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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Students 1, Chavez 0, and Evo Morales takes on the press

While everyone in North America focuses (or not) on the Haiti disaster and some American tourists dumb enough to visit Machu Picchu during this month's record rainy season in the Andes, a lot else is going on in Latin America:
- Hugo Chavez appears to be losing control in his one-person demagogracy in Venezuela. His VP, very close to him, has abruptly resigned along with the VP's wife, who just happened to be the Environment Minister; University students are protesting his crackdown and shutting of the only serious opposition TV station in Caracas; and the oil-rich country cannot seem to generate enough electricity to light its capital.
- The Mexican economy continues on the skids as the state oil company hires more and more people to produce less and less oil, the drug gangs and the police terrorize the populace in some areas, tourism is down and popular discontentment with the political system up.
- Evo Morales in Bolivia has declared that country to be an indigenous socialist state, even though half its population is meztizo, and now wants to pass laws to control the press and keep the media "from lying."
- And, of course, there's the 86-year-old guy in Peru who had the wrong foot amputated and then doctors had to take the other one off too to stop an infection. Why's that news? Bad medical care is kinda the norm for most poor folks in the region.

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