Panama Canal

the Panama Canal http://photios.blogspot.com/2006/03/chinese-and-panama-canal.htmlBuilding the Panama Canal

In 1519 the Spanish Governor Pedrarias the Cruel, moved his capital away from the debilitating climate and unfriendly AmerIndians of the Darién to a fishing village on the Pacific coast called Panama, meaning “plenty of fish.” It was resettled and until the end of the sixteenth century served as the Caribbean port for trans-isthmian traffic. A trail known as the Camino Real, or royal road, linked Panama and Nombre de Dios. Along this trail, traces of which can still be followed, gold from Peru was carried by muleback to Spanish galleons waiting on the Atlantic coast.

The increasing importance of the isthmus for transporting treasure and the delay and difficulties posed by the Camino Real inspired surveys ordered by the Spanish crown in the 1520s and 1530s to ascertain the feasibility of constructing a canal. The idea was finally abandoned Continue reading

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North Amexica

Where does North America begin?

There are common misconceptions about countries south of the USA.  for example always the same discussions about Mexico not being North America. Such a judgement might be coming from ignorance, but it is nevertheless interesting that this is a common interpretation.

Common Misconceptions – The position of Mexico

Many people don’t think that Mexico is part of North America. They think that it is instead a part of Central or South America. However, Mexico is “officially” or scholarly widely considered to be a part of North America. Have a look at this picture [above] which I extracted from a discussion on /r/mexico on reddit.com.

You can see what I want to refer to as argumentum ad aequatorem (following the style of some genetic fallacies). It basically states that Mexico has to be North America, since it lies north of the equator. Using the same assertions no less than 12 (!) other countries can claim to be a part of North America. From North to South: Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Vuvuzela Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana. Continue reading

King Henri Christophe and Haiti

HenriCristophe
On June 10th, 1767, Henri Christophe was born. He was a West African slave and became an early black king in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti).

Christophe was born on the island of Grenada, a British colonial acquisition. His parents were slaves brought to Grenada with thousands of other West Africans to work in the sugar industry. These slaves in the sugar industry were known for their fierce and determined nature to resist the institution of slavery. The revolutionary nature of Henri Christophe has its roots deeply embedded in his African ancestry. Christophe’s obstinate, argumentative, and obdurate nature led his father to sell his services to a French ship’s captain as a cabin boy, before had reached the age of ten.

The ship’s captain sold Henri to a French sugar planter in the French province on the island of Saint Dominique called Haiti, which was a Carob Indian name meaning “the land of the mountains.” Continue reading

No Poor Men – Haitian Oligarchy

baby-doc-duvalier-weddingAll the Dictator’s Men
by Mitchel Cohen, 1994

1. Rudolph Giuliani

In April 1982, a class action lawsuit filed by the Miami-based Haitian Refugee Center seeking the release of 2,100 Haitian refugees interdicted at sea came to trial.

Arguing the government’s case against releasing the refugees and urging their “repatriation,” another squeaky clean word, assiduously scrubbed so that no blood leaks, was the Associate Attorney General of the United States at the time, Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, the man who would a decade later become Mayor of New York City, home to tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants, argued that repression in Haiti “simply does not exist now.”

The refugees, Giuliani contended, had nothing to fear from the friendly government of Jean-Claude Continue reading

Haiti Showing the Sickness of US

Haiti QuakeThe US and Haiti
by Mitchel Cohen, 1994

Hardly a day goes by at the US Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, without some kind of demonstration by the 14,000 Haitian refugees interned behind barbed wire fences and armed guards. Whether singing for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (who was overthrown by a US-funded military coup in 1991 eight months after winning election with 67 percent of the popular vote), chanting against the inhumane and crowded conditions, wearing white to symbolize their demand for political asylum, or escaping from the camps en masse and trying to swim away from the brutalities of the US military into Cuba proper, the refugees are now in a constant state of rebellion. Continue reading

Rastafari and Sexism

Power and EqualityJamaican RastafarI: Misogyny and Sexism in the ‘One Love’ Culture
By Linda Petrusi (2007)

Every patriarchal organized religion has its own unique brand of misogyny and sexism.  Rastafari is no exception.  Grounded in the words of the old testament combined with traditional African culture; one can argue that RastafarI women are more oppressed than Jamaican women as a whole.  Beginning with Adam and Eve, the Old Testament teaches women to believe they created “sin” because Eve ate from the tree of knowledge.  (God forbid that women should have knowledge)

The Bobo Shanti sect in particular view women as polluted, consistent with Christian dogma and traditional African culture where women are perceived as devious, Continue reading