In December 2001, Argentina’s economy collapsed and the streets of Buenos Aires erupted in riots. The government abandoned an experiment called “convertibility” (in which the value of the Argentine peso was made equivalent to that of the U.S. dollar), froze millions of bank accounts, and fell back on foreign debt. Tens of thousands flocked to European embassies to flee the country, groceries became bereft of food, and the government went through five presidents in only ten days. Today, this kind of chaos may ensue in another country: Greece. Continue reading
Category Archives: Latin America
Hugo Chavez – the loud, omnipresent president of Venezuela – is nowhere to be found. Normally, between his tirades against capitalist media and his Tweets on socialist reform, Venezuelans do not go a day without hearing from him; however, since his surgery on a pelvic abscess in Cuba on June 10, Chavez has been conspicuously absent.
Chavez’s silence is particularly strange given recent events: a riot at Rodeo Prison last week left 25 dead and an enormous electricity crisis in many parts of the country. The riot was provoked by a serious prison overcrowding problem (though Venezuelan prisons are designed to hold 15,000 inmates, they are currently holding approximately 50,000). When the Rodeo Prison inmates rebelled as a result of their conditions within the prison, the National Guard showed up and a stand-off ensued. Continue reading