Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

The day-before-election-day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 4th, 2013

LatinAmerTomorrow is election day; if you live in Princeton, NJ, please vote for me.

Argentina opposition gains ground in vote
President Kirchner’s party loses seats in four largest districts with 72 percent of votes counted in mid-term elections.

Argentina’s mid-term election
Cristina’s come-uppance
President Fernández should build bridges to her opponents—or risk leaving office early

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

Beheadings raise concerns of violence in Brazil

Tortured Chilean wins compensation
An 80-year-old exile wins compensation from the Chilean state over torture he suffered 40 years ago under General Pinochet, in a landmark legal battle.

Is This The End Of The Chilean Economic Miracle?

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)

Condé Nast Traveler ranks 9 Costa Rican resorts in top 15 in all of Central and South America

Four Rising Global Art Collectors Discuss Their Collections
Top buyers from Italy, Thailand, France and Costa Rica are part of a new emerging class of collectors

Cuba shuts down private cinemas
Cuban authorities order the immediate closure of privately-run cinemas and video-game salons, saying they were never authorised.

Over 900 Political Arrests in October

Chevron Vindicated As Evidence Points To ‘Green Fraud’ By Environmentalists

Chevron v. Donziger: The Lawyer Who Walked Away

The Cubanization of Ecuador

Day of the dead celebrated with giant kites in Guatemala – video

Honduras General Denies Involvement In Brutal Death Squads

Police: Operation Resilience seizes record number of illegal firearms

Mexico’s Theology of Oil

How Gold Is Destroying Peru’s Rainforests

Puerto Rico Economy Forecast to Shrink 0.8% in Fiscal 2014

Biden Meets with President Mujica of Uruguay, but, did the get the munchies?

U.S.-Owned Oil Rigs Seized By Venezuelan Government

Maduro still trying to turn Chavez into Christ

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.

What will Mercosur do about Venezuela’s delayed payments?

The week’s posts:
Brazil: Why bug Dilma?

Brazil: The highflying tastemaker

Mexico: Enrique Krauze on oil reform

Mexico: Tax my chocolate!

Venezuela: The marauding motorcyclists

Argentina: The end for Clarín

Colombia: “Peace is not in Havana”

Mexico: The cartel-induced blackout

Brazil: Dilma not coming to US

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Hardly surprising, considering how Putin’s shown himself to be top dog:
Brazil Leader Postpones U.S. Visit
The move comes amid allegations that the U.S. spied electronically on Brazilian politicians.

The U.S. sees Brazil a potential moderating force in a region where countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba are openly hostile to the Washington. The White House invitation for Ms. Rousseff to attend a high-profile state dinner was the only such invitation Mr. Obama has extended this year to any head of state.

You may call it a slap in the face, yes. The NSA is only a pretext.

As I noted about the French, the Brazilians, especially, should keep quiet about espionage. They have an active intel organization which collects on foreigners and Brazilians in touch with foreigners.”

Meanwhile, The Cubanization of Venezuela: Cuba’s G2 expands espionage operation in Venezuela

Brazilian internet rules need more debate

Mary O’Grady takes Joe Biden to the woodshed

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Everything’s coming up roses!

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.

Person(s) of Interest

Friday, June 7th, 2013

No, not them,



US intelligence chief denounces info ‘leak’…

NYT: Obama has lost all credibility…

Paper ‘quietly changes published editorial to make less damning’…


 New York Times:

President Obama’s Dragnet  —  Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every …


Thursday, June 6th, 2013

in case you missed it,

NSA is collecting the phone records of MILLIONS of Verizon customers daily under top secret order issued in April and it lasts into July

Because of the lack of distinction, it means that the phone records are not just being collected for suspected terrorists, but the company’s entire consumer base.

Meanwhile, Obama and Google swap staff

The IRS: soon in charge of enforcing Obamacare

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Ponder that disquieting thought while you read Drudge’s roundup: The governmental agency that did this will have full access to all your medical records, in addition to your financial records.



W.H. Blames Treasury Dept for IRS Scandal…

CARNEY: Just because IRS apologized doesn’t mean it did anything wrong…

POLL: Most Want IRS Officials Fired or Jailed… Developing…

REPORT: Agency demanded list of students trained by conservative group…


Rev. Billy Graham Endorsed Romney…

‘Special unit’ went after pro-Israel Jewish groups…

Official speedily approved exemption for Obama’s brother’s ‘charity’…

Agency won’t say if it will comply with congressional demand…

Benghazi roundup

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Hicks’s Full Account of Night of Benghazi Attacks
Full testimony at yesterday’s House of Representative’s subcommittee by Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in the U.S. embassy in Libya:

At Drudge:
Hillary Clinton Accepts Public Service Award In Beverly Hills On Day of Benghazi Hearings…

Susan Rice Honored With ‘Great American’ Award…

White House struggles to respond to new revelations…

Marco Rips Hillary…

MORRIS: Beginning Of End…

KRAUTHAMMER: ‘Where Was Commander in Chief?’


At Memeorandum:

Official Offers Account From Libya of Benghazi Attack  —  WASHINGTON — A State Department official presented a minute-by-minute account on Wednesday of what happened during the seige of the diplomatic compound in Benghazi last Sept. 11, offering the first public testimony from an American official …

 Michael Hirsh /

Benghazi: Incompetence, But No Cover-up  —  The hearings deepen the tragedy, but not the scandal.  —  There was tragic incompetence, plainly, in the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, and even possibly some political calculation.  It is a record that may well come …

 John Podhoretz / New York Post:10 minutes ago

Failings of Bam & Hill laid bare  —  After a remarkable House hearing yesterday, we can say this with almost complete certainty: The Obama administration knew perfectly well that last year’s Sept. 11 attack on Americans and American facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist act …
Discussion: PJ Media and Politico

 Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:NEW!

A Coverup Laid Bare  —  Thanks to House Republicans, Americans finally got to hear from the State Department officials the Obama administration never wanted to testify.  They are now called “whistleblowers,” but that’s only because their accounts of what really happened in Libya on Sept. 11 …

Obama in Costa Rica

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

After visiting Mexico and giving a speech, President Obama went to Costa Rica where he vowed to Shift Focus on Central America to Economy:

Obama arrived in Costa Rica yesterday from Mexico, where he said the U.S. relationship with Latin America must be focused on fostering economic growth on both sides of the border. He said it was time to set aside stereotypes of the region as a source of illicit drugs and immigrants fleeing to the U.S.

The president’s visit comes as Costa Rica is pressing to join negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord that now include the U.S., Mexico and nine other nations.

it remains to be seen as to whether he believes that this fostering of economic growth on both sides of the border should be accomplished through private enterprise or through more government intervention.

Obama heads to Mexico

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Key issues on Obama’s Mexico trip: Trade, immigration and drug war.

On immigration, Obama

To sell his immigration overhaul back home, he needs a growing economy in Mexico and a Mexican president willing to help him secure the border.

On trade

Border crossing takes so long in large part because of inadequate infrastructure and inadequate staffing for the amount of traffic, she says. It also results from significant bureaucracy – duplicate customs forms and other procedures.

The capacity of the border entry points to clear trade traffic into the USA has not kept pace with the increase in trade in the border region. In addition, the 9/11 attacks in 2001 prompted added security measures, which slow things down and raise expenses for businesses.

Among the ideas to improve commercial traffic are better use of shipper screening programs that allow low-risk shipments and carefully investigated shippers faster access over the border, say analysts, and should be on the agenda of the two presidents.

On drugs, Mexico’s Curbs on U.S. Role in Drug Fight Spark Friction

shortly after Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, took office in December, American agents got a clear message that the dynamics, with Washington holding the clear upper hand, were about to change.

“So do we get to polygraph you?” one incoming Mexican official asked his American counterparts, alarming United States security officials who consider the vetting of the Mexicans central to tracking down drug kingpins. The Mexican government briefly stopped its vetted officials from cooperating in sensitive investigations. The Americans are waiting to see if Mexico allows polygraphs when assigning new members to units, a senior Obama administration official said.

In another clash, American security officials were recently asked to leave an important intelligence center in Monterrey, where they had worked side by side with an array of Mexican military and police commanders collecting and analyzing tips and intelligence on drug gangs. The Mexicans, scoffing at the notion of Americans’ having so much contact with different agencies, questioned the value of the center and made clear that they would put tighter reins on the sharing of drug intelligence.

Peña Nieto’s focusing on managing the violence, rather than on confronting the cartels.

Tomorrow Obama will visit Costa Rica, returning to the US on Saturday.

Obama heading to Mexico and Costa Rica

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

On May 2-4, “to take up trade, economic growth and immigration”

The trip comes as Mr. Obama is pressing Congress to pass a broad immigration overhaul that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally— many of them Mexicans.

An estimated 60% of all illegal aliens are Mexican.

“We’re fully cognizant of your current political calendar and agenda vis a vis immigration reform,” a Mexican official said. Mr. Peña Nieto “has expressed in the past his willingness to work in whatever ways we can to move help move these processes forward.”

And gun control, too, even when Eric Holder is still mum on Fast & Furious.

Over at the border,