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May 5, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Mexico: Cinco de Mayo, 2009

Mexico's annual celebration of its victory over French imperialism was marred this year by the Swine flu outbreak, but the epidemic seems to have been contained for now. That's good news, because all the business and school closings in Mexico have had a depressing effect on the economy. The UBS bank estimates that Mexico's GDP growth could shrink by 0.2% if the flu subsides in the next two weeks, or as much as 0.8% of GDP if it continues for another two months. See BBC.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon voiced indignation that the Chinese government has put Mexican tourists in quarantine and has temporarily banned agricultural imports from Mexico. China may be overreacting, but their experience with Avian flu a couple years ago provides ample reason for caution. Much of China remains in Third World poverty status, and sanitation standards are often very poor.

Unfortunately, I'm too bushed from dealing with final exams to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Venezuela-Peru spat

The government of Venezuela has denounced the Peruvian government for granting political asylum to a leading opponent of President Hugo Chavez. Manuel Rosales was the mayor of Maracaibo, Venezuela, and is being persecuted on trumped-up corruption charges, like others who have struggled against the emerging socialist autocracy. See It's a reassuring sign that at least some of the governments in South America are willing to take a stand against the Tyrant of Caracas. Peru is to be commended for its actions in this case, and I hope the State Department gives due recognition.

Chavez greets Obama

Speaking of Chavez, he was one of the highlight at the 2009 "Summit of the Americas" in effusively greeting President Barack Obama, who had little choice but to grimly play along with the stunt. Obama was having a conversation with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at the head of the banquet table when Chavez walked up and interrupted them. He presented Obama with Edward Galeano's book, Open Veins, about U.S. exploitation and subjugation of Latin America. It sounds like something one of Obama's friends like Rick Ayres or the Rev. Jeremiah Wright would enjoy. See the Washington Post.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 05 May 2009, 11: 34 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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