Mexico – U.S. look to increase student exchanges; will anti-immigration zealots stand by?

President Obama has made a foray into Latin America with stops in Mexico and Costa Rica. There is no shortage of topics that could have been, and most probably were, discussed as a visit to the region by a US president, long overdue, is of huge importance. But perhaps, as Andres Oppenheimer points out inContinue reading “Mexico – U.S. look to increase student exchanges; will anti-immigration zealots stand by?”

“Illegal” immigrants, where is Mexico, and a curse invoked in Venezuelan election

A couple of interesting items relating to Latin America in the news today. In his Miami Herald column, Andres Oppenheimer addresses the issue of “illegal immigrants”, not the people labelled as such, but the term itself. The Associated Press has recently opted to use “undocumented immigrants” instead. But more interesting is the use of theContinue reading ““Illegal” immigrants, where is Mexico, and a curse invoked in Venezuelan election”

Hugo Chavez, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and human rights, a reality check

In his Miami Herald column yesterday Andres Oppenheimer wrote about the Organization of American States (OAS) in particular its recent victory over several member countries who are trying to stifle the OAS on matters of human rights. Mexico — alongside Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada and the United States — succeeded in defeating aContinue reading “Hugo Chavez, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and human rights, a reality check”

Venezuela: Eight reasons the opposition won’t win the next election

In his Miami Herald column today Andres Oppenheimer sets out eight reasons why the Venezuelan election, due to take place within the next several weeks after the death of Hugo Chavez, is will be all but impossible for the opposition to win. Some are due to natural occurrences while several are products of manipulation by Chavez’Continue reading “Venezuela: Eight reasons the opposition won’t win the next election”

Hugo Chavez and Venezuela’s future: Andres Oppenheimer and Gwynne Dyer

Two of my favorite columnists, Andres Oppenheimer and Gwynne Dyer  have written about the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. They aren’t in direct opposition to each other, but there are certainly some contrasts. From Oppenheimer’s article: My opinion: Latin America’s political cycles tend to change every dozen years, and Chávez’s death — alongside stagnant commodityContinue reading “Hugo Chavez and Venezuela’s future: Andres Oppenheimer and Gwynne Dyer”

Wooing minority votes – Anglophones in Quebec, Hispanics in the US

The Gazette‘s Philip Authier has a piece on Jean Charest and his Liberals as they enter the last full week of the campaign. The focus is on the courting of the Anglophone vote that was once a given. Jean Charest says anglophones should have no doubt about his commitment to their community. While in theContinue reading “Wooing minority votes – Anglophones in Quebec, Hispanics in the US”

Corruption better dealt with in South America than North America?

According to this column by Andres Oppenheimer Brazil is cracking down on government corruption. While this piece from the Toronto Sun illustrates Quebec’s own corruption allegations. With the Quebec election campaign now in full swing these reports offer an interesting contrast.

Cultural thoughts from Mario Vargas Llosa

In an interview with Andres Oppenheimer Mario Vargas Llosa laments the change in culture to what he calls “show culture” which I think is akin to the concept of dumbing-down. Mario Vargas Llosa says in a new book that we are living in a “culture of entertainment” in which everything — including literature, journalism, politicsContinue reading “Cultural thoughts from Mario Vargas Llosa”

Latin America and Syria

Andres Oppenheimer illustrates the lack of reaction from many Latin American countries to the Syrian atrocities in his column today. Last week, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and at least five other major nations expelled their Syrian ambassadors following the slaughter in Houla, which United Nations observers say was carried out to aContinue reading “Latin America and Syria”

Mitt Romney and the Hispanic vote

Andres Oppenheimer’s article on Mitt Romney and the Hispanic vote from the Miami Herald.  The idea of telling different audiences different things may have worked in the days before mass media and social media on the Internet. Statements such as the one below imply that people don’t have the brains to follow what a candidateContinue reading “Mitt Romney and the Hispanic vote”