In the wake of failed “land reform” policies, Hugo Chavez’ socialist government is now aiming to invalidate pharmaceutical patents that his commerce minister calls a “barrier to production.” The plan would allow domestic drug makers to produce the medicines under a license from the government. But critics of the move warn that it will likely lead to shortages and less foreign investment, problems that have already begun to plague the nation as it continues its attacks on the private sector.
The “Socialist Revolution” will continue in Ecuador for at least another four years after President Rafael Correa was reelected by a wide margin Sunday. “We’ve taken a historic step in consolidating our social revolution,” he proclaimed to supporters after exit polls indicated victory. “We will never defraud the Ecuadorian people.”
Though the United States was still the focus of plenty of the usual criticism, observers noted that it was toned down at this year's meeting of the Summit of the Americas. Reporters commented that Barack Obama was the “star” of the gathering. The three-day summit began Friday, April 17 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Tiny, tragic El Salvador became on Sunday the latest Latin American country to lurch leftwards, following the lead of the likes of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Popular former TV journalist Mauricio Funes was elected president as the candidate representing the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).