Alberto Fernandez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are preparing to relaunch the strategic alliance between Argentina and Brazil this week in Buenos Aires. The two will meet for the first presidential meeting between Brazil and Argentina in more than three years. Immediately after, the VII Summit of CELAC will take place in the same city. The forum that brings together the 33 countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region and which, since last year, has been under the presidency of Argentina. The event will mark the return of Brazil to this mechanism of dialogue and regional consultation. According to a statement published by the two presidents, there are multiple areas in which the two countries will work together to improve the quality of life of their citizens; “such as the fight against hunger and poverty, health, education, sustainable development, climate change and the reduction of all forms of inequalities.”
Russia's decision to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics and begin military operations upon their request has led to a firestorm of misinformation in the United States and the West. The move by Russia has been portrayed as a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and clear proof that Russia is seeking to expand beyond its borders at any cost. This simplistic view of geopolitical developments in Eurasia has fueled an aggressive response from the United States and its Western allies. Military deployments are underway and further sanctions are being considered just days after the U.S. successfully pressured Germany to halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
In southern Mexico, Itzel Castro sits behind the counter at a small artisanal store tucked along a colorful side street. She welcomes customers as they browse shelves stacked full of food, books and accessories. When the customers check out, Castro offers them change – not in pesos, but in Túmin. Túmin is an alternative currency that emerged in Veracruz, Mexico in 2010. About the size of a credit card, Túmin notes are printed with vibrant illustrations that vary from state to state. Each Túmin note is equivalent to one peso, one minute of work or even one US dollar. It is both a unit of exchange and a currency that comes in 1, 5, 10, and 20 denominated notes. Castro works at Túmin Tienda in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the state of Chiapas.
On a small boat off the coast of Thailand fishermen take stock of their haul for the day. They whip out a phone, open an app and record essential information regarding the amount of fish caught, the location, the time and under what conditions. This is uploaded to a database with similar information from other fishermen; the fish itself is packaged with a tag linked to all the sourcing information. The fishermen are credited with a cryptocurrency called Fishcoin, which they can redeem for costly data from their local phone service provider.
Frank Tortoriello was the owner of a popular deli on Main Street in Great Barrington. He turned to SHARE when he lost his lease and the bank refused him a loan to renovate his new location. But Frank didn’t need SHARE’s circle of grandmothers; he already had a circle of his own in his customers. SHARE suggested that Frank issue Deli Dollars as a self-financing technique. The notes would be purchased during a month on sale and redeemed after the Deli had made its move. A local artist, Martha Shaw, designed the note, which showed a host of people carrying Frank and his staff, all busy cooking, to their new location. The notes were issued in 1989 and were marked “redeemable for meals up to a value of ten dollars.”