Archive for the ‘John Kerry’ Category

Venezuela: Today’s headlines

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

The Scotsman: Venezuela: Third night of riots over dead students

WSJ: Venezuela Opposition Leader Is Sought
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said a police manhunt was under way for Leopoldo Lopez, the hard-line opposition leader behind antigovernment demonstrations that ended with three deaths
.

Reuters: Venezuela frees some student protesters, unrest continues

Yahoo: Venezuela music star Dudamel targeted by opposition critics

AP: Twitter reports image blocking in Venezuela

MercoPress: Chilean president-elect Bachelet blasts Venezuelan repression and Maduro

Following the bloody events of last Wednesday, while countries such as Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua expressed their full support for the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro, others were more cautious such as Washington and the Europe Union calling for restraint and dialogue, but Chilean president-elect Michelle Bachelet openly twitted her rejection to repression, to President Maduro and called for a plebiscite.

AFP: John Kerry says US concerned about unrest in Venezuela. Official statement here.

Twitter:
#LaSalida

Livestream: NTN24

Blogs:
Altamira then and now: a Venezuelan spring?

Cuba Training Venezuelan Armed Groups

Is This the End of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela?
In the midst of runaway violence, inflation, and shortages of basic goods, Venezuela’s youth have taken to the streets—to take on its Orwellian government.

Video in Spanish:

Kerry Gives $17 Million to Vietnam to Fight Global Warming

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

John Kerry Gives $16 Million to Vietnam to Fight Global Warming (h/t Frontpage); The AP reported

Kerry pledged $17 million to a program that will help the region’s rice producers, shrimp and crab farmers and fisherman [sic] adapt to potential changes caused by higher sea levels that bring salt water into the delicate ecosystem.

Don’t know about the “higher sea levels”, but some of the water was frozen on its way down:

Some of the rice producers, shrimp and crab farmers and fishermen may need to get themselves some goretex with the $17 million, as Heavy Snowfall Causes Damage In Vietnam’s Lao Cai Province

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Sa Pa, more than 100 hectares of chayote and another 100 hectares of flowers were buried under snow.

School kids got a snow day off from school, perhaps for the only time in their lives.

In other global warming news to warm your heart, Climate change expert’s fraud was ‘crime of massive proportion,’ say feds (h/t Babalu)

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.

He even got his shrink to say the scam was “fueled by his insecurities.”

Tellya what: John Kerry gives me $17 million, and my (financial) insecurities will not only vanish, I’ll even put some of that money towards clearing the waters rising outdoors in the form of snow.

IMG_0433

Winter hasn’t even started.

John Kerry puts a “Kick me” sign on America

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Iran is actively recruiting in Latin America and using Latin American countries to avoid UN sanctions, Hezbollah’s making deals with the drug cartels, Russia’s doing maneuvers in the Caribbean, Cuba’s shipping armaments in North Korean vessels. So what does the Secretary of State do?

He declares: “The Monroe Doctrine Is Over”

The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over. (Applause.) The relationship – that’s worth applauding. That’s not a bad thing. (Applause.) The relationship that we seek and that we have worked hard to foster is not about a United States declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other American states. It’s about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, cooperating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine, but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share.

The LatAm media was abuzz,

Monday’s comments receivedwide play in the Latin American press. Venezuela’s El Universal, for example,noted the “end of the U.S. interventionist policy” in the region. Some read too much into it, mistakenly celebrating the end of the “error” of the Monroe Doctrine (instead of the “era”).

A new footing, indeed.

Venezuela: The lifeline, the triple currency

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

First, the triple currency:
Carlos Eire posts on how Maduro Institutionalizes Cuban-Style Economic Chaos in Caracastan

The Venezuelan currency — the Bolivar — has now been assigned three different values by Maduro’s economic ministers.

The official name for this institutionalized chaos is “Sistema Complementario de Divisas (Sicad)”.

This new “Sicad” system in Caracastan is much more than an open display of the Castronoid obsessios with acronyms for destructive and repressive government programs: it’s an acknowledgment of the existence of a black market. Under “Sicad” the Bolivar will have three distinct exchange rates. Right now, depending on what kind of financial transaction one is making, the Bolivar will be worth 10 cents on a US Dollar, or 6.3 cents on a US Dollar, or 3 cents on a US Dollar. The lowest of these three values is the real value of the Bolivar, for that is the value pegged to the black market, which is euphemistically referred to as the “parallel” market.

The purpose is to obscure the devalued currency’s worth so no one knows its worth.

Spain’s ABC has much more (in Spanish) on the 3-card Monty; the also point out that Argentina’s got the official and the black market rates. Clarín (in Spanish) has more on Argentina’s double currency.

And the lifeline,
Venezuela gets a lifeline from the United States

One government, however, has chosen to toss Mr. Maduro a lifeline: the United States. Last week Secretary of State John F. Kerry took time to meet Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua on the sidelines of an Organization of American States meeting, then announced that the Obama administration would like to “find a new way forward” with the Maduro administration and “quickly move to the appointment of ambassadors.” Mr. Kerry even thanked Mr. Maduro for “taking steps toward this encounter” — words that the state-run media trumpeted.

What did Mr. Maduro do to earn this assistance from Mr. Kerry? Since Mr. Chávez’s death in March, the Venezuelan leader has repeatedly used the United States as a foil. He expelled two U.S. military attaches posted at the embassy in Caracas, claiming that they were trying to destabilize the country; he claimed the CIA was provoking violence in order to justify an invasion; and he called President Obama “the big boss of the devils.” A U.S. filmmaker, Timothy Tracy, was arrested and charged with plotting against the government — a ludicrous allegation that was backed with no evidence. Though Mr. Tracy was put on a plane to Miami on the day of the Kerry-Jaua encounter, Mr. Kerry agreed to the meeting before that gesture.

As I mentioned last week, the Tracy kidnapping worked.


Venezuela: The kidnapping worked

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Imagine, if you may, this sequence of events:

  • Dictator dies
  • Dictatorship expels superpower military attaches in March the same day dictator dies
  • Dictatorship perpetuates (or at least attempts to perpetuate) itself through electoral fraud
  • Superpower ignores election results
  • Big OAS pow-wow date looms on the horizon
  • Dictatorship kidnaps citizen of superpower
  • Behind-the-scenes deal takes place
  • To add urgency, the dictatorship places the citizen of the superpower in one of the most dangerous jails in our hemisphere
  • Citizen is released and returned
  • Superpower’s Secretary of State and dictatorship’s foreign minister get together for photo-op
  • Everybody’s happy

You don’t think that’s what happened in the Timothy Tracy case?

Think again:

John Kerry Meets With Venezuela’s Foreign Minister; Talk Of Improving Relations

On his first trip to Latin America since taking office, Kerry said he was hopeful that a rapprochement could be achieved. The meeting, which came at Venezuela’s request, took place just hours after Venezuela released from prison an American filmmaker who had been jailed on espionage charges, removing an immediate irritant in the relationship.

Meanwhile, in a speech to the 35-member OAS annual general assembly, Kerry did not mention the developments with Venezuela, but reiterated U.S. concerns that some countries in the hemisphere are backsliding on their commitments to democracy and seeking to weaken OAS institutions that monitor and report on human rights.

Any questions?

UPDATE:
Linked by Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!


Bill Whittle: “What difference does it make?”

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Well said.

(And I’m glad Bill’s wearing a dark suit and contrasting tie. The gray-on-gray washed him out.)

h/t Jimbo.

The Christmas’ Eve Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 24th, 2012

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Looting Tests Leader in Argentina
President Kirchner’s Social Policies Are Criticized After Raids Spread to Several Cities; Government Blames Union Leaders
; thing is, once you run out of other people’s money, you don’t have money to pay the unions.

Argentina looting spreads to Buenos Aires province
Two people have been killed in Argentina’s third city, Rosario, as a wave of looting spreads.

BOLIVIA
A tale of two churches

Senadora que demanda Justicia es amedrentada por el Fiscal y exige garantías

BRAZIL
Kerry Has Investments in Companies Accused of Violating Iran Sanctions

CHILE
Copahue volcano eruption puts Argentina and Chile on alert

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica: Security Chief Suggests Firearms Ban

CUBA
Teacher’s Day

ECUADOR
Ecuador top banker’s fake degree
The governor of the Ecuadorean Central Bank, Pedro Delgado, resigns after admitting that he lied about finishing a degree in economics.

GUATEMALA
Mayan temple damaged in tourist ‘apocalypse’ frenzy

LATIN AMERICA
John Kerry’s Record in Latin America
It isn’t that he opposes U.S. intervention. It’s that somehow he often ends up backing the bad guys
: Sandinistas, Cubans, FARC, Zelaya.

MEXICO
Jon Hammar back on U.S. soil

Mexico Takes On Teachers Over School Control

PUERTO RICO
US and Puerto Rico Sign Police Reform Agreement

VENEZUELA
Chavez death watch intensifies

Chávez Is Conscious and Recovering, His Vice President Says

Dr. Marquina says no,

Chávez Faces Infection
President Hugo Chávez is in stable condition after facing a respiratory infection following cancer surgery in Cuba, Venezuela’s information minister said.

Pobre hijita de Papi…

Is There Any Silver Lining For The Venezuelan Opposition From Sunday’s Elections?

Say what?

BONUS: MISS UNIVERSE
Photos: Miss Universe 2012’s Most Bizarre National Costumes
On Dec. 19, women from around the world competed at the 61st annual Miss Universe pageant. Here’s a look at the contestants’ wacky—and occasionally tacky—national ensembles

The week’s posts:
John Kerry for Secretary of State

Mayans, schmayans

Venezuela: Chavistas take all the states except 3


John Kerry for Secretary of State

Friday, December 21st, 2012


Obama taps Kerry as secretary of state

US president Barack Obama on Friday has announced the nomination of US Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, calling him the “perfect choice” to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead.

“In a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role. Having served with valour in Vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use American power wisely,” he said.

Back in Sandinista Days . . .

Kerry has a record on Latin America — a substantial one. You will recall the 1980s, and that decade’s fierce debates over Central America policy. At the heart of these debates was Nicaragua: the Sandinistas, Castro, and the Soviet Union versus the Contras and the United States (or rather, not all of the United States: the Reagan administration, in particular). Kerry was an important player in all this. He was part of a group derided by Republicans as “‘Dear Comandante’ Democrats,” for they would address letters to Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista No. 1, “Dear Comandante.” (“But that’s his title,” they would plead, not unreasonably.) This group included such House members as Mike Barnes and Pete Kostmayer, and such senators as Chris Dodd and Tom Harkin — and John Kerry.

Go read the whole thing.

We’re in the best of hands…

What not to wear, Senator style

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Bingley asks,

WHO was the STIFF that did THIS?

A button-down shirt and tie to play softball in? Really?

Everyone else wore baseball tee shirts and shorts.

I’ll give you ONE clue: it was a contest between US Senate office teams from the same state and the bosses were on hand. No CHEATING!

HillBuzz has the answer: John Kerry,

Massachusetts Sens. Scott Brown (R) and John Kerry (D) are developing a healthy rivalry, but it’s not over partisan politics. It’s all about sports.

The athletic lawmakers faced off on the National Mall on Tuesday for a friendly softball game between their office teams, which Brown’s team, the Great Scotts, won handily, 11-6. Brown, wearing a team jersey and shorts, played a very capable first base for eight innings and went 2 for 3 at the plate, scoring two runs.

Kerry, who arrived in a shirt and tie, had one at-bat and grounded out to third.
But before he batted, the senator took off his tie — to whooping cheers from his staffers.

When it was Brown’s turn to bat, however, Brown asked to wear Kerry’s tie at the plate. Kerry was happy to oblige and Brown batted in “business attire.”

Glad to see that Scott Brown, while behaving like a Dem, has not taken up yet the sartorial statements. Next, Brown and Lurch will be going out for bike rides. Let’s hope Kerry wears a helmet.

In nepotism news, the Kennedys are still working on a Capitol Hill dynasty: the article also mentions that

In a twist of fate, Brown was tagged out once, at first base by Kerry intern Jack Schlossberg, son of Caroline Kennedy and the great-nephew of Brown’s predecessor, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

I humbly pray, “Dear Lord, no more Bushes, Clintons, or Kennedys in politics, ever. Amen.”

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Why won’t the Obama administration support the upcoming Honduran elections?

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Jim DeMint, who, as you may recall traveled to Honduras last week in spite of John Kerry’s political blackmail, writes in today’s Wall Street Journal about his trip to Honduras:

What I Heard in Honduras
Our ambassador is the only person I met there who thinks there was a ‘coup.’ Let’s release the State Department legal analysis.

While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya’s abuses of presidential power—and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chávez—is not only overwhelming but uncontroverted.

As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on.

The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras’s one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya’s removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya’s former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.

Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. Almost.

In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya’s ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.

Llorens bases his opinion on an undisclosed report by Harold Koh,

When I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a “coup,” he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department’s top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh’s report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denied.

Andy McCarthy writes about Koh,

As Ed Whelan and I pointed out when Koh was up for confirmation, the former Yale Law School dean is the nation’s leading transnationalist. He has zero respect for national constitutions (including ours), preferring a post-sovereign order in which international law profs, transnational organizations, and free-lancing judges will be our overlords. What is happening with Honduras is exactly what anyone who familiarized himself with Koh’s record would have predicted. Yet, he was confirmed by a 62-35 margin, with support from the usual GOP suspects: Lugar, Voinovich, Snowe, Collins, and Martinez.

Why isn’t Koh’s report made available to DeMint, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

DeMint continues

On the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya’s ouster. (It’s on the Internet here.)

Unlike the Obama administration’s snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic’s James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama’s hastily decided Honduras policy is now “a mistake in search of a rationale.”

The Obama administration has not explained why it will reject the upcoming election,

So far, the Obama administration has ignored these requests and instead has repeatedly doubled down. It’s revoked the U.S. travel visas of President Micheletti, his government and private citizens, and refuses to talk to the government in Tegucigalpa. It’s frozen desperately needed financial assistance to one of the poorest and friendliest U.S. allies in the region. It won’t release the legal basis for its insistence on Mr. Zelaya’s restoration to power. Nor has it explained why it’s setting aside America’s longstanding policy of supporting free elections to settle these kinds of disputes.

But these elections are the only way out—a fact even the Obama administration must see. The Honduran constitution prohibits Zelaya’s return to power. The election date is set by law for Nov. 29. The elections will be monitored by international observers and overseen by an apolitical body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, whose impartiality and independence has been roundly praised, even by Ambassador Llorens.

Even Bill Clinton’s former White House Counsel has spoken in favor of the elections.

Inexplicably, the Obama administration continues to insist on Zelaya’s reinstatement.

Why?

Hat tip: Dan Collins.