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February 03, 2006

Latin America - Live-Blog VII
Posted by Michael Signer

The following was written by Nicole Mlade of the Center for American Progress:

Arturo Valenzuela made the crucial point that the Bush Administration supports democracy in Latin America insofar as it yields a favorable outcome.  Intervening in the Nicaraguan elections to avert a Sandinista victory in 2001 and undermining the negotiations that may have enabled Aristide to remain as Haiti's leader in 2004 offer just two examples of how the Bush Administration selectively supports democracy in the region.

But just as worrying is the effect of the Bush Administration's waning credibility on the support of Latin American adn European countries for democracy in the region.  Many countries have taken a softer approach to Fidel Castro -- the world's longest standing dictator -- and have been too forgiving of Hugo Chavez's anti-democratic behavior because they do not want to appear on the side of the Bush Administration -- even when responsible democratic behavior calls for it.

I hold the Bush Administration responsible for being blinded by its own ideology rather than truly supporting the democratic process.  But I also hold democratic countries in Latin America and Euroep responsible for failing to do the right think on democracy because they enjoy seeing the little guy stand up to the bully in the North.


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The Make Sense Philosophy of an Old Man in Destitution
By Richard McBride

In the twilight of a beautiful Sunday, I passed by the edge of a town in Colombia, Providence of Antioquia, and tarried before a very poor house, where an old man sat on a rocking chairglancing at the sky.

I walked slowly toward him wishing he talk to me, and intelligently he did for nearly two hours.

"I suffered through illness caused by people's brutality and persecution," he said. "Yes, I have run from people's bruising foot and have made this broken-down place my home, which is gentler than people's heart, and less melancholic than their soul.

"I'm a miserable being who have served his country with faith and loyalty, only to be pushed into misery by its leaders and people of worth. I was the rich faithful companion, I guarded him day and night. I was contented
with his poverty level salary, but when I got old and sick he drove me from his home, as I was no longer a capable being to fulfill his demands."

Of all the things we talked about, the above and the following remarks,abstracted from him during the course of our conversation, should be sufficient for me to write a more in-depth account of the old man's
lamentable life in Colombia.

"I never reached the top in all things I've striven
to achieve in life, simply because my calculations
has been off. To much of one thing, too little of
the other."

"I have an accord with God, I won't go to his house
so he wouldn't come to mine."

"I have always shied away from people, and my only wish
is that when I die people shy away from me so I can
rest in peace."

"To revolt against injustice is not a sin, if God really
existed he would pin a medal on all of those that did."

"I feel sorry for cowards, they live a shaky life."

"People's ignorance is lucrative, it stands a reason why
the Vatican is so rich."

"South America will never progress to the level of North
America, the church stands on its way."

"In Colombia the bad is respected and admired, the good
is abused and looked at as a dummy."

"If I were to believe in the existence of the Devil, the
tempter of mankind, I would have to believe in the existence of a God, as the savior of the human race. Both were created by man to control people's mind."

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