Sunday - Apr 21, 2019

Drug reform: Urugual goes off-piste, others prepare to follow

by the El Reportero’s wire service

José MujicaJosé Mujica

Uruguay’s pioneering approach to combating drugs has taken a decisive step in the legislative arena with the lower chamber of congress approving a bill legalizing the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana under the control of the State.

It is unlikely that Uruguay’s senate, where the ruling Frente Amplio (FA) also enjoys a majority, will obstruct its passage into law, and President José Mujica will promulgate it. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) immediately issued a public admonishment, but other countries are also shifting their positions, most notably Mexico, which could create an irreversible momentum towards legalizing marijuana. (Reporter by Latin News).

Replacing Cuba’s dual currency system: what are the issuesthat really matter?

The absence of proper money is the most fundamental weakness of Cuba’s economy. At present neither the convertible peso (CUC) nor the national peso (CUP) serve as a wholly satisfactory of value. Neither do they serve as a medium of exchange, nor as a unit of account. Reform of Cuba’s dual currency system will require much more than a devaluation of the CUC and a revaluation of the CUP, so that they are notionally of equal value. Whatever replaces the dual currency system needs to be stable and robust, and to be seen as such. A currency board system – similar to that which has worked well in Hong Kong since 1983 – appears to be a logical alternative. In the shortterm, currency reform will create winners and losers among Cuban households.

However, successful reform should generate tremendous benefits for all Cubans over the mediumto- long term. If managed properly, it could support the ongoing rule of the ruling Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) within a country that is far richer than it is today. (Reporter by Latin News).

Validity of Esquipulas peace accords extolled in Nicaragua

Managua, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) Central America needs the official implementation of the Esquipulas II Accords, which were signed in Guatemala City in August 1987, but still fully valid, analysts agreed today in Nicaragua.

These agreements establish that each country has the right to organize in line with its people’s requirements and that revolutionary forces cannot be excluded from electoral processes, said historian Aldo Díaz Lacayo.

The agreements, signed by Presidents Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Vinicio Cerezo (Guatemala), Jose Napoleon Duarte (El Salvador), Jose Azcona (Honduras) and Oscar Arias (Costa Rica) were oriented to achieve peace, but also economic development, social justice and the restitution of the people’s rights, he recalled.

They are the guarantee that the process of social reorganization in these countries “is on, remains valid and it has to be supported,” said the former diplomat.

Central America is undergoing a rebirth of people’s movements, though those civilian organizations have to resort to the figure of a political party to take power, he stated, as published by El 19 Digital journal.