Archive for the ‘Aruba’ Category

The Argentinian default Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 4th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, Argentina defaulted, as predicted, which made Cristina bellyache some more, as U.S. judge scolds Argentina over debt remarks.

Argentina debt default: frustration on the streets
Bloomberg’s Willem Marx reports from Buenos Aires on what Standard & Poor’s is calling a default by the Argentine government

A Lesson in Economics for Argentina

Carlos Tevez’s father freed after kidnapping in Argentina
Juventus striker’s family reportedly paid a £28,000 ransom for his safe return

VenEconomy: The Absurdities of the Carvajal Case

Brazil Secures $700 Million in Loans During Japanese PM’s Visit

Chile under International Orders to Compensate Mapuche
Anti-Terrorist Law Proves Unenforceable, Pending Reform

Colombia’s Buenaventura on alert after ‘rebel’ attack
Authorities in the Colombian city of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast, have temporarily banned the sale of alcohol and the carrying of arms.

Why Starbucks in Colombia is a good thing


Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alcibiades Guerra Marin, Aug. 2, 2014

Puerto Rico, Dominican brace for Tropical Storm Bertha

La DEA incauta aviones de empresa que tendría nexos con el gobierno ecuatoriano

Salvadoran Authorities Charge Spanish Priest with Aiding Gangs

Hope Dwindles for Hondurans Living in Peril

Illegals from China and over 70% of the world’s nations are flooding into America as its border collapses

Deal to stop migrants from boarding La Bestia train
Guatemala, Mexico and the United States have reached a deal to try to prevent migrants from jumping onto a freight train in an attempt to reach the US, according to Guatemalan officials.

Mexican Drug Lord Taunts the Authorities With Videos
In a line of work that usually operates out of the limelight, Servando Gómez has put himself — often with prominent people — in front of the camera

Mexican media denounces ‘gag law’
Mexican journalists denounce a new law that introduces a number of restrictions on crime reporting in north-eastern Sinaloa state.

Mexican Fracking Opponents Lose a Big Round in the Senate

Panama, Canal Contractors Finalize Accord

Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

Peru court order US mining firm to pay $163 million

Minimum-Wage Hike Threatens 200,000 Puerto Rican Jobs
Half of Workforce Caught in Cross Hairs of Class-Warfare Folly

Did Nicolas Maduro Coerce Senator Landrieu?

“Anti-Imperialists” Mortgage Venezuela’s Future Abroad
China Preys on Incompetence, Ideological Naivity of Chavismo

The New Wave Of Elected Dictatorships Around The World

In Venezuela, imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s trial for inciting violence during riots has just begun while the country ranks among the world’s top in corruption and crime. If you believe Chavista state propaganda, the country’s problems wouldn’t exist if the US didn’t exist. In Iran, forget about a free press while the supreme leader effectively determines who can run for political office. As in Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt etc Iran’s judiciary is a power-arm of the regime. Need we mention symbiosis between mosque and state? In Turkey, the state is mandating several hours a week of religious indoctrination in schools while sponsoring widespread housing with no units for single living as high-ranking politicians polemically bully women into staying at home and having families. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdogan blames all manner of outside forces for his problems, America, Israel, Syria, US-based Gulenist Muslims and others. One more thing: since Vladimir Putin was the first to make this system respectable, the reader can just say ‘ditto Russia’ where Russia isn’t mentioned above.

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Colombia’s narco-subs

Argentina: Cristina gives bondholders the raspberry

Today’s illegal alien invasion update

Argentina defaults

Behold, the Hugo Chavez font

Is North Korea Selling (Cuban) Arms to Hamas?

El Pollo and Venezuela’s game of chicken: Venezuela exerted military pressure on Aruba

And now, MS-13 news

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal

At BlogHer:
Feels like 100

The week’s podcast:
Memories of old Havana PLUS US-Latin America stories of the week

El Pollo and Venezuela’s game of chicken: Venezuela exerted military pressure on Aruba

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

In today’s WSJ, Aruba: Venezuela Pressured It Militarily
The Netherlands’ release of a former top Venezuelan official wanted by the U.S. for alleged drug trafficking came after Venezuela raised economic and military pressure on two Dutch islands in the Caribbean, officials said.

Aruba’s chief prosecutor Peter Blanken said that Venezuelan navy ships neared Aruba and Curaçao over the weekend as Dutch officials were debating what to do with Hugo Carvajal —Venezuela’s former chief of military intelligence who was jailed in Aruba last week on a U.S. warrant.

“The threat was there,” Mr. Blanken said. “We don’t know what their intentions were, but I think a lot of people in Aruba were scared that something would happen.”

Holland is a member of NATO and as such Aruba would be protected, as WSJ commenter Donald Hutchinson points out, but, in the Obama administration’s era of “smart diplomacy”, the Dutch couldn’t count on that:

Assuming that US intelligence was not asleep, all,it would take would be a fly over by US Navy jets and a notification that any offensive action would be met by the immediate destruction of their ships. Holland is a member of NATO and such actioned would clearly be sanctioned,
It would also be a devastating set back to the former bus driver running Venezuela for bringing shame to their military.
But what one might expect from a timid White House and a preoccupied State Department?

Then there’s the oil,

Mr. Blanken said Venezuela’s government also had threatened to sever Venezuela’s vital commercial air links to Aruba and Curaçao. Venezuela’s state oil company also threatened to withdraw from a contract to manage Curaçao’s refinery, Mr. Blanken said, which would have put at risk some 8,000 jobs.

To put that number of jobs in perspective, Aruba’s total population is 103,009.

In the “no sh*t, Sherlock” file, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman’s reaction was, “This is not the way law enforcement matters should be handled.” At least they didn’t #hashtag it.

Hugo Carvajal a.k.a. “”el Pollo” is one of the guys who took part in Hugo Chávez’s unsuccessful 1992 military coup, later rising to the rank of general, but with a sideline,

Mr. Carvajal’s role as one of the Chávez government’s key liaisons to guerrillas from Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, emerged after computers belonging to a slain guerrilla leader were captured by Colombian security forces in 2008.

Here’s the indictment in the U.S. District Court accusing Carvajal of coordinating the transport of 5,600 kilos (6.17 tons) of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico.

In addition to good’ol military thuggery, Miguel Octavio asserts that the Netherlands caved in (emphasis added):

Clearly, everyone applied pressure, but the weak link did not turn out to be Aruba as I suggested on my first post, but rather The Netherlands, as reportedly even Russia played a role, exchanging concessions on the Ucraine plane for helping release Carvajal. No matter what anyone says or how this is interpreted, it was a severe blow to the US, who would have loved to get Carvajal onshore.

One of my sources also mentions that team Obama had about 30 days to hand over its Extradition Request to Aruba but failed to; the Treasury Dept, the DEA and a U.S. District Court (mentioned above) had indicted him last year. It reminds me of drug kingpin Walid Makled, who was released to Venezuela by Santos of Colombia after the U.S. dragged its feet.

We’re in the best of hands.

While the Dutch allow Carvajal diplomatic immunity, the Egyptians search Secretary of State John Kerry, which was no biggie, but he fumes over Israel’s criticism.

Aruba: El Pollo flew the coop

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Well, that didn’t take long!

Hugo Carvajal, a.k.a. “El Pollo” (the chicken), the Venezuelan consul candidate accused of providing weapons to the FARC, working with Iranian intelligence, and who’s under investigation for his role on the attacks to the Colombian consulate and the Jewish center in Caracas, was released by Aruban authorities, after Holland decided he did qualify for diplomatic immunity but declared him person non-grata.

This is yet another instance where America is perceived as weak, since

The arrest was based on a formal request from the United States. [Aruba’s chief prosecutor Peter] Blanken said Aruba was “obliged to cooperate” because of a treaty with the United States.

Carvajal immediately flew back to Caracas, in time to attend the PSUV congress and walk into Nicolas Maduro’s arms:

Daniel Duquenal:

The thing is that the swift, I repeat the word, retrieval of Carvajal means that not only the army has acted but also the drug traffickers, and all the thugs that could be affected

Raúl Stolk, in a post titled Chicken Run,

This, of course, raises a bunch of questions:

  • Has the US anything to say? What about the request for extradition?
  • Jose Ignacio Hernandez explained at Prodavinci that immunity alone would not suffice to protect Carvajal if the reason for his detention was not related to his functions as head of the Venezuelan Consulate in Aruba. Then, why would the Dutch just go with Venezuela’s lame arguments to release the man?
  • Does everybody fear Diosdado? (Damn!)
  • Is dealing drugs ok now?

Miguel Octavio has a lot more questions:

-Why did Maduro want to name Carvajal as Consul to Aruba specifically? Is it related to the island being an offshore financial center?

-Why would a legal resident of the US, lend or lease his US company’s jet to someone in the US drug kingpin list in the Patriot’s Act era?

Juan Cristobal Nagel asks, Is there a link between Petrocaribe and Carvajal?

The Caribbean economies are mighty fragile. The last thing the US, the Netherlands, and other colonial powers need … is for Maduro’s instability to spill over into the islands.

Interesting question, but I think Nagel may overestimate U.S. influence on this issue.

More from Venezuela-Europa:

So: the man in charge of the foreign relations for the  Kingdom of the Netherlands took the decision to liberate a man who

  1. came in with a false passport,
  2. had over $20000 with him and had not declared that money
  3. had not received the placet to become a consul,
  4. was accused by the US of having tortured and murdered two Colombian officials, of having helped a terrorist organisation and being responsible for cocaine trafficking.


To keep the caged bird from singing?

Smart diplomacy!:

A senior U.S. official said the U.S. had been blindsided by the Dutch

Aruba: Venezuelan consul detained on drug charges

Friday, July 25th, 2014

The other pollos.

Three chavistas indicted for conspiring with Colombian FARC drug traffickers to export cocaine to the U.S.:

  • Hugo Carvajal, a.k.a. “”el Pollo,” a former chief of Venezuelan military intelligence, detained in Aruba while awaiting confirmation as Nicolás Maduro’s consul-general to Aruba,
  • former Venezuelan judge, Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, arrested last week in Miami,
  • and the former head of Interpol in Venezuela, Rodolfo McTurk, whereabouts were unknown.

Daniel Duquenal speculates,

If indeed Carvajal is sent to the US, beyond diplomatic implications that this will entail, the local consequences will be high. There are possibly dozens and dozens of chavista high officials with dossiers under investigation and the reality for them has suddenly changed. Never mind that if Carvajal is indeed sent to the US, he may add a lot to these dossiers.

In addition to providing weapons to the FARC, Carvajal had been allegedly working with Iranian intelligence, and is under investigation for his role on the attacks to the Colombian consulate, and the Jewish center in Caracas.


In the Miami indictment unsealed Thursday, Mr. Carvajal is accused of taking bribes from late Colombian kingpin Wilber Varela, who was killed in 2008, and in return allowing Mr. Varela to export cocaine to the U.S. from Venezuela and avoid arrest by Venezuelan authorities.

Carvajal directly dealt with one-time of the world’s top three drug kingpins, Walid Makled, according to Makled himself,

“For example, I used to give a weekly fee of 200 million bolívares (about $50,000 at the time), and 100 million was for General Hugo Carvajal,” Mr. Makled said.

Makled went on trial in Venezuela since the Obama administration dragged its feet; I do not know the outcome of the trial.

Carvajal is now seeking diplomatic immunity in Aruba.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 31st, 2011

LatinAmerIn today’s news, the US Embassy in Caracas is closed due to threats, according to El Universa (h/t Vlad). The nature of the threats was not specified.

While the world’s attention is focused on the Middle East, here are several of the news stories in our hemisphere this week,


Central America, crime, and what the Americas are doing about it

Argentine Wheat Exports May Fall to Lowest in Almost 30 Years

Following up on a story from a few years ago, Stanford Judged Incompetent to Stand Trial

Business in Brazil
Top whack
Big country, big pay cheques

Brazil’s Canny Asia Game
Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva oversaw a period of growing influence in the Asia-Pacific. Will his successor follow suit?

Copper Law

Colombia economy: Post-flood emergency mode

Italian Parliament commits to the freedom of Cuba’s political prisoners

On those New OFAC regulations on Cuba travel released

The interesting thing here is that when originally reported it appeared that remitters would not be able to send more than $500 to Cuba per quarter. It now seems, however, that U.S. citizens can send $2,000 a year to as many qualified Cubans as they like. I’m not a lawyer and I received this information too late to call OFAC, so I can’t say for certain.

Cuba political prisoner Guido Sigler responds with defiance to Castro’s blackmail

Obama’s heading to El Salvador in March. Obama and El Salvador

If there is one thing all media outlets can agree on, it is that they have no idea why President Obama is going to El Salvador.

Salvadoreños al tanto de la visita de Obama antes de su discurso

Update on Liz

Saddling up for the trail to Los Pinos
Can anyone stop Enrique Peña Nieto restoring the PRI to power next year?

What is economic freedom?

S. Korea to get FTA but not Panama

State Department says relations with Peru “never been this strong”

Back when I was a student at the University of Puerto Rico, the students were protesting. No change on that front,


After the Flood in Venezuela
Housing the estimated 130,000 homeless people is drastically more difficult thanks to Hugo Chávez’s nationalizations and regulations in the construction industry.

How a bully Dictator like Hugo Chavez runs Venezuela

How people in Taiwan see Hugo,

Venezuela tells foreign oil firms to keep output at 3.1 mn bpd

Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela
Charting a course to irrelevance
The Inter-American Democratic Charter is proven toothless

Investing in Venezuela’s Future

English language chavismo in the web on the decline

The week’s posts,
Chavez says Egpyt embassy briefly taken over by protestors
Muslim cleric catapults to fame by crossing the border
Catapult over the border!
Tanks for Hugo, bankrupt states, the Supremes, and the roundup


Van der Sloot confesses

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Joran van der Sloot has confessed to Peruvian police to the murder of Stephany Flores:

Van der Sloot’s confession came on his third full day in Peruvian police custody, on the eve of a planned trip to the hotel in which he was to participate in a reconstruction of the events leading to Flores’ slaying

why did he kill her?

According to Peruvian police, Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, 22, confessed Monday to the murder of Stephany Flores.

Authorities say that he admitted to murdering the Peruvian woman because she saw “something” about Natalee Holloway on his laptop computer.

Van der Sloot reportedly told police “I did not want to do it… The girl saw private things. She had no right. I approached her and she was scared.”

He continued, “We discussed it and she tried to escape, and I took her neck and hit her.”

Dan Riehl asks,

So, the question is, is whatever she supposedly saw still on the PC. And is it incriminating in the Holloway case? Or, did it have to do with the alleged extortion attempt?

As Dan said last week, the information on the Flores murder may help solve the Natalee Holloway murder.

Richard Fernandez has insights into the criminal mind:

My impression has been that apart from the cops, the outside world doesn’t really understand that the vast gulf that separates the low-life world from polite society isn’t one of inferiority but of difference. It’s a mistake to look down on criminals. There’s the idea that criminals are somehow disadvantaged and underprivileged. But in their own domain, they are wonderfully optimized to survive and every bit as adapted to their sordid fields as a brain surgeon. You look down on them and underestimate them at your peril.


Chile hunts Holloway suspect over Peru killing VIDEO and podcast

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Van der Sloot arrested in Chile

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Remember Joran van der Sloot? The suspect on the Natalee Holloway disappearance? The cops want him, again, for a murder committed exactly five years after Natalee’s disappearance. Joran changed venues, though:

Chile hunts Holloway suspect over Peru killing
Woman slain exactly 5 years after U.S. teen’s disappearance in Aruba

Police in Chile are checking hotels for a young Dutchman long suspected in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway and now believed to be involved in the killing of a woman in Peru.

After Peruvian officials announced Wednesday that Joran van der Sloot is the prime suspect in the death of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a Lima hotel, Chilean police confirmed he had entered their country two days earlier.

Chilean Police Inspector Douglas Rodriguez in Arica told The Associated Press there was no record of van der Sloot leaving Chile and authorities were searching the country’s dry, sparsely populated northern provinces for him.

Exactly five years after:

In Lima, police Gen. Cesar Guardia said at a news conference that the slain woman was found Wednesday in a room at a hotel where van der Sloot had been staying and that she had been seen with the suspect early Sunday, when she was killed.

The killing occurred exactly five years after the May 30, 2005, disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway during a high school trip in Aruba, a Dutch Caribbean island where van der Sloot’s late father was a prominent judge.

The go-to blog on van der Sloot is Riehl World View. Dan’s got the rumors, and the facts.

Dan’s my guest in this morning’s podcast.


Hugo Chávez: Now It’s Time to Annoy the Dutch

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen

My latest post, Hugo Chávez: Now It’s Time to Annoy the Dutch, is up at Real Clear World.

The Christmas Eve edition of the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Welcome to thie Christmas Eve edition of the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. I wish all of you a very happy Christmas.

If you have a post or a news item you would like to contribute, please email me: faustaw -at- yahoo -dot- com.

The big story of the week: The bombing of the Argentine Jewish community center in 1994 and Iran, the NIE, and Rafsanjani.

El Cato

The Carnivorous and Vegetarian Lefts, by Carlos Alberto Montaner. This was his speech at the Opening Plenary Session, The Whitherspoon Institute, Princeton University, Dec. 6, 2007.
UPDATE: Speaking of vegetarian lefties, Chavez Faces Challenge From Former Comrade: Venezuela’s New Hero Has Respect in Army; a Vegetarian Mystic

A South American arms race?

Latino-Islamic Terror: Hezbollah Shows Off Their Latin Bombers

De-Fence, De-Fence

Via Babalu, Chavez offers oil for bananas deal

The Changing Dynamic in Latin America

Iran’s Nuclear Terror. More at Patterico’s Argentina, Iran and nuclear weapons.

AMIA and the NIE

AMIA, the communal offices of the Argentine Jewish community, was struck by a massive suicide truck bomb on July 18, 1994 – 85 were killed and over 200 injured. Iran and Hezbollah were suspected from the beginning. The Argentine investigation has had several false starts and has been mired in corruption, but in recent years has gotten on track. Last month Interpol voted overwhelmingly to issue a red letter calling for the arrest of five Iranians (along with Hezbollah’s external operations chief Imad Mughniyah) on the basis of the Argentine investigation. The publicly available report on the AMIA bombing offers tremendous insight into the Iranian regime’s modus operandi and worldview.

Full Prosecutor: Argentina bombings ordered by Iran
The NIE & Rafsanjani
Cog in the Regime
The NIE’s Iran finding was based on…an old laptop and the word of Rafsanjani?

Troubles for Argentina’s New Evita

The suitcase full of Chavista money is also in the news:
Stung in Miami

Ballet star Bocca bows out in Buenos Aires

Natalee Holloway Case Officially Closed

Bolivia: $872,000 from Chavez with Love

A meltdown in Latin America

Bolivians fear political unrest as rivals face off

Petrobras to Invest Up to $1 Billion With Bolivia State Company

Lula Says 2007 Was Exceptional, 2008 Will Be Better

FARC’s Real Aim: Ending Democracy

Colombia protests over Nicaragua’s FARC remarks

Chavez deepens investment in Cuba

Via Gates of Vienna, Seven Questions: Castro’s Decline

Cuban Refinery Inaugurated, With Chávez in Spotlight

Venezuelan leader Chavez presides over oil summit in Cuba

Chavez dice desde Santiago que Venezuela y Cuba son una misma nacion

Omnibus Includes $33.6 Million for Democracy Promotion in Cuba (Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)

On a Purely Personal Note

Blogging from Cuba: Generacion Y?

Fidel hints at retirement

Santa Claus Lives

Intifada On The Mexican Border

Running just to stand still: How to reform the flawed behemoth that is the world’s sixth-biggest oil producer

Nicaraguan expats to join forces in opposition to Daniel Ortega

Iran making diplomatic inroads in Nicaragua

New friends in the neighborhood

Iran’s push into Central America

The Skunk Is Back In Nicaragua

Chavez: At it Again

Puertorican politics remain the same as they were when I lived there: politicians continue to use the “status” as a smokescreen behind wich to hide the real underlying problems of the island:
Statehood topic tops all issues in Puerto Rico<: House panel energizes debate by calling for new referendum

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — The governor is under criminal investigation, crime and unemployment are soaring and the economy is faltering as foreign firms are shutting down factories.

But to hear the politicians on this gem of a Caribbean island tell it, the only real issue on the public agenda is whether Puerto Rico should become the 51st state, ending its decades-old status as a U.S. commonwealth.

A bill calling for a referendum on the issue recently won approval in a U.S. House committee, triggering a new round of intense debate on the island, despite the fact that final congressional approval and an actual vote are still iffy propositions at best.

Some tiring of debate
After decades of rowdy argument, though, some Puerto Ricans appear to be tiring of the seemingly eternal debate over what is known here as the “status” issue.

Don’t I know it.

Prodigality as state policy:
The case of Hugo Chavez

The Hallaca Effect: Chavez’s Undoing

The Nixon Moreno case: Political Persecution is alive and well in Chavez’ revolution

“Ironically, the United States is financing Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution”

Che shirt wearing Cuban idiots booed in Venezuela, also at Citizen Feathers

El movimiento estudiantil, antídoto contra Chávez

Chavismo without Chavez?

Venezuela, redux

Venezuela falls behind the times

More Venezuela price caps may go
About time
And speaking of Chavez…

The 2007 result: the surprising abstention

Analisis psiquiatrico de Hugo Chavez:
Entrevista al Dr. Franzel Delgado Senior

Hillary Hires King Juan Carlos to Manage Husband

Beam me up, Hillary!

La Isla Bonita

A colombo-americana’s perspective


For more Carnival fun, don’t miss the Carnival of Christmas, 2007 Edition


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The Bolivian secession edition of the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Not secession – federalism, instead.
See below (*)

The big news this week in Latin America: The four richest Bolivian regions declared autonomy from the Morales government, on the same day as Evo Morales formally received a new draft Constitution.

(*) Clarifying: It’s not secession; it’s federalism
I just received an email from Alek Boyd of VCrisis

First off governors of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija have been democratically elected, as Morales. Ergo that rules out accusations about lacking democratic credentials the official propaganda machine is leveling against them.

Second, they are not seeking independence. Contrary to what the MSM is publishing the autonomic statute in first article states:

“Santa Cruz se convierte en Departamento Autónomo, como expresión de la identidad histórica, la vocación democrática y autonómica del pueblo cruceño, y en ejercicio de su derecho a la autonomía departamental, reforzando la unidad de la República de Bolivia, y los lazos de hermandad entre todos los bolivianos”.

That is to say they are not proposing secession, what they are proposing is self rule in economic, education, tax and resource management issues.

Some of you may think that such a thing amounts to independence from Bolivia, however the prefectos have been very clear in that respect, their proposal is similar to the current system of autonomic regions in Spain.

Third, the issue of autonomic rule was presented to popular vote through referendum. In 4 out of the 9 departments (Santa cruz, Beni Pando and Tarija) the SI option, that is the one supporting autonomy, won. Ergo, said proposal is as democratic as Morales’-driven national constituent assembly from a strictly legal point of view, for if what Morales needed to rewrite the constitution was the approval of “the people” said approval was granted by “the people” to provincial statutes of self rule in those regions.

Fourth, Morales’ constituent proposal has violated procedures, the most striking evidence of it is a) the seat of constituent assembly discussions to get the new charter approved was moved from Sucre to Oruro, so that Morales supporters could get it passed by simple majority [2/3 of votes were never reached], and b) the text approved in Oruro contained originally 408 articles as opposed to the one presented to Morales last Saturday which contains 411 articles. A drafting committee in charge of modifications has introduced 3 new articles which have not been approved
by the constituent assembly, therefore illegal.

Related links in Spanish: Gobierno Departamental de Santa Cruz, and Con los estatutos, prefectos controlan tierras y tributos. From reading this information it’s clear that what the prefectos are after is a federal system like the USA’s.

Special thanks to Alek for clarifying this question. My apologies for my mistake.

Previous post:
Links listed from most recent to older:

Bolivia set on collision course over autonomy

All the legislation – as well as a separate and especially contentious constitutional provision limiting the size of landholdings – has to be submitted to referendums that are expected to take place early next year.

“I am convinced that we will not retreat a millimetre nor move one step to the side,” Ruben Costas, the governor of Santa Cruz, told tens of thousands of jubilant supporters waving the department’s green and white flags. Mr Costas warned the central government not to send in troops or police. “This is a warning. Do not dare to invade us or militarise us.”

Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando departments, which all announced autonomy on Saturday, form a half-moon shape around the solidly pro-government capital and heavily indigenous departments of La Paz, Potosi and Oruro. Two other departments – Cochabamba and Chuquisaca – are unhappy with the new constitution, railroaded through by an emergency session of a constituent assembly eight days ago by pro-government supporters. “The country has taken two different directions,” said an editorial in El Deber, a daily newspaper published in Santa Cruz.

The deputies at the Constituent Assembly approved one version but Evo received a different one; VCrisis has the captures. The first version states that the power comes from the people while the second version stresses the preselection of candidates. Gateway Pundit has more.

At play? Natural gas, which Gazprom is eyeing, along with Brazil and Chile.

Ed Morrissey correctly points out

If these districts can secure themselves against the central government, this could get very, very ugly. Natural gas is their chief export and their resource for hard currency. If the breakaway districts can keep it for themselves and safely export it (mainly to Brazil), they can build a significant war chest while leaving Morales to feed the rest of Bolivia’s poor in the west. That will prompt Morales to march on the east, perhaps assisted by Chavez in Venezuela, and a civil war will almost certainly erupt — and sooner rather than later.

Publius Pundit, Blue Crab Boulevard are blogging on the story, while Marginal Revolution asks, What does Bolivia have to do to make the front page?

Bolivians Now Hear Ominous Tones in the Calls to Arms

Bolivia tense amid autonomy push

Cardinal Terrazas calls for peace in overcoming crisis in Bolivia

Bolivia Leader Is Mobilizing Armed Forces


Two this week:
Penultimos dias, and Red Liberal Hispanoamerica

The Bank of the South:
Bolivarian finance: The IMF can sleep easy

Caribbean nations, EU reach agreement on access to markets. The Caribbean countries are Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

Caribbean Net News is an excellent resource on the islands. Don’t miss also HACER‘s weekly roundup

Marital bliss: A different Kirchner is in charge, but many of the policies remain the same

Irish Tourist Ronan Lawlor Missing in Argentina or Chile

OpenSEA adds members, promises smooth saling for 802.1x NAC

Is Brazil changing its focus from income redistribution to income creation?

Energy: Brazil’s not peaking

Lesson 4: Not Every Disaster is a Disaster

Insulza’s Divided Attention

Pouty Hugo: “I Will Not Speak to Uribe For As Long As I Live”

FARC FAILS to Kidnap President Uribe’s Two Sons

Uribe’s anticorruption chief resigns

Cuban diplomat seeking asylum in Spain

A Cuban diplomat who allegedly aided a dissident doctor in Mozambique has skipped a flight out of Paris to seek political asylum in Spain, Spanish daily El Mundo reported Sunday.

Lorenzo Menendez said he faces prison for helping the dissident but believes socialist Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will bow to pressure from Havana to deport him.

Zapatero is a weak leader, indeed.

BEATDOWN IN HAVANA!!… Castro Thugs Bash Democracy Protesters

video: Now you see the light

Huckabee does a flip-flop on Cuba

Huckabee Unaware of Issues Between U.S. and Cuba

Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty continue their campaign.

One laptop per child project initiated in Dominica

Pirate Captain William Kidd’s Ship, the Quedah Merchant, Possibly Found in the Caribbean

Correa celebrates the Chavez coronation in Argentina: A faustian pact called bolivarianism

A post on Guatemala’s new and more restrictive adoption law And Even More…

Relations between Venezuela and Guyana remain strained due to the continued incursions of Chavez’s military into the other country, the latest of which was

Last November 15, a contingent of 36 armed Venezuelan military personnel, led by a general, forced the crew off of Guyanese-owned dredges and bombed the pontoons.

That was followed by unauthorised overflights by Venezuelan helicopters in Guyana’s airspace.

Guyana-Venezuela joint group to be set-up to prevent incursions

The Fantastico Mr. Fox

Lessons for Mexico in Brazil’s Boom: In the energy sector, open markets work.

The Dark Side of Microlending

Iran making push into Nicaragua

Iran and Nicaragua: A new relationship?

Iran’s foothold in Monkey Point, Nicaragua

Danielito gone wild

Peru Is In, Now Where’s Colombia?

Peru: Barrick Gold Corp. Helicopter Crashes because of Engine Failure

Converted Buses to be Taken Off Peru’s Highways

Rush’s Snakes & Arrows world tour to be extended

Venezuela, and Oil and podcast

Organized crime in Venezuela administration

Venezuelan Chavista agents arrested in the US for voting plot

Miami Maletagate indictments: Just the tip of the iceberg?

Chavez lives down to his reputation

LAC roundup

Patria, Vuitton o Muerte! Gastaremos!

Chavez vs. The Venezuelan Electorate

Funnimetric’s Post details: Fausta’s Carnival of Latin America

Chucha Libre (Spanish)

Mundial de patos (Spanish)


A colombo-americana’s perspective
A Second Hand Conjecture
Billy Jones
Sex and the South


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