Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mexican History in Wax

Like last year, I took my kids across the border today into Tijuana for a little excursion. As I wrote last year, Mexico needs tourists and if you're in San Diego, I strongly encourage you to go and even just spend a few hours in Tijuana. This is all especially true now as anti-immigrant and anti-Mexico sentiment is so high and alarming. It is easy to park and walk over. The primary challenge is waiting in line to return (we waited about an hour mid-afternoon). Even walking around with three kids, I felt as safe in Tijuana as in any large U.S. city.

We even checked out the wax museum, which is near the border. It's a blend of history and kitsch. You see ancient history, the revolutionary leaders, some current leaders and artists, but then also some of the stars of the early 1990s when the museum was opened. So there's Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes along with Catinflas. We chatted a little about Mexican history, and my 12 year old daughter actually recognized Vicente Fox (whose pointing finger is inexplicably broken!) because of his viral Trump videos.



Especially with kids, it's good to walk around and just talk about stereotypes of rapists and criminals, and about how tightly connected border cities are. You can literally look at how a global economy works.

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Saturday, July 08, 2017

Blogging Break

I haven't posted and likely won't for a while. My dad was hospitalized and I came to San Diego* to help. It was scary for a while but he is doing much better. I'll come back when I have the time and brainpower.

I don't know what condition Venezuela will be in by then.

* Where I grew up. I mean, how many Padres fans are out there who grew up somewhere else?

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Monday, July 03, 2017

LASA Resolution on Venezuela

There is a new LASA resolution up for a vote:

Whereas: we recognize that different political forces have contributed to the crisis in Venezuela, we are particularly concerned about the recent events and government decisions that undermine democracy in Venezuela; be it Resolved, that the Latin American Studies Association (LASA); 
  • firmly condemns the violation of human rights and the undermining of democracy in Venezuela;
  • urges the Venezuelan government to ensure free and impartial electoral processes, to cease the arrest of activists, to release political prisoners, to halt violence against peaceful protestors, and to respect human rights and civil liberties for all citizens;
  • invokes Venezuela to seek a peaceful resolution of this crisis, within the framework of international law and humanitarian norms.

Disclaimer: This resolution reflects the Executive Council’s belief that the membership of LASA should express their opinion on this issue. Nevertheless, it does not necessarily reflect the unanimous view of the Council. 

This comes a few weeks after the LASA Executive Council refused to issue any resolution, which I noted was an embarrassment. This one doesn't have any nonsense about "historicizing" the conflict or claiming the state and civil society are equally culpable. It is straightforward and clear, just like the Brazil resolution last year. No rambling, ideologically-laden screeds. The Venezuelan government needs to democratize.

I voted yes.

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Evo Morales Tweetstorm on Chile

Evo Morales is tweeting denunciations of Chile, which is currently doing naval (submarine) exercises with the United States.


In just three tweets, he packs in paranoia, ideology, accusations of imperialism, and even a dose of anti-Semitism. It's pretty odd to think of Chile as a lapdog of the United States, frankly at any time in its entire history, but things always get clouded when a Bolivian president talks about Chile. The Israel reference is also weird and he first made it a week ago in a similarly offbeat reference.

Think about these tweets whenever an OAS discussion about Venezuela returns, because it also shows the grim determination of the Bolivian government to oppose anything the U.S. does.

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