Archive for the ‘Fausta’s blog’ Category

The Putinesco Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Everything old is new again, so this week’s word is Putinesco, the 21st century non-Soviet.

ARGENTINA
DEBKA investigation: A fake Iranian “defector” assassinated Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Witness is latest in string of false ‘leaks’

Argentina, Iran and the strange death of Alberto Nisman
The death of a prosecutor investigating links between Buenos Aires and Tehran has quickly gone from being a criminal case to a political affair
It always was.

BOLIVIA
Bolivia’s “spaceship architecture” showcases the new wealth of indigenous people

BRAZIL
Brazil Rio carnival: Beija-Flor wins despite ‘Obiang link’
A Brazilian samba school, which is alleged to have received funding from Equatorial Guinea, has been crowned champion of Rio de Janeiro’s carnival.
Equatorial Guinea?

CHILE
Bachelet’s Virtuous Facade
Hypocrisy Runs Deep Throughout Chile’s Political Elite

COLOMBIA
A court in Colombia rules that same-sex couples can adopt children, but only if the child is the offspring of one of the partners.

Colombian teacher changes her name to ABCDEFG HIJKLMN OPQRST UVWXYZ

CUBA
Whitewashing & Policy Laundering Cuban Terrorism

ECUADOR
No Referendum on Correa’s Indefinite Reelection in Ecuador
National Electoral Council Denies Request for Popular Vote

MEXICO
Mexico to stop shipping ready-to-use fuel to curb thefts

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex has announced it will stop shipping ready-to-use petrol and diesel through its pipelines, in an effort to curb fuel thefts.

Pemex says it will use its pipelines across Mexico only for unfinished fuel.

That fuel will go through a last phase of mixing when it reaches the company’s storage plants.

More than $1bn (£650,000) worth of fuel was stolen by Mexican gangs in 2014, an increase of 70% over the previous year.

TOWERS OF SECRECY
Mexican Political Family Has Close Ties to Ruling Party, and Homes in the U.S.
The properties stand in contrast to the working-man image promoted by José Murat Casab, a longtime party insider, and his son, a top housing official.

NICARAGUA
Trouble Brewing in Nicaragua

PUERTO RICO
Race to the bottom: Moody’s Cuts Puerto Rico Rating Further into Junk
Two-notch downgrade brings the rating on Puerto Rico’s general obligation bonds to Caa1

VENEZUELA
Turmoil in Venezuela
Sliding toward dictatorship
The arrest of the mayor of Caracas is a sign that the regime will do whatever it takes to hold on to power.
Sliding?

The sudden rise of the bodyguards



Ecuador: Apologize, or else

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Today at El Universo‘s website (my translation):

PUBLIC APOLOGY ORDERED BY SUPERCOM
In compliance to Resolution Nº 009-2015-DNJRD-INPS, issued by Communications Superintendent Carlos Ochoa within PROCEEDING Nº 0129-2014-INPS-DNJRD (IGJ-SEDE-0198-2014), notified on February 15 2015, I issue public apologies to the collective complainants who felt injured by La columna de Bonil’s cartoon, published on page 8 of Diario EL UNIVERSO on August 5, 2014, which, also by order of the aforementioned official, will be published on the main screen of this media’s webpage, for a period of time of at least seven consecutive days.

The publication of this apology does not mean agreement with the specific annulments of administrative process 0129-2014-INPS-DNJRD (IGJ-SEDE-0198-2014), which we shall continue to denounce through administrative, judicial, and constitutional actions and recourses, locally and internationally which help us.
Carlos Pérez B.,
Director, Diario EL UNIVERSO

Spanish original,

DISCULPA PÚBLICA ORDENADA POR LA SUPERCOM
En cumplimiento de la Resolución Nº 009-2015-DNJRD-INPS, expedida por el superintendente de Información y Comunicación, Carlos Ochoa Hernández, dentro del TRÁMITE Nº 0129-2014-INPS-DNJRD (IGJ-SEDE-0198-2014), notificada el 13 de febrero del 2015, extiendo disculpas públicas a los colectivos denunciantes que se sintieron afectados por la caricatura de La columna de Bonil, publicada en la página 8 de la edición de Diario EL UNIVERSO del 5 de agosto del 2014, la cual también por disposición del antes nombrado funcionario, será publicada en la primera interfaz de la página web de este medio de comunicación, por un plazo no menor a siete días consecutivos.
La publicación de esta disculpa no significa allanamiento alguno a las nulidades específicas del proceso administrativo 0129-2014-INPS-DNJRD (IGJ-SEDE-0198-2014), que seguiremos denunciando mediante el ejercicio de los recursos y acciones administrativas, judiciales y constitucionales, locales e internacionales que nos asisten.
Carlos Pérez B.,
Director de Diario EL UNIVERSO

Ecuador Orders Newspaper and Cartoonist to Publish Apology
Case Over Satirical Photomontage Fuels Concerns About Press Freedom Under Correa Administration

Mr. Bonilla was sued by an Afro-Ecuadorean group over a photomontage published in August that made fun of Agustín “Tin” Delgado, a former national soccer team player turned lawmaker for the ruling Alianza País party, who stuttered through a speech in the National Assembly. A video of the speech had been widely watched on social networks.

Here’s the speech,

Here’s what El Universal had to apologize for,

First frame: A-a-after my s-ssp-speech, everyone’s saying “Poor Tin, poor Tin.”
Second frame: But with my ASSEMBLYMAN salary, no one calls me “poor guy”!

Earlier in 2014, the Correa government had ordered that Bonilla change a prior cartoon,
Xavier Bonilla’s cartoon before:

Xavier Bonilla’s cartoon after:

A that time, EL Universo was fined $90,000.

What ISIS really wants

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

If you read only one article this year, it should be Graeme Wood’s
What ISIS Really Wants
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Sorry about the missing comments

Monday, February 16th, 2015

I updated WordPress and now my posts don’t get a comment section. My apologies until this issue is solved.

Argentina: Nisman wanted Cristina’s arrest UPDATE

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

From The Tower: Documents Found in Prosecutor’s Apartment Shows Intent to Arrest Argentina’s President 

Documents found in the garbage of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s apartment show that he had intended to ask a judge to arrest Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, according to a report (Spanish link) yesterday in Clarin, a Spanish-language newspaper in Argentina.

Clarín’s article points out that Nisman first asked for Cristina’s arrest on a 26-page first draft of June 2014. Clarín has copies of the request for arrest that were found in the garbage can at his home on January 20, two days after he was found dead in his apartment,

According to Clarin, the documents were found in the garbage by police investigating Nisman’s death. A document calling for Kirchner’s arrest was dated June 2014, which is significant because the government has been claiming that Nisman’s decision to call for Kirchner’s arrest was made when he was vacationing in Europe in early January at the behest of unnamed foreign powers who were manipulating the prosecutor.

Is there A Culture of Fear in Argentina? Regarding the civil complaint Nisman filed the week prior to his death, Two judges have declined to take on the case.

Related:
Jonathan Blitzer asks, What Happened to Alberto Nisman?

UPDATE:
Alberto Nisman Death Investigator Claims Bullet Entered From Back of Head, Further Undermining Suicide Claim

Linked to by Neoneocon. Thank you!

Argentina: Cristina wants to dissolve Secretariat of Intelligence

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Let’s keep in mind that the Secretary of Intelligence was first on the murder scene,
Argentina leader wants shakeup after scandal

Kirchner has sent a draft bill to the country’s parliament which, if passed, would mean the Secretariat of Intelligence (SI) is replaced by the Federal Intelligence Agency.

Cristina would have us believe that Nisman, probably one of the most knowledgeable people on Iran’s presence in Latin America, was

a naive investigator who was used by others who fed him false information

I wonder whether anyone believes Kirchner at this point.

However, Alberto Nisman’s death ‘responsibility of pro-Kirchner intelligence operatives’, claims ex-official
Former senior Argentine security official blames presidential loyalist cell for killing of prosecutor as Cristina Kirchner calls for intelligence agency to be dissolved

But in the latest twist to the dramatic saga, the former senior official said that it was in fact Kirchner loyalists in the intelligence services (SI) who were responsible for Mr Nisman’s death.
He said that political operatives from the president’s Peronist faction took control of the SI after she fired its director John Stiusso and his deputy in December for allegedly being too close to the US and Israeli intelligence services.

Why kill Nisman after so many years?

Because, it is alleged, that among the Iranians who participated in the decision to bomb the AMIA buliding was none other than the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

Juan Zarate underlines why Alberto Nisman’s death is significant,



And now, a post on eyeglass frames

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Face it, guys, this week’s news has been exhausting. Time to think of other things:

Glass Distinctions: Which Eyewear Frames Suit Your Personal Style?
You don’t want the same boring frames. But how much of a style risk can you live with every single day?

Eyewear can define who you are and who you want to be perhaps more than anything else a man owns. “You could have a great pair of shoes or a great suit, but people are first connecting with your face, so finding the right pair of glasses is crucial,” said designer Garrett Leight, who has followed in the footsteps of his father Larry Leight, founder of 28-year-old Oliver Peoples, by creating his own eponymous eyewear company which specializes in frames inspired by classics from the literary and film worlds.

With women, traditionally it’s been different, with the gin-soaked Anita Loos creating a mantra for generations with “Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

Until you find the guy who does:

Here’s what I’m wearing now,

Lafont_Magnolia

And at my Facebook page, a survey:

A question to my FB friends,
Who was the best actor in all of The Godfather movies? (pick one)
1. Al Pacino
2. Marlon Brando
3. Lee Strassberg
4. Robert Duvall
5. Robert DeNiro
6. James Caan
7. Richard S. Castellano (the guy that played Clemenza)
and,
8. John Cazale (apologies for the omission!)

Venezuela: Maduro wants a Puerto Rican out jail

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

. . . who didn’t want to be pardoned.

Taking a cue from the U.S.-Cuba sweet deal (sweet for Cuba, that is), Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro wants to make a deal:
Venezuela’s Maduro would free Lopez if U.S. freed Puerto Rican

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he would only seek the release of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez if the United States agreed to release a Puerto Rican nationalist currently held in a U.S. prison.

The man in question, Oscar Lopez Rivera, is serving

70 years for seditious conspiracy and a variety of weapons charges as well as the second thwarted escape attempt (which included plans for the use of violence)

in Leavenworth, and,

he is a dangerous terrorist as well as a sociopath, and has never been known to express any regret or remorse. He was a co-founder of a deadly terrorist group, who constructed bombs (their weapon of choice) and trained others in both how to build them and how to use them. He twice attempted to escape from prison, and the latter attempt included plans of violence and murder.

Lopez-Rivera was offered clemency by Bill Clinton in August of 1999 (in a move that was engineered by then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder) but refused to show remorse.

So, not only is Maduro meddling into Puerto Rican politics again – where he clearly is not wanted, he’s offering to exchange Leopoldo Lopez, an innocent man, for a sociopath terrorist:

“The only way I would use (presidential) powers would be to put (Leopoldo Lopez) on a plane, so he can go to the United States and stay there, and they would give me Oscar Lopez Rivera – man for man,” Maduro said during a televised broadcast.

After his offer, Maduro headed overseas – in a Cuban jet – in search of money, since at home the shelves are empty and oil hit $50/barrel as of the writing of this post.

He bundled up for the occasion:

First Russia, where Putin couldn’t fit him in his schedule. After that, China, where he has a date with

Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit and take part in a meeting between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Jan. 8-9 in Beijing.

Busy, busy.

UPDATE:
Regarding China, read today’s post by David Goldman.

China will be more active in Latin America.



Cuba: What are the names of the 53 prisoners?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

On December 17, Pres. Obama read his Statement on Cuba Policy Changes. In it, he mentioned,

In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team.

No specifics, just “a substantial number of prisoners.”

Later it was revealed by the White House that, out of the untold number of political prisoners in Cuba (where in 2014 the number of arrests totaled 8,012), 53 were to be released as part of the deal. As Jason Poblete points out,

The 53 are part of a deal that included impregnating (through artificial insemination by having his sperm collected at prison in the U.S. and then flown to Cuba at U.S. taxpayers’ expense) the wife of a spy serving two life sentences for murder. U.S. taxpayers also paid to fly the spy to Cuba, where he was received as a hero, and the U.S. government paid about $3.2 million to Alan Gross.

Following the Statement, I have been trying to find the list of the 53 names. I set out right away, even asking on Twitter after my (failed) initial search,

The names, as far as I could see, are nowhere to be found. I thought perhaps I could not find them due to the fact that I have very limited resources through which I can conduct research. However, none of the dozens of Latin American or Spanish news sources I constantly consult had any information at all on the names, which is very unusual.*

As it turns out, I am in good company:

Reuters reports,
In U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap, mystery surrounds the unnamed 53

Cuba’s most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba.

For years, dissident leaders have told the United States which opponents of Cuba’s communist government were being jailed or harassed, but they say they were not consulted when the list of prisoners to be freed was drawn up or even told who is on it.

The lack of information has stoked concern and frustration among the dissidents, who worry that the secret list is flawed and that genuine political prisoners who should be on it will be left to languish.

“We’re concerned because we don’t agree with the silence, because we have a right to know who they are. Who are they?” said Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White dissident group, which marches in Havana on Sundays to demand the release of prisoners.

“There are not just 53 political prisoners, there are more, and we are concerned that the U.S. list might have common criminals on it,” she told Reuters in Havana.

Reuters also brings up another interesting question, in view of Obama’s wording “a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team,”

It also is not clear if some prisoners were kept off the list because the Cuban government refused to release them.

Mary O’Grady is also asking, Where Are Cuba’s Political Prisoners?
Fifty-three of those jailed by the Castros were supposed to have been freed in the Obama deal.
She couldn’t even get an answer from the State Department:

I asked the State Department this last week. State referred me to the White House. White House officials declined to provide the list of names citing “concern that publicizing it would make it more difficult to ensure that Cuba follows through, and continues with further steps in the future.”

Bottom line: The U.S. government cannot confirm that they have been released and is not certain they’re going to be released, even though the three Cuban spies have already been returned.

O’Grady points out,

If Mr. Obama is serious about selling U.S.-Cuba detente, a little less obfuscation would be nice. The U.S. has not confirmed the identity of the intelligence asset who it says had been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years and was also traded for the Cuban spies. Mr. Obama said the Cuban, before his arrest, had supplied key information to the U.S. that led to the nabbing of those spies, as well as three others.

Press reports and intel experts I talked to say the “asset” is Rolando Sarraff. But a debate is raging in the intelligence community about whether Mr. Sarraff, who has not been heard from since his arrival on U.S. soil, is all he’s cracked up to be by Mr. Obama. Another possibility is that his résumé was embellished to cover up for what was essentially a trade of the convicted spies for Alan Gross, the U.S. Agency for International Development contractor who was arrested by Cuban state security in Havana in 2009.

Considering how the Communist regime has a history of touting the release of prisoners for propaganda purposes, this secrecy around the names of 53 people is extraordinary enough that, by now, my question is, is there a list?

The lack of transparency equals lack of accountability. Just what one would expect from the Obama administration.

* Note: Unusual enough that I can not recall a news item in ten years of blogging where two weeks’ research turned out nothing.

Were taxes an issue in the 2014 midterm election?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

A glimpse of why I am one of the 200,000 New Jersey residents who decamped in the last four years at Da Tech Guy Blog.