Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category
Mares de infelicidad
La lógica de Hugo Chávez obedecía a una combinación de poder y delirio: quería ser el heredero histórico de Castro. Y quería demostrarle al mundo que el socialismo cubano, el original, el fidelista, sí podía funcionar
Nunca dejará de sorprender el daño que el poder absoluto, concentrado en una persona, puede causar en la vida de los pueblos. Pero aún más misteriosa es la incapacidad de muchos pueblos para ver de frente el fenómeno, comprenderlo y evitarlo. Es el triste caso de un sector del pueblo venezolano, ciego al desmantelamiento de su propio país perpetrado por Hugo Chávez y su Gobierno en beneficio del régimen dictatorial más longevo del mundo actual: el de los hermanos Castro.
Y me gusta el dibujo,
English article here (but rather watered-down for a NYT audience?).
Everything old is new again, so this week’s word is Putinesco, the 21st century non-Soviet.
DEBKA investigation: A fake Iranian “defector” assassinated Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Argentina, Iran and the strange death of Alberto Nisman
The death of a prosecutor investigating links between Buenos Aires and Tehran has quickly gone from being a criminal case to a political affair It always was.
Bolivia’s “spaceship architecture” showcases the new wealth of indigenous people
Brazil Rio carnival: Beija-Flor wins despite ‘Obiang link’
A Brazilian samba school, which is alleged to have received funding from Equatorial Guinea, has been crowned champion of Rio de Janeiro’s carnival. Equatorial Guinea?
Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex has announced it will stop shipping ready-to-use petrol and diesel through its pipelines, in an effort to curb fuel thefts.
Pemex says it will use its pipelines across Mexico only for unfinished fuel.
That fuel will go through a last phase of mixing when it reaches the company’s storage plants.
More than $1bn (£650,000) worth of fuel was stolen by Mexican gangs in 2014, an increase of 70% over the previous year.
TOWERS OF SECRECY
Mexican Political Family Has Close Ties to Ruling Party, and Homes in the U.S.
The properties stand in contrast to the working-man image promoted by José Murat Casab, a longtime party insider, and his son, a top housing official.
Trouble Brewing in Nicaragua
Shoygu met with defense and military leaders in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua and signed several agreements on warship visits and military training during the visit, which ran from Feb. 11 to 14. It is not clear whether any new arms deals were completed during the visit.
Of course, everything old again,
Dan Goure, a Russia expert with the Lexington Institute, said Russia’s current moves into Latin America “are like a page Xeroxed from the Soviet political-military playbook.”
But, hey, the Monroe doctrine is dead, so there.
Ah, for the optics!
My friend Silvio Canto, Jr. was keeping track of how many times the Hotel Saratoga, where Nancy Pelosi stayed during her Havana junket, had been expropriated by the Communist regime. He found out it was expropriated twice: once in 1959, and again in 2011:
in 2011, Castro confiscated Coral Capital’s minority stake in The Hotel Saratoga.
And for giggles, he had Coral Capital’s two senior executives in Cuba, Amado Fahkre and Stephen Purvis, imprisoned in the notorious torture facility known as Villa Marista (akin to Moscow’s infamous Lubyanka).
Fahkre and Purvis spent nearly two years arbitrarily imprisoned, had all their assets confiscated and were finally expelled to Britain.
Purvis, as you may recall, does not hold fond memories of the sixteen months he was jailed, and Coral was contemplating suing the Cuban regime for the $20+million it seized.
Indeed, the Saratoga ought to be an object lesson to all who contemplate investing with the Cuban regime; a lesson lost on Nancy.
Today at 1PM Eastern I’m in Silvio Canto’s podcast talking about the US-Cuba talks, Argentina and other US-Latin America issues of the week with Jorge Ponce.
I was in Rick Moran’s podcast last night talking about the GOP playing chicken with Homeland Security funding with Noah Rothman of Hot Air.
Both podcasts are archived for your listening convenience.
Daniel Duquenal is running a series of posts analyzing Venezuela’s situation. Go here for links.
Over in Bolivia, Evo Morales, following Cristina Fernandez’s example in Argentina, is resorting to thieving private pensions, since he’s running out of money now that oil prices are down.
It’s his third term, so he’s declared himself planetary leader at the Tiwanaku ruins, just for show:
Today in history, Feb 18, 1964:
United States punishes nations for trading with Cuba
The United States cuts off military assistance to Britain, France, and Yugoslavia in retaliation for their continuing trade with the communist nation of Cuba.
Nowadays we send hashtags instead.
Because you keep your edge by touting island-prisons,
Light A Cigar! Conan Storms Cuba Ahead Of Late-Night Competitors
The episode is intended to give O’Brien’s audience a rare glimpse into Cuban daily life, said show representatives in confirming the report to Deadline.
From Stratfor: U.S., Bolivia: The Pieces Are in Place for Improved Relations
Heisenberg: Bill Clinton apologizes to Mexico for the war on drugs which he blames for fueling violence in the country
Bill Clinton spoke at a summit on Youth and Productivity in Mexico
He said: ‘I wish you had no narco-trafficking, but it’s not really your fault’
He then blamed U.S. efforts which had forced trafficking over land
Clinton’s administration followed past president’s efforts on drugs war
Ohio? Panama Canal expansion shipping jobs to Ohio
Appalachian Ohio could benefit most, in part because the Ohio River could receive goods from the canal after they’ve made their way to the United States via the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River or the East Coast and the Port of Virginia.
Clashes in Venezuela as economic shortages continue to bite
A year after violent clashes between opposition protestors and government forces left 43 dead, protestors returned to the streets of Venezuela
Reporters without Borders: Venezuela flunks in Press Freedom Index
The 2015 World Press Freedom Index, prepared by NGO Reporters without Borders, highlights increasing difficulties in Latin America for journalists to do their job in 2014. Venezuela fell 21 places from 2013
The week’s posts and podcast:
Smart diplomacy: “We didn’t want anything in return” from Cuba
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Argentina: A case of “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown?” UPDATE