Ibero-American News Digest
More Death Threats Against Argentina's President
July 25 (EIRNS)Argentine psychiatrist Marcelo Dignani has released a video analysis of a new ad for HD TV shown in the country on Channel 13, which he argues contains repeated subliminal messages calling for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's assassination. Channel 13 is owned by the virulently anti-government Clarín media group.
The ad features the fictional attempted assassination of a Czech President, greeting crowds from a balcony. According to Dignani, the spot "contains 120 letters K, double K's, or mirror-image K's"the letter K being the campaign symbol for both Cristina and her late husband and former President Néstor Kirchner. One capital letter K appears suggestively on the forehead of the Czech leader, which Dignani characterizes as "a directly mafioso message." Dignani, an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in mass-media effects, and what he calls "media radiation" (i.e., brainwashing) said that the Channel 13 ad is "a simple test that the Empire performs to see how people might react." Through his video, he calls on citizens to get out the word on the assassination threat.
His argument is plausible, especially since both Kirchners have been the target of repeated calls for assassination, coming largely from right-wing synarchist networks. The Kirchner case is relevant both in the overall global environment of British-backed terrorist activation, and also because of what the Kirchners did in forcing a 75% write-down on Argentina's defaulted debt in 2005, which is frequently referred to in Europe today as a model for those who want to say "no" to the EU/IMF bailout/austerity packages.
Argentina's 'Tecnópolis' Celebrates Scientific Optimism
July 21 (EIRNS)Argentina's giant Tecnópolis exposition, displaying examples of 200 years of the nation's scientific achievements, is "a call to the future," said President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on July 14. Presiding over the exposition's opening in a Buenos Aires suburb, she proudly added that it is also "an invitation to life, to the lives of future generations, of those yet to be born ... to whom we have an obligation to move forward with greater force, greater passion and greater conviction than ever before."
Tecnópolis was built as part of Argentina's 2010 bicentennial celebration, but its opening was delayed until recently. Free to the public, it has attracted close to half-a-million visitors since its opening on July 15, including a large contingent of excited and curious young people. Aerospace, nuclear energy, medicine, satellite technology, and communications are the subjects of many interactive displays. More than one child leaving the exposition has been heard to exclaim, "I want to be an astronaut!"
At the entrance of the exposition, under a large sign reading "The Future Is Now," immediately visible is its tallest building, built by the National Space Activities Commission (CONAE), which uses several technological devices to allow visitors to experience the climate of space. In front of this building stands a model of the prototype Tronador II rocket, successfully tested on July 11, that will give Argentina the ability to launch its own satellites.
The exposition is divided into five "continents"Air, Land, Water, Fire, and Imagination. In the Air pavillion, there are models of several aircraft Argentina designed and built in the 1950s, the Pulqui I and II and the Pucará. In the Fire pavillion, visitors can learn about nuclear energy, by entering a cubicle whose movements and vibrations simulate the interior of a reactor, and one can "observe" the splitting of the atom. In the same section, a three-dimensional video explains the workings of the modular prototype CAREM reactor, designed and being built in Argentina with a 2013 completion date.
The exposition will eventually become a permanent museum. Fernández explained, Tecnópolis isn't just a "commemoration of what we've been able to do. It is a real Theme Park that the Bicentennial Generation ... leaves as a legacy to all Argentines, as we begin our third century of existence...."
Cholera 'Refuses To Leave' Haiti
July 25 (EIRNS)Romain Gitenet, head of the Doctors Without Borders mission in Haiti, recently warned that, "If we want to make cholera disappear, it will be with water and sanitation." Yet, in the 17 months since the January 2010 earthquake, the clean water and sanitation infrastructure that Haiti desperately needs to stem the tide of this epidemic are nowhere to be seen.
The genocidal implications of this cannot be overstated. One cholera treatment center in Mirabalais in central Haiti saw five times as many patients in June as in May, according to the Partners in Health NGO. In June, the Health Ministry reported more than 1,000 cases a day. The death toll stands at 6,000, with more than 388,958 infected. As the hurricane and rainy season progresses, these figures will increase dramatically.
In the Dominican Republic, on the other side of the island of Hispaniola, cholera continues to overwhelm state hospitals, which have neither the infrastructure nor personnel to deal with the numbers of incoming patients. The death toll here is 87, with over 13,000 infected.
Chile's Health Minister, Jaime Mañalich, confirmed today that a 41-year-old woman who had just returned from the Dominican Republic was infected with a highly contagious strain of the Vibrio cholerae bacteria and that there are now at least three more cases of the disease in the country.
Brazil Could Be a Leading Space Nation
July 19 (EIRNS)Marco Antonio Raupp, the head of Brazil's space agency, stated last week at the 63rd Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Science, that he wants to triple Brazil's space budget, from $191 million to $573 million per year. This is necessary, he explained, to carry out a revised five-year plan that is now being developed. Raupp wants to merge the Agency with Brazil's world-class Earth remote-sensing center, the National Institute for Space Research, to create a NASA-type organization that carries out R&D in space technology and develops applications for its use, and also launches and operates its own spacecraft.
Raupp said the priorities in the new plan will be "a national system of prevention and disaster warning, a national defense strategy, an improved environmental monitoring, and food and water security." There will be a "new portfolio of projects," he said.
"We have about 3,000 people working in our space program, which is small, compared to other countries. We need skilled labor," a space agency official said. A program to recruit the human resources needed to carry out the new projects will be implemented in the near future.
By the 1970s, Brazil and Argentina were poised to be world-class space nations, as they were carrying out suborbital rocket launchings, developing satellites, and creating cadres of trained experts. The Bertrand Russell-inspired "non-proliferation" mafia killed both of these national efforts, which only recently have been brought back to life.
Brazil has extensive cooperative space projects, including remote-sensing satellites in the China/Brazil Earth Resources Satellite series, with China. Brazil's long-languishing equatorial Alcantara launch complex is being completed in a partnership with Ukraine, to launch Ukraine's Cylone rockets, and Russia is helping to develop a new family of rockets with Brazil, by 2020.
Besieged Chilean President Reshuffles Cabinet
July 25 (EIRNS)For the second time in 16 months, Chile's right-wing President Sebastián Piñera was forced to reshuffle his Cabinet, in an attempt to respond to months of student protests demanding an end to the for-profit educational system imposed in 1981 by the late dictator Augusto Pinochet. Hated Education Minister Joaquín Lavin, a free-market ideologue who epitomized the "Chicago Boys" approach to education, was transferred from his post to the Social Planning Ministry.
The Cabinet shift means little in terms of any policy change, as the new Education Minister, Felipe Bulnes, is sticking with Piñera's education "reform," which only offers more funds for student loans, but makes no other fundamental changes. Piñera confirmed this, when he remarked shortly after the Cabinet shuffle, that education is a "consumer good"a commodityand called for a "greater interconnection between the world of education and the world of business."
Student leaders from the country's state universities, meanwhile, met in Punta Arenas on July 23-24 for a national plenary of the Chilean Student Federation (Confech), and agreed they would continue with their mass mobilization until "our objectives are met."