Archive for the ‘Joe Biden’ Category
Remember these two names: Miguel Lacayo and Tom Hawk. They are the Americans the Salvadorian government is preventing from leaving the country. Mary O’Grady has the story:
Bankrolling Attacks on U.S. Citizens
El Salvador won’t let two Americans leave the country, but the U.S. keeps the aid flowing.
No evidence of a crime has been presented. None of the accused—now nine, down from 20—has been brought to trial. But the ruling left-wing FMLN government and the ostensibly independent attorney general have libeled them in the press with allegations of squandering the national patrimony. The state has put a lien against their assets. They may not leave the country. Their legal bills are mounting. They face up to 10 years in jail.
One would expect the U.S. to raise a stink over the targeting of American citizens in what looks to be, at best, a witch hunt designed to criminalize privatization. But the Obama administration has not. Instead, the witch hunters are on the U.S. payroll.
To the tune of $700 million,
Over the past seven years the U.S.’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved some $700 million in grants to El Salvador despite the trampling of the rule of law by former president Tony Saca of the center-right Arena Party (2004-09) and by the pro-Castro FMLN governments of President Mauricio Funes (2009-14) and current President Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The MCC describes itself as an “independent U.S. foreign aid agency,” but today Secretary of State John Kerry is chairman of the board and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is vice chairman.
Capt. Louis Renault is working overtime thanks to the current U.S, administration’s foreign policy.
Meanwhile, as Hawk and Lacayo are held against their will in El Salvador, last Wednesday Joe Biden was touting
El Salvador passed a law providing new protections for investors
so the U.S. would nearly triple the money “we generally have provided to Central America.” Back to Mary O’Grady,
If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It’s not supposed to. This is about intimidating and ruining political enemies and consolidating economic power—with financial reinforcements courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
Joe Biden was attending Dilma’s inauguration, and he made sure to run into Maduro?
Biden urged Venezuelan to free political prisoners, U.S. says
No, it was Maduro’s people who wanted to approach Joe:
One of Maduro’s aides initiated the contact, approaching the U.S. delegation during the reception that followed the swearing-in of President Dilma Rousseff for a second term.
Maduro told Biden that Venezuela wants “a better relationship with the United States” and the vice president assured him President Barack Obama’s administration was also interested in improving ties.
Biden told Maduro that the most important thing Venezuela needs to do to lay the basis for better relations is to release political prisoners, the U.S. official said.
Of course, by now Maduro knows all he needs to do in these days of smart diplomacy is to take an American hostage, hold him/her for a few years, have the Vatican intervene, and things will go his way no matter what.
All of Latin America is absorbed in the World Cup; all, that is, except for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children arriving in the United States. This invasion, which until recently the White House ignored – as if it was a really, really big field trip – but now blames on the drug cartels, will not end because the federal government has no intention of stopping this influx, other that throw $250million at it – while doing nothing to secure the border.
A good week for some investors
Vulture funds win a legal victory over Argentina’s government; The Economist ought to do a little less editorializing on its headlines.
Uh-oh: China backs Argentina’s position on Falkland Islands
Chinese support calls at two-day G77 summit for the governments of Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations on ‘the Malvinas Islands question’
Ending a six-year winning streak, Spain upset after World Cup ouster
5 Things to know about Costa Rica
Cuba ends censorship — NOT
For a brief and shinning moment, it seemed that Cuba had unblocked access to several websites censored for years because of their criticisms of the government, including the U.S. government’s Radio/TV Marti.
New US-Caribbean energy initiative
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman denied that the official had been served.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., visited Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi at the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico.
As far as I could find, VP Joe Biden didn’t mention Sgt. Tahmooressi when visiting with Peña Nieto.
Unesco grants Inca Qhapaq Nan road system World Heritage status
A road system built by the Inca Empire has been granted World Heritage status by the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco.
The Qhapaq Nan roads go through six South American countries
It covers some 30,000 km (18,600 miles), from modern-day Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, via Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
It’s already out of toilet paper and flour, but now Venezuela Is Running Out of Cookies and Coffins
Thanks to an economic crisis, the list of things you actually can buy in Venezuela seems to be getting shorter every day
The week’s posts and podcast:
WH blames cartels for immigration surge
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The new twist in illegal immigration: Children as human shields for the cartels
Joe Biden went to Michelle Bachelet’s second inauguration and managed to do a decent job: Read my article, Biden goes to Chile, at Da Tech Guy Blog.
Michelle Bachelet inauguration livefeed
President of Senate Isabel Allende hands over President Sash to President Bachelet, former President Piñera places Broche on Sash
— Jorge Garreton (@Garreton) March 11, 2014
The Venezuela Crisis Exposes Political Split in Chile
Ruling Coalition Divided over President Nicolás Maduro’s Crackdown on Protestors, since Maduro will be attending Bachelet’s inauguration, and is expected to canvass other dignitaries for support, having called for a meeting of UNASUR,
The Venezuelan leader has called for an emergency meeting in Santiago of the South American regional grouping, UNASUR, which is heavily influenced by Venezuela and its closest allies, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. The meeting is expected to take place following the inauguration.
Chilean President-elect Michelle Bachelet
fashioned her wide-ranging “New Majority” coalition to beat an incumbent conservative government in recent elections. She is now caught between her own Socialist party, communists and other hard-left supporters who back Mr. Maduro, and center-right Christian Democrats who blame the Venezuelan leader for a heavy-handed crackdown.
Socialist and communist party lawmakers in Chile blocked Mr. Walker’s resolution in the lower house, denying that abuses are taking place and casting Mr. Maduro as the victim.
Joe Biden’s in Chile for the inauguration where
he called the unstable situation in Venezuela “alarming” and said the Caracas government lacked even basic respect for human rights.
Joe will meet with presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Ollanta Humala of Peru, and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico; he’ll probably run into Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. Let’s hope he doesn’t bow.
Bachelet has already proposed increasing corporate taxes and close tax loopholes to sponsor a system of free college education, changes to the constitution, and more spending to address inequality.
Tomorrow is election day; if you live in Princeton, NJ, please vote for me.
Argentina’s wealth gap
Barbarians at the gate
The capital’s exclusive closed neighbourhoods face a heavy new tax Related: Visits to MIAMI Properties Soar in September, Venezuela Tops Lists of Countries Searching Miami Properties
Following Venezuela were Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Lithuania, France, Italy, Spain and the Philippines, eight of which also made the top ten list last year.
The second beheading this year: Former Brazilian footballer’s head left on his doorstep
How are those negotiations with the FARC going? Rebels in Colombia Hit Energy Sector Hard in ‘Black October’
Colombia’s energy sector, the main driver of its economy, is limping away from “Black October,” a term coined by Marxist rebels who set forth on a month-long blitzkrieg, attacking oil pipelines, coal trains, electricity plants and transmission towers.
Colombian rebel group FARC free US hostage
Kevin Scott Sutay, the former US soldier who wandered in to territory of Colombian rebels, turned over to Cuban and Norwegian officials four months after being taken hostage
Probably the only time I’ll post on Mr. Bieber: Justin Bieber shows Colombia´s police force is for rich and famous?
No zombies allowed: Colombian University Bars Halloween Celebrations (video in Spanish)
Mexico’s Theology of Oil
Venezuela Unveils Orwellian Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, just unveiled the country’s euphemistically-named Deputy Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness—to mockery on Latin America’s blogosphere.
The week’s posts:
Brazil: Why bug Dilma?
Last week Joe Biden, after decades of blocking it, sang the praises of free trade as if he had been championing it all along. Mary O’Grady lets the record stand on Joe Biden’s Free-Trade Epiphany
He discovers Colombia’s decades-old export of cut flowers—and credits the Obama administration.
By April 2007, when the Bush administration sent the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement to Congress for ratification, the cut-flower export industry was thriving. One reason was preferential access to the U.S. market granted by Congress. Mr. Biden certainly is familiar with ATPA since he voted against its reauthorization in August 2002.
That year is memorable for Colombians because the country was being overrun by FARC terrorists, and Mr. Uribe was elected president. Over the next eight years the former governor of Antioquia, whose father had been murdered by the FARC, worked tirelessly and at great personal peril to restore order. As Mr. Biden notes in his op-ed, the road from Bogotá to flower farms was “impossibly dangerous ten years ago,” though he doesn’t give Mr. Uribe or the Colombian military the credit they deserve for that reversal of fortune.
In late December 2010 I had numerous conversations with Colombian officials who were sweating it out because a modified version of ATPA (called ATP-DEA) had not yet been renewed. The Obama administration was refusing to send the free-trade agreement to Congress for a vote, and Valentine’s Day—a crucial holiday for flower growers and by extension the economy—was less than two months away. An estimated 200,000 Colombian jobs were tied to the industry and a roughly equivalent number in the U.S.
Mr. Obama eventually signed the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement in late 2011 after sitting on it for 3½ years. A Colombian official told me last week that he believes it was only completed because Mr. Uribe—whom Mr. Obama’s international-socialist friends hated—was no longer in office. There were two other crucial developments, he said. Congressional Republicans insisted that it be voted on together with the pending Panama and South Korea free-trade agreements, and Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) pushed for it in conjunction with the stipulation that Colombia would expand laws raising the cost of labor.
Mr. Biden voted against the U.S.-Chile free-trade agreement in 2003 and the Central American free-trade agreement in 2005. Mexican trucks still don’t have unfettered access to the U.S., in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, because the Teamsters and therefore Democrats won’t allow it. Mr. Biden doesn’t explain any of this.
He never will.