Spain has been receiving more and more illegal immigrants from Africa who, fleeing poverty, have been sailing hundreds of miles from places as far as Senegal to make it over here. On some days this week as much as 1000 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands in one day. Hundreds have died while trying to make it.

This crisis is similar to that of the Southern border of the United States. Our Rio Grande is the Atlantic Ocean, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. Latin America and USA have similar income inequality as Africa and Europe. In Spain the problem is even greater as there are twice as many Africans as there are Latin Americans and they are even poorer. Spain, at the same time, has only 20% the population of USA. But as I was researching migration flows between Spain and Africa I ran into an extremely surprising fact. I am currently in the island of Menorca where I have a farm that faces the South side of the island, around 200nm north of Africa. As I was wondering if Africans were ever going to make it to my farm, I found out googling “African migrations to Spain” that in the first half of the XIX century human traffic went the other way around and as much as one third of the inhabitants (in Spanish) of this now very prosperous island were forced to emigrate to Africa, because of lack of economic opportunity and famine.

I guess this ads a little historical perspective to the ups and downs of economic opportunity. It´s hard to imagine thousands of Spaniards going out to pursue the African dream, but it happened.

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Francisco on August 22, 2006  · 

I once heard that the income disparity between Spain and Morocco is the second lergest in the world, just after that of South Korea and North Korea.

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hombrelobo on August 22, 2006  · 

Understanding history is always important. I often ask people what is the country with the highest inflation ever, and they all point to Argentina in the 70’s or other South American countries. But it was Germany in the 20’s (before Hitler ….). The almighty Germany was about to collapse only 80 years ago. Our memories are sooooo short …..

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Beatrice on August 26, 2006  · 

Depending on the figures, or if you take into account PPP, the economic disparities between Spain and Morroco can be the biggest between two neighboring countries in the world.
Congratulations to the bohemian-bourgeois, gauche divine of Martin Varsavsky for this lame page where he can just let the world read how he spends his vacations “lying in Menorca” while at the same time worrying about poor Africans dying, trying to make it to Spain to find a great life selling pirated CDs on the streets.
The world doesn’t need more people full of themselves like you.
Follow the example of Gates and Buffet and do something big instead of falling in love with yourself.

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Martin Varsavsky on August 28, 2006  · 


I don´t know if you are familiar with the work of my foundations and If you have better recommendations on how I should donate my money pls let me know what they are.


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