Saturday, November 04, 2006

The iberoamerica summit

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This weekend is taking place in Uruguay the XVI edition of the iberoamerica summit. Presidents and delegations from Latin American countries, plus Spain, Portugal and Andorra gather every year to discuss matters of common interest. This year was Uruguay's turn to host, the last one was in Spain and the next one will be in Chile. This years subject was emigration. Kofi Annan was also present.

To give you an idea of the impact this has had here, know that the government passed a law to create an extraordinary holiday, with the purpose of securing the downtown area where the presidents would be hosted, aka the exclusion zone, the neigborhood of ciudad vieja. In a first version announced the holiday would be for everyone in Montevideo, and then, when confirmed, it was limited only to those working in the "zone".

It was an important security procedure, for Uruguayan measures, land, sea, and air, where secured, and everyone living or working in the exclusion zone was registered by government personnel, more than 5000 persons. We had to have a radar borrowed from spain, because ours was broken (pathetic). They say the cost of the whole thing was about two million dollars.

Uruguay government tried to use this summit to achieve some advance in the negotiations on the pulp mill issue with Argentina, while Mexico was looking for backup against the wall under construction. Lula didn’t come, which, taking into account that he’s the president of the biggest country in South America, takes part of the fun out of the party.

In my opinion the summit meant for Uruguayans among other things a long weekend, some long waited restoration work done on some public buildings, and having a part of the city banned, which is totally unusual for us. You could tell something funny was going on for the number of tourists walking 18 de Julio the last couple of days, in particular Brazilians, plus some demonstrations going on on 18 against the "capitalist" summit, plus the fact that my usual empanadas delivery (san telmo) seems to be in the exclusion zone, and I’m blogging on an empty stomach.
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15 comments:

PDF said...

Hi! I'm writing from Rosario, Argentina, and I thought I let you know I referred to a post of yours about the pulp mills, because I'm not entirely sure what I'd like Argentina and Uruguay to do. I'm an ecologically-minded person, and I'm convinced that both countries should strive to have their own industries and make them as clean as possible. I don't think "hypocrisy" is a valid argument in international relations, but Argentina does have very polluting industries (I live not 20 km away from a very fetid paper plant). But I think the guys at Gualeguaychú are just desperate and misguided, and the Argentine government is completely lost on this. I commented on this a few days ago and though you should know because I did disagree with you on something: I think ecology should never be considered a luxury. We are next to nothing in the world -- a lot of land, scarcely populated, only truly civilized in parts, plagued by corruption and poverty; but the land is, so far, rather untouched, and it's all we have to pass on. Feel free to comment back.

gabo_uy said...

Hi pdf, while I'm conscious that it's politically incorrect and unpopular, imho ecology at the cost of starvation, unemployment, insecurity, emigration, etc, is not such a good deal. There has to be a balance.

I respect the concern over ecology that the people of Gualeguaychú show, but I'd like the discussion to be centered on the technical aspects of whether or not the levels of contamination emitted by the proposed technologies can be absorbed in reasonable time by the environment, etc. I've heard that one of the reasons the people of Gualeguaychú give is that they will be able to see the chimeney in the horizon and that will change their landscape, in an unwanted way. I agree with you I feel the people of Gualeguaychu are misguided, and misinformed.

I think Uruguay as a sovereign state is free to build whatever wherever, as long as it doesn't "contaminate". Then we should agree on the definition of what "contamination" is, since the very existence of human beings in one place is source of contamination.

I would have liked (in an ideal world) argentina's attitute to be more of a cooperation with uruguay to enforce the corresponding checks on the installations to ensure the established ecology standards are followed, and the shared resources preserved.

pierdolapaciencia said...

Hola Gabo, yo estoy lejos, pero lei un pequenio raconto de la odisea de un chico por llegar a su casa (frente a la Plaza Independencia) en http://www.fotolog.com/maurork/?pid=25029880

Que loco...

^.^

gabo_uy said...

juas! muy fuerte! que raro que no tuvo mas trascendencia ese tipo de incidentes, no?

Anonymous said...

Hello Gabo, greetings from Dubai, UAE. I am from El Salvador and have been living as an expat in the Middle East for a bit more than 3 yrs, 90% of that time working for an IT company.

I started reading your blog, from the intro post to the latest one a few minutes ago, I was searching information about living in UY as I am exploring some job opportunities in the IT industry there, therefore, my wife (Colombian) and I are weighing the pros/cons of moving out of UAE and go back to Latin America. I would like to ask you if it is ok if I send you a few questions in a near future in order to gather some more information.

Thank you and congratulations for a nice blog.

gabo_uy said...

sure, no problem, you may write to fromuruguay[at]gmail.com

consejo comprar yate said...

To my mind everybody have to glance at this.

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