Today is May 5th, in Spanish cinco de mayo, and whether you celebrate or not, ignore the insecure who don’t want you to avail yourself of business opportunities.
(Juan Solo via Doug Mataconis‘s FaceBook feed)
ARGENTINA Y LA NARCO-CORRUPCION
Poll Shows Brazil President Could Face Runoff
The latest poll of Brazilian voters is showing for the first time that President Dilma Rousseff may face a runoff in October’s presidential election due to a lackluster economy.
Inflation is running around 6%, while economic growth isn’t expected to surpass 2% this year.
A Dutch Guerillera: The Foreign Face of FARC’s Civil War
Tanja Nijmeijer of Holland spent more than 10 years fighting with the rebel group FARC in the jungles of Colombia. More recently, she has been part of the guerillas’ peace negotiating team in Cuba. What drives her?
Ecuadorian president demands that indigenous group give up defamers
Rafael Correa accuses Kichwa leaders of acting above the law in holding three opposition activists convicted of defaming him
El Salvador: Ex-President Faces Charges
Former President Francisco Flores will face embezzlement and other corruption charges related to what prosecutors said Wednesday was the misappropriation of at least $5.3 million in loans from Taiwan during his tenure, from 1999 to 2004.
Attorney General in Guatemala Excluded From Re-election Bid
Claudia Paz y Paz, who has taken on a former dictator and top drug traffickers, was left off of a shortlist of candidates to be considered for re-election.
Jamaica scraps bank withdrawal tax, but Paco Santos may have had a business opportunity:
Last month, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country was “committed to further strengthening and modernising the army” with the help of any country willing to provide aid.
He did not give details of an agreement between Nicaragua and Russia.
But Russia’s ambassador in Managua had confirmed in March that Moscow is interested in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua.
Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia is weighing increasing its military presence in countries including Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela – particularly bases to refuel Russian warplanes far from home.
Panama’s economy has grown by an average of more than 8% in recent years and is expected to expand by 7% this year, by far the best performance in the Americas. Since 2002, poverty has been slashed from more than 40% to a quarter of the population.
“One good thing is that that there are no big ideological differences,” Nicolás Ardito-Barletta, a former World Bank economist who served less than a year as president in the mid-1980s, said before the vote. “Nobody’s going to kill the goose.”
In Panama Vote, a Noncandidate Matters
Presidential elections in Panama on Sunday feature a crowded field of seven candidates, but are widely seen here as a referendum on one man who won’t appear on the ballot: conservative President Ricardo Martinelli.
Venezuelan government arrests 58 foreigners ‘for inciting protests’
Interior Minister denounces alleged plot to promote unrest and overthrow Venezuela’s government as it is revealed dozens of foreign nationals are among the detained
Chávez initially promised that Coppelia ice cream would be made with Venezuelan products and supplies. Milk products from Lacteos Los Andes (now practically bankrupt), sugar from CVA Azucar (now shut down, see first post) and orange, guava, mango, peach and coconut.
Well, 18 months later and now Chávez is dead, Coppelia produces ice cream, mostly creamy flavors, in irregular and limited fashion. Raw materials and supplies are all imported. Forget about all those fruit flavors, but its manager says raw materials come from Lacteos Los Andes, which is practically shut down. [See also Chavez’s Farming Utopia Withers as Pet Projects Abandoned]
Which brings us, finally, to the million-dollar question: In post-Chávez Venezuela, who has the political capital to institute the deep and painful reforms the country requires to break out of this wicked cycle? If Chávez himself — who was the closest to God you can get in Venezuelan politics — didn’t dare to touch the gasoline subsidy or move against the Armed Forces’ involvement in organized crime, who would dare? In the answer to that question, more than in the epic battles painted by the likes of María Corina Machado, lies the key to Venezuela’s long term future.
The official corruption
The General Comptroller’s Office just published its latest report, and between lines, front firms which got away with dollars came to the spotlight again. The following list presents the irregularities admitted by the Venezuelan Government
The week’s posts and podcast:
Nestor fever #PoneleNestorATodo: Tympanoctomys Kirchnerorum UPDATED