Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘South America

Uruguay in Latin America: Voted the Best country this year

How many Reasons do you You Need To Move To Uruguay?

Looking for a new adventure? Maybe you should head down south.

, BuzzFeed Staff, posted this December 10, 2013

1. They have the BEST President ever.

They have the BEST President ever.

Andres Stapff / Reuters

This is Jose Mujica, better known as Pepe.

He’s considered the ‘poorest President’ because he donates 90 percent of his salary to those in need.

Here’s Uruguay, right next to Argentina and Brazil.

Here's Uruguay, right next to Argentina and Brazil.
gibgalich/gibgalich

Home to 3.3 million awesome Uruguayans.

He's considered the 'poorest President' because he donates 90 percent of his salary to those in need.

Handout / Reuters

He even drives his own car, an old light blue Volkswagen Beetle.

He and his wife are super chill.

He and his wife are super chill.

Oscar Cassini / Via fusion.net

And even pose to passersby during their vacations.

His speeches are always pure perfection. youtube.com

To live you need freedom, and to have freedom you need time.

No, really, he’s the coolest President.

No, really, he's the coolest President.

Handout / Reuters

Here he is being all happy with a guitar signed by Aerosmith.

2. It was once dubbed “the Switzerland of America,” mainly for its banking stability.

It was once dubbed "the Switzerland of America," mainly for its banking stability.

Vepar5/Vepar5

So your savings will be safe!

3. Education is free and secular.

Education is free and secular.

4. Same sex marriage is legal – and celebrated.

Same sex marriage is legal - and celebrated.

5. So is marijuana legal

So is marijuana.

JeremyNathan/JeremyNathan

6. It is one of the VERY few countries in Latin America where abortion is legal.

It is one of the VERY few countries in Latin America where abortion is legal.

AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

7. The opposition to the abortion law wanted a referendum but less than 10% of the population supported it so the law was maintained.

The opposition to the abortion law wanted a referendum but less than 10% of the population supported it so the law was maintainted.

AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

8. Its beaches are one of the best kept secrets in South America.

Its beaches are one of the best kept secrets in South America.

fotoember/fotoember

Very very very nice beaches.

9. But there’s more to see than just sand…

Uruguay is one of the leading meat producers in the world, as that is its main industry.

But there's more to see than just sand... Uruguay is one of the leading meat producers in the world, as that is its main industry.

ToniFlap/ToniFlap

10. It’s estimated that there are 3.5 cows per every person in the country.

It's estimated that there are 3.5 cows per every person in the country.

Tobias Schwarz / Reuters / Reuters

Which means you can either have a bunch as pets or eat a lot of meat.

11. You will hardly ever be stuck in a traffic jam.

You will hardly ever be stuck in a traffic jam.

12. They have a replacement for coffee: It’s called mate and it will amp you up when you drink it.

They have a replacement for coffee: It's called mate and it will amp you up when you drink it.

13. There’s a little town called Cabo Polonio where there’s no electricity ON PURPOSE. Perfect place to get over your Instagram addiction, huh?

There's a little town called Cabo Polonio where there's no electricity ON PURPOSE. Perfect place to get over your Instagram addiction, huh?

joaowendel/joaowendel

14. But if you’re looking for less silence, Punta del Este is considered one of the best party cities in the world.

But if you're looking for less silence, Punta del Este is considered one of the best party cities in the world.

15. Their music will get you out of any chair. youtube.com

Hit play and test yourself.

16. And they definitely know how to party…

And they definitely know how to party...

17. They not only hosted the first World Cup but also won it. And they’re hoping to win again next year.

They not only hosted the first World Cup but also won it. And they're hoping to win again next year.

Pablo La Rosa / Reuters

They have so much confidence they’ll win that when they qualified they made fun of Brazil. youtube.com

Because why not?

18. It’s a fantastic place to buy cheap and beautiful antiques.

It's a fantastic place to buy cheap and beautiful antiques.

19. Uruguayan men are a very well kept secret. Just look at Forlan’s abs…

Uruguayan men are a very well kept secret. Just look at Forlan's abs...

Kevin Granja / Reuters

20. And so are Uruguayan women, like Natalia Oreiro.

And so are Uruguayan women, like Natalia Oreiro.

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

21. But above all, they’re considered the nicest and warmest people in South America.

But above all, they're considered the nicest and warmest people in South America.

The Economist published this Dec. 21, 2013:

Country of the year: Uruguay in Latin America

HUMAN life isn’t all bad, but it sometimes feels that way.

Good news is no news: the headlines mostly tell of strife and bail-outs, failure and folly.

2013 has witnessed glory as well as calamity. When the time comes for year-end accounting, both the accomplishments and the cock-ups tend to be judged the offspring of lone egomaniacs or saints, rather than the joint efforts that characterise most human endeavour.

To redress the balance from the individual to the collective, and from gloom to cheer, The Economist has decided, for the first time, to nominate a country of the year.

But how to choose it?

Readers might expect our materialistic outlook to point us to simple measures of economic performance, but they can be misleading.

Focusing on GDP growth would lead us to opt for South Sudan, which will probably notch up a stonking 30% increase in 2013—more the consequence of a 55% drop the previous year, caused by the closure of its only oil pipeline as a result of its divorce from Sudan, than a reason for optimism about a troubled land.

Or we might choose a nation that has endured economic trials and lived to tell the tale. Ireland has come through its bail-out and cuts with exemplary fortitude and calm; Estonia has the lowest level of debt in the European Union. But we worry that this econometric method would confirm the worst caricatures of us as flint-hearted number-crunchers; and not every triumph shows up in a country’s balance of payments.

Another problem is whether to evaluate governments or their people.

In some cases their merits are inversely proportional: consider Ukraine, with its thuggish president, Viktor Yanukovych, and its plucky citizens, freezing for democracy in the streets of Kiev, even though 9 years ago they went to the trouble of having a revolution to keep the same man out of office.

Or remember Turkey, where tens of thousands protested against the creeping autocracy and Islamism of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister-cum-sultan. Alas, neither movement has yet been all that successful.

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Definitional questions creep in, too. One possible candidate, Somaliland, has kept both piracy and Islamic extremism at bay, yet on most reckonings it is not a country at all, rather a renegade province of Somalia—which has struggled to contain either.

As well as countries yet to be, we might celebrate one that could soon disintegrate: the United Kingdom, which hasn’t fared too badly, all things considered, since coming into being in 1707, but could fracture in 2014 should the Scots be foolhardy enough to vote for secession.

And the winner is?

When other publications conduct this sort of exercise, but for individuals, they generally reward impact rather than virtue. Thus they end up nominating the likes of Vladimir Putin, Ayatollah Khomeini or, in 1938, Adolf Hitler.

Adapting that realpolitic rationale, we might choose Bashar Assad’s Syria, from which millions of benighted refugees have now been scattered to freezing camps across the Levant.

If we were swayed by influence per head of population, we might plump for the Senkaku (or Diaoyu) islands, the clutch of barren rocks in the East China Sea that have periodically threatened to incite a third world war—though that might imply their independence, leading both China and Japan to invade us.

Alternatively, applying the Hippocratic principle to statecraft, we might suggest a country from which no reports of harm or excitement have emanated. Kiribati seems to have had a quiet year.

But the accomplishments that most deserve commendation, we think, are path-breaking reforms that do not merely improve a single nation but, if emulated, might benefit the world. Gay marriage is one such border-crossing policy, which has increased the global sum of human happiness at no financial cost.

Several countries have implemented it in 2013—including Uruguay, which also, uniquely, passed a law to legalise and regulate the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. This is a change so obviously sensible, squeezing out the crooks and allowing the authorities to concentrate on graver crimes, that no other country has made it.

If others followed suit, and other narcotics were included, the damage such drugs wreak on the world would be drastically reduced.

Better yet, the man at the top, President José Mujica, is admirably self-effacing.

With unusual frankness for a politician, he referred to the new law as an experiment. He lives in a humble cottage, drives himself to work in a Volkswagen Beetle and flies economy class.

Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving, Uruguay is our country of the year. ¡Felicitaciones!

From the print edition: Leaders

Is the United Nation Indispensable? (October 29, 2009)

 

We have UN “peace keeping forces” on our border with Israel since the July 2006 war that lasted 33 days; this savage pre-emptive war ended with a major debacle of the Israeli troops and a definite political defeat of Israel’s expansionist strategies and pre-emptive war policies. This peace keeping force is not really meant to keep peace and could not do this job if a resumption of war sets in.  The major benefit of UN peace keeping forces is to interact with citizens and aid in small social and economic undertakings within the needed communities and providing seasonal jobs.  The fact that citizens are exposed to different nationalities and daily interactions is more important than any kinds of power exhibition and posturing.  One drawback is that many kids tend to like playing soldiers wearing blue beret or blue helmets; in a way start dreaming of emulating the UN military forces.

Many regions have witnessed exposures to UN peace keeping contingents with communication advantages that dwarf the petty enmities based on ethnic or religious conflicts that are the wreckages of lasting historic ignorance and confinements.  Just providing multinational troops for separating armies is good enough a job to preserving and consolidating the UN institutions. 

Currently, the UN departments are focusing on environmental changes (the Copenhagen forum is awaited with great expectation this December), eliminating arms of mass destructions, reducing the nuclear arsenals, slowing down the proliferation of sub-munitions, biological and chemical arms, and prohibiting the usage of land mines, cluster shells, phosphoric bombs. 

After the fiasco of the pre-emptive war in Iraq and the hopeless case of resolving the Afghan conflict by shear military intervention it is becoming obvious that the UN will erect a solid wall against such unilateral pre-emptive endeavors.  Major wars are practically at an end.  The main difficulty is to diplomatically pre-empt conflicts that may result in low level wars or civil wars that are more difficult to resolve when they starts than open wars; this is where the UN can dynamically extend helping hands as an honest third party broker to encouraging the main parties to meeting directly.

A not largely publicized endeavor is the efforts to re-integrate kid-soldiers into civilian societies; many families and communities refuse to accept their kid-soldiers within their mist for fear or disrupting the traditional way of life. Many African States have recruited over 300,000 kids to play soldiers during the many civil wars and those kids would not relinquish the man status they acquired during these horrible wars and the easy ways to rob and stead just by showing off with a Kalashnikov.

The UN divulged that military expenses have reached 1.5 trillion dollars this year; an amount that would have made every inhabitant of planet earth richer by 200 dollars.  The US alone accounts for 48% of that total in military budget.  Most armies have reduced the number of their standing armies in order to invest the savings on more performing weapons in load power, reduced size, and accuracy to kill and maim.  The US and Russia are negotiating the reduction on the number of war heads and ballistic missiles for the purpose of investing the savings on more performing and newer generations of war heads and missiles.  The US and Russia needed the UN as a world forum to misinform the world community on their intentions for greater peace and stability.

Civilian group actions are taking the lead over State governments in disseminating awareness on global problems and exercising beneficial pressures on the 199 State governments represented in the UN.  Former hegemonies of superpowers are making rooms to emerging economic and financial powers.  The group of G20 is meeting frequently and neighboring States are conglomerating into trade zones in South America and South-East Asia.

Slow changes in the re-organization of the UN and power distribution are taking place.  Rotations of non-veto power States (I think around 9 in addition to the 5 veto members) are asked to represent the UN body in executive sessions; for example Lebanon was voted in for two years after 53 years of absence.  This sharing in responsibilities is a great exposure for non-veto States to learn and get training on the UN administrative labyrinths.

The rights of the former five “superpowers” of US, Russia, China, France, and Britain to veto on major decrees related to wars or pre-emptive wars did not function well: superpowers did what they wanted to do anyway regardless of the votes in the General Assembly. Worse, the superpowers vetoed on petty matters that would have discouraged crimes against humanity and blatant apartheid policies.  The US caste the most number of vetoes in the history of the UN just to take Israel off the hook on the thousands of Israel’s behaviors and activities that went counter to the UN charter of safeguarding human dignities and rights. 

Veto rights to absolving crimes against humanity are not to be acceptable any more.  After the world financial crash, the successive failures of direct wars to solving problems, and the exorbitant costs to waging wars and paying for wars’ aftermath in caring for refugees, displaced people, and reconstruction a new political era is evolving; the superpowers are now willing to permit the UN playing greater roles in resolving world problems.

Larva Dressed in multicolor gala attire

“The larva of yesterday is dressed in multicolor gala attire”; you may have as well said the butterfly looked sensational in her dress but that would sound insipid and boring static descriptions in the world of poets. It does not mean that plain talk is not the job of poets: imaginations carry through the purpose of reminding the people of the spirit of the Land far better than logic and reasoning.

It might be useful nowadays to add butterfly in parenthesis as people have no time or patience to figure out anything unless spoon fed; that would not be a bad idea if it encourages reading splendid poems and retaining magnificent imageries.  Kids should be encouraged to memorize imageries.  Imagery in poems is the foundations of affordable imaginations: poets are down to earth and have keen eyes to see the horrors and ugliness of the “As is” and are impatient to refuting the miseries of reality, ugly behavior and customs, and transmitting the urgency for a change, always feasible changes; at least of worthy poets.

Every survivor on earth, plants, insects, or mammals, is constantly fighting the good fight to surmount the difficulty of living on earth.  Long lasting changes are not done by exhibiting fire works or victory celebrations but the daily struggle to live for another tomorrow.

Earth atmosphere and environment was initially noxious to organic living creatures.  After millions of years of evolution and catastrophes anything still surviving was incredibly lucky to exist today. Heck, oxygen was meant to be a poisonous gas to man until he adapted to a certain mixture. Earth was not created for man; he evolved against all odds, in an almost improbable continuous string of lucky hazards.  Yet, we cannot withstand a tree blocking a stupid view, birds chanting by dawn and disturbing our unnatural cycle, a flower not looking as pretty as a rose, a neighbor less fortunate or more wealthy.  Yet, we resent someone who decided to rest on a Wednesday instead of a Friday, Saturday, or a Sunday.

Poets need to be unsatisfied; they carry the message to communicate the will of reducing inhuman realities to a human order of acceptability.  Poets are frequently revolting on the world of “as is” and changing life according to affordable imaginations. The value of poetry is essentially to be present in the center of time and space.

Imagery is to agree for passionate re-conquest of nature and our standards of living.  The main ingredient for poets is the potential to creating a sustainable life by offering imageries that make changes feasible and attainable by the spirit.  Poets are infusing this hope that inhuman conditions of nature or man-made could be interacted with to accommodate humanity and its surroundings.

Man has been struggling for all kinds of emancipation that cover forms of liberations such as slavery, exploitation of the masses, women rights, oppression of minorities, domestic brutality, colonized people, and so many other forms of social domination that restrained the blooming of human spirit.

Maybe one of the major factors for the failure of successive attempts for social and individual liberation was the failure to regularly read poems to the illiterates who were shouldering the entire burden of reforms and revolts. The masses of workers and peasants respect and appreciate poems that talk to their spirit far more than the well to do.  If the people managed to be that patient and sustained misery and daily toils for too long it is because they were free to recite poems and sing love songs and songs of freedom after a hard day of labor. External political changes for reforms fail to mature and take roots simply because the internal changes in the people were forgotten or not taken seriously.

Pablo Neruda, the poet of Chili and South America recount the dignity of the hard working people and how they sheltered him and fed him during his escape to exile:

Along the grand night, throughout the enitre life,

Tears on paper, from attire to attire,

I marched in those misty days,

The fugitive to the police:

I was handed over from hand to hands.

Grave is the night but man disposed of his fraternal signs.

By blind roads and plenty of shadows

I reached the lighted tiny star that was mine.

I don’t feel alone in the night.

I am people, innumerable people.

My voice carries pure force

To cross the silence and germinate in the obscurity.

Neruda recites a poem to thousands of miners who instinctively removed their hat and head gears in respect:

I write for the people.

Many cannot read my poems with their rural eyes.

Time is soon; a line,

Air that disrupted my life;

Will reach their ears.

They will say ”He was a comarad”

That is enough; this is the crown of laurel that I desired.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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