Latin America
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LATIN AMERICA needs brotherly love and support.   They have come a long way, they have eliminated all dictatorships and military juntas down there.  But their economies are hurting due in part to the vestiges of previous regimes. 


Their economic problems are also aggravated by the huge population growth they have suffered during the past three decades.  They need to do something about that, of course, and we must help them as much as we can on that goal.


We would all benefit -in this hemisphere- having larger markets (for their products here, and for ours down there), and healthier trading partners.


We would also have a lot less Immigrants trying to settle illegally in America, because -unless we do that something effective to help our Latin American neighbors- the immigration pressure will continue unrelenting


A more focused effort should be made to help the economy of ARGENTINA, as well as those ones of BRAZIL, CHILE, VENEZUELA, COLOMBIA, PERU, and the rest.

bullet MOST IMPORTANT:   As with the bridge across the Bering sea (benefiting the USA, Canada, MEXICO, Russia, Europe, China and others), Latin America needs to finish its network of interstate highways.
bulletDue to our concern with the environment, and with the future of the Amazon region, impediments have been put to the development of the Pan-American highway.
bulletI feel that there are very few people on this planet who are more concerned -than I am- with the health of the Planet.  Yet, I do not believe that the solution is not to allow Latin America to be properly developed.

How would you feel if, in order to avoid affecting the lifestyle of the American Indians (who were decimated anyway), or the depletion of buffalos (that where brought close to extinction anyway), our Inter-State network of highways -or the railroad across the US- had not been developed ?


Commerce between Latin American countries is often done in serpentine roads meandering through jungles and mountains, or by slow moving boats on the Amazon river and its tributaries.


 It is unfair that we do not treat these countries with the same respect and concern we treat our American States.  It is a double standard !!

From my human perspective, I do not see much difference between a Minnesotan and a Mexican, or between a Coloradoan and a Colombian or Brazilian.

The problem might be over-population, or the medieval flavor of Christian religion that is espoused by some of the countries on that continent.

However, I do not see why these countries -all having eliminated dictatorial regimes and having brought democracies- can not be trusted to be capable of signing environmental treaties.  And in doing so, be helped with the development of their national lands and resources.  We have to be foresighted, or we will be flooded with Immigrants for many years to come.

If I am elected, I will be the friendlier Congressman -environmentally strict though-  that Latin America has ever had in Washington.  That will be my most irrevocable campaign commitment! Those who know me, know this fact: Juan Xuna has never lied in his life .. not bragging.  Just ask them!

There is a small unfinished segment of the Pan American Highway (called the Darien gap) in the thick rain forest of Panama, and across the border into Colombia.  It is not even 100 miles in length.  It is swampy no question, but it not because of engineering problems that has not been finished.

It is because of fear of damage to the flora and fauna of Central and South America that there was an stoppage.  There was concern with the impact of modern traffic in the culture and lives of the Darien Indians who inhabit that area.

If safeguards are not put in place, there is not question in my mind that they will be subjected to abuse and possible extinction as race and culture.  My Panaminian business acquaintance -Mr. Alfredo Motta- tells me these Indians live primitive lives, and wear nothing. They are mostly naked.

  Colombia.  We need to help the Colombians get rid of the FARC guerrillas gang.  Otherwise there will not be an end to the inhumane kidnappings, the human misery, and the constant flow of Colombian immigrants to the USA.  If we are serious in our plans of promoting NAFTA and trade and commerce with our Southern neighbors, then we need to help them finish the Pan-American Highway.  But before we do that, it is imperative we help them clean up Colombia of drug traffickers and FARC rebels.  If we fail to do so, I have no doubt that the Pan-American Highway will soon be nicknamed “kidnaper’s alley”.

    Mercosur.  Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay need our support.  For many years these countries welcomed with open arms millions of immigrants from Europe: Spaniards, Italians, Jewish,...  Now they are the ones in serious difficulties.  We have to reach out and understand the root of their economic and social problems.  We should help them overcome those problems. Immigration quotas for those countries, especially for Argentina, should be raised somewhat as to alleviate their temporary economic predicaments.  

A mother begging for her children in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This picture -dating back to the inauguration of the Panamá canal in 1912- was scanned from a decades old issue of National Geographic magazine.

America finished the Panama canal, and it brought tremendous increase in commerce to our Pacific coast.  California would not be what it is today if this canal had not been built. 

On the map above, you can see that if this Pan American highway were to be finished, then traffic could flow from Fairbanks in Alaska to Tierra de Fuego in Argentina.

Can you foresee the impact in progress for the Latin region?  And in the increase of international trade with our southern neighbors?



bulletserious -21st century responsible commitments- are made, and 
bulletcompliance strictly supervised by UN supervisors

The impact to the ecology of Latin America can be disastrous.  And this is an under-statement!

The Brazilians built a Trans-Amazon highway that crisscross their country, and this highway -of course- connects to the Pan-American highway.  Garimpeiros (furtive miners) moved from all over Brazil to the Amazon to exploit the incredibly abundant mineral resources of the area.  With laws very lax in Brazil, you can imagine what is going on over there.  Huge portions of the Amazon rain forest were burned to the ground to make room for cows and ranchers (Rondonia). Garimpeiros throw all kinds of chemicals in the once pristine springs and rivers.  Entire groups of species of animal are being driven to extinction: in the Brazilian Amazon region, and in the Venezuelan region of the Orinoco .

Unless Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Brazil -and others- cooperate all in an effective way, I would say, forget about finishing the Darien gap.  They have a lot to lose .. so they better do it right!

We have to recognized -though- that great progress has been done during the last decade.  More can be done if not only them, but if the international community gives a helpful hand.

 Progress will bring education, population control, better utilization of resources, and prosperity to the whole Latin Region.  The benefits to North America are not less important, less poor uneducated Immigrants, and more commerce.

But if the rate of deforestation has slowed, let's not give total credit to the Government of Brazil or its citizens, although credit might have been earned.  That is for somebody else to say, I have not been much of a watchdog lately (I have been trying to live a happier life ignoring what is going on, as many other people do).

There are many skeptics out there who believe the damage slowed, but only because the Trans-Amazónica goes really nowhere.  The link between Brasilia and Caracas is also broken somewhere in the Orinoco.  Many segments are almost impassable due to lack of funds for maintenance and for infra-structure.  Perhaps  the Brazilian Government -aware that it does not have the resources to closely watch the region- purposely discourages development of the highway to avoid the wrath of the international community.  Where -fortunately- there is more and more individuals concerned with the environment.

Many do not care much for the ecologic devastation in progress around the world.  But worry on the health ailments that all of us all may have confront soon.  If we burn the jungles that produce oxygen, and we burn of the fossils that have trapped the carbon dioxide for millions of years, then it will not be far that day when we will return to a primitive atmosphere (which was not breathable to animals, and only good to plants and bacteria).

It will take even less time for all of us to get blinded with UV rays, and scorched with X-rays (consequence of ozone-layer depletion).  Do you think I am kidding?


Editor: JX
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