Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Uruguayan Invasion

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In the mid sixties, while the Beatles leaded the "British Invasion" in north america, something similar was taking place around here, which someone baptized the "Uruguayan Invasion".

A wave of local bands inspired by british groups started singing some of their hit songs, and even composing some of their own, also in english, which is kinda funny if you realize we are a spanish speaking country, not to mention that only the thought of Uruguay invading anyone/anything, is just hilarious.

The story goes that some of this groups became very popular in Argentina, seems they were the coolest thing around, every argentinean tv show would invite them, at least so says my father :) The leaders of this movements where "Los Shakers", with their "Break it all" hit, which has become a must play song in every uruguayan wedding every since then ;) They took after The Beatles, while another group, called Los Mockers, took after The Rolling Stones.

The phenomenon died in the early seventies, when the dictatorship arrived and singing in english would be seen as officialist, and unpopular.

Some weeks ago I came across this article, talking about this, and I couldn't believe it, to be reading someone from so far about something I've grown up hearing about. My father is a great fan of music groups from those days, like: El sexteto electrónico, Totem, Los Shakers,Los Mockers. If you speak to young uruguayans today, no one knows this groups, except maybe for Los Shakers.

Here is the Break it all video, with some bonus appearences of a very young El negro Rada, one of the most popular uruguayan jet set figures, and even players of Peñarol.

I still can't believe this stuff is on the web. Viva Internet!


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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Uruguay vs Argentina, first round, 14-1

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The International Court of Justice in The Hague gave it's first order in favor of Uruguay, to the argentinean request of provisional measures. I quote:

"The Court finds that the circumstances, as they now present themselves to it, are not such as to require the exercise of its power to indicate provisional measures"

Argentina had requested the suspension of the pulp mills constructions as a provisional measure, but in order for it to be granted they had to probe irreversible damage, which seems they couldn't.

This is actually very good news for Uruguay, which really didn't make much noise among people yet, maybe because it was somehow expected. It's worth noting that it's unusual (or so they say) such unanimity in the veredict, 14-1. The only vote against was from an argentinean in the court.

Uruguay will continue with the constructions on it's own risk, knowing that if Argentina wins the case some years from now, they'll be useless (will they? but that's another story).

As a consequence argentina's president, kirchner, is now giving speeches about how their strategy now will be to exercise pressure on the european authorities to cut funding for the corporations behind the pulp mills. What, the heck, does this mean? Should we win the case, will Argentina's stop it? We are on court on their initiative, the least to be expected it for them to bow the veredict, but to he honest I'm not sure they will.

Meanwhile in Gualeguaychú they decided to blockade route 14 in Argentina, with a march of about 3.500 vehicles, demonstrating against the veredict and the pulp mills. The Gualeguaychú movement seen in perspective seems like a snowboll rolling down a hill, ending in an avalanche, to think it all started with their "governor", Busti's declarations.

Myself like almost anyone else around (even in buenos aires) is pretty fed up with the whole subject, I guess there's not much to do but hope it all turns out right.

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