Archive for the ‘Evo Morales’ Category

Bolivia: No term limits for Evo, part 2

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

The “humble guy” in action:

Video of Evo ordering someone to tie his shoes. This is the 21st century socialism’s much-touted equality.”

Two years ago Bolivia’s constitutional court ruled Evo Morales could run for a third time.

Here comes the fourth!

Bolivia’s Congress has voted to amend the constitution to allow the country’s President Evo Morales to run for re-election again in five years’ time.

Mr Morales has said that he wants to complete his government’s “Patriotic Agenda” by taking action on “13 pillars of action” by 2025.

Why not just declare himself a monarch and get it over with?

The Communist crucifix Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 13th, 2015

During his visit in Bolivia, pope Francis stepped out of the popemobile to pray at the site where the late Jesuit Luis Espinal’s body had been dumped, after which Evo Morales (who wore a jacket embroidered with Che Guevara’s face to the Pope’s speech) presented Francis with the Communist crucifix designed by Espinal, and a matching medal, which Francis accepted:

Following the ensuing outrage, Francis left the medals and crucifix in Bolivia while the Vatican launched into spin mode.

Evo certainly milked the photo ops. It’ll be interesting to see what Raul Castro does when Francis goes to Cuba.

From her official website: Cristina Kirchner interview with The New Yorker – Up Close and Uncut (march 11, 2015) President Cristina Kirchner interviewed by Dexter Filkins from the US magazine The New Yorker, on March 11, 2015

Argentina’s New Intelligence Agency Targets Captains of IndustryPresident Kirchner Fears “Economic Warfare”

The Peronist pope
Francis’s balancing act in Latin America

From March 2013: Sobre el mensaje del arzobispo de Buenos Aires

Cristina travels to Paraguay to meet Francis

Bahamas Independence Day 2015: 10 Key, Quick Facts To Know About The Caribbean Paradise


Pope gives his backing to Morales’ social programs in BoliviaPontiff reported to have sipped coca-based tea before reaching high-altitude destinationPresident hopes Francis will offer to mediate in border conflict with Chile

Contrast Francis’s visit with Pope John II’s 1983 visit to Nicaragua and his attitude towards liberation theology.

Brazil: Man’s Lynching Compared to Slave Flogging

Brazil oil giant faces $98bn shareholder lawsuit in US over corruption schemeNew York court to hear case brought by investors including pension funds of British academics and US state workers over ‘Carwash’ scam at Petrobras

The lawsuit claims that Petrobras executives accepted bribes for inflating the value of construction contracts and “used the money to bribe politicians through intermediaries to guarantee they would vote in line with the ruling party while enriching themselves”.

Duff idea? Fox hopes Chile’s beer lovers give Simpsons brew a warm receptionCompany to sell beer – which an executive calls fruity with a caramel aromatic – after decades of pirated versions ruling the market

Colombian president replaces military chiefs days after scathing report into extra-judicial killingsPresident Juan Manuel Santos overhauls his high command despite rejecting Human Rights Watch claims about role of military commanders in murders of civilians who were then framed as left-wing rebels

Colombian President Welcomes FARC Cease-Fire

The Mixed-Up Brothers of BogotáAfter a hospital error, two pairs of Colombian identical twins were raised as two pairs of fraternal twins. This is the story of how they found one another — and of what happened next.

Marco Rubio: Obama’s Faustian Bargain With Cuba

Here’s “What Change Looks Like” Through a Business-First Policy

Twice as Many Cuban Rafters Flee While They Can
2015 Arrivals Exhibit Fear of End to Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot Policy

Ana’s Story: The Face of Colombia’s Refugee Crisis in Ecuador

This is how bad El Salvador’s murder rate is

El Salvador is on pace to pass its neighbor, Honduras, as the deadliest country on the planet.

Mexican Police Deliver Wrong Corpses to Get Murder Case Closed
Victim Families Allege Cover-Up, Demand Prosecutor’s Resignation

Mexican Ex-Governor Arrested on Tax-Fraud Charges

Some Ford lines may be heading to Mexico

Mexican helicopter trades fire with gunmen on ground near border, kills 6

Guatemala: Ex-ruler Rios Montt found unfit for trial
A former Guatemalan general, Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled the country briefly in the 1980s, has been found mentally incapable of standing trial.

A matter of when, not if? Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Escapes From PrisonMexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has escaped from a maximum-security prison in central Mexico, almost a year and a half after being captured, prompting a major search operation.

Panama and Nicaragua – Two Canals, One Shared Dream, but with the Chinese financial market in flux, what will happen to the Nicaraguan project?

Venezuelans heading to Panama

Pope Praises Paraguayan Women
Pope Francis celebrated Paraguayan women as the “most glorious women of America” in a sermon at the shrine of the country’s patron Madonna Saturday, the second-to-last day of his weeklong visit to South America.

Argentina Sees Exodus as Pope Visits Paraguay
Roughly one million people will cross the border into Paraguay from Argentina to see Pope Francis in the capital, Asunción, immigration officials estimate.

Better keep Greenpeace away: New Nazca geoglyphs in Peru could be older than famous Unesco siteJapanese team believes new images are older than the famous monkey, spider and hummingbird at the Unesco World Heritage site

Ubinas Erupts in Peru Dispersing Ash Up to Radius of 9.3 Miles

America’s Greece: Fixing Puerto Rico Could Provide Answers for Europe

Now it’s serious! Venezuela is almost out of beer

The week’s posts and podcast:
The new perfect Latin American idiot

“Economy class cabin hexagon”? No. Just no.

What current Mexican immigration law is like

Cuba: Policy paper shows correlation between US engagement and rising repression in Cuba

Two books that don’t exist for the NYT

Argentina: Cristina drops the mask on anti-semitism

Bolivia: Evo gives Francis hammer and sickle crucifix UPDATED

Business at the BBC: Firing Clarkson will cost them BIG

NYSE down

Ecuador: Pope calls for “new economic and ecological world order”

Meanwhile, over in Cuba,

Argentina: Cristina cheers for Greece

Today’s immigration headlines

Monday night “It takes 1 to tango”

Ecuador: Pope’s visiting, crowd clamors “Out, Correa, out”

Bolivia: Dumb. And dumber.

Monday, April 20th, 2015

No, not these guys,

This guy:

Gay and bald? Evo Morales thinks you ate too much chicken
Bolivian president causes homophobia storm by blaming ‘deviant’ men on hormone-reared fowl

Evo Morales’s political party aims to become the country’s only political party: El partido de Evo Morales ahora busca ser el único en todo el país. Just two weeks ago, his party suffered serious setbacks in local and regional elections in Bolivia, with unofficial results showing it losing the capital of La Paz and several key governorships.

The head of the coca growers’ union doesn’t like competition. Who knew!

Linked to by Grouchomarxistas. Thank you!

Venezuela: Door-to-door raids, AWOL colonels, Panama out

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Tweet of the day:
Human rights violations in Venezuela

(h/t Babalu)

A new stage in the Cubanization of Venezuela: the Comités de Defensa de la Revolución (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) have now arrived.
I received an email from Venezuela describing a new situation: Neighbors in the same buildings reporting anyone who protests to the National Guard, who then tear down the front door and arrest all the people in the apartment of the alleged protesters.

Fidel Castro’s “collective system of revolutionary vigilance,” in a new country.

According to NGO Foro Penal Venezolano, Protests in Venezuela leave 1,084 detainees so far

Unlike most reporters, this CNN reporter did go into the fray,

Andrea Shea King posts on the apps:

Zello? According to DefenseOne, this is the app that’s fueling the uprising in Venezuela. The Walkie-talkie app is the favorite app of protest organizers in Venezuela and in Ukraine.

Bookmark these alternatives to text messaging: What’sApp and Telegram. Or begin using them now.

The Crowdpilot app lets others listen in to each other’s conversations, especially helpful in situations like thrones [sic] in Ukraine and Venezuela.

In the city of Valencia, three National Guard colonels are AWOL after refusing to fire on their fellow citizens.

After Panama requested a meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss Venezuela’s crisis, Maduro cut ties with Panama, calling country a ‘lackey’ for the United States.

Maduro used the most insulting terms, calling the president of Panama a “groveling lackey”, while telling the OAS to stay out of Venezuela, now and forever.

Bolivian president Evo Morales was in attendance:

Daniel Duquenal calls it The day Maduro became certifiable and tore his panama,

So, rather than having to appear at an OAS meeting and look like a brutal repressive fool, it is better to turn over the table and refuse to play. See, Maduro and its Cuban masters are understanding that the regime image is so deteriorated that they cannot count on a favorable OAS verdict no matter how much they have spent to buy its votes.

In other words, pushed against the wall, Cuba ordered Maduro to start breaking up with the OAS, a long held dear dream of Castro and Chavez, with already sabotage to the OAS by supporting someone like its incompetent secretary Insulza or creating CELAC and UNASUR to annul OAS cover.

I need to add a footnote probably lost in translation. After the electoral fraud of April 2013 Panama’s president was one of the rare few to travel to Caracas and visit Maduro as the real elected president. The reason was that Venezuela owes, I understand, more than a billion USD to Panama and that is a lot of money for a small country. Martinelli simply had to think of his people. But I suspect that he did not get paid anything for his troubles since Venezuela is bankrupt. So, he decided to screw Maduro by having Panama’s ambassador called an OAS meeting on Venezuela. After all, breaking with Panama is going to cost Maduro more than what it may cost Panama. Probably it will aggravate our economic crisis and make corrupt chavista upset that their assets risk being sort of frozen in Panama.

Panama’s not the only country Venezuela owes money to: Venezuela’s debt to Brazilian construction firms over USD 2 billion

In a report issued by Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico, Brazilian construction corporations’ portfolio in Venezuela accounts for USD 20 billion, affected by serious “delays” in payment in recent days

Visiting dignitaries: Evo Morales was in Caracas for the Chavez memorial. Cuba’s Raul Castro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, and Suriname’s Desi Bouterse (a shady character if ever there was one) were also at the memorial. Raul Castro’s visit to Venezuela, to prop up the government of Chavez’s handpicked successor amid violent anti-government riots, has caused more resentment than rejoicing

Some Venezuelans are convinced that the very worst violence unleashed on protesters has actually been committed by Cuban plants, not Venezuelan security force personnel.

Caracas Gringo has a photo essay of Raul Castro’s Cubazuelan Parade

Juan Cristobal Nagel takes a look at A legacy of destruction

A large number of Venezuelan immigrants aim to request political asylum, many of whom have been living undocumented in Florida for several years.

Title corrected.

Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Bolivia: What the “Bolivarian revolution” means, in practice

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Bolivia’s Descent Into Rogue State Status
The country is a hub for organized crime and a safe haven for terrorists.

The government is an advocate for coca growers. The Iranian presence is increasing. And reports from the ground suggest that African extremists are joining the fray.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is also the elected president of the coca producers’ confederation, and Vice President Alvaro García Linera, formerly of the Maoist Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, began building their repressive narco-state when they took office in 2006.

Step one was creating a culture of fear. Scores of intellectuals, technocrats and former government officials were harassed. Many fled.

With the opposition cowed, President Morales has turned Bolivia into an international hub of organized crime and a safe haven for terrorists. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been expelled. United Nations data show that cocaine production is up in Bolivia since 2006 and unconfirmed reports say that Mexican, Russian and Colombian toughs are showing up to get a piece of the action. So are militants looking to raise cash and operate in the Western Hemisphere.

The Tehran connection is no secret. Iran is a nonvoting member of the “Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas” ( ALBA ). Its voting members are Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Read the whole thing.

Note to Cristina: Don’t drink and tweet!

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Fed up as I am of the Edward Snowden espionage caper, the farcical aspects involving Latin American players keep drawing me back,

Twenty-six hours ago, Evo Morales was incidentally in the picture,

but when he flew out of Russia, his flight was detoured

DRAMA IN THE SKY: Bolivian leader’s plane rerouted on fear Snowden aboard…

Furor over denied airspace passage, refueling rights…

‘Act of aggression’ by France, Portugal, Spain…

‘Orders came from United States’…

Austria finds ‘no sign’ Snowden on board…

Bolivia enraged, accuses Austria of ‘kidnapping’…

Bolivian president’s plane leaves Austria after enforced diversion

Plane takes off after 13 hours in Vienna
• Jet was diverted amid fears Snowden on board
• France, Spain, Italy and Portugal accused of blocking airpsace
• Snowden not on board say Austrian and Bolivian officials
• Bolivia accuses United States of ‘hostile act’
• Summary of the day’s events

Over in Buenos Aires, Cristina Fernandez was having conniptions over Evo’s detouring, and she tweeted it all in her official account, @CFKArgentina, which is now suspended. Correction: Account now visible

Luckily for us, Monica Showalter copied and quick-translated Cristina’s stream of consciousness (if you want to call it that), so here it is,

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
I will warn that Ollanta is calling a meeting of UNASUR. It’s 00:25 AM. Tomorrow will be a long and difficult day. Be calm. They will not succeed.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
I talk to Pepe (Mujica). He’s outraged. He’s right. It’s very humiliating. I will return to talk with Rafa again.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Evo I call again. The defense minister has been told. In Austria it’s 3AM. They will try to communicate with the authorities.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Well, but we can send a judge from here. Mother of God! What a world!

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Yesss!, AN INJUNCTION. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. You realize that those are the precautionary measures.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
If Austria does not let you go or wants to check your airplane, you can appear before the International Court of The Hague and ask …

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
He confirms common law permits absolute immunity, received by the Convention 2004 and the Hague Tribunal.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Hello, Susan.” No dear, Susana Ruiz Cerruti. Our international legal expert Chancellery …

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
CFK: “Let me call the Chancellery. I want to see jurisdiction, Treaty and Tribunal to turn to. I’ll call you back.” “Thanks mate”

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“And I will not allow them to review my plane. I’m Not a thief.” Just perfect. Go, Evo.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
It will take thousands of years of civilization ahead. He tells me the situation. “I’m here, in a small lounge at the airport …”

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
I call Evo. On the other side of the line, his voice quietly answers me: “Hello mate, like this?” The question to me as I am!

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Rafael tells me he will call for an urgent emergency meeting with Ollanta Humala and UNASUR.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Definitely they’re all crazy. A head of State and his plane have total immunity. There cannot be this degree of impunity.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Several countries revoked his flight permission and he is in Vienna,” he answers.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Along with Putin, Nicolas Maduro and other heads of state. “But what happened Rafael?”

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“What? Evo? Evo Morales detained?” Immediately it came to mind to me his last picture, in Russia …

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Cristina. They have detained Evo and his plane, and won’t let him out of Europe.”

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“No, what happened?” I’m in the clouds. Weird, because I am always attentive … and vigilant. But I just got out of a meeting.

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Hi Rafa, how are you?”. He replies halfway between angry and distressed. “You do not know what’s going on?”

Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
I went to the Pink House. Olives, 21:46 pm. They advised me, President Correa is on the phone. “Rafael? What’s up?”

Which prompted unkind reactions,

This @CKFArgentina is hormonal crazy. If she manages her country the way she manages Twitter, Argentinians are as f*cked as we are.

Note to Cristina: Malbec and Twitter don’t mix.

Argentina’s La Presidenta, Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, live-tweets the latest in Snowden Caper, and special thanks to Monica Showalter for the link.

Bolivia: No term limit for Evo

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The head of the coca growers union can stay on:

Bolivia court says Evo Morales can run a 3rd time

Bolivia’s constitutional court says President Evo Morales can run for a third term in elections set for December 2014.

The court says language in the country’s 2009 constitution that allows for only a single re-election does not apply retroactively to Morales’ first term.

It’s the Bolivarian revolution way.

Bolivia: The Cocaine Republic

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Inter-American Security Watch has an excellent translation of Revista Veja’s report on present-day Bolivia, The Cocaine Republic

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is proud to encourage the cultivation of coca, the raw material for more than half of the cocaine and crack consumed in Brazil, arguing that its leaves are used to produce tea and traditional medicines. However, the United Nations (UN) estimates that only one-third of the coca planted in the country is necessary to meet this demand. The rest is used for drug trafficking and, consequently, contributes to corrupting the lives of nearly one million Brazilians and their families. Recently, evidence has emerged that the Bolivian government’s complicity with drug trafficking goes beyond a simple defense of the cocaleros, or coca growers. VEJA magazine had access to the reports produced by an intelligence unit of the Bolivian police which reveal, among other facts, a direct connection between Morales’ confidante, Minister of the Presidency Juan Ramón Quintana, and a Brazilian drug trafficker currently serving a sentence in Catanduvas, a maximum-security prison in Paraná.

A must-read for those wanting to know what is going on in South America. Read the whole thing.

Bolivia: Evo Morales’s Victims Push Back

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Evo Morales has to keep two sets of people happy: the coca growers, and the Chinese. That means that he’ll stomp all over the indigenous peoples of Bolivia, including his own. Now there’s a backlash.

Evo Morales’s Victims Push Back
As protests against him rise and his popularity falls, the Bolivian president nationalizes another big company.

The international left has explained Mr. Morales’s early popularity in racial terms, painting him and his white upper-class Marxist Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera as noble liberators of an indigenous nation. This ignores the fact that a majority of Bolivians are culturally mestizo, meaning that regardless of their bloodlines they no longer live like their ancestors did 500 years ago and they speak Spanish. What the socialists also miss is that indigenous Bolivians are no more interested in being tyrannized by someone who looks like them than by someone who doesn’t.

Things ought to be going well for Mr. Morales. Bolivia is a resource supplier, and commodity prices on the whole are booming. Yet the economy has performed only so-so. Gross domestic product averaged an anemic 2.9% annual growth from 2005 through 2010. Last year it expanded at an estimated 5% but still missed the 6% target that economists say developing countries must maintain over a decade to make an impact on poverty rates.

One reason is the dearth of private investment. Total investment is running around 16% of GDP when something closer to 25% is needed to generate strong, long-term growth. Worse, most of that investment comes from the public sector and is increasingly financed by the central bank. Private investment has been running at only 6% to 7% of GDP, suggesting that investors are worried about country risk.

His gas industry venture isn’t working out well either. After the 2006 gas nationalization, he backtracked on a long-term contract to supply Brazil through a Petrobras pipeline and tried to raise the price. Petrobras responded by increasing its capacity to handle imported liquefied natural gas and began to invest heavily to exploit domestic Brazilian resources. It is no longer reliant on Bolivian gas.

Meanwhile, Mr. Morales’s real problem, Bolivian hatred of his authoritarianism, is spinning out of control. The trouble started with a December 2010 effort to raise gasoline prices by 70%. The uprising—known as the gasolinazo—was so violent that he was forced to back down. The incident badly damaged his image.

Next he announced plans to put a Brazilian-financed highway through an Indian reserve in the Bolivian Amazon known by its Spanish initials as the Tipnis. Inhabitants asked for a rerouting to spare their ancestral lands. When Mr. Morales refused, hundreds of Indians took off on a 500-kilometer protest march to La Paz. Along the way they encountered a pro-Morales roadblock and were tear-gassed by police. When the government rounded up some 300 marchers and tried to fly them out of the area, local townspeople set fires on the airport runway in solidarity with the captives.

Mr. Morales has suspended construction on the highway but is still insisting that the road be built because the coca growers—his most important constituency—need it to expand their businesses.

And, yes, Spanish corporations ought to take the hint that investing in countries led by Marxists is not wise.

Linked by Extrano’s Alley. Thanks!

Where the coke comes from

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

This weekend’s Wall Street Journal has a must-read on drug production in Latin America
Cocaine: The New Front Lines
Colombia’s success in curbing the drug trade has created more opportunities for countries hostile to the United States. What happens when coca farmers and their allies are in charge?

What happens is that now Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia are producing the drugs:

Since 2000, cultivation of coca leaves—cocaine’s raw material—plunged 65% in Colombia, to 141,000 acres in 2010, according to United Nations figures. In the same period, cultivation surged more than 40% in Peru, to 151,000 acres, and more than doubled in Bolivia, to 77,000 acres.

More important, Bolivia and Peru are now making street-ready cocaine, whereas they once mostly supplied raw ingredients for processing in Colombia. In 2010, Peru may have passed Colombia as the world’s biggest producer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Between 2009 and 2010, Peru’s potential to produce cocaine grew 44%, to 325 metric tons. In 2010, Colombia’s potential production was 270 metric tons.

Meanwhile, Venezuela and Ecuador are rising as smuggling hubs.

Those of you who think this cocaine is only produced for consumption outside Latin America, do take note that Brazilian police say 80% of that country’s cocaine supply comes from Bolivia.

Additionally, crime, terrorism and drugs go hand-in-hand. Hezbolla’s deepening involvement in the drug trade was the subject of a New York Times report last month.

Noteworthy was a comment by Lebanon’s drug enforcement chief, Colonel Adel Mashmoushi, who stated that one path used by Hezbollah’s drug trafficking friends into Lebanon was “aboard a weekly Iranian-operated flight from Venezuela to Damascus and then over the border [from Syria].” The air bridge between Caracas and Tehran has long been a significant security concern.

Is it a coincidence that Bolivia has the largest Iranian embassy in the hemisphere, and that Ahmadinejad has visited the region five times – last week stopping in Ecuador and Venezuela?

Linked by Maggie’s Farm. Thanks!