My latest article at Da Tech Guy: Cuba’s foreign prisoners
Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category
Ewa Sapiezynska and Hassan Akram, both from the University of Chile, writing at al-Jazeera, claim that Bleak media reports about the country’s polity and economy are exaggerated.
According to Sapiezynska and Akram, the Venezuelan economy is stable, economic woes are politically induced, and Venezuela’s electoral system is “the best in the world” because Jimmy Carter said so.
That al-Jazeera would publish such nonsense about the second-most corrupt and least-free nation in our hemisphere, a country with an implied annual inflation rate of 325%, , speaks poorly not only of al-Jazeera; it also makes you wonder what kind of charlatan they hire at the University of Chile.
Post edited for clarity.
Following Justin Bieber’s acts of vandalism, Colombian and Brazilian authorities are having to deal with an outburst of graffiti. Maybe they ought to ban the little twerp from coming back, or better yet, make him clean it up with his own two hands.
Authorities have focused on seizing drugs, not dismantling the organisations that peddle them. “This strategy is futile,” says former under-secretary of security for Buenos Aires province, Diego Gorgal. “It doesn’t change the supply, demand, or price of drugs.” It is also poorly executed. According to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report produced by the US State Department, Argentine security forces seized 12 tonnes of cocaine in 2010; in the first six months of 2012 they confiscated only 3.4 tonnes. Operation Northern Shield, an initiative to improve Argentina’s border security through the installation of seven radars in the north, has flopped. Only three have been activated. Their backup? Forty-year-old aircraft.
Fire ravages Oscar Niemeyer building
Authorities in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, fight a major blaze at a landmark building designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, The Latin America Memorial.
D.C. Jews press Obama to secure subcontractor’s release from Cuban jail Alan Gross was arrested in 2009 while on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet; a rally planned for Dec. 3 is meant to raise awareness for his cause.
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic
U.S. trial ends over Ecuador pollution judgment against Chevron: The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.
Uncovering Jamaica’s Jewish Past In the great Caribbean melting pot, one group is largely overlooked: Jewish refugees who settled centuries ago. Their descendants are unearthing graveyards to reclaim a piece of history.
EPN’s first year
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama Reverses: North Korean Crew Not Freed
Organized crime prosecutor Nahaniel Murgas first said only the ship’s captain, first mate and a Korean official who watched the crew would continue to be detained and face charges of arms trafficking. He appeared later in the afternoon at the base where the crew members were being held and changed his version, saying only the ship was legally free to go. He left without further comment.
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:
— German (@GerCortez) November 27, 2013
Venezuela elections: Empty shelves and a skyscraper squat
Venezuelans go to the polls in local and regional elections on 8 December that are being widely seen as a referendum on the six-month presidency of Nicolas Maduro. Opponents accuse him of leading the country to economic ruin, but he insists his reforms are essential and popular.
It’s [sic] means this entire thing, the whole of the macroeconomic mess, all the crazy dislocations of the last few years, the raspaíto, the impossible-to-find milk, the shoving matches for perniles, the cars that suddenly jump up in price as they roll out of the showroom, all of it (and, much worse, all of what’s to come) all of it is – to a much greater extent than almost anyone realizes – just a knock-on effect from the financial chasm left in PDVSA’s finances by the gasoline subsidy!
China + oil = deal CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?
The week’s posts:
Venezuela: “21st Century socialism” = same old Communism
At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!
Last month I referred to Maduro’s incarceration of business owners as the start of the really bad news: the mask dropped completely.
Must-read op-ed by Enrique Standish: Venezuela Finally Turns Communist
Maduro Follows Leninist Dogma to the Letter. Standish tracks the evolution in four stages:
- The first stage entailed obtaining total control of all institutions of the Venezuelan state.
- In the second stage, Chavez
passed 49 laws directed against the private sector. These laws eliminated private participation in the oil business, allowed for confiscation without payment of private lands, suspended constitutional guarantees for business owners, and established “military security zones” in major metropolitan areas — a de facto confiscation of prime real estate in Venezuela’s major cities. At the same time, he launched an all out attack against the country’s independent labor unions
- Third stage:
Chavez nationalized the holdings of international corporations in all sectors considered essential by his Cuban advisers: telecommunications, mining, steel, construction materials, oil and oil services, energy generation, distribution and transmission, gas, agricultural services, and even glass companies. At the same time, Venezuela entered into a hugely expensive and disadvantageous agreement with China, with the sole purpose of diverting its oil exports from the United States to the Chinese market.
Now in the fourth stage, Maduro has declared “Economic War” by ending what was left of free markets in Venezuela as he approved a law setting price controls on all goods, and another law creating a National Foreign Trade Center monopoly that will handle all imports entering Venezuela.
and a Zara store after,
Enter the black market, in force.
trusts the state, “charged with vigilance for the common good.”
I hate to say this, but the Pope’s moral authority just went missing.
More on The Pope’s Rhetoric.
Over at CNN, “Venezuela is on a fast track to ruin:”
Linked to by Moonbattery. Thank you!
The Cuban government said Tuesday that it was shutting down nearly all of its consular services in the United States “until further notice” because it was unable to find a bank willing to handle its business. The decision threatens to disrupt a recent surge in travel between the United States and Cuba on the eve of the holiday season. The Cuban Interests Section in Washington said that it was informed by its bank, M&T Bank, in July that it would no longer be able to provide services to foreign missions.
Play me the world’s smallest violin. For decades, Cuba has defaulted and cheated on all debts, and is currently imprisoning foreign businessmen who tried to collect on unpaid bills.
The Castro regime will now issue all sorts of “threats” and “propaganda” in an effort to coerce the Obama Administration into compelling a private bank to do business with it.
$5 says they’ll find one.
From The Libertarian,
Che Guevara in 10 (Not So) Great Quotes. The veil comes off,
6)“Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him a violent and cold-blooded killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus.”
Update on Honduras’s election: What next?
Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports; Cristina buys hers in Paris anyway.
This may be about to change: Why does Chile prosper while neighbouring Argentina flounders?
Chile has usually followed economically sensible policies, inflation is low and the budget is almost balanced – by contrast Argentina engages in repeated self-inflicted economic upheaval
Colombia’s Wayward Search for Peace (emphasis added):
One should therefore be skeptical of rosy reports from Havana about agreements being made on this point or that. All agreements to date are worthless until the guerrillas turn in their weapons and human rights violators surrender to the authorities.
Secondly, the Obama administration must clearly and loudly annunciate U.S. interests in the matter. After all, U.S. taxpayers have a $10 billion investment in Colombia, used to train and equip Colombian security forces and have as much a stake as anyone in any final agreement with the FARC. That the U.S. has relegated itself to the closet while the likes of Cuba and Venezuela flaunt their participation in negotiations is absurd — and no doubt has contributed to the Colombian people’s doubts about the outcome.
Deportation fears on rise in Dominican Republic
The New Sandinista Autocracy
In his 1986 State of the Union Address, President Reagan declared: “Surely no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the security of our frontiers, for the protection of our vital interests, than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua and to protect Nicaragua’s democratic neighbors.” The region and the world obviously look much different today than they did in 1986: The Soviet Union and the Cold War are long gone, and Nicaragua no longer poses the same geopolitical threat to U.S. interests. Yet the Sandinistas are once again attempting to create a dictatorship, and Nicaragua’s neighbors are once again struggling with rampant violence. Large portions of Guatemalan territory are effectively controlled by the Zetas Cartel, and Honduras is now the global murder capital. (Honduran human-rights commissioner Ramón Custodio Lopez has expressed fears that his nation is becoming a failed state.) And while a March 2012 gang truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18 has significantly reduced homicides in El Salvador, the gangs have continued to extort and terrorize the Salvadoran people, and their truce appears to be unraveling.
Another update: Visiting royals? Those regrettable moments
The week’s posts:
Ecuador: Promises, promises
Bachelet wants to increase taxes, put private colleges out of business, and rewrite the Constitution. What could possibly go wrong? Chile: A step to the left
As expected in Colombia: Santos to run for 2d term
At Da Tech Guy’s: How things can get worse in Venezuela
this week’s post: How things can get worse in Venezuela
Mary O’Grady reports on Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
What Castro Knew About Lee Harvey Oswald
The official narrative skips tantalizing signs of a Cuban connection.
The agency [CIA] recruited Rolando Cubela, a revolutionary insider, to do the job.
But Cubela was a double agent. And on Sept. 7, just after Cubela agreed to help the Americans, Castro gave an interview to an AP reporter in which he put the U.S. on notice that “aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders” would mean that “they themselves will not be safe.”
Castro didn’t need to look far for a willing partner to back up those words. It is “known with near certainty,” writes Mr. Latell, that Cuba had “opened a dossier” on Oswald in 1959, while he was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in Southern California. Oswald was enamored of the Cuban Revolution, and he had made contact with the Cuban consulate in Los Angeles.
On Sept. 27, 1963, Oswald checked into the Hotel Comercio in Mexico City for a five-night stay. He tried to get a visa from the Cuban embassy to travel to Havana. He had a fling with an embassy employee and probably spent time with others who were intelligence agents. When his visa was not forthcoming, witnesses said he went on a rant at the embassy, slammed the door and stormed off.
According to Mr. Latell, during his Mexico City stay Oswald twice visited the Soviet consulate where he met with “an officer of the notorious Department 13, responsible for assassination and sabotage operations.” The KGB was training Cuban intelligence at the time, and “it seems certain that [Oswald's] intelligence file in Havana was thickening.”
Castro’s claim about Oswald—in a speech 30 hours after Kennedy was shot—that “we never in our life heard of him” was a lie. Indeed, in a 1964 conversation with Jack Childs —an American communist who had secretly been working for the FBI—Castro let it slip that he knew of Oswald’s outburst while at the embassy in Mexico City and said that the ex-Marine had threatened to kill the U.S. president.
Castro’s Secrets is also available on Kindle.
Prose poetry from (who else!) Carlos Eire, Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel
Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro has asked Interpol to arrest JJ Rendón, the political strategist to opposition leader Henrique Capriles, allegedly for violence against a woman. Maduro claimed that (my translation)
“It was requested from the International Police to search and find the location of Juan José Rendón Delgado for allegedly committing crimes against the Organic Law for the Women’s Right to a Life Free of Violence.”
Curiously worded statement, to say the least.
Rendón left Venezuela in 2006, which is why Maduro is trying to involve Interpol.
In Venezuela, former judge Blanca Rosa Mármol de León, says that not only has no arrest warrant been issued against Rendón, indeed, the court dismissed charges.
Orden de captura de JJ Rendón no ha sido ordenada por el tribunal. Por el contrario, se estableció que no habia elementos en su contra.
— BRMarmol de Leon (@BMarmoldeLeon) November 18, 2013
It’s worth pointing out that Interpol notes that its constitution prohibits “activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”, but yet,
Interpol took 18 months to accept that the Red Notice issued against Patricia Poleo, a Venezuelan investigative journalist, by her government was politically motivated.
As of the writing of this post, I have not been able to ascertain whether the Maduro regime has actually filed a Red Notice – or nothing – against Rendón.
Rendón, who has managed many successful presidential campaigns in Latin America (most recently that of Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico), tweeted immediately upon hearing of Maduro’s ploy, “I don’t surrender, I don’t fold, I don’t sell out. If the illegitimate @NicolasMaduro’s attack is the price for the cause of Venezuela, welcome the attacks!”
No me rindo,no me pliego,no me vendo.Si el ataque del Ilegítimo @NicolasMaduro es el precio x la causa Venezuela.Bienvenidos los ataques!
— J.J.RENDON (@JJRENDON) November 17, 2013
Rendón also tweeted a danceable salsa song, “La culpa es de JJ Rendón” (It’s all JJ Rendón’s fault)
(Jaime Bayly interviewed Rendón last April; you can watch it here)
Rendón is able to continue his work from outside the country. In the current wave of repression marking the start of really bad news, 11 women were arrested this morning for peacefully protesting the new enabling law that Venezuela’s National Assembly passed last week allowing Maduro to bypass the country’s top legislative body for a twelve-month period.
— El_bicho_popular (@Elbicho_popular) November 18, 2013