Archive for September, 2013

The last Monday in September Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 30th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina’s official statistics
Warranting attention

Rising Peronist ready to challenge Fernández

BOLIVIA
Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

BRAZIL
Rousseff returns to social media to campaign for reelection

COLOMBIA
Pablo Escobar, and Alvaro Uribe´s political suicide

CUBA

Cuban exile, Pedro Pan kid: from orphanage to Denver mayor’s office

Cuba to Let Its Athletes Play Professionally Abroad
In an effort to thwart the wave of top baseball players defecting to the U.S., Cuba will allow its athletes to play abroad as professionals, breaking with a decades-old policy.

Prominent dissidents arrested on 12th Sunday in a row of repression in Cuba

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Experts fear crisis over ruling stripping citizenship from Haitian-Dominicans

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
It’s hard to be green
Correa gets away with a U-turn

MEXICO
Those migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border? They’re southbound

With push on agenda, Mexican president meets resistance
Plans to increase taxes on the rich and open up the state oil company upset people on the left and right.

Humor:
Paco Almaraz (in Spanish)

NICARAGUA
De Blasio ignored Nicaragua anti-Semitism

New York City’s Next Mayor: A Stealth Socialist Who Loved Sandinista Nicaragua and Castro’s Cuba

PANAMA
Panama Canal to Cut U.S.-Asia LPG Shipping Costs as Fleet Grows

PERU
Peru ‘drugs mules’ Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid home for Christmas if they shop gang

The pair, both 20, have been told they could be released from custody in less than two months if they agree to help Peruvian authorities find and jail the criminal gang behind the £1.5m cocaine pick-up.

PUERTO RICO
Life in Puerto Rico Becomes Costlier Amid Crisis

VENEZUELA
Who is Luis Oberto?

It Was The Worst Of Times For Nicolas Maduro This Week

Venezuela’s economy
Maduro’s balancing act
Adjustment and reform are economically essential but politically impossible

Venezuela jail search yields arsenalInmates at Sabaneta jail protest against being transferred on 18 September 2013
Guards searching a jail in Venezuela where 16 inmates were killed in fighting two weeks ago find tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Dominican Republic: Haitians stripped of citizenship

Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos

Venezuela: Did anyone miss Maduro at the UN?

Assange’s not going to like Ecuador

Why has Brazil stagnated?

Colombia: Legalizing the FARC

Colombia: Time to make the donuts!

Argentina: Cristina trusts Iran

Cuba: Putinesca

Maduro goes to China

Podcast:
Venezuela & other US-Latin America stories

UPDATE:
Linked by Instapundit. Thank you! And, Instapundit readers, every Monday is Carnival of Latin America & the Caribbean day!


Dominican Republic: Haitians stripped of citizenship

Monday, September 30th, 2013

In an unappealable decision, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court has stripped of citizenship thousands of people of Haitian origin, even if they were born in the DR:
Haitian-descended residents of Dominican Republic stripped of citizenship by high court

The Constitutional Court’s decision cannot be appealed, and it covers those born since 1929 — a category that overwhelmingly includes Haitians brought in to work on farms and their descendants.

Additionally,

The Constitutional Court said officials are studying birth certificates of more than 16,000 people and noted that electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent. It gave the electoral commission a year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship.

As mentioned above, the decision can not be appealed.

#Breaking Bad

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Series finale on right now.

Ozymandias, read by Brian Cranston:

The final episode is Felina, acronym for finale, but let’s not forget this song:

Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Former Marine Kevin Scott Sutay, an American vacationing in Colombia, was taken hostage last June by the Marxist-drug guerrilla FARC.

Now the FARC request that Jesse Jackson participate in the negotiations for Kevin Scott Sutay’s release, after

Jackson inserted himself in the matter two weeks ago during a global forum of black leaders in Colombia, when he called on the guerrillas to free the American.

Jackson flew to cuba and said yes,

Jackson, speaking in Havana where he met on Friday night with Colombian rebel commanders who are in Cuba for peace talks with the Bogota government, said he hoped to arrive in Colombia within a week to facilitate the release of Kevin Scott Sutay.

“We accept this obligation and opportunity to render service to Kevin Scott, his family and our nation,” Jackson said. “We have made contact with the State Department urging them to contact as quickly as possible the nearest of kin of Kevin Scott because his release is imminent.”

Jackson is on a private visit to communist-run Cuba that is being hosted by the Council of Churches.

Not so fast, says Colombian president Santos,

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has rejected proposed mediation by US civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson over a rebel-held hostage.

Mr Santos said only the Red Cross would be allowed to be involved, because he did not want “a media spectacle”.

“Only the Red Cross will be authorized to facilitate the release of the North American kidnapped by FARC. We won’t allow a media circus”:

Reaching new heights of hypocrisy, The Farc say they want to free Mr Scott to boost peace talks. Well, it’s their hostage, they’re holding him, release him, then, if they’re so keen on “boosting peace talks.”


Venezuela: Did anyone miss Maduro at the UN?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013


Maybe a birdie told him to stay away.

As you may have noticed, all the talk at last week’s UN meeting was focused on Obama and Iran, and not on NicoláMaduro, who may enviously look back at the days when Hugo Chávez could make the headlines around the world just by doing stand-up.

Instead, Maduro had to skip the UN altogether and rush back to Venezuela – after signing off oil exploration and gold mining rights to the Chinese (and still coming short on cash) – because

  • while refueling in Vancouver, Canada, he became aware that the DEA could arrest three members of his entourage on charges of drug trafficking, based on information provided by former Aragua state Chavista governor Rafael Isea, now a protected witness for the DEA
  • Cuban spies traveling with Maduro, and identified by Spanish newspaper ABC, would not have been allowed to land in the USA
  • and the fear that, if he prolonged his absence from the country, he may have a coup from the military and/or members of his own party.

Instead Maduro flew back to Caracas and claimed he had to because of not one but two plots against his life, which President Obama’s weakness could not prevent.

Carlos Eire translated the ABC article, which you must read.

Assange’s not going to like Ecuador

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Gleen Garvin in today’s Miami Herald: Julian Assange and Ecuador’s strangled press.

While the movie starring a bleached Benedict Cumberbatch is coming out next month and the real-life Assange is stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the fact is that if he gets political asylum in Ecuador, he’ll most likely end up in jail:

Aside from the Castro brothers, there’s nobody in the Western Hemisphere who’s trying harder to do away with freedom of the press than Assange’s putative champion, Ecuador’s rambunctiously left-wing president Rafael Correa. In June, Correa pushed through a law establishing the crime of “media lynching,” defined as the “dissemination of information” with “the purpose of discrediting” someone. If Richard Nixon had access to a law like that, maybe Woodward and Bernstein would have won a second Pulitzer for their prison diaries.

You’d think even the most hyperactive despot would rest on his laurels for a while after passing a masterpiece like the media-lynching law, but for all the criticism of Correa, nobody has ever attacked his work ethic. Earlier this month, his chief legal advisor asked the legislature to let the government start jailing people for wisecracks on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

If Assange thinks he has it bad now . . .

Why has Brazil stagnated?

Friday, September 27th, 2013

The Economist is asking, Has Brazil blown it?
A stagnant economy, a bloated state and mass protests mean Dilma Rousseff must change course

The Economist’s op-ed looks at the factors why Brazil’s economy grew by only 0.9% in 2012:

  • The world’s most burdensome tax code
  • Absurdly generous pensions
  • Spending only 1.5% of GDP on infrastructure, compared with a global average of 3.8%
  • Gross public debt has climbed to 60-70% of GDP

The Economist recommends that Brazil do three things:

It needs to rediscover an appetite for reform by reshaping public spending, especially pensions.
. . .
Second, it must make Brazilian business more competitive and encourage it to invest
. . .
Third, Brazil urgently needs political reform

None of this is likely to happen; Carlos Alberto Montaner writes

“All you have to do is read the records of the São Paulo Forum and observe the conduct of the Brazilian government,” he said. “The friends of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, of Dilma Rousseff and the Workers Party are the enemies of the United States: Chavist Venezuela, first with (Hugo) Chávez and now with (Nicolás) Maduro; Raúl Castro’s Cuba; Iran; Evo Morales’ Bolivia; Libya at the time of Gadhafi; Bashar Assad’s Syria.

“Cuban influence in Brazil is covert but very intense. José Dirceu, Lula da Silva’s former chief of staff and his most influential minister, had been an agent of the Cuban intelligence services. In exile in Cuba, he had his face surgically changed. He returned to Brazil with a new identity (Carlos Henrique Gouveia de Mello, a Jewish merchant) and functioned in that capacity until democracy was restored. Hand in hand with Lula, he placed Brazil among the major collaborators with the Cuban dictatorship. He fell into disgrace because he was corrupt but never retreated one inch from his ideological preferences and his complicity with Havana.”

Yesterday commenter Marcos stated,

please write more about the Forum of Sao Paulo, the organization created by Brazil’s Lula and Castro to change Latin America into an united Marxist region. Brazil has totally fallen to Marxism and is now engaged in the help of all marxist partners.

Brazil has already received the first of 4000 Cuban physicians who will come to indoctrinate Brazilian poor people on the wonders of communism. These guys are not even certified as doctors and are slaves who never see their salaries (money goes directly to Fidel).

Add to that the immense, structural corruption, and the drug trade from fellow Foro member Bolivia.

Back in 2009 The Economist had a picture of the Corcovado Christ as a rocket. Now the rocket is on a crash course:

Is The Economist’s image a good summation of the country’s situation?

You decide.


Colombia: Legalizing the FARC

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This does not bode well,
Santos Says Colombians Would Back FARC in Congress to Seal Peace (emphasis added)

President Juan Manuel Santos said Colombians would accept a deal granting unelected guerrilla leaders seats in Congress if it brings an end to a conflict that has left 220,000 dead

Say again?

  • Unelected
  • Guerrilla leaders
  • seats (plural) in Congress

And “special treatment,” too:

Voters would pass a referendum containing unpopular measures such as the transformation of the FARC into a political party and special treatment in the justice system for crimes committed by guerrillas, as part of a package that ends half a century of bloodshed, Santos said.

The thing standing between Santos’s sweet deal?

The process is complicated by opponents who “extrapolate and magnify” some issues in order to frighten the public, rather than weighing them as part of a pact that brings peace, he said.

It better be complicated: the FARC to this day is still sheltering international terrorists.

Colombia: Time to make the donuts!

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

New franchisee IRCC Ltda. to open 25 Krispy Kreme stores,

Krispy Kreme to Open First South American Stores
Company Signs Deal for 25 Stores in Colombia

Have A Doughnut Day!

Argentina: Cristina trusts Iran

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

The largest terrorism attack in our hemisphere prior to 9/11/2001 was the explosion at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. It was masterminded by Mohsen Rabbani, who presently is actively recruiting converts in Latin America, and Ahmad Vahidi, now Iran’s Defense Minister.

Where do things stand now?

Cristina Fernandez trusts Teheran and hopes for cooperation in the AMIA case
President Cristina Fernandez during her speech to the UN General Assembly said she hoped that the new Government in Iran would cooperate with Argentina in relation to the clarification of the attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in 1994.

(emphasis added)

The Argentina/Iran project, which commits both countries to commit to an investigation into the perpetrators of the deadly bombing, is subject to uncertainty in Iran where it remains in legal limbo.

Funny wording, that, “commits both countries to commit to an investigation”.

Having received the equivalent of a pre-engagement ring, Cristina went on and asked for “a date to send an Argentine magistrate to Teheran”.

Don’t hold your breath, Cristina.

While at the, she took time to condemn the UK government for deploying nuclear-armed submarines around the Falklands.

Priorities, priorities.