Monday, December 15, 2008


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune this last Sunday:

Border rift uncovers uncommon ground

Latin American neighbors fight but still unite.”

Border disputes - - “From Honduras to Chile, countries are disputing islands, swaths of jungle and deserted patches of land in conflicts that have their roots in the colonial era.”

Border disputes - - Central and South America both, between nations, disputes in some cases going back 150 years or more.

Disputes such as between:

* San Andres Islands. Islands under the control of Colombia but claimed by Nicaragua.

* Bolivia/Chile. Landlocked Bolivia desires access to the Pacific. Land once under the dominion of Bolivia but “lost when Chile took territory in the War of the Pacific in 1883.” [Guano islands]

* Venezuela/Guyana. Venezuela still claims parts of its South American neighbor to the east. Lands rich in mineral wealth? Your reporter not sure about this one.

* Guatemala/Belize. Belize was once known as British Honduras. Only becoming a sovereign nation in 1981. Guatemala asserts “territorial claims on about half of Belize’s current territory.”

It was only recently that the British stationed a battalion of the Gordon’s Highlanders in Belize. Patrol the border with Guatemala, ward off encroachment, and act as a warning for Guatemala to “behave yourself!”

British Honduras was a legacy from the days when British dominion over the oceans was complete and unchallenged. Panama being considered by Jackie Fisher to be a choke point absolutely vital to British interests. An oceanic sea route that must be protected with a known armed presence based in a nearby English colony or protectorate.

Those choke points, as identified by Admiral Fisher, included:

* Panama Canal and the Panama Pipeline (British Honduras)
* Hormuz Strait (Oman)
* Strait of Malacca (Singapore)
* Bab-el-Mandeb (Yemen and Socotra)
* Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline (Egypt)
* The Turkish Straits/Bosporus (Cyprus)
* The Strait of Gibraltar (Gibraltar)
* Cape Horn (Falklands)
* The Cape of Good Hope (South Africa)

Today, the fighting and disputes are left to the locals! The imperial powers have left a long time ago.

These “disputes” over borders are quite often more emotional responses than anything else. NO ONE is able to give an inch! Afraid of looking weak or timid?

And to the Latin mentality, punador [point of honor] is more important than life itself?

"punador - - 'notorious Spanish pride in the face of what is perceived as disrespect or dishonor'"

“Emotion clouds reason” - - Michael Corleone.


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