Monday, January 20, 2014

South America News Roundup Aug 3, 2011: Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina

article from August 3, 2011
By Jamie Douglas

Reactions to Peru’s new president

NEWSFLASH! Ollanta Humala has been installed as the new president of Peru. Contrary to the expectations of a number of neoliberals, he has not yet joined Hugo Chávez in his Bolivarian utopia. He has not asked the substantial number of expatriates living in Peru to start paying taxes and, in fact, he does not seem to care about them one bit.

On the other hand, he has called on the private sector to join him in starting up a new national-flag carrier to replace Aero Peru, which went bankrupt under the Fujimori regime. Along this vein, even the mining companies are agreeing to acknowledge that their free-for-all is over and that they should pay reasonable compensation in the form of royalties (taxes) to the state. Over US$40 billion in investments are safe, and projects will proceed as planned, with the only difference being a little more equitable distribution of wealth, something that Chilean President Piñera had also promised to his countrymen, but so far to no avail there.

Grupo Mexico also announced that they will continue to invest heavily in Peru, committing another US$2.6 billion to up its copper production by almost 300,000 tons. The company’s announcement stated “…we are confident that the new government of Peru will ensure social stability, the rule of law and a stable and competitive tax regime.” And to top it off, they promised to invest in socially responsible projects. Kudos to Grupo Mexico!

Brazil, the Americas’ new “tiger,” continues to invest heavily in its neighboring nation, with an annual growth of investments of 30%, something that will surely accelerate, now that Peru has a stable platform with which to negotiate and do business.

Chávez in Cuba

Meanwhile, the Clown Price of Venezuela has managed to discredit his own country’s medical institutions, which are of world class – if you can afford it – by choosing to have all his medical procedures performed in the country of his closest allies, the Castro Brothers of Cuba. There is no doubt that Cuba’s medical care is excellent and available to all, with or without money. But Hugo, have you no confidence in the treatment you would receive at home? Or are you aware of the fact that you pissed off the elite in your country to the point where you cannot trust them with your life? You know, there are some decent medications available now that will treat your symptoms of paranoia. And while wishing you a speedy recovery, the outlook for you is not great. What is it with all the secrecy, anyway? Why can’t you just come out and tell your beloved citizens, as well as your pal in Libya, that you have prostate cancer and that is was diagnosed much too late? Just toooo friggin’ machoooo! Make plans now for a successor to avoid bloodshed when you inevitably check out. It happened to Frank Zappa, and he was a much better person that you could ever hope to be!

Brazil’s economy

Brazil is economically on fire. Things are so brilliant there that all those industrialists have to wear dark shades! Every time news trickles out, things look better. They have successfully bid for the Olympics and the World Cup, and as opposed to the USA’s double-dip recession, their economy is just humming along. The biggest danger to Brazil at this point is the incredible strength of the real, their currency, along with inflation burning the whole thing up.

Uruguay wins the America’s Cup

Uruguay is happy as a pig in a blanket on a cold night. They are the little nation that could – and did! They went home across the Rio de la Plata a couple of weeks ago, carrying with them the precious Copa de America, after defeating Paraguay 3:0 in the final game in Argentina. ¡Felicitaciones a La Celeste! They are now the title-winningest country in the world history of fútbol.

Argentina’s upcoming elections

Argentina is getting ready to fix another presidential election. It starts early here. La Presidenta Cristina has promised 32-inch flat screen TVs to all the jubilados (retirees) for a highly subsidized price, and her people are all over the country passing out pork, beef, chicken and grain to the poor, something that they should have been doing all along, considering that Argentina has an incredible rate of poverty, facing inflation rates that the government files criminal charges against economists for mentioning. But it is the time-honored tradition of the incumbent using public funds to buy votes. In Argentina, politicians try to make points the same way they do in the USA. “I am the most Peronista candidate” is the Argentine version of “I am Reaganer than thou!”

Jamie Douglas
Lost in Space and Time. Send Malbec!

I encourage you to write me at cruzansailor [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or suggestions you may have. Disclaimer: I am not in any travel-related business. My advice is based on my own experiences and is free of charge (Donations welcome). It is always my pleasure to act as a beneficial counselor to those who are seekers of the next adventure.