The Bolivarian Myopia of the Capitalist as Crook

Chavista Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost

EspañolThe regents of the Venezuelan economy over the last 15 years have based their planning on the perception that everyone in the private sector is a crook. Crooks need to be scrutinized and controlled to ensure their corrupt practices stay clear of the people’s well-being. From this premise is derived the massive number of controls, permissions, official seals, procedures, and licenses that have become necessary in order to do business in Venezuela or from Venezuela.

A case in point is the exchange control which now dates back more than 12 years. In the beginning, there was a legitimate reason for the controls, given the backlash of a banking crisis at the onset of the new government. However, more than an economic tool, it became a political tool. Those in power used it to guide infidels toward becoming acquainted with and accepting the socialist agenda, so as to be favored with hard currency for imports of raw materials and/or services.

Even the Castros Don’t Believe in Communism Anymore

The Tragic Island’s Anagnorisis

EspañolThe Story of Cuba, a book by Murat Halstead published in 1896, begins with a prescient phrase: “The story of Cuba is a tragedy.”

Tragedies often have a pivotal moment of revelation when a character makes a critical discovery, a change from ignorance to knowledge. Aristotle calls these moments, when we grasp things as they are, “anagnorisis.” Oedipus, the tragic hero of Greek mythology has his anagnorisis when he learns that, in ignorance, he has killed his father and married his mother. Luke Skywalker has his when he realizes that Darth Vader is his father.

Alan Gross the Latest Victim of Immature US-Cuba Diplomacy

Imprisoned USAID Employee "Losing His Will to Live" amid Frozen Cold-War Policy

EspañolAfter five years in a Cuban prison, US Agency for International Development (USAID) employee Alan Gross reports that he is losing his will to live. Gross, a US citizen arrested in April 2009, was involved in a project that purported to open web access on the island, but his arrest warrant indicted him for attempts to destabilize the Cuban government.

Alan Gross, enjoying better days with his wife. (@missumuggins)

Alan Gross, enjoying better days with his wife Judy. (BringAlanHome.org)

Gross’s imprisonment is yet another dispute that impedes the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba, after a 50-year embargo. His tragic story is an opportunity to reexamine the US-Cuba diplomatic crisis, which has raged on for far too long — with much misunderstanding, overreaction, secrecy, and paranoia along the way.

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Chilean Society Only Hurting Itself by Ignoring Immigration

Migrants Bring Promise of Cultural and Economic Enrichment

EspañolImmigration has been a widely ignored issue in Chile. Although debate on the role immigrants play in society is currently underway in the United States and the European Union, the global trend toward openness and multiculturalism has gained strength.

Álvaro Bellolio and Hernán Errázuriz make a case for open borders in Chile

Álvaro Bellolio and Hernán Errázuriz make a case for open borders in Chile. (LyD)

Chile cannot afford to lag behind in this debate, and it must anticipate this trend with a responsible and broad-minded approach.

In the mid-19th century, the visionary, miner, and politician Vicente Pérez Rosales hinted at an openness to immigration, which allowed for the arrival of colonists who settled in areas like Valdivia, Osorno, and Llanquihue, among others.

A prosperous society based on both migrants and local residents then flourished. European traditions mixed with indigenous knowledge, adding significant value to southern Chile and furthering its progress.

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Puerto Rico’s Spanish-First Legislation Is Divide and Conquer Politics

Popular Democratic Party Identity Crisis Continues with Latest Proposal

EspañolThe Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in Puerto Rico is at it again. In what appears to be a concerted effort to dismantle what is left of the commonwealth, the party has once again brought up the “Spanish only” issue. This isn’t the first time the PDP has attempted to use Spanish-first or Spanish-only legislation to divide the people of Puerto Rico and keep its indigent dumb and poor.

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, Senator Antonio Fas Alzamora proposes “passing a law establishing Spanish as the island’s No. 1 language and making its use obligatory in Executive, Legislative, and Judicial areas, thus overturning Law 1-1993, which made the two languages co-equal in public forums.”

Fas Alzamora argues that by establishing Spanish as the official language, the island will strengthen its cultural identity and “validate the reality that more than 80 percent of Puerto Ricans do not understand or speak English.”

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Doublespeak Won’t Save US Economy from Fleeing Businesses

Calls for "Patriotism" Disguise Lack of Competitiveness

EspañolBy Suzanne Schaefer

Burger King is moving its kingdom to Canada, causing US subjects to question the loyalty of their beloved fast-food franchise. While the restaurant claims it hasn’t pitched its patriotism, it seems clear that the motive behind its move north is the allure of lower taxes, and consequently, a better realm to rule its burger business

The misconception that Burger King has gone renegade is one that President Obama has popularized, turning to doublespeak to direct the public away from the bigger picture. A mechanism for misrepresenting the truth, doublespeak is common in political language, and President Obama is not averse to employing this technique.

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Jorge Luis Borges: Argentina’s Misunderstood Anarchist

Giant of Literature Stood for Agorism to End the State

Jorge Luis Borges en 1951.

Jorge Luis Borges in 1951. (Ministry of Eucation of Argentina)

I think that in time we will deserve to not have government.
~ J.L. Borges

EspañolAugust 24 was the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Let me take the opportunity to explore his political thought, so distinct in his native Argentina.

Borges was a true citizen of the world, a cosmopolitan, and a unique figure in the world of literature.

Capable with the pen, he created alternative realities and memorable characters. His unique political philosophy, however, set him apart from other artists of his era.

Borges defined himself as a Spencerian anarchist, one who does not believe in the state but in the individual. Both in his work, and in the interviews he gave, his thinking became apparent — a fact that sparked a reaction of those in power. There is now widespread belief that these views deprived him of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Education Reform We Can Download

E-Books, Online Resources to Revolutionize Puerto Rico Education

A short time ago, I published an article on the real cost of education in Puerto Rico. Based on hard numbers, Puerto Rico currently spends between US$9,000 and $11,000 per year per student, with less than stellar results.

Criticism is easy, especially when it is deserved. However, it is much harder to come up with alternatives that are both reasonable and politically feasible.

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Life in the HOT Lane: Good Public Policy Means Better Travel

Denver's I-25 Express Lanes Show Toll Roads Work

Last week, I found myself in Denver, Colorado with hopes of spending a weekend as far away from politics as possible. Yet, I found myself unable to avoid realizing some of the awesome things that happen when good public policy is allowed to work. No, I’m not talking about the state’s 2012 cannabis legalization, which has failed to bring the city to its knees. No, what struck me was something much more mundane.

En route to a day of hiking, a friend and I hopped on the highway for the quick trip from the central part of the city to its northern suburbs before continuing on to Boulder. It would have been simple enough, except for the fact that traffic was especially heavy on Interstate 25 on this Saturday morning. On any other highway, this would have meant an hour lost while stuck on a congested road. However, on this day, we happened to be approaching the entrance to the I-25 Express Lanes.

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Felipe Cuevas: Arrested for a Crime That Does Not Exist

The Tip of the Iceberg of Chavismo's Disregard for the Rule of Law

Earlier this month, the Venezuelan regime welcomed Chilean activist Felipe Cuevas in a proudly totalitarian and repressive fashion: an arbitrary detention in violation of the Constitution and our nation’s laws. While that episode may have generated headlines, such acts from the Chavistas occur on a widespread basis.

Let us consider why.