It sure didn’t take long…


UPDATED
with more videos

Yesterday the BBC correspondent was in Caracas (emphasis added)

I was caught up in this, broadcasting from just outside the studios. It seems when a group of Chavez supporters got within a few blocks of the station, the police took action.

Over the eerie air raid sirens, shots were fired in the air and people ran for cover. It was not clear who was firing at who, but a few minutes later, more shots rang out.

The atmosphere had become nasty. People ran as fast as they could down the narrow streets to get away from the clashes. We ran with them.

He finished his report with this,

The government says that the station violated broadcast laws and transmitted violent and morally degrading programmes.

However,

The decision to renew the licences of other broadcasters, ministers say, shows that Venezuela is democratic and pluralistic.

In our conversation after last Saturday’s podcast, one of my guests said that Globovision was next. Well, it sure didn’t take long:
Second Venezuela TV is under fire

Venezuela’s government has accused a TV station of inciting a murder attempt on President Hugo Chavez, hours after taking another network off the air.

It said footage shown on Globovision implicitly called for Mr Chavez to be killed. The station denies the claim.

Globovision was the only TV station to air footage of a large demonstration against the government’s growing control over the media.

This time the government has sued. Foreign news servides are also in the crosshairs:

Chavez eyes CNN
The government was also suing the US station CNN for allegedly linking Mr Chavez to al-Qaeda, Mr Lara said.

“CNN broadcast a lie which linked President Chavez to violence and murder,” he said.

In a statement, CNN said they “strongly deny” being “engaged in a campaign to discredit or attack Venezuela”.

This is what got CNN in trouble.

Now all the US cable networks are finally reporting on the protests.

Fox video was there.

The Anchoress posts on the media spin and choosing liberty. Little Green Footballs and Jawa Report look at the Left.

Investor’s Business Daily: Freedom: Caracas blackout

More later.

Update
Venezuela’s Bonds Fall After Shutdown of RCTV Triggers Clashes
Miguel Octavio will be the guest of Political Vindication‘s PV Radio podcasttomorrow, Wednesday at 9PM EDT.

Update, 12:20 PM: CNN International’s showing more protests right now.

Update, 5:20 OM: Adam Housley of Fox News reported that Chavez had asked his supporters to come down from the mountains and fight the demonstrators, while the police continued to fire rubber bullets and tear gas on demonstrators.
Chavez is asking the opposition if they’re prepared to die to defend their beliefs.

And a YouTube for Siggy (risking that he might do a compare and contrast),

Chavez TV
Chavez shooting his own people

6:35PM Housley’s wearing goggles – from being hosed down by the water cannon.

More
More threats from Hugo


Chavez shoots students, also at Gateway Pundit:

Here’s a video of one of today’s demonstrations: At least the RCTV trucks haven’t been impounded yet:

Venezuela once again on the edge

The protesting students have a blog: Resistencia Estudiantil Por La Libertad, with lots of photos, via Oliver

Others blogging
Venezuelans Fight Loss of Free Press.
One Man, One Vote, One Time

Special thanks to Larwyn for the links.
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RCTV is off the air

UPDATED:
Troops Fire Upon Protesters in Venezuela
Venezuela moves against second opposition TV channel

Amid protests, Venezuela’s TV station goes off the air

Despite protests by democracy activists, Venezuela’s oldest television network went off the air at midnight Sunday, victim of a fresh push by President Hugo Chavez to tighten his grip over the nation’s media

As my podcast guests explained, now everything depends on the leader and what he wants done:

“The decision was mine” to close RCTV, Chavez said Saturday

As my guests stated in Saturday’s podcast, RCTV’s license renewal was denied by Chavez’s decree, not by due process of law.

You can listen to the podcast here

Daniel Duquenal, one of my podcast guests has an excellent essay on the closing: Antes que anochezca: waiting for the night in Venezuela

But more importantly, and a consolation of sorts for me, is the intensity of the international response to the closing of RCTV. Anyone who is anybody in the world has either condemned Chavez or at least remained silent, and definitely refused to support Chavez. Only a few, a surprisingly very few, have come out to support Chavez and they have no credit anyway. You can see it everywhere, from the desperate and ridiculous accusations of Minister Lara today to comment sections at Publius Pundit from pro Chavez Anglos losing their grip on things. Indeed, one from that side should be pissed off: 6 months of intense propaganda and you get editorials such as the one from Le Monde. Millions of dollars in paid services gone to waste, thousands of hours of “grass root” working for naught. The world is unto Chavez, and them, and they know it.

Yes, it is a small consolation but it is an important one. Chavez has lost any respectability he might still have had, and there is nothing he can do to recover it. When, say, Mugabe or Fujimori did this sort of things, they stopped been received where it mattered. Their regime started to unravel as they started losing the respect of their people even if those for a variety of reasons kept voting for them at first. And we know all that Chavez pins for international stages. Many will be denied him now.

You must read the whole essay.

Miguel Octavio, also my guest on Saturday’s podcast, posts on Hugo Chavez’ fake democracy. He also translated Venezuelan daily’s El Nacional editorial, Power without limits, front-page editorial in El Nacional.

Miguel also reports that last night a representative of the “Board for Social Responsibility” of the Ministry of Communications threatened the media with shutting them down for up to three days by broadcasting the Inter-american Press Society (SIP) press conference.

Last night: Caracas police halt TV shutdown protest

Police broke up an opposition protest using a water cannon and tear gas after hundreds took to the streets on Sunday condemning a decision by President Hugo Chavez to force Venezuela’s most widely watched channel off the air.

Soaked protesters scattered while the stream of water swept the street, then sang the national anthem as they returned to face a column of riot police outside the state telecommunications commission.

Via Instapundit, Boing-boing has videos of the Venezuelan media crackdown: TV anchors sign off, mouths shut, including this one,

The BBC has a video of the protests.

But that wasn’t all: Hugo Chavez Silences the Opposition- Sends Tanks In!

Rule of law, private property rights, and freedom of press are all now absent under the Chavez regime.

The Jungle Hut has photos and eyewitness accounts of the protests.

Aleksander Boyd is back posting,

However sincere the resolutions and letters condemning the act, on Monday morning, when RCTV’s right to broadcast is illegally terminated, Chavez will still be the ultimate icon of the world’s resented imbeciles and those concerned about the loss of another democratic right in Venezuela will carry on with the business of il dolce far niente at taxpayers’ expense. Toothless multilateral bodies have, as Chavez, lost all legitimacy. Its condemnations mean jackshit in the real world. The future looks bleak in Venezuela, that much is certain and has, at last, been properly understood by democrats around the globe, whom are seen in the side of reason, in the side of rule of law.

And where are the American cable news channels?
While the BBC, Forbes, the NYT, the Guardian (also here), Reuters ( Venezuela TV station says troops seized equipment) and countless others are covering the story, I have yet to see any reporting at all at CNN, or NBC. Fox News just carried a brief news item.

History is being made and they all are celebrity-watching.

Also don’t miss
Mora’s excellent report and round-up at Publius Pundit.

Update
Associated Press: Chavez Launches New Venezuela TV Station
update 2 Troops Fire Upon Protesters in Venezuela

National Guard troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets Monday into a crowd of protesters angry over a decision by President Hugo Chavez that forced a critical television station off the air.

This time it was rubber bullets; in 2004 gunmen fired on Thor Halvessen’s mother during a peaceful demonstration.
Univision’s showing live coverage of the ongoing demonstrations. I’ll try to get video to post.

Students protest as Minister charges Globovision, CNN and Venezueladigital with promoting the killing of Chavez
Venezuela Police Repel Protests Over TV Network’s Closing

Maria Alejandra Diaz, the social responsibility director at the Communications Ministry, cited recent legislation in Venezuela that enabled the government to shut down media groups for 72 hours if their coverage incited people to engage in violent protests. Ms. Díaz asked news organizations to refrain from reporting on the association’s statement, since it could allow viewers, readers or listeners to think Mr. Chavez’s government was “tyrannical.”

Because that would show it for what it is.
Gateway Pundit has more round-up and commentary.

6PM Update Venezuela moves against second opposition TV channel

Hours after President Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela’s main opposition broadcaster, his government demanded an investigation of news network Globovision on Monday for allegedly inciting an assassination attempt on the leftist leader.

Previous posts:
Saturday’s podcast with Thor Halvorssen, President and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation, award-winning bloggers Daniel Duquenal of Venezuela News and Views and Miguel Octavio of The Devil’s Excrement, and oil industry expert Gustavo Coronel.

Last night’s podcast on the closing of Venezuela’s RCTV

Venezuelan Supreme Court confiscates RCTV

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SPECIAL PODCAST 7PM tonight: Venezuela’s RCTV


As I posted yesterday, Hugo Chavez pulled the plug on RCTV, Venezuela’s most popular TV station, and his Supreme Court confiscated the station’s property.

Tonight at 7PM my guests will be Thor Halvorssen, President and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation, Daniel Duquenal of Venezuela News and Views, Miguel Octavio, of The Devil’s Excrement, and oil industry expert Gustavo Coronel. We’ll be discussing Venezuela.

Join us for a most interesting hour discussion tonight at Blog Talk Radio tonight at 7 EDT
Listen Live

Update You can listen to the archived podcast here. I’ll post about it tomorrow.

cross-posted at Heading Right
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Venezuelan Supreme Court confiscates RCTV


Chavez Pulls Plug on Venezuela’s Favorite Television Network.

The Devil’s Excrement has the story:
Studens protest, the regime threatens and the Supreme Court confiscates RCTV’s property

Meanwhile, as people begin checking the newssites on the Internet, Noticiero Digital, Megaresistenciaand RCTV websites are taken down by denial of service attacks, the effects of which are still being felt hours later. This is compounded by problems with the CANTV network which take down some other news sites in what may be unrelated to the denial of serivce attacks, since all the others are hosted abroad.

The Free RCTV website shows that the closing was scheduled for next Monday.

Earlier today Venezuela News and Views posted, Those exquisite revolutionary moments: RCTV as the “me, my, mine” moment of the autocrat with the tearing apart of a country, but don’t miss also Marcel Granier and Hugo Chavez.

Gustavo Coronel has Letter to Senator Richard Lugar.

Thor Halvorssen of The Human Rights Foundation emailed with RCTV Shutdown Condemned By European Parliament; Senators Clinton, Obama, and Kennedy. Let’s hope the distinguished senators remember it the next time they talk about President Chavez.

Update, Saturday 26 May Listen to Daniel, Miguel, Gustavo and Thor have to say in tonight’s special podcast. Notes on the podcast

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Venezuela on the front page, again

I must admit that I haven’t been posting much about Venezuela because of personal reasons.

I blog because I greatly enjoy blogging. I enjoy not only posting at this blog, but also receiving emails, corresponding with readers and bloggers from all over the world, talking to other bloggers over Skype, and meeting with bloggers in person. When my family is out of town I go to New York and meet with other bloggers.

Through blogging I am also able to allow my visitors to participate in my thought process, something this guy realized way before I realized it myself (which is probably why he writes with the name of three dead shrinks. But I digress). And he’s correct: a lot of times I figure out my own position on an issue as I write the post.

Obviously I’m not the most insightful of bloggers, but my research is solid and current, and I always welcome more information. As I said, I really enjoy what I’m doing. But some news do get me down.

Since I purposely try to convey a message of cautious optimism in nearly all of my posts, I have become most reluctant to post about Venezuela.

My reluctance, however, is also matched by my desire to continue to convey accurate information on a subject about which I have posted for the past 3 years. It is a subject of national interest, particularly in view of the current seditious leadership in Congress.

The feedback I get from people who are living in Venezuela, or have travelled recently to Venezuela, is uniformly glum. Things are bad with no end in sight. The prospect of another 50-year-long regime like Cuba’s is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good prospect. Make no mistake, the road to perdition is well marked.

This morning I wasn’t planning on posting about Venezuela, but as I picked up the newspaper the headline, Farms Are Latest Target In Venezuelan Upheaval, continues to confirm that Venezuela is firmly positioning itself as Cubazuela:

Vicente Lecuna jabs a wall map of his Santa Isabel ranch so angrily that the map crashes to the floor. “I used to produce 10,000 tons of sugar cane a year,” says the 67-year-old Venezuelan cattleman. “Now it’s zero! Zero!” he shouts.

Two years ago, squatters seized about half of Mr. Lecuna’s 3,000-acre ranch, setting up a cooperative named “Re-Founding the Fatherland.” Far from being evicted, the squatters got loans and tractors from the government of President Hugo Chávez. They then uprooted the sugar cane and decided to try their hand at growing plantains.

Mind you, this is at a time where cane-sugar derived ethanol is increasingly becoming a resource for wealth creation.

By ruining the sugar industry, Chavez shot his country in the proverbial foot twice, not just because sugar-cane ethanol is now a commodity, but also because Venezuelan oil production declines as operational oil rigs are down.

But it’s all in the name of the revolucion

If the rhetoric smacks of the 1960s, it’s because Mr. Chavez dreams of transforming Venezuela just as Fidel Castro did Cuba. Mr. Chavez has already sharply cut private companies’ role in Venezuela’s lucrative oil industry, and uses the state oil company to funnel billions of dollars to his social projects. He has nationalized the leading telephone company and the main electric utility. He speaks of wanting to drive a stake through the heart of capitalism, limiting the role of money and installing a barter system.

Aside from destroying property rights, a cornerstone of democracy, one fact is ignored when dividing agricultural land into small parcels for the use of untrained people:

Agriculture is a science, and as such it needs to be managed by well-trained personnel that know what they’re doing.
I learned this at a young age: my father owned a farm; my brother is an agronomist.

Farming looks deceptively simple because so much of the work involved can be done by unskilled labor. But agriculture is a science that involves a body of knowledge and the application of tested practices that will not respond to a command economy like Chavez is trying to bring about:

The chaos in the countryside has contributed to shortages in basic items like milk and meat, a paradox in a country enjoying an economic boom traceable to high oil prices. Also spurring the shortages are price controls on certain foods that keep them priced below the cost of production. Meanwhile, 19%-plus inflation – as oil revenue foods the economy – spurs panic-buying: purchasing price-controlled and other goods the shopper might not immediately need for fear of having higher prices in the future or not finding the items at all.

The article goes on, explaining how thousands of slum-dwellers are paid a monthly stipend

to learn a hodgepodge of Marxism, “ancestral” Venezuelan farming methods, and Cuban fertilizer-making techniques

The Cuban fertilizer is known as humus de lombrices, and was highly praised in the film I watched last Friday at the PHRFF. It is nothing more than a pre-Medieval technique of growing worms in cow manure within a cement trough.

I assure you, worm humus does not sustain the large-scale farming necessary for a country such as Venezuela to feed itself.

More mismanagement had turned the Hato Paraima, a 120,000 acre cattle ranch, into fallow land.

A related article in today’s New York Times also mentions that there have been dozens of kidnappings of landowners by armed gangs in the last two years.

The bad news continues: Venezuela’s climbing GDP deemed to be unsustainable due to the lack of production and investment. Hardly surprising, considering how Nationalisation sweeps Venezuela

On 1 May, Labour Day, he took control of the last remaining private oil companies in the country.


Next are CANTV, the main telecom company; the electric company, Electricidad de Caracas; and the banks.

While nationalizing the banks, Chavez wants to branch out into international banking: apparently Chavez is going ahead with the proposed Banco del Sur, involving not only Venezuela but also Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. The countries involved, however, might not share Hugo’s goals – particularly if Venezuela wants them to pull out from the World Bank and the IMF. As the article points out,

Pulling out of the IMF would amount to a technical default on Venezuela’s bonds and would raise the cost of future borrowing. Leaving the World Bank would tear up bilateral investment treaties that Venezuela has signed with other countries (and which use the bank’s investment-dispute machinery).

While the Minister of Finance stresses that “No trouble or inconvenience is expected with regard to Venezuela’s scheduled repayment of the external debt, amortizations and interests to bond holders for an amount near USD 22 billion” if Venezuela leaves the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, it begs the question as to whose trouble and inconvenience.

The ministers involved have decided that the Banco will be just a development bank.

Development, indeed.

Update, Friday 18 May: The Wall Street Journal does Yaracuy, and The New York Times does Yaracuy. Don’t miss Daniel’s excellent essay on Land seizure in the bolivarian revolution

Update, Sunday 20 May: Hugo Chavez approaches the Mugabe level of economic mismanagement

Update, Monday 21 May: WSJ Americas columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady predicts a gloomy outlook for Hugo Chavez’s price controls

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"Chavez will never allow true democracy to return to Venezuela"


You must read Lee Garnett and Lance’s interview of Manny Lopez, editorial columnist for The Detroit News, (emphasis added)

Lee: Even under the caudillos, Caracas has always been a lively and colorful capital. But one of the things you wrote about in your March 14 column that I found particularly striking, was this impression that under Chavez the city seems to be somehow losing its vitality. Perhaps in the same way that Havana did after Castro? What are some of the most notable atmospheric differences you observed between now and 1997?

Manny: I think one of the most noticeable differences is the tension that exists. You drive through neighborhoods and there’s a distinct us-versus-them atmosphere. Chavistas are boldly marking their territory and taking over the weak fringes, too. Most non-Chavista neighborhoods don’t spray paint their entrances with signs that proclaim their allegiances.

Chavez has spent millions plastering the country with propaganda. “Socialism, patriotism or death” banners hang throughout Caracas as well as a litany of “death to American imperialism” murals.

There also is an unquestionable concern about crime among locals and visitors (though there aren’t nearly as many tourists as there once was). Chavez has created such an atmosphere of entitlement among the truly poor that some now think they have a mandate to take what they want and redistribute it to themselves and their families. And why not? Though there is a decent police presence, I’m told they apparently don’t act on theft or assault charges that often.

Ironically, the socialists are so caught up in the so-called revolution and the attack on middle and upper class Venezuelans, that they don’t stop and think about why Chávez hasn’t significantly redistributed the tremendous amount of oil money he’s raking in. Since he took office the number of truly poor is the same, but he’s confiscated more oil money than the three previous governments combined.

Reagarding the opposition,

Lee: You’ve been in touch with Leopoldo Lopez and have been following the Rosales persecution. First hand, what’s the state of the Venezuelan democratic opposition and can it have a future in the changing constitutional order?

Manny: Yes, Leopoldo Lopez (no relation) read my March 18 column and sent me an e-mail the next day. He thanked me for acknowledging what he says the international media don’t want to write about.

I’ve also been told by friends in Venezuela that at least one of the newspapers in Caracas is translating and reprinting my columns.
The intense international interest (I’m also getting e-mails from London and elsewhere), tells me that the opposition is stronger than Chavez would have anyone believe and stronger than he wants.

Internally, Un Nuevo Tiempo is now the unified opposition party. They five former separate parties will have a stronger voice and direction.

But it’s important to remember that Chavez will never allow true democracy to return to Venezuela so they have their work cut out for them.

Read the interview and the round-up items at the end of the post.

Here are a few developments in Venezuela
Big brother’s mini-zeppelin’s watching
Scarcity amid abundance
Hugo Chavez proposed that Venezuela purchase a nuclear power plant from Argentina to place on the border of neighboring Colombia, but says he was only kidding.
Venezuela News and Views posts on A Crude Power Grab
And then there’s IMF confusion

Meanwhile, over at the Beeb, their Washington correspondent Justin Webb travelled to Caracas, “the car-choked, sweltering capital of oil-rich Venezuela”.
The Beeb’s making progress: Usually their correspondent reports from Buenos Aires, which means that I’m nearer to Caracas by 1,014 miles than he.
(from here to Philadelphia’s 40 miles + 2114 miles from Philadelphia to Caracas = 2154 miles from Princeton NJ to Caracas
The distance from Buenos Aires to Caracas is 3,168 miles.)

But never mind that.

The Beeb asks,

You’ve got to wonder if there is any end to the capacity of the rest of the world to blame the United States for its problems. Nowhere is that more the case than in Latin America, where out of roughly 500 million people, 200 million live on less than $2 a day.

Why? Is it all the fault of the imperialists from the north? Or is just a little of it the result of local attitudes to poverty, local attitudes to honesty in government, and local attitudes to the rule of law?

In other words, in Latin America as elsewhere in the world, is anti-Americanism a smoke screen, a very convenient smoke screen, whose noxious fumes hide the reality of local failure?

Not that the Beebers are above seeing things through the noxious fumes of cliched terms,

And millions and millions of Latin Americans benefit every day from the powerhouse US economy – from relatives cleaning cars in Los Angeles, making beds in Las Vegas and picking fruit in rural Georgia.

Because, in the Beeb’s eyes, that’s all Latin American immigrants to the USA are fit to do.

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Ethanol and wealth creation

In The Economist, an article about ethanol, Fuel for friendship

Firms around the world are trying to make biofuel out of everything from trees to cooking oil. To make ethanol from corn or wheat, as Americans and Europeans tend to do, distillers must first convert the starch in those crops into sugars. But Brazilian distillers dispense with this expensive step, as they use sugarcane as a feedstock. So Brazil can produce ethanol for 22 cents a litre, compared with 30 cents a litre for corn-based ethanol, according to Icone, a Brazilian think-tank. That makes it cheaper than petrol, and therefore lucrative for farmers without subsidies.

U.S. sugar is too expensive to convert to fuel, thanks to a complicated system of tariffs and quotas that keeps the U.S. price of sugar artificially high, and the US can’t produce enough sugar to meet an increasing demand in ethanol. Those are two reasons why import it.

However, as I mentioned in yesterday’s Blog Talk Radio with WC of The Gathering Storm, the ethanol produced in Brazil is subject to a 54-cents-a-gallon US tarriff.

Since Brazil’s ethanol has too much water (and is quite similar to rum), the way to get around this tarriff is for Brazil to ship its ethanol to dehidration factories in one of two dozen Caribbean countries that are exempt from the tarriff, and then take it to the US by tanker where a gasline refiner makes it undrinkable and blends it with gasoline. The blended ethanol is then shipped to gas stations.

The lobbyists and the politicians are to blame for this tarrif:

The ethanol industry not only receives billions of dollars in subsidies each year, but governmental protection from international competitors as well.

But back to The Economist,

Brazil is not the only country in Latin America that sees great promise in ethanol. Colombia now has five distilleries amid the sugarcane fields of the Cauca Valley, which produce 360m litres a year. Two more are under construction elsewhere. These producers are guaranteed a market, since regulations oblige fuel merchants to mix ethanol into petrol. By 2009 the required blend will be 10% ethanol and will gradually rise to 25% thereafter. Costa Rica has a similar policy, and Panama is contemplating one.

Indeed, since sugarcane is grown throughout the region, most Latin American countries could benefit. A recent study from the Inter-American Development Bank argued that replacing 10% of Mexico’s petrol consumption with locally refined ethanol would save $2 billion a year and create 400,000 jobs. Several Caribbean governments hope that the ethanol boom could help revive their ailing sugarcane farms.

The greatest lure would be access to the American market. Various Central American, Caribbean and Andean countries can already send ethanol to America tariff-free, thanks to concessionary trade agreements. Maple, an American energy investment group, plans to spend $120m on an ethanol plant in Peru to take advantage of such a waiver. A pipeline running out into the nearby Pacific Ocean will deliver the plant’s output directly to tankers bound for America. Proponents of the project say it will create 3,200 jobs. If all goes well, exports could reach 120m litres a year by 2010, and perhaps as much as 400m in the more distant future.

The United States, for its part, has several reasons to encourage ethanol production in Latin America. For one thing, it will need seven times more of the stuff than it currently produces to meet Mr Bush’s 35 billion-gallon target. There simply is not enough spare land in America to grow adequate feedstock for such an amount, unless scientists find a way to make ethanol cheaply from abundant materials such as wood or grass. Although Mr Bush’s ultimate goal is energy independence, he would presumably prefer to be dependent on ethanol from friendly countries such as Brazil and Colombia than on oil from hostile places like Iran and Venezuela.

An ethanol boom in Latin America would also attract investment to rural areas and create lots of jobs. That might help to reduce the steady northward stream of illegal immigrants. It would certainly burnish America’s image, and stem support for anti-American tub-thumpers such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. He has won friends throughout the region by selling oil cheaply. By sharing technology and promoting investment in ethanol, America would also be reducing Latin America’s fuel bill. If it bought lots of ethanol from its neighbours, it would be providing them with a lucrative export of their own.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Brazilian counterpart signed an energy agreement making ethanol an internationally traded commodity.

This can be a first step that the US takes to unleash a new area of prosperity in Latin America. Let’s create free markets, and create wealth by abolishing all farm subsidies and trade barriers with Latin American countries that are willing to provide property rights, democracy and the rule of law for their citizens.

President Bush went to Brazil and will also visit Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. Robert Mayer has more thoughts on the subject.

Update: Bush promotes trade with Uruguay

Uruguay is keen to sign free trade deals with the US, even if it means leaving the Mercosur trade bloc.

————————————————–

In yesterday’s Blog Talk Radio show with WC of The Gathering Storm, I mentioned several books:
Journalists Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Carlos Alberto Montaner, and Alvaro V. Llosa’s

Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has written several books that I highly recommend on the subject of property rights, rule of law, capital creation and free markets:

Later in the conversation we talked about Dinesh D’Souza and Robert Spencer, who I met at CPAC last week. Their books are:
Dinesh D’Souza

and
Robert Spencer

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