Archive for the ‘Evo Morales’ Category

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.

UPDATE:
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.
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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.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Well, but we can send a judge from here. Mother of God! What a world!
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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.
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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 …
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
He confirms common law permits absolute immunity, received by the Convention 2004 and the Hague Tribunal.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Hello, Susan.” No dear, Susana Ruiz Cerruti. Our international legal expert Chancellery …
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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”
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“And I will not allow them to review my plane. I’m Not a thief.” Just perfect. Go, Evo.
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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 …”
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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!
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Rafael tells me he will call for an urgent emergency meeting with Ollanta Humala and UNASUR.
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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.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Several countries revoked his flight permission and he is in Vienna,” he answers.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
Along with Putin, Nicolas Maduro and other heads of state. “But what happened Rafael?”
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“What? Evo? Evo Morales detained?” Immediately it came to mind to me his last picture, in Russia …
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Cristina. They have detained Evo and his plane, and won’t let him out of Europe.”
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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.
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Cristina Kirchner @ CFKArgentina 1h
“Hi Rafa, how are you?”. He replies halfway between angry and distressed. “You do not know what’s going on?”
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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.

UPDATE:
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.

UPDATE:
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?

UPDATE,
Linked by Maggie’s Farm. Thanks!


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Bolivia Defense Ministry invites accused Iranian terrorist mastermind, then disinvites him

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

iran, whose embassy in Bolivia is the largest in our hemisphere, sent Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi to Bolivia at the Bolivian Defense Ministry’s invitation.

While in Bolivia, Vahidi attended a ceremony with President Evo Morales,

The article does not touch on the question of what the nature of Vahidi’s visit to the BDM would be. However, apparently Argentinian officials must have protested, because Bolivia’s foreign minister wrote a letter of apology to the Argentinian foreign minister, and Vahidi was sent out of the country. The apology claimed that

The invitation . . . had been issued by the Bolivian defence ministry which did not know the background to the case and had not co-ordinated with other departments.

Vahidi is wanted for being behind the AMIA bombing.

Iran minister accused of planning Argentina Jewish center bombing told to leave Bolivia
Bolivia sends letter of apology to Argentina for inviting Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who is accused by Argentina of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center that killed 85.
(Hat tip: Jewish Bro’s Twitter feed.)

Argentina had previously protested Vahidi’s appointment as Defense Minister, which Iran carefully ignored.

Vahidi is not the only Iranian accused of being connected to the AMIA bombing who travels to Latin America. As you may recall, Mohsen Rabbani, who is also wanted for the bombings, is recruiting in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Argentina continues to press the case on the 1994 AMIA and the 1992 Israeli embassy bombings.

Cross-posted at Real Clear World.

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The Middle East-Latin America Terrorism Connection

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Today’s – and any day’s – must-read,
Middle East-Latin America Terrorism Connection: Analysis

In a global triangulation that would excite any conspiracy buff, the globalization of terrorism now links Colombian FARC with Hezbollah, Iran with Russia, elected governments with violent insurgencies, uranium with AK-103s, and cocaine with oil. At the center of it all, is Latin America—especially the countries under the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

There are enough connections to make your hair stand on end: the FARC, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua,

So, on one side Venezuela is funding and arming the FARC; on the other it is purchasing nuclear reactors and weapons from the Russians; on yet another, it is sending money to Iran and helping it find and enrich uranium. And then there is Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based asset.

Reports that Venezuela has provided Hezbollah operatives with Venezuelan national identity cards are so rife, they were raised in the July 27, 2010, Senate hearing for the recently nominated U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Larry Palmer. When Palmer answered that he believed the reports, Chávez refused to accept him as ambassador in Venezuela. Meanwhile, Iran Air, the self-proclaimed “airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” operates a Tehran-Caracas flight commonly referred to as “Aeroterror” by intelligence officials for allegedly facilitating the access of terrorist suspects to South America. The Venezuelan government shields passenger lists from Interpol on that flight.

Iran, meanwhile, has developed significant relationships elsewhere in Latin America – most prominently with Chávez’s allies and fellow Bolivarian Revolutionaries: Bolivian President Evo Morales, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

And let’s not forget the Tri-Border Area,

Argentine officials believe Hezbollah is still active in the TBA. They attribute the detonation of a car bomb outside Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires on 17 March 1992 to Hezbollah extremists. Officials also maintain that with Iran’s assistance, Hezbollah carried out a car-bomb attack on the main building of the Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on 18 July 1994 in protest of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement that year.

Most of this report will not come as a surprise to long-term readers of Fausta’s blog, but you must read it all.

More, much more, including Walid Makled, here.

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Failing Bolivia

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Bolivia, a blighted land, has become more so under Evo Morales’s tenure,
Chavez-style Economics Fail Miserably in Bolivia
Jaime Daremblum, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States from 1998 to 2004, writes that Bolivian president Evo Morales (pictured) slavishly follows Hugo’s playbook, with similarly disastrous results.
(h/t Silvio Canto)

He has weakened the rule of law, undermined democracy, and nationalized a significant portion of the economy while seeking to implement an ambitious land-redistribution agenda. Bolivia has the second-largest natural-gas reserves in South America. Yet Morales nationalized the industry in 2006, with predictably negative consequences. Last summer, the president of the Bolivian Chamber of Hydrocarbons told the Financial Times that his country’s natural-gas reserves were shrinking “because there have not been any significant investments in the past five years.”

Indeed, through nationalization schemes, price controls, and other anti-business measures, Morales has chased away both domestic and foreign investors. As Bolivian economist Waldo López said last year, “The government has a foreign-investment phobia, and its nationalization processes and the lack of clear rules are creating lack of confidence.” The World Bank’s 2011 “Doing Business” survey ranks Bolivia 149 out of 183 economies, behind even Sierra Leone and Syria. It is the poorest nation in South America, and among the very poorest in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Why should this matter to the USA?

The United States has more than a passing interest in Bolivia’s future. After all, the country is a major cocaine producer. Morales expelled the Drug Enforcement Administration from his country back in 2008, and a new U.S. government report says that Bolivia has “failed demonstrably” to combat drug trafficking and meet its international obligations. It has also strengthened relations with the Iranian theocracy. According to the Associated Press, a 2009 Israeli foreign ministry document accused Bolivia (and Venezuela) of providing Tehran with uranium.

As I have posted in the past, Iran is taking a much more active interest in our hemisphere. Add Bolivia to their roster.

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