From Volume 36, Issue 39 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 9, 2009

Ibero-American News Digest

To the Moon and Mars, Says Argentine Engineer

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Argentine media is abuzz with the news that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has just awarded a grant to Argentine aerospace engineer Pablo de León, to build a prototype system—laboratories, lunar rover, inflatable housing, and spacesuits, among other things—to be used for manned exploration of the Moon.

De León, a longtime admirer of Lyndon LaRouche, is the director of the Spacesuit Laboratory in the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota. He emphasized in several interviews that the goal of all his work is a manned mission to Mars. NASA proposes to test the equipment De León has designed for a 180-day manned lunar mission, for later use on Mars. He has already designed and produced for NASA the NDX-1 space suit, a prototype of what would be used on Mars, and will finish the NDX-2 prototype suit for use on the Moon, by the end of the year.

De León's proposed system for a Moon/Mars mission includes a motorized vehicle with a pressurized module, in which astronauts can travel and sleep, without having to wear bulky space suits. This would give them the ability to travel fairly far from the lunar base, exploring and conducting experiments that were impossible during the much shorter Apollo missions.

De León proposes covering the habitat structure with lunar dust, to protect it, and its human inhabitants, from dangerous solar radiation.

Zelaya: Lousy Acting in a Grade-B British Flick

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Injecting some plain speech and reality into what passes for political leadership in the Americas these days, the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Lewis Anselm, blasted George Soros's deposed asset, former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, for acting like a cowboy in a Grade-B movie.

Anselm was addressing an emergency OAS session on Honduras, called after the current Honduran government imposed a state of siege on Sept. 27, in response to Zelaya's call for demonstrators to converge on the capital, Tegucigalpa, on Sept. 28, to launch "a final offensive" to reverse his ouster as President, exactly three months earlier.

Zelaya, who was thrown out of office, and the country, for violating the Constitution, has been holding court at the Brazilian Embassy, where he took refuge on Sept. 21, after sneaking back into the country. Posturing as a revolutionary martyr, he has plied the media with macho speeches, warning that it's "insurrection or death."

Zelaya's "Bolivarian" antics are part of the dangerous British game for the region, which seeks to turn desperately impoverished Honduras into a flashpoint for upheaval in the Americas. Some other Ibero-American governments that have played willing pawns in the British game, weren't too happy about Anselm's remarks.

Zelaya's provocative return was "irresponsible and foolish. He should cease and desist from making wild allegations and from acting as though he were starring in an old movie," Anselm told the OAS. "Having chosen, with outside help, to return on his own terms, President Zelaya and those who have facilitated his return, bear particular responsibility for the actions of his supporters." Anselm also slammed the state of siege as "deplorable," and insisted that Honduran parties come to a negotiated agreement to settle the crisis.

He added later, reportedly when he thought the microphones were off, that the way things were going at the OAS, not even a dose of Viagra could restore its potency.

Mexico Braces Itself for Worsening A/H1N1 Pandemic

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—The Mexican government is bracing itself for an accelerated rate of A/H1N1 infection, as Winter comes on.

Auguring what is to come, in September, the total number of diagnosed cases shot up to 9,231, significantly higher than the monthly high of 6,838, when the swine flu first hit last April. Four thousand cases out of the September total appeared just in the last week of the month, indicating that the infection rate is increasing. Northern and central states have been hardest hit.

According to public health and other government officials, as of Sept. 28, the number of diagnosed cases in most of the affected states had doubled, and even quadrupled, in less than a month. Health Secretary José Angel Córdova estimates that during the height of the seasonal flu, during the coming Winter, there could be as many as 5 million A/H1N1 cases, and 2,000 deaths.

This presents the country with a huge challenge for which it lacks resources. At the point that demand for medical services and hospital beds starts to really increase, Córdova said, the health system is going to have to set aside 12% of hospital beds—10,000 to 12,000—to admit expected flu patients. Surgeries and other services that are not urgent, will have to be postponed.

Córdova announced on Sept. 28 from Washington that the government has been in talks with the World Bank for a 5 billion peso loan that would allow it to purchase the vaccine it needs, and complete construction of the new building housing the National Epidemiological Reference Institute (INDRE). Mexico will not receive donated vaccine from the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and France, because it doesn't qualify as a "poor" country. But Cordova said that foreign labs are offering Mexico a reduced price for vaccine, since it provided them with the virus strain needed to produce the vaccine.

Drug Holocaust Spreads Across Argentina

Oct. 3 (EIRNS)—Anti-drug activists in Argentina are sounding the alarm about a new, more lethal drug—"paco loco"—which leaders of the Mothers Against Paco describe as a "drug of annihilation."

George Soros can take credit for that. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's government is about to introduce legislation that Soros's agents have lobbied for throughout the continent: legal drug consumption for "personal use."

Personal use? "Paco" is the highly addictive crack cocaine, which initially swept through the country's urban slums, luring impoverished youth and adults into addiction. It then moved into the middle and upper classes. Normally dealers sell it for six pesos a hit, but to stretch out their supply, and sell to more people at a somewhat lower price, they are now mixing it with prescription drugs such as clonazepam and drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, or with cough medicine, analgesics, and anti-flu medication.

This is "crazy paco," and the result is deadly. "The level of addiction is tremendous," says Alicia Romero of the Mothers Against Paco in Buenos Aires. "Kids go from just one dose to a huge number in just a few days." In poorer sections, addicted kids, who consume 30-40 hits daily, die at a rate of 40 a month.

Criminologist Roberto Locles reports that "some die from overdose, literally blown apart. The addiction causes others to lose all control, and they're killed by the same dealers, or when they go out to rob someone when they can hardly stand up.... We're reaching an extreme situation, because now family finances are organized around paco. There are little [paco] factories set up in some garages, or in people's dining rooms."

For the first time, in Buenos Aires's poorer neighborhoods, turf wars are occurring, causing about ten deaths per week. Local dealers give automatic weapons or rifles to teens, with orders to kill anyone who tries to invade their turf. Kids are killing kids to protect the dealers who supply them.

All rights reserved © 2009 EIRNS