Fighting for Justice in Venezuela

Raquel Victoria Flores Bernal, November 25 2015.

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Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Lawyer of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

 

For this interview I had the pleasure to talk to one of the most important lawyers in Venezuela, he is now defending the case of the political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez. His name is Juan Carlos Gutierrez. At the beginning of the interview we talked about his studies, Juan Carlos Gutierrez finished high school at the age of fifteen at that time he was interested in pursuing a career in Political Science and International Studies at the Central University of Caracas. However, he explained to me that in a family reunion his uncle gave him an advise that changed his life ‘’he told me to study law and after have an specialization in Political Science or International Studies, it was a really good advise at that time and I took it’’. Also, his uncle suggested him to take an Internship in a court of law in which he could learn and decide if law was the career for him.

A couple of weeks before starting his university studies, he was already working as a messenger in the court of law, and also working with a Judge instructor in cases of Criminal Law. However, at that time he just used to served coffee and make photocopies of the records of the cases. During this time working as an intern Juan Carlos felt passionate about Criminal Law.

I asked him what were his goals when he started his university studies, and he told me that the university was the only possibility of progression that he needed in which he finished altogether with his internship in the court. Furthermore, at the beginning his dream was to be a judge in order to make justice. At the age of twenty-eight he was named Criminal Judge of first instance, however, during this time because of the possibility of judging and punish innocents or free the guilty was huge he gave up his position of Criminal Judge in order to become a lawyer instead focus on criminal cases. ‘’ Being a criminal lawyer is my real vocation and if I could reborn five times I would be a criminal lawyer, and at the sixth time I would be a musician’’.

 His goals nowadays is to achieve justice actions in every case he works on, also, that his work would never be use for a person who does not deserve it or via injustice ways. Moreover, he also wish that judges and lawyers in Venezuela work independently and not by other powers from the State, in criminal cases or human rights violations.

 Every case for Juan Carlos Gutierrez is important, and all of them have different elements in which he is found very interested in such as: the use of forensic evidence, means of committing of crime, the relationship of victim-offender, confronting a totalitarian power, fight for justice, and other factor that can be found in every case.

‘’Of course the case of the political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez have been very important and the horror of injustice that exists in this case have been known internationally, and for me is to defend a friend, cases like this should not happened with lawyers and judges inside an constitutional and democratic system’’.

The case against Leopoldo Lopez is an example of many injustice and human right violations in Venezuela ‘’Because of this we fight to liberate him, and after we will fight forever so cases like this wont happen again against any person in Venezuela’’. For him these kind of situations are not to wish for, and for him and other lawyers defend cases in which laws are not follow they work on using every legal resource in which their legislation permit. ‘’It is very important to document and report any violation against human rights and to every day present a new argument and Justice will win’’.

Unfortunately, crimes, danger, insecurities and threats are an every day issue in Venezuela and for a recognize lawyer in our society and in charge of the Leopoldo Lopez case, Juan Carlos discussed that they have felt pressure and threats during this past months. However, for him these are not reasons to give up but to keep fighting positively also it is the love and support of his family that keeps him strong.

‘’…Because of the passion that got me into my destiny from the day I started serving coffee for the tribunals, maybe for that, I still sometimes share a cup of coffee and justice’’. –Juan Carlos Gutierrez.

Ms. Freire motto: ”Unity Is Strength”

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Women taking classes in Peru

Alianza por la Solidaridad is a non-governmental organization that was created twenty-six years ago through the joining of three completely different NGO’s: International Solidarity, IPADE and Habita Africa. Their name put emphasis on the alliances between people, network and organizations that work for global changes.

There main aims and objectives are to strengthen society to promote their empowerment, a change in legislation and politics to promote laws and politics both domestic and foreign to reduce poverty, social inequalities and protect human rights and dignity. Also, change the economic model which implies initiatives that guarantee a global sustainability for our population and the world itself, as well as humanitarian action to prevent and protect the rights of the people affected by conflicts such as crime, genocide and human disasters. Alianza por La Solidaridad provide humanitarian aid in different regions of the world, especially LEDC’s; Latin America, Africa and Middle East. They also intervene in European countries like Spain and Belgium in which they finance themselves through transparent donations, each person who donates has the opportunity to know were there money is spend on.

Aranxta Freire, head of the Comunication Techinque in Alianza por la Solidaridad, insists that the actual situation in the world can improve for better with the help off our society. ”In 2014, we managed in Bolivia and Peru to provide health assistance and women education as well as social integration. In Ecuador we achieved to disappear rubbish dump in the lives of half a million of Ecuadorians and in Colombia we have provided survival kits for refuges. Over twenty-nine thousand people from Guatemala and Nicaragua can drink potable water,” she said on a recent interview representing their NGO’s projects.

Recently, there has been an increase of people wanting to become volunteers in NGO’s such as Alianza por la Solidaridad due to their effectiveness and professionality towards the projects they set. Here’s Ms. Freire during the interview: ”We have over one thousands of volunteers, but only two hundred are working actively,” she added, ”our volunteer campaigns are very effective and on our web page, we offer how and what you can do to become a volunteer in our organization.”

Ms Freire says our outlook is to ensure that we are not necessary and that our projects can continue without our financial support. Make sustainable projects.

”The actual political situation in Latin America is the same as complicated in other countries and regions of the world, what is true is that inequality indices causes their Governments to not govern over their citizens, but for the most privileged” she said, who added the difficulties that sometimes they confront against these Governments Administrations; ”The difficulties of our labour is the male chauvinist culture that still exist on many countries and the lack of opportunities for women. Also, the laws that does not list the basic human rights of many people, thus we work with politicians and civil society to improve them”.

Latin America is a wide region composed by the Caribbean, Central America and South America, which all of them have countries suffering poverty and lack of humanitarian aid. ”The poorer countries in Latin America are Haiti and Bolivia where we have been working for years to improve their situation. Other poorer countries like Peru and Ecuador have improved their indices of poverty”, she said.

Ms Freire said about their NGO’s campaign during the middle of the interview: ”in some countries our campaigns have been more effective than others, like everything in life”, she added ”in Peru we are very happy to have driven the feminised as a crime, due to our support and with the aid of many women’s associations in the country. Unity is strength”.

Ms. Freire is pleased towards the economic situation in Latin America has really improved comparing to twenty years ago. She added a strong critic towards international financial institutions such as IMF and World Bank to the structural adjustment plans imposed in Latin America who have destroyed their economies and now are occurring in Southern Europe. ”Organized Latin American society has succeeded (along with international NGOs who work there) to increase in education, health assistance and employment opportunities for their people, and this has led to improvements,” she gladly said.

Alianza por la Solidaridad shows that real progression can happen if we join together as a whole society and fight against racism, drugs, sexual trafficking, crimes, atrocities, and other conflict that harms our world. Aranxta Freire shows us that real women can empower themselves and become successful but in order to happen that, we need to fight against discrimination and human abusing.

By Hanane Houliche

Achievements and future prospects for Latin America.

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Photograph of Ahmed Correa Alvarez.

MADRID- Pamela Ledesma

Ahmed Correa Alvarez, an expert in the region that is from Cuba and is now residing in Ecuador. He is currently working for the Ecuadorian government in the analysis and innovation of education, selecting and giving out grants so that students without the financial means can study. Education is the key to getting in touch with the Latin American youth and providing opportunities for the future leaders of the world.

To be able to explain the current situation and complex dynamic of Latin America in terms of its political system we must look at some past elements beforehand. After the gas-run dictatorships were broken down and democracy was thought to have triumphed in Latin America many countries adopted a complex multiparty system. Since these multiparty systems are presidential and not parliamentary they could easily lead to crisis. According to Ahmed, the way to avoid a multiparty crisis is a complex and abstract task. Ahmed looks at two examples closely, Mexico and Spain to point out the crisis that can occur in any party system.

When observing a system like Mexico’s, where the traditional formations of parties play a critical role and fraud is part of the leading powers, usually tied to crimes, “there are little options left for a interior transformation, even for parties like PRD that present themselves as a left-wing party” argues Correa. On the other hand, when comparing multiparty systems from Latin America to the Spanish system that is coming out of a party crisis, and new “organizations like Podemos have generated a renovating process, sanctioning old parties and favoring new ones”.

What this means is that whether it is a strict two party system or a multiparty system, when there is enough social discontent and internal crisis the system reaches for new, healthier alternatives. Social manifestation is the key to any real change and that is true in Latin America’s multiparty system as well.

On the other hand, when focusing our attention on the future of Latin America, our eyes inevitably are turned towards the new tendency of the 21st century socialism. This is a regional, political transformation that is practiced by countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. “It is a proposal, a new way of organizing politics and a response to the neoliberal model in the region while differentiating itself from the last century’s socialism”, states Correa.

We can think about the judgment of this model at a regional and more specifically at a national level. Ecuador, as an example, has already brought forth important results of social inclusion projects. Correa states several illustrative examples when looking at the benefits of this new model. For example, the rise in the investments in the public sector, groups that need the government’s attention the most, historically discriminated groups are now included in the public space. All these social factors stated before are now taken into consideration thanks to this new model.

Now, when contemplating if there’s indeed is a future to this doctrine, and the countries that have adopted this political stance, Correa pointed out two initial preoccupations.
1) To consider the real possibilities this movement has to create social organizations in an innovative and social manner. Correa states that, “this is not to be confused with capitalist practices of a welfare state, which is important, but has its limitations like, in some cases, putting the benefit of only certain social stratus before others, excluding others”.
2) The risks that the institution includes for certain processes like the bureaucracy and change between the relations between social agents and political leaders. This can be referred to the increment spending in the public space. If this happens, it implies “the denial of socialism and imposing a real possibility of failure and setbacks”, declared Correa.

Although the 21st century Socialist doctrine seemed to be an innovative, fresh doctrine, there are other key factors that could improve the future of Latin America, which should not be taken with a grain of salt. Multilateral, regional organizations are essential when looking towards a more successful Latin America. “ALBA could materialize efficiently things that governments have not been able, that’s what they’re here for” claims Correa. Multilateral organizations serve as political stabilizers; therefore, they’re necessary for any future advances in the region. As each day passes social workers, activists and the people of Latin America tackle these goals to get closer to becoming a prosperous region.

Steinadler Co. – The Golden Eagle connecting Latin America & Asia

Born in Guatemala City and having spent almost half-life in Taipei, Rodrigo Galvez, an international businessman, created his company Steinadler Co. in 2007, starting with the notion of exporting high-quality Guatemalan coffee connected with its history and cultural beliefs to the edges of South-East Asia.

His company’s name ‘Steinadler’ is the German name for the “Golden Eagle” species; known for their excellent accuracy, their sharp vision and high altitude flight as well as its elegance.

Picture retrieved from: http://steinadlerco.com/

Steinadler Website. Picture retrieved from: http://steinadlerco.com/

Due to his location (Taiwan), I had to communicate with him through e-mail and Skype, but everything went very smoothly. In my first few questions, I asked him about himself and how does he feel due to his job, as well as his company’s objectives and challenges.

He stated that he started doing business at the age of 16 back in Latin America. Mister Galvez has always been attracted to international trade and the exchange of markets, and his company’s main objective is to create a bridge for exchange between Asia and Latin America.
He mostly manages investments and the financial part of his company. For daily operations they have employees and usually outsource a wide array of services (which is something really easy and cheap in Asia).

I continued by asking about his career development and its company’s expansion and specialization in Agribusiness as well as in Construction and Industrial equipment and services, which shows that it is a quite broad and busy company.

R. Galvez pointed out that it has developed as he expected, even much more interesting than he thought someday it would become.
Steinadler Co. has specialized in different areas due to the “chain effect” being in Asia that it represents. R. Galvez said: “there isn’t anything too broad if you know how to expand it and organize it”.
He started importing coffee from Guatemala, and allocating it into different roasters and retailers, then the same customers became interested not only in coffee, but also cocoa, sugar, lobster.
Later, the same farms and suppliers back in Guatemala and Nicaragua took the opportunity to acquire equipment from Steinadler Co., at much lower prices than buying it locally. Products include harvesters, tractors, forklifts and other farming equipment. So they saw the opportunity to not only import, but also export to Latin America.

Nowadays, Steinadler Co. has market share in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic. Same thing happened with construction supplies; “customers saw Chinese prices and quality is not “bad” or badly rated anymore”, there are even building materials companies listed in fortune 500 which they have agreements with and represent them for Latin America. “It’s mostly taking advantage of opportunities.”

I also had thoughts about the economic connection between Taiwan (Asia) to Guatemala (Latin America), as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) that increasingly improved trade relations between these regions.

R. Galvez said that there is a big difference between Taiwanese economic connection and (Asia in whole) economic connection with Latin America.
Some countries are pro-Taiwan; some others like Costa Rica are pro-China. In this case, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras are pro-Taiwan.

“That means, ZERO import taxes, good flow of communications, diplomatic relationships, assistance and excellent interest rates for getting credit lines.”

Imports and exports at least from or to Hong Kong and Taiwan are quite easy; “it’s not a hassle.”
R. Galvez said that what is difficult is to allocate products into China, if the country doesn’t have any diplomatic ties or economic relations.

An example: “we can’t directly enter Guatemalan coffee into China, because all sanitary certificates are not valid, cause there is no relationship or any ties between China and Guatemala.” So in the end, all the coffee needs to pass through Taiwan or Singapore, as Hong Kong nationalizes it, and then it is imported forward into China.

According to some news and the simple historical fact of the ideological, political as well as economical issues between Taiwan and China, I also had to ask him about these things.
He stated: “Our connection to the Republic of China is actually much better than 4 years ago. There are some trade agreements starting to take place between Taiwan and China. That’s a good advantage.”
He also mentioned that they are entering the Chinese market, through Taiwanese companies, which have already been established in China and which “already have the know-how to the Chinese market. “
Hong Kong is also another market Steinadler Co. has entered and it seems to be easier than China in whole (or Taiwan) due to its “strong international environment”, as R. Galvez has experienced.

I was also interested in some projects that they are currently working at. He told me about a Taiwanese solar energy products manufacturer that they are right now representing, and with it starting a big solar-energy generating system in Nicaragua, “with future plans for the Guatemalan market”.
Due to low land prices in Nicaragua, they are able to “lower costs, have an inexpensive operation and sell it to the grid for excellent profits.”

Rodrigo Galvez (right) in Taipei. OWN PICTURE

All in all, they are looking for expansion and profit, and already spread into many regions. So, I asked him what does his company contribute to the world or the regions, referring also to the world market or even to politics.

His answer was quite short, but powerful: “We contribute to the ‘internationalization’ of the Asia Pacific region.”

Due to his ‘internationalization’, I asked him about some visible effects caused by the financial crisis of the EU and if it influenced his company.He stated that they haven’t been largely influenced, “maybe only on the fact, that many European companies dropped their prices and Latin American countries were able to get European quality products / machinery at better prices – But still, it’s minimal”. He said that it wouldn’t be enough to compete with China or Taiwan, and in the end they also don’t sell any products to Europe at all.

Rodrigo Galvez is an experienced, creative and international business-focused man with great aspirations, who tries to connect and to improve Asia-Latin America trade; also importing and showing the world what his precious and productive country Guatemala has to offer.

I personally thank him for his time. I wish him good luck for his further work and I hope to follow his path on international business.

 

Written by DAVID J. K. TOFAN

Spain’s Agency of International Cooperation for Development Celebrates 25 years

6a00d8341bfb1653ef019b011ddeb7970dSpain’s agency of International Cooperation for Development has recently celebrated 25 years, with the presence of the Queen of Spain, Sofia and many prominent political figures. The agency over the years has developed subsidiaries in 38 countries all over the world. Every four years the agency establishes priority territories and in those territories priority countries. During the period 2013-2016 the priority territories have been and are  Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East,  and lastly Sub Saharan Africa. Ana Jar Rodriguez-Mendel the coordinator of Southern, Central, and Eastern Sub Saharan Africa explains how a priority country is chosen. images

“There are many factors and actors that go into the decisión, political, historical etc. Factors that influence the decisión include the capacity Spain has to help a particular country, cultural unions that countries may have with Spain like Equatorial Guinea which used to be a spanish colony, if a special cultural or economic relationship exists with Spain and fundamentally the level of development a particular country has -the lesser the development the more likely Spain will make it a priority country. The agency belongs to the national Ministry of Exterior so actors include autonomous community’s like Galicia or Andalusia and any city council involved in the development of a country. Other actors include ONGD which are non governmental organizations for development and opinions from the private sector ,enterprises, are crucial as they offer jobs and produce essential items for living . All of these actors are present at a parliamentary based decisión making process.”

The agency then continues establishing offices in priority countries. Priority countries in Sub Saharan Africa include Senegal, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique. Equatorial Guinea as mentioned used to be a spanish colony until 1968 when it gained independence. The country has become sub-Sahara’s biggest producer of oil, but its citizens continue living in poor conditions. Less than half the population have access to drinking water. Mozambique was a portuguese colony until 1975 and since has been struggling with civil war, economic mismanagement and famine. Niger rated by the United Nations as one of the worlds least-developed countries has had to  struggle with a a long military rule, a drought that prevents it from feeding its citizens and widespread diseases caused by an inadequate health care system. The agency plans to help these countries by consolidating democratic processes, reducing inequality and vulnerability of the poor, promote economic opportunities for the most poor, respond to humanitarian crisis in a effective way among etc.

images-1Ana Jar explains how the agency not only helps developing countries but also helps Spain. Spain in recent years has seen a worrying increase in immigration especially from Africa. The agency indirectly somehow helps Spain and in consequence the rest of Europe since many european immigrants enter through Spain. Many people must leave there countries because they have no other choice. It is either starve, live in a violent environment or travel through dangerous areas to an unknown country. If their countries provided them with a sustainable life than they wouldn’t want to leave. So if the agency help countries develop enough to provide its citizens with basic living conditions they would not want leave and emigrate to other countries like Spain.

Another issue Ana tackles is one that everyone is tired of hearing of but has a particular consequence in the agency, the european economic crisis. The crisis has hit hard many countries one of which is Spain. The government of Spain in consequence felt that they had no other choice but to lower the amount of money used to subsidize governmental agencies.  Many agencies have seen there budget lowered quite significantly. The Agency of International Cooperation for Development  in particular has seen there budget lowered more than fifty percent. That is the reason why the amount of priority countries has been lowered in order to concentrate the budget in a few countries and have a larger impact.

Even though the agency has seen their budget lowered, Ana explains the agency’s accomplishments over the past twenty five years. Such accomplishments include the increase of budget that Spain destined to the development of third world countries, strengthening the country’s exterior image where  Spain has never been present, and fundamentally as proven by evaluations the agency has implemented programs to decrease poverty. Although Ana insists that real success will be met when there is no need for an agency of this type. When third world countries have a sustainable future and need no exterior help.

 By: Mercedes Rosendo

Is there still hope for the Dominican Republic? Interview with Humberto Vallejo by Judith Esteve

Humberto Vallejo Cunillera, photo taken by Alex Bezdicek Zubeldia.

Humberto Vallejo Cunillera, photo taken by Alex Bezdicek Zubeldia.

Humberto Vallejo is a 22-year-old man who was born in Mexico but who moved, at the age of 13, with his parents and two younger sisters to the Dominican Republic, his mother’s native country.

He has got several poetry blogs. Each blog started with a big change in his writing style, when he felt he had progressed… “It’s curious, but each blog has more or less coincided with each girlfriend I’ve had. That’s why I think that each blog represents a period of my life”. One of them, “El Televisor”, ended up being quite well known by the circle of poets on the island.

When he turned 18, he started thinking about his future and although he was unsure about where he wanted to go or what he wanted to study one idea was clear to him: he wanted to leave the island and go and study abroad. For him, the Dominican Republic has a lot of shortcomings. “Politics, poor management and poverty have sunk the Dominican Republic into a culturally regrettable situation. Indeed few recognizable Dominicans have lived their whole careers on the island”, he said. He ended up jumping to the other side of the ocean and coming to Spain to “La Universidad de Navarra” in Pamplona to take a degree in History and Audiovisual Communication. He’s really passionate about what he is doing. Actually, while studying he is thinking more about art than on being able to be economically self-sufficient in the future. He would like to become a filmmaker although, “no sé cómo ni con qué pretexto” but he knows he will achieve it. He wants to live fully; he wants to become a proper artist. His greatest fear would be look back one day when he is in his 40s and regret every decision he should have taken but did not when he was younger.

We talked about the view people in countries such as Spain have towards Latin American nations like the Dominican Republic or even Mexico. From his viewpoint, it’s true that there is a distorted image of the latter which may be due to any or a combination of the following reasons, namely:

a) The ever-existing feeling of colonization found in both parts, ie, Spain and the Dominican Republic.

b) People’s tendency to exaggerate the more or less well-known precarious situation there is in Latin America.

He went on to say that those could possibly be the reasons why people here in Spain are inclined to think that “if you decide to go and live to the Dominican Republic you will dedicate yourself to collecting coconuts and if you go to Mexico you will be kidnapped by a drug cartel. But reality is very different to that.”

The actual fact is that the Dominican Republic ranks 105 out of 192 countries according to the Global competitiveness 2012/2013 report. This report measures the capacity of a country to use its resources, politics and institutions to ensure welfare and progress for its citizens.

This is reflected by the fact that out of a population of 9,500,000, 40,4% were living under the poverty threshold in 2011 which pushed 140,000 people to emigrate from the Dominican Republic between 2009 and 2013.

Besides, he honestly thinks that Latin America is synonymous with “miscegenation and inequality”. And although people within the Dominican Republic are aware of the situation, they decide to accept that things are and have always been that way; both the highest echelons of society as well as the lowest.

The Dominican Republic is a country that shouts out, “God, Homeland and Freedom”, as its covering letter. However, as far as Humberto is concerned, things are not quite like that. He supports that the “God” part still remains, meaning that the Dominican Republic is a very religious country. “Unlike European countries, new generations aren’t losing their faith. Of the 80 people that were in my class, 77 had their confirmation, myself being one of the three who didn’t.” Nevertheless, the “Homeland” part is totally different. He believes that, given the opportunity, every Dominican would switch their passport for a European Union or a US one. And the “freedom” part is a question of money and power; if you’ve got them, you can be free, as in so many other places.

Right now the president of the Dominican Republic is Danilo Medina. His government is an extension of the former president, Leonel Fernández’s mandate. He dedicated his government to grand construction projects, buying votes and promoting political corruption. Today the vice president of the country is his wife. But the main opposition is currently led by a former president under whose rule the biggest banking fraud in the history of the Dominican Republic took place.

When I asked him about his feeling towards all the promises the president has made, there was no hint of optimism. “The outlook is truly devastating; prosperity and social inclusion have not developed at all and in fact, they are getting worse. The quality of life is worse than it was when I first came to the island”. Nowadays the Dominican Republic has become a geographically strategic point for exporting drugs to Europe and poverty along with crime have increased. In fact today, Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic) is militarized.

All these reasons show “the ugly truth”. Humberto has got two younger sisters, Vanessa (19) and Natalia (15), and the reality is that if they remain in the Dominican Republic they will not have the same opportunities as him due to the fact that the Dominican Republic does not provide its citizens with the same opportunities as a country like Spain does. When I asked him if he would switch the Dominican Republic for Spain he stated: “Sadly, yes.” And he added, “I am mad about life here in Spain. I love it”.

Judith Esteve Gúrpide.

The two sides of the same coin

Public opinion about South America doesn’t completely reflect reality. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Latin America”?

Sure you’ve thought words like “cartel”, “drugs”, “poverty” or “terrorism”. Yes, these are words that could describe the current situation in the continent. Did you ever think that maybe you are wrong? The public opinion has an image of Latin America that dates from the colonial era. Christopher Columbus arrived to America in 1492. Since his arrival, the crown of Castile used and enslaved Native Americans in order to increase its economic and political activity. The Indians were considered inferior and were used with contempt for the sole purpose of fattening European ego. This primitive mentality has not changed along the years. Yes, it is true that these colonies won their independence throughout the years, ending their eternal slavery in 1898.

Perhaps they were able to get rid of European chains, but have not really achieved independence from the idea of inferiority from the great world powers. It is true that in Latin America and Central America there is corruption, insecurity and there is economic imbalance between countries in the same continent. And let’s not mention the issue of drugs…

In a realistic view, these countries do not enjoy a good reputation. But, are they the only ones who must bear with this image? In Europe there is also corruption among governments, domestic terrorism and drug trafficking. Most great powers have many points in common with the Latin countries, but they still continue being the great leaders of the “free world”. Democracy advocates equal rights, balance between social classes and seeks the welfare of citizens, but still the great democracies do not respect their own codes. Latin America is not synonymous of violence, discrimination and poverty. It stands for progress, unity and cultural development.

Both the Caribbean, Central and South America enjoys a wealth of natural resources and biodiversity, a varied cultural and religious wealth and this are countries with a great future project. In the Caribbean we can find the most beautiful beaches that exist on our planet, with crystal clear water and white sand. These shrines give us the opportunity to enjoy the Caribbean sun in its splendor. A clear example is the Eagle Bay in the Dominican Republic.

Bahia de Las Aguilas

Eagle Bay, Dominican Republic

 

In Central America we can enjoy beautiful religious traditions we don’t even knew it existed, such as in Nicaragua. In August, people close their businesses and throughout the month occur processions, horse racing and great parties in which the Nicaraguan people celebrate the independence from the Spanish crown. In Latin America, like in Brazil, we can stay pleasantly surprised with their New Year celebration. In Copacabana, on October 31st, the whole city wears white to celebrate the end of one year and the start of the new under a slogan, an idea that governs it. The museums, restaurants, clubs, and monuments are the scene to live the last hours of the year. Giant lasers roam the facades marking the rhythm of time, noting how long before the great outburst of joy and illusion. With the last of the 12 chimes starts the fireworks extravaganza, launched from boats anchored along Copacabana bay. The music does not stop, the sound of drums and thousands of watts deafen the crowd dancing, kissing, embracing and celebrating.

 

 

But what really makes these countries highlight is its natural wealth and natural resources. The rest of the world does not realize how important these countries are for their own survival. Here we can find the Amazon forest, embellished by the silent river travel that bears the same name. This forest is situated between three different countries: Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. This is the “lung of the world”, and not only that, this forest provides natural resources that doesn’t exists in other parts of the world.

bosque del amazonas

Amazon rain forest

Colombia is the country with the largest variety of fruits and butterflies around the world and in Argentina we can appreciate the great glaciers of the Patagonia, nonexistent in other populated areas.

glaciares patagonia

Glacier in Patagonia

 

Major powers bleed the continent with their economic activities that enriches themself at the expense of Latin population, and then they exclaim that poverty has settled in the cities of these countries. They do not realize that without these resources they would not be even half as powerful as they are now.

Yes, maybe Central America, the Caribbean and South America are not essential places at first sight for the rest of the world. They may be countries where the crime rate is high and where security is nonexistent, but they are also places where people are close to each other, that gives us beautiful and incomparable natural scenes and that its a land full of new opportunities.