Focus on Latin AmericaMay 3rd, 2011 Foreign Policy | Latin America | Seminars | The Dominican Republic
Political winds in Latinamerica was the theme of a seminar held in Stockholm May 3, 2011. Eduardo Quiñónez, Chairman of the Youth Section of the ARENA party in El Salvador’s capital San Salvador and Marcelo Schrubbe, local politicians in Blumenau and Chairman of the Youth of the Democrats, in Brazil, visited Sweden and the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation. The audience learned about their political work and development in their respective countries.
“61 percent of the population is under 30 and a third of them tell us that they are interested in politics. It is group that we in the ARENA Youth Section want to reach before the 2012 elections, said Eduardo Quiñónez.
Christian Holm, MP from the Moderate Party, opened the seminar and gave the audience glimpses from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela, where he met with political activists who are in opposition to President Hugo Chavez:
“The opposition needs the support of other countries, but the activists are well aware that hey themselves must do the actual work in Venezuela, said Christian Holm, and told of a raw climate of the country’s prisons. A politically active young man who has been imprisoned on several occasions told among other things, how other prisoners had machine guns inside the prison!
“Hugo Chavez has nationalized a Brazilian oil company – with no compensation!” explained Marcelo Schrubbe. He was upset but not surprised that the Brazilian president is not protested.
Marcelo Schrubbe told the audience about his work as a local politician in the city of Blumenau in southern Brazil. A major problem in Blumenau is traffic.
“We intend to dedicated ceratin lanes for buses [to get more people to ride the bus]. Though, it is difficult to convince motorists that one of the three files for cars would disappear.
Marcelo Schrubbe explained that Blumenau this year celebrates 160 year anniversary. He continued:
“We can learn a lot from you here in Europe.”
Marcelo Schrubbe and Eduardo Quiñónez was in Sweden to do just that. Both had been awarded JHS Scholarships by the International Democrat Union’s (IDU) regional organization UPLA. It was the second consecutive year that a scholarship programme was arranged for two guests from Latin America. The programme included numerous meetings with political officials and MPs from the Moderate Party.