FW: Chile Quake Manmade? Two Recent Stories to Ponder….

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2010-02-28 10:33:51

Was the Chile Quake politically timed? From: Kathy Roberts [mailto:weerkhr@pacbell.net] Sent: 28 February 2010 00:23To: Undisclosed-Recipient: ;@smtp106.sbc.mail.gq1.yahoo.comSubject: Chile Quake Manmade? Two Recent Stories to Ponder…. If the Chile earthquake was manmade, why did it happen? Here are two stories to ponder from the past few days….   Latin America leaders propose new bloc that excludes US, Canada   www.csmonitor.com/Wo…   Latin America backs Argentina as Britain begins Falklands oil quest www.timesonline.co.u… Here’s a reminder of another recent article:   www.guardian.co.uk/w…   Hugo Chávez left in the dark as El Niño plays power politics   …and my earlier mailing today: Journalist: “Sky Was Changing Colors” During Chile Quake–Vid _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Latin America leaders propose new bloc that excludes US, Canada As the Rio Summit came to a close Tuesday night, Latin America leaders announced that they would start a new regional bloc that excludes the US and Canada. Latin America leaders attending the Rio Group summit pose for the summit’s official photo on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Monday. Israel Leal/AP By Sara Miller Llana Staff writer / February 24, 2010 Mexico City Latin America leaders at the two-day Rio Summit in Mexico announced at the end of the meeting on Tuesday night that they will form a new regional bloc that will exclude the United States and Canada. Billed as an alternative to the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), the new group will but more distance between the hemisphere’s Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations and the English-speaking nations in the north. A name for the proposed new group has not yet been chosen. Regional support for the US has steadily declined over the past decade as the war on terror has turned US attention away from its neighbors to the south. Most analysts see this move as part of a gradual shift away from the US and toward growing global trade partners such as China and India. “[Latin America] realized there is an entire agenda that has nothing to do with the US,” says Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington. The annual meeting wrapped up on the Caribbean coast of Mexico Tuesday. Mexican President Felipe Calderón said the new bloc must push regional integration “and promote the regional agenda in global meetings,” he said. More details about what the bloc will look like will be discussed at a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela in 2011. A shift away from the US Latin America has steadily put more distance between itself and the US, and not just in terms of trade. A slew of regional blocs have been formed over the years. There is the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) – to name two new ones. They add to a list of existing organizations such as the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Andean Community. This, however, would be the first group that includes every country in Latin America and excludes the US. Mr. Calderon said the new bloc, which will comprise 33 nations, could counter the Organization of the America States (OAS), the main body for inter-American affairs that has been dominated by the US over the decades. OAS doubts after Honduras crisis The efficacy of the OAS was questioned this summer, after the group forcefully rejected the military overthrow of leftist Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya and suspended the Central American nation from its group – all to no avail. Arturo Valenzuela, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said Tuesday that a new regional bloc would not necessarily take power away from the OAS. “This should not be an effort that would replace the OAS,” Mr. Valenzuela said. Michael Shifter, a Latin America expert at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, agrees. “There are a lot of issues that make sense within a Latin America organization that do not necessarily involve the US or Canada. There are other issues where the US is key,” he says. “The OAS and a regional organization are not incompatible.” Unity may prove elusive Mr. Shifter says he sees the announcement of a new group as an expression of regional solidarity. But even if the group is united in an effort to mature from US dominance, the bloc itself is unlikely to be harmonious. Some of the existing sub-regional bodies have faltered over differences between leaders in the region, who share different ideologies, styles of government, and allies. One of the most contentious rivalries is between Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, whose heated battles have been public and have led some to fear that a conflict between both nations could ensue. “It raises questions about the notion of unity, when you have two leaders of major governments going at each other,” says Mr. Shifter, of a reported argument between Mr. Chávez and Mr. Uribe behind closed doors at the summit. Yet even then, he says, such a bloc could prove cathartic. “It’s useful given that there are a lot of resentments and frustrations among government leaders. It’s useful to have some space where you let those out.” www.timesonline.co.u… February 23, 2010 Latin America backs Argentina as Britain begins Falklands oil quest Hannah Strange, Caracas   #ygrps-yiv-1756197898 DIV#ygrps-yiv-1756197898related-article-links P A { COLOR:#06c;} #ygrps-yiv-1756197898 DIV#ygrps-yiv-1756197898related-article-links P A:visited { COLOR:#06c;} Argentina cemented a Latin American front over the Falklands yesterday as a British oil rig began drilling in the disputed seas around the islands. Regional leaders at the Rio Group summit in Mexico were expected to sign up for a resolution backing Argentina in its escalating row with Britain after Brazil and Chile pledged their support. Venezuela’s vociferous President, Hugo Chávez, set the tone of the summit, offering military support. Characterising Britain as an imperialist relic, Mr Chávez demanded the return of “Las Malvinas”, as they are known to Argentinians. “The English are still threatening Argentina. Things have changed. We are no longer in 1982,” he warned. “If conflict breaks out, be sure Argentina will not be alone like it was back then.” British control of the archipelago was “anti-historic and irrational”, the former paratrooper continued, asking “why the English speak of democracy but still have a Queen”. Unlike 1982, when some Latin American nations, notably President Pinochet’s Chile, backed Britain’s campaign to repel Argentina’s brief invasion of the islands, the continent now enjoys strong ties between ideologically aligned governments and could mount a powerful resistance to British oil operations. Mr Chávez was joined by President Ortega of Nicaragua, who predicted that the Rio Group would throw its weight behind Argentina’s claim. “We will back a resolution demanding that England return Las Malvinas to its rightful owner, that it return the islands to Argentina,” he said. Brazil, the biggest regional power and traditionally Argentina’s main rival, was similarly supportive. “Las Malvinas must be reintegrated into Argentine sovereignty,” Marco Aurelio García, foreign policy adviser to President Lula da Silva, said, adding: “Unlike in the past, today there is a consensus in Latin America behind Argentina’s claims.” Almost three decades on from the confict, the defeat of Argentina still stings the national consciousness as an historic injury which must be redressed. President Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina has made the issue a central plank of her presidency, whipping up long-simmering resentments that have only been compounded by the prospect of a black gold bonanza in the isolated, windswept archipelago. The British Geological Survey estimates that up to 60 billion barrels of oil could be beneath Falklands waters, although Desire Petroleum, the company carrying out the drilling, says that the commericially viable reserves are much smaller. Desire said that test drilling at the Liz 14/19-A exploration site off the Falklands began at 1415 GMT yesterday. “Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 30 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed. Tensions between the former adversaries rose last week to their highest level since the war, as Argentina attempted to block ships supplying what it says are “illegal” British activities and Britain hit back with a warning that the islands were much better defended than on the eve of the Argentine invasion in 1982.   No virus found in this incoming message.Checked by AVG – www.avg.comVersion: 9.0.733 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2712 – Release Date: 02/27/10 19:34:00

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