Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

Haiti: Clinton’s crony gets the contract

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Andrew Stiles reports:
Oh, Denny Boy: How The Clintons Helped an Irish Telecom Tycoon Makes Millions in Earthquake Ravaged Haiti

On February 24, former President Bill Clinton was in Haiti to celebrate the opening of a luxury Marriott Hotel in Port-au-Prince. Like most foreign-backed projects in Haiti, the Clinton Foundation was a key player in its development. And like most projects involving the Clinton Foundation, a shady Clinton crony is running the show.

The 175-room hotel is owned by Digicel Group, the Caribbean and Central American telecom empire run by Denis O’Brien, an Irish billionaire who officially resides in Malta to avoid taxes and serves chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Action Network. Digicel, the largest mobile provider in Haiti, invested $45 million in the project, which also benefited from $26.5 million in financing from the World Bank-affiliated International Finance Corporation. But it was Bill Clinton who made it all happen.

Read the whole thing.

Of course, Bill claims “he only works there,”

Further obfuscation to follow, in the form of aging point men declaring,

  1. That the accusations are “old news.”
  2. That the accusers are funded by right-wing conspiracists.
  3. That everyone does what the Clintons did.
  4. That the media pick on the Clintons.
  5. That there is no hard evidence (because they have destroyed documents) that would ever lead to a criminal case. And:
  6. That they are moving on, to work on behalf of the folks.

No way I want the Clintons back in office.

Chile: Bachelet ditches entire Cabinet

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

If you visit college campuses/campi with your child, you may listen to an administrator say something in the likes of, “look at the person at your right, look at the person at your left, only one of the three of you will get in.” If you look at the persons in this photo, only one gets to keep her job . . . for now:

Trying to stay in office and aiming to change the Constitution, while steeped in corruption scandals,
Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet asks entire cabinet to resign amid crisis
Faced with lowest approval ratings of her political career leader says she will decide who to keep on in her government
. That means she’s firing them in the most cowardly way:

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she has asked all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations and she will decide who stays and who leaves in the next 72 hours.

If Ms Bachelet wants to project an image of decisiveness and clarity of purpose, this little game of asking all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations after which she will decide who stays and who leaves in the next 72 hours instead proves her to be, without a doubt, a scurvy coward.

What she should have done is not choose a roster of corruption in the first place – which, considering her son, probably was not an option.

Here’s the interview (in Spanish) with Mario Kreutzberger, a.k.a. Don Francisco, where she insists she was out of touch town while her son was procuring that US$10 million loan,

Too late to ask her to put on her big girl panties – she doesn’t have any.

Exit question:
Why don’t you quit, Michelle?

Chile: Bachelet lifts a page from the Clintons

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Michelle Bachelet’s son, Sebastián Dávalos, who had to resign his post as his mother’s sociopolitical director, stands accused of corruption after procuring a US$10 million loan to flip a property the day after she won the second round,

Davalos is accused of promising Bank of Chile executives the government’s ear in return for a CHL$6.5 billion (US$10 million) loan for Caval Ltd., a company half-owned by his wife, which previously held assets of under $8,000. The loan was used to purchase land for a housing development that was later sold at a $4 million profit.

Maybe he thought he was related to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Bachelet insists she will not resign, and, lifting a page from the Clintons, promises she is moving on, to work on behalf of the folks:
Chile’s President Vows to Tackle Corruption, Rewrite ConstitutionMichelle Bachelet says overhaul will make political financing ‘completely transparent’

The president said the anticorruption measures will be complemented by a new constitution. The government is expected to start work on the new constitution in September, Ms. Bachelet said. The current constitution was implemented during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

This rewrite was a campaign promise; Bachelet intends to use proceeds from the mining industry to pay for propaganda social programs, which currently the Constitution does not allow.

Bachelet’s popularity rating is currently 32%. The economy is sliding as investment and growth drop following her tax increases. She’s going to end school vouchers.

And Putin’s been invited.

What could possibly go wrong?

Latin America: Why there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Vast natural resources, great human capital, and yet, LatAm wallows in corruption and crime. This is not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

Why?

Belen Marty writes about one reason why:
LatAm’s Socialist Countries Rival World’s Worst in Institutional Quality
Zimbabwe, Libya Outrank Venezuela in Dismal Scoresheet for Bolivarian Republics

Latin-American countries with governments that claim to be pursuing a “socialist” agenda come out the worst in the latest Institutional Quality Index published by Argentina’s Freedom and Progress Foundation, with several regional nations ranking alongside countries such as South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Gabon.

Argentina, governed between 2003 and 2007 by the late former President Néstor Kirchner, and by his spouse President Cristina Kirchner since 2007, has fallen the most in the rankings over the last 10 years, dropping 50 places to occupy position 137 out of 193 surveyed nations. In 2014 alone, Argentina fell several places to be rated worse than China, Uganda, and Lebanon.

Hugo Chavez’s legacy lives on,

Taking the same long-term view, the index shows how other regional countries have slid dramatically in the quality of their public institutions. Bolivia is down 99 places, Argentina by 33, Ecuador by 81, Venezuela by 75, and Paraguay fell by 61 positions, all since 1996.

Communism doesn’t work: Cuba takes the cake at 192, one notch above bottom-ranked North Korea, even after US$300million and 3 million tourists last year alone. Let’s pause for a Capt. Louis Renault moment.

The report, authored by academic Martín Krause, takes an average of eight indicators used by recognized international organizations. Among them are the Index of Economic Freedom (Compiled by the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation), Doing Business, the Rule of Law (the World Bank), and Corruption Perceptions (Transparency International).

The report, which you can read here in Spanish, concludes,

En definitiva, aquellos países que tienen una buena calidad institucional o aquellos que la han mejorado, en particular en relación a las instituciones de mercado, y dentro de ellas aquellas que protegen la inversión y la actividad emprendedora, muestran un mejor desempeño económico y, con ello, ofrecen más oportunidades de progreso a sus habitantes.

[My translation:]
Definitely, the countries with good institutional quality or those which have improved it, especially in regards to market institutions, and within those, the ones that protect investment and enterprise, show better economic performance, and, along with it, offer their citizens more opportunities for progress.

Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Please read my latest, Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal.

Argentina: Prosecutor drops #Nisman’s case

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

The only surprising thing about this is that it went this far:
Argentine Prosecutor Drops Case Against President Cristina Kirchner
Javier De Luca argued that accusations were spurious
(emphasis added),

In a 27-page decision, prosecutor Javier De Luca argued that Mr. Nisman’s case against Mrs. Kirchner and others was spurious. “The constitution prohibits the initiation and continuation of a criminal investigation simply to determine if a crime has been committed when it is readily clear that no crime has been committed,” Mr. De Luca wrote.
. . .
The prosecutor is a member of a pro-Kirchner group, Legitimate Justice, which some members of the judiciary say is focused on protecting government officials. The group’s leaders say they are trying to reform a judiciary that had become too close to big corporations and vested interests. Argentina ranks 127 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum ratings on judicial independence.

De Luca also argued that the negotiations with Iran with members of Cristina’s inner circle cannot be considered a crime since conspiracy is not included in the Argentine Penal Code.

Nisman’s writ: strike III and out?

Although the judges from that tribunal can question the grounds of De Luca’s decision they cannot take up the complaint itself, sources from the court told the Herald yesterday.
. . .
De Luca’s dismissal came the same day that Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel, along with a group of opposition politicians and intellectuals filed a writ before the Supreme Court to keep her son’s complaint afloat, something that is not likely to happen at the influential Comodoro Py courthouse.

As Capt. Louis Renault famously said,

UPDATE:
Carlos Hos has a list of unanswered questions regarding Nisman’s murder (in Spanish)

Brazil: The demonstrators are not going away

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

In fact, now some are calling for military intervention:

700,000 protest against Brazilian government with some calling for military intervention
Anti-government rallies continue as calls for Dilma Rousseff to be impeached grow. Some even urge the military to get involved

Anti-government rallies drew an estimated 700,000 protesters to the streets around Brazil on Sunday amid calls for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
. . .
The protests were aimed at the Workers’ Party (PT), which has been beset by a massive corruption scandal within state-owned oil company Petrobras.

The Workers’ Party has been implicated by an investigation that found some Petrobras contracts were inflated and profit creamed off for executives and politicians.

Elvis left the building, and was on the street:

As I’ve been saying, the outcome is entirely up to the Brazilians.

Colombia: Hillary changed her mind on FTA over $50 million, oops, $130 million

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

LANGUAGE WARNING

Ace posts, Hillary Clinton Reversed Position on Trade Deal With Colombia After Huge Donation to Clinton Foundation

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Frank Guistra, a mining magnate — that means oil — who gave the Clinton Foundation up to fifty fucking million fucking dollars.

Make that $130 million, Ace,

Oh. I guess I lowballed it.

As Colombian Oil Money Flowed To Clintons, State Department Took No Action To Prevent Labor Violations

The details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation — supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself — Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it “strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States.” The change of heart by Clinton and other Democratic leaders enabled congressional passage of a Colombia trade deal that experts say delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.

Just how much money are we talking about?

In a Wall Street Journal story from 2008, Giustra is described as a “friend and traveling companion” of former President Clinton who donated more than $130 million to Clinton’s philanthropies.

This is not the first time the Clintons were dealing from both sides of the deck. As you may recall,

Mark Penn, her campaign strategist was also working for the Colombian government towards pushing the agreement.

Penn was fired by the Colombians on Saturday and lost his job as Hillary’s campaign strategist on Sunday, but will remain as pollster and adviser to the Hillary campaign, whatever that means.

Frank Giustra now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation,

Just the other day Bill was saying his foundation

is, by a good long stretch, the most transparent of all the presidential foundations and more transparent than a lot of other major foundations in the country.”

It all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is:

Since it’s Throwback Thursday, coinciding with the Summit of the Americas, a quick glance back to 2012, when Hillary tied one on and led the conga line at the Summit,

Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?

Argentina: Yet another Iran connection

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Argentina’s current ambassador to the OAS allegedly held accounts in Iranian banks totaling nearly US$48 million.

Máximo Kirchner held bank accounts abroad with Nilda Garré, says financial sector investigator
The son of Argentina´s president, Cristina Kirchner, is said to have been a joint accountholder in million-dollar bank accounts in the United States and Cayman islands with Argentina´s former ambassador to Venezuela

On Sunday, March 29, the Argentinean newspaper Clarín published an article in which it claimed that Nilda Garré had held bank accounts in the United States and Iran. One of the accounts mentioned by the newspaper was with Felton Bank, headquartered in the American state of Delaware, and amounted to US$ 61.5 million between 2005 and 2010.

The Iranian bank account was said to have been opened on April 28, 2011. This occurred only three months after a secret meeting held in the Syrian city of Aleppo in which the foreign ministers of Iran and Argentina negotiated the creation of a truth commission that would serve to cover up Iranian participation in the 1994 attacks against the Jewish association Amia in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman who was murdered in January of this year.

Nilda Garré has been an influential figure within the Argentinean government since the first days of the presidency of the late Néstor Kirchner. She was Argentinean ambassador to Venezuela, Defense minister, Security minister and is currently ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). She denied to Clarín that she had maintained bank accounts in the United States and Iran.

Garré, who was Argentina´s Defense minister when the Iranian government had asked Chavez to persuade Argentina to share nuclear secrets in exchange for money, “was in charge of handling this matter with her counterparts in Iran and Venezuela.”

The Iranian accounts totaled almost US$48 million.

See also: Afirman que Garré habría manejado dos cuentas en Irán
Sospechas de triangulación de dinero e insumos a través de Venezuela
Llegaron a tener 48 millones de dólares. Antes habría tenido otra en un banco de EE.UU. La ex ministra lo niega.



Today’s Colombian hookers update

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Remember the grope and change story of the Secret Service agents partying with hookers in Colombia?

Well, there were also 10 DEA guys partying in Colombia, too, only for a longer time.

The hookers were Hired By the Drug Cartels.

The cartels sent the hookers; Who would have thunk it?

Let’s call Capt. Louis,

But wait! There’s more,

In addition, Colombian police officers allegedly provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties,” the report states. Ten DEA agents later admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days.
. . .
“The foreign officer allegedly arranged ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years,” the IG report says.

——————-

In other party news, Guatemalan congressmen asked for “whisky and Colombian girls” in exchange for approval of a clean-up project for Lake Amatitlán.

No word from Guatemalan hookers on the subject, but at least they prefer whisky to whiskey.