Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Off island perspective Summer 2023

Poland versus Germany

Germany’s ruling SPD party is ready talk reparations with Poland. The Polish government is demanding 6.6 trillion zlotys, or 1.6 trillion US dollars, in reparations from Germany for material and humanitarian losses during the World War II. The Polish government states that a 1953 Stalinist era agreement of relinquishing all reparations claims were made under duress from pressures of the Soviet Union and are therefore are null and void. Polish side claims it never received fair compensation for the 1939-1945 war that left the country in ruins. If the compensation is paid, it would amount to $41,000 per Polish citizen, or 230% of the country’s GDP. That amount surpasses the restitution paid out to Holocaust victims and their heirs that Germany paid out in the amount of $87 billion.

Gangs in Honduran Prisons

On June 20, 46 female inmates were massacred at a Tamara women’s prison outside of Tegucigalpa. The Barrio 16 street members smuggled in guns, grenades, machetes, and flammable liquid before subduing prison guards. The female gang members then attacked a cellblock where a rival gang was housed; victims were shot, hacked with machetes, and set on fire. Honduras, with a network of 21 prisons, is making efforts at replicating neighboring El Salvador’s crackdown against gangs and gang members. El Salvador recently moved 4,000 of its 70,000 jailed gang members to Terrorism Confinement Center, a specially built maximum security prison that can hold 40,000 prisoners.

Nicaragua Distances US for Iran

In mid June, Iranian president Ebrahim Rainsis visited Latin America’s Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. “During all these (years?), you resisted against the conspiracies of imperialism and triumphed,” said president Rainsi to the Nicaraguan parliament. “The United States wanted to paralyze our people with threats and sanctions, but it hasn’t been able to do it,” he told Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega. Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Nicaragua in 2007 and this visit is yet another sign of multi polarization of the region and Central America. While the Iranian president visited the most established leftist regimes in the Western Hemisphere, he was not yet invited by the new left governments that took power in Brazil, Colombia, and Chile.

From Volcanoes to Bitcoins

El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele has presented a plan of constructing several volcano powered energy plants devoted primarily to bitcoin mining. This is a fast track project. The state owned geothermic company La Geo estimates that the country generates around 200MW, or 22%, of its energy through geothermal power. The estimates also show the capacity of increasing that to 644MW, where around 70% of El Salvador’s energy would come from volcano power. That would make the country one of the biggest bitcoin miners in the Americas. Volcano generated and geothermal energy bitcoin mining operations have been in operation since October 2021. That was just weeks after El Salvador declared bitcoin, alongside the US dollar, to be its legal tender. El Salvador abandoned its Colones for the US dollar in 2001.

War is good for Business

The Ukraine-Russia war is providing a great boom to international military manufacturing complex Black Rock and other global players. Many new types of armaments are being manufactured, and development in munitions manufacturing should maintain the war for the next decade or two as the wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. The British government is supplying depleted Uranium ammunition to Ukraine. The Biden administration is considering providing Ukraine cluster bombs that are banned by the UK, France and Germany for being too dangerous to civilians. Ukraine is deploying scatter mines that the country itself has banned. Russia has developed intercontinental nuclear “vanguard” missiles that can travel at 27 times the speed of sound, and has stationed them near the Finnish border and other locations. Iran is finishing construction of low cost Shahed kamikaze drones outside of Moscow. Iran’s drone technology comes in significant part from a captured US stealth drone, RQ-170 Sentinel.

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