Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Mexico: 7.5 earthquake on Good Friday had warning

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Mexico earthquake: Video captures early-warning alert before shaking

Mexico City had 71 seconds of warning before shaking from a 7.2 earthquake about 200 miles away rumbled into the capital, thanks to central Mexico’s 21-year-old early quake warning system, officials said Friday. It’s a system that California still lacks.
The Mexican warning system could be seen on television (video below), when Televisa news announcer Eduardo Salazar calmly tells viewers that at 9:27 a.m. a seismic alert went off, triggering a shrieking whine on the broadcast. “At this moment, we have felt absolutely nothing,” the anchor says initially.
More than a minute after the first warning, shaking rolls through the television studio in Mexico City, strong enough to knock the news anchor from his stance. His voice strains as the shaking worsens, and he says the studios’s lights are swaying and that some of his staff are preparing to leave. He speaks louder: “It’s a strong earthquake.”

There were no reported injuries.


Panama: Martinelli strikes back

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Well, after Mary O’Grady wrote about Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli choosing his wife to run for vice-president, Martinelli tweeted,

This WSJ journalist once interviewed me because she was a close friend of Jimmy Papadimitriu, who now advises Varela,”

The WSJ didn’t take the tweet sitting down:

He is referring to Juan Carlos Varela, who is Mr. Martinelli’s vice president and former foreign minister. Mr. Varela broke with Mr. Martinelli and is now running to succeed him as the presidential nominee of a competing party. We don’t know if Mr. Papadimitriu advises Mr. Varela, but we can say that Ms. O’Grady is not and has never been a friend of Mr. Papadimitriu. She did interview Mr. Martinelli—in 2010 when Mr. Papadimitriu was his chief of staff.

No doubt Mr. Martinelli was upset that Ms. O’Grady called out his electoral power play. Panamanians remember, and not fondly, military dictator Manuel Noriega, who was removed by U.S. troops in 1989. If Mr. Martinelli has designs on becoming one more caudillo, he ought to man-up and tell the voters rather than hide behind his wife’s illegal candidacy.

Why does this matter to the US?

Because Panama, especially following its canal expansion, remains a key trade partner to the Americas, and especially to the US. A true democracy, engaged in free trade, is best for the hemisphere.


Brazil: Airports not ready yet

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Oh-oh:

Brazil’s Latest Airport Project Not Fully Ready For FIFA World Cup

The Brazilian media have been almost gleefully picking on its country’s lack of preparedness for the FIFA World Cup matches that begin in June, with the latest news being that an airport won’t be fully functional as planned.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. The Viracopas International Airport in the interior São Paulo city of Campinas will surely be opened for its usual flights, but its newest R$2 billion ($800 million) terminal will not be ready as promised.

The airport terminal is not the only problem.

Expanding the roadway in and out of the airport, including areas for taxi service, also requires some new construction. But, again according to Folha, the consortium was only granted its go-ahead environmental permit on March 28. Ownership said that is enough time to expand the roadway before the May 11 deadline, and surely before the World Cup opening.

Not to worry – Putin’s team will get there

For now, team aircraft from Russia, Japan and Portugal, among four others, as well as TAP Airlines will be the only aircraft allowed at the new terminal when World Cup soccer begins on June 12.

Still, the developer says the project will be “fully operational” by May 11.


Ecuador: Pass the Ketchum

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

In anticipation of the bonds-for-the-incurably-gullible issue, Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has hired Ketchum:

Ketchum has inked a $35K-a-month contract with Ecuador’s Washington embassy, covering economic development, trade and tourism of the South American state of 14.5M people.

The contract became effective March 1 and runs through the year. It covers services such as ongoing strategic counsel, day-to-day campaign management, social media outreach, crisis PR, influencer outreach to think tanks/foundations, spokesperson trading and collaboration two white papers.

Ketchum created the “All you need is Ecuador” campaign, complete with a middle-age-sounding male voice reciting Beatles’ lyrics:

“All You Need”: A Tourism Campaign to Disguise Correa’s Strongman Rule
Will “Love” Be Enough to Overcome Negative International Press?

The government’s ad campaign sings a tune based on love, but Correa lays out a discourse founded on antagonism, while insulting his opponents and classifying all dissent as treason. What good is it to promote tourism to the outside world without first advancing the rule of law, our democracy, and the guarantee of individual liberty for Ecuadorians themselves?

In this context, the ad campaign appears to not only be geared towards boosting tourism, but also to countering the bad publicity the country has received during Correa’s tenure. There was little talk of Ecuador until the country began receivinginternational press recently, and not in a good way. Problems such as anauthoritatarian president, the persecution of media outlets, and support fortotalitarian regimes have demonstrated to the world an image of government that — far from “loving” — maintains control through fear.

While on the “loving” groove, Harvard to Host Correa, but No Free Press in Ecuador Can Cover It.


En español: Terapia intensiva #201

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

@DrNetas nos pone al día con las noticias

Colombia: Santos wets himself UPDATED

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The guy who wants to cut a deal with the FARC

VIDEO: Incredible footage shows the moment Colombia’s President WETS HIMSELF during re-election speech

UPDATE:
Colombian president has wet spot appear on pants during speech raising questions on health
Juan Manuel Santos, 62, is seen delivering a speech during his re-election campaign Saturday when the mysterious patch appeared. Santos is not publicly known to be suffering from an illness but had prostate cancer in 2012.

Venezuela: #SOSVenezuela and the war against the Chuckys

Monday, March 17th, 2014

A week ago,

In one of his more bizarre televised speeches, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro compared the opposition to movie villain Chucky from the 1980′s ‘Child’s Play’ slasher series

“The Chuckys of fascism,” according to him.

At least he stayed away from zombies.

He’s gone on to say that “behind ever Chucky there’s a Chuckylina,” an outsider who’s pulling the strings.

During a speech last Saturday where he warned that President Obama “has given orders to assassinate President Maduro” while

he was surrounded by men wearing olive uniforms, Maduro warned the “Chuckys”–he has rechristened the protesters after the bloodthirsty doll from the 1990s–that they had “a few hours” to leave Altamira Plaza in Caracas or they would face the full force of the Venezuelan military. Maduro warned that he was ready “to finish liberating the places still hijacked by the scammers and violent people who have taken them… I will go liberate those spaces with the public forces.”
Maduro also boasted that Venezuelan police had “captured almost 60 Chuckys in Plaza Altamira” and that he would “respect all the human rights,” above all the “right to work and right to health.” He then called opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski, who ran against Maduro in the country’s last election cycle, a “fascist.”

Daniel Duquenal asks, Is Capriles going to negotiate our surrender?

But back to the demonstrators, during yesterday’s “Cubans go home” protest,
Daniel found

not a flag from any political party. None, I have seen none!!!! In the two hours that I walked along, and back home. This is not about politics, about who should represent the opposition. This is about millions of Venezuelans that have had enough of chavismo, that want to reclaim their future.

They have their work cut out for them:

Maduro has been employing the services of armed paramilitary groups on motorcycles commonly known as “motorizados” or “colectivos,” who have wreaked havoc in both the capital of Caracas and outside rebel states like Táchira. Maduro has also employed the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the domestic wing of the military, against protesters, many of whom are said to be Cuban nationals and trained in torture and violent repression of political speech.

These groups have engaged in an active torture campaign, disfiguring the faces of protesters, and shot many in the face to prevent an open casket funeral featuring a young protester. They have also flooded apartment buildings known to house college students with teargas at night in an attempt to intimidate the protesters into not coming out the next morning. The current death toll is at 28, all unarmed student protesters.

It’s worth pointing out that the Bolivarian militia, an armed civilian force, is similar to Cuba’s Territorial Militia.

Cuban intelligence runs the Venezuelan state security apparatus, in exchange for 100,000 barrels of oil per day, as John Hinderaker points out. John links to that “Chuckylina” of the vast right wing conspiracy, the NY Times:

For Cuba, a military advisory role abroad is nothing new, even if its activities here differ from the combat brigades sent to Angola and Ethiopia in the 1970s or the advisers in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Cuba’s assistance in Venezuela is much broader, including areas like telecommunications and national identification card systems. The emergence of Cuba as Venezuela’s top ally has led to criticism that the Cubans are helping Mr. Chávez tighten his grip on an array of institutions.

Oscar Montealegre was in Caracas on February 12:

It was not the protesters that we had to worry about; it is more so the thugs that are commissioned by the government. I witnessed many of these thugs standing in the flatbeds of pick-up trucks; one truck had two men with no apparent government uniform with machine guns on their backs. Seeing that reinforced the intimidation tactics used by the government.

The students released this video on Saturday,

Among they protest also against Russia building a military base in Venezuela (3:10 in the video). John Hinderaker, again,

What happens in energy-rich Venezuela is important. Is it too much to hope that the final collapse of socialism in that country will extinguish the appeal of socialism across Latin America? Yes. Even here in the U.S., socialism–the stupidest idea that has ever occurred to a human being–keeps making comebacks. But in the medium term, the collapse of the Russia-Cuba-Venezuela-Nicaragua axis will be of great benefit.

It looks like Maduro called Cuba for reinforcements: Reports claim that Cuba prepares for Venezuela disruptions

two Cuban dissidents who have provided good information in the past said they have received reports that military reservists in six municipalities around the country were contacted this month to be ready for trouble in Venezuela.

Guillermo Fariñas, who served with a commando unit in Angola and underwent military training in the Soviet Union until he suffered a training accident, said three supporters told him about call-ups in his home province of Villa Clara.

The Military Committees in the municipalities of Santa Clara, Ranchuelo, Sagua La Grande and Manicaragua have asked several reservists with combat experience in Africa and Nicaragua and under 50 years of age if they would be willing to deploy to Venezuela.

So far, Maduro has not employed the official armed forces against protesters. Whether he’ll be able to control the military to the point that the Venezuelan military will fire on their fellow citizens remains to be seen.

Related: Busting the myth of freedom of speech in Venezuela

UPDATE:

#SOSVenezuela: Maria Corina calls for protests today, Maduro Warns protesters “We are coming for you”

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

National Assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado will be leading a demonstration today at 10AM Caracas time,
Today, #March16, to the streets to defend our sovereignty and dignity! #AgainstCubanOpression and V[enezuela]‘s submission to Cuba. C[aracas] 10AM El Indio Square

The gathering will protest the presence of Cuban military in the armed forces, and student leaders fron several universities are speaking.

Yesterday, Maria Corina Machado and at least one other legislator were attacked as they were about to board a flight at Ciudad Guayana airport.

Maria Corina has more guts than most men, continuing as a true leader, after having had her nose broken at the instigation and in the presence of National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello.

The Cuban regime has ordered snipers to take positions on top of buildings in Venezuela.

Dictator Nicolas Maduro escalated his comments

exclaiming that he “won’t be bullied,” and warning “prepare yourself, we are coming for you,” if protesters don’t “go home within hours.”

  • *VENEZUELAN PROTESTERS HAVE ‘HOURS’ TO CLEAR BARRICADES: MADURO
  • *MADURO SAYS HE’LL SEND ARMED FORCES TO ‘LIBERATE’ PROTEST AREAS

With 28 dead in the last month of protests, things are very serious but as we warned previously, Maduro still enjoying the support of the poor – as EuroNews reports, it appears he is not going anywhere soonJohn Kerry also came under fire as the foreign minister called him “a “murderer of the Venezuelan people,” accusing him of encouraging the protests.

He then played John Lennon’s song ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and urged the United States to discuss “peace and sovereignty” in a high level commission mediated by the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Maduro, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, seized the opportunity to speak out of both sides of his mouth, saying that

“Venezuela no necesita tener ninguna mediación… Creo que lo que requiere es colaboración”.

“Venezuela needs no mediation. . . I believe what it requires is colaboration”.

Also yesterday, in the spirit of such “collaboration,” the Communist government held an event loaded with Fascist imagery,

proving Hayek right when he said, “Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.”

Post re-redacted to add two links.


En español: Unidad de quemados

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

@DrNetas habla con Genaro García Luna, el que anunció en 2010 la muerte de Nazario Moreno, alias “El Mas Loco” o “El Chayo”, al que mataron de nuevo:

)

Argentina: Still in the hole for $185 million

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived a $185 million arbitration award British energy company BG Group PLC won against Argentina in 2007.

The high court, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, reversed a lower-court ruling that said the arbitration process that led to the award was invalid.

The case dates back to Argentina’s 2001-2002 economic crisis. BG alleged the Argentine government destroyed its investments in the country’s natural-gas distribution sector through a series of state actions. The company also said Argentina threatened businesses with serious penalties if they challenged the government’s crisis-era actions in that country’s courts.” target=”_blank”>The high court, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, reversed a lower-court ruling that said the arbitration process that led to the award was invalid.

The case dates back to Argentina’s 2001-2002 economic crisis. BG alleged the Argentine government destroyed its investments in the country’s natural-gas distribution sector through a series of state actions. The company also said Argentina threatened businesses with serious penalties if they challenged the government’s crisis-era actions in that country’s courts.

The BG Group case, by the way, is not the defaulted bonds case.