U.S. soybean futures surged to a six-week high on Tuesday as truckers across Brazil’s main farming regions blocked roads to protest fuel-tax increases and low wages, impeding shipments to ports and fueling speculation the U.S. would enjoy increased overseas demand for soybeans at Brazil’s expense. Prices pulled back Wednesday as police officers cleared some roads, but analysts said the situation remained fluid as the protests spread to more states.
The effect will be felt by the farmers, further cramping Brazil’s economy.
Over in Argentina (the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and derivatives), rather than expedite exports,
farmers defending their fields at night amid accusations that they’re hoarding crops to undermine the government.
Argentina imposes an insanely high 35 percent export tax on soy.
Alejandro Rebossio of Spain’s El País reports that Pope Francis’s comment on “Mexicanization” was prompted by UN data showing Argentina as the country with the third-largest number of seized cocaine shipments, after Brazil and Colombia.
The cocaine route starts in Colombia and Peru, makes a layover in Bolivia, and is processed in Argentina, where some of it is consumed, while most is exported to Europe.
Gustavo Vera also mentioned, in his emails to Pope Francis, that Argentina has the highest per-capita cocaine consumption in Latin America.
You can read Rebossio’s article here (in Spanish).
Nunca dejará de sorprender el daño que el poder absoluto, concentrado en una persona, puede causar en la vida de los pueblos. Pero aún más misteriosa es la incapacidad de muchos pueblos para ver de frente el fenómeno, comprenderlo y evitarlo. Es el triste caso de un sector del pueblo venezolano, ciego al desmantelamiento de su propio país perpetrado por Hugo Chávez y su Gobierno en beneficio del régimen dictatorial más longevo del mundo actual: el de los hermanos Castro.
Y me gusta el dibujo,
English article here (but rather watered-down for a NYT audience?).
On Friday, President Barack Obama named Bernard “Bernie” Aronson, a U.S. assistant secretary of state for inter-American Affairs from 1989 to 1993, as the envoy. He will help the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, overcome roadblocks in the final stretch of negotiations.