Archive for the ‘Nicaragua’ Category

The unsubsidized Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The week’s headlines in a sentence: While the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare subsidies and gay marriage, the deadline for the Iran negotiations looms and terrorists are blowing up people and pipelines all over the place.

ARGENTINA
Contraband Economy Booming on the Argentina-Bolivia Border
High Inflation, Tariffs Fuel Thriving Black Market

The location of the judge is rather interesting: Argentine judge orders seizure of Falklands drillers’ assets

Lilian Herraez, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego, ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, boats and other property, the government said on Saturday.

BOLIVIA
Pope sends video-message to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. The guy can’t stay away from socialist throwaway terminology:

“I want to be a witness of this joy of the Gospel and bring to you the tenderness and caress of God, our Father, especially to your children most in need, to the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, the poor, to those who are victims of this throwaway culture,” he said.

BRAZIL
Brazil to Narrow Inflation Target Range
Brazil will narrow the inflation target range for its central bank starting in 2017, but the center point of the range will remain unchanged at 4.5%. The tolerance band will be cut to a range of 3% to 6%

Working Within the System to Disrupt Brazilian PoliticsRoberto Mangabeira Unger, a Harvard philosopher born in Brazil and raised in Manhattan, has settled into a career as an appointed public figure charged with fostering long-term thinking about Brazil.

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Hits New Low Approval Rating

COLOMBIA
Colombian army killed civilians to fake battlefield success, rights group saysA new report on “false-positive” killings looks into one of the darkest episodes of the country’s civil war.

FARC rebels kill four and rupture Colombian pipeline

CUBA
Cardinal SinsA Castro cleric brings disgrace.

Cuban artist pushes boundary between art and politics, and pays a price
What Tania Bruguera’s ordeal in Cuba says about the state of artistic expression “within the Revolution.”

Top Intelligence-Defense Lawmakers Introduce Cuban Military Transparency Act

Double surprise! Cruz and Rubio are “non-whites”!

State Dept: No Change in Iran, Cuba Human Rights, Despite Obama Overtures

ECUADOR
Galápagos Residents Decry Fiscal Milking of World Heritage SiteIsland Representative Resigns, Parts Ways with Correa over “Unconstitutional” Law

GUYANA
Guyana Assures Exxon Amid Venezuela Row
Guyana’s president has sought to reassure Exxon Mobil that a territory dispute with Venezuela won’t interfere with the company’s recent oil discovery off the coast of Guyana, one that Caracas claims as its own.

HAITI
A Haitian border town struggles with new rules in the Dominican RepublicThe Dominican’s new rules have Haitians nervously heading back to a homeland with fewer jobs.

HONDURAS
Thousands march in Honduras to demand resignation of president

Thousands of angry, torch-bearing Hondurans marched on Friday to call for the resignation of President Juan Hernandez and demand an independent probe into one of the worst corruption scandals in the country’s history.

JAMAICA
PM: Jamaica’s Economic, Industrial Climate In ‘Delicate Situation’

LATIN AMERICA
Interesting premise, but premature, Move over, China: Latin America may welcome India. The operative word is may.

MEXICO
Mexican President Undergoes Gallbladder Surgery
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto underwent surgery to have his gallbladder removed and was recovering satisfactorily at a military hospital, officials said.

HARDBALL: DONALD TRUMP BLASTS JORGE RAMOS’S CELL PHONE NUMBER TO 200,000 INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua’s Bizarre Plan to Bury the Panama CanalThe country’s Sandinista government has cut a deal with a reclusive Chinese businessman willing to spend $50 billion on a larger-than-life transport waterway. There are a few unanswered questions, starting with whether Nicaraguans really want it and how much priceless habitat would be wrecked. Traveling the proposed route by motorcycle, boat, and boots, the author hunts for answers.

PANAMA
Odebrecht Wins Contract to Renovate Panamanian City of Colon

Manuel Noriega apologises over military rule of PanamaJailed former dictator gives first interview since 1996 and asks for forgiveness over brutal reign – ‘I want to to close the cycle of the military era’

PERU
Peru’s support for Bolivian sea access claim creates tensions with Chile
Chilean President Bachelet cancels next week’s meeting with Peruvian leader Humala

PUERTO RICO
The perfect Summer portrait, A Sleeper Awakened With Color
Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June” is on loan to the Frick Collection in New York for the next three months.

URUGUAY
‘Gourmet cannabis': Take a peek inside a Uruguay marijuana club , if you must. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, “fat, stoned and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

VENEZUELA
MUD, the Sausage Fest

Gay marriage, at long last (but not here)

The week’s posts and podcast:
Colombia: FARC blows up oil pipeline

Bloody Friday: France, Tunisia, Kuwait terror attacks UPDATED
Morgenthau on the Iran-terror connection

Ecuador: Demonstrations against Correa

SCOTUS upholds Obamacare subsidies

Venezuela’s deadly colectivos

The other flag controversy: US Embassy in London flies the rainbow flag

Today’s WTH moment: Venezuelan vet arrested for smuggling heroin in puppies UPDATED

Mexico: EL GRAN HERMANO del cartel TE VIGILA

Venezuela: Next stop on the Obama administration’s “normalizing” with dictators?

Podcast: The flag controversy plus US-Latin America stories of the week



The globally warmed encyclical Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Oblivious to current scientific data, pope Francis I, under the advice of German climate activist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, threw the Catholic Church into the global warming morass and a tailspin of pessimism, thereby making headlines across the world. Francis also banned skeptic Philipe de Larminat.
(I hope to throw in enough metaphors to make it to Taranto one of these days.)

ARGENTINA
Argentine Presidential Race Comes into FocusArgentine Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo bowed out of the race for the ruling party’s 2015 presidential nomination, leaving Buenos Aires provincial Gov. Daniel Scioli as the only candidate

BOLIVIA
Facebook Signs Agreement with Bolivian Telecom to Promote Free Internet

CHILE
Chilean grandma carried mummified foetus for 50 years92-year-old Chilean grandmother has been bearing large mummified foetus for at least 50 years in what is a rare condition known as lithopedion, doctors have discovered

COLOMBIA
[Video show the FARC using schools to train minors and store explosives in Putumayo]

Colombia’s Farc blows up oil pipeline in Catatumbo

CUBA
Obama Admits Cuba Sponsors Terrorism, But…

By Carlos Eire: A Father’s Day Tribute

Stella McCartney’s Anti-Cruelty Fashion Line Celebrates Marxist Killers Fidel Castro & Che Guevara

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The DR makes deportation plans but Dominican Deadline Passes Without Mass Expulsion of Haitian Migrants

ECUADOR
No skin off Correa’s back: Julian Assange’s three-year stay in Ecuadorean embassy has cost taxpayer £11.1mThree years ago the WikiLeaks founder fled bail and sought asylum in Ecuador – resulting in millions being spent on policing the embassy

GUATEMALA
Lone protester ends Guatemala marchA lone protester in Guatemala receives a hero’s welcome after covering more than 200 km (125 miles) in a protest against corruption.

MEXICO
Mexico beer centre attack leaves 10 dead

NICARAGUA
Why is a Chinese Tycoon Building a $50 Billion Canal in Nicaragua That No One Wants?

Remaking world trade?

PANAMA
Panama Ready to Help Normalize Relations Between OAS, Cuba

PERU
Peru Inflation Churns as Consumer Confidence Falls

PUERTO RICO
5 Indicted for Bid-Rigging in Puerto Rico School Bus Auction

[US court orders seizure of Puerto Rico’s Department of Health accounts]

VENEZUELA

Brazilian senators forced out of Venezuela after failed solidarity missionVenezuelan opposition prisoners Leopoldo Lopez, Daniel Ceballos and Antonio Ledezma were due to be visited by a delegation from Brazil – until their path was blocked, and their bus was attacked

Swiss embassy warns Venezuela’s golf players its balls could killMembers of the exclusive Caracas Country Club have reacted with anger to a sign posted by the Swiss embassy warning that stray balls could be in breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations



Nicaragua: The canal, a pretext for expropriation?

Friday, June 5th, 2015

The Nicaragua Canal, that project of Dubious Plans and Abundant Unknowns, is back in the news.

It appears that HKND Group by now has feasibility studies, property surveys, an environmental impact review and exploratory drilling, according to the Wall Street Journal, but

Still unclear is whether the canal will be built.

However, the proposed canal may be a useful pretext in Daniel Ortega’s road to dictatorship:
Nicaraguan Canal Plan Riles Landholders
Sandinista push to build Chinese-led shipping route across country sparks concerns over property rights
. 642 square miles, to be precise (emphasis added):

But to make room for the waterway, ports, roads and free-trade zones, the company says it needs 642 square miles. Nicaraguan government officials justify the pending expropriations, which would uproot 27,000 people, saying the canal will transform this impoverished Central American nation by creating 50,000 jobs and doubling the economy.

Though the government has yet to seize a single acre, HKND Group says it will pay market prices for confiscated acreage. However, a 2013 law authorizing the government to expropriate any land needed for the canal says payments will be based on each property’s assessed tax value, figures that are usually much lower.

Then there’s this,

“Nothing is going on with the canal because there is not yet any money deposited for it,” said Bayardo Arce, the top economic adviser to President Daniel Ortega.

Say again? A project this big,

and “there is not yet any money deposited for it“?

And, if that’s not bad enough,

More than one-third of the canal’s route skips dry ground altogether by cutting across Lake Nicaragua, the largest reservoir of drinking water in Central America.

Back in the 1980s, Ortega expropriated more than 1.5 million acres, including properties belonging to opposition leaders. The canal project, even (especially?) if no canal actually is built, may serve Ortega’s purposes after all.

The off-the-sponsors-of-terror-list Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 1st, 2015

LatinAmerThe 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.

ARGENTINA
Cristina’s not running: ‘CFK will not be candidate in the upcoming elections’ . . . maybe.

Re: Nisman, Calls on prosecutor Fein to hurry probe into Nisman’s deathJudge: investigate Lagomarsino

‘Meteorite thieves’ held by policePolice in Argentina arrest four men who appear to have been trying to steal more than a tonne of meteorites in the northern province of Chaco.

BAHAMAS
China mulls air route to Bahamas

BOLIVIA
“Refugio de corruptos”

BRAZIL
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

CAYMAN ISLANDS
How the Cayman Islands Became a FIFA Power

CHILE
When a government spies on its citizens: lessons from Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s peace process
Bullet proof
Despite an escalation of violence, the talks continue

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

Public opinion and pessimism in Colombia’s peace talks

CUBA
Raul Castro Meets with Leaders of Mexican Left

Voluntary Corporate Code of Conduct for Cuba Needed

Interamerican Human Rights Commission asked to intervene on behalf of besieged Cuban pastor

On Cuba’s Removal From the State-Sponsors of Terrorism List

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.”

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Legal Limbo over for Haitian Descendants in Dominican RepublicCritics Fear Many Still Fall through the Cracks

ECUADOR
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.

Tax Me, I’m Ecuadorian
Taking More from Inheritances Will Depress Salaries, Impoverish Middle Class

EL SALVADOR
How gang violence is spreading fear in El Salvador

HAITI
Accused Clinton Donation Solicitation Used For Haiti Projects

The money will be used for “undetermined” projects in Haiti.

Yeah, right.

LATIN AMERICA
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
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.

Major US Banks Closing Border Branches to Fight Money Laundering

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.

NICARAGUA
DRUG TRAFFICKING
Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua

PANAMA
Global Migrants Brave Panama’s Vipers, Bats, Bandits to Reach U.S.
Africans, Asians, Cubans cross the treacherous jungle of the Darien Gap

PERU
Peru planning to dam Amazon’s main source and displace 1000s
Over 20 hydroelectric projects proposed for the main trunk of the River Maranon would have devastating impacts

PUERTO RICO
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.

URUGUAY
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.

VENEZUELA
Venezuelans March in Caracas to Demand Release of Jailed Opposition Leaders


Diosdado is now reading members of NGOs Provea and Public Forum emails on TV.

#SOSVenezuela: Venezuelans, Cubans, others protest for freedom, democracy in Venezuela #30M

Leopoldo Lopez shows us what a selfie should be all about

The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba: Willfull blindness

Masplaining and the shrinking violets

This just in: Cuba off sponsors of terror list

Latin America: Breitbart news report on Iranian expansion in our hemisphere

Brazil: The WaPo’s evangelical Frank Underwood

Is Venezuela dollarizing

Argentina: #FIFAarrests in 22 tweets

Cuba: Is China rebuilding Cuba’s ports?

The era of moral imbecility

Brazil: Beam him up, Scotti

Mexico: The independent El Bronco

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez’s jail video

Note to all Latin Americans: Being a populist socialist won’t save you from ISIS

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week



The Ricky Ricardo Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Today’s Carnival is dedicated to Desi Arnaz, who raked in the bucks by creating a TV character that interviewers can’t seem to forget.

ARGENTINA
This week could be decisive for Nisman probeBoard of coroners will issue final report to prosecutor Fein that could answer key questions

No. Is Argentina’s economy pulling a tango turnaround?

Argentinean University: Austrian Economists Need Not Apply
Slighted Professor Claims Ideology Trumps 20 Years Experience at Comahue

BELIZE
Belize offshore oil proposal has environmentalists worried about reefs, fisheries, tourism

BOLIVIA
Militar boliviano diz que Podemos seria braço do tráfico venezuelano
Relatório afirma que partido de esquerda foi financiado por Hugo Chávez e seus aliados bolivarianos para transformar a Espanha em porta de entrada de cocaína na Europa
[Bolivian serviceman claims Podemos will be an arm of Venezuelan drug traffic
He says the Leftist party was bankrolled by Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian associates to transform Spain into a port of entrance for Europe’s cocaine]

Bolivia’s access to the sea
Beaches of the future?
A South American border dispute has implications for international law

Both countries are parties to the Pact of Bogotá, which obliges signatories to submit disputes to international tribunals. But the pact excludes conflicts that were settled before 1948.

BRAZIL
Brazil football fan club deaths lead to police arrests

British lawyer killed in Amazon fell victim to boat captains’ ‘game of dare’Husband of Gillian Metcalf says neither of the two drivers took action to prevent tragedy in high-speed collision

CHILE
Crisis socialista: Bachelet despide a todo su gabinete

COLOMBIA
Colombia ELN rebels ‘displayed solider’s leg as trophy’

Samuel Angel: “Santos y Petro han sido los peores administradores que hemos tenido”

CUBA
Ca$tro r€gim€ $€nd$ m€dica£ a$$i$tanc€ to N€pa£

EconomyGeeks Radio: Entrevista a Yusnaby Perez

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic stunned by two weeks of forest fires

ECUADOR
Ecuadorian State Workers Forced to March for Correa
Sign the Roll or Suffer the Consequences

Ecuador’s president demands respect from his constituentsRafael Correa attacks the press for reporting a presidential run-in with a young protestor who gave him the finger. He could start by staying off Twitter.

EL SALVADOR
Fear, uncertainty prevail on San Salvador’s increasingly violent streetsAs homicides soar after failed truce, El Salvador could surpass Honduras as most murderous peacetime country

GUATEMALA
Guatemala vice-president steps down amid customs corruption scandalPresident announces deputy has vacated her offices as ex-aide stands accused of orchestrating fraud worth million

HONDURAS
Death valley: the land war gripping Honduras
With a murder rate 65 times higher than Ireland’s, Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries. And few parts are more dangerous than the Lower Aguán Valley, where local farmers claim that big business has illegally taken over their land

MEXICO
Mexican police capture one of the masterminds behind Iguala massacreThe suspect, a former deputy police chief, was arrested at an exclusive country club

Mexico rescues more than 100 kidnapped migrants

Police in Mexico have rescued more than 100 migrants kidnapped by a human trafficking gang near the capital.
Reports said some of the migrants had been held hostage for five weeks in a house in Mexico State.
Most of the victims were Central Americans, but they also included people from India and Sri Lanka.

Los Cuinis: The Wealthiest Narcos You Never Heard OfJalisco Battle Brings Mexico’s Top Dogs Out of the Shadows

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua Canal: A Giant Project With Huge Environmental Costs, if it happens.

PANAMA
Panama Finds Collecting Venezuelan Debt Harder than Pulling TeethNew President Still Hopes to Bring $1 Billion Owed into Port – good luck with that.

Panama Supreme Court Judge Faces Charges of Pederasty, CorruptionCongressman Mario Miller Claims Accusations Have “No Legal Foundation”

PARAGUAY
Ten-year-old’s pregnancy sparks Paraguay abortion debate

PERU
Drug trade’s lowest rung: Peru’s expendable cocaine couriers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico may run out of cash by Sept: Gov. bank

VENEZUELA
Mass grave found on the Venezuela-Colombia border

The week’s posts and podcast:
Identity politics: Halperin interviews Ted Cruz, expects Ricky Ricardo

Haiti: Clinton’s crony gets the contract

Today’s “WTH Moment” brought to you by Jorge Ramos

Book review: Carly Fiorina’s Rising to the Challenge

John Oliver riffs Latin America

“You will not like Cuba”

Chile: Bachelet ditches entire Cabinet

“Terrorism is most definitely not a weapon of the weak”

Just what we need: Ferries to Cuba! UPDATED

This is what free speech is all about

Mexico: Jalisco’s new generation of crime

Puerto Rico: The great debt scam

It’s that time of year,

Cuba: Fidel, druglord

Podcast:



The royal baby Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 4th, 2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, had a baby daughter born on Saturday, and that’s all you’ll hear about it on this blog.

On with the news in our hemisphere:

ARGENTINA
Now even the dogs get kidnapped: Gangs Target Purebred Dogs in Argentina

BAHAMAS
Bahamas court agrees to review new immigration rules

BRAZIL
Lula Investigated for Being Odebrecht’s “Trafficker-in-Chief”

Brazil’s Power Dynamics Shifting Amid Political Scandals

Brazilian executed in Indonesia ‘unaware what was happening until end’Priests states Brazilian man executed in Indonesia did not understand what was happening to him because of his schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

CHILE
Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupts for third time

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s High Court Seeks Wider Probe of Espionage CaseInvestigation of ex-President Álvaro Uribe, five other aides sought

Where Are Colombia’s Youth in FARC Negotiations?Josías Fiesco: The Most Impacted Have Not a Single Seat at the Table

Colombia’s judiciaryTrouble at the topEven the highest courts are not immune from scandal

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica is happy — but not too much

CUBA
From China: Clandestine Arms Shipment Arrives in Cuba

Venezuela’s Maduro Joins Raul Castro for Cuba’s May Day Parade, where no one would dare throw mangoes at them.

ECUADOR
What Happened When I Joked About the President of Ecuador

A few months before, I registered the Crudo Ecuador brand with the Ecuadorean Institute of Intellectual Property. The I.E.P.I. published the Gaceta, a booklet that shows all the brands that are being registered, including mine.

That’s when things took a dark turn. Some Twitter users began posting I.E.P.I. documents. These documents are supposed to be confidential; they showed my telephone number, my address, my ID number. Then they started posting information from the civil registry. And then, a photo of me in a mall. When I showed my wife the picture, she said, “Hey, this was taken three days ago.” So they’d been following us.

GUATEMALA
Guatemala Needs More than OutrageScale Back the State to Starve Corruption

HAITI
SCHWEIZER: CLINTON DONORS, RELATIVES GOT RICH OFF HAITI CONTRACTS, US TAXPAYERS

JAMAICA
A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia reviewRichard S Dunn’s comparative study of slavery makes surprising arguments

LATIN AMERICA
Thanks To Vaccination, Rubella Has Been Eliminated From The Western Hemisphere

MEXICO
Mexican army helicopter shot at in drug cartel attackA Mexican army helicopter has been shot at in the western state of Jalisco, killing three soldiers and injuring 12 others.

NICARAGUA
For “peaceful purposes”? Nicaragua approves Russian satellite base for ‘alternative GPS’Opposition say legislation was rushed through without proper scrutinyNicaraguan military says it plans to buy Russian jets and patrol boats

PANAMA
Crossing the Darién Gap: US-bound migrants marooned in Panama jungleLong voyage winds from half a world away in search of economic opportunity in North America (emphasis added),

As dusk fell on a recent Saturday, a long dugout canoe floated into this remote town in Darién province of Panama, carrying an increasingly frequent cargo of improbable origins.

At a border police base by the Chucunaque River, the human haul — 13 Bangladeshis, seven Nepalese and two Somalis — disembarked to noisy greetings from other migrants on the bank.

PARAGUAY
Girl, 10, raped by stepfather, denied abortion in ParaguayAmnesty International is calling on Paraguay’s government to allow child to get an abortion for the sake of her health

PERU
Hidden early Christian crypt discovered with dozens of skeletons

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico on the Brink

Puerto Rico is in trouble, after years of bad policies, mismanagement, excessive debt and bad luck.

Its economy has been shrinking or stagnant for a decade and theunemployment rate sits at nearly 12 percent. The commonwealth and its utilities have a debt of $73 billion, its public pension funds are woefully underfunded and one state agency has warned that the government could be forced to shut down soon because it might run out of money.

URUGUAY
Ex-Gitmo Detainees In Uruguay Protest At U.S. Embassy

VENEZUELA
The U.N.’s Venezuela Crush Gets Orwellian

Report: Venezuela’s Medical Shortages Rival War ZonesHuman Rights Watch: Thousands at Risk while Maduro Looks for Scapegoats

«Yo fui el intérprete de Chávez»Mohamad Mohamadi fue el traductor del líder bolivariano en más de un centenar de encuentros con sus aliados iraníes

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: On with slandering the Jews in the AMIA & #Nisman cases

Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?, part 2

What works

“The Americans” non-values UPDATED

Venezuela: Electricity rationing because of . . . global warming

Chile: Bachelet lifts a page from the Clintons

Don’t rebuild

Minnesota men heading to ISIS via . . . Mexico?

Puerto Rico: Calling Dr. Cardona Harper

Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?

Latin America: Why there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

Podcast:
Mexico and other US Latin America stories of the week



The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Following last week’s VII Summit of the Americas, the hemisphere media showed an endless parade of Cuba propagandists touting “Cuba’s moral victory” over the U.S.

ARGENTINA
Argentina launches lawsuit against Falkland oil drillers

Tact gone, Britons living in the Falklands are like Chinese in Chinatown, says Argentine ambassador
Alicia Castro has likened British sovereignty over the archipelago to Chinese claims to the Soho district of Chinatown, as Argentina’s minister for Falklands affairs spells out the legal action his government is taking against British firms

BOLIVIA
Pope Francis will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

BRAZIL
Olympics: thousands of dead fish at Rio de Janeiro rowing venue
Thousands of dead fish wash up at Rio de Janeiro lagoon that will host rowing and canoeing events

COLOMBIA
Intel Leak: FARC Outgun Venezuelan Military to Poach Coltan Mines
Colombian Guerrilla De Facto Rulers in Amazonas Region

Colombia’s Santos Wants to Set Deadline for Peace Process

CUBA
OBAMA REMOVES CUBA FROM TERROR SPONSOR LIST, CUBAN SUPPORTED TERROR GROUP KILLS 10

Americans Murdered By Terrorists, Do Not Matter

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hillary Clinton Decided to Run at Oscar de la Renta’s Dominican Republic Beachfront Mansion

ECUADOR
Janet Hinostroza: “Justice Has a Very High Price in Ecuador”
Ecuadorian Journalist’s New Documentary Uncovers Deadly US Judicial Failure

JAMAICA
Report: Jamaica’s Parliament In Bottom Half Of World’s Effective Law-Making Bodies

MEXICO
Mexico confirms capture of Gulf Cartel leader

NICARAGUA
BACK FROM LIBERIA
U.S. downplays Nicaragua’s concerns about embassy staffer infected with Ebola

PANAMA
In Panama, Restoring Streets And Reforming Gangs At The Same Time

PARAGUAY
Paraguay activists ensure government’s oil ambitions will be no walk in the park
The threat of oil drilling in Defensores del Chaco national park, where potentially extensive reserves have been uncovered, is causing growing unease in Paraguay

PERU
Pre-Inca mummy dumped at Peru rubbish site discovered by cleaners

PUERTO RICO
Treasury Officials Increase Efforts With Finances of Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
Pope Francis’ iPad Fetches $30,500 at Auction in Uruguay

VENEZUELA
VenEconomy: The Sovereignty of Hunger in Venezuela!

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Today’s must-read

Venezuela: May the farce be with you

Cuba: “We’ll pay Spain”

Is ISIS at the US-Mexico border?

Today’s vision of hell, airline travel edition:

Venezuela: News from Poyais

Mexico: Radioactive material stolen

Cuba off Sponsors of Terrorism list; how’s that working so far?

Mexico: ISIS at the border?

Harvard hosts racketeer . . . twice

Breaking: Cuba off Sponsors of Terrorism list

Cuba: Victory lap at the VII Summit

Brazil: The demonstrators are not going away

More at the circus: Correa & Obama, BFFs

Podcasts:
Rick Moran’s RINO Hour of Power, Hillary announces: Should we even bother to count the votes? with Rich Baehr.

Silvio Canto’s The Panama summit and other US Latin America stories of the week with Roger Mailhot.



Nicaragua’s steps to dictatorship

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Sergio Ramírez at El País on how Daniel Ortega is taking Nicaragua towards dictatorship (link in Spanish).
After 9 years of Ortega in power,

48% of the population subsists on less than $2 a day, and in that group, half subsists on less than $1 a day. Nicaragua’s on the bottom three of the Latin American misery index, along with Haiti and Honduras.

Coming elections?

Ortega, or his wife, will win the 2017 presidential elections.

But family Governments always end up as big political disasters. Tensions will turn up and increase as hopes in Ortega’s populist rhetoric wear out, particularly since Venezuela’s aide comes to and end as that country faces plummeting oil prices, shortages, inflation, and a swelling short-term foreign debt.

Ramírez is deeply pessimistic about the proposed Nicaragua Canal, too. He accuses Ortega of turning over the defense of Nicaragua’s national sovereignty to Wang Jing and the Chinese

Another breaking point will be the failure of the canal project, now seen as a huge hope, which will become a cause for frustration once it is proven to be a merciless lie.

By which time, Ortega will be rich enough to live in impunity.

The pizza Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Pizza has been in the news recently, so enjoy this week’s Carnival with a slice.

ARGENTINA
Nearly three months after his murder, Experts to inspect Nisman’s apartment

Buenos Aires streets empty as transport strike hits
The streets of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, remained largely empty on Tuesday morning as a number of transport workers’ unions went on a 24-hour strike.

Good: Argentina: Britain Spied to Ensure Falklands Security, Report Says
Britain spied on Argentine military and political leaders to ensure the security of the Falkland Islands from 2006 to 2011, an Argentine television channel reported on Friday, citing intelligence documents provided by Edward J. Snowden.

The Rise of Bitcoin in Argentina
Cryptocurrency Entrepreneurs Sidestep Onerous Restrictions, Financial Chaos

BOLIVIA
Don’t lose your shirt? Bolivia defence minister sacked over controversial top
Bolivian President Evo Morales sacked Defence Minister Jorge Ledezma on Tuesday over a controversial top he wore on a trip to neighbouring Chile.

BRAZIL
#Odebrechting – an Easter egg in the Brazilian media

Rio favela still wracked with fear and violence as Olympics 2016 approaches
Rio’s Complexo da Maré favela is being taken over by police from the soldiers that have been trying – and failing – to pacify it since before last summer’s World Cup

Brazil priest suspended for nude selfie
Brazilian priest known for conservative views on moral issues suspended for sending a nude photograph of himself to an apparent mistress
. Padre Alberto is much better-looking, though.

CHILE
Freak rainfall in Chile’s Atacama, the driest desert on earth, triggers catastrophic mud slides
Several dead, many missing as area gets lashed with seven years of rain in just 12 hours

CUBA
Whitewashing and Policy Laundering Cuban Terrorism, Part II

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Obama’s Justice Department Charges Menendez … But Not Reid

ECUADOR
Even the International Criminal Court has rejected the Chevron Shakedown

Ecuador Bulldozes Guayaquil Slum, Leaves 40 Families in the Street
Over 100 Houses Marked for Destruction amid Public Outcry

GUATEMALA
Johns Hopkins sued for $1B over Guatemala venereal disease study

IMMIGRATION
Punjabi Sikh-Mexican American community fading into history

JAMAICA
Jamaica Activates Army Reserves Ahead of Obama Visit

Obama and the CARICOM heads of government are expected to proceed from the high-level encounter in Jamaica to Panama City for the 6th Summit of the Americas, set for April 10-11.

MEXICO
U.S. Trade Commission Upholds Sugar Pact With Mexico
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously Thursday to uphold an agreement that suspended duties on sugar imports from Mexico, a decision that Mexico’s Economy Ministry welcomed as positive for Mexican producers.

PANAMA
Historic encounter: Obama, Raúl Castro to have ‘interaction’ at summit

PARAGUAY
PARAGUAY SPECIAL FORCES SEEK HELP OF TEXAS BORDER SWAT IN DEALING WITH CARTEL SPILLOVER

Paraguay has seen a spillover of organized criminal activities from countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Argentina which manifests itself in home invasions, kidnappings, and shootouts with drug traffickers, Maldonado said.

PERU
Peru names new prime minister amid spying scandal
Peru’s president has named Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano as new prime minister in a bid to calm a political crisis. Former Prime Minister Ana Jara was sacked this week amid allegations of spying and corruption.

PUERTO RICO
The Many Faces of Puerto Rico

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan hotels are asking tourists to bring their own toilet paper but
Venezuela plans to buy more Russian and Chinese arms

Venezuela, harboring ETA terrorists, El régimen narco-terrorista de Maduro ignora petición urgente de España para confirmar ubicación del ETARRA De Juana Chaos

US Federal Court Declares Venezuela in Default over $740 Million Claim
Facing $125 Billion Debt, Caracas Tries to Duck Gold Reserve Inc. Ruling

The week’s posts and podcast
Coming up next: State Dept. To Fly Central American Children Into US

Cuba: The next Hotel California? UPDATED

A happy thing for Easter weekend

Bach Johannes Passion

Venezuela, national security threat; Argentina wants a Sandwich

Cuba Forever, Indiana Never

Podcast: US-Latin America stories of the week

Yes, it’s April Fools’ Day

Mexico: Uber driver attacked

Argentina: Yet another Iran connection

Would Peru go for Chavismo?



The crashed plane Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

An Argentine turboprop airplane crashed and burned shortly after taking off, killing all 10 people aboard,

Witnesses at the airport said that a few minutes after takeoff they heard a significant explosion followed by a huge fireball.

The passengers were members of the Argentine company La Rural which is an associate in a project to exploit a Convention Center under construction in the Atlantic resort of Punta del Este and had flown to Uruguay for a business conference with their Uruguayan partners and the local government.

La Rural is a leading company in Argentina and Latin America in the fairs, congress and events industry.

Was it an accident?

ARGENTINA
Exactly two months after his murder, Argentine Government Accuses Nisman of Embezzlement

Dead Argentine prosecutor was zeroing in on a terror threat to the entire Western Hemisphere

Investigan un supuesto refugio de jerarcas nazis en Argentina

BRAZIL
POLL NUMBERS!!! Dilma’s drop

Why is Brazil so angry?
Big Question: Over a million people took to the streets over the weekend calling for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, five months after she won a general election

CHILE
Hundreds protest over Chile bishopProtesters shout as Rev Juan Barros enter the Osorno cathedral
Hundreds of people in Chile try to stop the ordination of Catholic Bishop Juan Barros, accusing him of covering up a sex abuse scandal.

COLOMBIA
Drug Gang Led by Female Trafficker from Mexico Nabbed in Colombia

Guerra y paz en Colombia

CUBA
[pdf file] An Illusory Opening to Cuba:
Why Florida Shouldn’t Walk Through the Breach

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Where “Cold War Charm” is the half-century long misery endured by the inmates of the island-prison: Cuba’s Cold War charm has D.R. wary about losing U.S. tourists to next-door neighbor

ECUADOR
#19M Protests Put Correa’s Citizen Revolution on Notice
Thousands March in Ecuador as Anti-Authoritarian Outrage Boils Over

Populist Playbook: The Slow Death of Democracy in Correa’s Ecuador

HAITI
Clinton Foundation’s chickens coming home to roost in Haiti?

WaPo Reporter: Bill Clinton ‘So Disliked’ in Haiti After Charity Work ‘He Couldn’t Even Run for Mayor’

HILLARY CLINTON’S BROTHER DEFENDS HAITI GOLD MINE DEAL: ‘I RAISE MONEY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE’

HONDURAS
Are Special Economic Zones the answer? How ZEDEs Can Make Honduras Prosperous
Next-Generation Zones for an Anti-Poverty Success Story

Honduras sends soldiers to protect ‘lost city’ from drug cartels
Expendition team reportedly split on how to safeguard artefacts from looters after ‘lost city’ rediscovered in Honduras jungle also used by drug trafficker

JAMAICA
US Say Courts Crippling Ja Narcotics Fight

MEXICO
US Court Convicts Mexican of Kidnapping Mexican in Mexico
Federal Jury Convicts Mexican Citizen Living in San Antonio for His Role in Kidnapping Scheme

NICARAGUA
Wang Jing: The man behind the Nicaragua canal project

PARAGUAY
Paraguay and Latin America are officially the happiest nations in the world, in a Bobby McFerrin sort of way?

PERU
Peru’s Premier Removes Senior Spy Officials
Peru’s prime minister removed the head of the National Intelligence Service and other high-level officials, as allegations widened that the spy agency for years gathered information on a broad range of well-known people.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s Catholic Church Calls for Referendum on Gay Marriage

SOUTH AMERICA
The Islamization of South America

URUGUAY
After years in Guantanamo, ex-detainees find little solace in Uruguay Apparently they don’t have Uruguayan passports yet.

VENEZUELA

Unbroken: Former Venezuelan Political Prisoner Speaks Out
Police Chief Lucchese Describes His Year Behind Bars at Ramo Verde Military Prison

Enabling Maduro’s Tyranny in Venezuela
US Sanctions Give Perfect Excuse for Crackdown on Dissent
. I disagree – the crackdown has been going on, well before any sanctions.

Maduro’s English in action,

Yes, Venezuela is a security threat

Drums of War or Pipes of Peace?