Title: RE: {W&P} Latin American Democracies
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> I think jeff is right being worried about it. I
> wouldn't call Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru a
> "trend" (especially due the different circumstances in

I didn't mean those four constituted a trend.  The trend includes many more countries--those are just some examples that might illustrate that we've reached the crest.  We'll see in a few more years, I guess.

> interesting trend in the poorest regions to leave
> Catholism and convert to all kind of pentacostal cults
> that promise life in heaven (since life on earth is
> not that good to these people) and complete alienation
> from the rest of the society.

Sounds very much like Catholocism before Liberation Theology in the 1960s, except for the alienation from society part.  The Church changed its teachings then, and kept its flock--perhaps it will do the same in the 2000s?  Out of curiosity, where did you see that this is currently happening?  I'd like to read some more on it.

>  (Look at the American hypocracy of sanctioning Cuba
> and in the meanwhile trading with China - so it is a
> matter of size! - now I'm connecting with my masculine
> side... ;-)

Look at a domestic voting minority dictating the foreign policy of the most powerful nation on the planet.

> Another thing, unconnected, is Castro. If he dies, it

Funny that you said IF--I guess it's not a question of WHEN.  No one's really sure if he will ever actually go belly up!

> might (very likely) bring instability in Cuba, a-la
> Romania. That might also effect the region in direct
> and indirect manners.

That's going to be ugly.  Lawyers are waiting in Miami to go reclaim the plantation lands that were taken from them when Castro redistributed it all.  So who does the land belong to?  The people who owned it, and from whom it was stolen by a revolutionary?  Or the people who have lived on it, raised their children and even grandchildren on it?  It'll take some serious conflict resolution to keep it from exploding into a civil war, imo.

> followed again by democracies and so on - I would like
> to believe that there's hope for Latin America.

Me, too.  Perhaps there are enough moderating influences to keep it from happening.  Things like the modern communications broadening horizons may make people realize that there are other ways.  On the other hand, communications also show the people instability in other nations, so they may ask for the "benevolent dictator."  It's happened more than once in Latin America.

Here's a question--will today's technology make it possible for nations to skip industrialization and go directly to information-based economies?  That's what Costa Rico is trying to do.


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