Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’

Boozed British journalism cant see straight

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment
Why compare Japan with Latam and Zimbabwe? Why not with USA, China and Germany which is more like in Japanese class! (Cartoonist - Clay Bennett,  from Clay Bennett's Editorial Cartoons; courtesy - Click for larger image.

Why compare Japan with Lat-Am and Zimbabwe? Why not with USA, China and Germany which is more like in Japanese class! (Cartoonist - Clay Bennett, from Clay Bennett's Editorial Cartoons; courtesy - Click for larger image.

An Indian problem

Now one of the problems of India, having English as an important language, is the amount of swill, garbage and propaganda that we are subjected to.

In spite of being less than anybody, British media can be pretty biased.

One example was a post by Ian Campbell on Japan’s economic problems. He says,

Japan has … has the worst debt to GDP ratio among major economies … But the interest yield on Japanese government bonds is … not much more than 1 per cent, so the debt is not yet so problematic – and might not seem an obstacle to still more spending. … In just five years, even assuming the economy grows, debt might climb to 230 per cent of GDP …  the hideously large debt would finally drive the fiscal deficit far higher and become intolerable.

Japan’s only route then would be drastic fiscal reform or, more probably, huge resort to the printing press, as Latin America did in the old days and Zimbabwe in more recent times. (via Nokia’s billion-dollar man).

British media needs to talk less about other economies - and look at problems in their own backyard. (Cartoon By Brian Adcock, The Scotland - 1/20/2008 12.00.00 AM Cartoon courtesy -; ©Copyright 2008  Brian Adcock - All Rights Reserved.). Click for larger image

British media needs to talk less about other economies - and look at problems in their own backyard. (Cartoon By Brian Adcock, The Scotland - 1/20/2008 12.00.00 AM Cartoon courtesy -; ©Copyright 2008 Brian Adcock - All Rights Reserved.). Click for larger image

Sad Brits …

Campbell, a British journalist, compares Japan with Latin American and African Governments who have printed a lot of money.

But surely he knows that Western Governments – under the leadership of Ben Bernanke printed much more than Africa and Lat-Am could and did! Why is Campbell not talking of British, European and American printing presses?

Is there a racial smell and smear somewhere? Did I hear him say ‘These irresponsible Blacks, Latinas, Browns, Yellows …’

Japan’s problems

Now Japan’s problems are minor – because they have solid, well run, high tech companies, whose products are in demand all over the world.

Off their peaks, these Japanese firms still have  mean clout in business world. Japanese interest rates being so low will not change Governmental economics by much. So, why compare Japan with Latin America or Zimbabwe?

Of course, you cannot compare Japan to Spain – where prostitution is a national industry.  Or Ireland, or Greece, which have lived on handouts for the last 100 years.

Maybe you should look at British debt my dear sir!

Wishful thinking?

Is it wishful thinking Mr.Campbell? Balanced your judgment is not. Or is it just plain malarkey? Methinks, it is ‘White’ noise!

Ian Campbell, who has “recently returned to the UK, where he is writing a book on rural Mexico.” could utilize his time much better writing about rural Britain, which depends on huge subsidies from a nation groaning under 500% Gross-National-Debt (GND-that is Govt.+Corporate+household).

Now British GND (no hindi puns intended) is a much-more-hideous. Than Japanese at 500%. We both know that British exports  are going nowhere!

Is it not time to focus on Britain itself? Japan will do very well, without your attention. (Cartoonist Jeff Danziger; courtesy -

Cartoon Text - "Austerity? But late squire ... she has been dead these fifty years." 2ndlook says - Is it not time to focus on Britain itself? Japan will do very well, without British attention. (Cartoonist Jeff Danziger; courtesy -

Let us look at British economy

First the biggest sector of British corporate sector is about digging, extracting and selling natural resources.

A historical legacy – with little value-addition. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, North Sea Oil, XStrata, Anglo American, Rio Tinto Group,  BHP Billiton, BG Group, National Grid, Scottish and Southern Energy, Centrica. That is 10 of the top 30 British companies. These companies mostly have their assets abroad – and if push comes to shove, you know these companies will go where their bread is buttered.

The second leg on which British industry stands today is cracked leg of banking and insurance – HSBC, HBOS, RBS, Lloyd’s TSB, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Aviva and Prudential. The British part of the business of these 8 financial firms is in mess. The international business is subsidizing the British business. How long do you think this will last?

The third wobbly leg is pharmaceuticals made up of two companies. Glaxo-Smithkline-and Astra Zeneca. Both are in doldrums due to competition from generic Indian companies – and may look good to beery British journalists boozed in a pub. Now these are the three legs of British economy. We know that three legged stools are always prone to topple over.

That was lesson No.1 for you Campbell.

Is this how British journalism lifts its spirits? (By Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE - 5/19/2010 12.00.00 AM)

Is this how British journalism lifts its spirits? (By Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE - 5/19/2010 12.00.00 AM)

Lallu has a few things to say here

Lesson No.2 is what our colourful former Railway Minister said, “इस हमाम में सब नंगे हैं” (meaning “everyone in this bathhouse is naked”).

No offense to colour black, but then black pots must not call yellow kettles names.

It is plain bad journalism!

LatAm Bloc and GCC initiatives to end dollar monopoly

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Some kind of way out of here ... said the joker to the thief

nine Latin American nations said Saturday they plan to use a new currency dubbed the ”sucre” for trade among themselves starting in January.

No sucres will be printed or coined, but the virtual currency will be used to manage debts between governments while reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar and on Washington in general. (via Leftist LatAm Bloc to Begin Using Its Own Currency).

Closely behind

Quick on the heels, was the initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Wall Street Journal reported,

A Gulf monetary council will be tasked with deciding on the peg of a proposed single currency among Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait and timeline to launch the currency …  The launch of the currency will be preceded by coordination of monetary and fiscal policies and the creation of a regional Central Bank, Kuwait’s foreign minister said … The United Arab Emirates, the second-largest Arab economy, pulled out from the project in May, citing dissatisfaction over the choice to base the regional central bank in Saudi Arabia … The U.A.E. is the second Gulf state to abandon the monetary union plan after Oman’s exit three years ago. Kuwaiti officials have said they will work toward convincing the United Arab Emirates and Oman to rejoin the project. The monetary union project, which has been in the works since 2001, has been dogged by delays and debates over technical issues such as the currency peg.

A proposed name for the GCC currency, Khaleeji, was shot down.

Half success

To start with, full and complete success should neither be expected, planned or projected. The aim should be for a ‘half-success’ – just like ‘half life’ in physics, for radioactive substances. Just like half-life can continue, technically, to nearly infinity, so also, currency systems will need to innovate and modify continuously.

What will be a half-success, for the ‘Sucre’ /GCC Currency, is if these :-

  1. Last for five years.
  2. Are used on at least 50% of intra-Latam /GCC transactions.
  3. Currencies are regularly traded – even if, initial volumes are low.
  4. Other trading blocs, banks, currency exchanges start offering futures  and options contracts, trades and settlements.
  5. Initiatives ‘inspire’ other blocs to start work on another similar currency.

They got da jaundice

2ndlook had proposed a global virtual currency which would work on trading platform, based on weighted exchange value of all member currencies. The ‘sucre’ and the ‘Khaleeji’ is good first step in that direction – even if it fails. Western press has seen it with a jaundiced view.

Anything surprising with that?

Cuba in a Time Warp – The Atlantic

April 23, 2009 6 comments

“The greatest achievements of Communism are health care, sports, and education. The greatest failures of Communism are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” (via Cuba in a Time Warp – The Atlantic Food Channel).

Poverty in Cuba

The biggest reason for Cuban economic stagnation is the 100 year proxy war that the US has been waging against the former slave colony – which it ‘bought’ from Spain. Cuba’s problems started a 150 years before Fidel Castro.

Tales from the Caribbean

Almost unknown today are the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. These were slave islands – and part of the Caribbean group of islands which were used by the British Navy to run their slave colonies. These were ‘salt colonies’ – not as well known as the ‘sugar colonies’ of Haiti, Cuba, Demerra, Trinidad and other West Indian Islands.

After the original Native ‘Red Indian’ tribes were annihilated in forced labour camps, mines and slavery, these Caribbean islands were peopled by millions of slaves that were imported and subsequently died.

Apart from the momentous slave revolts of Haiti and Cuba, about 200 slave uprising and revolts in the USA before the Civil War, cleared the way for end to slavery in the the Americas. Similarly, more than 20 slave uprisings in the Caribbean, made slavery impractical – and not the Anglo-Saxon concern for human rights or the oozing milk of human kindness. It was this determined Black struggle for overthrow of slavery, the more than 20 slave rebellions between 1789-1833, in the Caribbean – one every 2 years, that ‘persuaded’ the West to abolish slavery.

Afraid that US slaves will follow the Haiti example, US did not recognise Haiti, till November 1864 – 60 years after Haiti declared Independence. Moreover, in 1826, at the Congress of American States, under US pressure, Simon Bolivar did not invite Haiti.

The British search and seizure of colonies enriched them – at the cost of the native populations. A significant benefit of the English language to the Anglo Saxon Bloc is the convenient white wash of history in English language media – and tarring of competitive economies and nations.

For roughly 250 years, the Iberian Empires were the most powerful. The slave rebellion of Haiti triggered a collapse of the Spanish colonies in South America. Simon Bolivar, aided by the Haiti’s rulers, initiated decolonization movements across South America – leading to the demise of Spanish Colonialism. The last nail in the Spanish colonial possessions was Cuba – which they lost after the Spanish American War. After the loss of Cuba, Philippines and the American colonies, and the end of slavery, the Iberians imploded much like other slave societies.

A little over a century ago,

125 years after Independence, USA by 1890 was developing colonial ambitions and had acquired a taste of colonialism. On the other side of the Atlantic, earlier the Berlin Conference, sparked of the scramble for Africa. After the Brussels and Berlin conference carved up Africa, there were few places left for America to colonise.

America, then created the ‘Monroe doctrine’ – supposedly an anti-colonial doctrine, a policy to create colonies in the American backyard. ‘Yellow Journalism’ was invented to whip up public sentiment. On April 25th 1898, the US Congress declared war on Spain. For the next 4 months, the US fought The Spanish-American War. On August 12th, 1898, Spain signed the peace treaty. On December 10th 1898, the treaty of Paris was signed.

As a part of the Paris Treaty between Spain and USA, the USA ‘bought’ Philippines from Spain, maintains Puerto Rico as a colony also Guam – and paid Spain US$2,00,00,000. Cubans were nominally declared free but with many conditions. The Cubans refused to honour this ‘purchase’ – for which the USA has waged a war against Cuba for the last 100 years. Of course, the ‘inferior’ populations of these countries – Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico were unfit for inclusion in the Paris negotiations about their future.

In 1915, again the Monroe doctrine was invoked to invade Haiti.And these interventions have continued. Haiti has been invaded many times. In the 1960s-70s, Chedi Jagan and his struggle to break from US domination (in the Caribbean) was sabotaged.

Having paid US$2,00,00,000 of the ‘US taxpayer money’, the US believes that they ‘own’ Cuba – and even today, continues to eye Cuba. It was such thinking that led to the ’sale’ of Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico by Spain to the USA. After the purchase, came a century of pain in Cuba, many hundreds of thousands of lives lost in Philippines and the forcible accession of Puerto Rico into the US. Of course, some of these islands have become colonies, of the USA, Britain and the people there continue to serve the interests of these Western nations.

Countries which wished to follow their independent future, like Haiti, Cuba, Granada have been made an example of by Britain and USA. For trying to make a country of themselves. A lot of such places would be quite happy without the Western attention they received – and subsequent ruin that they faced.

US antagonism …

The hostility of the US has its roots in this struggle – when US refused to recognize Haiti for a 60 years after the overthrow of the colonial French Government, which used the Haitians as slaves. US ‘bought’ Cuba from Spain – and hence this hostility. The US feels that they ‘own’ Cuba – and, of course, other and large parts of the world.

After Haiti independence, restrictions on slavery were discussed all over Europe and USA. The US placed restriction on import of slaves – which increased the price of existing slaves in the trade market. But slave traders like Jean Laffitte soon ran rings round this by smuggling slaves from Cuba.

For more than two centuries now, the US has been actively working with an agenda of ‘racial superiority’ which has resulted in slavery and then repeated interventions and manipulation in South America. They have used force and power to derail economies and politics of emerging countries. The example of Haiti’s failure and Cuba’s desperate struggle to survive drove Fidel Castro into the arms of Soviet Russia.

The US record against the growth and stabilisation of Cuba does not bear repitition. Having ‘bought’ Cuba from Spain (like Puerto Rico, Guam and Philippines), USA believes and feels that they ‘own’ Cuba.

In 1904, the US pressured Tomas Estrada Palma, a ‘puppet’ Cuban President, to sign the Platt Amendment. This allowed US intervention in Cuban affairs, if ‘vital’ US  interests were at risk (meaning at at US will) – finally modified only in 1934. Under this ‘new deal’ ‘Cuba would be allowed to export 22% of the sugar the US imported, by paying 0.09¢, a pound tariff duty. In return, little or no duty would be levied by Cuba on goods imported from the USA.’

When the freed slaves of Cuba, led by Fidel Castro, tried to overthrow American-foisted dictator Batista, the US used the American Mafia, to attempt assassination of Fidel Castro.

Elephants in the room …

Western media and academia today glosses over Western record of slavery and colonialism. This ‘collective amnesia’ about the past is widespread and blatant. Other writers forget about the causes leading to abolition of slavery. Seminal events in Haiti, Cuba, Caribbean are ignored, white-washed or brushed under the carpet.

The USA and the West has been at war (or by proxy) with the Black Republics of Haiti, Cuba, Greneda for the last 200 years. Fuelled by a desperate desire to show White superiority. By a need to white wash history. To hide the origins of their misbegotten wealth – built on the foundation of the skeletons of dead and surviving slaves.

Haiti gave the world freedom. Not America – which claims itself to be a land of the free (as long as you are white).

Media ‘White-wash’

A recent article in the British Guardian is a case in point. Richard Gott (the writer of this post) claims that he is a history student … which makes this post very remarkable. In the entire post of 1150 words, he mentions the word slave only once – while the entire history of Cuba for the last 200 years has been about slavery.

He is surprised by the number of Blacks in Cuba – which was the largest slave colony in the Spanish Empire – after the fall of Haiti. The Cuban revolution began in Haiti more than 200 years ago – and Fidel Castro has but been one, in a long line of revolutionaries who tried to break free from their enslaved past. For a history student, can this be ignorance or a more likely attempt at ‘whitewash’ …?

Exactly why is the presence of so ‘Blacks’ so surprising, Mr.Gott …?

Why is Richard Gott so surprised …

It is the ‘white wash’ of history – and the ‘tarring’ of protagonists which is a matter of concern. Haiti’s (and also Cuba’s) crime – they refused to accept the racial agenda of the US. They (including a ‘White’ like Fidel Castro) wanted to build a ‘free society’ for people – without colour being a factor. Perhaps all Whites are not like Richard Gott.

And that is, perhaps, why Richard Gott is so surprised.

Cuba according to Gott

Fidel Castro (L) with Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in the 1960s

Fidel Castro (L) with Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in the 1960s

The Cuban revolution began 50 years ago … with its charismatic and bearded leadership descending from the hills, young men in their 20s brandishing guns and seizing the cities, and calling for land reform …

Castro began his epic quarrel with the United States – through the US abolition of the sugar quota, the arrival of Soviet oil, the CIA invasion at the Bay of Pigs, and the missile crisis of 1962 … Faced with the implacable hostility of the United States, Fidel decided that he had no alternative except to ally himself with the Soviet Union.

What struck me most was to find an island full of black people. The revolutionary leadership could hardly have been more white … Fidel’s enlistment of the black population was his astutest move, being echoed in the United States (where he stayed in Harlem on a visit to the United Nations) … The only political movement in Cuba that had enrolled black people … was the Communist party, and Fidel (long before his move towards the Soviet Union) had turned to the local communists for help in reaching out to the urban population, both poor and black. The white racist element in the Cuban population had tolerated a black president such as Fulgencio Batista, who had kept the black population under control; they were alarmed by a white man like Fidel who appeared to be mobilising the black people against them. (via Richard Gott: It’s time to let Cuba in from the cold, and Obama is the perfect man to do it | Comment is free | The Guardianellipsis mine).

The Future Of Oil Is The Caribbean

Bretton Woods-II, based on oil-dollar anchor, worked for another 35 years (1973-2008) till now. Oil exploration is a 5-10 year investment. Oil should be made another commodity. An easy option is to create a Republic of Pacific Islands – Haiti, Cuba, Grenada, and other West Indies. These islands can become vast oil production centres – that will help them raise their economies and can feed Asia with oil, peacefully.

Reeling under the curse of history, Western intervention and poverty, the Caribbean islands have been dealt a bad hand. Third World countries are paying through their nose to the OPEC cartel and for a dollar hegemony. Cuba, Haiti and the various Caribbean islands have been hit by poverty and Western intervention.

Oil can break this vicious cycle. Oil exploration in the Caribbean has been negligible. These are promising exploration blocks. A joint venture between ONGC (India), Petrobras, and the various islands could kick-start oil exploration and production – which will change the future of the world.

For one, it would immediately reduce Saudi funding of terror.

What happens to Russia if a new Pacific Republic (Cuba, Haiti, West Indies, etc) were to start drilling for oil? In 5 years, the world would be awash with oil – and Russia’s mineral earnings could evaporate.

Brazil takes the first step

On October 14, 2008, 2ndlook had proposed a BRICS-Caribbean accord for oil exploration in the Caribbean. Brazil has also taken the first step. ONGC was already in the game. As is Russia. With India, Brazil and Russia working on Cuban oil exploration, it is a promising first step to a prosperous Caribbean.

“I don’t understand why it took so long to sign this agreement,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who presided over a signing ceremony for the deal with Cuban President Raul Castro. That makes two of us, Mr.President!

Next stop, Haiti?

Europe wants to stay relevant

Europe which has a major say in the IMF and World Bank, after the USA, obviously wants to increase its role – and decrease US importance. To gets its way, it has gone on a major diplomatic offensive – to the extent of restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba.

Is that a sign of times to come?

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