Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

Panama: Rosa María Payá detained

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Panamanian authorities’ warning shot to anyone not willing to kiss Raul Castro’s ring:

Rosa María Payá, the daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, was briefly detained on Sunday at Panama’s airport and threatened with deportation to Cuba if she caused any public disturbances at the Summit of the Americas, according to an account she gave on Twitter.

Payá was released after being questioned and her personal items were subjected to a careful review by authorities, in what was later described by the Foreign Ministry of Panama as “a bureaucratic error.”

Big Brother’s “bureaucratic error,” that is.

Summits are a waste of time and money for real countries,” as Mary O’Grady stated,

But this one will be useful for Cuba, which will be allowed to join the group for the first time, and on its own terms. It’s hard to put a finger on the lowest point in Obama foreign policy, but its abject submissiveness regarding this meeting in the U.S. backyard is a serious contender.

Back in 2001,

OAS members signed the “Democratic Charter,” requiring the suspension of nondemocratic governments.

That was then. Now, not only is the murderous Communist regime attending, Panama is warning dissidents to keep quiet.

What a disgrace.

The pizza Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Pizza has been in the news recently, so enjoy this week’s Carnival with a slice.

ARGENTINA
Nearly three months after his murder, Experts to inspect Nisman’s apartment

Buenos Aires streets empty as transport strike hits
The streets of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, remained largely empty on Tuesday morning as a number of transport workers’ unions went on a 24-hour strike.

Good: Argentina: Britain Spied to Ensure Falklands Security, Report Says
Britain spied on Argentine military and political leaders to ensure the security of the Falkland Islands from 2006 to 2011, an Argentine television channel reported on Friday, citing intelligence documents provided by Edward J. Snowden.

The Rise of Bitcoin in Argentina
Cryptocurrency Entrepreneurs Sidestep Onerous Restrictions, Financial Chaos

BOLIVIA
Don’t lose your shirt? Bolivia defence minister sacked over controversial top
Bolivian President Evo Morales sacked Defence Minister Jorge Ledezma on Tuesday over a controversial top he wore on a trip to neighbouring Chile.

BRAZIL
#Odebrechting – an Easter egg in the Brazilian media

Rio favela still wracked with fear and violence as Olympics 2016 approaches
Rio’s Complexo da Maré favela is being taken over by police from the soldiers that have been trying – and failing – to pacify it since before last summer’s World Cup

Brazil priest suspended for nude selfie
Brazilian priest known for conservative views on moral issues suspended for sending a nude photograph of himself to an apparent mistress
. Padre Alberto is much better-looking, though.

CHILE
Freak rainfall in Chile’s Atacama, the driest desert on earth, triggers catastrophic mud slides
Several dead, many missing as area gets lashed with seven years of rain in just 12 hours

CUBA
Whitewashing and Policy Laundering Cuban Terrorism, Part II

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Obama’s Justice Department Charges Menendez … But Not Reid

ECUADOR
Even the International Criminal Court has rejected the Chevron Shakedown

Ecuador Bulldozes Guayaquil Slum, Leaves 40 Families in the Street
Over 100 Houses Marked for Destruction amid Public Outcry

GUATEMALA
Johns Hopkins sued for $1B over Guatemala venereal disease study

IMMIGRATION
Punjabi Sikh-Mexican American community fading into history

JAMAICA
Jamaica Activates Army Reserves Ahead of Obama Visit

Obama and the CARICOM heads of government are expected to proceed from the high-level encounter in Jamaica to Panama City for the 6th Summit of the Americas, set for April 10-11.

MEXICO
U.S. Trade Commission Upholds Sugar Pact With Mexico
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously Thursday to uphold an agreement that suspended duties on sugar imports from Mexico, a decision that Mexico’s Economy Ministry welcomed as positive for Mexican producers.

PANAMA
Historic encounter: Obama, Raúl Castro to have ‘interaction’ at summit

PARAGUAY
PARAGUAY SPECIAL FORCES SEEK HELP OF TEXAS BORDER SWAT IN DEALING WITH CARTEL SPILLOVER

Paraguay has seen a spillover of organized criminal activities from countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Argentina which manifests itself in home invasions, kidnappings, and shootouts with drug traffickers, Maldonado said.

PERU
Peru names new prime minister amid spying scandal
Peru’s president has named Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano as new prime minister in a bid to calm a political crisis. Former Prime Minister Ana Jara was sacked this week amid allegations of spying and corruption.

PUERTO RICO
The Many Faces of Puerto Rico

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan hotels are asking tourists to bring their own toilet paper but
Venezuela plans to buy more Russian and Chinese arms

Venezuela, harboring ETA terrorists, El régimen narco-terrorista de Maduro ignora petición urgente de España para confirmar ubicación del ETARRA De Juana Chaos

US Federal Court Declares Venezuela in Default over $740 Million Claim
Facing $125 Billion Debt, Caracas Tries to Duck Gold Reserve Inc. Ruling

The week’s posts and podcast
Coming up next: State Dept. To Fly Central American Children Into US

Cuba: The next Hotel California? UPDATED

A happy thing for Easter weekend

Bach Johannes Passion

Venezuela, national security threat; Argentina wants a Sandwich

Cuba Forever, Indiana Never

Podcast: US-Latin America stories of the week

Yes, it’s April Fools’ Day

Mexico: Uber driver attacked

Argentina: Yet another Iran connection

Would Peru go for Chavismo?



The #Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ben Cohen writes about The Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Consider, for example, the alleged role of the Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, in whom President Barack Obama has placed so much faith regarding negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Rouhani was not among the Iranian officials named by Nisman in his 2006 report. The Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer, however, revealed in a January 21 article that Nisman had told him about an Iranian witness who had reported that Rouhani had been a member of a special-intelligence committee, “which in 1994 was overseeing secret operations abroad, including the AMIA bombing.” Oppenheimer wrote that Nisman “added privately that he believed in [the witness’s] testimony, and that as a member of the committee Rouhani was likely to have known of the AMIA bombing plan.”

Such a promising lead should be pursued. But the Argentine government is incapable and unwilling to do so, and the current American administration is determined to let nothing obstruct its pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Iranians.

Read the whole thing, keeping in mind

Iranian Leader Khamenei: Death to America; Obama Is Trying to Turn Our People against the Regime

Meanwhile, over in Cuba,

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

following Obama declaring Venezuela a “national security threat”,

More from Noah Rothman.

Venezuela, “national-security threat”

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 09, 2015
FACT SHEET: Venezuela Executive Order

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela. The targeted sanctions in the E.O. implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, which the President signed on December 18, 2014, and also go beyond the requirements of this legislation.

At the WSJ:
U.S. Freezes Assets of Seven Venezuelan Officials
President Obama declares Venezuela a national-security threat

President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a national-security threat and froze the assets of seven senior officials over alleged rights abuses and political repression.

The move puts all seven officials on a U.S. government blacklist that freezes any assets in the U.S. and prohibits American citizens from dealing with them.

Declaring a country a national-security threat is a formality that allow the U.S. government to impose sanctions on individuals or other countries.

Seven Venezuelan officials targeted by US The seven are:
The President imposed sanctions on the following seven individuals listed in the Annex to the E.O.:

1. Antonio José Benavides Torres: Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Central Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Director of Operations for Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
2. Gustavo Enrique González López: Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and President of Venezuela’s Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland (CESPPA).
3. Justo José Noguera Pietri: President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), a state-owned entity, and former General Commander of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron: national level prosecutor of the 20th District Office of Venezuela’s Public Ministry.
5. Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta: Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police.
6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez : Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army and former Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino: Inspector General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Andes Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces.

Caracas Chronicles applauds it

In that regard, the language in the Executive Order makes perfect sense. In sidestepping sanctions for ordinary Venezuelans while targeting the actual human rights abusers, the Obama administration is zeroing in on the problem without creating unnecessary controversies regarding “embargoes” or other nonsense.

It has also chosen the perfect time for its offensive, right when the Maduro administration is at its weakest. It is most certainly creating tension and conflict within the ranks of chavismo. After all, it’s probably more difficult to target sanctions against someone like Diosdado Cabello, who has probably prepared for years for something like this, than it is to zero in on the guys in the second-tier of decision making, the ones actually implementing the orders from Miraflores. I doubt poor old Katherine Harrington-Colby has the testaferros that Diosdado has.

Maduro and his cronies are a threat to US national security. Let’s hope the pressure makes Maduro bend a little and free some of the political prisoners. After all, how much worse can things get for them?

VN&V is skeptical: Another day, another US sanction against Venezuelan apparatchicks [sic].

So is Carlos Eire:

Get ready for a wild ride. The current occupant of the White House and his acolytes are slapping Venezuela on the wrist for its human rights violations at exactly the same time that they are rewarding those in Havana who are ultimately responsible for those violations with all sorts of outlandish concessions, including the agreement to never, ever bring up the issue of human rights abuses in the “normalization” talks between the U.S. and the Castro regime.

Heading the race to the bottom, Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Is Now $20 A Month; Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism

What’s going on, or the consequences of “smart diplomacy”

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The Democ­rats’ reac­tion to Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu Address to Joint Meet­ing of Con­gress (you can watch the speech in full at the link) offers a rare oppor­tu­nity to high­light the dis­con­nect between the Democrats-​and-​the-​media (but I repeat myself, as Pete says) talk­ing points and the con­se­quence of a pol­icy where the U.S. abdi­cates its posi­tion as leader of the free world.

Read my article at Da Tech Guy Blog

Related:
Mr Netanyahu’s speech, transcript and video,

Let’s get rid of the girl

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

My thoughts on the Lucy and Ethel Show at Da Tech Guy Blog.

UPDATE:
Linked to by The Pirates’ Cove. Thank you!

Smart diplomacy: “We didn’t want anything in return” from Cuba

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Jason Poblete posts that

“This was not a negotiation … [i]n was in fact, a unilateral decision. We didn’t want anything in return,” Dr. Frank Mora said at a conference in Miami covered by Daily Signal.

Which explains why dissidents were never in the picture.

Moral equivalence strikes again

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Now:
Infibulation
Crucifixion of children
Beheadings
Burning alive caged men
Death by stoning
Honor killings
Murder of gays
Slavery
Public floggings
Ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians

700 years ago:
Crusades.

M’kay . . .

Jonah Goldberg and Victor Davis Hanson are eloquent; Ace is direct.

UPDATE
“The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.”

El Salvador: Two American detainees, zero evidence

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

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.