CC13A post shared by CC13🇭🇳 (@carlocostly31) on Aug 9, 2017 at 8:09pm PDT// </scr//

          Hondureño Franklin Flores iría a prueba a clubes de la Premier League        

La Prensa

La Ceiba, Honduras.

El lateral izquierdo de Victoria, Franklin Flores de 19 años de edad, iría a Inglaterra para someterse a una prueba con clubes de la Premier League, adelantó el vicepresidente de la institución lechera, Gonzalo Rivera.

La negociación la maneja un agente inglés.

"La próxima semana tendremos con mayor claridad los detalles que nos enviará el contratista, la negociación la está manejando un intermediario que se responsabilizará de su agenda.

El agente que lo lleva a Inglaterra tiene la agenda, esperamos que el martes de la otra semana nos confirme a qué equipos lo llevará", explicó Rivera.

El directivo reiteró.

"Hay una posibilidad que viaje al extranjero, se habla de Inglaterra, pero la otra semana conoceremos la ciudad donde estará y el convenio, le hemos dado potestad a un agente para que lo represente, la otra semana nos confirmará los detalles y su agenda".

Franklin Flores en un partido de la Liga Nacional con el Victoria ante el Real España.

En la imagen es marcado por Luciano Ursino.

Flores originario de Nueva Armenia debutó en Liga Nacional con la camisa de Victoria en el 2015, bajo la era del técnico Jorge Ernesto Pineda.

"Es buen jugador, no sólo Franklin en Victoria hay muchachos de buenas condiciones que pueden apostarle a una prueba en el extranjero, considero que hay que trabajar bastante con ellos, orientarlos de la mejor manera para que puedan triunfar, aunque no me extrañaría que Flores triunfe porque es muy dósil y se deja guíar", expresó Raúl Martínez Sambulá, actual técnico del Club en segunda división.

"QUIERO TRIUNFAR POR RENEAU"Flores no olvida sus orígenes ni a la persona que lo impulsó en el fútbol.

El lateral recuerda que el fallecido ex futbolista Enrique Centeno Reneau le enseño el ABC de este deporte cuando dirigía su equipo la escuelita, luego lo cedió a Victoria pior eso se siente comprometido en triunfar en memoria de "Cañita".

Franklin Flores (el primero de la derecha los agachados) en el once titular del Victoria.

"Gracias a "Quique" y al profesor Jorge Pineda logré debutar en Liga Nacional, he jugado varios partidos de titular y creo que lo he hecho bien.

"Quique" me decía que era como un hijo, sigo lamentando su muerte, pero voy a triunfar porque se lo prometí en vida".

, dijo Flores"Cada vez que triunfe en mi carrera y reciba un reconocimiento se lo voy a dedicar a Reneau porque siempre seguirá vivo en mi corazón, siempre voy a visitar a la familia de "Quique" porque estoy agradecido con ellos", concluyó Flores, quien se dedica a la pesca artesanal durante el receso en la liga de plata.

          Resolution 2009: Rude or Phony        

A guest article by my Mentor/Friend/Uncle Mr. Sudhir Kekre. I am sure you are going to enjoy new/different thoughts here.

As the year 2008 draws close, the New Year ushers in ; albeit quieter than usual carrying the hangover of recession and bomb blast.

There’s a sense of relief more than joy that 2008 is over.

Nevertheless we have a new year and now its time to take stock.

Everyone must imbibe at least one good quality each year. Something that would be a value addition. Most of us are adults. Think if we had started early we would have at least more than a dozen good ones to be proud of.

I have been globe trotting for almost a decade now; straddled three continents and worked across various cross sections of people across various Nations.

A common complaint I hear is that Indians are rude. Something which I vehemently deny.

On introspection and discussion with many Indians I find that our perception about politeness is different. We have a notion that being honest at the cost of everything is always correct. We generally also lack a sense of humor ; perhaps because we take life too seriously. Also we feel that the western people are phony , they believe in flattery and are artificial. Something which is not true. Flattery is not always bad. Specially if it brings happiness and joy. A sense of humor can help in a big way in making you popular and also furthering your career.

I give below a few experiences and leave it to you to decide.

“Madam , is your father a thief” the American woman’s cheek went red. She was furious. the other members of her group looked at her strangely. This was Agra railway station. And she was being stalked by a skinny teenager. “ how dare you” she said her eyes smoldering. “ because madam , he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes” he said, his eyes twinkling mischievously. Now the whole group was roaring with appreciation. The boy was hired as a guide that very moment leaving a very very competitive field. This was narrated to me by an American friend.

Once I was having a drink in Taj residency in Hyderabad. I saw the barman mixing a drink . “ Margarita “ I smiled at him. It’s a tequila based drink very popular in Miami , my home for the past few years. The barman mixed the drink expertly and giving me a smile gave me a small shot to taste. “ Hmm” I said “smacking my lips appreciatively . “ you could make a Mexican proud.”. The barman beamed with pride and left with the order.

My friend eyed me suspiciously . “ Is it really that good.” “ little weak “ I confessed. “ lacks the punch of the real one”. My friend was annoyed. He said this is the problem with you guys who live abroad. He could have improved if you had told the truth. “ he didn’t quite understand. The barman was looking me with professional pride which as a guest I couldn’t shatter. Besides I was no expert. There was no way I could advise him on what was missing. Least I could do was make his day.

Another time I remember I met one guy from Honduras in the swimming pool in my community in Miami. He said that lot of people mistake him for an Indian . I immediately agreed and said that you know when you were walking in I thought hey there comes one of my Indian brothers. His face lit with joy. The same friend derisively commented

“ Even a blind man can tell he doesn’t look Indian. You are phony!”

So guys call me phony! Call me a liar. Call me what you will. But if one lie can bring even a little happiness I shall keep doing it.

I think of that American woman who was on a Vacation in Agra. Vacation must be full of fun and joy. And if that skinny guide spiked his marketing with a little flattery he didn’t do any harm to anyone? I am sure the lady will go back and tell happy tales about our great land.

So guys, if you agree make this your resolution. Bring happiness and cheer in others life- a little deception or a little flattery will be forgiven.

Here’s wishing you all – the loveliest and most beautiful people on the planet - a great and a happy 2009.

Now WHAT? At least I didn’t call your father a thief!!!!!!!!!

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          EL OPIO VERDE        
Por Julio Arturo COUOH

La gran mayoría de los ojos mediáticos y de los aficionados está puesta en lo que hará la selección mexicana varonil en San Pedro Sula, en contra de Honduras. Una apuesta de bajo nivel futbolístico, pero de gran potencialidad en pingues ganancias.
Podríamos decir que tanto en esta eliminatoria como en la eventual calificación a la siguiente ronda millones están en juego, y es que a nivel selección, Concacaf se ha convertido en un auténtico casino, mientras que a nivel clubes, lo es la participación de los representantes del balompié azteca en la Conmebol.
En cuanto a amistosos, es preferible jugar en Estados Unidos, donde sin lugar a dudas y en cualquier lugar que se presente el tricolor, es un hecho que los aficionados mexicanos que residen al otro lado dejarán lo poco o mucho que puedan traer en sus carteras en las arcas de Soccer United Marketing (la compañía operativa que maneja la promoción de la selección) y por ende en la Federación Mexicana de Fútbol.
Aunque ahora resulta un poco más complicado ante el hecho de la crisis que ha causado estragos globalmente, e inclusive ha hecho que se tomen decisiones en organismos como la propia Femexfut para fijar los contratos de los jugadores en pesos y no dólares, como ya se había estandarizado.
Mucho se habla de Nery, de los “europeos” o los que militan en el extranjero, de que si Ericksson fue la elección correcta o resultó precipitada, de que si se calificará realmente a la siguiente fase hexagonal para llegar a Sudáfrica 2010, aunque también se encuentra un fantasma que continuamente reaparece.
Ese es el fantasma de los tristemente célebres premundiales de Haití, cuando se perdió por goliza ante Trinidad y Tobago, o el de principios de los 80’, en aquella eliminatoria celebrada en Honduras, cuando no se pudo llegar a España 82.
Los antecedentes los hay y el fantasma se esconde, se pasea entre las redacciones de los diferentes diarios, entre las ondas hertzianas, entre los tonos primarios en amarillo, magenta y cyan de las señales televisivas.
Se habla de ello, pero no se desea, así de sencillo. Pero, por el otro lado se encuentra un capítulo del que muy poco se habla, especialmente cuando se trata de balompié femenil, al ver los grandes retos que con no mucho presupuesto tratan de afrontar los entrenadores Leonardo Cuellar y Andrea Rodebaugh.
Independientemente de los resultados y en sus proporciones respectivas, ambos (Rodenbaugh y Cuellar) son ejemplos de continuidad en un camino largo y quizá mucho más difícil que el de la selección mayor, en la que sin lugar a dudas hay mayores intereses de por medio, a cargo de las televisoras y de las firmas patrocinadoras.
No es mucho lo que se maneja en torno al hecho de que en cuestión de días se llevará a cabo el mundial femenil Sub-20 en territorio chileno, hacia donde partirá un equipo mexicano en cuyas filas se encuentra una jugadora oriunda de Baja California, como es el caso de Inglis Hernández.

          Young Trade Unionists' 2016 May Day Brigade to Cuba        
28 Young Trade Unionists from across the British trade union movement visited Cuba to take part in the May Day celebrations in Havana and to offer their solidarity to the Cuban people on the 2016 Young Trade Unionists May Day Brigade, organised by Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC).

Delegates from Unite, UNISON, GMB, CWU, RMT and USDAW – representing several million of workers in Britain and Ireland - joined trade unionists and political activists from around the world in a programme of solidarity work, political, educational and cultural visits. The delegates were also international guests at the May Day rally in Havana and the International Solidarity with Cuba Conference on May 2.

240 activists from 34 countries filled the Julio Antonio Mella camp in Caimito, Artemisa province, 25 miles away from Havana, where brigadistas completed programme of early morning agricultural and manual work.

The Julio Antonio Mella camp

The 28 young members made up the largest delegation on the camp - a testament to strength of international solidarity with Cuba within the British trade union movement. Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Palestine, Canada and South Africa also sent large delegations and many more countries from across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe were represented on the camp.

Ross Holden, GMB North West & Ireland Region delegate, carrying out agricultural work
The agricultural work, which included clearing land, cutting grass, weeding, lifting and cleaning, gave a first-hand insight the struggle of life in Cuba under the ongoing US blockade, which denies the Cubans access to basic machinery and goods. Transport to the farms was in the back of open-top trucks or trailers on tractors and cutting grass was done by hand with machetes; manifestations of a lack of access of resources due to the blockade.

Unite young members’ returning to the camp by truck after agricultural work
Before departing for Cuba, many of the young members reported how, following Barack Obama’s recent visit to Cuba and improving US-Cuba relations, there is a perception amongst colleagues and friends that the blockade is now over. The delegation saw first-hand that the ongoing blockade remains in place and Obama’s words of wanting to end the blockade are a long way from reality as US Congress appears unwilling to end the over 50 year old policy of aggression towards Cuba.

Political discussions on topics including the role of trade unions in Cuba, analysis of the Cuban political system, the ongoing blockade and US intervention in Cuba took place on the camp.

The brigadistas were esteemed international guests at the May Day Rally Celebration in Havana, where they enjoyed prime position, a short distance from the podium where Cuban President Rául Castro and CTC (Cuban TUC) General Secretary Ulises Guilarte greeted the huge crowds.

Teachers carry giant pencils on Havana’s May Day Rally
Up to a million Cuban workers celebrated International Workers' Day under the slogan: “For Cuba: Unity and Commitment” in Havana. The huge crowds gave the impression of a national rally – yet Havana’s rally represented just Havana province - May Day rallies took place in each of the 15 provinces of the island, including hundreds of thousands of Cubans marching in Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara.

The 28 young trade unionists’ at Havana’s May Day Rally
A carnival atmosphere surrounded Havana’s Revolution Square, where the images of   revolutionary heroes Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos provided the backdrop to a rally which celebrated the achievements of the Cuban Revolution. Trade unionists, teachers, doctors, artists and students contributed to the wide range of colours, flags and banners on display and many in the crowd carried pictures of Cuba’s revolutionary heroes during the rally. A live band and dancers added to the celebratory atmosphere, performing a range of Cuban music styles, with a grand finale of a sing along to the Internationale.

The brigadistas had free time in Havana following the rally, where they had the opportunity to visit Old Havana, the iconic Malecón, the Museum of the Revolution, the Committees of the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) Museum and the opportunity to soak up the sounds and sights of the lively capital city.

On May 2 the brigade attended the International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba conference at the Conventions Palace in Havana, the prestigious venue where Cuba’s parliament meets. The international conference, broadcast on Cuban television, gave the young activists a valuable insight into Cuban trade unionism and its crucial role in the government and economic management of the country. The experience of live translation through earpieces was a first-experience of its kind for many of the young members.

The Conference included distinguished guest speakers Salvador Valdes, Cuban Vice-President, Ulises Guilarte, CTC General Secretary, Ana Teresita Gonzalez, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and two of the Miami Five heroes, Gerardo Hernandez and Fernando González were in attendance.

The Miami Five’s Gerardo Hernandez, front left, at the International Solidarity Conference
Over 1,000 international trade unionists attended, with speakers including Maggie Ryan from the Unite the Union EC and international speakers from trade unions in Nigeria, Palestine, United States, Honduras, Brazil, Venezuela and many more contributed to the discussion.

The importance of international solidarity with Cuba to help end the blockade at this crucial time was the main theme of the event. Trade unionists from Brazil gave a timely update to the right-wing coup attempts taking place in their country. Other speakers highlighted how progressive governments across Latin America are currently under many threats from US intervention, regional oligarchs and right-wing destabislation attempts; all of which pose great threats to Latin America and progressives all over the world.

Ana Teresita Gonzalez gave an update into the impact of the blockade and highlighted the extensive international solidarity with Cuba that exists over the world. The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs reported how the latest United Nations resolution on the blockade resulted in 191 – 2 in favour of ending the blockade; with just the United States and Israel supporting the policy; a credit to international solidarity and Cuba’s diplomacy.

There were many political, cultural and historical visits included on the brigade including the Martyrs Mausoleum in Artemisa. The Mausoleum pays tribute to the revolutionaries who lost their lives during the attacks on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes army barracks in Santiago de Cuba on 26 July 1953 – the beginning of the July 26 Movement – which led to the successful Cuban Revolution and the ousting of the US-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista on 1 January 1959.

Here the brigadistas had the honour of meeting Artemisa resident Ramon Pez Ferro, a veteran from the 26 July Movement, a guerrilla in the Cuban Revolution and an internationalist fighter for Angola’s independence, who greeted the young activists on arrival to the mausoleum.  

In Santa Clara, the brigade the visited Che Guevara Memorial, the burial site of the revolutionary hero. They visited the nearby armoured train - the scene of the Battle of Santa Clara, where Che’s battalion attacked a train carrying weapons for Batista - a defining moment for the success of the Cuban Revolution.

The brigade learned how co-operatives are playing an increasingly important role in Cuba, running many agricultural projects with profits being shared between the co-ops and the state. They visited co-operatives and met with their workers who produce a range of products using a variety of skills; including brick making, organic sugar cane and vegetable farming; rearing cattle and producing honey. The brigade had the unique opportunity to taste honey through a straw - direct from the hive - and to taste fresh sugar cane juice, metres away from where the cane was grown.

Making bricks at a co-operative in Artemisa
The brigade offered experiences far beyond that of an average tourist in Cuba, with meetings with the leaders of trade unions and mass organisations, the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), invitations to conferences, co-operative visits, and the opportunity to ask questions to both Cuban and international trade unionists. The brigade visited the Santci Spiritus province during the programme, where a local CDR organised a street party to get to know their international guests and demonstrate to the delegation the organising and community work carried out by the CDR.

Amongst the packed itinerary there was free time where the young members had time for fun and relaxation. Many walked to the local village near the camp where they could practice their Spanish with locals by ordering food and drinks and talk politics - and football – and other visits including trips to the local beaches and the legendary Tropicana club in Havana.

Conditions on the camp were basic, with accommodation in bunk bed dormitories, cold water showers and basic food provided. The delegation bonded over Cuban beers and Havana Club rum in the evenings, and the camp’s Cultural Night gave a unique opportunity for the delegation to perform in front of camp in a performance to represent their culture.

The delegation’s performance went down well with the international crowd, with a performance featuring Welsh, Scottish and Irish songs, with a grand finale of The Beatles’ Hey Jude for a well known sing along for the crowd. The stall featured whiskey, beers, biscuits, tea, and trade union branded merchandise which went down a storm amongst the international camp - particularly the whiskey!

In addition to the unique opportunity of spending 12 days alongside Cubans, the international element on the camp allowed the young activists to make friends, contacts and networks with other activists from all around the world.

Group farewell photo on the camp, in front of pictures of Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara

The brigadistas ended the delegation with a renewed enthusiasm to become increasingly active in their trade unions and to work alongside CSC to campaign to end the US blockade of Cuba once and for all, to return the illegally occupied Guantanamo Bay area to Cuba and to stop US intervention on the island.

The brigade saw first-hand the achievements of the Revolution; world-class schools and hospitals despite being under blockade for over five decades, inspiring organic co-operatives, and proud communities determined to defend their independence from US intervention.

The Cubans made clear that Cuba needs international solidarity now more than ever, with the US changing its tactics rather than their goals. The support and solidarity from the British trade union movement is invaluable as we work together to end the blockade once and for all at this crucial time. The support of young members within the movement is crucial for future solidarity with the island, as Cuba continues to show that another world - where peoples’ needs are put before profit - is truly possible.

Viva Cuba!

If you are interested in the 2017 brigade, please get in touch with Ollie Hopkins, CSC Campaigns Officer on 

Brigadista’s Feedback:

“… a once in a lifetime experience. I've campaigned in solidarity for Cuba for many years and found it very special. Standing with Cubans as they marched through Havana, worked in the fields or sat with a glass of rum in their houses. I've been to Cuba many times on holiday but have never encountered such real experiences of Cuban society. The Cuban people struggle with pride and dignity as the revolution overcomes inevitable contradictions and obstacles placed in its path. We learnt from strong women who led a local committee for the defence of the revolution and workers on cooperative farms. Cubans are proud of their revolution and fighting to continue its successes into the 21st century. Delegates can take home a sense of inspiration at what can be done and apply it to our workplaces. It was an honour to represent my union on the best delegation I've ever had the pleasure to participate in.”

George Waterhouse, RMT

“ Seeing how communities work together, care for strangers and their own with no question of their economic standing. Yes there are things that aren't great but it's how the society knows that and put plans in place to try to improve them that makes the state so different from anywhere else… there are no homeless people, the elderly, children and disabled are all priorities in communities. The education and health system is second to none! (Had to use it myself). I can proudly say these two weeks have been the most emotional, political, amazing, uplifting time of my life. The best saying I heard while I was there was that Cuba is like an ant sleeping with an elephant (America). They have to be aware at every point. U.S. goal has stayed the same, just not their strategy!”

Mary Hackwood, Unite London and Eastern Region

“A once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel so grateful to have experienced. From learning about the struggles imposed on Cuba from the illegal US blockade to meeting with workers and families on how they maintain their values and community priorities in spite of the great difficulties they face. My affirmation to socialism and trade union values is even more strengthened… The fight goes on!”

Lexy Davies-Jones, Unite Wales

“Travelling to Cuba as part of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign delegation was life-changing. It allowed me to see there is a different, fairer way of life and I intend to campaign hard for that here now that I am home”

Jack England, CWU

“Going to Cuba with CSC shows you the Cuba away from the tourist trail. Here I met ordinary and often rural communities, who with their hospitality and generosity treated me as a friend rather than a visitor. These communities have their own intimate connection to Cuban socialism and were more than happy to answer questions on Cuba today and their opinions on current issues such as relations with the U.S. in light of Obama's recent visit. The brigade taught me a great deal about the island, the resilience of the Cuban people and their socialism against global challenges, and it has also inspired me. For me, this trip is only just the beginning. I will be going back to my GMB branch, Young Members Network and the UK trade union movement as a whole with everything I have learnt from this trip, working with them to show full solidarity with Cuba and to campaign with CSC.”

Ross Holden, GMB North West and Ireland Region

“Visiting Cuba with the CSC has been the most amazing experience of my life. It is inspiring to see how strong the Cuban people are and how they get by with the limitations from the blockade. The most important thing that I have taken from this trip is that the people of Cuba still need our help and solidarity to end the blockade as people think that since Obama visited this meant it was over. The blockade is unfair and unjust and has to stop! The people of Cuba need our help and I plan to do all that I can to do so! VIVA CUBA!”

Bernadette Lafferty, UNISON Scotland
           Aleida Guevara provides inspiration at 10th Latin America Conference        
The daughter of Che may share his iconic name but she is a Cuban legend in her own right. She spoke about Latin American integration, Cuban internationalism the need for solidarity at four sessions during Latin America 2014 on Saturday 29 November, and her presence helped make it not only the most well-attended in the conference’s ten year history, but also one of the most inspirational.

Throughout the day more than 500 delegates had the opportunity to hear from 50 speakers taking part in 3 plenaries, 23 workshops, 4 film screenings, 3 book signings and a post conference fiesta, and speak to activists at one of the 15 solidarity campaign and information stalls represented.

Dr Aleida Guevara was well qualified to speak at a packed session on Cuban internationalism. She graduated as a doctor whilst on a medical mission in Nicaragua, served in Ecuador and Angola and recently volunteered to go to Africa as part of the Ebola mission.

“We Latin Americans could also be called Afro-Latin Americans because our history forms such an important part of our cultural and ethnic roots. That is why it is such an important duty to help the people of Africa”.

“When you accept this kind of mission you know where you are going but you don’t know if you are coming back” she said of the brave doctors who volunteer for medical missions abroad. And that doesn’t just apply to those volunteering to treat Ebola in West Africa she said. Citing an example of Cuban health workers who were trapped in a Venezuelan hospital as right-wing anti-government demonstrators threatened to burn it down, she told how a doctor, crying to her family over the phone, in fear of her life, was strengthened by her 15-year daughter who said, “mum, against those people not a single tear”.

“The culture of our developing youth understand international solidarity and giving to other people, and I am proud of that” she said. “Cuba has a social conscience and we do not give our excess of what we have, we share what we have with all those in need,” she said to applause.

The pride in her voice was evident when she speaks of her father who recognised the importance of Africa for US imperialism as a resource to exploit. That is why everyone must help impede that exploitation both in Africa and Latin America and achieve the continent’s complete liberation, she said. Warming to that theme she talked of Cuba no longer being just an isolated example in the world and consequently there is a new era of Latin American integration underway.

She reminded us that her father knew “people who go forward demonstrate with example” and through leadership and inspiration you can push others to go forward as well. “But if we tell everyone else what to do, but we don’t demonstrate these things ourselves why follow us?” she asked. “That’s why we try to convince people of the need to change by our actions and that’s why so many doctors are in so many countries,” Aleida said. “A number of countries have now been re-born in our great continent”. They are also developing real unity by example: “From Rio Bravo to Patagonia, we are one people, one identity.”

Since the revolution 325,000 Cuban health workers have volunteered in 158 countries. Today there are 50,731 working in 66 countries including 14,00 in Brazil, 11,000 in Venezuela and 4,048 in Africa. But as Aleida says, the numbers are not important “it’s the results they achieve that matter – bringing down infant mortality – what could be better?

Writer Victoria Britain agreed and praised the 15,000 Cubans who have volunteered for the Ebola mission. She described how Cubans always live with the people, often in incredibly difficult and dangerous conditions. They are heroic she said because they do not just go their ‘ex-colonies’ like countries of the West, but to those that are most in need. Already training Ebola medical teams in Bolivia, Mexico and Nicaragua, Cuba recently hosted a conference on Ebola at which doctors from the US participated. How sad and ironic that at the same time they were again voting against Cuba at the UN and still encouraging all those Cuban doctors serving abroad on missions to defect to the US.

Journalist Seamus Milne not only thanked Cuba for being the first to respond to Ebola “but also the first in Haiti and Pakistan and anywhere in the world when there is a need.” “Cuba has saved hundreds of thousands of lives….but the story of their remarkable internationalism has barely registered in the western media.” However, this might be changing with the five recent editorials in the New York Times, in as many weeks, he said. These editorial had called for an end to the blockade which “may herald a real breakthrough if it comes to pass.” Describing the Cuban Revolution as “truly exceptional not only in Latin America but the entire world” he echoed a theme supported by nearly all the day’s speakers.

Praise also came in the ‘Voices from Latin America’ plenary session from Nicaraguan Vice Minister for International Co-Operation Valdack Jaentschke, who said through all the 35 years of the Sandinista revolution it would not have been possible without the beacon of the Cuban Revolution, and the ethical and moral strength of Cuba and its solidarity. During the 16 years of neo-liberal darkness from 1990 to 2006 he explained, they had no electricity whereas “today we are full of light fuelled by the continents progressive movements”.

Rocio Maniero, the new Venezuelan Ambassador, had been in the UK just eight days and she was “so impressed with this show of interest and solidarity, as well as such an opportunity to know and learn.” She said how Venezuela had been under attack ever since Chavez’s first election in 1998 and they still have many problems to face but she promised, “not one penny is going out of the missions and we will continue to prioritise health, education and social progress.”

George Galloway MP said “Cuba is the threat of a good example” and whilst it may have been isolated, today it is the future “a glimpse of what could be”. Remembering the late Teophilo Stevenson as a three times heavy weight Olympic boxing champion who turned down a fight with Ali saying “What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?” George drew comparisons with Cuban society and the US where “black kids are gunned down in the street under a black president”. Although not perfect “Cuba is the sprig of white heather in the lapel of the future” he said to applause.

Presenting 23 workshops, film shows, solidarity stalls and book launches on a huge variety of topics and countries with over 50 expert speakers, the annual Latin America conference is without question the most important event on the continent in the UK calendar.

At one workshop alone more than 60 people heard Dr Steve Ludlam go through the latest economic and workforce changes in Cuba, whilst Dr Tony Kapcia identified and explained the process of negotiations in relation to decision making, mass participation and the building of the Cuban state. Others focussed subjects as diverse as TTIP, Culture and revolution, Bolivia’s recent election, Climate justice, the Miami Five, Ecuador’s citizens’ revolution and volunteering in Central America and Cuba to name just a few.

Teresita Vicente the interim Charge ‘d’Affaires at the Cuban Embassy said she found the conference “a beautiful experience as a human being” and was pleased to give a strong message to the US government, namely: “ Free the five. Give Guantanamo back to the Cuban people. End the blockade of Cuba”. Re-iterating the fact that the region is now united and changing for the better, she looked forward to the future and an even bigger response for progressive ideas and social justice.

It was left to a homegrown hero of our movement, Jeremy Corbyn MP, to once again close the conference. He praised the speech by Argentinean Ambassador Alicia Castro describing the vulture capital funds attacking her country as “vile people, utterly disgusting and contemptible.”He praised the continent where no nuclear weapons exist, no proliferation takes place and all recently supported the creation of Palestine. He spoke with real pride about a region demonstrating real solidarity with ordinary people.

Cuba he noted has been there “for the whole of my lifetime” as a shining example to the continent of what is possible. Much of that example is now on the agenda across Latin America, with ALBA paving the way for real choices – “for the right to go to school, to have a health service, a chance to live in a home and work in a job.”

He stressed here are still problems that cannot be ignored. In Mexico, in Colombia, in Guatemala and in Honduras, where just in the last decade 60,000 murders have taken place with impunity.

But as Latin America Adelante 2014 showed there is so much to give us real hope and re-iterating the strongly felt theme of the conference Jeremy declared, “we can all learn so much from Latin America’s experience and another world is truly possible.”
View a slide show of photos from the day here
Follow the live blog from the day here
See Aleida speak in Leicester, Sheffield and London this week

          Brasil y su responsabilidad por Cuba        
Lula da Silva junto a Raúl Castro

Brasil insiste en pasar de potencia económica a líder hemisférico. Su voz está presente en todos los foros, ya sea pidiendo un escaño permanente en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU o apoyando a Europa en sus maniobras para sortear la crisis económica, como ofreció esta semana la presidenta Dilma Rousseff.

Brasil es el único país americano, a excepción de EEUU, con las características requeridas para ser líder: Tamaño, población, PBI y respeto internacional. Pero para liderar no solo debe pretenderlo, sino asumirlo. Tiene que meterse en asuntos no tan simpáticos, perder el miedo a tomar acciones que polarizan y sobre todo debe, bajo el principio de la universalidad, denunciar los atropellos sistemáticos de los derechos humanos, así ocurran en Cuba como en China.

Bien o mal, el ex presidente Lula da Silva asumió acciones de este tipo. Convencido de que algo malo había sucedido en Honduras, dio refugio al ex mandatario Manuel Zelaya en su embajada de Tegucigalpa y cabildeó para que Honduras fuera expulsada de la OEA.

Ahora es la presidenta Dilma Rousseff quien tiene en sus manos una oportunidad inmejorable para asumir el liderazgo. Si Brasil denuncia y reclama al régimen de Cuba por las violaciones actuales a los derechos humanos, no solo reivindicará la sed de libertad del pueblo cubano, sino que romperá la parsimonia timorata de sus pares latinoamericanos, que sucumben a la propaganda castrista -y del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez- sobre que los principios de soberanía y no intervención, les impiden inmiscuirse en asuntos internos para denunciar los abusos.

Esa inmunidad, permite a los hermanos Raúl y Fidel Castro seguir aplastando las libertades. La Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (CCDHRN) denunció que en setiembre las autoridades detuvieron a 563 personas por motivos políticos, más del doble de las detenciones que se registraron en cada uno de los meses anteriores del año y la cifra más alta de las últimas tres décadas. Corroboran esta tendencia los informes de los últimos dos años, tanto de Amnistía Internacional como de Human Rights Watch y la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa, que demuestran que la situación de los derechos humanos y el clima de libertad de expresión, lejos de mejorar, continúan deteriorándose.

Lo más extraño es la doble moral de la mayoría de gobiernos de la región, que esquiva denunciar a la dictadura cubana, aunque hayan ensalzado a los recientes movimientos populares democráticos en los países árabes. Cuba y Venezuela vienen comprando ese silencio a base de petróleo más barato, insultos diplomáticos y estrategias propagandísticas. La más urdida fue la de hace dos años, cuando Chávez cabildeó para que Cuba sea readmitida en la OEA y logró la aprobación de la asamblea. Enseguida, Fidel Castro desairó a todos y despotricó contra el organismo "prestado a los intereses del imperio". En realidad, nadie comió el anzuelo. La reinserción, equivalía a que su gobierno debía asumir responsabilidades en materia de democracia y derechos humanos, aspectos que desprecia.

Los Estados latinoamericanos no deberían estar tranquilos ni sentirse exonerados de exigir responsabilidades al régimen. Aunque Cuba no se someta a la Carta Democrática Interamericana o a la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, la Convención de Viena de 1969 establece el vigor de tratados internacionales, como la Declaración Universal de los Derechos del Hombre, por encima de disposiciones de su derecho interno y de su Constitución, lo cual la hace igualmente responsable ante el universo, por violaciones a los derechos humanos o crímenes de lesa humanidad, como muchos que parecen cometerse en ese país.

Si se examinan las agresiones que las turbas gubernamentales provocaron contra las Damas de Blanco en las últimas semanas, los arrestos continuos de disidentes, las trabas a la circulación de personas en el territorio nacional y a la libertad de expresión, se podrá advertir la mano de las autoridades detrás de todas esas transgresiones.

Ni Cuba ni cualquier otro Estado pueden escudarse detrás de los principios de soberanía y no intervención. Ya nadie tiene excusas. Pero algunos países, por su potencial, como Brasil, tienen mayores responsabilidades y deberían asumirlas.


Fuente: El Universal

          Supreme Court To Hear Another Texas Death Penalty Case        
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear the Texas death penalty case of a Honduran national who is arguing that a federal appeals court wrongly denied him resources to investigate and provide evidence of substance abuse and mental illness.
          La población de Omoa participó en el simulacro de evacuación frente a evento de tsunami        



Durante los últimos meses las instituciones del Comité de Emergencia Municipal de Omoa (CODEM) y las comunidades cercanas a la costa en este municipio, participaron en un proceso de preparación para la respuesta ante eventos de tsunami y la implementación del Sistema de Alerta Temprana (SAT), el cual incluyó la capacitación a las instituciones, la formulación de procedimientos operativos estándar, la elaboración del mapa de inundación por potenciales tsunamis, la determinación de las rutas de evacuación de la población. El proceso concluyó con la realización del ejercicio de simulacro el día 4 de agosto de 2017 en el municipio de Omoa, Departamento de Cortés, Honduras.
El simulacro se realizó en el marco de la implementación del Proyecto DIPECHO: “Construyendo comunidades resilientes y Sistemas de Alerta de Tsunami integrados en Centroamérica“, ejecutado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (UNESCO), con el financiamiento principal de la Unión Europea....

Durante los últimos meses las instituciones del Comité de Emergencia Municipal de Omoa (CODEM) y las comunidades cercanas a la costa en este municipio, participaron en un proceso de preparación para la respuesta ante eventos de tsunami y la implementación del Sistema de Alerta Temprana (SAT), el cual incluyó la capacitación a las instituciones, la formulación de procedimientos operativos estándar, la elaboración del mapa de inundación por potenciales tsunamis, la determinación de las rutas de evacuación de la población.  El proceso concluyó con la realización del ejercicio de simulacro el día 4 de agosto de 2017 en el municipio de Omoa, Departamento de Cortés, Honduras.

El simulacro se realizó en el marco de la implementación del Proyecto DIPECHO: “Construyendo comunidades resilientes y Sistemas de Alerta de Tsunami integrados en Centroamérica“, ejecutado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (UNESCO), con el financiamiento principal de la Unión Europea. La actividad contó con la participación de aproximadamente 2.000 personas, quienes atendieron el llamado de alerta y se movilizaron de manera ordenada por las rutas de evacuación hasta los puntos de encuentro definidos.

El ejercicio de simulacro se realizó con el objetivo de activar el Sistema de Alerta de Temprana y contribuir al fortalecimiento de las capacidades para la toma de decisiones a nivel municipal, regional y nacional, basadas en la información sobre la amenaza de tsunami, recursos existentes, procedimientos y protocolos de respuesta; así como para la evaluación y validación de los mecanismos de coordinación incorporados en los planes de respuesta.

La actividad fue desarrollada con el apoyo de la Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO), la Alcaldía de Omoa a través de su Comité Municipal de Emergencia (CODEM), la Secretaría de Educación, los organismos de respuesta y la empresa Gases del Caribe.

Se espera que a partir del trabajo realizado, las comunidades puedan obtener el reconocimiento Tsunami Ready, que las acredita como poblaciones preparadas para responder ante una amenaza de tsunami.

          Chomsky: Paris Attacks Show Hypocrisy Of West's Outrage        
| by Noam Chomsky

( January 21, 2015, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including the editor and four other cartoonists, and the murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket shortly after, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared "a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity."

Anyone with eyes open will quickly notice other rather striking omissions. Thus, prominent among those who face an "enormous challenge" from brutal violence are Palestinians, once again during Israel's vicious assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, in which many journalists were murdered, sometimes in well-marked press cars, along with thousands of others, while the Israeli-run outdoor prison was again reduced to rubble on pretexts that collapse instantly on examination.
Millions of people demonstrated in condemnation of the atrocities, amplified by a chorus of horror under the banner "I am Charlie." There were eloquent pronouncements of outrage, captured well by the head of Israel's Labor Party and the main challenger for the upcoming elections, Isaac Herzog, who declared that "Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it," and that "All the nations that seek peace and freedom [face] an enormous challenge" from brutal violence.

The crimes also elicited a flood of commentary, inquiring into the roots of these shocking assaults in Islamic culture and exploring ways to counter the murderous wave of Islamic terrorism without sacrificing our values. The New York Times described the assault as a "clash of civilizations," but was corrected by Times columnist Anand Giridharadas, who tweeted that it was "Not & never a war of civilizations or between them. But a war FOR civilization against groups on the other side of that line. #CharlieHebdo."

The scene in Paris was described vividly in the New York Times by veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger: "a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris."

Erlanger also quoted a surviving journalist who said that "Everything crashed. There was no way out. There was smoke everywhere. It was terrible. People were screaming. It was like a nightmare." Another reported a "huge detonation, and everything went completely dark." The scene, Erlanger reported, "was an increasingly familiar one of smashed glass, broken walls, twisted timbers, scorched paint and emotional devastation."

These last quotes, however -- as independent journalist David Peterson reminds us -- are not from January 2015. Rather, they are from a report by Erlanger on April 24 1999, which received far less attention. Erlanger was reporting on the NATO "missile attack on Serbian state television headquarters" that "knocked Radio Television Serbia off the air," killing 16 journalists.

"NATO and American officials defended the attack," Erlanger reported, "as an effort to undermine the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia." Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon told a briefing in Washington that "Serb TV is as much a part of Milosevic's murder machine as his military is," hence a legitimate target of attack.

There were no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of "We are RTV," no inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history. On the contrary, the attack on the press was lauded. The highly regarded U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then envoy to Yugoslavia, described the successful attack on RTV as "an enormously important and, I think, positive development," a sentiment echoed by others.

There are many other events that call for no inquiry into western culture and history -- for example, the worst single terrorist atrocity in Europe in recent years, in July 2011, when Anders Breivik, a Christian ultra-Zionist extremist and Islamophobe, slaughtered 77 people, mostly teenagers.

Also ignored in the "war against terrorism" is the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times -- Barack Obama's global assassination campaign targeting people suspected of perhaps intending to harm us some day, and any unfortunates who happen to be nearby. Other unfortunates are also not lacking, such as the 50 civilians reportedly killed in a U.S.-led bombing raid in Syria in December, which was barely reported.

One person was indeed punished in connection with the NATO attack on RTV -- Dragoljub Milanović, the general manager of the station, who was sentenced by the European Court of Human Rights to 10 years in prison for failing to evacuate the building, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia considered the NATO attack, concluding that it was not a crime, and although civilian casualties were "unfortunately high, they do not appear to be clearly disproportionate."

The comparison between these cases helps us understand the condemnation of the New York Times by civil rights lawyer Floyd Abrams, famous for his forceful defense of freedom of expression. "There are times for self-restraint," Abrams wrote, "but in the immediate wake of the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory, [the Times editors] would have served the cause of free expression best by engaging in it" by publishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ridiculing Mohammed that elicited the assault.

Abrams is right in describing the Charlie Hebdo attack as "the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory." The reason has to do with the concept "living memory," a category carefully constructed to include Their crimes against us while scrupulously excluding Our crimes against them -- the latter not crimes but noble defense of the highest values, sometimes inadvertently flawed.

This is not the place to inquire into just what was being "defended" when RTV was attacked, but such an inquiry is quite informative (see my A New Generation Draws the Line).

There are many other illustrations of the interesting category "living memory." One is provided by the Marine assault against Fallujah in November 2004, one of the worst crimes of the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq.

The assault opened with occupation of Fallujah General Hospital, a major war crime quite apart from how it was carried out. The crime was reported prominently on the front page of the New York Times, accompanied with a photograph depicting how "Patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit or lie on the floor while troops tied their hands behind their backs." The occupation of the hospital was considered meritorious and justified: it "shut down what officers said was a propaganda weapon for the militants: Fallujah General Hospital, with its stream of reports of civilian casualties."

Evidently, this is no assault on free expression, and does not qualify for entry into "living memory."

There are other questions. One would naturally ask how France upholds freedom of expression and the sacred principles of "fraternity, freedom, solidarity." For example, is it through the Gayssot Law, repeatedly implemented, which effectively grants the state the right to determine Historical Truth and punish deviation from its edicts? By expelling miserable descendants of Holocaust survivors (Roma) to bitter persecution in Eastern Europe? By the deplorable treatment of North African immigrants in the banlieues of Paris where the Charlie Hebdo terrorists became jihadis? When the courageous journal Charlie Hebdo fired the cartoonist Siné on grounds that a comment of his was deemed to have anti-Semitic connotations? Many more questions quickly arise.

Anyone with eyes open will quickly notice other rather striking omissions. Thus, prominent among those who face an "enormous challenge" from brutal violence are Palestinians, once again during Israel's vicious assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, in which many journalists were murdered, sometimes in well-marked press cars, along with thousands of others, while the Israeli-run outdoor prison was again reduced to rubble on pretexts that collapse instantly on examination.

Also ignored was the assassination of three more journalists in Latin America in December, bringing the number for the year to 31. There have been more than a dozen journalists killed in Honduras alone since the military coup of 2009 that was effectively recognized by the U.S. (but few others), probably according post-coup Honduras the per capita championship for murder of journalists. But again, not an assault on freedom of press within living memory.

It is not difficult to elaborate. These few examples illustrate a very general principle that is observed with impressive dedication and consistency: The more we can blame some crimes on enemies, the greater the outrage; the greater our responsibility for crimes -- and hence the more we can do to end them -- the less the concern, tending to oblivion or even denial.

Contrary to the eloquent pronouncements, it is not the case that "Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it." There definitely are two ways about it: theirs versus ours. And not just terrorism.

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent book is "Masters of Mankind." His web site is

This article was originally published at CNN

          Video: Cops caught beating a Honduras transgender woman        
Golpiza a Transexual en Honduras

The video a transsexual Honduran beaten by a military police in San Pedro Sula has caused commotion and outrage in Honduras.

The images were published in exclusive for channel six, who captured last Saturdaywhen a young man was beaten by an unknown and concurrently receives a kick of amilitary in the first Street police, 12 Avenue of San Pedro Sula. ~ Youtube discription 

El video un transexual hondureño golpeado por un Policía Militar en San Pedro Sula ha causado revuelo e indignación en Honduras. 

Las imágenes fueron publicadas en exclusivas por Canal Seis, quien captó el pasado sábado el momento en que era golpeado un joven por un desconocido y a la vez recibe una patada de un policía militar en la primera calle, 12 avenida de San Pedro Sula.

Gay Star News is reporting that the police are denying they were involved claiming the video was 'manipuated'.

Honduras has the worlds highest murder rate of transgender people according to the 2013 TDOR report 2013:  "The update shows reports of murdered trans people in 26 countries in the last 12 months, with the majority from Brazil (95), Mexico (40), the USA (16), and Venezuela (15), followed by Honduras (12), Colombia (12), and El Salvador (5). While Brazil, Mexico, and the USA have the highest absolute numbers, the relative numbers show even more worrisome results for some countries with smaller population sizes. Honduras, for instance, has a rate of 1.5 reported trans killings per million inhabitants, for El Salvador the rate is 0.71, while for Brazil the rate is 0.49, for Mexico the rate is 0.36, and for the USA the rate is 0.05. In Asia most reported cases have been found in India (8), and in Europe in Turkey (5) and Italy (5).
          Inter-American Church Strengthens Special Needs Ministries with First Territory-Wide Congress for the Hearing Impaired        
More than two hundred deaf persons, interpreters, and special needs ministries directors from across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America gathered for the first territory-wide Congress for the Hearing Impaired.

More than two hundred deaf persons, interpreters, and special needs ministries directors from across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America gathered for the first territory-wide Congress for the Hearing Impaired.

The five-day event, held at Montemorelos University in North Mexico in July, sought to reassure deaf members and friends that they are valuable to God and the church, and provided training to church leaders on strengthening special needs ministries in churches and communities.

“Disabilities are not a problem for God, because God is the Creator of all of us and gives us abilities,” said Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Special Needs Ministries director for the church in Inter-America, as he addressed some 150 deaf persons in the audience. “Those abilities you have, the church needs today.”

The congress, in collaboration with the church in North Mexico and Montemorelos University, was part of Inter-America’s long-term initiative to bolster special needs ministries across the territory since it was established four years ago, said Telemaque.

“The church in Inter-America is moving beyond awareness to create a new paradigm to help people with disabilities to appreciate their value and understand who they are in the sight of God, as they take active part in the growth of the church,” explained Telemaque.

Pastor Larry Evans, special needs ministries director for the Adventist world church, spoke during the training event and restated that “the ministry is not about disabilities but about possibilities for those with special needs.”

Evans applauded the work of the church in North Mexico for their advocacy of special needs ministries with the local government and across hundreds of churches. He also spoke highly of Montemorelos University for offering a course in interpreting to students and ensuring that every deaf student on campus is able to understand each class they take.

“We should begin at every Adventist university to involve students in the special needs ministries,” said Evans. He also praised the work in Inter-America for being exemplary in special needs ministries around the world church.

Monica Vera is an interpreter and has been employed by Montemorelos University to teach students to sign and assist deaf students on campus and outreach activities in the community. She was delighted to coordinate the event and provide activities to deaf persons and more training to her interpreter students and church leaders, spreading the word that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is inclusive of all people with disabilities.

“We wanted to train persons with hearing impairment to be evangelists to persons with their same disability and for interpreters to be more skilled and excited to keep working with them,” said Vera.

The 150 deaf attendees from across the church in Mexico took part in fun activities, special lunches, musical performances and a communion service. Three were baptized during the event. In addition, Montemorelos University offered a full scholarship to three deaf persons starting in the upcoming school year.

The congress provided seminars for pastors and leaders on how to develop a culture of special needs in the church, from theology to principle, to values and methods, how to evangelize the deaf in the community, sign language courses for pastors, caregivers, interpreters, and more.

International speakers included Pastor Jeffrey Jordan, associate director of Deaf Ministries for the Adventist world church and Taida Rovero, Director of Deaf Ministries in Spain.

Church leaders from Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Jamaica, Honduras, Colombia, Spain, and the United States took part in the event.

Francisco Javier Diaz, who is the national lay coordinator of the Adventist Deaf Ministry in Mexico, taught many to sign and perform the hymns he interpreted on video during the congress. He works as an interpreter for the deaf in Chiapas, Mexico, and is proud that the Adventist Church is moving forward in involving the hearing impaired in the life of the church. Diaz has also translated the Faith of Jesus in sign language and trains church members to use sign language back home.

Attendees brought up resolutions and requests for the church regarding strengthening special needs in particular deaf ministries. The requests include a need for a full time worker in every union, more biblical resources for the deaf, and provide experts on sign language, and the like.

Times have changed and the church needs to move forward strengthening special needs ministries, emphasized Telemaque.

“The church has to be committed in integrating the deaf into services and the life of the church,” Telemaque said.

Plans are underway for Inter-America’s Special Needs Congress to be held next year on the campus of the Colombia Adventist University in Medellin, Colombia.

For more information on Inter-America’s Special Needs Ministries visit

To view a photo album of the event, click HERE.


This article was written by Libna Stevens and originally published by the Inter-American Division.

Image Credit: Montemorelos University


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          MURDERED: Asesinan a Walter Trochez        
viernes 4 de diciembre de 2009 “Ha sido duro, sabemos que hay mucha lucha por delante, pero… somos Mujeres en Resistencia” Por Rosa C. Báez “Ha sido duro, sabemos que hay mucha lucha por delante, pero… somos Mujeres en Resistencia” Amazonas en Resistencia “A todas mis hermanas en resistencia; hijas y madres inquebrantables de Honduras. […]
          Meeting face to face: CFCA field staffer meets sponsored friend        
Judith Bautista is the CFCA project coordinator for Bogota, Colombia, and a CFCA sponsor. Judith began sponsoring 19-year-old Jorge in 2010 after a trip she took to Honduras to learn more about CFCA mothers groups. She had the opportunity to meet Jorge when she traveled to Honduras recently for a CFCA awareness trip. In her reflection, Judith describes the journey […]
          Sponsor visit a ‘gift and blessing’ on Honduras awareness trip        
“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page. Photo credits for this report go to Bob Hentzen and the CFCA-Honduras staff. Heartfelt greetings from the native land of Cristina Yanes Hentzen, and the missionary land of our co-founder Jerry Tolle. This trip actually […]
          CFCA sponsor becomes an ‘agent of positive change’        
CFCA sponsor Laurie Chandler recently returned from a visit to Santa Barbara, Honduras, to visit her sponsored friend, Fredy. Laurie traveled on an individual sponsor visit to meet Fredy and spent some quality time with him and his family. Laurie shares her travel experience with us and how meeting Fredy left her smiling all day long. By Laurie Chandler, CFCA […]
          Trip to Honduras ‘touches the heart’ of a CFCA sponsor        
In an effort to meet and finally connect with her sponsored friends, Rosa and Franklin in Honduras, CFCA sponsor Theresa Farmer was inspired to go on a CFCA awareness trip. An account of Theresa’s travel experience in Honduras follows! By Dallas Parker, Cristo Rey student and CFCA communications intern CFCA sponsor Theresa Farmer traveled with a group of awareness trip […]
          Honduras awareness trip brings ‘love and blessings’        
“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page. In God’s loving care, we have come to Honduras with 24 sponsors plus CFCA staff members from several projects. I really enjoy seeing the manifestations of love and enthusiasm by both children and sponsors. This […]
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          W Belize odkryto jeden z największych grobowców Majów        

W środkowoamerykańskim Belize archeolodzy odkryli grób przedstawiciel elity Majów. Jego wnętrze zawiera cenny skarb – hieroglify. Może to pomóc rozwikłać przyczyny upadku cywilizacji Majów, która politycznie załamała się około IX wieku. Prace zostały opublikowane w najnowszym wydaniu Journal of Precolumbiam Art Research Institute.




Według naukowców, jest to jedno z największych miejsc pochówku, znajdujące się w tym kraju. Nie określono jeszcze wieku znaleziska. W strukturze (4,5 m x 2,4 m) znajdują się szkielety młodych ludzi w wieku między 20 a 30 lat, kości jeleni i jaguarów, kamienie, garnki i inne przedmioty z kamienia oraz gliny w postaci zwierząt, warzyw i innych symboli.


Grób znajduje się w ruinach miasta Xunantunich. Według naukowców, w grobie spoczywają szczątki członków dynastii „węża”.


Imperium Majów u szczytu rozwoju w VI wieku obejmowało dzisiejszy obszar Gwatemali, Hondurasu, Belize i Meksyku. Majowie budowali świątynie, miasta i ogromne piramidy. Około roku 900 naszej ery imperium rozpadło się. Upadek trwał prawie dwa wieki. Miasta i rozległe obszary zostały opuszczone przez ludność.



          Land Update: Stakeholders Present Progress on Tenure Security and Monitoring        
Asian regional members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) called for greater recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to control their land and resources and their own development. PROFOR published a study analyzing forest tenure regimes in Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru. During a regional inception workshop convened by the LPI and IFPRI, 12 African countries embarked on the pilot ‘Monitoring and Evaluation of Land in Africa’ (MELA) project. In Nicaragua, a US$18 million loan from the World Bank will be used to improve the legalization, titling and property registration services.
          El Canciller de la Dignidad (2)        
Por Raúl Roa Kourí

Raúl Roa García, a quien el pueblo cubano bautizara como “Canciller de la Dignidad” en los años iniciales de la Revolución Cubana, cuando libró memorable brega en la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) y las Naciones Unidas (ONU), ora contra las maniobras yanquis para aislar a Cuba, expulsarla de la OEA y asfixiarla económicamente, ora para encarar la agresión mercenaria de Playa Girón, urdida, financiada y desatada por el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos en 1961, y desenmascarar a los representantes del imperio en el Consejo de Seguridad en lo que la historia ha recogido como “la batalla de la ONU”, nació en La Habana, el 18 de abril de 1907. El 6 de julio del presente año (2017) se conmemora el 35 aniversario de su partida.

Sus padres, Ramón Raúl Roa Reyes y María Luisa García Espinosa, residían, cuando nació, en la Calzada de Carlos III, pero tanto mi padre como su única hermana, Gilda, vivirían la mayor parte de su infancia y adolescencia en el habanero barrio de La Víbora, donde Roa se estrenó en el arte de confeccionar y empinar papalotes, jugar quimbumbia y como primera base de un equipo de béisbol juvenil, aficiones –salvo la quimbumbia- que nunca abandonó, asistiendo regularmente a los campeonatos nacionales de béisbol para animar a los Industrialesy empinando cometas desde la azotea de la Asamblea Nacional o en los arrecifes dientes de perro costaneros.

Cursó estudios primarios en pequeñas escuelas cercanas a la casa y secundarios en el Colegio Hermanos Maristas (Academia Champagnat) de La Víbora, obteniendo el título de Bachiller en Ciencias y Letras en el Instituto de La Habana y más tarde, los de Doctor en Derecho Público y Doctor en Derecho Civil en la Universidad de La Habana. Nunca ejerció, empero, la carrera de abogado, excepto una vez, para asumir la defensa en el Tribunal de Urgencia –durante la primera época de la dictadura militar de Fulgencio Batista– de un grupo de compañeros, entre ellos, Leonardo Fernández Sánchez, José Chelala Aguilera y Regino Pedroso, quienes fueron condenados a seis meses de reclusión penitenciaria. En otra ocasión, en la que Roa debía asumir su autodefensa, se escabulló y fue juzgado en rebeldía.

Su abuelo mambí, Ramón Roa Garí –“un hombre del 68” le llamó Máximo Gómez; “el más original de los poetas de la guerra” según José Martí– dejó indeleble huella en el joven Roa. Manito, como cariñosamente se decían el uno al otro, relataba al pequeño episodios de la “guerra grande” (1868-1878) y ensalzaba las glorias del “Mayor”, como dijeron siempre a Ignacio Agramonte los soldados del Camagüey. Ramón había sido su Ayudante, como también lo fue de Julio Sanguily y de Máximo Gómez. En el estilo de Raúl Roa hay reminiscencias del gracejo y desenfado del abuelo; además, ambos fueron cultores de la memoria de los héroes patrios, como atestiguan numerosos artículos y ensayos recogidos en la prensa nacional.

Otra influencia formadora y determinante en el pensamiento patriótico y revolucionario del joven Roa, lo fue José Martí, cuya obra leyó con fruición desde muy temprano, en la biblioteca de su tío Jorge Roa, en la vecina casa de Federico de Córdova, y durante su temprana mocedad, al punto de figurar entre aquellos que, como Julio A. Mella, develaron la hondura antiimperialista del ideario martiano, escamoteada por plumíferos bien avenidos y reaccionarios de siete suelas.

Pronto, también, se sumergió en las obras fundamentales de Marx, Engels y Lenin, abrazando la causa del socialismo científico y el comunismo, valiéndose del materialismo histórico y dialéctico como instrumentos para el análisis de la problemática nacional y mundial –como revela ya en su “Carta abierta a Jorge Mañach” escrita a los 23 años.

Su primer proceso político data de noviembre de 1925, en que suscribió un manifiesto titulado “El Monstruo asesina a Nicaragua”, con motivo de la intervención norteamericana en ese país y la heroica resistencia de Augusto César Sandino, el “General de hombres libres”.

Desde sus comienzos, participó decididamente en las luchas del estudiantado contra la dictadura de Gerardo Machado. Con motivo de la huelga de hambre de Julio A. Mella, trabó relaciones con los grupos estudiantiles de izquierda e ingresó en la Liga Antiimperialista de las Américas (sección cubana). Fue, asimismo, profesor de Teorías Sociales en la Universidad Popular “José Martí”, fundada por Mella, cuyas clases se impartían en los locales de los sindicatos obreros. Junto con Rubén Martínez Villena, su director, figuró entre los iniciadores de la revista antiimperialista América Libre.

Roa fue uno de los dirigentes del vigoroso movimiento nacional de protesta contra la reforma constitucional que condujo a la ilegal prórroga de poderes de Machado. La “jornada revolucionaria del 30 de septiembre de 1930” le tuvo entre sus principales organizadores, habiéndosele encomendado la redacción final del Manifiesto al Pueblo de Cuba lanzado ese mismo día por el Directorio Estudiantil Universitario (DEU) de 1930, del cual fue miembro fundador.

Como resultado de discrepancias surgidas respecto de las concepciones y tácticas del Directorio, creó con Pablo de la Torriente Brau, Gabriel Barceló, Ladislao González Carbajal, Manuel Guillot y otros compañeros, el Ala Izquierda Estudiantil, que mantuvo la tesis, durante la lucha contra el machadato, de que era menester, para extirpar sus causas, enfrentarse y derrocar, conjuntamente, la dominación económica y política norteamericana: su verdadera raíz y principal sostén.

Como muchos de sus compañeros de lucha, sufrió prisión en la Cabaña, el Príncipe, el Hospital Militar de Columbia, la cárcel de Nueva Gerona y el Presidio Modelo, de la Isla de Pinos (hoy de la Juventud), donde permaneció incomunicado un año y once meses. Al ser liberado, se incorporó al Comité Ejecutivo del Ala Izquierda Estudiantil, desde donde combatió la “Mediación” de Sumner Welles y participó en la organización y desarrollo de la huelga general que dio al traste con la dictadura de Machado.

Fue el primer estudiante que entró en la Universidad de La Habana, tomando posesión de ella, el 12 de agosto de 1933. La propia mañana, desde la emisora de radio del Hotel Palace, denunció con Jorge Quintana el golpe de estado que fraguaron Welles y el ABC, y exhortó al pueblo a apoderarse del poder.

El 4 de septiembre de 1933, estuvo en el Campamento de Columbia al producirse la sublevación de soldados y clases contra el gobierno de Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, que dio origen, primero a la Pentarquía, y luego al gobierno presidido por Ramón Grau San Martín, apoyado en el Directorio Estudiantil Universitario.

Desde el periódico Ahora, enfrentó la nueva situación con un artículo que provocó el cierre y la ocupación de este: “Mongonato, efebocracia y mangoneo”. Como lo reconocería más tarde, Roa erraba el tiro, “por extremismo”, al atacar al “gobierno de los cien días” que, bajo la influencia decisiva de Tony Guiteras, adoptó medidas de beneficio popular y tuvo un carácter nacionalista y antiimperialista.

Tras el fracaso de la huelga de marzo de 1935 contra la dictadura militar de Batista, Roa, que había participado en su organización, se vio forzado a abandonar el país con Pablo de la Torriente, radicándose en Nueva York, desde donde prosiguió la lucha, fundando, con Pablo, Alberto Saumell, Carlos Martínez Sánchez, Gustavo Aldereguía y otros, la Organización Revolucionaria Cubana Antimperialista (ORCA) y su vocero, el periódico Frente Único. Roa y Aldereguía, representaron a ORCA en la Conferencia de Frente Único efectuada en Miami en 1936, conjuntamente con los representantes del Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Auténtico), Joven Cuba, Partido Comunista de Cuba, Izquierda Revolucionaria y el APRA.

En 1935, contrajo matrimonio por poder con  Ada Kourí Barreto, su compañera de luchas y esposa durante toda su vida, quien viajó a unirse con él en el exilio. En julio de 1936 nací yo, su único hijo: Ada había regresado a Cuba para el alumbramiento, a fin de que el vástago fuera “cubano por los cuatro costados”. Mi padre no me conocería hasta su retorno a la Isla, meses después.

Ya en la patria, colaboró al inicio con el movimiento de unificación de las fuerzas comunistas, democráticas y antiimperialistas con vistas a organizar su participación en la Asamblea Constituyente de 1940. Mas, en desacuerdo con la solución de transacción que aquella Asamblea suponía, se mantuvo en una posición insurreccional, defendiendo sus posiciones en la revista Baraguá, dirigida por José A. Portuondo.

Desde entonces, Roa fue –como él mismo se calificara- un francotirador de izquierda, sin unirse a partido alguno después de 1940. En 1938, había pertenecido al Comité Ejecutivo del Partido Socialista Agrario y, en 1939, al Comité Organizador de un Partido Democrático Revolucionario. En 1965, integró el primer Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba, fundado por Fidel, y constituido por elementos provenientes del Movimiento 26 de Julio, el Directorio Revolucionario 13 de Marzo, el Partido Socialista Popular y, en menor medida, de la Organización Auténtica.

Al producirse el golpe militar de Batista, el 10 de marzo de 1952, inmediatamente se dispuso a combatirlo con la pluma y la acción. Su posición en esa etapa fue siempre insurreccional: fundador de la Triple A, se retiró de esta en 1954, por discrepancias básicas, de principio, con su dirección durante su destierro en México, donde publicó el periódico “Patria” (con el mismo nombre martiano del primer periódico clandestino contra Batista, que editó antes en La Habana) y dirigió la revista Humanismo. Prestó su concurso, desde el primer momento, a Álvaro Barba, a la sazón presidente de la Federación Estudiantil universitaria (FEU) y, más tarde, al Directorio Revolucionario 13 de Marzo, en particular a José A. Echevarría, Juan Nuiry Sánchez, René Anillo, Faure Chomón Mediavilla y otros dirigentes de dicha organización, con los que mantuvo estrechos vínculos y en su carácter virtual de Maestro de aquella generación universitaria.

Regresó a Cuba en 1955, después de la amnistía que liberó a Fidel Castro y sus compañeros del Moncada, manteniéndose distante de todos los movimientos políticos no insurrecionales, colaborando con el Directorio Revolucionario 13 de Marzo e incorporándose al Movimiento de Resistencia Cívica 26 de Julio, de cuyo Comité Ejecutivo de La Habana fue miembro hasta el derrocamiento de la dictadura en 1959.

La revolución triunfante le nombró Embajador ante la OEA, en febrero de 1959 y, pocos meses después, en junio de ese año, fue designado titular del Ministerio de Estado. El 23 de diciembre, a propuesta de Roa, el Gobierno Revolucionario adoptaría una Ley denominándolo Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, en consonancia con sus nuevas funciones, derivadas de haber alcanzado Cuba su genuina independencia política y económica, y de la consiguiente adopción de una política exterior que respondía a los verdaderos intereses del país.

Raúl Roa se mantuvo al frente del Ministerio hasta enero de 1976 en que, habiéndosele elegido diputado a la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, lo fue también a la Vicepresidencia de ésta y, posteriormente, al Consejo de Estado, al cual perteneció hasta su deceso. Durante aquellos diecisiete años al frente de la cancillería, le cupo a Roa ser el vocero de la Revolución en diversos foros internacionales, destacándose por la brillantez, sabiduría y eficacia con que interpretó el pensamiento revolucionario de Fidel, por la sugestión de importantes iniciativas, como la incorporación de Cuba en tanto que miembro pleno al Movimiento de Países No Alineados desde su fundación, y por su defensa intransigente de los principios y conquistas de nuestro pueblo, de la independencia y soberanía nacionales.

Como Vicepresidente de la Asamblea Nacional, y Presidente en funciones durante varios períodos, Roa contribuyó a fortalecer nuestro sistema democrático, vertiendo toda su experiencia en la preparación de las sesiones del parlamento, contribuyendo al profundo debate de las cuestiones planteadas y participando en las reuniones de la Unión Interparlamentaria (UIP), organización a la cual ingresó la ANPP por gestión suya. En 1981, presidió con maestría y habilidad política características la reunión que la UIP celebró en nuestra capital.

Durante el último año de su vida, trabajó arduamente en los proyectos de la Asamblea y, en particular, en sus relaciones con otros parlamentos. Dedicó serios esfuerzos a la organización y conducción de la Conferencia de la UIP en La Habana y a las sesiones de la ANPP. Por otra parte, le robaba horas al descanso para dar fin al libro sobre Rubén Martínez Villena, El fuego de la semilla en el surco, compromiso contraído consigo mismo y con Judith, hermana de aquél, en 1936, cuando escribió el prólogo (en realidad una valoración biográfica y literaria de Rubén) a La pupila insomne, del destacado poeta y revolucionario comunista.

La enfermedad, que se reprodujo rápidamente, impidió la terminación del libro, que fue publicado póstumamente por la Editorial Letras Cubanas. Raúl Roa expiraba en La Habana, a los 75 años, el 6 de julio de 1982.

El pueblo, que acudió masivamente al Aula Magna de la Universidad  de La Habana donde se velaron sus restos mortales, le hizo un “duelo de labores y esperanzas”, acompañándole, silencioso y reverente, hasta el Panteón de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, en el que fue sepultado. Armando Hart, a la sazón Ministro de Cultura, despediría el duelo del revolucionario sin tacha.

Dejó, amén de su vida ejemplar como intelectual revolucionario de subidos quilates, una obra fecunda como profesor, periodista y pensador.  El pueblo lo reconoció como “canciller de la dignidad”. Hoy, a treinticinco años de su deceso, Raúl Roa sigue en pie.

          South Texas: The New Hot Spot For Illegal Crossing        
As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot. The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region. The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up. Fleeing Poverty And Murder In Reynosa, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas, is Casa del Migrante, a Catholic-run shelter. It's a cement-block building with a large dining room, separate dorms for men and for women and children. It's a relatively safe place in what can be a dangerous city for migrants like Mario Torres. The soft-spoken 25-year-old has already traveled 1,500 miles from his home in Honduras. He paid fees to guides and bribes to bandits. Better than staying home, he says. "I couldn't find work," he says. "I came with my wife. We came together,
Artículo Enciclopedia encarta:


Constitución (ciencia política), ley fundamental, escrita o no, de un Estado soberano, establecida o aceptada como guía para su gobernación. La constitución fija los límites y define las relaciones entre los poderes legislativo, ejecutivo y judicial del Estado, estableciendo así las bases para su gobierno. También garantiza al pueblo determinados derechos. La mayoría de los países tienen una constitución escrita. La de Gran Bretaña, encarnada en numerosos documentos (por ejemplo, la Carta Magna) y el derecho consuetudinario que definen las relaciones de los ciudadanos con la Corona, el Parlamento y los tribunales, no está escrita, pese a que, en muchas ocasiones, se ha postulado su redacción para que Gran Bretaña disponga de un texto análogo al de la gran mayoría de estados.

Las constituciones pueden clasificarse mediante varios criterios: si están protegidas contra enmiendas (constituciones blindadas), si presentan una clara separación de poderes, si las disposiciones pueden ponerse en vigor mediante revisión de la actuación del ejecutivo o del legislativo, si establecen un Estado unitario o federado, etc. Las constituciones escritas están asociadas históricamente al liberalismo político y a la Ilustración. Tal es el caso de la historia del constitucionalismo español. Muchos estados autoritarios y totalitarios poseen unas elaboradas constituciones, pero, en la práctica, no tienen vigor para ser respetadas por el gobierno en el poder, que siempre puede no acatarlas, suspenderlas o invalidarlas.

Constituciones en el mundo
Constituciones vigentes en el mundo

1. Afganistán: 1987 .suspendía tras el golpe fundamentalista al gobierno marxista en 1992
2. Albania : 39 de abril de 1991
3. Alemania: ley fundamental. promulgada en 1949
4. Andorra : 1983
5. Angola: noviembre de 1975. modifica en 1976,1980,1991
6. antigua y barbuda: noviembre de 1981
7. Arabia saudita: desde el 1 de marzo de 1992 , el gobierno monárquico absolutista se rige por intermedio del sistema básico gubernamental
8. Argelia : febrero de 1989
9. argentina : 1853. modificada en 1860,1866,1898y 1994
10. Armenia: en 1993 entro en vigencia una nueva constitución
11. Australia : 1 de enero de 1901
12. Austria:1920 .enmendada en 1929
13. Azerbaiján: se prepara una constitución dentro del sistema autoritario que impera en el es país islámico
Bahamas : 10 de julio de 1973.
14. Bahrein : 1973, bajo la monarquía absolutista
15. Bangla Desh: es enmendada e 1973,74,75,77,79,81.88.89 y 91
16. barbados : 30 de noviembre de 1966
17. belarus: se redacta una nueva constitución
18. Bélgica: 1831.enmendada varias veces y revisadas en 1949 y 1971
19. Belice: 21 de septiembre de 1981
20. Benín: el dictador Kereskou al abandonar el marxismo establece una constitución el 2 de diciembre de 1990 .propiciando el multipartidismo por primera vez
21. bhutan : 1953
22. Bolivia 1967
23. bophuthatswana : se rige por la constitución de Sudáfrica
24. Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1974.Modifica en 1989,90,91
25. Botswana: 30 de septiembre de 1966.En una de las pocas democracias del África
26. brasil: 5 de octubre de primera constitución , en un gobierno civil en 24 años
27. Brunei darussalam :1959. algunos preceptos fueron suspendidos en 1962 , por el reino absolutista mas rico del mundo
28. Bulgaria :13 de junio de 1991 , ante la caída del viejo régimen marxista pro soviético y la instauración del pluripartidismo
29. burkina faso: con el establecimiento del multipartidismo se consolida una nueva constitución el 11 de junio de 1991
30. Burundi : 13 de marzo de 1992.suspendida por el golpe militar de 1993 que derroco al primer presidente civil .Melchior Ndadaye en plena vigencia
31. cabo verde : 7 de septiembre de 1980 modificada en septiembre de 1990
32. Camboya : 27 de junio de 1981. modificada por el régimen pro soviético de Samrin en 1989
33. Camerún : aprobada en 1996
34. canada : acta constitucional de 1982
35. ciskei : suspendida por el nuevo régimen militar en 1990
36. Colombia : 6 de julio de 1991
37. congo: al establecerse e nuevo sistema multipartidista , se redacto una nueva constitución en 1992
38. corea del norte : la constitución del 27 de diciembre de 1972
39. corea del sur: 25 de febrero de 1988
40. costa rica : 7 de noviembre 1949
41. cote d” Ivoire: (antes costa de marfil ) 31 de octubre de 1960. modificada por el presidente vitalicio Houphoner
43.Croacia: Diciembre de 1990
44. Cuba: 1976
45. Chad: Aprobada en 1996
46. Chile: 1980, Enmendada en 1989
47. Chipre Septentrional: 5 de mayo de 1985, aprobada por referéndum
48. Chipre, 16 de Agosto de 1960
49. Dinamarca, 5 de junio de 1953
50. Djibouti, 1991 y 1984. Leyes constitucionales realizadas pro la dictadura de Aptidón.
51. Dominica: 3 de noviembre de 1978
52. Ecuador: 10 de Agosto de 1978
53. Egipto: 11 de Septiembre de 1971
54. El Salvador: 20 de Diciembre de 1983, modificada en 1991.
55. Emiratos Árabes unidos: Siembre de 1971, en provisional establecido por la monarquía absolutista.
56. Eritrea: El país más joven de la tierra esta redactando su primera constitución bajo el gobierno provisional de Osaías Afwerki, Ex líder de la guerrilla del Frente de Liberación popular de la Eritrea (FLPE).
57. Eslovaquia: El país más joven de Europa se rige bajo la misma constitución de la Republica Checa creada el primero de enero de 1993, ambos estados pertenecían a la antigua Checoslovaquia
58. Eslovenia, Diciembre de 1991
59. España, 29 de diciembre de 1978
60. Estado Vaticano, no hay constitución,(Ley fundamental) 2001
61. Estados unidos, 1787, tiene 26 enmiendas
62. Estonia, una nueva constitución fue sometida a referéndum el 28 de junio de 1992, el país Báltico fue uno de los primeros en independizarse y establecer el sistema multipartidista.
63. Etiopía, promulgada en 1994
64. Fiji: 25 de julio de 1990
65. filipinas: El régimen democrática Corazón Aquino estableció una nueva constitución el 2 de febrero de 1987, que fue sometida a referéndum.
66. Finlandia: 17 de Julio de 1979
67. Francia: 6 de octubre de 1958
68. Gabón: 21 de febrero de 1961, modificada por Omar Gongo, uno de los dictadores mas antiguos del mundo en 1967-1975-1981-1986-1990.
69. Gambia: 24 de abril de 1990 , enmendada en 1982 por el régimen democrático de Dawda K. Jawara.
70. Georgia: Aprobada en 1995
71. Ghana: Marzo de 1992, el nuevo régimen democrático somete a referéndum la nueva constitución.
72. Granada: 1974 fue suspendida por el golpe marxista de 1979 y reestablecida en 1984, luego de la invasión norteamericana.
73. Grecia: Válida desde 1986
74.Guatemala: 14 de enero de 1985
75. Guinea Bissau: 16 de mayo de 1984, bajo la dictadura izquierdista de Luis Cabral y modificada en 1991 por su seguidor Joao Vieira.
76. Guinea Ecuatorial: Obiang Nguema establece una nueva constitución en noviembre de 1991 y es sometida a consulta popular.
77. Guinea: 23 de diciembre de 1991
78. Guyana: El régimen izquierdista de Forbes Burham establece una nueva constitución el 6 de octubre de 1980 y modificada en 1988 por sucesor Desmond Hoyte
79. Haiti. 1987
80. Honduras: Noviembre de 1982,
81. Hungría: 18 de Agosto de 1989. Modificada en 1972, 1983, 1989.
82. India: 26 de Enero de 1950, Modificada en 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992 en la democracia más grande del mundo.
83. Indonesia, agosto de 1945, modificada en 1969 por régimen autoritario más antiguo del mundo del dictador Suharto.
84. Irak: 22 de septiembre de 1968, enmendada en 1969,1970, 1973, y 1974 de manera provisional.
85. Iran: Creada por el gobierno fundamentalista islámico del desaparecido Ayatollah Khomeini en diciembre de 1979, enmendada en 1989.
86. Irlanda del Sur: 29 de Diciembre de 1937
87. Islandia: 17 de junio de 1944
88. Islas Camoras: 7 de junio 1992
89. Islas Marianas del norte: 1986
90. Islas Marshall: 1 de mayo de 1979
91. Islas Micronesia: 10 de mayo de 1979
92. Islas Palau: 1 de enero de 1981
93. Islas Salomón: 7 de julio de 1978
94. Israel: No existe constitución política como tal sino un conjunto de leyes; desde 1950 se han incorporado durante un periodo no específico.
95. Italia: 1 de enero de 1948
96. Jamaica: 6 de Agosto de 1962, conjuntamente con la independencia nacional
97. Japón: 3 de noviembre de 1946. En vigor en mayo de 1947.
98. Jordania: 1 de enero de 1952, enmendada en 1974, 1976 y 1984.
99. Katar: 2 de abril de 1970, creada por la monarquía Absolutista con carácter provisional.
100. Kazajstán: Aprobada en 1995
101. Kenya : 12 de diciembre de 1963, enmendada en 1982, 1986, 1991 durante los gobiernos autoritarios de Jommo Kenyata y Danieal Arap Moi.

Las 10 Constituciones mas jóvenes del mundo

1) Chad: 1996
2) Camerún: 1996
3) Sudáfrica: 1996
4) Georgia: 1995
5) Armenia: 1995
6) Kazajstan:1995
7) Malwi:1994
8) Bielorusia:1994
9) Lusemburgo: 1994
10) Rusia: 1993

No Existen constituciones en los siguientes países

1) Israel
2) Nueva Zelanda
3) Reino Unido (Escocia, Inglaterra, Gales, Irlanda del Norte)
4) San Marino
5) Vaticano
6) Bhutan
7) Omán
8) Somalia

Se han suspendido las funciones de la Constitución en los siguientes países

1) Afganistán: Tras el derrumbe del gobierno marxista en 1992.
2) Togo: El régimen autoritario de Eyadema la suspendió en 1991, tras los disturbios políticos que reclaman mayor para el multipartidismo al igual que otros países africanos.
3) Sudán: El nuevo régimen fundamentalista, que llegó vía golpe militar en 1989, suspendió la constitución de 1985 y ahora se rige a base de leyes coránicas.
4) Venda: El nuevo régimen castrense de 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la constitución.
5) Ciskei: Los golpistas militares que asumieron el gobierno en 1990 con apoyo de Sudáfrica suspendieron la Constitución.
6) Myanmar: El régimen castrense que asumió el poder en 1998 prohibió la constitución de 1974.
7) Burundi: Los golpistas que llegaron al poder a finales de 1993 y derrocaron la primera democracia del país, suspendieron la constitución de marzo de 1992
8) Transkei: Los golpistas encabezados por el general Bantu Holomisa suspendieron la constitución de 1987.
          Comment on Why Hillary Clinton Deserved Labor’s Support by Will McMahon        
Background: I am a union organizer who has been involved in a mass movement of healthcare workers for the past year and change. Prior to this, I worked briefly for the AFT and was fired when I raised members' questions about the undemocratic nature of the Clinton endorsement to the AFT national chief of staff in a forum designed for questions on that endorsement. I come from a poor, working-class background. Response: First, I would like to establish who Hillary Clinton is as a person, as she is no true friend of labor. She sat on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart during a period of intense union-busting, and never once spoke out against anti-worker sentiment at a single board meeting. Those of us who have gone through unionization campaigns have seen the brutality of union-busters (in my campaigns, I have seen lies, bribes, intimidation, stalking of workers, threats of deportation, and all kinds of inhumanity). Wal-Mart is one of the chief engines of this behavior, funding union-busters and producing anti-union materials that have spread throughout the country, and Secretary Clinton was a significant player in this anti-union architecture. Even after she had long since left that Board, Alice Walton (one of the Waltons who own Wal-Mart and serve as leaders of the parasite class that sucks workers and taxpayers dry for personal profits) served as one of her closest friends and advisors, through the duration of her presidential campaign. The original sin of the Clintons against the labor movement, however, was even before this, and they have bragged about it in the apparent belief that it is a cute and relatable story. On their first date, in law school, Hillary and Bill crossed a picket line and made a deal with management to do the work of striking workers in exchange for exclusive access to a closed museum. At their first date, Hillary and Bill were scabs. (source: As Billy Bragg might sing, "Never Cross a Picket Line." ( When she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton helped attack democracy and labor rights abroad. In 2009, following the anti-democratic coup in Honduras against a President whose crime was being too progressive, Clinton legitimized the coup government and backed an election which included a ban on certain opposition, military control of the country in the lead-up, and the suspension of human rights including freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and habeas corpus. Even when President Zelaya returned to the country, she sought to crush him and "render the question of Zelaya moot." Also in 2009, when Haiti sought to substantially raise its minimum wage in order to lift its people out of abject poverty, Hillary Clinton labored hard on behalf of multinational corporations to bring to bear deathly pressure against Haiti to instead move to a minimum wage at only half that rate. As the State Department's officially released emails confirmed, Clinton signed off on and advocated for a free trade agreement with Colombia while corporations in that country slaughtered union activists and organizers with impunity and the government gladly looked the other way. Political expediency, corporate profits, and another notch in Clinton's belt took precedence. All of this can be explained by Clinton's insistence on her close personal friendship with and mentorship by Henry Kissinger, Nixon's right hand man. Kissinger helped prop up many brutal dictatorships and overthrow popular democracy, as in Chile in 1973, when he wrote a blank check to effectively slaughter democratically-elected President Salvador Allende, a democratic socialist (perhaps the Bernie Sanders of his time). The governments of many countries that are now democracies but were once brutal, murderous dictatorships under Kissinger's influence have called for his trial for crimes against humanity. Don't hold your breath. Interestingly (and unsurprisingly), the Clintons and the Kissingers take personal vacations together. Also, as Secretary of State, Clinton spoke publicly at least 45 times in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), calling it the "gold standard" of trade deals. Fitting, it seems, with her and her husband's championing of the NAFTA. This flew in the face of Labor's deeply held conviction that the deal would rob working people and prioritize corporate profits over workers' rights, national sovereignty, and any other decent gain we had made in the past century. It was only when faced with the unexpectedly strong challenge of Senator Bernie Sanders that Clinton walked back that support in the most tepid language possible, and always for different reasons depending on the crowd to which she spoke. It is not hard to imagine how, if elected, she would have made some minor tweak to the deal, declared it once again a "gold standard," and happily forced it down our throats. Let's not forget the infamous speeches to Goldman Sachs and other institutions, which Clinton constantly refused to release during the Democratic primaries, claiming she would only do so when all the Republican candidates released their paid speeches. She would only follow where the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would lead. While we have still not seen those speeches, and likely never will, we now know that they included claims by Clinton that she must have "public positions" and "private positions." It is not hard to believe that the labor movement would be the first group to be burned by that divide. All of this is informed by the fact that Clinton is a member of the capital-owning class. While Bernie Sanders and his family largely subsist on wages earned by physical and intellectual labor for their livelihoods, Hillary Clinton and her family subsist on returns from passive capital investments for their livelihoods. This informs a key divide between policies good for working people (the vast majority of us) and policies good for what Sanders called the billionaire class and what I call the parasite class (the tiny political and economic elite). Principles of solidarity might dictate that we throw our weight behind the working class candidate, and against the candidate that attacked working people at home and abroad, but Ms. Weingarten and Mr. Casey seem to disagree. After all, the mentality of "F**k you, I got mine" is as old as the labor movement, as in the old A.F.L.'s participation in the repression of the I.W.W. It is important to note that, prior to the A.F.T.'s endorsement of Clinton, Randi Weingarten sat on the board of Secretary Clinton's SuperPAC (funded by the corporate interests that honest unionists fight every day). Now, I will respond more specifically to the points in the article above. The authors claim Secretary Clinton was "the most experienced and qualified candidate of the last century." She was a Senator for eight years and the Secretary of State for four years. Previously, she was the First Lady of the United States and the First Lady of Arkansas, unelected and unappointed without constitutional duties. As I have listed above, the quality of her governing experience can easily be derided from her repeated assaults on working people. And as for the quantity or measure of her experience, a number of candidates or potential candidates in the past century have exceeded hers. The A.F.T. endorsed Clinton in July, before we knew if Biden or Warren or Pelosi or Reid or anyone else was going to enter. Biden has 36 years in the Senate to Clinton's 8, and 8 years as Vice President to Clinton's 4 as Secretary of State. Pelosi has 30 years in the House, 10 years as House Minority Leader, and 4 years as Speaker of the House. Not to mention Bernie Sanders having 10 years in the Senate, 17 years in the House, and Mayor of the largest city in his state for 8 years. There were certainly more "experienced" options this cycle. As for mere quantity (and not quality) of experience in "the last century," Hillary Clinton's claim is not supreme. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was a Governor for 12 years. George H.W. Bush was in the House for 4 years, the effective ambassador to China for 1 year, Director of the CIA for 1 year, and Vice President for 8 years. Ronald Reagan was a Governor for 8 years. Gerald Ford was in the House for 25 years and Vice President for 1 year. Richard Nixon was in the House for 4 years, in the Senate for 2 years, and the Vice President for 8 years. Lyndon Johnson was in the House for 12 years, in the Senate for 12 years, and Vice President for nearly 3 years. John Kennedy was in the House for 6 years and in the Senate for 8 years. Dwight Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander and led the U.S. effort in World War II. Harry Truman was in the Senate for 10 years and briefly Vice President. And let us not forget that perhaps the kindest president for labor, Franklin Roosevelt, was one of those with not a great deal of experience (4 years as Governor of New York and some lesser offices). But the lesson here should be that counting the years is a small measure of worthwhile experience. It is a weighing of the actions within that experience. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton inspire little confidence, despite however many years of "experience." I have also heard the claim (from none less than Barack Obama) that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate ever in our history. This ridiculously ignores George Washington (Commander in Chief of our War for Independence), John Adams (delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Ambassador to various nations for 10 years, Vice President for 8 years), Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Virginia for 2 years, Ambassador to France for 4.5 years, Secretary of State for nearly 4 years, Vice President for 4 years), and James Madison (literal author of the United States Constitution, in the House for 8 years, Secretary of State for 8 years). Of course, many of these owned other human beings as slaves, so take that as you will for the worth of "experience." Weingarten and Casey bring up claims that Labor could have turned the tide for Sanders, then raise Clinton's numerical win in the primary election as a response. This is no answer, as it does not address the possibility of a different result had Labor thrown its weight behind Sanders from the beginning. In Iowa, the margin of Clinton's victory was 0.25%. If Labor does not have the faith that its full might could influence an election to the order of one quarter of one percentage point, then what is it doing involving itself in electoral politics? And surely, the authors' assessment that Labor's misguided priorities in the general election (I know of Working America organizers who were moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in a bizarre display of hubris) had some role in the loss proves the lie to that argument. And should Sanders have won Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada (with the help of that state's powerful Culinary Union), the narrative of the campaign following the first three contests would have been radically different and focused on an ascendant Sanders campaign and a broken, failed Clinton campaign. Everything following would have been radically changed. No amount of "Super Delegates" could have hoped to sway the result in the face of a popular vote, lest they lose their party's voters and fade into common obscurity with the old Whig Party. Further, the authors' reliance on the final primary total fails to recognize the choices made on the structure of that primary. They seek to dismiss Senator Sanders by characterizing his wins as being in places with lower diversity (speaking of racial diversity and ignoring economic diversity). They do not recognize his advantage with independent voters and the ties between his loss and the banning of independent voters from the polls of many key states in the pocket of the DNC establishment. Should independent voters (those voters who decide the general election) have been allowed in the primaries of every state, we might have expected a win by Bernie Sanders. While I helped start the citizen-run campaigns for Bernie Sanders in Indiana and Oregon, I was a New York voter by the time of the primaries. While I was allowed to vote as a new registrant (I held my nose to register as a Democrat, being an Independent at heart), many millions of my fellows were blocked from changing their party from Working Families or Green or No Party Affiliation ("Independent") in time for the vote by a ridiculous rule that you had to be aligned by October for a vote in April. After all, independents decide the general election. Who cares what they think? The authors attribute the constant lead in polls against any and all Republican candidates (before and after the primary) by Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton as a result of decades of attacks against Clinton and a lack of such attacks against Sanders. This may, in part, be true, but how insane is it to say "This one candidate is hated by most of the country due to decades of attacks, and this other candidate has not suffered such decades of attacks and could at most only suffer a couple months of attacks, so let us choose the irreparably scarred candidate over the fresh one"? It is born of the idea that it was "her turn," and not by competent political calculation. And as for the contention that Sanders would be attacked as a socialist, let us not forget that (a very capitalist) Barack Obama has been repeatedly attacked as a socialist, a communist, and a fascist, to no effective electoral end. Any repetition of those attacks against Sanders would have invoked the story of the boy who cried wolf. There was no ammo left that had not been fully deployed against Obama to no end. And while Sanders might have lost Florida to his comments in favor of certain Latin American socialist movements, he clearly outperformed Clinton in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and rural counties in Pennsylvania. This was due to his working class message, and that message could have turned the tide in a presidential election. This is not to mention the many other states in which Sanders outperformed Clinton, but only to note the few in the industrial Midwest which could have, themselves, turned the tide. I agree completely with the authors' condemnation of the Electoral College. Regardless of party or affiliation, the candidate with the most votes ought to win. Our political structure is flawed, and too much power is concentrated in too few individuals, but we must be united in demanding that democracy rule over all. However, I disagree with the authors' contention that some exceptional racism befell this election. In the key states which decided this election, Donald Trump did not get substantially more votes than Mitt Romney or John McCain. Hillary Clinton, a white woman, simply won far fewer votes than Barack Obama, a black man. Donald Trump was not exceptional, Hillary Clinton was simply deficient. I find it funny that Ms. Weingarten would resort to a comparison between Bernie Sanders and George McGovern, as that was the exact comparison offered to me by her chief of staff when I raised a question from our members, shortly before I was summarily fired. Accompanying it is no recognition that 2016 might have a different dynamic from 1972, nor any deeper analysis than a desperate desire to write off a genuinely working class candidate to avoid uncomfortable questions. The authors' blaming of third party votes is similarly ridiculous. They tally them all together and then claim that, had those votes all gone to Secretary Clinton, they could have swung the election. One might as well say that had X% of Mr. Trump's vote gone to Secretary Clinton, she would have won. Gary Johnson received far more votes than Jill Stein, and he is far closer to the Republican line (being a former Republican governor) than the Democratic. Had it been a forced two-choice election without third party candidates, it is very possible that Trump would have received a higher percentage, not a lower one. All of this rationalization and all of this justification is a desperate attempt to elude responsibility for what was a poorly calculated political move on behalf of the political careers of a certain few union leaders, while ignoring the well-being of the vast majority of union members. Might Ms. Weingarten have been Clinton's Secretary of Education? It hardly matters now. Let us not forget that Ms. Weingarten was a lawyer contracted by a union who entertained a brief teaching career to simply take control of that union as a "member" as quickly as she could. Her experiences are completely divorced from those of regular, working members of the A.F.T. or the rest of the labor movement. As to the final paragraph of the authors' article, anyone who is optimistic in the face of an assuredly hostile Trump presidency, Trump congress, and Trump Labor Board is either a fool or mouthing empty platitudes in an attempt to paint themselves as a fearless leader in a cruel situation of their own making. The Republicans wish to deal us a swift death, and the Democrats wish to either deal us a slow death or simply transform us into an impotent fundraising arm of their party. Let us not forget that all our rights under the law came not due to the innate kindness of FDR and his Democrats, but due to the innate threat of Labor's radical organizing during the Depression. The NLRA is not our grand victory, but a peace offering thrust upon us to keep us from a workers' revolution. We will defend it, but woe unto the capital-owning class that destroys it without understand that it is there to satisfy us, not to gratify us. Randi Weingarten and "labor" "leaders" like her are a disgrace. I have seen this at the national level with selfish endorsements and at the local level where grievances went unaddressed for years at a time. Our future lies in organizing with a rank-and-file philosophy. The unions which have adopted this philosophy are winning hard-fought gains. The so-called "unions" which see members only as "dues units" are shrinking and dying. "The 'labour fakir' full of guile, Base doctrine ever preaches, And whilst he bleeds the rank and file Tame moderation teaches. Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day When, with sword in its girth, Labour shall march in war array To realize its own, the earth." -James Connolly, "We Only Want the Earth"
          Andres Oppenheimer: ¡Basta de historias!        
El bicentenario de la independencia de varios países latinoamericanos ha desatado una oleada de necrofilia: varias naciones están literalmente desenterrando los restos de sus próceres de la independencia en medio de una creciente obsesión con el pasado.

¿Se trata de una manera saludable de promover el orgullo y la unidad nacional? ¿O esta obsesión con la historia --que se manifiesta en todos los órdenes, desde los últimos best-sellers hasta los debates en los programas periodísticos de televisión-- es algo que está distrayendo a los países de la urgente tarea de concentrarse en el futuro, para hacerse más competitivos y reducir la pobreza?

En las últimas semanas, varios jefes de Estado han presidido solemnes ceremonias de exhumación de los restos de los héroes de la independencia de sus países.

En Venezuela, el presidente Hugo Chávez paralizó el país para desenterrar los restos del libertador Simón Bolívar en una ceremonia televisada a nivel nacional, tras la cual anunció conmovido que había encontrado dentro del ataúd una bota y "la perfecta dentadura'' del prócer de la independencia.

La broma que circuló en círculos opositores venezolanos tras la trasmisión de la exhumación de los restos de Bolívar era que "Chávez no le mostró a Venezuela los restos de Bolívar, sino que le mostró a Bolívar los restos de Venezuela''.

Chávez ordenó la exhumación para investigar las causas de la muerte de Bolívar, que según el se habría producido "en circunstancias misteriosas'' y podría haber sido un asesinato perpetrado por "la oligarquía''. Bolívar murió el 17 de diciembre de 1830 en la ciudad colombiana de Santa Marta, y prácticamente todos los historiadores coinciden en que murió de tuberculosis.

Tras desenterrar los restos de Bolívar, el gobierno venezolano anunció el 29 de agosto que --como parte de la misma investigación-- se exhumarían los restos de dos hermanas de Bolívar. El vicepresidente Elías Jaua dijo que los médicos forenses extraerían un diente de cada una de las hermanas, para examinar su ADN y asegurarse que todos los restos de la familia Bolívar eran auténticos.

Chávez ha ido mas lejos que otros mandatarios en su obsesión con el pasado: le habla al país a diario ante una enorme imagen de Bolívar, utiliza escritos de Bolívar --por lo general sacados de contexto-- para justificar sus medidas de gobierno, ha pedido que se reemplacen los juguetes de Superman y Batman por muñecos de Bolívar, y hasta le ha cambiado el nombre al país por el de "República Bolívariana de Venezuela''.

Sin embargo, Chávez esta lejos de ser el único que esta desenterrando muertos.

* En México, el presidente Felipe Calderón encabezó recientemente un desfile militar en la Avenida de la Reforma de Ciudad de México, para trasladar las urnas de Miguel Hidalgo, José María Morelos y otros diez héroes de la independencia desde las tumbas en la que habían descansado desde 1925 hasta un laboratorio científico en el Museo Nacional de Historia.

Un grupo de científicos examinarán los restos de los próceres y se asegurarán de que estén bien preservados, antes de trasladarlos al Palacio Nacional, "para que los mexicanos, todos, les brindemos homenaje en este año de la patria'', declaró Calderón.

* En América Central, varios presidentes se están disputando los restos del héroe de la independencia regional Francisco Morazán, que descansan en El Salvador. El año pasado, el ex presidente hondureño Manuel Zelaya le pidió a su homólogo salvadoreño que entregara los restos a Honduras, para ser sepultados en Tegucigalpa, la capital hondureña.

El Salvador rechazó la idea con indignación, mientras crecía la especulación de que también Costa Rica pediría los restos de Morazán. El problema es que el general Morazán nació en Honduras en 1792, fue ejecutado en 1842 en Costa Rica y, según su última voluntad, fue sepultado en El Salvador, explicaron los historiadores.

Según la prensa salvadoreña, los gobiernos de los tres países centroamericanos consideraron seriamente la posibilidad de prestarse mutuamente los restos de Morazán por períodos de varios meses. La propuesta --que algunos calificaron de turismo funerario-- suscitó intensas objeciones de intelectuales salvadoreños.

* En Ecuador, el presidente Rafael Correa ya había empleado buena parte de su tiempo al comienzo de su presidencia en una campaña nacional para trasladar los restos del héroe de la independencia Eloy Alfaro desde Guayaquil a un nuevo mausoleo que el presidente mandó a construir en la ciudad de Montecristi. Pero los descendientes de Alfaro objetaron el traslado, generando un debate nacional. Finalmente, se llegó a una decisión salomónica: parte de las cenizas de Alfaro permanecerían en Guayaquil, y la otra parte sería trasladada a Montecristi. "Esto acabará con los enfrentamientos'', anunció triunfalmente Correa.

* En Argentina, el ex presidente Néstor Kirchner había ordenado previamente el traslado de los restos del ex mandatario Juan Domingo Perón, quien murió en 1974, a un nuevo mausoleo a 45 kilómetros de Buenos Aires.

La caravana oficial que llevaba el ataúd con los restos de Perón terminó en un pandemonio cuando varias facciones peronistas se enfrentaron a golpes.

Muchos historiadores argumentan, con razón, que los países latinoamericanos son repúblicas jóvenes que necesitan consolidar su carácter nacional, y que celebrar su historia es una buena forma de hacerlo. Pero quizás muchos presidentes latinoamericanos están exagerado la nota, porque también es cierto que los escritos de los próceres del siglo XIX no siempre pueden ser usados textualmente para los programas de gobierno del siglo XXI.

Estamos viviendo en un mundo diferente. Bolívar murió en 1830. Eso fue 40 años antes de la invención del teléfono, y 150 años antes de la aparición de la internet.

Sin olvidar --ni dejar de homenajear-- a sus grandes hombres, los países latinoamericanos deberían mirar más lo que están haciendo China, India, y otras potencias emergentes que están totalmente concentradas en el futuro.

En vez de invertir tanto tiempo debatiendo sobre dónde deberían descansar sus próceres, los presidentes latinoamericanos deberían dedicar más tiempo a debatir por qué los jóvenes de sus países están entre los últimos lugares en los exámenes anuales internacionales PISA de matemáticas, ciencias y lenguaje; o por qué no hay ninguna universidad latinoamericana entre las 100 mejores del mundo del ranking del Suplemento de Educación Superior del Times de Londres; o por qué apenas el 2 por ciento de toda la inversión mundial en investigación y desarrollo va a Latinoamérica; o por qué según cifras de las Naciones Unidas la pequeña nación asiática de Corea del Sur registra 80,000 patentes anualmente en el resto del mundo, mientras que todos los países latinoamericanos juntos registran menos de 1,200.

Es hora de que Latinoamérica mire un poco menos hacia atrás, y un poco más hacia adelante. Y que sus presidentes cuenten menos historias, y se dediquen mas a mejorar la calidad de la educación, la ciencia y la tecnología.

Articulo extraido del diario El Nuevo Herald


          Â¿POR QUÉ VENEZUELA?        
¿Por qué a Albert Rivera, a Rafael Antonio Hernando, a la jerarquía del PSOE y al conjunto de los medios de difusión masiva de España les preocupa tanto Venezuela?
¿Por qué no les preocupan los líderes sociales, campesinos, indígenas, que son asesinados todas las semanas en Honduras, tras el golpe de Estado que dieron allí y que España legitimó? ¿Por qué no les incumbe la violación sistemática de los derechos humanos que ocurre en Guatemala, Colombia, Perú, Paraguay (otro golpe de Estado mediante) o Panamá? ¿Por qué ni al señor Rivera, ni al señor Hernando ni a Pedro Sánchez les preocupa la salvajización social que lleva a cabo el Estado mexicano, incompatible con cualquier viso de democracia? ¿Por qué tampoco ni les hace pestañear el deterioro brutal de las condiciones de vida en Brasil y Argentina, tras los “golpes blandos” efectuados contra sus democracias?
En Chile hay decenas de presos políticos mapuches. En muchos países del mundo las cárceles están llenas de presos políticos (en otros lugares, como varios de los nombrados, no hay tantos presos políticos porque a los activistas sociales, a los disidentes, se les mata directamente). Pero a nuestra brutal elite política sólo le interesa uno: Leopoldo López. Una persona que en España estaría encausada incluso antes de la “Ley Mordaza” por incitar a la rebelión, a la sedición y al levantamiento militar contra el orden establecido. Y que, a diferencia de lo que podría hacer aquí, sigue lanzando mensajes de rebelión, sedición y levantamiento militar desde su arresto domiciliario (¡curiosa dictadura que permite eso!).
Venezuela es un país extraño, ha padecido históricamente un capitalismo parasitario y rentista, sostenido sobre un solo producto de exportación primario que impregnó todo el entramado social e institucional, conformando un Estado-petrolero proverbial, de esencia clientelar. Generó, en consecuencia, una población alienada en torno a la renta de aquel
producto y sus actividades derivadas, así como una estructura económica ultradeformada, con una evolución anómala de las fuerzas productivas y de las consiguientes relaciones sociales de producción.
La herencia de esta economía no productiva ha sido una muy alta exclusión social, desempleo y pobreza extrema para grandes capas de la población. Pero entonces sus gobernantes eran “demócratas”, bien tratados por nuestros medios de destrucción cerebral masiva (también llamados “de comunicación”), y Carlos Andrés Pérez, que mató a su población a discreción, era amigo íntimo de Felipe González, el mismo que hoy llama veladamente al alzamiento militar contra Maduro.
Venezuela ha celebrado 19 elecciones en los últimos 15 años, con el sistema de recuento electoral “más avanzado del mundo”, según la Fundación Jimmy Carter.
La oposición, conocida como “escuálida” en Venezuela a tenor de sus 11 severas derrotas electorales seguidas, desde 1998 hasta el referéndum de diciembre de 2007, se apoya por supuesto en Estados Unidos y en el conjunto de instituciones y países capitalistas centrales, que tienen especial interés en destruir (una vez más) el proyecto bolivariano no sólo en Venezuela sino obviamente en el conjunto de América Latina.
Entre sus fuerzas cuenta, ¿cómo no?, con el fervoroso apoyo de la neo-socialdemocracia internacional, y muy en concreto de la española, con palmarios y sustanciosos intereses en el país. También tiene de su parte la llamada “guerra de cuarta generación”, por la que medios de difusión nacionales e internacionales (entre los que ocupa un destacado papel el Grupo Prisa) se muestran en continua y ultra-agresiva campaña en contra de un gobierno legítimo que ha osado desafiar parcialmente los aparentemente intocables principios de la acumulación capitalista.
En conjunto, la estrategia opositora no por burda y manida es menos peligrosa. Se puede resumir como sigue.
1ª etapa: de ablandamiento empleando la guerra de 4ª generación (Operación desencanto). Desarrollo de matrices de opinión centradas en déficit reales o potenciales del proceso de transformación. Cabalgamiento de los conflictos y promoción del descontento. Promoción de factores de malestar, entre los que destacan: desabastecimiento, criminalidad, fuga de capital y manipulación del dólar paralelo, paro de transporte, parálisis de servicios esenciales.
2ª etapa: de deslegitimación. Impulso de campañas publicitarias en defensa de la “libertad de prensa”, “derechos humanos” y “libertades públicas”. Acusaciones de totalitarismo y pensamiento único. Fractura ético-política.
3ª etapa: de calentamiento de la calle. Fomento de la movilización de calle con amplios medios proporcionados por EE.UU. y la UE, entre otros. Elaboración de una plataforma de lucha que globalice las demandas políticas y sociales. Generalización de todo tipo de protestas, resaltando fallas y errores gubernamentales que han sido provocados por la propia guerra económica y social opositora. Organización de manifestaciones, trancas y tomas que radicalicen la confrontación, incluyendo asesinatos selectivos como ya ha ocurrido.
4ª etapa: de combinación de diversas formas de agresión (pacificas, violentas y armadas), acciones de calle y operaciones encubiertas. Organización de marchas y tomas de instituciones emblemáticas, con el objeto de coparlas y convertirlas en plataforma publicitaria. Desarrollo de operaciones de guerra psicológica y acciones armadas (con el invaluable apoyo de paramilitares colombianos) para justificar medidas represivas y crear un clima de ingobernabilidad. Impulso de campaña de rumores entre fuerzas militares y tratar de desmoralizar los organismos de seguridad.
5ª etapa: de fractura institucional. Sobre la base de las acciones callejeras, tomas de instituciones y pronunciamiento militares, se obliga a la renuncia del presidente. En caso de fracaso, se mantiene la presión de calle y se vira hacia la resistencia insurreccional. Preparación del terreno para una intervención militar extranjera o el desarrollo de una guerra civil prolongada. Promoción del aislamiento internacional y el cerco económico al país.
De las pruebas “democráticas” de la oposición burguesa venezolana hablan los (coordinados) furibundos y, a veces, mortíferos ataques a quienes han organizado actos en favor del proceso bolivariano en cualquier lugar del mundo.
Si la oposición venezolana tiene mayoría en el Parlamento hoy es porque ganaron las últimas elecciones legislativas (¡qué dictadura tan extraña la venezolana!). Pero no fueron elecciones presidenciales. Por eso sigue Maduro. Y lo que éste quiere llevar a cabo es un referéndum para hacer un nuevo proceso constituyente que avance en los logros democráticos del proceso bolivariano. Se podrá estar de acuerdo o no con la oportunidad del mismo, pero se trata sólo de votar.
Si tan segura está la oposición de sí misma, ¿por qué le tiene miedo a votar?
Cuando se tocan los privilegios y dispositivos de poder de la burguesía nacional y transnacional, por poco que sea, te conviertes en una malvada dictadura. No importa las elecciones que hagas. Todos los señores Rivera, Hernando y González del mundo te atacarán, mientras se dan abrazos con quienes de verdad destrozan sociedades (y mientras a menudo las versiones progres de nuestra política miran para otro lado cuando les preguntan por Venezuela, porque no se atreven a defender ni sus logros ni su importantísimo papel en la integración latinoamericana y en las luchas de los pueblos).
¿Qué haríamos aquí si alguien llamara a desconocer al gobierno salido de las urnas, a preparar un levantamiento social, a incitar al ejército a sublevarse? Fíjense la que está montando el Gobierno español sólo porque el Gobierno catalán ha llamado también a otra consulta popular.
¡Vivan los demócratas!

Andrés Piqueras, profesor de Sociología de la Universidad Jaume I de Castellón

          Quinua: un concurso para emprendedores        
Miércoles, 26 de Febrero de 2014
La quinua es uno de los cereales más nutritivos que existen. Tan sólo 100 gramos equivalen a tomar cuatro vasos de leche. Posee numerosos beneficios alimenticios, tanto por sus proteínas como por sus aminoácidos. La Organización Mundial de la Salud designó el 2013 como el Año Internacional de la Quinua.

Dentro de este marco la Organización sobre Alimentos y Comida (FAO en sus iniciales en inglés), perteneciente a la ONU convoca un concurso internacional con el objetivo de motivar a los agricultores a que realicen innovaciones tecnológicas con la quinua, con el fin de aportar desarrollo tanto a la economía regional y local, así como en la calidad del cereal.

La iniciativa fue realizada por el Gobierno de Bolivia, el principal productor mundial, pero cuenta con el apoyo de Argentina, Azerbaiyán, Ecuador, Georgia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Perú y Uruguay. Finalmente avalada y puesta en práctica por la ONU.

El Concurso está abierto a todas las personas interesadas de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones. La participación puede ser individual o grupal. Las innovaciones pueden ser en cualquier área de la actividad productiva.

Se deber presentar un expediente técnico en el que se desarrollen los puntos principales del proyecto (materiales, métodos, resultados experimentales). Las propuestas se pueden realizar hasta el primero de marzo. Los premiados, que se conocerán en abril, recibirán la apoyo económico para la realización del mismo. Email contacto: (MAP)


          En Honduras muestran interés por la quinua peruana para reducir la pobreza        

Tegucigalpa (EFE). El cultivo de la quinua, uno de los alimentos tradicionales de los pueblos andinos, puede expandirse en los próximos años a Honduras, dijo hoy el presidente de la entidad estatal andina Sierra Exportadora, Alfonso Velásquez.

Honduras y Perú podrían avanzar en los próximos meses al firmar una alianza que “nos permita sembrar quinua” en el país centroamericano, indicó escuetamente Velásquez a Efe.

Los empresarios hondureños están “interesados en replicar la experiencia peruana” en el uso de la quinua para reducir la pobreza, agregó el funcionario peruano, que llegó este miércoles a Honduras para promocionar las propiedad de esta planta comestible que tiene, dijo, alto contenido de proteína, vitaminas y minerales.

La pobreza en Honduras afecta a más del 60 por ciento de los 8,5 millones de habitantes que tiene el país, donde unos 700.000 no satisfacen sus necesidades alimentarias, según cifras de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO).

“Les interesa conocer cómo a través de la asociatividad y un enfoque de mercado podemos contribuir a hacer sostenible los niveles de reducción de pobreza que el Perú esta alcanzando”, subrayó Velásquez, quien este viernes participó, junto el embajador andino en Tegucigalpa, Guillermo González, en el festival “Quinua fusión Perú-Honduras”.

El funcionario peruano destacó que el festival, auspiciado por la embajada del país sudamericano en Tegucigalpa y la FAO, es una oportunidad para “posicionar la quinua en la gastronomía” hondureña.

Añadió que Perú quiere “mantener el nicho de la producción “gourmet” de la quinua”, originaria de la cordillera de los Andes y con 7.000 años de antigüedad.

El embajador peruano dijo que el objetivo del evento gastronómico, en el que los asistentes degustaron diversos platos preparados con la quinua, entre los que destacan las pupusas con queso, el atol, y el tamal verde, es dar a conocer las “tremendas potencialidades” de este grano andino.

La representante de la FAO en Honduras, María Julia Cárdenas, dijo a Efe que la quinua es uno de los “vegetales más completos” que existe en el planeta.

Agregó que la quinua puede convertirse en un poderoso aliado para combatir el hambre en el mundo, dado su elevado valor nutricional y la facilidad para cultivarla.

La quinua se adapta “fácilmente” a todo tipo de climas y terrenos, subrayó la representante de la FAO.
          Honduras Emergency Alert – Act Today!        
Please take the actions requested below. Like Berta, Gustavo is a key leader to popular struggles against corporate extraction, government malfeasance, and US intervention in Mesoamerica. As Berta was, Gustavo's life is in grave danger.
          Celebrating Ten Years of Journey Through Scripture        

2015 marks the tenth anniversary of the St. Paul Center’s Journey Through Scripture Bible Study Program in Catholic parishes. Over the past decade, the Program has grown to become one of the most popular of its kind in the country, with each of the six studies helping Catholics discover the connections between the Old and New Testaments, the Bible and the Liturgy, and the sacraments and everyday life. 

Across the country, we’ve trained thousands of people to lead these life-changing studies. “Genesis to Jesus,” “The Bible and the Mass,” “The Bible and the Virgin Mary,” “The Bible and the Sacraments,” “The Bible and the Church Fathers,” and “The Bible and Prayer” have been offered from coast to coast in parishes, schools, homes, prisons, and even a Protestant church. 

Soon, we’ll also begin offering these studies on DVD. In just a few weeks, “The Bible and the Virgin Mary” will be available at

This will make it possible for the studies to reach far more people than we ever could through individual presentations alone. 

Here’s just a sampling of what we’re hearing from those who’ve recently gone through one of the Bible studies or our Presenter Training Program. 

I never realized how important the Mass was until now.

It is wonderful—a good blend of nourishment for the brain and the soul.

This helped me see how very “user-friendly” the Bible really is. I am no longer afraid
to read, research, and talk about it thanks to this presentation. 

This study has provided me with great information for future homilies.

As new Catholics, we find this right up there with the best
Protestant materials, and I’ve been teaching adults all my life!

Every person should hear this study. What an evangelizing tool!

This program is genius. It is an easy approach to opening up
the Word of God—extremely well thought out and easy to apply.

This brought me into a closer relationship with the Trinity.

This glimpse of the story of salvation history made me hunger and thirst for more.

This actually exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to get the green light to go
forward and present this in my parish.

Over the past ten years, the St. Paul Center has not only trained Catholics from all fifty states to lead the Journey Through Scripture Bible studies. We’ve also trained presenters from more than a dozen countries. Thus far, Journey Through Scripture  has been presented in:

  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Singapore
  • Ireland
  • Nigeria
  • Sweden
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Chile
  • Canada
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • England
  • Ghana
  • Brazil
  • Honduras.  


Learn more about how the program works or how to become a trained presenter.


          FIFA Confederation Ranking Comparison - July 2014        

Comparing FIFA Confederations using the average FIFA ranking of the top 5 teams from each region.

5.2 - EUROPE
1 - Germany
3 - Netherlands
5 - Belgium
8 - Spain
9 - Switzerland

2 - Argentina
4 - Colombia
6 - Uruguay
7 - Brazil
12 - Chile

15 - USA
16 - Costa Rica
18 - Mexico
33 - Panama
40 - Honduras

31.4 - AFRICA
24 - Algeria
25 - Cote d'Ivoire
34 - Nigeria
36 - Egypt
38 - Ghana

51.8 - ASIA
45 - Japan
49 - Iran
52 - Uzbekistan
56 - South Korea
57 - Jordan

154.0 - OCEANIA
101 - New Zealand
136 - New Caledonia
171 - Tahiti
175 - Solomon Islands
187 - Vanuatu

          2014 World Cup 2nd Group Phase: Highest Top Speed        
The players with the highest top speed (km/h) in the 2nd World Cup group phase.

33.52 - Aurier (Cote d'Ivoire)
33.08 - Pereira (Uruguay)
33.01 - Di Maria (Argentina)

32.98 - Srna (Croatia)
32.98 - Johnson (USA)
32.90 - Mustafi (Germany)
32.33 - Sissoko (France)

31.97 - Rodriguez (Uruguay)
31.79 - Perisic (Croatia)
31.79 - Fabian (Mexico)
31.79 - Bernard (Brazil)
31.79 - Mesbah (Algeria)

31.61 - Van Buyten (Belgium)
31.61 - Nounkeu (Cameroon)
31.61 - Martinez (Spain)
31.61 - Azpilicueta (Spain)
31.61 - Mehmedi (Switzerland)
31.61 - Coates (Uruguay)
31.61 - Almeida (Portugal)

31.46 - Abate (Italy)
31.43 - Luis Gustavo (Brazil)
31.39 - Alba (Spain)
31.25 - Montazeri (Iran)
31.25 - Matuidi (France)
31.25 - Lallana (England)
31.07 - Kanunnikov (Russia)
31.07 - Willian (Brazil)
31.07 - Nkoulou (Cameroon)
31.07 - Bolanos (Costa Rica)
31.03 - Bentaleb (Algeria)

30.92 - Hernandez (Mexico)
30.89 - Matip (Cameroon)
30.89 - Sammir (Croatia)
30.89 - Asamoah (Ghana)
30.89 - Dejagah (Iran)
30.85 - Guardado (Mexico)
30.85 - Lavezzi (Argentina)
30.85 - Onazi (Nigeria)
30.85 - Seferovic (Switzerland)
30.85 - Gimenez (Uruguay)

30.71 - Moukandjo (Cameroon)
30.71 - Serey (Cote d'Ivoire)
30.71 - Sanchez (Colombia)
30.71 - Gutierrez (Colombia)
30.71 - Nagatomo (Japan)

30.67 - De Bruyne (Belgium)
30.67 - Rooney (England)
30.67 - Yedlin (USA)

30.53 - Sanchez (Chile)
30.53 - Ibarbo (Colombia)
30.53 - Agyemang Badu (Ghana)
30.53 - Manolas (Greece)
30.53 - Godin (Uruguay)

30.49 - Zuniga (Colombia)
30.49 - Boateng (Ghana)
30.49 - Yun (South Korea)

30.35 - Fellaini (Belgium)
30.35 - Assou Ekotto (Cameroon)
30.35 - Zokora (Cote d'Ivoire)
30.35 - Costly (Honduras)
30.35 - Gago (Argentina)
30.35 - Chiellini (Italy)

30.17 - Armero (Colombia)
30.17 - Cuadrado (Colombia)
30.17 - Gyan (Ghana)
30.17 - Brahimi (Algeria)
30.17 - Barkley (England)

30.13 - Boye (Ghana)
30.13 - Ghoochannejad (Iran)
30.13 - Okazaki (Japan)
30.13 - Veloso (Portugal)

30.00km/h ~ 18.64mph
31.00km/h ~ 19.26mph
32.00km/h ~ 19.88mph
33.00km/h ~ 20.51mph

Top 10 fastest players of the World Cup through the first 2 games of the group stage:
33.52 - Aurier (Cote d'Ivoire)
33.08 - Pereira (Uruguay)
33.01 - Di Maria (Argentina)
32.98 - Srna (Croatia)
32.98 - Johnson (USA)
32.90 - Mustafi (Germany)
32.33 - Sissoko (France)
32.33 - Varane (France)
32.29 - Hummels (Germany)
32.15 - Coentrao (Portugal)

          2014 World Cup 1st Group Phase: Players Distance Covered         
Players who covered a distance of 11,500 meters (≈7.15 miles) or more in their first 2014 World Cup game.

12,734 - Saphir Taider (Algeria)
12,730 - Michael Bradley (USA)
12,718 - Marcelo Diaz (Chile)
12,341 - Charles Aránguiz (Chile)
12,271 - Muhamed Besic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
12,182 - Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
11,747 - Luis Garrido (Honduras)
11,720 - Mile Jedinak (Australia)
11,701 - Toni Kroos (Germany)
11,687 - Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)
11,622 - Viktor Fayzulin (Russia)
11,611 - Mario Götze (Germany)
11,577 - Khosro Heydari (Iran)
11,515 - Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia)

          2014 World Cup: Highest Top Speed in 1st Group Phase        
The players with the highest top speed (kph) in their 1st game of the World Cup group stage.

32.33 - Raphael Varane (France)
32.29 - Mats Hummels (Germany)
32.15 - Fabio Coentrao (Portugal)
31.93 - Pablo Armero (Colombia)
31.79 - Marcos Rojo (Argentina)
31.61 - Juan Cadrado (Colombia)
31.61 - Jordi Alba (Spain)
31.61 - Andy Najar (Honduras)
31.43 - Mathew Leckie (Australia)
31.43 - Victor Moses (Nigeria)

31.39 - Jermaine Jones (USA)
31.21 - Muhamed Besic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
31.07 - Angel Di Maria (Argentina)
31.07 - Ramires (Brazil)
31.07 - Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
31.07 - Yuto Nagatomo (Japan)
31.07 - Paul Aguilar (Mexico)
31.03 - Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
31.03 - Ron Vlaar (Netherlands)
31.03 - Souleymane Bamba (Cote d'Ivoire)

31.03 - Mesut Ozil (Germany)
30.89 - Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana)
30.85 - Jason Davidson (Australia)
30.85 - Martin Caceres (Uruguay)
30.71 - Yaya Toure (Cote d'Ivoire)
30.71 - Die Serey (Cote d'Ivoire)
30.71 - Georgios Samaras (Greece)
30.67 - Gervinho (Cote d'Ivoire)
30.64 - Eugenio Mena (Chile)
30.49 - Jose Cholevas (Greece)

30.49 - Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria)
30.49 - Benedikt Hoewedes (Germany)
30.35 - Khosro Heydari (Iran)
30.31 - Victor Ibarbo (Colombia)
30.17 - John Boye (Ghana)
30.17 - Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
30.17 - AndranikTimotian (Iran)
30.13 - Divock Origi (Belgium)
30.13 - Gamboa (Costa Rica)

Source: Official FIFA Documents

          2014 World Cup: Player Representation by League         
League systems with players represented at the 2014 World Cup.


6 - England
4 - Brazil
3 - Italy
3 - Spain
2 - France
2 - Germany
1 - Russia
1 - Ukraine
1 - United States (1: Canada)

7 - France
6 - Turkey
3 - Spain
2 - Cameroon
2 - England
2 - Germany
1 - Belgium

4 - Ukraine
3 - Croatia
3 - Germany
3 - Italy
3 - Spain
2 - England
2 - Greece
2 - Russia
1 - France (1: Monaco)

15 - Mexico
3 - Spain
2 - Portugal
1 - England
1 - France
1 - Germany


6 - Australia
3 - England
3 - Germany
2 - Netherlands
2 - Switzerland
1 - Austria
1 - Belgium
1 - China
1 - Italy
1 - Qatar
1 - South Korea
1 - United States

5 - Chile
5 - Spain
4 - Italy
3 - Brazil
3 - England (1: Wales)
1 - Netherlands
1 - Sweden
1 - Switzerland

10 - Netherlands
6 - England (2: Wales)
3 - Germany
2 - Turkey
1 - Italy
1 - Ukraine

14 - Spain
6 - England
2 - Italy
1 - Germany


6 - Italy
3 - Argentina
3 - Colombia
3 - France (1: Monaco)
2 - Portugal
2 - Spain
1 - England
1 - Germany
1 - Mexico
1 - Netherlands

9 - Greece
6 - Italy
2 - England
2 - Spain
2 - Turkey
1 - Germany
1 - Scotland

Cote d'Ivoire
5 - France
4 - Germany
4 - Turkey
4 - England (1: Wales)
2 - Switzerland
1 - Belgium
1 - Cote d'Ivoire
1 - Italy
1 - Norway

11 - Japan
7 - Germany
2 - England
2 - Italy
1 - Belgium


Costa Rica
9 - Costa Rica
3 - Norway
3 - United States
1 - Belgium
1 - Denmark
1 - Germany
1 - Greece
1 - Netherlands
1 - Russia
1 - Spain
1 - Sweden

22 - England
1 - Scotland

20 - Italy
3 - France

5 - Italy
4 - Spain
3 - Brazil
3 - England
2 - Portugal
1 - France
1 - Japan
1 - Mexico
1 - Paraguay
1 - Turkey
1 - Uruguay


8 - Ecuador
7 - Mexico
1 - Brazil
1 - Colombia
1 - England
1 - Germany
1 - Netherlands
1 - Russia
1 - Saudi Arabia
1 - UAE

9 - England
8 - France
3 - Spain
1 - Germany
1 - Italy
1 - Portugal

11 - Honduras
4 - England
4 - United States
1 - Belgium
1 - China
1 - Costa Rica
1 - Scotland

9 - Germany
7 - Switzerland
5 - Italy
2 - Spain


7 - Italy
4 - Spain
3 - Argentina
3 - England
3 - Portugal
2 - France
1 - Mexico

Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 - Germany
5 - Turkey
2 - Croatia
2 - England
2 - Italy
1 - Austria
1 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 - China
1 - Hungary
1 - Ukraine

14 - Iran
2 - England
1 - Germany
1 - Kuwait
1 - Netherlands
1 - Portugal
1 - Qatar
1 - Spain
1 - United States (1: Canada)

6 - England
3 - Nigeria
2 - Belgium
2 - France
2 - Israel
2 - Turkey
1 - Italy
1 - Netherlands
1 - Russia
1 - Scotland
1 - Spain
1 - Ukraine


17 - Germany
4 - England
1 - Italy
1 - Spain

5 - Italy
5 - France
2 - Russia
2 - South Africa
1 - Belgium
1 - England
1 - Germany
1 - Ghana
1 - Greece
1 - Netherlands
1 - Norway
1 - Tunisia
1 - UAE

8 - Portugal
6 - Spain
3 - Turkey
1 - England
1 - France
1 - Germany
1 - Italy
1 - Russia
1 - Ukraine

United States
10 - United States (1: Canada)
4 - England
4 - Germany
1 - France
1 - Mexico
1 - Netherlands
1 - Norway
1 - Turkey


4 - Italy
4 - Spain
3 - England
3 - France
3 - Portugal
2 - Algeria
1 - Bulgaria
1 - Croatia
1 - Qatar
1 - Tunisia

11 - England
3 - Belgium
2 - Germany
2 - Russia
2 - Spain
1 - France
1 - Italy
1 - Portugal

23 - Russia

South Korea
6 - South Korea
6 - Germany
4 - England
3 - Japan
3 - China
1 - Saudi Arabia

Player Representation by League System

119 - England (4: Wales)
82 - Italy
79 - Germany
65 - Spain
46 - France (2: Monaco)
34 - Russia
26 - Mexico
26 - Turkey
22 - Portugal
21 - United States (3: Canada)
20 - Netherlands

15 - Japan
14 - Iran
13 - Greece
12 - Belgium
12 - Switzerland
11 - Brazil
11 - Honduras
10 - Costa Rica
9 - Ukraine
8 - Ecuador

7 - South Korea
6 - Argentina
6 - Australia
6 - China
6 - Croatia
6 - Norway
5 - Chile
4 - Colombia
4 - Scotland
3 - Qatar

2 - Algeria
2 - Austria
2 - Cameroon
2 - Saudi Arabia
2 - Sweden
2 - Tunisia
2 - UAE

1 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 - Bulgaria
1 - Cote d'Ivoire
1 - Denmark
1 - Hungary
1 - Kuwait
1 - Paraguay
1 - Uruguay

          2014 World Cup: Foreign Born Players        
Players in the final 2014 World Cup squads that were born outside of the country they are representing.



Charles Itandje (France)
Benoît Assou-Ekotto (France)
Allan Nyom (France)
Joël Matip (Germany)
Maxim Choupo-Moting (Germany)

Dejan Lovren (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Vedran Ćorluka (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Nikica Jelavić (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Ivan Rakitić (Switzerland)
Mateo Kovačić (Austria)
Sammir (Brazil)
Eduardo (Brazil)

Miguel Ángel Ponce (USA)
Isaác Brizuela (USA)


Dario Vidošić (Croatia)

Miiko Albornoz (Sweden)
Jorge Valdívia (Venezuela)

Bruno Martins Indi (Portugal)
Jonathan de Guzmán (Canada)

Diego Costa (Brazil)



Cote d'Ivoire
Sol Bamba (France)
Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (France)
Giovanni Sio (France)
Mathis Bolly (Norway)

Loukas Vyntra (Czech Republic)
José Holebas (Germany)
Panagiotis Kone (Albania)

Gōtoku Sakai (USA)


Costa Rica
Óscar Duarte (Nicaragua)

Raheem Sterling (Jamaica)

Gabriel Paletta (Argentina)
Thiago Motta (Brazil)

Fernando Muslera (Argentina)



Patrice Evra (Senegal)
Rio Mavuba (Born at Sea; link)


Valon Behrami (Kosovo)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Kosovo)
Blerim Džemaili (Macedonia)
Admir Mehmedi (Macedonia)
Gelson Fernandes (Cape Verde)
Johan Djourou (Cote d'Ivoire)


Gonzalo Higuaín (France)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Emir Spahić (Croatia)
Mensur Mujdža (Croatia)
Sead Kolašinac (Germany)
Zvjezdan Misimović (Germany)
Muhamed Bešić (Germany)
Izet Hajrović (Switzerland)

Daniel Davari (Germany)
Steven Beitashour (USA)

Peter Odemwingie (Uzbekistan)


Miroslav Klose (Poland)
Lukas Podolski (Poland)

Adam Kwarasey (Norway)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Germany)
André Ayew (France)
Jordan Ayew (France)
Albert Adomah (England)

Pepe (Brazil)
Nani (Cape Verde)
William Carvalho (Angola)
Éder (Guinea-Bissau)

United States
Fabian Johnson (Germany)
Timothy Chandler (Germany)
John Brooks (Germany)
Jermaine Jones (Germany)
Mix Diskerud (Norway)


Raïs M'Bolhi (France)
Cédric Si Mohamed (France)
Carl Medjani (France)
Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaïba (France)
Faouzi Ghoulam (France)
Aïssa Mandi (France)
Medhi Lacen (France)
Hassan Yebda (France)
Mehdi Mostefa (France)
Sofiane Feghouli (France)
Saphir Taïder (France)
Yacine Brahimi (France)
Nabil Bentaleb (France)
Riyad Mahrez (France)
Nabil Ghilas (France)

Anthony Vanden Borre (DR Congo)


South Korea

          2014 World Cup: Oldest Players        
32+ year old players at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


DF - Maxwell (32)
DF - Maicon (32)

FW - Samuel Eto'o (33)
FW - Pierre Webó (32)

GK - Stipe Pletikosa (35)
DF - Darijo Srna (32)
DF - Danijel Pranjić (32)
FW - Ivica Olić (34)

GK - José de Jesús Corona (33)
DF - Carlos Salcido (34)
DF - Rafael Marquez (35)
DF - Francisco Javier Rodriguez (32)


GK - Eugene Galeković (33)
MF - Mark Bresciano (34)
FW - Tim Cahill (34)

GK - Johnny Herrera (33)
FW - Esteban Paredes (33)

FW - Dirk Kuyt (33)

GK - Iker Casillas (33)
MF - Xavi (34)
MF - Xavi Alonso (32)
FW - David Villa (32)


GK - Faryd Mondragón (42)
DF - Mario Yepes (38)
MF - Aldo Leão Ramírez (33)

Cote d'Ivoire
GK - Boubacar Barry (34)
DF - Didier Zokora (33)
DF - Kolo Toure (33)
FW - Didier Drogba (36)

DF - Loukas Vyntra (33)
DF - Vangelis Moras (32)
MF - Giorgos Karagounis (37)
MF - Kostas Katsouranis (34)
FW - Thoeofanis Gekas (34)
FW - Dimitris Salpingidis (32)

MF - Yasuhito Endo (34)
FW - Yoshito Okubo (32)


Costa Rica
GK - Patrick Pemberton (32)

MF - Steven Gerrard (34)
MF - Frank Lampard (35)
FW - Rickie Lambert (32)

GK - Gianluigi Buffon (36)
DF - Andrea Barzagli (33)
MF - Andrea Pirlo (35)

GK - Rodrigo Muñoz (32)
DF - Diego Lugano (33)
MF - Diego Perez (34)
MF - Egidio Arevalo Rios (32)
FW - Diego Forlan (35)


DF - Walter Ayovi (34)
DF - Jorge Guagua (32)
MF - Edison Mendez (35)
MF - Segundo Castillo (32)

GK - Mickaël Landreau (35)
DF - Patrice Evra (33)

GK - Noel Valladares (37)
GK - Donis Escober (34)
DF - Victor Bernardez (32)
FW - Jerry Palacios (32)



GK - Agustin Orion (32)
DF - Martin Demichelis (33)
DF - Hugo Campagnaro (33)
MF - Maxi Rodriguez (33)
FW - Rodrigo Palacio (32)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
GK - Asmir Avdukić (33)
DF - Emir Spahić (33)
MF - Zvjezdan Misimović (32)

GK - Rahman Ahmadi (33)
DF - Jalal Hosseini (32)
DF - Amir Hossein Sadeghi (32)
MF - Javad Nekounam (33)

DF - Joseph Yobo (33)
FW - Shola Ameobi (32)
FW - Peter Odemwingie (32)


GK - Roman Weidenfeller (33)
FW - Miroslav Klose (36)


GK - Beto (32)
DF - Bruno Alves (32)
DF - Ricardo Costa (33)

United States
GK - Tim Howard (35)
GK - Nick Rimando (34)
DF - DaMarcus Beasley (32)
MF - Jermaine Jones (32)
MF - Brad Davis (32)
MF - Kyle Beckerman (32)



DF - Daniel Van Buyten (36)

GK - Sergey Ryzhikov (33)
DF - Sergei Ignashevich (34)
MF - Roman Shirokov (32)

South Korea
DF - Kwak Tae-Hwi (32)

Faryd Mondragón (Colombia: 42)

Mario Yepes (Colombia: 38)

Giorgos Karagounis (Greece: 37)

Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire: 36)

28.4 - Argentina
28.2 - Portugal
28.0 - Uruguay
28.0 - Spain
27.9 - Iran

          All-time FIFA World Cup Rankings        
The all-time FIFA World Cup Rankings (based on results in previous WC appearances) of the 32 teams participating in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

All-time FIFA World Cup Rankings

1 - Brazil
2 - Germany
3 - Italy
4 - Argentina
5 - England

6 - Spain
7 - France
8 - Netherlands
9 - Uruguay
12 - Russia

14 - Mexico
18 - Portugal
19 - Belgium
20 - Chile
21 - Switzerland

25 - USA
26 - South Korea
27 - Croatia
28 - Cameroon
32 - Japan

34 - Ghana
37 - Nigeria
38 - Colombia
40 - Costa Rica
42 - Ecuador

44 - Australia
47 - Algeria
50 - Cote d'Ivoire
53 - Iran
59 - Honduras

61 - Greece
n/a - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Teams in the All-Time top 30 not participating in the 2014 World Cup:

10 - Sweden
11 - Serbia
13 - Poland
15 - Hungary
16 - Czech Republic
17 - Austria
22 - Paraguay
23 - Romania
24 - Denmark
29 - Scotland
30 - Bulgaria

          2014 World Cup: Foreign-Born Players        
Players in the provisional 2014 World Cup squads that were born outside of the country they are representing.



Charles Itandje (France)
Benoît Assou-Ekotto (France)
Allan Nyom (France)
Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (France)
Raoul Loé (France)
Joël Matip (Germany)
Maxim Choupo-Moting (Germany)

Dejan Lovren (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Vedran Ćorluka (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Nikica Jelavić (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Ivan Rakitić (Switzerland)
Mateo Kovačić (Austria)
Sammir (Brazil)
Eduardo (Brazil)
Mario Pašalić (Germany)

Miguel Ángel Ponce (USA)
Isaác Brizuela (USA)


Dario Vidošić (Croatia)

Marcos González (Brazil)
Miiko Albornoz (Sweden)
Jorge Valdívia (Venezuela)
Pablo Hernández (Argentina)

Bruno Martins Indi (Portugal)
Jonathan de Guzmán (Canada)

Diego Costa (Brazil)



Cote d'Ivoire
Sol Bamba (France)
Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (France)
Giovanni Sio (France)
Mathis Bolly (Norway)

Loukas Vyntra (Czech Republic)
José Holebas (Germany)
Panagiotis Kone (Albania)

Gōtoku Sakai (USA)


Costa Rica
Óscar Duarte (Nicaragua)

Raheem Sterling (Jamaica)

Gabriel Paletta (Argentina)
Thiago Motta (Brazil)
Rômulo (Brazil)
Giuseppe Rossi (USA)

Fernando Muslera (Argentina)



Patrice Evra (Senegal)
Rio Mavuba (Born at Sea; link)


Valon Behrami (Kosovo)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Kosovo)
Blerim Džemaili (Macedonia)
Admir Mehmedi (Macedonia)
Gelson Fernandes (Cape Verde)
Johan Djourou (Cote d'Ivoire)


Gonzalo Higuaín (France)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Emir Spahić (Croatia)
Mensur Mujdža (Croatia)
Sead Kolašinac (Germany)
Zvjezdan Misimović (Germany)
Muhamed Bešić (Germany)
Izet Hajrović (Switzerland)

Daniel Davari (Germany)
Steven Beitashour (USA)

Peter Odemwingie (Uzbekistan)


Miroslav Klose (Poland)
Lukas Podolski (Poland)

Adam Kwarasey (Norway)
Jeff Schlupp (Germany)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Germany)
André Ayew (France)
Jordan Ayew (France)
Albert Adomah (England)

Pepe (Brazil)
Nani (Cape Verde)
William Carvalho (Angola)
Éder (Guinea-Bissau)

United States
Fabian Johnson (Germany)
Timothy Chandler (Germany)
John Brooks (Germany)
Jermaine Jones (Germany)
Terrence Boyd (Germany)
Mix Diskerud (Norway)


Raïs M'Bolhi (France)
Cédric Si Mohamed (France)
Carl Medjani (France)
Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaïba (France)
Faouzi Ghoulam (France)
Aïssa Mandi (France)
Medhi Lacen (France)
Adlène Guedioura (France)
Hassan Yebda (France)
Foued Kadir (France)
Mehdi Mostefa (France)
Sofiane Feghouli (France)
Ryad Boudebouz (France)
Saphir Taïder (France)
Yacine Brahimi (France)
Nabil Bentaleb (France)
Amir Karaoui (France)
Riyad Mahrez (France)
Rafik Djebbour (France)
Nabil Ghilas (France)

Anthony Vanden Borre (DR Congo)


South Korea

          Brazil 2014 World Cup Groups - April FIFA Rankings        
GROUP A - 23.75 
6  Brazil
19 Mexico
20 Croatia
50 Cameroon

GROUP B - 22.25
1 Spain
14 Chile
15 Netherlands
59 Australia

GROUP C - 20.50
4 Colombia
10 Greece
21 Cote d'Ivoire
47 Japan

GROUP D - 14.75
5 Uruguay
9 Italy
11 England
34 Costa Rica

GROUP E - 21.00
8 Switzerland
16 France
28 Ecuador
32 Honduras

GROUP F - 28.25
6 Argentina
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina
37 Iran
45 Nigeria

GROUP G  - 14.00
2 Germany
3 Portugal
13 USA
38 Ghana

GROUP H - 27.75
12 Belgium
18 Russia
25 Algeria
56 South Korea

2014 World Cup Nations - April 2014 FIFA Rankings
1 Spain
2 Germany
3 Portugal
4 Colombia
5 Uruguay
6 Argentina
6 Brazil
8 Switzerland
9 Italy
10 Greece

11 England
12 Belgium
13 USA
14 Chile
15 Netherlands
16 France
18 Russia
19 Mexico
20 Croatia

21 Cote d'Ivoire
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 Algeria
28 Ecuador

32 Honduras
34 Costa Rica
37 Iran
38 Ghana

45 Nigeria
47 Japan

50 Cameroon
56 South Korea
59 Australia

          FIFA Confederation Ranking Comparison - April 2014        
Comparing FIFA Confederations using the average FIFA ranking of the top 5 teams from each region.

Top 5 Avg. - Confederation (+/- February 2013)

4.6 - EUROPE (-0.4)
1 - Spain
2 - Germany
3 - Portugal
8 - Switzerland
9 - Italy

7.0 - SOUTH AMERICA (+0.6)
4 - Colombia
5 - Uruguay
6 - Argentina
6 - Brazil
14 - Chile

26.6 - CONCACAF (+1.6)
13 - USA
19 - Mexico
32 - Honduras
34 - Costa Rica
35 - Panama

30.0 - AFRICA (+0.2)
21 - Cote d'Ivoire
24 - Egypt
25 - Algeria
38 - Ghana
42 - Cape Verde Islands

50.4 - ASIA (+0.8)
37 - Iran
47 - Japan
53 - Uzbekistan
56 - South Korea
59 - Australia

151.4 - OCEANIA (-11.6)
111 - New Zealand
136 - New Caledonia
157 - Tahiti
172 - Solomon Islands
181 - Vanuatu


Well we all know that my sis Suzanne is not great at updating her blog and I am not even sure if anyone is still following her (hee hee) … Her 43rd Birthday is very soon and I am so excited about ANOTHER birthday surprise that I have cooked up for her … I just can't say in enough ways at how I feel Suzanne is one of the kindest and most giving woman I have ever known … SHE LIVES JESUS OUT LOUD … She teaches me so much about LOVE AND GRACE … I thought there was no better way to honor her than to give the children's home in Honduras that she has fallen in love with a new bus … I know this is a tall ASK, but like I always say, if we can all just give a little it will make ENOUGH to do Jesus's work … 

go read the blog post about this amazing place and help us by GIVING !!! 

Help me give her a gift of LOVE !!! 

blessings, GWEN 

          we made it and it is just a smidge hot here!        
WOW!  105 degrees has never felt hotter! I cannot believe the progress that has been made the past year! The last time I blogged about Honduras, we had built a well and one house.  Now there are 16 houses and they are FABULOUS!!!    Yesterday we spent the day  building houses. We dug ditches for the footing of the houses, tied rebar, mixed concrete and poured it...needless to say, we were dehydrated and absolutely EXHAUSTED by the time that we made it to Copprome childrens home for our Easter egg hunt!  We made the mistake of  allowing the older children to hunt with the younger ones and they filled their bags and left none for the little ones!  AND they were NOT going to share what they found, so we had to open a few more bags of candy for the little bitties!
Kim Nunn (the master story teller) shared with the children how they would hunt for the eggs in the grass ( little hidden treasures) but that  THEY  are a TREASURE to Christ!  you could see the light bulbs go off in their heads as she spoke of His love for was a sweet sweet blessing to my heart.
While in Olivos i has the blessing of visiting a man that just had surgery.  He just returned from 5 days in the hospital from hernia surgery.  As he lay on his bed in his new HOUSE, tears stung my eyes as i thought how much easier his recovery will be in a home where rain will not pour in on him and the heat will be less from the cool concrete instead of hot metal panels propped against each other.  As we prayed over him, I could feel the Holy Spirit in his house.  My heart felt so full.
I have only been here a day and a half and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that God has allowed me and my family to have a small part in helping here in Honduras.  The compassion that I feel in my heart for these families is SO divine.  Compassion is not one of my gifts ( i will freely admit it:()  BUT, when I am in the village working alongside these people and holding a child on my hip, I LOVE them and it can only be divine because I do not KNOW them.
Joshua is doing great.  He has been REALLY HOT, but other than that, has has made many friends.  I was lecturing him on the way here about how he has to stay close so I do not lose him and he very bluntly said " mom, dont worry!  Ill be the little brown boy running around!" now that we are here, he has discovered that there are quite a few "brown boys" running around!!
We are now heading to the pool with all of the children from the childrens home...pray that we will continue to minister to the families in the village and that we can give these children of Copprome long lasting love!

          Who doesn't LOVE a SALE?!        
CHECK OUT OUR NEW VIDEO!  14.7% OFF THE ENTIRE 147 MILLION ORPHANS STORE ... Make your Christmas presents mean something this season .... Nov. 19-24th !!!   FAB new tees, HOODIES/SWEATSHIRTS, jewelry from Uganda/Honduras/Haiti, coffee mugs, hats, HANDMADE BAGS, toddler & youth gear ... WE have something for everyone AND MORE IMPORTANTLY your gift will change lives !!!

          The Deadly Results of a DEA-Backed Raid in Honduras        

Annie Bird and Alexander Main
The New York Times, July 2, 2017

Read More ...

          Un poema de Fernando del Paso        

En este enlace pueden oír el poema en la voz de su autor:


Cuando tú eres el mar, el mar entero,
me bebo tu rubor a bocanadas,
y en las rendijas de tu suave sombra,
deposito semillas de alabastro.
Me detengo en tus pechos que cintilan,
atónitas esponjas empapadas
en la leche de un astro acuchillado,
baluartes de orozuz y piel de ave:
allí busca su cuna la blancura,
allí encuentran las olas la ondulada
limpia tibieza de su epifanía.
Me detengo en tus pechos, los sorprende
mi boca ultramarina, boca encinta
de tus besos y adioses, de tu cuello,
de tu aliento huracán de claridades
y tu saliva, surtidor de ángeles.
Cuando tú eres el mar, el mar a solas,
mar contenido en redes de palabras,
te navego sin velas y sin remos,
sin timones, sin proas y sin quillas:
mi cuerpo es una barca, una piragua,
mi sexo un relámpago del alba,
bogan mis manos con su propio viento,
y viento en popa te penetro y entro
en tu carne de tierno lapislázuli,
en tu bullicio de diamantes líquidos,
antesala de alcobas milenarias,
y de insepultas dársenas umbrías.
Cuando tú eres el mar, yo te navego
en el ámbito verde de las olas.
Cuando tú eres el mar, yo que soy cielo
te cubro de arrobadas humedades,
y mi lengua que es brújula de seda
se zambulle en el norte de tus labios,
y en el sur de tu vientre se aposenta
con el fervor de un ave deslumbrada.
Cuando yo soy el mar, el mar sediento,
yo viajo a las honduras del silencio
y me topo con hálitos ardientes
que revientan de amores y de olvidos.
Cuando yo soy el mar, yo soy la hiedra
con lentitud de áspid, que te abrasa,
soy festín de alborozos, soy los astros
de cobre y los calvarios rumorosos
donde la disipada tarde prende
a tus mejillas frutos fulgurantes
de un aura de estanques matinales.

          Lotería Mayor de Honduras resultados Domingo 30 Julio 2017        
Lotería Nacional de Honduras y el Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) realizo hoy Domingo 30 de Julio 2017, El sorteo Loteria Grande 1196; Valor del Pliego de Lotería Mayor es de 100.00 Lempiras...

Para Mayor Informacion visita nuestro Blog...
          Loteria Chica resultados Domingo 30 Julio 2017        
Loteria Nacional de Honduras - Loteria Chica sorteo Nº 3153 del Domingo 30/7/2017 con mucho premios en efectivos incluso con el número reverso y 3 series para ganar. Comprueba tu billete ¡Aqui!....

Para Mayor Informacion visita nuestro Blog...
          14 July 2014 – Big Lottery Fund Awards £4.2m for International Projects        

The Big Lottery Fund’s International Communities Programme has awarded £4.2 million to nine UK-based not-for-profit organisations in support of their work in disadvantaged communities abroad. The funding will support projects in Columbia, Honduras, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and Namibia. One of the organisations to benefit from this week’s funding is Children […]

The post 14 July 2014 – Big Lottery Fund Awards £4.2m for International Projects appeared first on Make it happen.

          World News Briefs -- January 6, 2010 (Evening Edition)        

Suicide Attack On CIA Agents 'Was Planned By Bin Laden Inner Circle' -- Times Online

US intelligence officials believe that the suicide bomb attack that killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan last month was planned with the help of Osama bin Laden’s close allies, raising fears that the al-Qaeda leader is enjoying a lethal resurgence.

They think that the attack could not have taken place without the prior knowledge and assistance of the Haqqanis, the powerful Taleban group thought to be shielding bin Laden.

Read more ....


Yemen for dummies.

Egyptian guard at Gaza border killed in protest over Galloway's aid convoy.

Iran shielding its nuclear efforts in maze of tunnels. At U.N., China insists it's not 'right' time for sanctions on Iran

Egyptian forces wound 2 Palestinians on Gaza border.

Jordan disputes Khost bomber status.

Dubai's decline gives way to Abu Dhabi's rise.


Kan, a weak Yen proponent, named Japan Finance Minister.

Three killed in Pakistani-administered Kashmir bombing.

Officials: Suspected US drones kill 12 in Pakistan.

Blast kills 2 Afghans, 9 NATO troops among wounded.

Murder trial tests Philippine justice.


US urges Guinea to restore civilian rule.

South Sudan army-civilian clash kills 17: official.

Ailing Nigerian president phones officials from hospital bed.

US screening 'risks Nigeria ties'.

Threats lead food agency to curtail aid in Somalia. Somalia’s al-Shabaab rebels deny demanding payments from UN.

Somali pirates free hijacked Pakistani 'mother ship'.

Egypt to host conference on the return of antiquities.


France’s elite colleges rise up in revolt against Nicolas Sarkozy.

Discord, revolt roil Brown's Labor Party before elections in Britain.

Britain falls to 25th best place to live in the world... behind Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Slovakia explosives gaffe 'highlights security failings'.

Dagestan suicide bomb kills six police officers. Suicide bomb in Russia's Dagestan follows strike on Al Qaeda.

Ulster defense association says it has disarmed.

Six more days of snow forecast as cold snap continues in Britain.


Honduras: De facto president objects to US request he leave.

Evo Morales: Climate power to the people.

Websites post picture of Castro in hospital-style wheeled chair.

Cold grips much of US, Fla. races to save crops.

Missing San Francisco sea lions 'off Oregon'.


More ex-detainees resort to terror, officials say.

Man who bombed CIA post provided useful intelligence about al-Qaeda.

Angry Barack Obama vows security changes. Obama rebuke over bomb plot prompts intelligence pledge.

Yemen arrests three Qaeda militants, targets leader.

U.S. to suspend Gitmo detainee transfers to Yemen.


Pump prices on pace to top 2009 high by weekend.

Cramped on land, big oil bets at sea.

Oil hovers below $82 amid US crude inventory drop.
          "¿Está armado?": en pánico Britney Spears por un fan que subió a su escenario en Las Vegas - Univision        


"¿Está armado?": en pánico Britney Spears por un fan que subió a su escenario en Las Vegas
La cantante Britney Spears pasó el susto de su vida este miércoles en la noche cuando al terminar de interpretar 'Crazy' en su show 'Piece of Me', miró hacia sus bailarines casi al mismo tiempo que guardaespaldas la rodeaban y le explicaban que un ...
Britney Spears fue aterrorizada por un hombre que invadió el escenario en Las VegasEl Diario NY (Comunicado de prensa)
VER-Britney Spears: asustada por un hombre que se le subió al
Pánico en un show de Britney Spears por un hombre armado que subió al escenarioTN - Todo Noticias
Publimetro México (blog) -La Nación Costa Rica -La Prensa de Honduras -Teletrece
los 29 artículos informativos »

          Along the Dirt Path        
A long time has passed since the Honduras trip. It has taken me awhile to process and get to the point where I want to write about the experience on my blog. A large part of the men’s trip is to challenge ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. We get plenty of opportunity to do all […]
          Trip to the Mountains        
Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Honduras is more like spring break in Panama City. Everyone from different parts of Honduras visits La Ceiba for this special week. I have yet to figure out what exactly is holy about this week, but it was cool to experience spring break Honduran style. Our host family invited us […]
          Lending A Helping Hand        
Our host family in Honduras connected us with a school that needed money for construction materials to build an add-on to an existing class room. After our first visit, we realized just how much they needed this room. There were three small classrooms and multiple grades met in each one. The teacher also taught multiple […]
          Home Sweet Home        
It is great being home back in the states but that is not what this blog post is about. It is amazing how quickly our new home felt like home. I could not wait to get back after a long day and relax in my bed (even though it was 100 degrees). So here is a tour of our home in Honduras along with some video. Enjoy!
          Random Photography from Honduras        
I have been state side for going on a week and I am glad to be back in the warm embrace of my high speed internets! I would have liked to blogged more in Honduras but with the internet being so slow it took a long time to put together a blog post. Now that […]
          Países que formam a América Latina.        
     A América Latina engloba 20 países: Argentina, Bolívia, Brasil, Chile, Colômbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Equador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, México, Panamá, Peru, República Dominicana, Uruguai e Venezuela. Ainda na América Latina existem mais 11 territórios que não são independentes, portanto não podem ser considerados países, mas, ainda assim, latinos. São esses os dados que costumamos encontrar em qualquer site ou livro de pesquisa sobre a América Latina, mais esse assunto vai muito além disso.
Mapa da América Latina

Fonte blibliográfica: (Wikipédoia)


          [Veille Pays] Mobile Banking, Nicaragua, Honduras et microcrédit au Philippine        
Trois (très) bons retours de nos partenaires terrains qui nous donnent le sourire en ce 3 juillet : aide de la Banque Mondiale au Nicaragua et au Honduras, des prêts en hausse aux Philippines et le Mobile Banking arrive en Tunisie. Vague positive au Nicaragua et au Honduras C’est sur une vague de positif que surfent nos micro-entrepreneurs nicaraguayens et honduriens cette semaine ! En effet, la Banque mondiale a versé aux deux pays pas moins de 24 millions de dollars afin de faire face efficacement aux catastrophes naturelles. Ce prêt permettra notamment de réduire les pertes annuelles liées à ces phénomènes, qui sont estimées à 1,8% du PIB nicaraguayen et 2,8% au hondurien entre 1990 et 2012. Le montant des prêts moyen en hausse aux Philippines Autre bonne nouvelle aux Philippines ! Une étude de la Banque centrale révèle que le montant moyen des prêts s’élève à 8 000 pesos, contre 6 150 pesos en 2006. Voilà qui devrait simplifier (un peu) la vie de nos micro-entrepreneurs, surtout lorsqu’on ajoute à cela une augmentation de plus de 100% des prêts octroyés en seulement sept ans. Le Mobile Banking arrive en Tunisie Enfin, l’organisation internationale Enda lance le Mobile Banking dans les zones rurales, soit […]
          Charter Cities and Seasteading        

The more people all over the world are geting sick of fake democracies, excessive corruption, political sleaze and an intolerably wide gap between the rich and the rest, the more diligently people are looking for ways out, either way. Some try to improve socio-economical conditions, others try to further corrode them. Just in one edition of German educational magazine GEO (October 2012, cf. p. 22, pp. 80-92, p. 150.) I found three articles dealing with different approaches.

Charter Cities
"Chicago Boy" economist Paul Romer's suggestion to establish city states (in host states like Honduras) governed by their own laws of pure market belief (see

Unconditional Basic Income (Basic Income Guarantee (or Grant, abbr. BIG)
Funded by a coalition of churches, labour unions and aid organizations, the inhabitants of the Namibian village Otjivero (Omitara) received monthly 700-800 Dollar per person, from January 2008 to December 2009 (see Global Basic Income Foundation, Basic Income Grant Coalition)

Floating Free States (Seasteading)
Kind of social labs at sea (sometimes called seasteads), outside the territory claimed by the government of any nation; autonomous ocean communities designed for performing social experiments with volunteers to find out the best way of government (see The Seasteading Institute). Proponents: PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel and Patri Friedman (grandson of economist Milton Friedaman)

Unfortunately, none of these projects were designed to run under scientific rules of experiment. Comprehensive data of the outcome of the BIG project in Namibia are missing.
Based on a totally different mindset, Charter and Floating Cities look like the ultimate outsourcing projects. Details regarding the living conditions of workers do no exist and those available are rather scary (it is half-way instructive to read both FAQs, e.g. in Paul Romer's vision of recruiting unskilled workers directly out of slums:

"Q: What kind of apartments could these workers afford?A: Small apartments. We know from existing data that living space varies linearly with income. As income grows, people will rent larger, nicer apartments. A city that starts by catering to people getting entry level jobs would start by building small, minimalist apartments and add larger ones with more amenities as incomes rise."

And in the Seasteading FAQ section, the question

"Are seasteading enthusiasts just a bunch of rich guys wanting to escape paying taxes?"

is already telling. Considering the lack of data in both projects, one has to rely on guessing, and my guess is that both are designed to acquire cheap labor slaves through a new legal back door, and yes, trying to create a new systematic loophole for escaping the so-called "regulators" - a term which the plutocracy likes to use for "legislators" and "executive authorities". (My guess is only based on what I found on their websites - which is very unspecific, leaving one with the suspicion that dubious reasons might be behind the lack of details.)

It's funny how well this mechanism of corroding modern democracies is working: first you do everything against the state (the bad regulator) and then you say it's the state that is responsible for the mess and that we have to minimize government (further corrode it). First you create international trading laws which favor large international corporations so that they can easily blackmail governments by threatening to move abroad where production costs and taxes are lower. At home, you proceed by corroding values like consumer and worker protection and introduce subcontracted labour. You reinvest your gains by employing lobbyists, think-tanks and mass-media infotainment who spread your gospel of the entrepreneurial saviour. Further you go by introducing outsourcing techniques - another blackmailing instrument. Finally, you end up by destroying millions of jobs in your own country by outsourcing to other countries, producing products with the help of cheap labor slaves abroad and selling these products overpriced back home, while at the same time tranferring technology to tother countries for free. Your own country is left to pay the price by being forced to pay all kinds of subsidies in order to save society from further disintegration and debt. And then you say the government is incapable of housekeeping.

If you firmly believe that such a downward spiral is good, it is only natural to assume that the final goal can only be your own entrepreneurial city state (or island) where you are the legislator and there are no limits, no rules, no regulations holding you back from doing business, whatever kind of business.

Seasteading's Patri Friedman comes straigth to the point when he finds democracy ridiculous in comparison with the allegedly high standard of entrepreneurial product innovation:

"Yet the governance technology that we use in most of the world - representive democracy - is 2 thousand years old. It originated in ancient Athens. And here in the US we use a constitution which is 200 years old. And that's ridiculous compared with consumer technologies, right? If you'd drive a car from 200 years ago, it would be a horse." (03:38)

Guess it's time to rethink some other more than 2000 years old concepts: e.g. rational thinking, deductive science, speeches in front of an audience, and - last but not least - brigandism and entrepreneurship. For some people with a certain mindset, Friedman's argument might appear compelling, but it's one of the weakest I have ever heard.

Democracy is a human longtime project like science - it is at any time only as good as its proponents, it is always prone to error and it is always improvable. Unfortunately democracy can be faked almost perfectly. (Scientists control each other, politicians do not.)

Related topic:
The Plutocracy Will Go to Extremes to Keep the 1% in Control

          Gracias in Honduras: Drive mit Dreirad        
Der Geburtsort von Honduras Präsident soll der neue Touristen-Hotspot des Landes werden. Das passende Nahverkehrsmittel für Besucher gibt es in Gracias schon - zur Freude von lauffaulen Einheimischen.
          Insel Roatan in Honduras: Hi, Hai!        
Happen für den Hai: Sergio Tritto hat ein tägliches Date mit den Riffhaien vor der Karibikinsel Roatan. Für die Fische gibt es Snacks, für die Tauchgäste Schnappschüsse. Experten sehen das Anfüttern der Tiere kritisch.
          Merry Christmas 2010        

preview New York City 57th and Broadway preview New York Empire State Building preview Russia and Rodney with Campers preview Rodney and Sea Horse in Roatan Honduras preview Rodney and Sea Horse in Roatan Honduras (2)

Hope you all had a wonderful 2010! Here is my Christmas letter for 2010. Merry Christmas one and all!

The "readers digest" version is on my mission trip I got to go to Siberia Russia (bookended by a couple of days in New York City). Followed by a couple of quick (cheap non-rev/interline) scuba trips to Roatan and the Florida Keys. :)



1 P.N. PATUCA (a) (f) OLANCHO 375,584
5 R.F RUS-RUS (a) MOSQUITIA 35,000
11 P.N. PICO BONITO (a) (b) (e) ATLÁNTIDA 112,500
12 R.V.S. CUERO Y SALADO (a) (e) ATLÁNTIDA 12,400
13 P.N PUNTA IZOPO (a) (e) ATLÁNTIDA 18,820
14 P.N. JANET KAWAS (a) (e) ATLÁNTIDA 33,200
16 P.N. AGALTA (b) OLANCHO ESTE 65,000
22 P.N. CELAQUE (d) COPAN 27,000
23 P.N. MONTAÑA DE YORO (b) YORO 15,800
25 R.B. EL CHILE (b) FCO. MORAZAN 6,206
26 P.N. LA TIGRA (e) FCO. MORAZAN 23,821
27 R.B MISOCO (b) FCO. MORAZÁN 4,628
30 P.N. PICO PIJOL (b) YORO 18,000
31 R.V.S. CHISMUYO (f) (g) (i) (j) ZONA SUR 28,980
32 R.V.S. LAS IGUANAS (f) (i) (j) ZONA SUR 4,169
34 R.V.S. EL JICARITO (f) (i) (j) ZONA SUR 6,896
T O T A L 2,282,681
La Administración Forestal del Estado Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal (AFE-COHDEFOR)
está conformada en doce Regiones Forestales y una oficina central, su sede es en Tegucigalpa, capital
de la República de Honduras. La AFE-COHDEFOR cuenta con una oficina denominada Coordinación de
Regionales, la cual tiene como propósito el de coordinar y apoyar las actividades operativas que
desarrollan las regiones forestales en conjunto con los departamentos, proyectos, programas y con la
dirección de la Gerencia General, facilitando la agilización de los diversos trámites que se realizan para el
normal funcionamiento de la Institución. Objetivo General: Coordinar y apoyar la ejecución de acciones y
actividades técnico-administrativas de las regiones forestales y velar por el fiel cumplimiento y aplicación
de las políticas, leyes, normas y disposiciones forestales vigentes.
Funciones principales:
· Coordinar las acciones entre los demás departamentos y Unidades de la Institución y las regiones
· Preparar documentación de soporte para la toma de decisiones de la Gerencia General sobre la
administración de las Regiones Forestales y de los Recursos forestales.
· Mantener el flujo de información ágil y constante que contribuya al logro de los objetivos
propuestos por la institución.
· Mantener estadísticamente actualizadas las actividades del programa.
· Elaborar el Plan Operativo del Departamento.
· Suministrar apoyo técnico a las regiones para el mapeo e inventario de los recursos forestales.
· Brindar asesoría a la Gerencia General en todos aquellos aspectos que signifiquen el
mejoramiento de la gestión institucional y que esté dentro de la esfera de su competencia.

          FLORA HONDUREÑA        
Por su privilegiada ubicación geográfica, Honduras cuenta con diferentes tipos de bosques, los cuales albergan una gran biodiversidad de plantas y animales. Se estima que en Honduras existen; unas 8.000 especies de plantas, alrededor de 250 reptiles y anfibios, más de 700 especies de aves y 110 especies de mamíferos, distribuidos en las diferentes regiones ecológicas de Honduras. Estas zonas; están compuestas por: La Selva Lluviosa o ‘Pluviselva’, la ‘Nebliselva’ o ‘Bosque Nublado’, los ‘Bosques Mixtos Subtropicales’, las ‘Sabanas’ y los ‘Bosques de Matorrales’.

La Selva Lluviosa de Honduras, está ubicada en la zona de La Mosquitia, Colón y parte del departamento de Olancho. Esta zona, comprende el 30% del territorio hondureño y es conocida en su mayor parte, como la Reserva de la Biosfera de Río Plátano. Por su importancia, esta reserva, fue añadida a la lista de sitios de Patrimonios de la Humanidad por la de UNESCO en 1982, y es considerada por algunos expertos, como los pulmones de América Central.

En esta zona, se encuentran desde árboles gigantes, hasta orquídeas, palmas, entre otras miles especies de plantas. La fauna es variada; allí se encuentran mamíferos como el tigrillo, ocelote, dantos, monos, murciélagos etc. Así también; muchísimas especies de insectos, reptiles, anfibios y aves.

Por otro lado, los Bosques Nublados de Honduras o ‘Nebliselva’ son bosques que se extienden, por gran parte del territorio hondureño y se levantan por sobre los 1.000 m de altura. Esto produce un ambiente húmedo y fresco que oscila entre los 18 -25 ºC.
El Parque Nacional Azul Meámbar, que se encuentra entre los departamentos de Comayagua, Cortés y Santa Bárbara; fue declarado parque nacional en 1987 y es uno de los parques nacionales de Honduras que cuenta con bosques nublados. El área del parque, contiene una gran biodiversidad de especies y ecosistemas debido a sus diferentes rangos de elevación.

Otros bosques nublados de suma importancia son: El Parque Nacional Montecristo, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Montaña Verde, Parque Nacional Santa Bárbara, Parque Nacional Cusuco a dos horas de San Pedro Sula, Parque Nacional Pico Pijol, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texiguat, Parque Nacional Pico Bonito entre otros.

En estos parques se encuentran animales como la guara roja, pájaro bobo, puercoespín, monos, etc. Entre las plantas más notorias están: liquidámbar, achotillo, árbol de María, cedro real, caoba, pinos y muchos otros más.

Los Bosques Mixtos y Subtropicales; incluyen a los bosques tropicales y subtropicales húmedos, los bosques tropicales/subtropicales secos y los bosques tropicales/subtropicales coníferos. Estos Bosques mixtos subtropicales de Honduras, componen el 36% de la geografía hondureña. En este tipo de bosques, predomina una elevada humedad ambiental a lo largo del todo el año, con precipitaciones de 1.000 a 2.000 mm. de lluvia, donde se dan los pinos, el aguacate montero, el níspero, etc. 

Entre los animales que habitan esta zona se encuentran: Los mapaches, coyotes, gato montés, pájaro carpintero, urracas, cerdo de monte, gavilán entre otras tantas especies.

Honduras también cuenta en su territorio con las Sabanas. Éstas componen un 15 % del territorio hondureño y se encuentran localizadas, particularmente en los departamentos sureños de Valle y Choluteca. Las sabanas son llanuras con un clima seco tropical, donde la estación seca dura 6 meses o más. Allí predominan las hierbas, arbustos y matorrales. Más al norte del país, las sabanas están localizadas en las cuencas del Ulúa, Chamelecón, como en el valle del Aguán.

En las sabanas hondureñas se pueden encontrar animales como: La ardilla, el tacuazín, conejos, así como murciélagos. También aves como el loro, la codorniz, jilgueros, zopilotes, lechuzas y gavilanes entre otras aves. Entre las plantas se pueden encontrar: El chaparro, carao, macuelizo, hierba buena, jícaro entre otras tantas especies de plantas.

Además de los bosques antes mencionados, Honduras cuenta con los Bosques de Matorrales. Estos se pueden ver particularmente en las zonas del interior del país. Entre las plantas que forman parte de este territorio se encuentran; el nance, cactos, jícaro, piñuelo etc. En este tipo de bosque viven animales como el armadillo, ratón de monte, zorrillos, comadrejas, lechuzas entre otras. Finalmente; la fauna y flora que forma parte del territorio hondureño, es complementada por las diferentes especies de plantas y animales de sus islas, cayos e islotes.

          NUESTRA FLOR NACIONAL        

Orquídea Brassavola (Rhyncholaelia digbiana)
Científicamente la Flor Nacional de Honduras es llamada Rhyncholalelia digbiana, comúnmente las personas la conocen como Orquídea Brassavola
Las características propias de la especie son: es una planta epifita, es mediana, no mayor a los 32 centímetros de alto, sus pseudo bulbos son un poco abultados y largos, aplanados, tienen una hoja que claramente se ve doblada longitudinalmente.
Su coloración es verde grisácea, tiene una flor solitaria y grande en cada brote. Posee un olor característico fuerte.
Esta especie habita en diversos tipos de selvas tropicales.
Naturalmente se reproducen en troncos que no son nada resinosos, necesitan temperaturas apropiadas calidas y rayos de luz muy brillantes pero no directamente, necesita humedad alta y áreas de materia orgánica de buena condición. Se puede encontrar las flores entre los meses de mayo hasta agosto.
Localización en Honduras
Debido a que esta especie es la Flor Nacional y su estado de conservación esta muy degradado ecológica y comercial no se puede dar a conocer los sitios de reproducción.
Desde México en Campeche, Quintana Roo y Yucatán. Centroamérica.
Historia de la Flor Nacional
El nombre científico correcto de la Flor Nacional de Honduras es Rhyncholaelia digbyana. Rhyncholaelia se pronuncia Rincolelia.
La historia es la siguiente. Nuestra Flor Nacional actual fue descrita originalmente con el nombre de Brassavola digbyana por John Lindley, botánico inglés, en 1840. Se le llamó digbyana en honor a Vincent Digby, un inglés de Dortshire, Inglaterra, en cuyo orquideario floreció la planta, la que había sido llevada desde Belice a ese país por una dama inglesa de apellido Mitchell.
En l880, George Bentham, otro botánico inglés, consideró que nuestra Flor Nacional no pertenecía al género Brassavola sino al género Laelia, y transfirió el nombre de la especie a ese género, pasando nuestra Flor Nacional a llamarse Laelia digbyana.
Sin embargo, el botánico alemán Rudolph Schlechter consideró que nuestra Flor Nacional no pertenecía ni al género Brassavola ni al género Laelia, y, en consecuencia, en 1918 creó un género nuevo para ella, al que llamó Rhyncholaelia, y colocó a nuestra Flor Nacional en ese género, siempre conservando el epíteto digbyana, pasando nuestra Flor Nacional a llamarse con el nombre que porta ahora de Rhyncholaelia digbyana.
Autor: Cyril Hardy Nelson Sutherland (Cirilo Nelson)
Profesor Titular V, Catedrático de Botánica
Departamento de Biología
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

          PARQUE NACIONAL LA TIGRA        

Zonas de Vida de Holdridge en Honduras
1. Bosque muy húmedo premontano (bmh-pm): Con temperatura media anual (tma) entre 18 y 24 ºC y precipitación media anual (pma) entre 2000 y 4000 mm.
2. Bosque muy húmedo montano bajo (bmh-mb): Tienen como límites climáticos generales una temperatura aproximada entre 12 y 18 ºC y un promedio anual de lluvias entre 2000 y 4000 mm. Normalmente se extienden en una faja altimétrica de 1800 a 2800 msnm.

          Nuestra flora