2018 Resolution - South America - Part 1

Moving on to South America. I will not be including the Falkland Islands because those are under the dominion of the UK. Nobody, including anyone in the UK, knows why.

Also, I'd like to mention as a point of pride that I do not use Wikipedia for research. Nobody should.

 

Argentina: After securing the presidency in 2003, Nestor Kirchner would spend his presidential term courting danger in the interest of bettering his nation. First, he lifted legal protections from members of the military responsible for atrocities committed during internal struggles in the 70's. He impeached two corrupt supreme court justices. And finally, he took the Argentine economy off a dubious "US Dollar" standard that had been a source of economic turmoil for decades. In the wake of his presidency, Argentina is far from a stable nation, but its prospects are looking better than they have in a very long time.

Bolivia: President Morales of Bolivia comes from a background as a coca farmer. Among many positive social reforms, he has put a lot of effort into rehabilitating the international image of his profession. He'd like for the coca leaf to be recognized for its myriad of uses beyond that of drug production.

Chile: During WWII, Chile's massive deposits of copper were in high demand all over the world. Chile supplied copper ore to both Axis and Allied powers. In 1943, Allied demand was sufficient to allow Chile to safely disengage its trade with Axis powers, improving diplomatic relations with North American trade owners and partners.

Colombia: The legendary drug lord Pablo Escobar sustained the Colombian drug empire through a fascinating combination of diplomacy, civic responsibility, and terrorism. After hooking his organization firmly into national politics, Escobar spent heavily on local development, including housing. He was even part of a multi-cartel attempt to offer extensive public work funding and a payoff of the nation's entire foreign debt in exchange for political favor and leniency. When this offer was rejected, Escobar and the other cartels launched a massive terror campaign that featured bombings and assassination of high level politicians.

2018 Resolution - North America - Part 4

Alright, let's wrap up North America

St. Lucia: St. Lucia is home to the Kouwes Snake, the world's rarest snake. Originally quite prolific, the Kouwes Snake was driven to the edge of extinction when a British officer imported several Mongooses to the island in the 1800. The Mongooses were supposed to bring down the population of Norwegian rats, but also decimated the Kouwes Snake population.

St Vincent / Grenadines: In 1635, a Dutch ship sank off the coast of St. Vincent, and the slaves on board the ship escaped. Coming ashore, the displaced Africans integrated with the local population.

Trinidad / Tobago: Trinidad is spotted by natural phenomena called "mud volcanoes". A mud volcano is caused by the buildup of sediment and methane gas underground, which erupts in a torrent of mud, rather than lava.

United States: Most people are familiar with the so called "Gold Rush" of the 1800s that increased westward expansion of the United States. Far fewer are familiar with the "Uranium Rush". In the 1950s, there was a mass movement of people to the mineral rich deposits of the Rocky Mountains. This time, the search was not for Gold, but for Uranium. The US government offered a significant bounty for the discovery of Uranium deposits as the world entered the Atomic Age.

2018 Resolution - North America - Part 3

Here we are, Part 3! What a fascinating world we live in. Mexico's entry is two sentences long, but takes up most of the page. Read it, and you'll see the use of space is worth it.

Jamaica: In 1978, amid violent internal political struggles, musician Bob Marley convinced opposing political faction leaders Michael Manley and Edward Seaga to hold hands in a gesture of unity at his 'One Love' Concert.

Mexico: Throughout his career, Santa Anna (whose full name is about a paragraph long), in this order, fought against and for Mexican independance, overthrew the victorious independance movement leadership, fought off the Spanish attempt to reclaim Mexico, became President of Mexico, led a coup against his own presidency, fought a war with the rebelling Republic of Texas (with mixed results), declared himself the "Napoleon-of-the-West" when captured, was exiled from Mexico after signing a peace treaty with the US, came back and violently crushed another rebellion for the Mexican government, was exiled again for how violent that was, came back again to fight off a French invasion (which led to him losing a leg, which he put on public display because he was proud of that), was elected president of Mexico again after that, was voted out of the presidency just as quickly, was exiled again, asked US president Polk to be made a liason to Mexico to prevent a war, then took command of Mexico's military and started a war with the US, lost that war (and his prosthetic leg, on display in the US in a museum now), was exiled for losing, came back from Jamaica to be president of Mexico yet again, was exiled for selling New Mexico and Arizona to the US, and nearly negotiated a deal with the US and France that would have put him in charge of Mexico again. Oh, and he helped invent chewing gum.

Times Santa Anna was exiled from Mexico: 5

Nicaragua: In Nicaragua, it is considered bad taste to pour a glass of hard liquor straight from a shared bottle. Instead, one should use a shotglass to measure their portion out.

Panama: Roughly 10% of the workforce assigned to construct the Panama Canal died on the job.

Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis: Apparently, men of this small Carribbean nation tend to be on the aggressive and assertive side when it comes to courting women. This often comes across as sexual harassment to outsiders. In truth, women of the Federation tend to be equally as assertive, and it is not considered improper for a women to candidly and personally berate a man for overstepping his boundaries.

2018 Resolution - North America - Part II

Here's Part 2. I'm finding that when looking up facts about these nations, I'm learning a lot more than one thing. It's getting hard to choose which one to share, sometimes.

Dominica: At the time of writing, Dominica's Prime Minister for the last 14 years has been the Rastafarian and excellently named Roosevelt Skerrit.

Dominican Republic: In 2012, Danilo Medina won the Dominican Republic presidency on an anti-corruption platform. So far, he has remained true to his word, and has helped build and maintain positive social reform and anti-corruption measures in his country.

El Salvidor: El Salvidor's electricity needs have been well handled by a series of hydroelectric installations since the 1950's. The plants are located on the Lempa River.

Grenada: Grenada's government has instituted robust conservation policies that help keep their forest and coral reefs some of the more stunning attractions of the Caribbean.

Guatemala: Insufficient law enforcement in Guatemala has led to the rise of numerous vigilante groups. As with many cases of vigilantism, the impact of these groups can run the risk of being worse than the crime they wish to combat.

Haiti: In 1791, Saint-Domingue's colonial rule was completely overthrown by a slave uprising. This was, by a very large margin, the most successful slave uprising in history. In place of the colony, the nation of Haiti was established.

Honduras: The waters off the coast of Honduras are a home for the rare and majestic Whale Shark. Whale Sharks are shy, fleeting creatures despite their massive size. They are curious, however, and will swim near divers and boats when an opportunity presents itself.