I don’t think this operation was “botched” or “deeply flawed.” I think it worked as planned, except for the part about being caught. Still, even if you aren’t troubled by the too-close nexus with the Administration’s preferred gun-control narrative, there’s this: “In order to reach the target of the operation, which was identifying the drug traffickers who were using the guns, [ATF agents] were waiting for the guns to be used. And how are guns used in Mexico? Killing people. I talked to an ATF agent who said there was no other way to explain it.”
Bolivia is the world’s third biggest cocaine producer, and the main supplier to Brazil.
The deal was signed after months of negotiations and repeated delays as Bolivia sought changes to the document.
Bolivian Interior Minister Wilfredo Chavez said Bolivia had insisted on respect for its sovereignty as well as for the traditional consumption of coca leaf, which is used for medicinal and ritual purposes.
Reminds me of one of my relatives, who died of alcoholism, and used to say “it’s for purely medicinal purposes” as he swigged down from a flask.
Joe Arroyo, a Colombian songwriter, singer and bandleader whose pan-Caribbean salsa hybrids and historically conscious lyrics made him one of his country’s most respected musicians, died on Tuesday in Baranquilla, his adopted home city in Colombia. He was 55.
An academic study released over the weekend shows that nearly half of all Cubans that receive remittances from abroad have absolutely no interest in leasing a self-employment license (ownership remains prohibited) from the Castro regime, while another 34% would only “think” about it. That leaves few that actually have or would.
One of the frightening things about the U.S. government’s war on drugs is that it is being waged by federal bureaucracies. The legend of Elliot Ness notwithstanding, this implies that it is not only fraught with ineptitude but that before it is all over, there are going to be a lot of avoidable deaths.
Witness “Operation Fast and Furious,” a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms plan that allegedly facilitated the flow of high-powered weapons into Mexico in the hope that it might lead to the take-down of a major cartel. It did not. But it may have fueled a spike in the murder rate and led to the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Go read every word. More on this under the Mexico heading below.
A federal jury found two Guyanese men guilty on Monday of conspiring to blow up Kennedy International Airport, concluding a month-long trial that centered on the men’s plan to set off a series of explosions along a fuel pipeline that cuts through the city.
But the plot never advanced beyond the conceptual stage, and the planning sessions, some of which were recorded by a confidential informant, were at times grandiose and absurd. Suggestions of destroying the American economy vied with calls for a “ninja-style attack.”
The defendants, Russell M. Defreitas and Abdul Kadir, had been monitored from an early stage in the plot by the informant, who posed as a member of the group, which included a number of other participants. The informant, Steven Francis, had recorded the men during surveillance missions to the airport and on international trips to secure financial and logistical support for the attack.
The recordings were used by federal prosecutors to portray Mr. Defreitas, a United States citizen and a former cargo handler at the airport, as the “homegrown extremist” who was the mastermind and driving force behind the plot.
Mr. Kadir, a prominent Guyanese politician who served in parliament and as mayor of a major city, initially emerged as a secondary figure, one of several co-conspirators portrayed as facilitating the plot by providing advice and contacts. But in testifying in his own defense, he later opened himself to questions about whether he had spied for Iran.
Iran, you say?
But once on the stand, he was confronted with evidence of his ties to Iran, including letters he wrote to the Iranian ambassador to Venezuela and to an Iranian diplomat who has been accused of leading a major terrorist plot in South America.
At first, Spain’s foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos assured everyone that the 52 Cuban prisoners of conscience that are supposed to be released and shipped to Spain can return to Cuba whenever they like. The release was not a forced exile, he declared to reporters.
Now, however, he is beginning to qualify that statement by saying that Spain cannot guarantee that the Cuban dictatorship will authorize their return.
As part of those efforts, Venezuela and Ecuador on Tuesday will carry out their first binational transaction through the Unique System for Regional Equalization (SUCRE), to reduce costs and avoid dependence on the U.S. dollar.
But Stone also revealed at Friday night’s showing in Santa Monica that the documentary wasn’t about box office returns. No, he’s more concerned about showing it through “the cultural circuit” to impressionable audiences with little knowledge of Latin America.
“We’ve got demand from a lot of universities,” Stone said, for “as many as possible to see it.” It’ll play on TV next year too, he said.
During the floods in Brazil that kept Lula from the G20 (h/t Roissy, who looks at the betaness of it all, I think the guy carrying the girls would have carried the day had he used a Rhett Butler technique.)