What do Hillary, BuzzFeed’s Christians, and the latest James Bond novel lack?
Read my post here.
Menem said no: Argentina Former Prez Refuses to Testify in AMIA Bombing Cover Up
Menem refused to testify on grounds that he was under obligation to maintain ‘state secrets’ which only the Senate could lift.
Lengthy but must-read: Inside the Spyware Campaign Against Argentine Troublemakers, including Lanata and Nisman.
Argentina orders HSBC to replace local bossArgentina’s central bank has ordered HSBC to replace its chief executive in the country within 24 hours and accused the bank of failing to prevent tax evasion and money laundering.
Raid in Sao Paulo discovers ISIS money-laundering network: Polícia Federal descobre rede de apoiadores do Estado Islâmico em São Paulo. O achado assusta. Ainda mais porque terrorismo, no Brasil, não é crime
On August 31st Dilma Rousseff, their president, sent Congress a budget for 2016 with a gaping primary deficit (before interest payments) of 30.5 billion reais ($8 billion), or 0.5% of GDP, challenging its members to close the gap. It was a break with the sound-money practices that have underpinned Brazil’s economy. It was, some critics say, illegal. Certainly nothing similar has happened since at least 2000, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso, then the president, transformed public finances.
On a charitable view, Ms Rousseff was shocking legislators into making hard decisions rather than simply blocking her fiscal proposals. A harsher reading is that she does not know how to lead Brazil out of recession.
What’s Happening in Guatemala?With its government about to fall, Guatemala is finally questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy of the post–Cold War world. Not that they actually tried it.
In Paraguay’s remote north guerrillas are still at large, armed and dangerous. The Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) have killed more than 50 people in the last two years but some wonder if the government is really trying to defeat them
Newly buzzing Lima vies with Peru’s ancient sites for visitor attention. Tourists who once made a beeline for Machu Picchu are now finding the contemporary art and food scene of Peru’s capital, Lima, as much of a draw
Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton lock horns over Puerto Rico’s financesPresidential candidates offer opposing solutions to commonwealth’s $72bn debt, with Democrat backing bankruptcy status. Rubio:
“I don’t believe Chapter 9 would solve Puerto Rico’s problems,” he said. “I believe what would solve Puerto Rico’s problems is the same thing that would solve Washington’s problems, and that is to restructure the way government spends its money.
“No organisation, whether it’s a government, a company or a family, can survive long-term spending more money than it takes in.”
You can’t cure stupid: Puerto Rico Senate Declares Spanish over English as First Official Language
Maduro castiga a Colombia para proteger al Cartel de los Soles [Maduro punishes Colombia to protect the Cartel of the Suns.]
Cartel de los Soles busca jefatura del Ministerio de Defensa en Venezuela. Cáncer de Vladimir Padrino López genera dudas sobre si continuará como Ministro de Defensa. Diosdado Cabello y Tarek El Aissami compiten por colocar sus fichas en el cargo. Los dos potenciales candidatos están siendo investigados en EEUU por narcotráfico
Read more here:
Whatever Beijing’s motivations, the practical effect of said loans, according to Ellis [Evan Ellis of the U.S. Army War College], has “enabled countries such as Venezuela to continue as de facto sanctuaries for criminal and insurgent groups, and also, as points of entry into the region for Russia, Iran and other actors with potentially hostile intentions toward the United States.”
The week’s posts and podcast:
The mysterious Bolivian ship and its tons of weapons UPDATED
8PM Eastern Podcasting live on Latin America, Trump, http://t.co/HNZscHnzzt
— Fausta (@Fausta) September 2, 2015
Jonathan Katz reports,
The Clintons’ Haiti Screw-Up, As Told By Hillary’s Emails
The family still doesn’t know how to wield its own power.
As the latest release of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails by the U.S. State Department Monday revealed, that perception was not an accident. “We waged a very successful campaign against the negative stories concerning our involvement in Haiti,” Judith McHale, the under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, wrote on February 26, 2010. A few weeks before, the public affairs chief had emailed newspaper quotations praising U.S. efforts in Haiti to Secretary Clinton with the note “Our Posts at work.” Clinton applauded. “That’s the result of your leadership and a new model of engagement w our own people,” she replied. “Onward!”
But one person even closer to the secretary of state was singing a different tune—very, very quietly. On February 22, after a four-day visit to the quake zone, Chelsea Clinton authored a seven-page memo which she addressed to “Dad, Mom,” and copied their chief aides. That informal report tells a continuing story of the unique brands of power and intelligence wielded by the Clinton family in Haiti and around the world—and of the uniquely Clinton ways they often undermine themselves.
Chelsea recognized that
disaster survivors are best positioned to take charge of their own recovery, yet often get pushed aside by outside authorities who think, wrongly, that they know better.
Which is quite obvious to anyone who has suffered through a disaster; however, the Clinton’s record on Haiti is awful. Here’s a sample:
Clinton donor defaulted on $10 million federal loan
A Clinton donor was granted a $10 million federal loan for a Haiti house-building scam around the day his lobbyist was in contact with Hillary Clinton about the project, emails released by the State Department show.Lobbyist Jonathan Mantz, who served as Clinton’s 2008 finance director, reached out to Clinton with details about his client Claudio Osorio’s Haiti house-building efforts in January 2010. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency that works closely with the State Department, was in the process of approving a $10 million loan for Osorio’s company InnoVida around the same time.
InnoVida later defaulted on the loan and the houses were never built. Osorio, who has contributed to both the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, is currently serving 12 years in federal prison on fraud charges related to the loan.
In interviews with The Washington Post, both Rodham and the chief executive of Delaware-based VCS Mining said they were introduced at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative — an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation that critics have long alleged invites a blurring of its charitable mission with the business interests of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their corporate donors.
After which, Tony Rodman was appointment to the VCS advisory board.
In December 2012, VCS won one of the first two gold-mining permits the Haitian government had issued in more than 50 years. The project was immediately slammed by members of the Haitian Senate, who called it a potential environmental disaster and “a waste of resources.” The backlash caused the government to put the permits on hold.
Hillary Clinton’s Scandalous Conduct in Haiti: Charity Begins At Home. Another example in a continuing lineup of scandals that make Hillary Clinton toxic and unfit to be considered for the presidency of the United States.
Roughly half of the $1.14 billion that the U.S. government allocated to help Haiti recover from the 2010 earthquake has gone to wasteful projects with the single largest chunk—$170.3 million—going to a failed port and power plant adventure heavily promoted by Bill Clinton and the State Department under the leadership if [sic] his beloved wife.
In other Clinton news,
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) September 1, 2015
Prior to the update, Slim was listed as a $1 million to $5 million contributor. The updated version of the site says he has donated between $250,000 and $500,000.
We’re talking bucks, not only by Slim individually, but through his TracFone, Inmobiliaria Carso, and Telmex companies:
Slim, the world’s second-wealthiest man, runs a number of telecommunications companies in his native Mexico. One of them, TracFone, is a prominent U.S. federal government contractor. The company paid $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission in January to settle allegations of deceptive advertising practices.TracFone has donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to its website.
Another Slim company, Inmobiliaria Carso, appeared on the Clinton Foundation’s donor lists for the first time this year. The company contributed between $1 million and $5 million, according to the foundation’s website.
A charitable group associated with Slim’s Telmex, which controls most of Mexico’s landline phone market, has donated another $1 million to $5 million, including contributions in 2015 (the dates of its contributions, and the extent of its support this year, are not known).
Unlike the Eychaner and Lessfield updates, however, Slim’s revised contribution numbers reveal a new vehicle for his donations to the foundation in Inmobiliaria Carso, which had not previously appeared on the foundation’s donor list.
The company’s donations are also of note given controversy over ties between the foundation and the New York Times. Inmobiliaria Carso is the investment vehicle through which Slim owns his sizable stake in the New York Times Company, according to publicly available financial statements.
As of January this year,
Slim has become the largest shareholder of New York Times Co (NYT.N) after exercising warrants to double his stake in the publisher to 16.8 percent
He recently was in the news when his television production company, Ora TV, dropped a project with companies owned by Donald Trump.
A rundown of the many connections between the Times and the Clintons
Ignorance, or willful blindness? She was Secretary of State, after all.
Hillary was at Florida International University last Friday doing a full flop, and called for an end to the so-called embargo because Cubans “want to read our books, surf our Web, and learn from our people. They want to bring their country into the 21st century.”
. . . when Mrs. Clinton said on Friday that “we must decide between engagement and embargo, between embracing fresh thinking and returning to Cold War deadlock,” she was applying the same reasoning the Obama administration uses to argue that the U.S. needs to either accept the nuclear deal with Iran or go to war. This is a false dichotomy that doesn’t hold for Cuba policy any more than it holds for dealing with Tehran.
. . .
The embargo does not block the export of books to Cuba because informational material is exempt. Cubans cannot read “our” books because Cuba controls the reading material that enters the country and imprisons for “dangerousness” anyone caught with nonapproved texts.
There is no such thing as “our Web,” and the U.S. embargo does not restrict Cubans’ access to the Internet. Most Cubans cannot get computers. Most of those who do have them are denied access to the World Wide Web. It’s only the party faithful who get approval.
As to learning from “our people,” Cuba tightly controls interaction with foreigners, and those who step out of line can go to jail. Try getting a visa from Cuba if you have been labeled a “counterrevolutionary,” as I have. These policies are expressly designed to block Cubans from communicating with each other and with outsiders to keep them from organizing politically or socially.
The unconditional end of the embargo will do nothing to change this. On the contrary, it may strengthen the dictator’s hand if it results in fresh capital flowing to the island.
Which it will.
While Hillary gave her by-invitation-only speech, Police prohibit students from protesting outside Hillary Clinton’s pro-Castro Cuba speech at Miami’s FIU, borrowing a page from the Castros.
The week’s big news: Pres. Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror, as part of a deal brokered by the Vatican, in exchange for which Cuba had to do nothing.
The top headlines in the hemisphere: FIFA corruption; as expected, its re-elected president blames the U.S. and England.
Cristina’s not running: ‘CFK will not be candidate in the upcoming elections’ . . . maybe.
China mulls air route to Bahamas
“Refugio de corruptos”
Former Petrobras Executive Sentenced to Five Years
Nestor Cerveró, Petrobras’ former director of international operations, was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison.
Brazil Dangles Leniency to Spur Energy Industry
Brazil’s government is preparing to offer U.S.-like leniency deals to several private companies linked to the Petrobras corruption scandal to lessen its drag on the nation’s economy
How the Cayman Islands Became a FIFA Power
One reason for the talks’ resilience is that both sides are used to negotiating during bouts of violence, which did not end even during the quietest periods. Military action by the FARC fell by 85% during its ceasefire and civilian deaths fell by 73%, according to the Conflict Analysis Resource Centre (CERAC), a think-tank in Bogotá. Even so, CERAC recorded 21 attacks by the FARC (and suspects it was responsible for another 75). Mr Santos has staked his reputation on concluding a peace agreement (by the end of this year, he hopes). For the FARC, the alternative to peace is further pounding by the armed forces; it no longer hopes for victory.
Farc peace negotiator killed in Colombia bombingPedro Nel Daza Martínez, the Farc leader better known as “Jairo Martínez”, had returned from peace talks in Havana when he was killed by a government bombing raid
Carlos Eire writes on how “they hate it so much when we refuse to be the caricatures they want us to be:” Okay, that’s it. Se acabó la pachanga. The party’s over. Time to say “Hell is my homeland.”
Bye-bye, dollarization: Ecuador Moves Toward Electronic Currency
Ecuador’s Monetary Council has published a resolution making it mandatory for private and public banks to deal with transactions in electronic currency.
Depending on their size, banks will have between 120 and 360 days to register as Macro Agents of the electronic currency system in the central bank.
The resolution reiterated that the central bank is the only entity authorized to issue electronic currency, and that the electronic currency must be backed up by liquid assets of the central bank.
The money will be used for “undetermined” projects in Haiti.
U.S. Soccer Probe Brings Adulation From AbroadUnexpectedly, the FBI’s case is garnering plaudits even in regions like Latin America that are traditionally suspicious of Washington’s motives
Mexico Shelves Key Part of Education OverhaulThe Mexican government suspended its planned teacher evaluations that were a cornerstone of the country’s education overhaul, in a decision ahead of midterm elections that dissident teacher groups threatened to boycott.
LIFE AND DEATH ON THE AVOCADO TRAIL
A fearless Mexican-American cook routinely travels 2,000 miles, driving through a drug war and slipping out of kidnappers’ fingers, all in the name of a decent mole poblano for her New York customers. Inexplicably, they let her go.
Fat lot of good that’s going to do: Puerto Rico Governor Signs Law Raising Sales Tax to 11.5 Pct. To cover its $1.2 billion in debt service due this year from sales tax alone, it would have to raise over $10 trillion in sales – absurd.
June brides: Ex-Guantanamo Prisoners to Marry Uruguayan Women
Abd al Hadi Omar Mahmoud Faraj [a.k.a. Abd al Hadi Faraj], 40, from Syria and Tunisian Abdul Bin Mohammed Ourgy [a.k.a. Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy], 50, will marry Muslim women at a mosque in Montevideo.
— CDN Network (@CaribbeanDN) May 30, 2015
Diosdado is now reading members of NGOs Provea and Public Forum emails on TV.
The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba: Willfull blindness
US-Latin America stories of the week
Never been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron! . . .
And the money kept rolling out in all directions,
To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions
Now cynics claim a little of the cash has gone astray
But that’s not the point, my friends.
When the money keeps rolling out, you don’t keep books
You can tell you’ve done well by the happy, grateful looks
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way.
Never been a lady loved as much as Eva Peron!
Sing it, Ricky!