Archive for the ‘Chile’ Category

The really, really big field trip Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

LatinAmerAll 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.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s bonds
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’

BOLIVIA
Industrialization is Bolivia’s Biggest Challenge, Economy Chief Says

BRAZIL
World Cup 2014: Protests and anger, in pictures

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff endorsed to run for re-election
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been officially endorsed by the governing Workers Party to run for re-election in October.

CENTRAL AMERICA
Joe Biden Discusses Immigration Reform With Central American Leaders

CHILE
Ending a six-year winning streak, Spain upset after World Cup ouster

COLOMBIA
Support From the Left Helps Keep a Right-Wing President in Power in Colombia

Andres Oppenheimer: Colombian leader starts new term with a great idea

COSTA RICA
5 Things to know about Costa Rica

CUBA
Now under house arrest, Antunez says he wasn’t beaten in jail but Cuban guards did torture his wife

Internet Foils Disinformation Operation Regarding Funeral For Mother of Alan Gross

Cuba Crackdown
Human rights advocates see increased threats against press in Cuba

Castro limos reborn as Havana taxis
Some of Fidel Castro’s old Soviet-built limousines have been decommissioned and are being used as Havana taxis for foreign tourists.

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.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
New US-Caribbean energy initiative

ECUADOR
ECUADOR SEEKS TO CONTROL OPPOSITION MEDIA BY DESIGNATING PRESS A ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’

Ecuador to Take Legal Action Against Using Indian Blood for Research

GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, US VP Biden Promises Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Stem Child Immigrants Flooding US Border

GUATEMALAN PRES TO US: PASS AMNESTY BILL WITH MORE GUEST-WORKER VISAS

HAITI
U.N. Chief Served Papers in Suit by Haitian Victims, Lawyers Say

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman denied that the official had been served.

HONDURAS
Honduras’ First Lady Says She Will Collect Her Country’s Child Immigrants

JAMAICA
With murder common, Jamaica morgue plans stall

MEXICO
Lawmakers visit Marine held in Mexico, say sergeant ‘needs to come’

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.

Mexico’s Breakout Moment?

THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS STUCK IN MEXICO STASH HOUSES JUST OUTSIDE US

PANAMA
Panama police say remains may be missing Dutch women

PUERTO RICO
Exclusive: UBS faces criminal probe for Puerto Rico bond fund sales – lawyers

Puerto Rico: Is this any way to run an island?

SOUTH AMERICA
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.

URUGUAY
From The White House: On Mujica and Castro

VENEZUELA
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

As World Oil Prices Rocket on Iraq Strife, Venezuela Oil Price Jumps above $100

The week’s posts and podcast:
WH blames cartels for immigration surge

Argentina: Cristina can’t pay up . . .

Cubazuela: Free healthcare for all

Central American media actively promoting illegal immigration into US

Mexican meth kingpin busted at World Cup

Today’s Google doodle: Boca

The plan

Colombia: The view from Venezuela

Argentina: SCOTUS rules for the creditors

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The new twist in illegal immigration: Children as human shields for the cartels

5 lessons Hillary could learn from Isabel


The World Cup week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 16th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, the World Cup is front-page news on every newspaper in the hemisphere.

More important news: Santos was re-elected in Colombia.

ARGENTINA
Argentine VP Defends Self Before Judge in Corruption Case

BERMUDA
Guantanamo Uighurs Stranded in Bermuda

BOLIVIA
Don’t tell Maureen Dowd, ‘Coca’ cake for UN chief: Bolivia gives Ban a birthday treat

BRAZIL
How Brazil’s Hubris Jeopardized Its World Cup

5 pieces of World Cup hosting advice for Brazil

Comparing Brazilian states with countries
Brazil’s closest matches

CHILE
Bachelet’s Education Reforms Fall Short, Chilean Students Say

Chile: Patagonia Dams Rejected

COLOMBIA
For war-weary rebels, Colombia invites defections with comforts and kindness

Colombia poised for knife-edge presidential election

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica seizes 4 tons of cocaine at sea

CUBA
Cy Tokmakjian Canadian fears foregone verdict in Cuban court

Four people found murdered in Cuba

Note From the Pro-Cuba, Anti-Castro Lobby

ALICIA ALONSO IS SHOCKED!

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Stateless people in Dominican Republic hope to regain citizenship

ECUADOR
Ecuador Breaks Its Amazon Deal

EL SALVADOR
Central America Newspapers Tout Open US Door for Illegal Minors

IMMIGRATION
JAN BREWER: MS-13 GANG MEMBERS COULD BE CROSSING BORDER WITH CHILDREN; I’d actually be surprised if they weren’t.

FOREIGN POLICY
Fundamentally changing America by emboldening dictators: Obama’s Budget Fails Democracy Promotion Abroad
The administration is proposing to remove language from next year’s budget that would safeguard American foreign aid from repressive foreign leaders.

The proposed removal from the administration’s budget and appropriations request for next fiscal year of a provision instructing the Secretary of State not to seek the prior approval of host governments when funding nonprofits and civil society groups overseas is infuriating American democracy-promotion and human-rights activists, who argue the omission marks a retreat in U.S. leadership.

They warn the Obama administration is in effect signaling to repressive regimes that they can dictate where U.S. democracy-promotion and human rights money goes in their countries—a problem the provision introduced a decade ago was meant to combat.

MEXICO
BIKERS RIDE TO MEXICO TO FREE JAILED MARINE

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shakedown like highway robbery

PANAMA
Panama Canal chief says new locks operational by January, 2016

PERU
After Eight Decades, Sweden Returns Textile Artifacts to Peru

PUERTO RICO
The results of the welfare state: Some 68% of Babies in Puerto Rico Born to One-Parent Households

VENEZUELA
What leaving Venezuela means to Jews

Venezuelan Government Tightens Noose Around Its Citizens

Can we get a grand unified theory of political physics for Venezuela?

Venezuela: The Protesters’ Power Is Rising

TalCual: Repression vs. Inflation
On Tuesday, a group comprised by 9 human rights NGOs released their own figures. These showed that Nicolás Maduro has repressed 485% more than his predecessor, while inflation may exceed 70% by the end of this yea
r

The week’s posts and podcast:
Immigration: And I still ask, who’s organizing this?

En español: El Foro de Sao Paulo, creación de Castro y da Silva

Mexico: Drug gangs with tanks attack shale wells

Brazil: #WorldCup inaugural today

Venezuela: Tricks for bucks, Trix from Doral

Brazil: Who made out from the #WorldCup money?

Ecuador: The bond and pony show

At Da Tech Guy:
The case for harmless escapism

Immigration and the new vulnerabilities of fundamental transformation

Podcast:
Kids on the US-Mexico border & other US-Latin America stories of the week

The upcoming World Cup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 9th, 2014

LatinAmerThe spotlight’s on Brazil this week, as the World Cup inaugural game is scheduled for Thursday, June 12 in Sao Paolo. Let’s hope the games don’t turn into a disaster.

ARGENTINA
Study: Poverty Tops 30% in Suburbs of Buenos Aires

In Argentina, Wine, Art and Altitude

BAHAMAS
BAHAMAS HIRES LAW FIRM FOR ‘SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY MATTERS’ AFTER NSA REVELATIONS

BOLIVIA
Chic Stops in the Suburbs of La Paz, Bolivia

BRAZIL
São Paulo unions threaten general strike for World Cup amid subway protests
Days of subway strikes raise fears of transport chaos during tournament in Brazil; union leaders say other sectors could join industrial action

Brazil finds bumpy path on way to becoming world oil power

CHILE
More Than 8,000 Affected in Chile by Storm

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Peace Talks Backfire on Santos
FARC bombings of pipelines and electricity towers increase while negotiations drag on.

The Economist endorses Santos: Colombia’s presidential election
A vote for peace
To stop the killing, Colombians should re-elect Juan Manuel Santos
, while Colombia Politics points out that We’re voting for a president not for peace. Meanwhile, pressure from candidate Zuluaga is already achieving a cease-fire from the FARC.

Colombia to set up truth commissionIvan Marquez, Farc commander, Havana, 27 May 14
Colombia’s government and Farc rebels agree to set up a truth commission to investigate thousands of deaths in five decades of conflict.

CUBA
Gag-inducing Travel Tips from Sarah Hall

Where Are the “Self-Employed” and “Reform” Defenders?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic delivers on immigration promise

ECUADOR
In the cradle of Ecuadorean soccer, the beach is the fiercest field
Esmeraldas, Ecuador, is home to only 3 percent of the national population but it makes up almost half of the country’s World Cup team. Is the beach the secret?

GUATEMALA
Guatemala ex-police chief jailed for life by Swiss court

HAITI
Haiti police fire tear gas at anti-government protest

HONDURAS
More effects of America’s weak foreign policy: U.S. Crew Is Arrested on Honduras River Job
A salvage company has a contract to dredge the Patuca River and raise valuable mahogany and cedar logs, but weapons on the company ship mean time in jail.

Honduran Police Arrest 11 Undocumented Cubans

IMMIGRATION
REPORT: Illegals Bring Contagious Diseases Across Border – Obama Spreads Them Around Country

JAMAICA
Gun-toting gays drive fear in citizens of garrison communities

MEXICO
In Tampico, Mexico, where the drug war rages, ‘the walls have ears’

LA Times Columnist Is Happy US Marine Is in Mexican Prison

Mexico defends decision to prosecute US marine

Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Mexico

PANAMA
Panama’s Canal Divides A Country Into Haves And Have-Nots

PERU
Peru’s Mining Communities Left In The Dust With Broken Promises Of Schools, Jobs

PUERTO RICO
You heard about it from Fausta’s blog, but now BLUE MODEL GOES BELLY-UP
Media Catches Up on Puerto Ric
o

Work Stoppages at Public Firms in Puerto Rico Against Cuts

URUGUAY
Puff-piece on Mujica at al-Jazeera:
Uruguay’s Mujica: New global role model?
Uruguay’s ‘humble’ president defies imperial and corporate hegemony with a series of unorthodox policies.

Mujica certainly knows how to make a fashion statement:

VENEZUELA
21st Century Socialism:
Poverty Shoots Up in Venezuela; as I mentioned last week, in the last year of Hugo Chavez’s life, extreme poverty increased by a whopping 38% over the prior year.

THE FRACAS IN CARACAS
Venezuela Runs out of Drinking Water

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Secretary of national thought

#DDay70 Interpretive dance?

Ecuador: Something’s rotten in the gold swap

Venezuela-Cuba Facilitate Infiltration of Iranian Agents

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez to remain jailed while on trial UPDATED

En español: El Rey Juan Carlos en la Unidad de Quemados

Carlos Eire’s Capt. Louis Renault moment

Democrat Chavista for Congress!

Ecuador: Selling gold

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Immigration’s lost children

Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

Podcast:
Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico & US-Latin America stories of the week


The free market Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

LatinAmerLatin Free Markets Rule as Pacific Ocean Nations Beat Atlantic

ARGENTINA
Argentina Leaves Singer for Last in Preparing Bond Market Return

After a 20-hour meeting with officials from the Paris-based group of creditor nations, which kept President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner awake until 2 a.m., Argentina said yesterday that it agreed to pay $9.7 billion over five years to settle claims stretching back to the government’s record $95 billion default in 2001. South America’s second-biggest economy hasn’t issued bonds in international markets since it stopped payments.

Solving the remaining dispute with holdout creditors including billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. is becoming more urgent with foreign-exchange reserves stuck near an eight-year low. Argentina needs the money to fund investment, defend its currency and make payments on restructured bonds, while any proceeds from a U.S. bond sale could be seized by creditors backed by court orders saying they’re owed billions.

BRAZIL
Video (starts right away): Staying safe at the World Cup in Brazil
Health and safety fears are growing as foreign fans prepare to travel to Brazil with worries of crime, disease, policing and fake medicines

Brazil’s World Cup Is An Expensive, Exploitative Nightmare
Brazilians angry at their government and FIFA could turn this giant soccer tournament into a tipping point. Are these corrupt, elitist spectacles worth it?

Nao Vai Ter Copa has become a national rallying cry. There Will Be No World Cup.

CHILE
Will Chile’s politicians ruin the Latin tiger?
The free-market revolution in Chile is remarkable. If you look at the Economic Freedom of the World rankings, Chile was in last place in 1970. Now it’s around 10th. It would be tragic if Leftists ruined it

COLOMBIA
García Márquez’s Blind Spot

CUBA
Two Generations Lost to Communism

The Castros in Their Labyrinth

ECUADOR
No Messiah Please, We’re Ecuadorian

Beware of pickpockets: Tory MP is robbed on first day of mountaineering jaunt to Ecuador – after ignoring Foreign Office advice

MEXICO
Marine jailed in Mexico recounts harrowing attempt to escape from prison

Oil-Tinged Graft Scandal Roils Mexico
Ex-chief of oil-services firm with close ties to the PAN political party is arrested and charged with allegedly defrauding a Citigroup unit

PANAMA
Commercial shipping lanes changed in Panama to save humpback whales

PARAGUAY
World’s Happiest Country? Would You Believe Paraguay?

PERU
Spanish company to upgrade Peru refinery in $3.5 bn deal

PUERTO RICO
In Puerto Rico, Cocaine Gains Access to U.S

VENEZUELA
Tick-tock, on Relojes del Chavismo

The week’s posts and podcast:
Ecuador’s looking for a few good extras

Colombia: Zuluaga change of heart?

Mexico: PRD lobbying Washington

Venezuela: US to sanction chavistas

Cuba: Why is the US Chamber of Commerce chief visiting?

Brazil: World Cup blues UPDATED

En español: Terapia intensiva #209

Venezuela: 9.8% in extreme poverty

Venezuela: Wives of jailed mayors win

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Venezuela: Bi-partisan US Congress approves sanctions bill

Colombia: What the FARC really want

Podcast:
Elections in Colombia PLUS other US-Latin America stories of the week

The Memorial Day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 26th, 2014

LatinAmerWith deep gratitude to all who have served our beautiful country in the armed forces, this week’s Carnival.

ARGENTINA
Spanish oil company Repsol ends operations in Argentina
Spanish oil company Repsol has ended its operations in Argentina, two years after the government seized its assets.

Last month the Argentine congress gave final approval to pay $5bn (£3bn) in compensation for Repsol’s stake in Argentine oil firm YPF.

The Spanish company has now announced that it has sold the last batch of bonds it received to cover its losses.

Argentina’s Jewish community talks fondly of friend Francis in the Vatican
Rabbi Abraham Skorka only one of large number of Argentinian Jews with whom pope has developed strong, personal ties

A Desperate Mother’s Search Leads to a Fight Against Sex Trafficking
Desperate for answers about her daughter’s disappearance in 2002, Susana Trimarco started the Fundación María de los Ángeles, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates sex slaves in Argentina.

BAHAMAS
Ah, Bahamas: Sun, Sand and the NSA Recording Your Cell Phone Calls

BOLIVIA
Bolivia Hires Spain’s Isotron to Build Solar Power Plant

BRAZIL
Brazil Deploys Vast World Cup Security Plan
Brazil is spending $855 million on security and safety during the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, which the country will host from June 12 to July 13, the government said on Friday.

Freak hail storm strikes World Cup 2014 host city Sao Paulo
A hail storm covers streets in ice in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the football World Cup in less than a month

CHILE
Revolutionary ‘tears-up’ £300m student debt to protest fees
A Chilean artist has destroyed £300m of student debt ‘IOUs’ to protest tuition charges

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s President Santos to face Zuluaga in run-off vote
Official results from Colombia’s presidential election say the incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos will face his main rival, Oscar Zuluaga, in a run-off next month.

Oscar Iván Zuluaga, a conservative candidate closely allied with former President Álvaro Uribe, won the most votes in the first round of Sunday’s presidential election.

CUBA
Yoani Sanchez’s Independent Online Publication Unblocked in Cuba

From Inside Cuba’s Burning Fire

Miami, Safe Haven for Cuban Torturers? Federal Case of Ethiopian Abuser Reminder, You Cannot Hide from US Justice

Andres Oppenheimer: In Cuba, technology may beat censorship

A Cagy KGB Rabbi

ECUADOR
Ecuador to Begin Oil Drilling in Amazonia

Presidente for life: Ecuador’s Correa Seeks to Allow Indefinite Re-Election of All Officials
Ecuador’s President Asks for Constitutional Amendment

EL SALVADOR
6 Gunned Down on Bus in El Salvador

GUATEMALA
U.S. Sentences Guatemala Ex-President to 5 Years for Money Laundering

HONDURAS
In Violent Honduras, Soccer Is Offering Young Children An Escape From Gangs, Drugs

JAMAICA
Lobbyists call for Jamaica to decriminalize pot

MEXICO
Marine hero stuck in Mexican prison on gun charges

Mexican Zapatista head Marcos steps down
The leader of the Zapatista rebels in southern Mexico, Subcomandante Marcos, announces he is leaving the 20-year-old guerrilla group.

Mexican federal forces rescue 68 CentAm migrants being held captive

How Mexico’s New President Is Turning His Country Into a Servile US Client
Enrique Peña Nieto is using violence and repression to dismantle his country’s progressive legacy.
So, is servility why Mexico’s holding Andrew Tahmooressi?

PERU
U.S. Opens Talks with Peru on Waiving Visas

Attorney: Joran van der Sloot to marry in Peruvian prison, become father

PUERTO RICO
Borinqueneers to get Congressional Gold Medal

URUGUAY
Marijuana to Be Sold for Less Than $1 a Gram in Uruguay
Authorities said the price was deliberately set below what marijuana sells for illegally, and the quality control of the drug available at pharmacies would be “very high”

VENEZUELA
CNN team denied right to cover Venezuela local elections

Surprise! Latrine America backs Maduro in Venenozuela

Mythbusting the reduction of poverty

Unfortunately, A Bleak Future For Venezuelans.

Crackdown presents challenge to Citizens Energy, Joe Kennedy II

The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: rising volume of drugs coming from Venezuela

Colombia: Who will be the next president?

En español: Unidad de quemados

Mexico: Kevin’s selfie

Bob Menendez on the Venezuelan nightmare

LatAm in top-10 happiest

UN: Cuba to chair World Health Assembly

Venezuela: Chavistas rolling in dough

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Cuba and moral blindness

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


Chile: Down with entrepreneurs

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Letter to the WSJ editor:

Regarding Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s “Assault on the Chilean Miracle” (Americas, May 5): I am of German nationality and came to Chile last year, where the startup community was flourishing. I set up our company, a tech startup that optimizes recruitment processes through the automatization of internal referral systems. All was going well until the tax reforms provoked a state of shock among Chilean companies. It now seems that Chilean companies have been put on “stand by” due to the uncertainty of the tax reforms.

Many relatively new companies that have come to Chile to innovate are now struggling due to budget cuts from large, potential clients and will directly suffer because of this reform. The entire entrepreneurial ecosystem that has given the country so much international exposure is currently at stake. This will have a direct impact on the forward-thinking measures Chile has taken over the past years.

Alexander Theis

I would call it unintended consequences, but, quite frankly, I suspect the outcome is exactly what Bachelet intended.

The cinco de mayo Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Today is May 5th, in Spanish cinco de mayo, and whether you celebrate or not, ignore the insecure who don’t want you to avail yourself of business opportunities.

juan_soloStay thirsty, my friends.

(Juan Solo via Doug Mataconis‘s FaceBook feed)

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA Y LA NARCO-CORRUPCION

Slums in Buenos Aires
The unplugged
Efforts to integrate shantytowns are hampered by a lack of trust and money

BRAZIL
Welfare and tax boost for Brazil poor
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff announces an increase in social security payments and tax cuts ahead of her re-election campaign in October.

Poll Shows Brazil President Could Face Runoff
The latest poll of Brazilian voters is showing for the first time that President Dilma Rousseff may face a runoff in October’s presidential election
due to a lackluster economy.

Inflation is running around 6%, while economic growth isn’t expected to surpass 2% this year.

CHILE
Chile’s electoral system
Ending the permanent draw

COLOMBIA
A Dutch Guerillera: The Foreign Face of FARC’s Civil War
Tanja Nijmeijer of Holland spent more than 10 years fighting with the rebel group FARC in the jungles of Colombia. More recently, she has been part of the guerillas’ peace negotiating team in Cuba. What drives her?

A Building Boom in Bogotá
With a growing economy, a declining crime rate and an influx of developers, Colombia’s capital is seeing a rise in luxury housing; Richard Meier’s vision in glass and steel

Rescuers search for Colombia miners
Rescuers are using large mechanical diggers to try to reach people trapped underground after an illegal gold mine collapsed in Colombia.

CUBA
Pastor/ex-political prisoner Omar Gude and wife testify on lack of religious liberty in Cuba

Castro’s Russian Power Play Over the European Union

Castronoid lobby launches propaganda campaign on Twitter, on the Web, and in Washington D.C

ECUADOR
Ecuadorian president demands that indigenous group give up defamers
Rafael Correa accuses Kichwa leaders of acting above the law in holding three opposition activists convicted of defaming him

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador: Ex-President Faces Charges
Former President Francisco Flores will face embezzlement and other corruption charges related to what prosecutors said Wednesday was the misappropriation of at least $5.3 million in loans from Taiwan during his tenure, from 1999 to 2004.

GUATEMALA
Attorney General in Guatemala Excluded From Re-election Bid
Claudia Paz y Paz, who has taken on a former dictator and top drug traffickers, was left off of a shortlist of candidates to be considered for re-election.

HONDURAS
Honduras Detains 9 Undocumented Cuban Migrants en Route to U.S.

Honduras children ‘killed by gangs’
Authorities in Honduras are investigating the deaths of at least seven children who may have been murdered after refusing to join criminal gangs.

JAMAICA
Jamaica scraps bank withdrawal tax, but Paco Santos may have had a business opportunity:

MEXICO
MEXICO CONSIDERS INCREASE IN MARRIAGE AGE TO 18

Mexico seizes ship carrying 68,000 tonnes of illegal iron
Mexican authorities say they have seized a ship belonging to a drugs cartel which was carrying 68,000 tonnes of illegal iron ore.

NICARAGUA
Costa Rica warns Russia is arming Nicaragua

Last month, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country was “committed to further strengthening and modernising the army” with the help of any country willing to provide aid.

He did not give details of an agreement between Nicaragua and Russia.

But Russia’s ambassador in Managua had confirmed in March that Moscow is interested in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua.

Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia is weighing increasing its military presence in countries including Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela – particularly bases to refuel Russian warplanes far from home.

PANAMA
Juan Carlos Varela Declared Victor in Panamanian Presidential Vote
Current Vice President Has 39% of the Vote With 60% of Votes Counted
, with 76% turnout:

Panama’s economy has grown by an average of more than 8% in recent years and is expected to expand by 7% this year, by far the best performance in the Americas. Since 2002, poverty has been slashed from more than 40% to a quarter of the population.

“One good thing is that that there are no big ideological differences,” Nicolás Ardito-Barletta, a former World Bank economist who served less than a year as president in the mid-1980s, said before the vote. “Nobody’s going to kill the goose.”

In Panama Vote, a Noncandidate Matters
Presidential elections in Panama on Sunday feature a crowded field of seven candidates, but are widely seen here as a referendum on one man who won’t appear on the ballot: conservative President Ricardo Martinelli.

PERU
Visit Choquequirao, Peru
Explore Peru’s famous Incan ruins in the lesser-known but still breathtaking city of Choquequirao

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico leads world in Walgreens, Walmart stores per sq. mile

Drug Trade Takes a Toll on Puerto Rico, Police Chief Says

URUGUAY
Uruguay unveils legal marijuana plan
Uruguay’s authorities reveal how marijuana will be produced and sold legally in the country at less than $1 a gramme.

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan government arrests 58 foreigners ‘for inciting protests’
Interior Minister denounces alleged plot to promote unrest and overthrow Venezuela’s government as it is revealed dozens of foreign nationals are among the detained

Venezuelan Jewish Leader Says Anti-Semitism Has ‘Exploded’ in Recent Years in Latin America

Tales Of Bolivarian Inefficiency III: Chávez’ Frozen Cuban Dream

Chávez initially promised that Coppelia ice cream would be made with Venezuelan products and supplies. Milk products from Lacteos Los Andes (now practically bankrupt), sugar from CVA Azucar (now shut down, see first post) and orange, guava, mango, peach and coconut.

Well, 18 months later and now Chávez is dead, Coppelia produces ice cream, mostly creamy flavors, in irregular and limited fashion. Raw materials and supplies are all imported. Forget about all those fruit flavors, but its manager says raw materials come from Lacteos Los Andes, which is practically shut down. [See also Chavez’s Farming Utopia Withers as Pet Projects Abandoned]

The Money-Losing Machine in Caracas
Forget Chávez and his Bolivarian Revolution — it’s oil that wrecked the Venezuelan state.

Which brings us, finally, to the million-dollar question: In post-Chávez Venezuela, who has the political capital to institute the deep and painful reforms the country requires to break out of this wicked cycle? If Chávez himself — who was the closest to God you can get in Venezuelan politics — didn’t dare to touch the gasoline subsidy or move against the Armed Forces’ involvement in organized crime, who would dare? In the answer to that question, more than in the epic battles painted by the likes of María Corina Machado, lies the key to Venezuela’s long term future.

May 1 follies

Cedice: Fighting Socialism In Venezuela: The Work Of A Heroic Think Tank

The official corruption
The General Comptroller’s Office just published its latest report, and between lines, front firms which got away with dollars came to the spotlight again. The following list presents the irregularities admitted by the Venezuelan Government

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nestor fever #PoneleNestorATodo: Tympanoctomys Kirchnerorum UPDATED

Chile: Bienvenido, Putin

Mexico: Impunity for attacks on the press

@MarkSteynOnLine on the Benghazi lies

Highjacker returns from Cuba, objects to terms of conviction

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez’s jail birthday

6 good writers from Latin America + 1

Iran in Latin America: Must-read report

Argentina: Trade surplus plummets

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
‘Dude, this was like two years ago’, and don’t miss the chart.

Brazil: Welcome to Usama’s!

Podcast:
“Foreign investment reforms” in Cuba PLUS US-Latin America this week


Chile: Bachelet, going left as promised

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Last November I predicted that, if Michelle Bachelet made good on her campaign promises, it would be disastrous not only for Chile, but also for the region.

She’s on her way:
Assault on the Chilean Miracle
President Bachelet wants to raise the corporate tax rate to 35% from 20%.
(emphasis added)

Three decades of fast growth—led by liberal economic policies—have made Chile the most prosperous country in Latin America. Its annual per capita income of more than $19,000 is up from $5,000 in 1990. The percentage of Chileans living in poverty stands at 14.4%, down from 45% in 1985.

The country also stands out politically in the region for its adherence to a rule of law that protects minority rights and eschews banana-republic populism.

Now Ms. Bachelet and her minions in Congress are signaling a game change that suggests a return to the political polarization of the early 1970s. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they see their legislative majorities as their chance to finally ram the utopian dream of the late President Salvador Allende down the collective Chilean throat.

Sen. Jaime Quintana, spokesman for the New Majority coalition in the upper chamber, said as much in March, when the opposition complained that the ruling coalition was using a “steamroller” in Congress. Not “a steamroller,” Mr. Quintana said. “We are going to use a high-powered steam shovel because it is necessary to destroy the antiquated foundations of the neo-liberal model of the dictatorship.”

In addition to raising the corporate tax rate to 35% from 20%, Bachelet wants to eliminate the FUT,

a key provision in the tax code that allows companies to delay paying taxes on earnings if those earnings are reinvested rather than paid out. Known by its Spanish initials as the “FUT,” this provision has provided much of the capital that fueled Chile’s rapid growth in the last three decades.

Wait until she amends the Constitution and starts overspending the mining profits on social programs and running a deficit.

And don’t forget she’s invited Putin already.

Chile goes down, and the Pacific Alliance is o-v-e-r.

Chile: Bienvenido, Putin

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Now that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stopped in Chile during his tour of Latin America, Bachelet invites Putin to visit Chile

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday invited Russia’s Vladimir Putin to visit the Andean nation and the bases that both countries have in Antarctica with the aim of moving forward on scientific cooperation.

And it’s not just science,

[Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo] Muñoz also joined Lavrov at a meeting with Chilean Defense Minister Jorge Burgos to discuss “the potential for military exchanges.”

$5 says Russia comes out ahead on any of this.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!


The giant telescope Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 28th, 2014

LatinAmerIn this week’s news, Telescope in Puerto Rico Detects Strange, Rapid Bursts of Radio Waves

[Director of the Astronomy Section at Arecibo Observatory, a part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Fernando] Camilo said the phenomenon has been detected at least seven times through the radio telescope in Australia, but the importance of this one is that for the first time it has been documented at another observatory, which confirms that this is an astronomical reality and cannot be attributed to some peculiarity of a particular instrument.

“The question now is the nature of this phenomenon,” said the scientist, who for years studied astronomy in the United States.

“This could be a powerful burst of radio waves faraway in the universe, a kind of signal never detected before,” which appears to come from outside our galaxy.

The Arecibo telescope was one of the James Bond locations in GoldenEye (1995, and yes, the clip is dubbed),

ANTIGUA
Antigua’s Parliament to Dissolve in preparation for the general elections that must be held by July 25.

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA Y EL NARCOESTADO (PARTE III)

Surge in Vigilante Justice Ignites Lynching Wave in Argentine Province

Yowza! Argentina Trade Surplus Plunged 95% on Year in March
Broad Decline in Commodities, Manufactured Goods Exports Led to Drop

BOLIVIA
Bolivia dismisses protesting troops
Bolivia’s military chiefs have ordered the dismissal of more than 700 troops who have been protesting to demand better working conditions.

BRAZIL
Violence Roils Brazil’s Biggest Cities
A professional dancer’s death sparked a violent protest in a Rio de Janeiro slum, and armed men torched nearly three dozen buses outside São Paulo.

Life as a Brazilian Woman

CHILE
Chile’s national police to expand by 6,000 officers

COLOMBIA
Santos is losing the plot while Enrique Peñalosa is on the rise.

Will the real Mr Santos please speak up
A tepid election fraught with risks for Colombia

Drug ritual kills gap-year Briton in Colombia
Henry Miller, a 19-year-old from Bristol who was due to start university in September, died after taking hallucinogenic drugs as part of a tribal ritual in South America

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
To the tune of $325,000: Dominican Republic lawmakers waddle in ‘sweet beans’ scandal

The Chamber of Deputies on Friday confirmed allocating more than RD$14.0 million (US$325,000) for its 185 members to hand out the ingredients to cook the traditional Easter dish ‘habichuelas con dulce’ (sweet beans), first aid kits, inflatable swimming pools, domino games and other items, in what it called: “expenditures for the Easter operation 2014 and to assist relief agencies in each province.”

CUBA
@NETmundial: Russia and Cuba Push for Internet Censorship

ECUADOR
Ecuador may try to print 10-yr as low as mid 6%. It would take a lot more yield to convince me to buy it.

HAITI
Haiti in the Shadow of Cholera

JAMAICA
Saving Goat Islands, Jamaica

LATIN AMERICA
Netflix to launch first Spanish-language show

MEXICO
Mexican Drug Cartel Clashes are Exploding Anew in Tamaulipas

Competition bill passes Mexico’s Senate, easing legislative logjam

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua: Revolutionary reminders around every corner
Its political and military dramas once dominated the news, but these days, says Chris Moss, Nicaragua makes a fascinatingly enigmatic destination
. . . only if you don’t mind communist propaganda.

PANAMA
Venezuelans flock to Panama to escape Maduro economy

PERU
Peru buys surveillance satellite from France

PUERTO RICO
John Paulson Calls Puerto Rico Singapore of Caribbean

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s Security Forces: A Killer Elite Beyond the Law
As violent protests return, the death toll is down, but families are struggling hopelessly to find justice for their loved ones killed in demonstrations earlier this year.

Peaceful protests bother you? Just ban them. And force punitive delation.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Vargas Llosa: Venezuela a “pathetic failure”

Garcia Marquez’s black eye: Vargas Llosa ain’t telling

Ecuador: Adiós, Security Cooperation Office

En español: La vida de los “Enchufados” en Miami

Venezuela: American arrested for murder

Venezuela: #1 in misery index

Colombia: Gustavo Petro back in city hall

Argentina: SCOTUS hearing Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital

En español: Terapia intensiva #204

Well, there’s at least one person out there who dislikes Gabriel García Márquez more than I,

Colombia: Santos throws the towel

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Venezuela: Misery and missiles

“Positive discrimination”

Podcast:
Cuba, Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week.