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Archive for the ‘El Salvador’ Category
More on the really, really big field trip:
The media in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador
have also highlighted the Obama administration’s announcement last week of additional “free legal services” for undocumented minors who illegally cross the U.S. border.
Guatemala’s La Prensa Libre (Free Press)
In its June 17 edition, the newspaper also highlights Democrat-sponsored legislation in New York State that would grant voting rights, health care and university scholarships to the state’s millions of illegal immigrants. The New York is Home Act, sponsored by state senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and state assemblyman Karim Camara (D-Brooklyn) would provide the benefits of citizenship to all undocumented immigrants who can demonstrate three or more years of residence in the state of New York.
Not to lag behind,
Guatemalan President Otto Pérez-Molina’s plans to ask the Obama Administration to extend temporary protected status to all illegal immigrants from Guatemala who arrived in the U.S. prior to 2011.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, on a visit to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week blamed the U.S.’s lack of immigration reform and weak drug laws, ignoring the systemic problems that condemn thousands to lives of poverty in Honduras. Yesterday he said
the country welcomes the return of its children detained while trying to enter the United States and has created an interagency committee to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
CNN reports that
U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 and 80,000 children without parents will cross the border this year.
Who’s behind this?
Yes, the World Cup is front-page news on every newspaper in the hemisphere.
More important news: Santos was re-elected in Colombia.
Don’t tell Maureen Dowd, ‘Coca’ cake for UN chief: Bolivia gives Ban a birthday treat
Costa Rica seizes 4 tons of cocaine at sea
Cy Tokmakjian Canadian fears foregone verdict in Cuban court
Stateless people in Dominican Republic hope to regain citizenship
Ecuador Breaks Its Amazon Deal
JAN BREWER: MS-13 GANG MEMBERS COULD BE CROSSING BORDER WITH CHILDREN; I’d actually be surprised if they weren’t.
Fundamentally changing America by emboldening dictators: Obama’s Budget Fails Democracy Promotion Abroad
The administration is proposing to remove language from next year’s budget that would safeguard American foreign aid from repressive foreign leaders.
The proposed removal from the administration’s budget and appropriations request for next fiscal year of a provision instructing the Secretary of State not to seek the prior approval of host governments when funding nonprofits and civil society groups overseas is infuriating American democracy-promotion and human-rights activists, who argue the omission marks a retreat in U.S. leadership.
They warn the Obama administration is in effect signaling to repressive regimes that they can dictate where U.S. democracy-promotion and human rights money goes in their countries—a problem the provision introduced a decade ago was meant to combat.
Nicaragua shakedown like highway robbery
The results of the welfare state: Some 68% of Babies in Puerto Rico Born to One-Parent Households
What leaving Venezuela means to Jews
TalCual: Repression vs. Inflation
On Tuesday, a group comprised by 9 human rights NGOs released their own figures. These showed that Nicolás Maduro has repressed 485% more than his predecessor, while inflation may exceed 70% by the end of this year
The week’s posts and podcast:
Immigration: And I still ask, who’s organizing this?
At Da Tech Guy:
The case for harmless escapism
With deep gratitude to all who have served our beautiful country in the armed forces, this week’s Carnival.
Last month the Argentine congress gave final approval to pay $5bn (£3bn) in compensation for Repsol’s stake in Argentine oil firm YPF.
The Spanish company has now announced that it has sold the last batch of bonds it received to cover its losses.
A Desperate Mother’s Search Leads to a Fight Against Sex Trafficking
Desperate for answers about her daughter’s disappearance in 2002, Susana Trimarco started the Fundación María de los Ángeles, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates sex slaves in Argentina.
Brazil Deploys Vast World Cup Security Plan
Brazil is spending $855 million on security and safety during the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, which the country will host from June 12 to July 13, the government said on Friday.
Freak hail storm strikes World Cup 2014 host city Sao Paulo
A hail storm covers streets in ice in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the football World Cup in less than a month
Colombia’s President Santos to face Zuluaga in run-off vote
Official results from Colombia’s presidential election say the incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos will face his main rival, Oscar Zuluaga, in a run-off next month.
Oscar Iván Zuluaga, a conservative candidate closely allied with former President Álvaro Uribe, won the most votes in the first round of Sunday’s presidential election.
— Karel Becerra #Cuba (@KarelBecerra) May 24, 2014
6 Gunned Down on Bus in El Salvador
How Mexico’s New President Is Turning His Country Into a Servile US Client
Enrique Peña Nieto is using violence and repression to dismantle his country’s progressive legacy. So, is servility why Mexico’s holding Andrew Tahmooressi?
Borinqueneers to get Congressional Gold Medal
Marijuana to Be Sold for Less Than $1 a Gram in Uruguay
Authorities said the price was deliberately set below what marijuana sells for illegally, and the quality control of the drug available at pharmacies would be “very high”
The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: rising volume of drugs coming from Venezuela
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Cuba and moral blindness
US-Latin America stories of the week
Today is May 5th, in Spanish cinco de mayo, and whether you celebrate or not, ignore the insecure who don’t want you to avail yourself of business opportunities.
(Juan Solo via Doug Mataconis‘s FaceBook feed)
ARGENTINA Y LA NARCO-CORRUPCION
Poll Shows Brazil President Could Face Runoff
The latest poll of Brazilian voters is showing for the first time that President Dilma Rousseff may face a runoff in October’s presidential election due to a lackluster economy.
Inflation is running around 6%, while economic growth isn’t expected to surpass 2% this year.
A Dutch Guerillera: The Foreign Face of FARC’s Civil War
Tanja Nijmeijer of Holland spent more than 10 years fighting with the rebel group FARC in the jungles of Colombia. More recently, she has been part of the guerillas’ peace negotiating team in Cuba. What drives her?
Ecuadorian president demands that indigenous group give up defamers
Rafael Correa accuses Kichwa leaders of acting above the law in holding three opposition activists convicted of defaming him
El Salvador: Ex-President Faces Charges
Former President Francisco Flores will face embezzlement and other corruption charges related to what prosecutors said Wednesday was the misappropriation of at least $5.3 million in loans from Taiwan during his tenure, from 1999 to 2004.
Attorney General in Guatemala Excluded From Re-election Bid
Claudia Paz y Paz, who has taken on a former dictator and top drug traffickers, was left off of a shortlist of candidates to be considered for re-election.
Jamaica scraps bank withdrawal tax, but Paco Santos may have had a business opportunity:
Last month, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country was “committed to further strengthening and modernising the army” with the help of any country willing to provide aid.
He did not give details of an agreement between Nicaragua and Russia.
But Russia’s ambassador in Managua had confirmed in March that Moscow is interested in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua.
Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia is weighing increasing its military presence in countries including Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela – particularly bases to refuel Russian warplanes far from home.
Panama’s economy has grown by an average of more than 8% in recent years and is expected to expand by 7% this year, by far the best performance in the Americas. Since 2002, poverty has been slashed from more than 40% to a quarter of the population.
“One good thing is that that there are no big ideological differences,” Nicolás Ardito-Barletta, a former World Bank economist who served less than a year as president in the mid-1980s, said before the vote. “Nobody’s going to kill the goose.”
In Panama Vote, a Noncandidate Matters
Presidential elections in Panama on Sunday feature a crowded field of seven candidates, but are widely seen here as a referendum on one man who won’t appear on the ballot: conservative President Ricardo Martinelli.
Venezuelan government arrests 58 foreigners ‘for inciting protests’
Interior Minister denounces alleged plot to promote unrest and overthrow Venezuela’s government as it is revealed dozens of foreign nationals are among the detained
Chávez initially promised that Coppelia ice cream would be made with Venezuelan products and supplies. Milk products from Lacteos Los Andes (now practically bankrupt), sugar from CVA Azucar (now shut down, see first post) and orange, guava, mango, peach and coconut.
Well, 18 months later and now Chávez is dead, Coppelia produces ice cream, mostly creamy flavors, in irregular and limited fashion. Raw materials and supplies are all imported. Forget about all those fruit flavors, but its manager says raw materials come from Lacteos Los Andes, which is practically shut down. [See also Chavez’s Farming Utopia Withers as Pet Projects Abandoned]
Which brings us, finally, to the million-dollar question: In post-Chávez Venezuela, who has the political capital to institute the deep and painful reforms the country requires to break out of this wicked cycle? If Chávez himself — who was the closest to God you can get in Venezuelan politics — didn’t dare to touch the gasoline subsidy or move against the Armed Forces’ involvement in organized crime, who would dare? In the answer to that question, more than in the epic battles painted by the likes of María Corina Machado, lies the key to Venezuela’s long term future.
The official corruption
The General Comptroller’s Office just published its latest report, and between lines, front firms which got away with dollars came to the spotlight again. The following list presents the irregularities admitted by the Venezuelan Government
The week’s posts and podcast:
Nestor fever #PoneleNestorATodo: Tympanoctomys Kirchnerorum UPDATED
Argentina Moves to Trim Subsidies
Argentina will cut expensive natural-gas and water subsidies this year as it struggles with growing deficits that have been financed through inflation-fueling money printing.
Colombia current account deficit ends 2013 at 3.4 percent, “as lower prices for some key exports contributed to the near halving of the Andean nation’s trade surplus.”
In lieu of a candidate to support, PLN lawmaker Luis Villanueva said the campaign was about “ideas, programs and the emphasis” of each party.
Correa has long pursued a multi-billion dollar judgment against oil company Chevron for alleged pollution that occurred in Ecuador’s Lago Agrio region. A U.S. federal judge ruled earlier this month that the judgment could not be enforced in America because the plaintiffs’ attorneys bribed a judge in Ecuador, ghostwrote purportedly neutral scientific studies, and conspired to break the law.
Correa in December dissolved a nongovernment organization protesting state oil drilling in the Amazon. He previously called the Free Beacon“corrupt” for reporting on the Chevron case.
Correa has also emulated Chavez by frequently decrying the alleged “imperial” influence of the United States in Latin America. He has expelled an American ambassador, shut down a joint U.S. anti-drug base, and grantedasylum to WikiLeaks founder and privacy advocate Julian Assange despiteallegations that Correa’s government has spied on reporters.
El Salvador opposition admits defeat
El Salvador’s Arena party finally accepts the defeat of its candidate to former rebel leader Salvador Sanchez Ceren in a tight vote earlier this month.
The Petrocaribe Trap
Crimea: The Panama precedent
Lawsuit filed in Miami accuses Venezuela top official, Diosdado Cabello, of bribery
A lawsuit filed in Miami accuses the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly of receiving at least $50 million in bribes from a company doing business in that country.
Venezuelan government takes on crossword writers in protest crackdown
After expelling an opposition parliamentarian and arresting three air-force generals, the Venezuelan government has now taken aim at a new enemy: crosswords
The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: How Hugo Chávez turned the country over to Cuba
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
No, Joe, illegals are not citizens
Happy St. Patrick’s day! If you would like to read a novel about an Irishman in Latin America, I recommend El sueño del celta / The Dream of the Celt: A Novel, by Mario Vargas Llosa. (Warning: It can be gruesome at times)
Pope Francis a year on: A friend reveals a very special gift
As Pope Francis marks his first anniversary in the Vatican, an Argentine silversmith explains how he has enlisted millions to help him craft the perfect present for his friend
Soaring Prices Fuel Frustrations Among Weary Argentines
Since the peso was devalued, Argentines have grappled with one of the world’s highest inflation rates, tilling the ground for social unrest, including a strike by schoolteachers and police sit-ins.
His name is Eduardo Campos: Brazilian Politician Heats Up Election
In Brazil’s poor northeast, an upstart presidential hopeful is shaking up this year’s election race by spotlighting a sensitive issue ahead of the Brazilian-hosted soccer World Cup contest: soaring murder rates.
El Salvador: Officials Confirm Ex-Guerrilla’s Victory
El Salvador’s electoral tribunal on Thursday confirmed that a former guerrilla commander during the country’s civil war emerged from Sunday’s presidential election with the most votes.
The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: #SOSVenezuela and the war against the Chuckys
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Biden goes to Chile
Yesterday I had the pleasure and the honor of being in Silvio Canto’s podcast with Miguel Portillo-Cuadra talking about Elections in El Salvador plus other US-Latin America issues.
Updating, the ARENA party requests that the election results be annulled (link in Spanish).
Yesterday was also Fausta’s Blog’s 10th birthday, which I celebrated at the podcast. I had initially started blogging on local issues but over time turned to what really interests me, Latin American politics.
March 11th was also the 10th anniversary of the Atocha train station bombing in Madrid. Barcepundit has a list of all the people who died.
While more important stories were in the headlines, Cristina Fernandez took the cake by attempting to remove all traces of Christopher Columbus from the
royal palace executive mansion, no matter that Columbus never set foot in the Country, and the Italian-born navigator shared a native land with millions of Argentinians.
Ted Turner Hospitalized In Argentina For Undisclosed Ailment
A security guard at the Instituto Argentino de Diagnostico y Tratamiento confirmed to The Associated Press that Turner was hospitalized there.
Pope Francis: the priest of the slums
Peter Stanford, author and former editor of the Catholic Herald, retraces the trip Pope Francis used to take to the outskirts of Buenos Aires to try to understand the man who was known as ‘the priest of the slums’
Footbridge collapses at Bolivian parade killing at least four people
Three musicians among the dead as an overloaded metal footbridge collapses during the opening parade of carnival in highlands city of Oruro
Chicago Latino Film Festival to honor Chilean actress Paulina Garcia
The Chicago Latino Film Festival will confer its career-achievement award on Chilean theater, film and television actress Paulina Garcia, organizers said.
Incoming Chilean Finance Minister Promises to Boost Investments
Alberto Areas Says New Bachelet Administration Will Take Over Slowing Economy: expect more government spending, more debt.
Governing Party Candidate Pulls Out of Costa Rica’s Presidential Campaign
Sinking in the polls a month before Costa Rica’s presidential election, Johnny Araya, the candidate for the country’s governing party, pulled out of the campaign on Wednesday
TWO Capt. Louis Renault moments:
1. Presidente plantea enmienda constitucional sin que se llame a referéndum
Leftist party ahead in El Salvador polls
Elections in El Salvador will decide whether the incumbent leftist government will gain a mandate for another five years. The winning party must tackle gang violence and address the country’s economic problems.
If Peña Nieto wanted to keep Cuba and Venezuela from firing up Mexico’s left, he could have done the same with polite diplomacy, without the need to praise as a “moral leader” a dictator who is responsible for thousands of deaths and has not allowed a free election in five decades. In an effort to distance himself from his predecessors, Peña Nieto has gone overboard.
Felix Salmon on Why Puerto Rico’s bonds are moving to New York: it all comes down to default protection for the bondholders.
La libertad en las calles
PIEDRA DE TOQUE. Venezuela ya no es un país democrático y la gran movilización popular es para que haya todavía elecciones de verdad en ese país y no rituales operaciones circenses como son las de Cuba
Late Friday in Washington, the Organization of American States approved a declaration that rejected violence and called for justice for the 21 people the government says have died in weeks of street protests. The resolution also offered “full support” for the Venezuelan government’s peace initiative, in which the opposition has so far refused to participate.
The week’s posts:
Don Mario se quita los guantes y le cae encima al fascista Maduro: En español: Vargas Llosa a puño limpio
After three weeks of repression, fifteen dead, at least 60 reported tortured and more than eight hundred detained, including opposition leaders and reporters, the Venezuelan students have at least shown the world what little respect the Maduro administration has for the human and civil rights of the people.
The protests come from people who realize that their future has been robbed by a narco-kleptocracy. Almost anyone in Venezuela that has aspirations to a better future through education, hard work, you name it, questions more or less actively the regime.
Heisenberg: Chapo Guzmán, la conexión argentina
What could possibly go wrong? Argentina Plans Price-Control Measures
President Cristina Kirchner has pledged tougher measures against businesses that raise prices, as her administration tries to stabilize an economy suffering from double-digit inflation and hard currency shortages.
Two Years After Expropriation, Argentina and Repsol Sign Accord on YPF
The agreement establishes compensation for the Spanish oil firm of $5 billion in dollar-denominated government bonds, a debt that will be settled by 2033, at the latest, if the bonds are held to maturity
Upcoming meme alert: Expect MSNBC to start referring to the Venezuelan demonstrations (if they ever notice them) as “attempts at a soft coup”, Presidenta argentina habla de ‘golpe suave’ en Venezuela
The military police are not part of the armed forces, and yet they operate according to military principles of rank and discipline. They cannot strike or unionize, and are subject to a military-style penal code (meaning transgressions at work can be treated as mutiny or treason, and officers are tried in a special court). They are prohibited from “revealing facts or documents that can discredit the police or disrupt hierarchy or discipline.”
They also can’t openly disapprove of the acts of civilian authorities from the executive, legislative or judicial branches of government, and are forbidden to express their personal political opinions.
“This is a site on par with Dinosaur National Monument here in the United States, a whole hillside littered with dinosaur skeletons. We seem to have the same thing except with whales here in Chile.”
From The Economist story (also posted under Panama, below): Caribbean ports and the Panama canal
Brazil and Cuba agreed in 2009 to develop the port of Mariel, west of Havana, through a partnership between Brazil’s Grupo Odebrecht and a state-owned Cuban company, with PSA International of Singapore as operator. The port has been dredged to a comfortable 18 metres and was inaugurated in January. But a major transshipment role is blocked by the American trade embargo: ships which have been to Cuba are barred for six months from American ports. More time to complete the Panama expansion means more time for the embargo to lift.
— Eric Farnsworth (@ericfarns) February 26, 2014
The new locks will accommodate ships which can take almost three times that load and need a draft of over 15 metres.
These monsters will slash shipping costs for Pacific cargo en route for Atlantic ports, and boost the 6% share of world trade that the Panama canal now claims.
The WSJ lists Venezuela’s Opposition Leaders
University students have been the backbone of the antigovernment movement, but demonstrators recently have looked to Leopoldo López, a former mayor of the Chacao district of Caracas and leader of the Popular Will party. Read more about the opposition to President Nicolás Maduro.
Death toll from Venezuela street protests rises to 18
Anti-government protests continue to Caracas and across Venezuela with ongoing battles between protesters and police claiming the life of a national guardsman
‘A Perfect Storm’: The Failure of Venezuela’s New President
He was hand-picked by Hugo Chávez, but Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has lost control of the country’s economy. Vast protests have been the result, but the government in Caracas has shown no signs of bending.
The week’s posts and podcast:
Latin America at the #Oscars2014
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
What would it take for Latin America’s left-wing populist economies to turn around?