Argentine President Cristina Kirchner is using the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers to defend a much-criticized deal her own government made with Tehran nearly three years ago.
That 2013 accord, to create a “truth commission” with Iran to investigate the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, was criticized by many in Argentina and abroad—including officials in Israel—who said it would permit Iranian suspects to avoid justice.
Political analysts in Argentina say the nuclear deal, forged this month, has given Mrs. Kirchner the chance to put her own dealings with Iran it in a new light. She has done so through a series of tweets and public comments.
. . . the broadcasts were an attempt to “break the media siege” around the islands, where Argentine TV signals cannot penetrate, and “guarantee the inhabitants a right to information in the English language.”
Information broadcast to the “English-speaking Argentinians” in previous editions included stories about trade surpluses, transgender rights and many, many more stories on how wonderful President Kirchner is.
Nick Hallett calls it,
Irrelevant, uninteresting and sometimes even unintelligible, the “Boletín Malvinas” – a product of Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior (RAE) – is a textbook example of how not to do effective propaganda.
The show may have been going two years, but there is little evidence it has had any effect, or that anyone is indeed listening. Taking a listen to recent editions, it is easy to see why.
It broadcasts at midnight, or, as Nick puts it, “when most islanders are presumably in bed.”
I nominate Lanata’s show (in Spanish) as the antidote,
Lanata’s latest is on the Mercosur parliament, or Parlasur.
It is the person, not the party, that is abandoning the coalition, the PMDB was quick to declare. Still, Mr [Eduardo] Cunha’s exit is a worry for the president. Last week came news that police are investigating her predecessor and political mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for possible influence-peddling on behalf of construction firms. He denies the allegation. That is a further blow to the battered PT. Ms Rousseff needs the PMDB more than ever if she is to survive until the end of her term in 2018. Increasingly, it is running the show.
Jamaica has forged a deal to retire $3 billion in oil debts to Venezuela thanks to bond sales.
In a Friday statement, Jamaica said it has issued roughly $2 billion in bonds on the international capital market that will pay down the debt it accumulated through Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan program that provides fuel to countries at market prices but under generous credit terms.
Officials say a negotiated settlement with Caracas will dismiss about $3 billion in long-term debt in exchange for $1.5 billion. It was not immediately clear Friday if Jamaica’s deal will retire all of its Petrocaribe debt.
. . .
Jamaica’s Petrocaribe settlement is similar to one the Dominican Republic negotiated with Venezuela earlier this year. That Caribbean country dismissed $4 billion in Petrocaribe debt in exchange for $2 billion.
An expert witness brought to trial by the family, Daniel Salcedo, presented evidence this week proving that Nisman could not have killed himself and made the blood stains found in his bathroom.
. . .
Salcedo told the chief prosecutor in the Nisman case, Viviana Fein, that bloodstains in the bathroom could not have been made by Nisman because of the angle at which he fell. The stains, he argued, were “almost half a meter above where the victim’s head was found.” In addition, he noted that no bloodstains were found under the sink, only above it. Had Nisman shot himself and fell to the floor under the sink, it is to be expected that some blood would splatter there.
Salcedo used a digital animation to make his point. His evidence will be taken into consideration, though the federal police have ruled out homicide.
Salcedo also presented Fein with a digital animation sequence to back his murder hypothesis, noting that the blood stains slanted downward and began at a height of 60 centimeters (23.5 inches), or almost 50 centimeters (20 inches) above the spot where the victim’s head was found, the daily said Tuesday.
The expert said the alleged killer was standing behind Nisman and to the right, while the prosecutor was down on one knee by his bathtub.
The blood stains could have occurred when the purported killer shook his hands before washing them, Salcedo said.
Federal Police experts and an expert hired by the defense team of Diego Lagomarsino are ruling out the existence of another person inside Nisman’s apartment.
Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio and prosecutor Carlos Stornelliordered a raid on the offices of Presidential son and La Cámpora leader, Máximo Kirchner, Monday, seeking accounting information as part of the ongoing Hotesur K-money laundering and corruption case.
. . .
The raid itself represented the execution of Judge Bonadio’s “procedural orders” seeking information about 35 separate companies with ties to the Kirchner family and its business interests, specifically including “banks and companies” associated with K-businessman Lázaro Báez – the number one recipient of public works contracts during the Kirchner administration. Báez is a business partner of President Kirchner, and the former administrator of her largest hotel, Alto Calafate.
Six months ago, prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead of a bullet to the head on January 28 in his Buenos Aires apartment, on the eve of the day when he was scheduled to testify to congress on his findings regarding a civil lawsuit he had filed the week prior accusing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of colluding with Iran to obscure the investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing.
Nisman’s civil lawsuit was dismissed.
The investigation into his murder is still pending.
Three days ago, president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tweeted a transcript and video of her interview with The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins,
Pesident Kirchner works in an ornate mansion in central Buenos Aires known as “the Pink House”—for the tint of its walls, once supplied by horse blood—but her official residence, in a northern suburb, is called Quinta de Olivos. Dating to the sixteenth century, Olivos, as it is known, is a white three-storied palace that resembles an enormous wedding cake.
When I met Kirchner there, two months after Nisman died, the mystery was still dominating the news. I was ushered into a wide split-level room that had been set up as a television studio. Kirchner entered a few minutes later, in a flouncy dress and heavy makeup, followed by two dozen aides, nearly all of them men. With the cameras running, Kirchner reached over, before the interview began, to fix my hair. “Is there some girl who can help him with his hair?” she asked. “We want you to be pretty.” Then she began to straighten her own. “I want to primp myself a bit,” she said. “Excuse me, I’m a woman, besides being the President: the dress, the image—”
“Divine!” one of her aides called from off the set.
While Filkins did not refute any of Cristina’s lies, his is not a puff piece at all,
Over time, Kirchner has grown more dictatorial and, according to muckraking reports, more corrupt.
An idea of the importance of the recordings can be gleaned from a February 2013 conversation between alleged Argentine government intelligence operative Ramón Héctor “Allan” Bogado and Khalil. In that call, which was widely reported in the Argentine press, Bogado told Khalil, “We have a video of the [AMIA] attack,” leading Khalil to reprimand him for not being more careful when speaking on the phone. Of course, it’s impossible to know for sure who Bogado meant by “we,” but one distinct possibility may be that the AMIA bombing was filmed by Argentina’s intelligence services, or that a video recording of it, perhaps containing vital evidence about the identity of the terrorists who carried out the attack, fell into their hands.
Both Filkins’s and MacDonagh’s articles are indispensable reading on the Nisman case.
Investigative journalist Jorge Lanata, in his show Periodismo Para Todos (Journalism For All), continues his coverage of the Nisman murder, and commissioned forensic expert Cyril Wecht for his opinion on whether Nisman’s death was a murder or a suicide. You can watch the report here.
Wecht’s interview starts 35 minutes into this YouTube; the show is in Spanish but Wecht’s portion is in English,
One of the world’s foremost forensic experts, Wecht asserts that Nisman’s death is most likely a murder.
During his visit in Bolivia, pope Francis stepped out of the popemobile to pray at the site where the late Jesuit Luis Espinal’s body had been dumped, after which Evo Morales (who wore a jacket embroidered with Che Guevara’s face to the Pope’s speech) presented Francis with the Communist crucifix designed by Espinal, and a matching medal, which Francis accepted:
Following the ensuing outrage, Francis left the medals and crucifix in Bolivia while the Vatican launched into spin mode.
Evo certainly milked the photo ops. It’ll be interesting to see what Raul Castro does when Francis goes to Cuba.
The lawsuit claims that Petrobras executives accepted bribes for inflating the value of construction contracts and “used the money to bribe politicians through intermediaries to guarantee they would vote in line with the ruling party while enriching themselves”.
We don’t have to learn more about Kirchner’s literary tastes to understand the depth of her prejudices against Jews. Her dealings with Iran and previous comments on social media are enough to damn her as a vicious anti-Semite. But this latest incident solidifies her stance in a way that no objective observer could possibly misinterpret.
Given the willingness of the Argentine government to make crooked deals with Iran and to cover up involvement in terrorism and perhaps even murder of Nisman, there may not be any way to hold Kirchner accountable for her actions. But foreign governments should draw the right conclusions from Kirchner’s Jew hatred and act accordingly. She may be untouchable at home but no decent foreign government should ever receive her as a leader. Until a person not tainted by the virus of anti-Semitism leads Argentina, it should get a cold shoulder from the United States as well as other nations on all issues
Here’s a reading suggestion:
In view of the Nisman murder and botched-up investigation, Argentinian schools ought to read Jean Anouilh’s Becket and watch the film adaptation to better understand Argentinian politics.