From the VII Summit of the Americas circus, 2 items:
Rafael Correa managed to tear himself away from Twitter to give a speech condemning the U.S., and portraying Latin America (and especially Ecuador) as a paragon of freedom and human rights. Mercifully, he did not try to inflict it on his audience in English.
Barack Obama was next, and, as you can see, he agreed with Correa (emphasis added),
I wanna make one last comment, er, addressing er, some of the points that er, president Correa raised that I’m sure will be raised by a few others during this discussion. Er, I always enjoy the history lessons that I receive, er, when I’m here.
I am a student of history so I tend to actually be familiar with many of these episodes that have been mentioned. I am the first one to acknowledge that America’s application to concern around human rights has not always been consistent. And, I’m certainly mindful that there are dark chapters in our own history in which we have not always observed the principles and ideals upon which the country was founded. Just a few weeks ago I was in Selma, Alabama celebrating the 50th anniversary of a march across a bridge that resulted in horrific violence and the reason I was there and the reason it was a celebration is because it was a triumph of human spirit in which ordinary people without resort to violence were able to overcome systematic segregation. There voices were heard and our country changed. America never makes a claim about being perfect, we do make a claim about being open to change.
Paraguay has seen a spillover of organized criminal activities from countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Argentina which manifests itself in home invasions, kidnappings, and shootouts with drug traffickers, Maldonado said.
As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world’s biggest ships.
Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger “Post-Panamax” ships through the Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.
The project involves building a third set of locks on the Canal. It is being headed by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Spain’s Sacyr, and should open on April 1, 2016.
The new Uruguayan government says it will no longer grant asylum to prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
In December, Uruguay gave sanctuary to six Arab men who had been held at the US base in Cuba for 12 years.
Opinion polls said most Uruguayans rejected the decision taken by outgoing President Jose Mujica.
Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa also said Uruguay would stop taking refugees from the Syrian conflict.
Does that mean they’ll kick Syrians Jihad Abu Wael Dhiab, Ali Husain Shaaban, Ahmed Adnan Ajuri, and Abdelhadi Faraj, Palestinian Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, and Tunisian Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi out of the country?
Most financing operations from China to Ecuador have been tied to oil sales and several have been backed with presales of crude oil.
Mr. Herrera said the new loans aren’t linked with the selling of crude oil.
The minister said despite the decline of around 50% in oil prices, the Andean country plans to maintain its level of public spending this year, thanks to loans from China, credits from multilateral lenders and governments as well as the selling of Ecuadorean bonds in international markets and domestic debt.
The minister, however, ruled out that the country plans a new bond issue in international markets, citing high interest rates.
Last Thursday the country sold $750 million of five-year bonds at a yield of 10.5%.
In plain words, it sold $750 million worth of junk bonds.
Witnesses at the airport said that a few minutes after takeoff they heard a significant explosion followed by a huge fireball.
The passengers were members of the Argentine company La Rural which is an associate in a project to exploit a Convention Center under construction in the Atlantic resort of Punta del Este and had flown to Uruguay for a business conference with their Uruguayan partners and the local government.
La Rural is a leading company in Argentina and Latin America in the fairs, congress and events industry.
Thousands of people took to the streets in Quito and at least 12 other cities in Ecuador Thursday to protest against the government of President Rafael Correa, asking for changes in economic, labor and social policies.
. . .
Protest leaders said they are protesting against planned labor and land reforms, to reject large-scale mining and new oil tenders, and against planned constitutional reforms that will open up the possibility for indefinite re-election for elected posts. Leaders also said they are against new tariffs for 38% of the imported products. Economists said the tariff increase would cause a general increase in prices, affecting mainly the middle class.
Protesters marched about two kilometers in central Quito, carrying signs that read, “We want democracy” and “No more tax and tariff increases” as well as “Say no to re-election.”
Fundamedios, an NGO that advocates for free speech in the country, reported on Wednesday, March 4, that El Universo received a written statement in its readers mailbox titled, “A warning to the cartoonist Bonil.”+
It was signed by a person identified as José Muñiz, who claims to be a 22-year-old Ecuadorian citizen, student of Islam, and member of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Here’s the cartoon that has Muñiz’s panties in a bunch:
Bonil’s cartoon, titled “Fundamentalism and Barbarism,” was published on Sunday, March 1, in El Universo: “Let’s put an end to cultural expressions of the infidels!” “By Allah! The internet is slow … I cannot submit our video to Twitter and Facebook.”