Archive for the ‘Hugo Chavez’ Category

The Christmas week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
The Kirchner-Baez scandal

Argentina’s socioeconomic statistics
Still lying after all these years
Official figures paint a rosy picture. So why are Argentines rioting?

BARBADOS
Barbados Bonds at Record Yields as IMF Urges Restraint

BOLIVIA
Bolivians cheer satellite launchBolivian indigenous rituals ahead of satellite launch
Thousands of people in La Paz celebrate the launch of Bolivia’s first telecommunications satellite from a base in China

BRAZIL
An Open Letter to the People of Brazil

CHILE
Bachelet y el triunfo de los idiotas

CUBA
Why did Barack Obama shake the hand of my father’s killer, Raul Castro?

RAUL CASTRO ISSUES STERN WARNING TO ENTREPRENEURS

Over 3,000 Cuban Doctors Defected From Venezuela

ECUADOR
How China Just Grabbed 90% of Ecuador’s Oil

Belarus, Ecuador to set up joint laboratory for unmanned systems

JAMAICA
Jamaican bride dumps new husband 20 MINUTES after arriving in the UK… and guess who paid for her £5k visa
Heartbroken charity worker believes she ‘joined boyfriend with whom she planned scheme’
He paid £5,000 for her visa

LATIN AMERICA
EL FORO DE SAO PAULO, UN PELIGRO PARA LA DEMOCRACIA

The Pope and Capitalism

MEXICO
Mexico’s Reforms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Mexico’s Congress has delivered an energy reform plan that could alter Mexico’s economic outlook for decades to come, but its populist tax policies and profligate spending threaten the steady growth the country has achieved in recent years.

Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back to Living

JUDGE: DHS COMPLICIT IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING THAT HELPS FUND DRUG CARTELS

Crime and Growth Convergence
Evidence from Mexico

PARAGUAY
Paraguay’s new president
Cartes plays his cards
Trickle-down economics in one of South America’s poorest countries

PERU
British drug mules sentenced to six years for trafficking in Peru
Michaella Connolly and Melissa Reid have been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Peruvian judge, for attempting to smuggle 11 kilos of cocaine out of the country

PUERTO RICO
Coast Guard rescues man kicked off mountain by goat (h/t Tree-hugging Sister)

URUGUAY
The Economist’s country of the year, for legalizing the mass production and distribution of marijuana.

VENEZUELA
More bad news from Venezuela

OLIVER STONE CONFIRMS HUGO CHAVEZ BIOPIC IN VENEZUELA

The week’s posts and podcast
Colombia: mayor trouble

Colombia: Don’t fire the mayor yet! And how about the GPS?

Cuba: How to starve as a Cuban for 30 days

Venezuela, the next Zimbabwe

Colombia: Maicao, Hezbollah money-laundering center

Mexico: Manufacturing jobs moving back to US

Brazil: Snowden not in asylum

En español: Terapia intensiva de esta semana

Uruguay: UN says pot law against international law

Ecuador’s poor investment climate

Venezuela: Diplomats confirm Venezuelan links to drug trafficking

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Brazil: Edward Snowden asks for asylum

Podcast:
Venezuela elections outlook & US-Latin America stories of the week


Venezuela: “21st Century socialism” = same old Communism UPDATED

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Last month I referred to Maduro’s incarceration of business owners as the start of the really bad news: the mask dropped completely.

Must-read op-ed by Enrique Standish: Venezuela Finally Turns Communist
Maduro Follows Leninist Dogma to the Letter
. Standish tracks the evolution in four stages:

  • The first stage entailed obtaining total control of all institutions of the Venezuelan state.
  • In the second stage, Chavez

    passed 49 laws directed against the private sector. These laws eliminated private participation in the oil business, allowed for confiscation without payment of private lands, suspended constitutional guarantees for business owners, and established “military security zones” in major metropolitan areas — a de facto confiscation of prime real estate in Venezuela’s major cities. At the same time, he launched an all out attack against the country’s independent labor unions

  • Third stage:

    Chavez nationalized the holdings of international corporations in all sectors considered essential by his Cuban advisers: telecommunications, mining, steel, construction materials, oil and oil services, energy generation, distribution and transmission, gas, agricultural services, and even glass companies. At the same time, Venezuela entered into a hugely expensive and disadvantageous agreement with China, with the sole purpose of diverting its oil exports from the United States to the Chinese market.

Now in the fourth stage, Maduro has declared “Economic War” by ending what was left of free markets in Venezuela as he approved a law setting price controls on all goods, and another law creating a National Foreign Trade Center monopoly that will handle all imports entering Venezuela.

Venezuelan blogger Miguel Octavio sees A Confusing Future Ahead For Maduro And Venezuela. Let’s look at a Zara store in Venezuela, before price controls,

and a Zara store after,

Enter the black market, in force.

UPDATE:
The Pope, the State and Venezuela
Nicolás Maduro needs cover for an economy in free fall. He gets it from an unlikely source
. Pope Francis

trusts the state, “charged with vigilance for the common good.”

I hate to say this, but the Pope’s moral authority just went missing.

More on The Pope’s Rhetoric.

And, Maduro Now Set To Regulate Car (???) Sales.

Over at CNN, “Venezuela is on a fast track to ruin:”

UPDATE 2:
Linked to by Moonbattery. Thank you!

Venezuela: Nicolas loses Heinz

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Not the ketchup, the German sociologist and political analyst:
Heinz Dieterich, Father Of 21st Century Socialism, Bashes Venezuela’s Maduro. As a steadfast believer that “it’d all work, if only it was done the right way,”

Dieterich, author of “The Socialism of the 21st Century and Latin America: From Colonization to Globalization with Noam Chomsky,” is viewed as the godfather of the political ideas put in place in Chávez’s Venezuela and later in countries like Bolivia and Ecuador.

The German intellectual, however, had a falling out with Chávez over the Venezuelan’s perceived lack of rigor and understanding when it came to the idea of 21st socialism.

The economic model implemented in 2003 by Chávez has now been exhausted, Dietrich argued, and now Venezuela is suffering from rising inflation and a possible moratorium on foreign payments.

What HD fails to grasp is that Hugo and his acolytes are interested in consolidating power on themselves, and know that strong independent institutions in a truly democratic political system that respects property rights and the rule of law does not allow such concentration of power; hence, they use “21st Century Socialism” to get themselves into power.

Or maybe HD realizes that, and I’m being too kind.

Either way, Dieterich thinks Maduro will not get beyond March or April 2014,

The scenarios of [his] possible fall are obvious: street demonstrations orchestrated from Washington and the right, or an alliance between the Armed Forces and the governors,” he said, according to Venezuelan newspaper El Universal.

Dieterich does not mention Diosdado Cabello, who has plans of his own.



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Venezuela: A voice from the grave? UPDATED

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

This turned up in Venezuela, purportedly an audio of Hugo Chavez calling his brother on September 16th.

“Hugo” forgot to mention what year.

It made the news, but nobody fell for it, and, of course, Maduro blamed the opposition:
Hugo Chávez ‘voice from the grave’ clip dismissed by Venezuela president
Nicolás Maduro accuses rivals of fabricating audio file imitating late leader saying he was betrayed and is being held captive

The recording’s veracity was firmly denied by Adan Chávez. “This disgusting montage has prompted some to believe that Chávez didn’t die and that he is hiding. Others think that this recording was done before his death. It is all a great lie.

“Hugo Chávez was buried alongside the love of his loyal and revolutionary people, and he never sent me a message of this type.”

When it comes to impersonations, though, Gustavo Rios does a better job of impersonating both Maduro and Chavez:

UPDATE:
Jaime Bayly posits (in Spanish) that this audio was most likely recorded in 2011,

If it was, who recorded it? Was Adan Chavez’s phone bugged? Who released it now?

If it’s true that Maduro had to rush back from China for fear of an internal coup, who has the most to gain from this distraction?

Because, no matter what, this is a distraction from the rolling disaster Venezuela has become.

Argentina: Creditors say “no”

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Another default coming up, since the creditors don’t want to settle for 14 cents on the dollar,

Holdout creditors on Friday rejected Argentina’s proposal to pay them about 20 cents on every U.S. dollar of bonds they own, leaving a U.S. appeals court to decide how to enforce a ruling that may push Argentina into a new default.

“Not only are the details of Argentina’s proposal unacceptable and unresponsive; Argentina fails even to provide this court with meaningful ‘assurances’ that it will actually comply with its own proposal,” said Theodore Olson, a lawyer for the holdouts, in a brief filed Friday.

Argentina’s own math values the offer at $210 million, less than 15% of the $1.47 billion that holdouts were owed on their defaulted bonds as of March 1, according to the brief.

You may be thinking, “what the hey do I care?” The judges’ decision could be seen as a precedent for sovereign restructurings around the world. Additionally,

Many analysts, including Mr. Werning, think the court will come down in favor of the holdouts. Under that scenario, Argentina would likely miss payments on its performing bonds until it is able to find a payment mechanism beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

You can count on that.

In other Argentina news, Argentina Freezes Gas Prices for 6 Months
Argentina has locked gasoline prices at April 9 levels in another bid to tame rampant inflation.

Over in Venezuela, Cristina visited Hugo’s grave,

[Post re-edited to correct html.]

Venezuela: Maduro wins

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Official results:

The electoral board announcement was pushed back over and over, with the TV anchors talking on and on. Venevision even showed their entire crew.

By 11:10PM (10:40 Caracas time), Globovision said that no announcement could be made until the number of uncounted votes was smaller than the difference between the candidates, which, at that late hour pointed to a close election.

Finally, almost at midnight, after repeated appeals for calm, the announcement, as I predicted.

Venezuela’s Cuban Election
The Castro regime wasn’t going to allow an easy victory for the opposition candidate who has pledged to stop sending oil to Havana.

And,
Over 370,000 null votes, and have not added overseas votes,

@NoticiasCaracol tweeted “Maduro got 7,505,338 votes, 50.66%, 234,935 more than opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who got 7,270,403.”

Linked by Hot Air. Thank you!

A word on elected Latin American dictators

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Former Ecuadorian president Osvaldo Hurtado writes in his book, Dictaduras Del Siglo XXI El Caso Ecuatoriano (21st Century Dictatorships: The Case of Ecuador), on how the self-named “leaders of the 21st century socialist revolutions” take over and destroy the democratic institutions in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

These 21st century dictatorships hold elections after instituting mechanisms, procedures and restrictions, and establishing advantages, which are all anti-democratic by eliminating the level ground for the election to take place.

As I have mentioned many times over the last 9 nine years, Hugo Chavez’s rule focused on concentrating all power on himself. After his death, Maduro became acting president, against the provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution, in order for him to run as incumbent. That way he has full control of the entire electoral process, the media, and all Venezuelan institutions.

Keep that in mind tonight when you see the election results.

The faces of democracy in Venezuela (in Spanish), via Alberto de la Cruz,


The Hugo Chavez bird Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Last week Venezuela’s acting president and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro officially inaugurated his campaign by publicly stating that Hugo Chavez had spoken to him in the form of a bird (but apparently not as a parrot). In the spirit of the occasion (all puns intended), and in keeping with a red Chavista shirt theme, I’m illustrating this week’s Carnival with the most famous red bird of all, the Angry Bird, instead of the usual map.

ARGENTINA
Argentina floods ‘catastrophe’ for La Plata, Buenos Aires
Emergency workers in Argentina continue to try to rescue residents stranded by flooding in Buenos Aires and La Plata

Pope Francis calls for aid for Argentina flood victims
Pope Francis has appealed for “civil and ecclesiastical institutions, as well as people of good will”, to provide help to the victims of devastating flooding in Argentina that has left dozens dead.

Fears Ease of a Default by Argentina

BOLIVIA
Colombianos manejan una red de préstamos en Santa Cruz de la Sierra

BRAZIL
Rio Charges Three Men With Attack on American, French Visitors
Rio de Janeiro police said they have arrested a third suspect and sidelined two police officers after the rape of an American woman over the weekend.

CHILE
Smoking in Latin America
Stubbed out
A bastion of tobacco addiction introduces a ban

COLOMBIA
Santos´ invisible and elitist cabinet

CUBA
Religious persecution in Cuba rises in 2012

Beyonce, Jay-Z turn heads in Havana

Washington’s 51-year embargo makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba for mere tourism, although tens of thousands of Americans travel there each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licenses.

Social Security says benefits can’t be sent to Havana
The U.S. Social Security Administration makes it clear that benefits cannot be collected in Cuba.

ECUADOR
Chevron Embargo Would Not Affect YPF Deal -Ecuador Plaintiffs
A freeze on Chevron’s funds in Argentina would not include any future investments the company would make in the country, according to a lawyer representing the Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the case behind the freeze.

GUATEMALA
Guatemala strongman trial hears litany of horrors

MEXICO
Are the Kaufman County Murders Connected To The Mexican Drug Cartels?

REPORT: MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS BEHIND INCREASING VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES

Mexico’s new president
Peña’s promising start
A lot done, and quickly, but much more still to do

PARAGUAY
Paraguay’s electoral alliances and land deals

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico-Born Labrador Top Republican on Immigration

Puerto Rico moves to overhaul public pensions

URUGUAY
Controversia por dura frase de presidente de Uruguay sobre Cristina Fernández
El mandatario uruguayo no se dio cuenta que los micrófonos estaban abiertos y se escuchó en la transmisión en vivo de una conferencia de prensa al sentenciar: “Esta vieja es peor que el tuerto”

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s snap election still pretty much all about Chavez

Nicolás Maduro Decide Solamente Decir “Chávez” Hasta Que Acaben Las Elecciones

Denuncian a Maduro de ser un agente de Cuba, fotos, video y audio

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: And now the Macarapana curse

Uruguay: Open-mic fail

Cuba: Beyonce’s no-no

Maduro: Cuba’s Venezuelan Pawn

Cuba: More repression

Thursday night tango and blogging

Yoani Sanchez in Jaime Bayly’s show: en español

Crazy cult campaigning in Caracas: The shrine

Venezuela: Maduro opens his campaign by saying he talked to Chavez, who is now a bird UPDATED

Uruguay: Same-sex marriage approved by Senate

Argentina: Cristina’s discomfort

Podcast: Silvio Canto‘s


Crazy cult campaigning in Caracas: The shrine

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Hugo Chavez idolatry as a campaign tactic in the 23 de Enero slum in Caracas:
Shrine to mourn and celebrate Venezuela’s Chavez,

“He is our saint of the poor,” says Eva Garcia, 45, who tends to the shrine each day after her shift at the local municipal offices as a community organizer.

As I predicted months ago, Chavez is joining Che in the Communist Idol show.

The Maduro campaign manipulates the poor’s ignorance and superstition,

To each and every visitor, Garcia hands out a copy of Chavez’s official agenda for the 2013-2019 presidential term he won’t complete. She also offers a handbill with Chavez’s last public remarks in December, in which he named Maduro his chosen successor.

The red canonization continues,

The Maternity & Children’s Hospital in the Western Caracas neighborhood of El Valle (seen in the picture left) is set to finally be opened to the public after 23 years in construction (14 of them under current management).

If they followed the old custom and named it after the leader who started the job, they’d call it the Maternidad Carlos Andres Pérez Rodríguez Hospital. Ermm…no chance of that.

Can you guess the new name they’ve when it opens? Yup: Comandante Supremo Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

Meanwhile, Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS, is bellyaching about the opposition’s unfair advantage in the campaign.

No birds were harmed in the writing of this post.


Venezuela: Maduro opens his campaign by saying he talked to Chavez, who is now a bird UPDATE

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Here is Venezuela’s acting president and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro (in Spanish), along with bird whistles and sound effects,

You can’t make this corny, stupid, silly stuff up:

Maduro Says Chavez as a Bird Blessed His Bid to Head Venezuela

“I felt his spirit,” Maduro said in a televised speech broadcast from Chavez’s former home in the town of Sabaneta. “I felt him there as though he were giving us a blessing, saying to us: ‘Today the battle begins. Onwards to victory. You have our blessing.’”

Maduro may be trying too hard to build a cult of adoration and making people believe that from the grave Chavez directs his people to vote for Maduro, so he’s not paying attention to how crazy that sounds to non-Chavistas.

In case you think Maduro’s little bird doesn’t sound crazy to Latin Americans, I guarantee you that, to other Latin Americans he sounds like he’s flying over the cuckoo’s nest – as we mentioned in yesterday’s podcast (audio starts right away). To Venezuelans, Caracas Chronicles stated,

In the last couple of weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Maduro campaign has bought a one-way ticket on the Mental Express.

It took no time for Jaime Bayly to riff on it,

Venezuelan political satire website El Chiguirre Bipolar threw the towel and declared they can’t come up with a better joke.

So, it’s one of two things:
Either Maduro is so certain that the April 14 election outcome will not be affected by crazy talk,
Or, Maduro’s panicking.

Time will tell.

UPDATE

Linked by HACER. Thank you!