Archive for the ‘news’ Category

This week in smart diplomacy

Friday, July 18th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, This week in smart diplomacy, is up. Please read it, comment, and hit Da Tip Jar!

Venezuelan army protection racket at Guyana border

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The usual diversion of tyrants? Or an offer someone refused?

(h/t Monica’s FB feed & commenter Tom),

Military officers said to have trespassed on the Essequibo
Guyanese president not to issue any statement until probe’s results
.

Looks like the bribe went missing,

According to Stabroek News the civilians attacked, which are part of an illicit gold mining and smuggling network, failed to pay the soldiers a periodical fee in exchange for them turning a blind eye to illegal mining on Venezuelan territory.

Meanwhile someone had A rude awakening in Bonn .

Obama to heal illegals with $2billion

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

On the one hand, Obama Seeks More Than $2 Billion in Border Control Funds
White House Wants Authority to Return Children to Their Native Countries Faster

President Barack Obama is seeking more than $2 billion to respond to the surge in children and other migrants from Central America who are illegally crossing the U.S. border, and is asking for new authority to return them home more quickly, the White House said Sunday.

On the other hand, Rep. Luis [D-IL] Gutierrez said Tuesday that President Barack Obama has the power to “heal” undocumented immigrants, as Obama said Monday he would begin using his authority to bolster border security and consider taking other steps on his own to change the nation’s immigration policy.

Neoneocon translated all of the above into plain English: Obama announces he has to crown himself king because Congress won’t, and the $2billion comes from our hard-earned dollars: 

the border element will mysteriously fall by the wayside, and the entire operation will end up only expediting the granting of asylum to most of the parents and children who have come here illegally, under the argument that they are fleeing in fear of their lives and also under our family reunification policy. He’ll try to keep the statistics on all of this hush-hush. But it will accomplish his goal, and he will extend programs like his executive action of June 2012 that started the whole Cloward-Piven illegal immigration ball rolling.

“On my own, without Congress.”

In fact, Democrats had full control of both houses of Congress during the first two years of his administration and Obama did – 0 – on immigration.

It’s not about immigration: it’s about consolidating power.

————————————-

Let’s say there are 20 million illegals here.
$2 billion divided by 20 million = $100,000 apiece

I can self-”heal” a lot on that.


In Silvio Canto’s podcast,

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

talking about the US-Latin America stories of the week: Joe Biden trips to Brazil and Central America, the upcoming North Korean embassy in Caracas, and other topics, all archived for your listening convenience.

En español: Terapia intensiva #213

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

@DrNetas nos pone al tanto:

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez to remain jailed while on trial UPDATED

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

After three days of closed hearings, Judge Adriana Lopez decided that Leopoldo López will be tried on charges of inciting violence at anti-government demonstrations, and must remain jailed for the duration of the trial. She said

Mr Lopez would face charges of damaging property, arson and instigating violence.

No date for the trial was announced.

The decision comes as no surprise, even when the WaPo refers to López as a “Venezuelan hardliner.” Were he a Colombian member of the FARC, would the WaPo refer to him as a “Colombian activist”?

But I digress.

Juan Cristobal Nagel examines the decision,

The whole document is a masterpiece of Dadaist chavismo.

The government’s entire case rests on the analysis of the speeches made by Leopoldo, speeches in which he dared question the legitimacy of the authorities, and told people to march and stay on the streets to demand democracy. The Prosecutors then weave a legal theory that, taken to its logical conclusion, makes Leopoldo responsible for everything that has happened since the Venezuelan protest movement began in February.

To say that the accusation makes no sense does a disservice to the nonsensical.

López has been in jail since February 18, when he handed himself over to the authorities during a huge demonstration.

UPDATE:
The WSJ reports Jailed Venezuela Opposition Leader to Face Trial in August


Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Eight days to the World Cup inaugural, and things don’t look good. Read my latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead.

Related:
As Brazil Barrels Toward World Cup, Brazilians Aren’t Feeling It

Venezuela: Bi-partisan US Congress approves sanctions bill

Friday, May 30th, 2014

faustaBoth parties came together to approve HR4587, the Venezuela Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act. Read all about it at Da Tech Guy Bog, and please hit Pete’s tip jar.

Cuba: Why is the US Chamber of Commerce chief visiting?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Because they bought hook, line and sinker the propaganda bs:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief visits Cuba (emphasis added)

The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a group of American business executives visited a cooperative here Wednesday to become acquainted with the new forms of non-state management being pushed in Communist Cuba.

And,

Almost a year ago the service cooperatives began operating in Cuba, a novel iniative in a country that during five decades of ongoing revolution had only allowed that management formula to be applied in the agricultural sector.

So, five decades of Communist coops later, the agricultural sector continues to be in ruins. And Thomas Donohue hasn’t figured that yet?

Along with Donohue, Marcel Smits, the chief financial officer of Minnesota-based agribusiness giant Cargill, is there ” to assess the island’s business climate.”

Tweet of the Day: What Private Enterprise?

By Cuban democracy leader, Ailer Gonzalez Mena:The President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce praises the expansion of private enterprise in Cuba. What private enterprise? Castro’s no?

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) called it “shameful that a group like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would choose to visit the island gulag of Cuba where the tyrants owe billions of dollars to the private sector all over the world.”

Alberto de la Cruz points out,

There are two simple yet very important requirements for doing business with Cuba’s apartheid Castro dictatorship: 1) All business agreements have to be made with the Castro regime and all monies from that business must go through them, and 2) You are required to actively and consistently parrot, regurgitate, and disseminate Castro-communist propaganda. Furthermore, neither of these two requirements are negotiable and any prospective investor looking to do business in Cuba has only two options; they either comply fully with the demands or they must forgo doing any business in Cuba.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donahue is fully aware of these requirements and seems to have no issue complying with them.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) describes the hostile environment in Cuba, in a letter to Donohue, naming businessmen the regime has incarcerated:

While the Cuban government may be undertaking cosmetic changes in an attempt to attract badly-needed foreign investment and revive an economy that has suffered from a half-century of chronic mismanagement, I believe it is imperative to detail the frequently hostile operating environment that international business leaders have encountered in Cuba. The case of British businessman Stephen Purvis of Coral Capital is an irrefutable reminder of the ongoing risk faced by foreign businesses working in the country. Although Coral Capital was one of the largest private investors in Cuba – working closely with the Cuban government to renovate the Saratoga Hotel and develop the Bellomonte Country Club – the government eventually turned on Mr. Purvis, accused him of espionage and breaches of financial law, seized all of his assets, and imprisoned him for 16 months prior to his release in July 2013.

It is important to emphasize that Mr. Purvis’ misfortune is hardly uncommon. Canadian citizen, Cy Tokmakjian, President and CEO of the Tomakjian Group, has languished in a Cuban prison for nearly three years and still awaits trial. After providing the Cuban government with transportation, mining and construction equipment for several years, Mr. Tokmakjian was jailed in September 2011. The Cuban government seized his personal assets and those of his business, but never formally charged him with any wrongdoing. These examples are a clear indication of the complete lack of protection for foreign investment in Cuba, and should serve as a sharp warning for any company, including any U.S. business group, studying conditions in the country.

And let’s not forget working conditions in the island-prison

Furthermore, I am deeply concerned about the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s willingness to seek out a relationship with a regime that is in constant violation of international labor rights. More specifically, the Cuban government’s labor and employment practices are in direct violation of International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions on freedom of association, collective bargaining, discrimination, the protection of wages, and the abolition of forced labor. Regrettably, Cuba’s recent foreign investment law makes no efforts to bring the country’s poor labor conditions into accordance with international standards and, therefore, bears a paradoxical implication – it proposes beneficial changes for the state but ultimately ignores the benefits of the people.

Donohue says

his agenda was unhindered by the Cuban authorities and he was confident he was getting a “fair look” at Cuba

Yeah, right.

I wonder if Donohue is fluent in Spanish (looking at the above photo he seems to be traveling with an interpreter), and, if not, is he allowed to bring his own interpreter. Or is he allowed only a Cuban government-approved interpreter – for which he is billed? How much is he billed for the interpreter? How much is the interpreter actually paid?

The only certain thing coming out of this trip is that the oppression of the Cuban people will continue.


En español: Terapia intensiva #209

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

@DrNetas nos pone al tanto,