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Sunday readings

11 October 2009

Travel for fun and profit…

The country of the future is…. Uruguay?  From MercoPress:

… recent Argentine government decisions have virtually “expelled” some of the most advanced farmers who have settled in Uruguay helping to promote a truly technological “revolutionary” transformation of Uruguay’s agriculture, which historically has been more traditional and adverse to risk.

In Spain an official Uruguayan trade delegation, headed by Finance minister Alvaro García, met with Basque entrepreneurs who expressed a firm interest in Uruguay’s foreign investors’ legal framework and opportunities to invest in different sectors. A delegation of Basque businessmen is scheduled to visit Uruguay in the near future.

Last September a delegation of Uruguayan entrepreneurs visited the International Investment and Trade Fair in China and also returned with good news. “Chinese businessmen expressed interest in knowing more and in depth about what is considered one of the most stable economies of the region and a reliable access to the South American trade area, Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay plus associate members, Chile and Bolivia).

Retirement living

Saul Landau (Counterpunch) visits retired polito, Fidel Castro:

“I immerse myself in reading,” he reported, “and I write as well.” (He has published one or more essays each week for more than a year in Granma.) He selected a volume from the neat piles of books, newspapers and magazines. “I’ve read Obama’s books very carefully.” He slowly flipped through the pages of “Dreams From My Father” showing underlining and hand-written margin notes on almost every page.

“A man who shows deep intelligence, with a gift for writing, and obviously good values,” he concluded. “But he is limited in what he can do. He is tied down by vested interests.” I imagined Gulliver thinking his noble thoughts as the Lilliputians chained his arms and legs.

“I used to be a politician,” Fidel said, the understatement of the year. “I can put myself in his shoes. I understand how hard it is to make basic changes.”

Rest in Peace…

Francisco Franco is still dead, and what remains isn’t long for this world. The Guardian, U.K.:

Apart from a single statue of Franco that overlooks the port in the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla, military installations have become the last hiding place of the old dictator. He still presides over a patio in the regional military headquarters in Valencia, for example, and peeks over the walls of a barracks in Melilla which has become home to one of the equestrian statues that have been removed from Spain’s streets.

“In the last few years the military has become the final guardian of his memory,” said Jesús de Andrés, a political science lecturer at Madrid’s UNED university. “A good number of statues have ended up in military installations.”

Old Francoists have all but given up the fight to conserve the symbols that the caudillo left behind, especially since the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero passed a 2007 law calling for them to be removed. The final decision on what needed removing was left in the hands of town and city halls, however, with some rightwing mayors still refusing to change streets named after Franco or remove plaques.

Now campaigners want Franco himself moved…

And, the fashion report from La Paz

(Thanks to El Gaviero for first posting this):

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