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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Inventiveness is key to development.

Its most valuable expression is problem-solving gifts.

In their unforgettable fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, the Brothers Grimm recorded the significance of this talent which saved the protagonists from death. Hansel and Gretel outwitted both their horrific stepmother and later the cannibalistic witch by means of deploying their talent to solve problems and by exercising memory and repetition. Trail creation with pebbles was one means to return safe home. Looking for the pebbles you find the return road while apprehending the landscape details .

The US seems to have recently revisited the story as it settles its geopolitical attention in the hemisphere. And looking for hemispheric policy pebbles, it has found three boulders.

First, a Hellfire missile "absentmindedly" sent to Cuba in lieu of being shipped to Germany was finally located and apparently on its way back home.

The incident, which is still under investigation, has raised doubts about the sincerity of the Cuban government in improving relations with the US. But it also has raised one eyebrow too many among the top echelon of U.S. leadership on the question of how safe our safety systems are.

Because the Pentagon spends several hundred million dollars paying for services that are supposed to prevent key strategic weapons from falling into the wrong hands. The incident has had the merit of allowing the US to better gauge the government of Cuba's sincerity in marching towards a relations thaw while unveiling a potential fissure in shipping security procedures.

Then there is Mr Guzman Loera -- better known by his nickname "El Chapo" -- who has been suddenly found once again in Sinaloa!!! The capture has great significance for the Pena-Nieto administration which was publicly humiliated last year by 43 protesting students disappearing in Guerrero and the Chapo escape from a maximum security federal prison.

While Mr. Guzman is only one tack in the complex web of organized crime, his re-detention signals the definite takeover of top quality intelligence in the fight against organized crime. Long past are the days where fighting crime cartels meant placing boots on the ground.

Now the crux of the matter goes digital. Satellites; phone signals and other means of communications give a better idea of location for the crime bosses as well for the money trail that invariable leads to the crime booty. At the end of the day, it is money that the criminals want because it is the essential input to break the rule of law and create alternative forms of government. Following money is thus more effective than following and destroying drug bundles.

But there also is shipping security. The Hellfire incident has brought to the forefront the extend and destructive capacity of corruption. Although investigations are yet to conclude whether the missile deviation was the byproduct of a well-oiled espionage network or of pure graft, chances are very high that in both cases corruption played a role.

This disease is silently munching up institutions, enterprises and fortunes to the detriment of stability and growth.

China, too, is suffering dearly from this scourge as in rainy days the government has found missing dams; infrastructure works and businesses that were ill conceived and worse unexecuted due to corruption.

And as the Chinese economy shakes and markets take a dip, economies are deviated from the fundamental task for the 21st century which is to serve as the training ground for workers who aim at enriching their lives with meaningful jobs.

Economic redeployment is unattainable under conditions of pervasive corruption.

Testament to corruption's destructive effect is the ill-conceived expansion of the Panama Canal that will be rendered obsolete in five years by changes in the container ship industry which were not foreseen by those companies obtaining the contracts to develop this monumental infrastructure job. Interested as they were in securing bribes to get the contract, they played dice with the future.

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.

Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


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