Spreading Democracy

by Luis Vega

The free market economy and capitalist ideologies have always been beneficial to many democratic nations worldwide, and ultimately Americans. But what happens when fifteen percent of your hard earned money is dedicated to U.S. healthcare and could possibly exceed thirty percent by the middle of the century. (Foreign Policy, p. 74) Now imagine you are a hard working lower-middle class American and you make 30,000 a year. After taxes and anticipated healthcare costs you bring home about 40% of your paycheck at the end of the year. It is barely enough to make a living on your own, don’t even think of having a family. Just thinking of yourself as this person it is hard to argue that everyone deserves adequate healthcare. I mean that is the least our government could do for us, we pay enough taxes. It is difficult to determine what will happen in America in the next four years with President Bush’s re-election. One thing is for certain; the cost of healthcare will continue to rise.

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Martin Torrijos & The Promise of Panama

by Luis Vega

Panama City, Panama my first time in a little over year and things are much different than they were 15 months ago. In March of 2004, a couple of months before presidential elections all you saw were “Si Se Puede” posters (the English equivalent to “Yes We Can”) with presidential candidate Martin Torrijos along side the now famous phrase. Martin Torrijos is son of the late Omar Torrijos, military dictator from 1968-1980 until he was killed in a mysterious plane crash. A couple of months later in May Martin Torrijos won by a landslide and he was declared president of Panama through democratic election process.

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Condeleezza Rice & the Latin American Economy

by Luis Vega

Now that Colin Powell has stepped down as the United States Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice will be taking his place there is much concern to be had. Even though she is one of the incumbent president’s most trusted colleagues and did a phenomenal job as a National Security advisor I speculate that she will have a difficult time as the new Secretary of State.

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Latin America Corruption

by Luis Vega

Corruption is an integral part of every part of every governing body in the world whether it is high on the political ladder with the president being involved in some form or another or it may trickle down to the local assemblymen or most commonly the police force. Taking bribes, stealing money to fund your own personal ventures, or turning the other way when you see something going on right in front of your face is all forms of corruption that if they occur enough it could stagnate the economic progress of the country, or even the growth of fair government or democracy.

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Capital Investment Means Vested Interest

by Luis Vega

The 1959 Cuban Revolution of Fidel Castro and his comrades sent waves of protest around the world especially in Latin America. People in those countries once again felt a sense of nationalism that they have never experienced before. It did not matter if you were Cuban or even a part of Latin America. Many people became aware of the instabilities that stagnated their countries from the levels of progress that they felt they could achieve. In addition to inspiration that Castro provided by his actions, his words were even deeper when he denounced capitalism and imperialism and promoted revolution to the point where he felt people should stand up for what they believe in and take arms if necessary.

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Charismatic Leadership

by Luis Vega

Charismatic leadership is measured amongst a wide variety of people. This is especially true in politics. For that particular person to catch your attention and have you agreeing with many things that they say and promise has to have something working in their favor. Latin America has longed been plagued with occupation and colonialism of European forces in the 19 th century, and American forces to a certain extent in the latter part of the 20 th century. Latin America’s economy and politics have been unstable in a majority of those countries since outside forces have either left or been forced out by way of revolution.

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A Plague on Latin America

by Luis Vega

A problem that has longed plagued Latin America is its political corruption and economic instability. It does not matter what type of government is in place, it is the corruption within each regime whether it be democratic or authoritarian that stagnates the progress of many countries. Instability in the political system is the force that drives evil in Latin America. There are two points in over the last one hundred years that have played pivotal roles in the positive/negative prosperity in countries in Latin America.

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