Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Not too surprisingly (given his background as a cocalero leader), the new Bolivian president Evo Morales has named a coca grower as the government’s top anti-drug official. I don’t know how this will play out, but the dynamics are very interesting. Morales has said many times that he is opposed to cocaine production, so there will be tension when he tries to define and then crack down on coca cultivation intended for cocaine. On the other hand, his anti-cocaine stance seems to have stymied the Bush administration, which has shown uncharacteristic restraint by not criticizing him. It’s hard to imagine that honeymoon lasting too long, however.

Meanwhile, Morales also says he wants to expand the production of legal goods made with coca. Coca toothpaste, anyone? Brushing with that would get your morning off to an energetic start.


Monday, January 30, 2006

In Other News

I grew up in San Diego, and am a lifelong Padres fan, so I was pleased to see we signed Mike Piazza. I doubt he’ll even crack 20 homers, but maybe he’ll surprise everyone. Over the years, the Padres have demonstrated clearly that no one is too old or too decrepit, as long as they’re cheap.


Welcome to my blog. Since I am teaching a class on U.S.-Latin American relations and tomorrow will be sending off the final draft of my textbook on that topic, it is only fitting that I start with U.S.-Cuban relations, which never gets boring.

In its Interest Section in Havana, the U.S. government put up a sign that is beaming messages (such as the news that a conservative government won in Canada, though I am not sure how this would cause the Cuban people to get excited and overthrow Castro). Castro is now apparently getting really annoyed. The sad thing is that the U.S. has simply run out of ideas with regard to dealing with Fidel, and our policy has been reduced to trying to annoy him. Strangely enough, if that indeed was the goal of this particular stunt, it actually worked, which is a rarity for U.S. policy toward Cuba.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP