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War, Venezuela and Colombia

innomen
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7/25/2010 3:12:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've been keeping an amateurish eye on the affairs of Latin America, and the slow or not so slow developments in that area is worthy of some concern. Yes i do have some personal ties with the region; plus i studied much of the politics of the area during my time in college. This was a hot bed of the cold war.

http://axisoflogic.com...

Chavez is a larger threat to our hemisphere than anyone is willing to acknowledge. His fingers are in the politics of every country in that whole half of the quadrant of the world. He makes efforts to corrupt the democratic process in every possible way.
Volkov
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7/25/2010 8:44:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think its almost guaranteed the two countries will clash militarily on some level, though both regional powers like Brazil and etc., as well as the US, will try their best to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

Really, Chavez is nothing but a dictator dressed up as a democrat, and it sickens me how people can defend the man, while lambasting, perhaps correctly and perhaps not, Colombia for various things - despite its democratic system and long tradition to independent judiciaries, legislators and media.
innomen
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7/25/2010 11:39:15 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/25/2010 6:47:01 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
If Brazil join in then Venezuela are f'd.

Brazil would join Venezuela, not Colombia.
I-am-a-panda
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7/25/2010 11:41:15 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/25/2010 11:39:15 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/25/2010 6:47:01 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
If Brazil join in then Venezuela are f'd.

Brazil would join Venezuela, not Colombia.

'Splain.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
innomen
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7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/25/2010 11:41:15 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/25/2010 11:39:15 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/25/2010 6:47:01 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
If Brazil join in then Venezuela are f'd.

Brazil would join Venezuela, not Colombia.

'Splain.

Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.
Volkov
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7/25/2010 7:58:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM, innomen wrote:
Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.

I think Venezuela has the support of Iran, the tenuous support of Russia (I wouldn't call it cozy), but I haven't seen anything out of Brazil that would make me think either Lula, his chosen successor Rouseff, or the centre-right guy would support Chavez in a regional war.

Ecuador, Paraguay, and maybe even Argentina, I can see - but Brazil seems a bit too mature and cautious to have those kinds of commitments, or at least expose them.
Zeitgeist
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7/26/2010 1:16:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I really don't think you guys realise the dislike that so many people have of the US, even in much of Latin America.

Chavez is the result of US imperialism and big business in his country. The people took exception to having their national resources ripped off and the inevitable happened. They took power.

Brazil? Lulu is another example of people power in a country. He also is very popular as he also opposes his country and its indigenous people being exploited by US business which WAS what was taking place.

It's unfortunate that so many American people fail to grasp that while the American Way may be OK in the US it is far from OK for many other countries and peoples, especially Islamic countries where they DO NOT WANT democracy in the way that we know it.

People want the bells and whistles that the US is famous for, they want the cars, the luxury goods, the fast food outlets (usually!) and all the glitz, but they do NOT want American politics and nor do they want American people except maybe on vacation as a source of cash.

They do NOT want American people in their countries, they do NOT want interference in their chosen way of life and they do NOT see communism or socialism as being regressive, in fact they see both as being very desirable. Indeed there's an upsurge in support for The Old Days in many of the former Soviet bloc countries.

Even here in the UK there's growing dislike form the presence of US bases, and in Europe the push by the US to install early warning radar sites that help protect the US but make us targets is highly unpopular amongst most people you will meet in the street.

So any attempt at US hegemony in the resource rich South America will not be welcomed or anywhere near as certain as regards its outcome as you may expect.

Chavez? He's just what South America needs and more importantly wants. To understand most SA countries just thing of pre-Castro Cuba and you won't be far wrong.

The people want what's theirs and if it is to be sold they want a fair price and the money to go to the people, not big corporations.

I worked for some time in Brazil as well as Colombia and Venezuela, a total of just under six years and in that time met people from all backgrounds. Those who were pro US were a tiny percentage of the population, a thing that became immediatly clear once they learned that I was British and not a Gringo.

Sorry guys, things are not what you seem to theink them to be.
I-am-a-panda
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7/26/2010 5:20:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/25/2010 7:58:51 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM, innomen wrote:
Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.

I think Venezuela has the support of Iran, the tenuous support of Russia (I wouldn't call it cozy), but I haven't seen anything out of Brazil that would make me think either Lula, his chosen successor Rouseff, or the centre-right guy would support Chavez in a regional war.

Ecuador, Paraguay, and maybe even Argentina, I can see - but Brazil seems a bit too mature and cautious to have those kinds of commitments, or at least expose them.

Who woudl support Columbia o.O?
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/26/2010 7:06:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 1:16:33 AM, Zeitgeist wrote:
I really don't think you guys realise the dislike that so many people have of the US, even in much of Latin America.

Chavez is the result of US imperialism and big business in his country. The people took exception to having their national resources ripped off and the inevitable happened. They took power.

Brazil? Lulu is another example of people power in a country. He also is very popular as he also opposes his country and its indigenous people being exploited by US business which WAS what was taking place.

It's unfortunate that so many American people fail to grasp that while the American Way may be OK in the US it is far from OK for many other countries and peoples, especially Islamic countries where they DO NOT WANT democracy in the way that we know it.

People want the bells and whistles that the US is famous for, they want the cars, the luxury goods, the fast food outlets (usually!) and all the glitz, but they do NOT want American politics and nor do they want American people except maybe on vacation as a source of cash.

They do NOT want American people in their countries, they do NOT want interference in their chosen way of life and they do NOT see communism or socialism as being regressive, in fact they see both as being very desirable. Indeed there's an upsurge in support for The Old Days in many of the former Soviet bloc countries.

Even here in the UK there's growing dislike form the presence of US bases, and in Europe the push by the US to install early warning radar sites that help protect the US but make us targets is highly unpopular amongst most people you will meet in the street.

So any attempt at US hegemony in the resource rich South America will not be welcomed or anywhere near as certain as regards its outcome as you may expect.

Chavez? He's just what South America needs and more importantly wants. To understand most SA countries just thing of pre-Castro Cuba and you won't be far wrong.

The people want what's theirs and if it is to be sold they want a fair price and the money to go to the people, not big corporations.

I worked for some time in Brazil as well as Colombia and Venezuela, a total of just under six years and in that time met people from all backgrounds. Those who were pro US were a tiny percentage of the population, a thing that became immediatly clear once they learned that I was British and not a Gringo.

Sorry guys, things are not what you seem to theink them to be.

This is just so wrong all over the place. I'm thinking that your post is more a product of western media than your supposed 6 years in South America. Hablas tu Espanol?

"a thing that became immediatly clear once they learned that I was British and not a Gringo." Gringo doesn't mean American, it refers to race, and if you are white, you are a Gringo.

Or perhaps your post is more the result of this sentiment: "Even here in the UK there's growing dislike form the presence of US bases, and in Europe the push by the US to install early warning radar sites that help protect the US but make us targets is highly unpopular amongst most people you will meet in the street."

I continually spend a lot of time there, live with someone from there and when i am there i spend my time with the inhabitants of various villages. The US, and Americans in general are not disliked, not by a long shot. The US government maybe disliked by supporters of ALBA, or the Sandinistas, or the FARC, or other leftist groups in that area, but the people that live there, for the most part are very apolitical, and really just want peace.

": Chavez? He's just what South America needs and more importantly wants. To understand most SA countries just thing of pre-Castro Cuba and you won't be far wrong."
That's a typical perspective of the liberal west. This guy is perfect for 'those people', yes he manipulates elections, 'eliminates' his opposition, routinely shuts down radio stations and television stations that will not promote him, and steals the money of the country's resources for his own political betterment. they need and want it - way wrong (infuriatingly patronizing). How do you explain Honduras? Honduras flies in the face with everything you think. They opt toward a democratic system and the world snubs them (minus Israel interestingly enough). Look at the unpopularity of Daniel Ortega, and compare it to Violetta Chamorro's leadership. The west has a filter in how it sees things, and it is not reality.

Then there's this Fair Trade mentality. If they only work for their own people they will be much better off. The foreign corporate presence is exploitative. Have you ever been to a coffee plantation? You think that the owners of a finca will treat the people of a village better than a corporate farm? You are so wrong. I remember seeing one of these local farmers and how he treated his workers. There would be acres of land where you would see countless tepees, or so they looked. That's where they lived, the people who worked for the local farmer that Wholefoods will buy their coffee from. The work they do is by hand and is some of the worst low paying work there is. The corporate farms that are so terrible, pay better and give better working conditions, and that is the truth.

I have spent years trying to figure out their politics and it still gives me a headache.
innomen
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7/26/2010 7:09:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 5:20:22 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/25/2010 7:58:51 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM, innomen wrote:
Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.

I think Venezuela has the support of Iran, the tenuous support of Russia (I wouldn't call it cozy), but I haven't seen anything out of Brazil that would make me think either Lula, his chosen successor Rouseff, or the centre-right guy would support Chavez in a regional war.

Ecuador, Paraguay, and maybe even Argentina, I can see - but Brazil seems a bit too mature and cautious to have those kinds of commitments, or at least expose them.

Who woudl support Columbia o.O?

Brazil may remain passive, but would provide tacit consent to Chavez. A republican would support Colombia, but Obama probably would not. Honestly i am unsure who if anyone would support Colombia.
I-am-a-panda
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7/26/2010 7:17:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 7:09:30 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/26/2010 5:20:22 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/25/2010 7:58:51 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM, innomen wrote:
Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.

I think Venezuela has the support of Iran, the tenuous support of Russia (I wouldn't call it cozy), but I haven't seen anything out of Brazil that would make me think either Lula, his chosen successor Rouseff, or the centre-right guy would support Chavez in a regional war.

Ecuador, Paraguay, and maybe even Argentina, I can see - but Brazil seems a bit too mature and cautious to have those kinds of commitments, or at least expose them.

Who woudl support Columbia o.O?

Brazil may remain passive, but would provide tacit consent to Chavez. A republican would support Colombia, but Obama probably would not. Honestly i am unsure who if anyone would support Colombia.

With an army of ~300,000 they wouldn't need to much support.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
innomen
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7/26/2010 8:18:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 7:17:44 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/26/2010 7:09:30 AM, innomen wrote:
At 7/26/2010 5:20:22 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/25/2010 7:58:51 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/25/2010 12:22:45 PM, innomen wrote:
Allies. Chavez has developed a network of states that will support him. Chavez also has the support of Russia and Iran.

I think Venezuela has the support of Iran, the tenuous support of Russia (I wouldn't call it cozy), but I haven't seen anything out of Brazil that would make me think either Lula, his chosen successor Rouseff, or the centre-right guy would support Chavez in a regional war.

Ecuador, Paraguay, and maybe even Argentina, I can see - but Brazil seems a bit too mature and cautious to have those kinds of commitments, or at least expose them.

Who woudl support Columbia o.O?

Brazil may remain passive, but would provide tacit consent to Chavez. A republican would support Colombia, but Obama probably would not. Honestly i am unsure who if anyone would support Colombia.

With an army of ~300,000 they wouldn't need to much support.

There are also millions of Colombians living in Venezuela.
Volkov
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7/26/2010 9:37:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 7:09:30 AM, innomen wrote:
Brazil may remain passive, but would provide tacit consent to Chavez. A republican would support Colombia, but Obama probably would not. Honestly i am unsure who if anyone would support Colombia.

Colombia does not have a lot of allies, to be sure - but only because they don't need them. They have one of the largest military services in the world, and some of the best trained and equipped.

As for Obama supporting Colombia, you're right that he may not "openly" support the country, but he would (and has) continued to supply and arm Colombia. Besides, does the US, under anyone's administration, really want to get involved in another war like this?
innomen
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7/26/2010 9:45:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 9:37:26 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 7:09:30 AM, innomen wrote:
Brazil may remain passive, but would provide tacit consent to Chavez. A republican would support Colombia, but Obama probably would not. Honestly i am unsure who if anyone would support Colombia.

Colombia does not have a lot of allies, to be sure - but only because they don't need them. They have one of the largest military services in the world, and some of the best trained and equipped.

As for Obama supporting Colombia, you're right that he may not "openly" support the country, but he would (and has) continued to supply and arm Colombia. Besides, does the US, under anyone's administration, really want to get involved in another war like this?



no no no no no. We have become close with Colombia because of their cooperation in quelling the drug problem there. Despite it's reputation, Colombia has made some big progress, but it has a long way to go in that area.
Their military is mostly used in that area, the drug problem.
Volkov
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7/26/2010 9:46:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 9:41:43 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
What would be the plausible sides? Who would side with Venezuela?

The usual suspects: Iran, Cuba, Libya, maybe even North Korea. They probably would not help out with manpower, though.

Ecuador may, as Ecuador is on the other side of Colombia and could launch a second front, something that is always useful. They're none too impressed with Colombia either, though whether or not they'd get the same support from their citizens is a question I can't answer.

The US and most European countries would support Colombia, but definitely not with manpower. Possibly diplomatic support and for the US (and maybe France), military supplies, but they won't have their soldiers set foot on Colombian soil in order to fight such a war.
I-am-a-panda
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7/26/2010 9:54:47 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 9:46:31 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 9:41:43 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
What would be the plausible sides? Who would side with Venezuela?

The usual suspects: Iran, Cuba, Libya, maybe even North Korea. They probably would not help out with manpower, though.

Ecuador may, as Ecuador is on the other side of Colombia and could launch a second front, something that is always useful. They're none too impressed with Colombia either, though whether or not they'd get the same support from their citizens is a question I can't answer.

The US and most European countries would support Colombia, but definitely not with manpower. Possibly diplomatic support and for the US (and maybe France), military supplies, but they won't have their soldiers set foot on Colombian soil in order to fight such a war.

Lol, then:

Columbia: ~300,000 troops

Venezuela: ~130,000 troops
+ Ecuador: ~37,000 troops

Columbia also has a greater pool of possible soldiers, and has a better equipped army.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
innomen
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7/26/2010 9:54:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 9:46:31 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 9:41:43 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
What would be the plausible sides? Who would side with Venezuela?

The usual suspects: Iran, Cuba, Libya, maybe even North Korea. They probably would not help out with manpower, though.

Ecuador may, as Ecuador is on the other side of Colombia and could launch a second front, something that is always useful. They're none too impressed with Colombia either, though whether or not they'd get the same support from their citizens is a question I can't answer.

The US and most European countries would support Colombia, but definitely not with manpower. Possibly diplomatic support and for the US (and maybe France), military supplies, but they won't have their soldiers set foot on Colombian soil in order to fight such a war.

Yes Ecuador and Nicaragua would provide men, and i could see Russia trying to play the moderator. The people of this region really are sick of war, and public opinion will go very much against an instigator, and Chavez is clearly the instigator.
Volkov
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7/26/2010 10:01:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 9:54:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Yes Ecuador and Nicaragua would provide men, and i could see Russia trying to play the moderator. The people of this region really are sick of war, and public opinion will go very much against an instigator, and Chavez is clearly the instigator.

I don't know if Nicaragua would, as Ortega seems to be on his way out.
innomen
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7/26/2010 10:04:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:01:33 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 9:54:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Yes Ecuador and Nicaragua would provide men, and i could see Russia trying to play the moderator. The people of this region really are sick of war, and public opinion will go very much against an instigator, and Chavez is clearly the instigator.

I don't know if Nicaragua would, as Ortega seems to be on his way out.

From your lips to God's ears! (or something like that).
Volkov
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7/26/2010 10:09:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:04:02 AM, innomen wrote:
From your lips to God's ears! (or something like that).

Haha. I say that only because his government and the Sandinistas in general don't have amazing approval numbers, and Ortega himself is not seen in a nice light.
innomen
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7/26/2010 10:21:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:09:45 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 10:04:02 AM, innomen wrote:
From your lips to God's ears! (or something like that).

Haha. I say that only because his government and the Sandinistas in general don't have amazing approval numbers, and Ortega himself is not seen in a nice light.

I'm thoroughly impressed that you are up on that. You are correct.
Volkov
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7/26/2010 10:24:08 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:21:28 AM, innomen wrote:
I'm thoroughly impressed that you are up on that. You are correct.

You should know by now that I follow any country with an interesting political process/situation. Plus, I vacation south in Costa Rica.
innomen
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7/26/2010 10:40:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:24:08 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 7/26/2010 10:21:28 AM, innomen wrote:
I'm thoroughly impressed that you are up on that. You are correct.

You should know by now that I follow any country with an interesting political process/situation. Plus, I vacation south in Costa Rica.

Land of no armies. Still, it's uncommon for someone to pick up on some of the nuances of what goes on. Check out: http://www.bigcornisland.com... you mihgt feel at home here. It's amazingly beautiful and inexpensive.
Volkov
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7/26/2010 10:58:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 10:40:22 AM, innomen wrote:
Land of no armies. Still, it's uncommon for someone to pick up on some of the nuances of what goes on. Check out: http://www.bigcornisland.com... you mihgt feel at home here. It's amazingly beautiful and inexpensive.

That is nice, very nice. I'll have to check that out if I ever get to Nicaragua.
Zeitgeist
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7/27/2010 12:06:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/26/2010 7:06:28 AM, innomen wrote:

This is just so wrong all over the place. I'm thinking that your post is more a product of western media than your supposed 6 years in South America. Hablas tu Espanol?

Sim, mas eu falo melhor português do que o espanhol

And no, it's not wrong. It may come as a surprise to you and others, but wrong it isn't.

"a thing that became immediatly clear once they learned that I was British and not a Gringo." Gringo doesn't mean American, it refers to race, and if you are white, you are a Gringo.

In Brazil the use of the word "gringo" is now being used as a term of contempt for American people. The habit is spreading into other SA countries from Brazil. That is a fact.

Or perhaps your post is more the result of this sentiment: "Even here in the UK there's growing dislike form the presence of US bases, and in Europe the push by the US to install early warning radar sites that help protect the US but make us targets is highly unpopular amongst most people you will meet in the street."

No. American people in general are tolerated at best because of their propensity to spend money.

The days when American people were almost universally popular started to draw to a close about ten years ago and although not yet universal across the UK and more common in some places such as where there are high concentrations of people from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, and some far east countries, it is spreading especially amongst the 30+ age group as realisation sinks in.

I continually spend a lot of time there, live with someone from there and when i am there i spend my time with the inhabitants of various villages. The US, and Americans in general are not disliked, not by a long shot. The US government maybe disliked by supporters of ALBA, or the Sandinistas, or the FARC, or other leftist groups in that area, but the people that live there, for the most part are very apolitical, and really just want peace.

What you see and what you will probably feel is a far cry from what a growing majority feel towards American people AND their SYSTEM of government, and not just the present (mal)administration. .

": Chavez? He's just what South America needs and more importantly wants. To understand most SA countries just thing of pre-Castro Cuba and you won't be far wrong."

That's a typical perspective of the liberal west. This guy is perfect for 'those people', yes he manipulates elections, 'eliminates' his opposition, routinely shuts down radio stations and television stations that will not promote him, and steals the money of the country's resources for his own political betterment. they need and want it - way wrong (infuriatingly patronizing). How do you explain Honduras? Honduras flies in the face with everything you think. They opt toward a democratic system and the world snubs them (minus Israel interestingly enough). Look at the unpopularity of Daniel Ortega, and compare it to Violetta Chamorro's leadership. The west has a filter in how it sees things, and it is not reality.

It's not a typical perspective of the liberal west, what it is is how people see the world, their countries, themselves, and their resources.

As for the rest, considering the behaviour of the US and their interference with other countries and people, considering how they fought the Cold War in other peoples lands, and the amount of maladministration that has taken place in the US not to mention the destruction of the global finance system by selling toxic debt as good investment, no one in the US is in any position to criticise anyone for anything.

Then there's this Fair Trade mentality. If they only work for their own people they will be much better off. The foreign corporate presence is exploitative.

Are you seriously suggesting that Fair Trade is bad?

Have you ever been to a coffee plantation? You think that the owners of a finca will treat the people of a village better than a corporate farm?

Err, actually yes to both.

You are so wrong.

Err, sorry, no.

I remember seeing one of these local farmers and how he treated his workers. There would be acres of land where you would see countless tepees, or so they looked. That's where they lived, the people who worked for the local farmer that Wholefoods will buy their coffee from. The work they do is by hand and is some of the worst low paying work there is. The corporate farms that are so terrible, pay better and give better working conditions, and that is the truth.

No it is not. You also entirely miss the point that it is THEIR land, THEIR resources, and if conditions are bad then there are the ways and means let alone the motivation to improve things.

Communism doesn't mean slavery, Communism is usually a transient state from serfdom to capitalism (look at China and Russia today) whereas multinationals perpetrate the status quo leaving no room for social organic growth. Communism and Socialism under rulers such as Chevez are of huge benefit to the people of a country.

Chevez empowers the people. Not necessarily in the immediate term but certainly in the medium and long term.

I have spent years trying to figure out their politics and it still gives me a headache.

With what you have written I am hardly surprised.
innomen
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7/27/2010 2:26:18 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/27/2010 12:06:19 AM, Zeitgeist wrote:
At 7/26/2010 7:06:28 AM, innomen wrote:

This is just so wrong all over the place. I'm thinking that your post is more a product of western media than your supposed 6 years in South America. Hablas tu Espanol?

Sim, mas eu falo melhor português do que o espanhol

I only ask that to see at what level you have had your discourse. That explains much.


And no, it's not wrong. It may come as a surprise to you and others, but wrong it isn't.
Yes it is.


"a thing that became immediatly clear once they learned that I was British and not a Gringo." Gringo doesn't mean American, it refers to race, and if you are white, you are a Gringo.

In Brazil the use of the word "gringo" is now being used as a term of contempt for American people. The habit is spreading into other SA countries from Brazil. That is a fact.
Again, you are wrong. It refers to white skin and light colored eyes. It isn't entirely used in a manner of contempt as you may think. It depends on the context. Yankee Imperialist, now that would be contempt.

Or perhaps your post is more the result of this sentiment: "Even here in the UK there's growing dislike form the presence of US bases, and in Europe the push by the US to install early warning radar sites that help protect the US but make us targets is highly unpopular amongst most people you will meet in the street."

No. American people in general are tolerated at best because of their propensity to spend money.
I obviously cannot convince you, but I assure you that my sources for this material is fairly intimate, thorough, long term and wide spread.

The days when American people were almost universally popular started to draw to a close about ten years ago and although not yet universal across the UK and more common in some places such as where there are high concentrations of people from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, and some far east countries, it is spreading especially amongst the 30+ age group as realisation sinks in.
I speak only of Latin America here. I honestly don't give a whit about our popularity elsewhere.

I continually spend a lot of time there, live with someone from there and when i am there i spend my time with the inhabitants of various villages. The US, and Americans in general are not disliked, not by a long shot. The US government maybe disliked by supporters of ALBA, or the Sandinistas, or the FARC, or other leftist groups in that area, but the people that live there, for the most part are very apolitical, and really just want peace.

What you see and what you will probably feel is a far cry from what a growing majority feel towards American people AND their SYSTEM of government, and not just the present (mal)administration. .

Again you're just wrong. The leftist leaders in the region are manipulating support, but in reality they do not garner the popular support that you have been told (see Nicaragua, Honduras, and yes even Venezuela).

": Chavez? He's just what South America needs and more importantly wants. To understand most SA countries just thing of pre-Castro Cuba and you won't be far wrong."

That's a typical perspective of the liberal west. This guy is perfect for 'those people', yes he manipulates elections, 'eliminates' his opposition, routinely shuts down radio stations and television stations that will not promote him, and steals the money of the country's resources for his own political betterment. they need and want it - way wrong (infuriatingly patronizing). How do you explain Honduras? Honduras flies in the face with everything you think. They opt toward a democratic system and the world snubs them (minus Israel interestingly enough). Look at the unpopularity of Daniel Ortega, and compare it to Violetta Chamorro's leadership. The west has a filter in how it sees things, and it is not reality.

It's not a typical perspective of the liberal west, what it is is how people see the world, their countries, themselves, and their resources.
Yes it is. I was once like you until i actually began to form relationships with the people of the region, and actually live with one. My eyes were opened when i started delving into the truth of what they feel from the people that live there.

As for the rest, considering the behaviour of the US and their interference with other countries and people, considering how they fought the Cold War in other peoples lands, and the amount of maladministration that has taken place in the US not to mention the destruction of the global finance system by selling toxic debt as good investment, no one in the US is in any position to criticise anyone for anything.

Then there's this Fair Trade mentality. If they only work for their own people they will be much better off. The foreign corporate presence is exploitative.

Are you seriously suggesting that Fair Trade is bad?
I could tell you a story about an experience i had in some of the coffee country, but it would take to long. I will tell you that if you ask any one of the inhabitants of the countryside who would they rather work for, and American or one of their own, they would always say an American. The land owners who benefit from Fair Trade are brutal to the people that work for them. There isn't this great benefit to "the people" in gaining an education or better living conditions at all. Fair Trade supports serfdom and only benefits the people that buy the profit because they feel better. I could write on and on about the truth about Fair Trade - it's a scam, but if it makes you feel good, go for it.

Have you ever been to a coffee plantation? You think that the owners of a finca will treat the people of a village better than a corporate farm?

Err, actually yes to both.

You are so wrong.

Err, sorry, no.
Yes you are. The conditions of the landowner farms are horrendous, but you probably never actually sat with one of the workers and asked them much about their life. Carlos and i spent time going from farm to farm talking to these people in Matagalpa Nicaragua, and trust me, fair trade is only fair for the land owner.

I remember seeing one of these local farmers and how he treated his workers. There would be acres of land where you would see countless tepees, or so they looked. That's where they lived, the people who worked for the local farmer that Wholefoods will buy their coffee from. The work they do is by hand and is some of the worst low paying work there is. The corporate farms that are so terrible, pay better and give better working conditions, and that is the truth.

No it is not. You also entirely miss the point that it is THEIR land, THEIR resources, and if conditions are bad then there are the ways and means let alone the motivation to improve things.
Their? See here's how it works. The government rewards loyal Sandinistas with a grant of land, or some such benefit. The locals are beholding to those new landowners and work for them at the lowest of wages. Oh, and where did the government get land????

Communism doesn't mean slavery, Communism is usually a transient state from serfdom to capitalism (look at China and Russia today) whereas multinationals perpetrate the status quo leaving no room for social organic growth. Communism and Socialism under rulers such as Chevez are of huge benefit to the people of a country.
Because it's a failed system over and over, and in its wake it only leaves the worst possible of capitalist systems.

Chevez empowers the people. Not necessarily in the immediate term but certainly in the medium and long term.

I have spent years trying to figure out their politics and it still gives me a headache.

With what you have written I am hardly surprised.

And THAT, is exactly what i would expect from a Eur