Archive for the ‘Dominican Republic’ Category

The Venezuelan riots Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 17th, 2014

This week’s big story: Three dead, several dozen wounded in Venezuela’s ongoing riots as the country enters a new stage of repression:

Twitter reports image blocking in Venezuela

Tomorrow Leopoldo López will lead a march from Venezuela Square and then go to the office of Ministry of Interior and Justice, to hand a petition and hand himself in:

ARGENTINA
Argentina to Replace Bogus Inflation Index to Mend IMF Ties

The nationwide index released on Feb. 13 will replace the benchmark greater Buenos Aires index that has shown inflation at less than half the pace of private estimates since 2007, when former PresidentNestor Kirchner replaced senior staff at the statistics agency. The move comes a year after Argentina became the first nation to becensured by the International Monetary Fund for failing to report accurate economic data.

Soon after, Argentina Fines Retailers
A day after reporting the highest inflation in over a decade, Argentina’s government fined several retail chains for failing to stock certain price-capped products.

BOLIVIA
Peru and Bolivia to meet concerning port sharing proposal

BRAZIL
Brazil’s Economy Seen in a Major Downturn
Data released Friday suggest economic growth has weakened over the past two quarters, illustrating how far a country once considered the darling of emerging-market investors has fallen.

Effects of Brazil’s drought could last through the election

CHILE
Chilean Port Workers End Strike After New Agreement

COLOMBIA
Colombia at crossroads; show us promised land Mr President

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica doubles down on security
While neighboring nations turn to their armed forces for help fighting drug trafficking and violence, no-military Costa Rica taps into other approaches.

CUBA
WaPo editorial: Cuba’s changes are no more than window-dressing

New York Times unmasks selfish motives behind Castro’s ‘reforms’

Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship once again stops consular services in U.S.

Cuba: Release Alan Gross, Maybe US Can Help with “People to People” Banking Transactions

For the third time in a week, Cuban police arrest Antunez

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haitian migrants caught, repatriated to Haiti

ECUADOR
Ecuador Faces Legal Quandary over Intra-Indigenous Violence

EL SALVADOR
Castaway back in El Salvador in an emotional homecoming (+video)
After 13 months adrift at sea, and a flight across the Pacific, José Salvador Alvarenga returns to his native El Salvador — and is too overcome for words

HONDURAS
Honduras suspends eight consuls in US

Honduras has suspended eight of its 10 consuls in the United States.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said there would be an investigation into whether the eight had illegally issued identity papers.

JAMAICA
Jamaican dancehall deejay arrested in lottery scam

MEXICO
Vicente Fox says: For Mexico, legalization is freedom

Mexico: A Different Kind of Gun Story

NICARAGUA
Constitutional Changes Take Effect in Nicaragua

Changes to the Nicaraguan constitution that allow President Daniel Ortega to run for re-election as many times as he wishes entered into force Tuesday with their publication in the official gazette.

PANAMA
More on the Chong Chon Gang, U.N.: Cuba weapons shipment to North Korea violated arms embargo

PARAGUAY
Downpour Saves Paraguay Market from Flames

PERU
Misery, poverty greet paroled foreign drug mules in Peru

PUERTO RICO
CNN gets its panties in a bunch over this, but they don’t have time to report on Venezuela: First on CNN: Christie vacationing in Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
The bong show:
Following legalization in US, Uruguay, marijuana gets second look
Experiments with legalizing marijuana in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay have countries as diverse as Morocco and the Netherlands rethinking how they approach the drug.

Uruguay President Jose Mujica urges US and Europe to change drug policy
After legalising the production and sale of cannabis in his own country, Uruguayan President Jose Mucjica calls on rich, “developed countries” to re-evaluate their strategy for dealing with narcotics

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan Opposition Leader Says He Will Risk Arrest
Leopoldo Lopez Says He Plans to March With Antigovernment Protesters Tuesday

A new landmark date for repression in Venezuela: confirming the dictatorship

5 Ways To Invest In Venezuelan Freedom

Venezuelan dissenter Leopoldo López: Maduro waits for orders from Havana
On Thursday night, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro rejected violent events and, without naming opposition leader Leopoldo López or ex Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia Fernando Gerbasi, said they were “fugitives from justice”

Maduro says the solution to shortages is to eat less:

Chocolate and Chávez

“The final stage of socialism isn’t Communism. It’s an empty shelf.” Gone With the Whine

The week’s posts and podcast:
Panama: World-wide port expansions

Venezuela: Today’s headlines

Panama: Chong Chon Gang goes back to Cuba, captain goes to jail, garage sale coming up

Venezuela: Street scenes UPDATED

En español: Los Horóscopos del Maestro Piyush

Is Venezuela collapsing?

Cuba: The truth about Che

Venezuela: Now reporting

Venezuela: Huge demonstrations UPDATED

Sochi? No, Princeton!

Puerto Rico: Growth yes, more taxes no

Iran in U.S. maritime borders: A question

At Da Tech Guy Blog: The truth about Che.

This week’s podcast: A book about Fidel Castro PLUS US-Latin America issues of the week

The misplaced Machu Picchu Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 27th, 2014

To err is human, and to misplace the ruins is definitely not divine, so today’s Carnival is dedicated to Hema Maps, the publishers of this guidebook.

ARGENTINA
Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Argentina’s Latest Crisis

THE TWO WORLDS OF BUENOS AIRES: MACRI’S LEGACY OF INEQUALITY

Erosion of Argentine Peso Sends a Shudder Through Latin America
The decline in Argentina’s currency is the steepest since the country’s economic collapse in 2002, and it is raising fears of a global slump in developing countries.

Currency controls in Argentina
Relaxation therapy

BELIZE
Belize and Guatemala agree on ‘road map’ to address the territorial dispute
Belize and Guatemala agreed at the headquarters of the Organization of American States on a “Road Map and Plan of Action”, which has as its main objective the strengthening of the bilateral relationship between the two countries during 2014 in order to make concrete the holding of popular consultations to enable the consideration of the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

BOLIVIA
Bolivia ‘to build first nuclear reactor’

Radio Serial About Evo Morales Debuts in Bolivia

BRAZIL
The Brazilian ranch where Nazis kept slaves
On a farm deep in the countryside 100 miles (160km) west from Sao Paulo, a football team has lined up for a commemorative photograph. What makes the image extraordinary is the symbol on the team’s flag – a swastika.

New book claims THIS picture proves Hitler escaped his Berlin bunker and died in South America in 1984 aged 95
Fuhrer ‘fled to Argentina and then Paraguay before settling in Brazil’
Hunted for treasure with a map given to him by Vatican allies, book claims
Author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims fascist actually died aged 95
Claims he had a black girlfriend to disguise his fascist background
Says her suspicions increased after she photoshopped a moustache [sic] onto the grainy picture and compared it to photos of the Fuhrer

World Cup protesters set fire to car
Brazil World Cup protesters set fire to car
Violence erupts on the streets of Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo as more than 2,000 demonstrators gathered to protest against the cost of the upcoming soccer World Cup

CHILE
Chile’s president-elect chooses old faces for new cabinet

Chile’s 33 miners still haunted by their past

Magic and Mystery: Isabel Allende
The best-selling author on her new mystery and why her work isn’t so ‘magical’

COLOMBIA
Cash for votes

COSTA RICA
Cato’s ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BULLETIN NO. 18
Growth without Poverty Reduction: The Case of Costa Rica

Costa Rica needs genuine market reforms that eliminate the government’s power to pick winners and losers or otherwise bestow favoritism. In the areas aforementioned, the country should

* Implement a neutral exchange rate regime either by allowing the colón to freely float against the U.S. dollar or by adopting the latter as the country’s official currency.
* Abolish all tariffs on agricultural products as well as other regulations that provide monopoly powers to conglomerates that produce farm goods such as rice, beef, and sugar, and eliminate price controls on rice.
* Dismantle regulations that stifle domestic entrepreneurship, following the guidelines laid out by the World Bank’s Doing Business project.
* Adopt a neutral and competitive tax regime that taxes all businesses domiciled in the country equally but at a low flat rate.

CUBA
Dissidents Arrested Ahead of CELAC Summit

RIP, Inter-American Democratic Charter

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic runaways told they cannot return to Stonyhurst College
The two pupils who ran away from Stonyhurst College to the Dominican Republic will not be allowed to return to school

ECUADOR
Ecuador airline suspends flights to Venezuela because of tickets’ debts
Ecuadorean airline Tame has suspended flights to Venezuela, demanding 43m dollars in overdue payments for tickets. Some 80 passengers were left stranded on Thursday at the airport in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito. Tame says the Venezuelan Central Bank has not transferred any money to its account in Ecuador since April 2013.

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador Presidential Election Preview, 2014

Shaky truce: Is El Salvador’s gang war really on hold?

GUATEMALA
Guatemala’s Stranded Orphans
Unicef’s pressure to stop international adoptions has tragic results.

JAMAICA
Mass Burial Site Claim
Police said to be aiding some criminals in the East

LATIN AMERICA
Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

MEXICO
The American roots of a Mexican militia movement
Many who have joined fight against Michoacan drug cartel once lived and worked in the U.S.

Knights Templar on quest for drugs efficiency
Mexican narco-gang diversifies into mining and iron ore export

PANAMA
Panama Canal Authority Says Proposal on Table That Could End Dispute

Car Shopping Observations

PARAGUAY
Six Hurt in Clash with Police in Paraguay

PERU
Peru Lawmakers Find Evidence of Graft Under Former President

PUERTO RICO
Your taxes just went up: Gobernador convierte en Ley medidas de COFIM

Puerto Rico: The next debt crisis?

Puerto Rico: Harbour of debt
The territory is imposing tough austerity measures as it seeks to allay investor concerns and issue new bonds

URUGUAY
A really big mess: Dead Sperm Whale Washes Up on Beach in Uruguay

Uruguayan Economy Minister Resigns Amid Airline Scandal

VENEZUELA
Carta abierta a @abc_es

Maduro sets limits on company profits and prison terms for hoarding or over charging
Venezuela decreed a new price control law that sets limits on company profits and establishes prison terms for those charged with hoarding or over-charging, part of populist President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to tame inflation.

Jeff Bezos will go to jail in Venezuela

Venezuelan Government Devalues Currency

Miami on the cheap? Venezuelans traveling to Florida face new restrictions

HRW “unlikes” Maduro

Will Venezuela default on its debts?

The week’s posts and podcast:
CELAC: Maduro & Cristina want Puerto Rico’s independence

The question the media should be asking about Menendez

Argentina And Venezuela: Chronicles Of Devaluations Foretold

Who is to gain from smearing Robert Menendez?

Argentina: Chronicle of a default foretold

Cuba: Success through ruination

En español: Terapia intensiva

Cuba: Michael Totten’s road trip

Mexico: Michoacan’s fighting priests

The BVI, China’s new tax haven

Venezuela: Worst judicial system

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
UN Climate chief: Communism fights global warming

Cuba: What a “prosperous and sustainable socialism” looks like UPDATED

The week’s podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week


The Corcovado thumb Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio was struck by lightning, damaging its right thumb. Here’s the striking photo.

ARGENTINA
Argentine Government Rules Out Military Role in Drug Enforcement

The fish are biting . . . you: Carnivorous fish injure 10 Argentine river bathers in area where 70 were wounded last month

BOLIVIA
Bolivian President Touts Nuclear Power Program

BRAZIL
The Laureus World Sports Awards, abruptly cancelled, Sporting events in Rio
We regret to announce

Inri Cristo, preacher on a scooter

Mulher de malandro decidirá eleição
O eleitorado diz que quer mudança, mas pretende reeleger Dilma. É puro chavismo

CHILE
The drugs industry in Chile
Getting the treatment

COLOMBIA
Someone explain to me why should anyone trust the FARC, Bomb explodes in Colombian town as rebel ceasefire ends
At least one person was killed when a bomb went off in the town of Pradera in western Colombia, officials say.

Bogota; time to move on

CUBA
Cuban political prisoner Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta starts hunger to protest denial of family visit

Another Moronic Offensive Stunt to Take Place in Castrogonia

One Year of Immigration And Travel Reform… What Changed?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
OBAMA CALLS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ‘THE DOMINICAN REPUBLICAN’

ECUADOR
A tale of two hacks: Ecuador’s continued assault on the press

Ecuadorian state newspaper says new media outlet would seek to destabilize the government

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador’s first presidential debate brims with pledges – but can candidates deliver?
El Salvador’s presidential election takes place next month, and topics of gang violence, the economy, and healthcare are top of mind.

GUATEMALA
Guatemala’s president and vice president withdraw criminal complaints against newspaper editor

HAITI
Haitians living abroad weigh investment opportunities
After four years in Washington, D.C., a diaspora investment conference moves to Port-au-Prince

JAMAICA
LGBT tolerance growing in Jamaica, push to repeal of anti-gay law

LATIN AMERICA
Cuban Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Has Lived in an Oppressive Society

Andres Oppenheimer is optimistic: Latin America’s downward spiral?

Sure, Venezuela may descend into further chaos, but it doesn’t have many followers. Argentina will most likely change course within the next two years, and Brazil will, in the worst-case scenario, remain stagnant.

More importantly, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile are doing well, and may drag several other countries in their direction. Together with Brazil, the four Pacific-coast countries make up more than 75 percent of Latin America’s economy.

More than a downward spiral, we may soon see the end of the populist cycle, and the beginning of an upward spiral.

Organized crime in 2014: What can Latin America expect?
Organized crime is adaptable and profit-driven, and in 2014, that could mean moving beyond Mexico and Colombia to a more diverse set of nations.

MEXICO
Adrift in Mexico’s deportation capital
Mexicali has became the U.S. government’s biggest dumping ground for deportees who often have deep ties in America.

Michoacan replaces security chiefsMexican soldiers patrol the streets of Apatzingan, Michoacan. Photo: 16 January 2014
Mexico’s authorities say top security officials will be replaced in the western state of Michoacan that has recently been rocked by violence.

Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

Gangs from Central America on the rise in Mexico: Report
A new report out of Mexico details the growing links between Central American Maras and the nation’s main criminal groups, highlighting more cross-border gang activity

El pincel de la justicia
Ramiro Gómez hace su primera presentación en un espacio formal, en una pequeña galería en Chinatown. No tiene un taller: el dueño del lugar le prestó el primer piso para que ahí concluyera cuatro lienzos que son parte de la obra que expone.

PANAMA
Canal Standoff Worries Panamanians
A standoff over cost overruns in the Panama Canal expansion has Panamanians as anxious as the global shipping industry.

PERU
Peru: Media Merger Serving as Pretext for Manipulation
Let the People, Not Caudillos, Determine the Role of the Press

Disagreement between Vargas Llosa and his son illustrates the debate in Peru over media concentration

PUERTO RICO
Fixing Puerto Rico: Part I

URUGUAY
A leopard never changes its spots: Paris Hilton poses up a storm on the beach in Uruguay wearing animal print dress

VENEZUELA
Regulation, Death by a thousand cuts (Updated)

Thomas Berry died ‘trying to show family real Venezuela’, parents say
Berry family speaks for the first time of grief at death of their son and his wife, killed by robbers in front of their daughter after their car broke down on a dangerous stretch of highway

Pet rights? When all are rights there are no rights

Venezuelan economic controls lead to newsprint shortage

The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: Festival success

Brazil: Corcovado damaged by lightning

Argentina: Where’s Cristina?

Panama: North Korea to pay fine for the rust bucket

Mexico: Mireles won’t back down

Puerto Rico: Take down that fence!

Venezuela: Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic UPDATED

Mexico: Military clash with cartel-fighting militias

Ecuador, Iran, Syria: The new axis?

Argentina’s crumbling economy

Mexico: El Universal claims DEA-Sinaloa deal in Fast & Furious

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Do heed those travel warnings.

The week’s podcast: The US-Latin America stories of the week


The first 2014 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 6th, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Ex-Israeli envoy to Argentina: Israel killed most perpetrators of AMIA, embassy bombings
Former ambassador Itzhak Aviran accuses Argentine gov’t of not doing enough to probe 1990s Buenos Aires terrorist attacks.

Dejó un mensaje telefónico porque las monjas no pudieron atender la llamada
El Papa llama a un convento de Lucena para felicitar el año nuevo
La conversación con el Pontífice duró 15 minutos y la pudieron escuchar cinco monjas
El Santo Padre envió su bendición a toda la buena gente de la localidad cordobesa

Argentina Criticizes Utilities After Outages
Argentina’s government has ruled out raising electricity rates and instead repeated threats to revoke the concessions of the two largest utilities that serve the capital if they don’t invest more to prevent a repeat of recent blackouts.

BOLIVIA
Headbanging in Bolivia to the Flutes of Yore
Heavy metal, Bolivian style, is a fusion of thrashing guitars and shrieking lyrics with the rhythms and instruments of pre-Incan Andean folk tunes.

BRAZIL
Brazil’s fighter jet decision

CHILE
Photos: Violent protests in Chile

Chilean miracle miners back in spotlight, with Antonio Banderas.

COLOMBIA
Bogota needs a “Bloomberg”; maybe, but it’ll do much better with a Giuliani.

CUBA
Reuters shocked…. shocked! … by Cuban car pricing

Mujeres: la carne barata de la revolución

The media
The most absurdly oblivious headline you’ll read all year

Cuba’s unhappy birthday

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haitians without a nation
A ruling in the Dominican Republic divides immigrants in Boston

ECUADOR
Ecuador Authorities Raid Journalist’s Home
The raid is the latest crackdown on the press following a recent law restricting negative reporting.

USAID to Pull Out of Ecuador
Organization cites efforts of Correa admin to stifle aid programs

Sitting in the Ecuadorian embassy, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange derides Catholic confessional system but can’t come up with an original thought.

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador orders evacuation from volcano’s slopes
Authorities in El Salvador have resumed evacuating residents living on the slopes of the Chaparrastique volcano

HONDURAS
Election fraud in Honduras

JAMAICA
Cool Runnings Again? Jamaican Bobsleigh Team Return for Sochi Winter Olympic Glory Bid

LATIN AMERICA
Nafta at 20: A Model for Trade Policy
Opponents of the 1993 agreement have been proven definitively wrong.

MEXICO
Mexico: 6 Police Officers Charged in Death of U.S. Citizen in Custody
The man, Yeudi Estrada, was dead when he arrived at Police Headquarters in the resort of Playa del Carmen after his arrest, local prosecutors said.

Mexico 2013: End of the Year Reflections and the Year to Come

Suspected leader of Mexican drug cartel nabbed at Amsterdam airport, via Gates of Vienna.

PANAMA
Trouble at the Panama Canal
Your money or your locks

THE $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the world’s great infrastructure projects, aimed at enabling giant mega-tankers to pass through the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific. So a threat by an international consortium, led by Spain’s Sacyr, to halt construction work on January 20th if the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) doesn’t pay it $1.6 billion for cost overruns, is serious. The amount it is claiming is fully half the $3.2 billion it bid in 2009 for its part of the project.

Jorge Quijano, administrator of the PCA, told The Economist that the authority would not pay the money because cost increases were accounted for in the contract.

Panama Canal expansion: Spain steps in to negotiations

Meanwhile, In 2013 Chiriquí Had 673 Earthquakes

PARAGUAY
Paraguay drug seizures up by 39% in 2013

PERU
Peru Plans to Increase Eradication of Coca Leaf
The nation’s drug czar says Peru plans to eradicate an estimated 30,000 hectares of illegally grown coca leaf in 2014.

PUERTO RICO
Could a Puerto Rico Default Hammer the $3.7 Trillion US Muni-Bond Market in 2014?

Puerto Rico Marijuana Reform Gets A Second Life

Puerto Rico’s Population Continues Rapid Decline

USA
No, an illegal immigrant should not be admitted to the bar

URUGUAY
Uruguay consumer prices up 8.5 pct in 2013, top government target

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s surveillance state strikes again

Transforming a mistake into a revamped tool of repression: the Delcy Rodriguez scandal

Venezuelan Central Bank Joins The Dark Side

The inflationary monster (in Spanish)

The week’s posts:
Argentina: More price controls

Latin America: Free trade vs. Mercosur

Cuba: Lies, lies, and more lies

Mexico: Another Fast & Furious gun found

Italy: Latin American thieves pick the wrong town to hide

Cuba: The new car

Is 2014 Latin America’s “big year”?

Mexico: What has changed

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Ringin’ in the New Year in yellow undies: A brief story by Fausta


The handshake Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 16th, 2013

LatinAmerMarking another low point in “smart diplomacy through obeisance” last week we saw the O-Raul handshake, which came after six months of talks but was totally unplanned.

ARGENTINA
This Is What A Feminist Looks Like (h/t Instapundit)

BARBADOS
Barbados Debt Higher Than Cyprus Prompts Firing of 3,000

BELIZE
The story of a girl activist – Belize
“Accurate, fun and interactive information about teenage pregnancy helps girls make better and more informed decisions,” says Thandiwe Diego, 14

BRAZIL
A bank that may be too big for Brazil

Brazil Wants More Cuban Slaves

CARIBBEAN
Norway asked to pay up for slave-owning past
A commission set up by countries in the Caribbean announced on Tuesday that it planned to sue Norway for its involvement in plantation slavery from the 17th to the 19th century.

CHILE
Elections in Chile
Bachelet’s coronation

COLOMBIA
Thousands march for sacked Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro
Tens of thousands of people in Colombia have been taking part in a demonstration in support of the sacked mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro.

Bogota’s Mayor Petro deposed in “coup”

CUBA
Must-See: “Ladies in White” Beaten and Stripped Naked

POPULATION OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA STONED THE STATE SECURITY FORCES

South Africa “joined at the hip” to Cuba

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Fighting to Exist in the Dominican Republic

A-Rod news: NY YANKEES
Rodriguez Soaks Up the Love in the Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
Must-Read: CNN Reporter Describes Interview With Elian

At odds with Ecuador, USAID moves to leave
USAID expects to close its doors in Ecuador by September 2014 due to an increasingly acrimonious relationship with President Rafael Correa. This comes six months after it was kicked out of Bolivia

EL SALVADOR
Spain’s ABC: Venezuela arranged drug trafficking access for Salvadoran FMLN
José Luis Merino, a leader of the left-wing Salvadoran political party, arranged a drug lord’s meeting with the Colombian FARC on a flight coordinated with the office of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

REPORT: PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FELON FREE IN US

JAMAICA
Jamaica hailed for role in anti-apartheid fight

MEXICO
Vigilantes in Mexico: A Warning Sign of Chaos

You Can Go Home Again:
Mexican Migrants Return
in Record Numbers
(h/t Mexidata)

Unidad de quemados:

PERU
CNBC: Accused scam artist apprehended in Peru
CNBC: Eric Bartoli, featured on “America Greed” caught in Lima after 10 years on the run.

PANAMA
Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and Panama recall their ambassadors

PUERTO RICO
Obamacare Pushing Puerto Rico Further Into Social Welfare State, Doctors Warn

Puerto Rico May Be Cut to Junk by Moody’s on Weak Economy

Puerto Rico’s Economic Problems Not Going Away — My Newyorican Suggestions

URUGUAY
Can Uruguay Handle the Pot Business?

Simon Jenkins inhales deeply: Heroic Uruguay deserves a Nobel peace prize for legalising cannabis
The war on the war on drugs is the only war that matters. Uruguay’s stance puts the UN and the US to shame

VENEZUELA
Anatomy of the Oppo Bullshit Machine

The Details Of Sunday’s Venezuelan Municipal Election Results Are Ugly For The Opposition

Smuggling from Venezuela to Colombia exceeds formal trade
According to estimates from customs authorities and members of the Venezuelan-Colombian Economic Integration Chamber (Cavecol)

Ending Venezuela’s Addiction to Populism

The week’s posts and podcast:
BNDES: Brazil’s really big bank

Venezuela: What food rationing creates

Mexico: Border tunnels “significant and growing threat to border security”

Pope Francis, the glass is more than half-full.

Putin, the new Evita

Mexico: Will fracking save the oil industry?

Mexico: A house divided

Today: International Day of Tango

Cuba: Handshake between Obama and Raul came after six months of talks

TIME’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis

Puerto Rico: Drawing on cash

Obama bows to Raul Castro

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Venezuela vs Ukraine: Why we won’t see the protests in Caracas

Podcast: The elections in Venezuela PLUS other US Latin America stories.

The Communist Venezuela Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 9th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentines teach tango inside mental hospital

BRAZIL
Turning Good Economic Luck into Bad

CHILE
Chile Presidential Candidates Square off in Debate

COLOMBIA
Five points on President Obama’s meeting with Colombia’s President Santos

The stateless Colombia

COSTA RICA
POLL NUMBERS!!! Three way race in Costa Rica

CUBA
Cuba: Castro State Security releases dissident leader Berta Soler after arrest at airport

Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro: A Relationship Built On Mutual Admiration

Communist vandals attack home of former Cuban prisoner of conscience Librado Linares

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haiti and the Dominican Republic
A storm in Hispaniola
And no agreement as to how many have been cut off from citizenship

ECUADOR
A Possible Overture From Ecuador in the Chevron Pollution Mess

GUATEMALA
Was it 7 or 8? A Little Miscommunication Among Friends.

JAMAICA
Reggae Wine From Indiana To Be Launched In Jamaica

LATIN AMERICA
Latin American, Caribbean dilemma: Many entrepreneurs, but little innovation

MEXICO
Nuclear Terrorist Threat Looms On Our Southern Border

Truck with dangerous radioactive material ‘stolen in Mexico’

O’Grady: Mexico Nears an Energy Breakthrough
A proposed change to the nation’s law could free private capital to develop the country’s vast oil and gas reserves.

At the burned-out unit (in Spanish): former governor of Tamaulipas Tomás Yarrington, who not only is being accused of money laundering and fraud by both the Mexican and US governments, he allegedly played the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and the Beltrán Leyva cartel against each other.

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shootout raises specter of guerrillas

PANAMA
101 Years After Its Birth, The Panama Canal Is On The Verge Of Creating A Huge New Opportunity For US Exporters

PUERTO RICO
Is Puerto Rico Too Big To Fail?

Puerto Ricans fleeing debt battle
Tax increases, pension cuts and a fall in jobs are part of the strategy to save Puerto Rico from another rating downgrade

URUGUAY
Uruguay opposition demands marijuana referendum
Last minute opposition to Uruguay’s plans to legalise sale and consumption of marijuana

VENEZUELA
Electoral coverage by VN&V

Venezuela headed for chaos

VENEZUELA GOES INTO THE CAR BUSINESS

The week’s posts:
Venezuela municipal elections results

Mexico: Congress to vote on bill ending PEMEX monopoly

Extortion from the state and from the cartels: Mexico: The border-crossing “tax”

Mexico: 6 detained on cobalt-60 case

Brazil: Corinthians Arena to be ready by April

Today’s Louis Renault moment

Mexico: The cobalt-60 case

Argentina: #Córdoba police strike linked to prostitution; 140 brothels’ worth.

Venezuela: Al-Jazeera op-ed in denial

Mexico: AMLO has a heart attack, and other news

The most corrupt countries in the world

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Cuba’s foreign prisoners

This week’s podcast: Medical tourism in Latin America plus other issues this week


The Colombian graffiti Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

LatinAmerFollowing 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.

ARGENTINA
Drugs in Argentina
Southward marching powder

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.

Argentina police raid brothels
Raids on brothels in and around Buenos Aires lead to the rescue of almost 100 women forced into prostitution, Argentine police say.

Video: NSFW Pro-abortion and gay activists attack the Catholic cathedral in San Juan (h/t Gates of Vienna)

BOLIVIA
Chile will not cede territory to Bolivia: FM

BRAZIL
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.

World Cup 2014: aerial view of collapsed Brazil football stadium
Three people have been killed in an accident at a Sao Paulo stadium that is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup

Brazilian who auctioned off virginity wants to sell it again Catarina Migliorini claims that deal last year was never consumated [sic] and she is now looking for another buyer

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Must Balance Growth and Spending

CUBA
Reuters (Poor and Irresponsible) “Analysis” of Cuba’s Banking Woes

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.

23 UNPACU activists arrested in violent crackdown Santiago de Cuba

Arms Smuggling versus Equestrian Tourism: Which matters most?

Thanksgiving Terror From Friends of The Council on Foreign Relations

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
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.

A look at the traders behind the China-Ecuador-U.S. oil triangle

HONDURAS
Elections in Honduras Advantage, the old guard

Honduras ruling party hope wins presidency on vow to tame gangs

JAMAICA
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.

Jamaican authorities seize 3,300 warheads, and ‘Ja Fighting A War’ (h/t Gates of Vienna)

MEXICO
EPN’s first year

Monthly Mexico Media Roundup

PANAMA
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.

North Korea agrees fine with Panama for ship’s release

PARAGUAY
Paraguay senator loses immunity after public pressure

PERU
Peru’s government Partners in crime A spy casts a shadow on the president

PUERTO RICO
Research and Markets: Puerto Rico Oil and Gas Markets Outlook to 2025

URUGUAY
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.

Wine Finds: Malbec from Uruguay is a restrained treat

VENEZUELA
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:

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.

Pero Tenemos Free Gas 

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

Venezuela less influential in LatAm, says Oppenheimer

Mexico: No more Pact

Brazil: Will the stadium meet the deadline? You betcha.

Ecuador: Oil bidders not quite chomping at the bit

Argentina: Same old, same old

Shearith Israel’s Thanksgiving

Cuba closing its consulates in the US

Mexico: Teen hit man sent back to USA

En español: Terapia intensiva

Ecuador: How China took control of Ecuador’s oil

In case you missed it, Che in 10 quotes

Honduras: What next?

At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?

UPDATE:
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!


The Thanksgiving week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 25th, 2013

LatinAmerUpdate on Honduras’s election: What next?

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINEAN PROSECUTOR ALBERTO NISMAN CHALLENGES CONSTITUIONALITY OF THE ARGENTINA-IRAN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports; Cristina buys hers in Paris anyway.

BRAZIL
Brazil awards $9 billion of airport deals, prepping Rio for Olympics

Crude cost of Brazil’s new pipeline is a dark shadow

CHILE
The Aftermath of Chile’s Election

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
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.

CUBA
Feinberg’s Pitch for Dictatorship in Cuba

Cuba Seeks Mexican Businessman in Corruption Probe

Deciphering diplo-speak on Cuba

Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’
What the Cuban leader thinks really happened on that fateful November day in Dallas

Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Deportation fears on rise in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
Donziger on Stand in Chevron Trial
Attorney Defends Himself Against Claims He Bribed a Judge in Lawsuit Over Pollution in Ecuador

NICARAGUA
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.

PANAMA
Lawyer: Panama Sets $1M Fine for North Korea Ship

PERU
Peru thwarts antiquities smugglers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s economy
Buying on credit is so nice
The debt crisis has not stopped Puerto Ricans from shopping

VENEZUELA
Venezuela: Bozo as Al Capone, or is it Vice-Versa?

Venezuelan tyrant* confirms: new wave of confiscations, redistributions.

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

Arturo Sandoval receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Kerry puts a “Kick me” sign on America

Argentina: Cristina gets dog, reorganizes cabinet

En español: La terapia intensiva de esta semana

Cuba: What Castro knew about Oswald

Venezuela: Involving Interpol against @JJRendon

At Da Tech Guy’s: How things can get worse in Venezuela


The lions’ Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 18th, 2013

LatinAmerAn American crew rescued twenty five African Lions from Bolivia and now there’s a documentary about it, Lion Ark; this Carnival is dedicated to them.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to return to work next week
President has been on leave for six weeks after surgery following a head injury

Bieber’s concert gear impounded in Argentina

Judge Maria Giraudi ordered that the singer’s belongings be held after photographer Diego Pesoa filed suit for damages, alleging that Bieber’s bodyguards hit him and damaged his equipment as the singer was leaving a nightclub.

Pesoa’s lawyer, Matias Morla, said Bieber “gave the order to beat him and then got back in his van.”

Paco Almaraz takes care of the little burned-out twerp (in Spanish):

BRAZIL
Dirceu is now in the clink: Brazil Mensalao jailings begin
Brazil starts jailing high-profile politicians convicted last year in the country’s biggest corruption trial, the “Mensalao” (big monthly allowance).

CHILE
The calm in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia and the FARC
Not out of the woods yet
Just as an agreement is reached, news of an assassination plot highlights the risks to the peace negotiations

CUBA
Chasing the Ghost of Castro’s Oil

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Senate Unanimously Confirms Gay Ambassador to Dominican Republic
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Senate has confirmed James “Wally” Brewster as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, despite recent protests from antigay groups in the Caribbean nation.

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
The last word, with more to follow

HONDURAS
Criminal Violence and Displacement: Notes from Honduras

Will Honduras Become a Failed State?

Corte Suprema hondureña acusa a Lula da Silva de intromisión

JAMAICA
Jamaica failed drug tests ‘tip of iceberg’
Jamaica’s most senior drug tester says the country’s recent rash of failed tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”.

LATIN AMERICA
Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday

MEXICO
Forcibly Displaced Persons now a Formidable Concern in Mexico

Farmers against Templars:

Mexican Farmers Confront Drug Cartels
Farmers in the rich agricultural heartland of Mexico’s Michoacán state, fed up with a reign of terror and extortion by a drug cartel, have organized community police forces and driven out the cartel.

NICARAGUA
Power grab in Nicaragua
The comandante’s commandments
The Sandinistas propose re-election without end for Daniel Ortega

PANAMA
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama extends North Koreans visas to get ship, crew

Mexican Trafficker With Ties To Sinaloa Cartel Extradited To U.S. From Panama

Biden to visit Panama for trade talks, disposal of chemical weapons

PERU
AP PHOTOS: A tough life on Lima’s rough edges

PUERTO RICO
How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery

VENEZUELA
Who is Tareck el Aissami?

The criminalization of dissidence and opposition: CHÁVEZ’S SUCCESSOR SEES A TRILOGY OF EVIL

Venezuela jails 100 ‘bourgeois’ businessmen in crackdown

Venezuela’s President Maduro moves nearer to decree powers

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: The start of the really bad news

Colombia: FARC plot to murder Uribe

Venezuela: Jim Wyss recounts his 48 hours in Venezuelan custody

Brazil: “Mensalão”s must serve their sentences

Ecuador: Court halves Chevron judgement

En español: Terapia intensiva y el avión quemado

The UN Human Rights Council beclowns itself, again.

Venezuela: Price controls, profit caps UPDATED

At Da Tech Guy: Attention Christmas shoppers! Che on aisle nine!

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The Uruguayan doobie Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 28th, 2013

LatinAmerTop news of the week: Even when president Jose Mujica insists it won’t all be party-time, Uruguay is now the first country to legalize the production and mass distribution of marijuana.

ARGENTINA
Argentina Captures One of its Leading Homegrown Narcos

Argentina appeals New York Judge Griesa’s order regarding banks’ disclosures
The Argentine government yesterday appealed an order by US Judge Thomas Griesa who asked some private banks to turn over information about Argentina’s assets abroad. The case had been started by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s NML Capital Ltd which is demanding in court full 100% payment of Argentine sovereign bonds face value.

Argentina Rivals Square Off
The important question isn’t whether the ruling Peronist movement will win, but which of its dueling factions will gain the upper hand in the run-up to presidential elections in 2015.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
Secret cable sent to US embassy in Argentina asks diplomats to find out how president handles stress

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Police Arrest 15 for Anti-Drug Agents’ Murders

BRAZIL
Brazil’s main city again rocked by riots and vandalism over transport facilities and costs

CHILE
Chile soldiers’ widows want Communist leader jailed
The widows of three Chilean soldiers have launched legal action against the country’s Communist Party leader.

COLOMBIA
Rights Activist Slain in Colombia

CUBA
Cuba’s currency
Double trouble

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy’s “Victory”?

Imprisoned couple Sonia Garro and Ramón Muñoz to stand ‘trial’ Nov. 1

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Worn-Out War on Chevron

Racketeering aside, the case also looks rather weak on its own merits. For starters, Texaco operated as a minority partner under state-owned Petroecuador when the pollution occurred, so it is difficult to argue the damage is all its doing. Through agreements in 1995 and 1998, the Ecuadorian government also freed the company of further liability following a $40 million cleanup. An arbitration panel in The Hague cited the government’s sign-off when it ruled last month that Ecuador’s lawsuit should have never proceeded in the first place.

Oil, Ecuador and The Economist
A volcano erupts
Rafael Correa lambasts us and “the empire of capital”

Ecuador Judge Says He Inflated Bribery Claims to Chevron

Ecuador vs Chevron:
Donziger: from Hans Solo to Darth Vader

HAITI
Arrest of Haiti government critic triggers protests

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Economic problems in Honduras

JAMAICA
‘Cool Runnings’ 2? Jamaican bobsled team aims for Sochi Olympics

MEXICO
How Mexico’s EPR Insurgents Have Changed Course
Government sources have linked one of Mexico’s most prominent guerrilla organizations to a series of recent social protests

Paco Almaraz is having Obama burnout (in Spanish),

PANAMA
Panama Says It Will Release Most From Ship to North Korea

PARAGUAY
Paraguay leader’s son arrested [in Miami] after Bal Harbour party guest is punched

PUERTO RICO
Are There Puerto Rico Bonds in Your Muni Fund?
You may own Puerto Rico’s troubled bonds, popular for their high yields and special tax benefits, without even knowing it.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Gangs Are the New Law in Urban Trinidad & Tobago

VENEZUELA
Chavista Freddy Bernal calls for investigation of Derwick Associates

The week’s posts and podcast:
Bolivia: What the “Bolivarian revolution” means, in practice

Venezuela: The ministry of Supreme Happiness

Is Brazil ready for the World Cup?

Remembering the invasion of Grenada

Mexico: Clown union disavows killing

Ecuador: Chevron racketeering trial roundup – the corrupt judge

Uruguay: The dollar doobie

Mexico: Don’t write off the Zetas

Ecuador: Who’s Financing the Pollution-Liability Suit Against Chevron?

Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas

Mexico: Is Peña Nieto backtracking?

Celia Google day

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

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Princeton: