1. The Angela Merkels and Dilma Rousseffs get all the attention. But they’re not the only female leaders running the world.

  3. Coming back to the “Kony 2012” video and its celebrity endorsements, what are the consequences of unleashing so many exuberant activists armed with so few facts? Defining Uganda in the international conversation by issues that are either geographical misfires (Save northern Uganda!) or an intentional attempt to distract the international community (Death to the gays!), do a disservice to the many critical problems Uganda has.

    In addition to the problems of poverty and nodding disease Izama highlights, Uganda is barely (if at all) democratic, and the president Yoweri Museveni ushered himself to a 4th term last year, taking him to over 25 years in power. Corruption is rampant, social services are minimal, and human rights abuses by the government common and well documented. Oh, and oil is on the way.

    Stopping Kony won’t change any of these things, and if more hardware and money flow to Museveni’s military, Invisible Children’s campaign may even worsen some problems.

  4. President Obama said Friday that he had ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa to help regional forces combat the Lord’s Resistance Army, a notorious renegade group that has terrorized villagers in at least four countries with marauding bands that kill, rape, maim and kidnap with impunity.

    “For more than two decades, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa,” Mr. Obama wrote in a letter to Congress announcing the military deployment. 

    Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, in 2006 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  5. Until now, the most frequently asked question about Hugo Chávez’s virtually one-man rule in Venezuela was whether he would be prepared to relinquish power if he lost an election. That question has become even more germane in view of next year’s presidential contest, as El Presidente faces a country arguably in worse shape than at any moment since his regime began a dozen years ago.

    Today, however, another crucial question — one that has seldom been posed — looms: What would happen if Chávez were incapacitated and unable to serve as president? What if he died while in office? Who would succeed him? How would a successor be chosen?

  6. "This has been a long-going process where we in the international community have tried to focus much more on the severe challenges that Central America faces and, as they develop their own strategy, see how we can more effectively support that strategy. And we’re doing so not only with our bilateral assistance. As you know, the President went in March to El Salvador. He mentioned then that he wanted to extend a security partnership to Central America. But this is a broad, integrated strategy that we(tm)re contemplating together with our other international partners. 

  7. Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.

  8. And they’re going to do so in the next generation.

    Today, developing countries are propelling the world economy.
    Already, four (China, India, Russia and Brazil) of the seven largest economies are developing countries.

  9. image: Download

    1) Improve Irrigation in Africa - improve any water source
2) Subsidies for African Farmers
Both Need Better Government Policies (reduced corruption) or International Support
3) Subsidize US farmers to replant trees to reduce farm-size and competition
4) Open borders so Immigrants can work on U.S. Farms legally

    1) Improve Irrigation in Africa - improve any water source

    2) Subsidies for African Farmers

    Both Need Better Government Policies (reduced corruption) or International Support

    3) Subsidize US farmers to replant trees to reduce farm-size and competition

    4) Open borders so Immigrants can work on U.S. Farms legally

  10. Anonymous said: Have you read 'Open Veins of Latin America' and if so, what are your thoughts on it? It was recommended me to a friend that is also focused on the same as you, Economic Development of Latin America.



    Hey!! Thanks for coming to me! Awesome question - your friend must be smart ;)

    “Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano is probably one of my favorite books (alongside Confessions of an Economic Hitman). Hugo Chavez gifted Open Veins to Obama on their first meeting in 2009, which once you read it will understand how symbolic and awesome that is.

    My Simple Summary:

    It was written when dependency theory was at the forefront of scholars explanation for Latin America’s problems (1973).  His main point is that the West (now mainly United States) forces the 3rd world into an inferior position on the global system as solely a producer of primary goods - the terms of trade are against Latin America due to Capitalism. It was banned for many years and Galeano had to flee Uruguay for his safety. He uses emotions and is over-dramatic at times to make his point but it is a compelling and easy read. It is one of the most influential books for people interested in gaining further insight into Latin America, US-LA policy, economic development, and trade.

    My Personal More Elaborate Scholarly Review:

    Galeano is quite leftist and dated; however, his viewpoint is fundamental as his political undertone is still in existence across all of Latin America. Eduardo Galeano’s book, Open Veins of Latin America is an emotional roller coaster of events starting with the arrival of the European Powers in the 15th century all the way to the 20th century involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB). 

    During our era of globalization and information technology, most people have a general concept in regard to the current economic status of Latin America.  That concept describes that many people who live in Latin America are poor.  That idea is well known; however the reasoning behind the devastation of the region is not.  

    Galeano’s perspective focuses on Latin America’s relationship with the world economy as completely dependent.  Latin America is in an inferior position in the global system as a producer of primary goods. Galeano writes, “we [Latin American’s] export sugar to import candy, we export hides to import shoes, we export iron to import plows (p. 72).” Latin America is underdeveloped due to the system of international free trade; the unequal competition that Latin America faces has caused the development of the region’s underdevelopment.  

    To Galeano, underdevelopment isn’t a stage of development, but its consequence. Through his description of the relationships between developed and the underdeveloped countries he highlights the widening gap between the two worlds.   

    He makes it clear that the Europeans and North Americans are not the only people who benefit from the extremely cheap labor of Latin America.  The elites in the Latin American countries reap the benefits by exporting raw materials and importing some of the finest goods, which pamper their ruling class.  The exploitation of natural resources and political dominance over the region as a whole has left Latin America as a very wealthy region whose common people do not benefit from the wealth. 

    Not only does the Galeano give a broad analysis of the region, he goes into detail regarding several individual veins in which wealth has been drained.  From bananas to petroleum, Eduardo Galeano makes it very clear that Latin America’s reason for underdevelopment is not exclusively internal. 

    He describes how dependency and unequal exchange deepened the region’s chronic poverty and impedes any possibility of immediate development.  The IMF and World Bank’s programs have not led Latin America in the right direction; however they actually divert the opportunity for future development.  He enlightened readers on how the International Monetary Fund’s, “stabilization and development formulas have not only failed to stabilize and develop; they have tightened the external stranglehold on these counties, deepened the poverty of the dispossessed masses—bringing social tensions to a boiling point…in the name of the sacred principles of free trade, free competition, and freedom of movement for capital (p. 221).”

    You must read this book to really understand and feel the passion. Not only does Galeano fuse together political, economical and social aspects, he deliberately intertwines them with fact and emotion. His facts and interpretations of events come across somewhat manipulative, as his wording is more dramatic than statistical.  Many claims such as “the sudden oil boom in Ecuador brought color TV instead of schools and hospitals (p. 282),” although heart wrenching, is not backed up with any factual verification. This book cries out for one to know Latin America’s past in order to look for a better future. 

    Thanks again and Enjoy!!



  11. MUST READ!

    But how do we compare the importance of, say, health versus education versus housing? And how do we make tradeoffs between them? One approach is to apply our own values and priorities, but this ignores the preferences of the very people for whose benefit these programs are designed. This happens often in the world of development aid; a donor focusing on education, for example, might care more about classroom quality than hospital beds. But wouldn’t it be better if we could instead ask the people receiving our help what they want?

    Development aid lore is rife with stories of well-intentioned outsiders missing the mark, offering people goods and services they don’t really want. Recipients sometimes manage to extract some value from unwanted items by trading them for things they actually do want, or by jury-rigging them to serve other purposes (often with limited success). A mosquito net may get swapped for a machete, for example, or a kitchen set might be sold in order to just buy food. If we want to avoid these outcomes, we must answer the question: How can we best understand people’s priorities and tastes?