Archive for the ‘Dominican Republic’ Category

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’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):

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).

The calm in Chile

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

Chasing the Ghost of Castro’s Oil

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.

Oil in Ecuador
The last word, with more to follow

Criminal Violence and Displacement: Notes from Honduras

Will Honduras Become a Failed State?

Corte Suprema hondureña acusa a Lula da Silva de intromisión

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”.

Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday

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.

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

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

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

How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery

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!

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 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

Bolivian Police Arrest 15 for Anti-Drug Agents’ Murders

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

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

Rights Activist Slain in Colombia

Cuba’s currency
Double trouble

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

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

Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court

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

Arrest of Haiti government critic triggers protests

POLL NUMBERS!!! Economic problems in Honduras

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

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 Says It Will Release Most From Ship to North Korea

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

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.

Gangs Are the New Law in Urban Trinidad & Tobago

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

Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Princeton:

The last Monday in September Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Argentina’s official statistics
Warranting attention

Rising Peronist ready to challenge Fernández

Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

Rousseff returns to social media to campaign for reelection

Pablo Escobar, and Alvaro Uribe´s political suicide


Cuban exile, Pedro Pan kid: from orphanage to Denver mayor’s office

Cuba to Let Its Athletes Play Professionally Abroad
In an effort to thwart the wave of top baseball players defecting to the U.S., Cuba will allow its athletes to play abroad as professionals, breaking with a decades-old policy.

Prominent dissidents arrested on 12th Sunday in a row of repression in Cuba

Experts fear crisis over ruling stripping citizenship from Haitian-Dominicans

Oil in Ecuador
It’s hard to be green
Correa gets away with a U-turn

Those migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border? They’re southbound

With push on agenda, Mexican president meets resistance
Plans to increase taxes on the rich and open up the state oil company upset people on the left and right.

Paco Almaraz (in Spanish)

De Blasio ignored Nicaragua anti-Semitism

New York City’s Next Mayor: A Stealth Socialist Who Loved Sandinista Nicaragua and Castro’s Cuba

Panama Canal to Cut U.S.-Asia LPG Shipping Costs as Fleet Grows

Peru ‘drugs mules’ Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid home for Christmas if they shop gang

The pair, both 20, have been told they could be released from custody in less than two months if they agree to help Peruvian authorities find and jail the criminal gang behind the £1.5m cocaine pick-up.

Life in Puerto Rico Becomes Costlier Amid Crisis

Who is Luis Oberto?

It Was The Worst Of Times For Nicolas Maduro This Week

Venezuela’s economy
Maduro’s balancing act
Adjustment and reform are economically essential but politically impossible

Venezuela jail search yields arsenalInmates at Sabaneta jail protest against being transferred on 18 September 2013
Guards searching a jail in Venezuela where 16 inmates were killed in fighting two weeks ago find tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Dominican Republic: Haitians stripped of citizenship

Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos

Venezuela: Did anyone miss Maduro at the UN?

Assange’s not going to like Ecuador

Why has Brazil stagnated?

Colombia: Legalizing the FARC

Colombia: Time to make the donuts!

Argentina: Cristina trusts Iran

Cuba: Putinesca

Maduro goes to China

Venezuela & other US-Latin America stories

Linked by Instapundit. Thank you! And, Instapundit readers, every Monday is Carnival of Latin America & the Caribbean day!

Dominican Republic: Haitians stripped of citizenship

Monday, September 30th, 2013

In an unappealable decision, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court has stripped of citizenship thousands of people of Haitian origin, even if they were born in the DR:
Haitian-descended residents of Dominican Republic stripped of citizenship by high court

The Constitutional Court’s decision cannot be appealed, and it covers those born since 1929 — a category that overwhelmingly includes Haitians brought in to work on farms and their descendants.


The Constitutional Court said officials are studying birth certificates of more than 16,000 people and noted that electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent. It gave the electoral commission a year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship.

As mentioned above, the decision can not be appealed.

The Branson Che Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

LatinAmerThis week’s Carnival aims to mock all rich useful idiots who make their ignorance shine for a profit.

Ecuador, Argentina Meet Amid Energy Concerns

Brazil and the United States
More in sorrow than anger

Less Gushing Over Brazilian Oil Field
Several major oil producers are sitting out Brazil’s auction of massive deep-water finds, reflecting the changing landscape of the oil business and a government-heavy strategy for developing the fields.

Rancher convicted over US nun murder
A court in Brazil has convicted a rancher for ordering the murder of American nun Dorothy Stang over a land dispute

My afternoon with Santos

Video depicts Castroite repression against Cuban Damas De Blanco

Cuba Recognizes it Violates (and Will Keep Violating) Human Rights

Mining in the Dominican Republic
Sickness and wealth
Shiny new mine, rusty pollution problems

Chevron Inches Closer to Legal Victory Over Ecuador Pollution

“No Ugly or Fat People on the Rope Line!” Remembering a Visit by Hillary Clinton

Time For Reflection

Brokers Bypass Puerto Rico’s Debt
Big Firms in the U.S. Move to Shield Investors From Island’s Bonds as Worries Build Over Finances

Airplanes ferrying drugs and pseudo presidents out of Venezuela

Proof positive that the National Guard runs drugs out of Maiquetía

At Every Corner, From Deaf Man to Danger, Hints of a Colorful Past

The Venezuelan State’s Occupy “Movement”: The Victory of Socialism!

The week’s posts & podcast,
Venezuela: France seizes 1.3 tons of cocaine

Friday night Arturo

US denies Venezuela’s Maduro airspace ban accusations

Friday night Arturo

En español: El Síndrome de la sociedad golpeada

Mexico: The return of the cyclone

Because nothing sells cell phones like Che

Brazil: “Mensalão” vote-buying convictions to be appealed

Mexico: Cyclone double whammy

Venezuela: The Iranian house contract, the upcoming default

Brazil: Dilma not coming to US

Venezuela: Capriles in Miami, FL

US-Latin America stories of the week

The Syrian news Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 9th, 2013

LatinAmerEveryone’s talking about Syria, but what does it have to do with Latin America? This:
Iran, Cuba warn of fallout of Syria attack
Iran and Cuba have expressed concerns about the consequences of any foreign military action against Syria, stressing a political approach to resolve the crisis in the Arab country.
(h/t Capitol Hill Cubans)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla expressed their deep reservations about the threats of military action against Syria in a telephone conversation on Wednesday.

Iran and Cuba: Chummy enough to do joint conference calls on behalf of Assad, no less.

Here’s looking at you, kid,

Meanwhile, Syrian Refugees Flock To Latin America As World Ponders Taking Action Against Assad

‘Dirty War’ judge Romano extradited to Argentina
A former Argentine judge has been extradited to face charges of human rights abuses during the 1976-1983 military rule.

Andres Oppenheimer: Authoritarian leaders breed corruption
What’s most amazing about the arrest in Miami of Bolivia’s top anti-corruption police official, caught on tape extorting a bribe from a well-known businessman, was that hardly anybody was surprised by the news.

Brazil’s Independence Day Marked By Widespread Protests

Political corruption in Brazil
Lawmaker behind bars

Chile court admits omissions during dictatorship

Colombia’s peace talks
To the edge and back again
A hiccup serves to confirm that the government and the FARC are making progress

The week Santos lost Colombia

Grounded TV Marti plane a monument to the limits of American austerity

Vatican Abruptly Removes Dominican Republic Envoy

Ecuador writes off ill-fated satellite

Mexico Set to Unveil Tax-Code Overhaul
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to introduce Sunday a wide-reaching proposal that seeks to boost federal tax revenue, a move that could prove politically complicated in a slowing economy.

Capture of a Mexican drug lord
Got Ugly Betty. Now get Shorty

Fortuño: Puerto Ricans In U.S. Shouldn’t Have A Say On Statehood, But Congress Needs To Act

57 Undocumented Migrants Detained in Puerto Rico

Venezuela Reaches Gas Deal with Trinidad

SIBCI’s Syria

La corrupción apaga a Venezuela
La abundancia de la naturaleza es superada por la infinita corrupción en los gobiernos que han administrado el país

Accountability Is A Dirty Word For Chavismo

The week’s posts and podcast:
Capital flight: from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic

Colombia: Santos OK with FARC not disarming

Brasil: Médico cubano relata exploração do trabalho na Ilha dos irmãos Castro

Spy vs Spy

Mexico: Senate approves education reform

Colombia: Santos’s approval plummets

NSA spying: Mexico & Brazil not amused UPDATED

Mexico: Will the teachers imperil reforms?

US-LatAm stories of the week

Capital flight: from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Hugo Chavez expropriated over 1,000 private businesses and enterprises. The Miami Herald reports on one of the properties, the Sambil mall in Caracas, now closed and covered with grafiti:
Two malls tell a tale of Venezuelan capital flight

Before a single product was sold, the mall became one of the more than 1,000 businesses and properties Chávez expropriated during his 14 years as president.

Four and a half years later, the mall-that-wasn’t takes up an entire city block. It’s cordoned off from the public for most of the year. Since the seizure, its parking garage has seen service as a makeshift shelter for Venezuelans who have lost their homes to flooding. Designed to uplift a decaying neighborhood, its brick and granite façades are covered by a mosaic of murals marred with graffiti and campaign slogans.

Compare that to a $200-million sister mall in the Dominican Republic — built by the same Venezuelan developer, Sambil.

When it opened earlier this year off a busy highway in the capital of Santo Domingo, President Danilo Medina cut the ribbon. With a 16,000-square-foot indoor aquarium, a grocery store, movie theater and 325 shops, this Sambil mall is thriving.

US$20 billion/year has left Venezuela over the past five years, some of it going to the Dominican Republic,

In recent years Venezuelan companies have invested $920 million in the Dominican Republic, according to the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Center.

Thousands of jobs, thousands of businesses, billions of dollars leaving: that’s what the Bolivarian revolution has wrought.

Apparently the Chavista community organizers are leaving the party (link in Spanish). I’m sure Diosdado Cabello is paying attention.

And the mess will keep getting worse.

High intensity drug trafficking areas: Caribbean security threats

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

One of the reasons Venezuela’s slide into criminality matters to the USA:
Security Failures in the Caribbean are Posing Serious Threats

Drug traffickers from Venezuela have severely impacted anti-narcotics officials in the Dominican Republic. The National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) exposed an alliance between military personnel and business interests in October of 2012, with 15 arrests that included the owner of a domestic airline. The Dominican Republic was used as a hub for drug trafficking that included payments to military and air traffic controllers. Six airplanes were also seized as part of the operation.

The corridor between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico has given rise to a more focused drug interdiction surveillance, mainly intended to monitor go-fast boats and other vessels.

Although the Royal Bahamian Police Force boasts of an aggressive crime prevention plan to “reduce violence and driving [sic] down the fear of crime,” they clearly do not have sufficient resources to effectively patrol their vast chain of islands.

Over 4,000 keys, spanning the 4,800 kilometers of Cuban coastline, provide cover for speedboats and fishing vessels.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have been labeled “high intensity drug trafficking areas (HIDTA).” As well, much of the drug interdiction concentrated on Venezuela and Colombia has shifted to drug air transportation routes from the Dominican Republic to the eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is a major commercial gateway to the US, both in terms of frequent air traffic and freighter shipments to mainland destinations.

The Caribbean ought to be a security priority. Read the whole thing.

The #CowNado Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Yes, my friends, after the #SharkNado, it’s #CowNado time!

The Brazilian man was asleep in bed when the cow fell on him and killed him. Both the cow & his widow are unharmed.

LatinAmerIn other news from the region:

Greenwald Tells Argentinean Media Snowden Has Info That Could Be US’ ‘Worst Nightmare’

Morales says US hacked Bolivian leaders’ emails

Corruption and Graft: Brazil Rushes Headlong into Popular Revolt

Brazil’s protests
The fallout spreads
Politicians have been hurt by the marches, none more so than the president


Uribistas name candidates for Colombia´s 2014 senate race

Remembering victims of ’13th of March’ tugboat massacre, July 13, 1994

Dominicans Freak Out Over Obama’s Gay Ambassador Pick

The Correa-Khamenei Axis
Ecuador pumping up its relationship with Iran and Syria, experts say

In Ecuador, a Magazine’s Death Comes Amid Questions

Guatemala ‘to extradite drug lord’
A Guatemalan appeals court rules that Waldemar Lorenzana, who is wanted by the US for his alleged ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, can be extradited

With Honduras, Obama Was Quick to Recognize a ‘Coup’

A Tale of Two Coups: Egypt and Honduras

Iran Fans Out 40,000 Agents in South America

‘The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime, and Terror Groups’

What Happened to Congress’ ‘Fast and Furious’ Fury?
Scandal resurfaces as a Mexican police chief and his bodyguard fall victim to a gun from the ATF operation.

Local elections in Mexico
Something for everyone—except voters

Disappeared, Smeared and Abandoned by their Government: the Fate of Mexico’s Disappeared

Reports bring PR into Snowden case

What Edward Snowden Should Know About Venezuela (registration required)

In Spanish: Maduro y Evo hablan del espía,

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: I say tomato, you say tomahtoh

Mexico: Bugs – it’s what’s for dinner

Argentina: House Lawmakers Ask John Kerry to Reconsider Argentinian Aid

Cuba: 50 years of food rationing

Venezuela and Iran’s joint intelligence program

Argentina and Mexico: #1 on corruption

Argentina: 33% in poverty

Venezuela: Runaway inflation, runaway asylum

Argentina blocks AMIA prosecutor from testifying on Iranian presence in South America

UN: Mexico border a “global pathway” to the USA

Socialism in Latin America with Dr Carlos Eire

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 17th, 2013

At least 3 dead, dozens hurt in Argentina train wreck

Tweet of the week:

Brazil’s public finances
An ever-deeper hole

Brazil Bus Protests Illustrate Broader Malaise
The scale and persistence of the protests this past week, some of which turned violent, are a symptom of a broad, if vaguely defined, frustration felt by Brazilians in major cities that goes beyond the price of a bus or subway ticket.

Simultaneous raids in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay after links between football transfers and money laundering
An estimated 150 search warrants were simultaneously implemented in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile in financial institutions, football clubs and players’ representatives looking for evidence on an organization dedicated to money laundering through the sale of soccer players.

Colombia kidnapping: Spanish tourists freed by police
Two kidnapped Spanish tourists are rescued by police in Colombia, as two people suspected of trying to collect a ransom are held in Spain.

A brilliant American financier and his exotic wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a compelling mystery: Did John Felix Bender die by his own hand? Or did Ann Bender kill him to escape their crumbling dream?

Toronto man, 78, guilty of sex crimes against children in Cuba
On Friday, James McTurk of Toronto became the first Canadian convicted of sex crimes committed against children in Cuba.

Miami judgment hits Dominican Republic for $50M

CPJ dismayed by approval of media law in Ecuador

Editorial: Fruitless del Norte

Andres Oppenheimer: U.S. wins rare diplomatic battle in Latin America

Can a Gang Truce Help Save Honduras?
It’s not a long-term solution to rampant drug violence, but it could provide short-term relief.

Xi Jinping in America’s backyard
From pivot to twirl
The Chinese leader tries a smooth move in America’s backyard
. He visited Costa Rica and Mexico.

New drug threat to West Africa, warns president of Guinea
Latino drug cartels are seeking new West African client states after French military action in Mali destroyed their key smuggling route to Europe, the president of Guinea has warned.

Toeing the Line

Security in Mexico
The new face of Mexican policing
A public-private effort to reduce violence in Mexico’s wealthiest city

Mexico’s Spoiled Rich Kids
The entitled children of the country’s elite are now coming under fire.

Peruvian politics
The president is not for pardoning

Migrants in Puerto Rico Await Driver’s Licenses

The Ghost of Chavez: Venezuela Getting Sicker

They came, they saw, they squatted

CARDENAS: The ‘Cubanization’ of Venezuela
Domination by the Castros has accelerated since Chavez’s death

The Obama administration has a funny way of rewarding those who call us ‘imperialistas

The week’s posts:
Venezuela: Ban baby bottles next?

The Nicaragua canal: Don’t be the next Lord Crawley

Venezuela: The lifeline, the triple currency

Puerto Rico: 65th Infantry to be honored with Congressional Gold Medal

Venezuela: The toilet paper app UPDATED

Argentina: Good-bye, business, hello drug lords

Mary O’Grady takes Joe Biden to the woodshed

US-Latin America issues of the week