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The Fall of Venezuela

Although Venezuela has been characterized by political turmoil in much of recent history, many claim it is currently experiencing its lowest point in the century. The land gifted with the largest petroleum reserves is now caught up in the middle of a crisis that comprehends every aspect of life in the country. The situation in Venezuela encompasses much more than ... Read More »

War to the ‘Triple Alliance’: Maduro rejects Venezuela’s Mercosur suspension and declares war against the ‘Triple Alliance’ of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

After failing to fulfill membership requirements such as respect for human rights, economic agreements, migration and freedom of the press, Venezuela has officially been suspended from the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). This has had an explosive effect on the already hostile rhetoric of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who has rejected the decision and claimed that Venezuela will not be suspended ... Read More »

Farewell Pepe! The Legacy of the World’s poorest President

Guerrilla fighter, MP, Senator, Minister and eventually President of Uruguay – José “Pepe” Mujica’s life has been more than eventful. The floriculturist that nowadays occasionally appears shaved and in a shirt but still without tie, has during his presidency given way to progressive and courageous, though contested, reforms that have catapulted Uruguay towards one of the most liberal countries in ... Read More »

A Venezuelan Spring: Undermined by Fragmentation and Geopolitical Stakes?

By José-Manuel Heinze Power cuts, shortages of goods, staggering inflation, corruption and crime rates ranking among the highest on the continent, have become common features in the record of Venezuela. As of recently, domestic turmoil that has been the largest in a decade and have thrown the country into a serious domestic crisis, can be added to this record. The ... Read More »

The Power of Brazilian Soap Opera

As the Central Intelligence Agency indicates, the fertility rate in Brazil over the last five decades has dropped from six children per women to approximately fewer than two. This substantial shift in the Brazilian demographical records is often compared to the China’s one child policy which has produced similar results. However, if in China the responsibility over declining birth rates ... Read More »

Carlos the Jackal

 ‘‘A professional revolutionary’’, that’s what Ilich Ramirez Sanchez called himself. Others would name him world’s most infamous terrorist until 9/11.  But most of the people know him as Carlos the Jackal. Named after Lenin, Sanchez was born in Venezuela’s capital Caracas in 1949. Despite his mother’s wishes to raise their firstborn child as a Christian, his father, a true Marxist, ... Read More »

The Mountain That Eats Men

Until recently, Bolivian tourist brochures mostly focused on the highest capital in the world (La Paz) the salt planes of Uyuni.  Today, one can ‘experience’ the hellish conditions deep in the ‘mountain that eats men’, making the mines the newest must-see attraction of Bolivia. This men-eating mountain in Potosí is also named Cerro Richo (Rich Mountain), derived from the exorbitant ... Read More »

The Unnoticed War of 1864

Under the shades of the American civil war, another conflict took place a bit more south. Paraguay was facing Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. What the hell did Paraguay do to anger the entire region? We have to go back to 1842. Carlos Antonio López came to power and started a massive industrialization. He imported European experts to build modern infrastructure ... Read More »

World’s Poorest President

The lifestyles of political leaders are often far removed from those of their electorate. There is a clear exception to this rule. This is Jose Mujica, the president of Uruguay, who lives on a quiet farm and gives away most of his earnings to charity. A ramshackle farm is the home of the Uruguayan president and his wife. Only two ... Read More »