Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

Colombia: What other weapons were in the Chinese ship heading to Cuba

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Along with long-range weapons systems, the BBC reports that the Chinese ship Da Dan Xia, intercepted last week by Colombian authorities as it headed to Cuba, was carrying

About 100 tonnes of gunpowder, almost three million detonators and some 3,000 cannon shells were found on board the Da Dan Xia, officials said.

But according to the ship’s records, it was carrying grain products.
. . .
The Da Dan Xia is operated by China’s largest shipping company, Cosco Shipping.

Cuba isn’t saying anything yet, but the Chinese say,

We were engaged in “normal trade cooperation involving normal military supplies.”

Rather than dig into the illegal weapons trade, American media is focused instead on Conan’s trip to Cuba,

Looks like Conan spent more time interacting with dogs than with dissidents.

Humberto Fontova reminds us that

(BTW, over TWENTY TIMES as many people have died trying to escape the place Conan advertised last night, as died trying to escape East Berlin.)



Colombia Intercepts Shipment of “War Materiel” Headed to Cuba

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

From the U.S. State Department website:

State Sponsors of Terrorism:

Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act. Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Currently there are four countries designated under these authorities: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria

In the news:
Colombia Intercepts Shipment of “War Materiel” Headed to Cuba (emphasis added)

Colombian authorities have intercepted a Chinese-flagged ship loaded with “war materiel” headed for Cuba.

Headline in Spanish: Autoridades Colombianas interceptan barco de bandera china cargado de armamento de guerra de largo alcance con destino a Cuba.

It was intercepted near the Port of Cartagena. The cargo includes long-range weapons systems.

According to El Tiempo, the ship did not have appropriate documentation — indicating that this was a clandestine shipment.

Capitol Hill Cubans point out,

Cuba was found to be in violation of U.N. sanctions — the most egregious violation of these sanctions to date.

Yet, Castro’s regime got away scot-free — despite a U.N. Panel of Experts documenting how the Cuban authorities lied and sought to conceal the weapons shipment.

Instead, the Obama Administration rewarded Castro’s regime with the normalization of diplomatic relations and eased sanctions for travel and trade with the Cuban military’s monopolies.

While everybody’s talking about Paris Hilton in Havana, the Communist regime’s importing long-range weapons systems; That’s today’s news in “smart diplomacy.”

The first Monday in March Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Fein expects challenges

Vast Argentine Wildfire Burns Out of Control for Almost 2 Weeks

BOLIVIA
Bolivia Plans to Create “Sovereign Cloud” to Improve Computer Security

BRAZIL
Cops Clear Brazilian Highway Blocked by Protesting Truckers

CHILE
Borrowing a line from Obama? Chile’s President Says She Learned about Her Son’s Deals in the Press

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Santos Confident of Peace Accord with FARC This Year

CUBA
NY Times Greets Feeble Free Market Moves in Cuba With Pitiful Obsession Over Income Inequality

Venezuela Proves Fallacy of Obama’s Cuba Policy

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haiti Protests Dominican Republic Racism Against Immigrants After Henry Claude Jean Lynching

ECUADOR
Sharon Stone sued for missing anti-Chevron events

HONDURAS
Honduras, Guatemala Inch Closer to Free-Trade Zone
Plan-Colombia Style Initiative in Central America Doomed to Fail, Say Critics

MEXICO
Mexico’s Peña Nieto Replaces Beleaguered Attorney General

PANAMA
The Invisible Hand and the New Panama Locks

PERU
Oil spills in Peru

PUERTO RICO
FDIC Closes Puerto Rico’s Doral Bank; Banco Popular Steps In

VENEZUELA
Intel Leak Reveals Five FARC Commanders Based in Venezuela
Armed Forces Document Drug-Trafficking Guerrilla Stronghold in Southwest

After 10 months behind bars, Marcelo Crovato, Jailed for Defending Human Rights, Gets House Arrest

El bolívar se desploma tras fracaso del nuevo sistema cambiario en Venezuela

The weeks’s posts and podcast:
Mexico: Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, the equipal chair guy

Cuba: The long and the short of it

Venezuela: Criminalizing dissent, pt. 2

Argentina: #Nisman’s lawsuit dismissed

Brazil: No joy in soy

Argentina: #3 port of departure for Europe’s cocaine?

Argentina: Pope Francis worried about “Mexicanization”

Colombia: Aronson special envoy to FARC peace talks

Colombia: Hello FARC, good-bye rule of law

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Spain, moving towards Chavismo?

All about Steve: A review of Birdman

Podcast:
Venezuela, Argentina PLUS other US-Latin America stories

Cuba: The long and the short of it

Friday, February 27th, 2015

The long: The Cuban Culture of Poverty Conundrum

The short:

One can surmise that, despite its human and material toll, the Castros regime not only failed to solve traditional social problems, but exacerbated at least some of them, and moreover created new ones

H/t the excellent Ziva.

En español: Mares de infelicidad, por Enrique Krauze

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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.

Leerlo completo.

Y me gusta el dibujo,

English article here (but rather watered-down for a NYT audience?).

The Putinesco Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Everything old is new again, so this week’s word is Putinesco, the 21st century non-Soviet.

ARGENTINA
DEBKA investigation: A fake Iranian “defector” assassinated Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Witness is latest in string of false ‘leaks’

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
Bolivia’s “spaceship architecture” showcases the new wealth of indigenous people

BRAZIL
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?

CHILE
Bachelet’s Virtuous Facade
Hypocrisy Runs Deep Throughout Chile’s Political Elite

COLOMBIA
A court in Colombia rules that same-sex couples can adopt children, but only if the child is the offspring of one of the partners.

Colombian teacher changes her name to ABCDEFG HIJKLMN OPQRST UVWXYZ

CUBA
Whitewashing & Policy Laundering Cuban Terrorism

ECUADOR
No Referendum on Correa’s Indefinite Reelection in Ecuador
National Electoral Council Denies Request for Popular Vote

MEXICO
Mexico to stop shipping ready-to-use fuel to curb thefts

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.

NICARAGUA
Trouble Brewing in Nicaragua

PUERTO RICO
Race to the bottom: Moody’s Cuts Puerto Rico Rating Further into Junk
Two-notch downgrade brings the rating on Puerto Rico’s general obligation bonds to Caa1

VENEZUELA
Turmoil in Venezuela
Sliding toward dictatorship
The arrest of the mayor of Caracas is a sign that the regime will do whatever it takes to hold on to power.
Sliding?

The sudden rise of the bodyguards



Machiavellian? No, Putinesco!

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Old: Machiavellian

New: Putinesco.

Russia Boosts Arms, Training for Leftist Latin Militaries
Moscow defense minister inks deals with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua for joint exercises

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.

Cuba: Nancy at the Saratoga

Friday, February 20th, 2015

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.

2 podcasts and a few short items

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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.

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Daniel Duquenal is running a series of posts analyzing Venezuela’s situation. Go here for links.

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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:

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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.

Cuba: And now, Conan

Monday, February 16th, 2015

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.

I doubt that his target audience will hear anything about the beatings and arrests taking place while Conan is “storming Cuba.”