Archive for the ‘Nicaragua’ Category

The Communist Venezuela Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 9th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentines teach tango inside mental hospital

BRAZIL
Turning Good Economic Luck into Bad

CHILE
Chile Presidential Candidates Square off in Debate

COLOMBIA
Five points on President Obama’s meeting with Colombia’s President Santos

The stateless Colombia

COSTA RICA
POLL NUMBERS!!! Three way race in Costa Rica

CUBA
Cuba: Castro State Security releases dissident leader Berta Soler after arrest at airport

Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro: A Relationship Built On Mutual Admiration

Communist vandals attack home of former Cuban prisoner of conscience Librado Linares

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haiti and the Dominican Republic
A storm in Hispaniola
And no agreement as to how many have been cut off from citizenship

ECUADOR
A Possible Overture From Ecuador in the Chevron Pollution Mess

GUATEMALA
Was it 7 or 8? A Little Miscommunication Among Friends.

JAMAICA
Reggae Wine From Indiana To Be Launched In Jamaica

LATIN AMERICA
Latin American, Caribbean dilemma: Many entrepreneurs, but little innovation

MEXICO
Nuclear Terrorist Threat Looms On Our Southern Border

Truck with dangerous radioactive material ‘stolen in Mexico’

O’Grady: Mexico Nears an Energy Breakthrough
A proposed change to the nation’s law could free private capital to develop the country’s vast oil and gas reserves.

At the burned-out unit (in Spanish): former governor of Tamaulipas Tomás Yarrington, who not only is being accused of money laundering and fraud by both the Mexican and US governments, he allegedly played the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and the Beltrán Leyva cartel against each other.

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shootout raises specter of guerrillas

PANAMA
101 Years After Its Birth, The Panama Canal Is On The Verge Of Creating A Huge New Opportunity For US Exporters

PUERTO RICO
Is Puerto Rico Too Big To Fail?

Puerto Ricans fleeing debt battle
Tax increases, pension cuts and a fall in jobs are part of the strategy to save Puerto Rico from another rating downgrade

URUGUAY
Uruguay opposition demands marijuana referendum
Last minute opposition to Uruguay’s plans to legalise sale and consumption of marijuana

VENEZUELA
Electoral coverage by VN&V

Venezuela headed for chaos

VENEZUELA GOES INTO THE CAR BUSINESS

The week’s posts:
Venezuela municipal elections results

Mexico: Congress to vote on bill ending PEMEX monopoly

Extortion from the state and from the cartels: Mexico: The border-crossing “tax”

Mexico: 6 detained on cobalt-60 case

Brazil: Corinthians Arena to be ready by April

Today’s Louis Renault moment

Mexico: The cobalt-60 case

Argentina: #Córdoba police strike linked to prostitution; 140 brothels’ worth.

Venezuela: Al-Jazeera op-ed in denial

Mexico: AMLO has a heart attack, and other news

The most corrupt countries in the world

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Cuba’s foreign prisoners

This week’s podcast: Medical tourism in Latin America plus other issues this week


The Thanksgiving week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 25th, 2013

LatinAmerUpdate on Honduras’s election: What next?

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINEAN PROSECUTOR ALBERTO NISMAN CHALLENGES CONSTITUIONALITY OF THE ARGENTINA-IRAN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports; Cristina buys hers in Paris anyway.

BRAZIL
Brazil awards $9 billion of airport deals, prepping Rio for Olympics

Crude cost of Brazil’s new pipeline is a dark shadow

CHILE
The Aftermath of Chile’s Election

This may be about to change: Why does Chile prosper while neighbouring Argentina flounders?
Chile has usually followed economically sensible policies, inflation is low and the budget is almost balanced – by contrast Argentina engages in repeated self-inflicted economic upheaval

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Wayward Search for Peace (emphasis added):

One should therefore be skeptical of rosy reports from Havana about agreements being made on this point or that. All agreements to date are worthless until the guerrillas turn in their weapons and human rights violators surrender to the authorities.

Secondly, the Obama administration must clearly and loudly annunciate U.S. interests in the matter. After all, U.S. taxpayers have a $10 billion investment in Colombia, used to train and equip Colombian security forces and have as much a stake as anyone in any final agreement with the FARC. That the U.S. has relegated itself to the closet while the likes of Cuba and Venezuela flaunt their participation in negotiations is absurd — and no doubt has contributed to the Colombian people’s doubts about the outcome.

CUBA
Feinberg’s Pitch for Dictatorship in Cuba

Cuba Seeks Mexican Businessman in Corruption Probe

Deciphering diplo-speak on Cuba

Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’
What the Cuban leader thinks really happened on that fateful November day in Dallas

Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Deportation fears on rise in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
Donziger on Stand in Chevron Trial
Attorney Defends Himself Against Claims He Bribed a Judge in Lawsuit Over Pollution in Ecuador

NICARAGUA
The New Sandinista Autocracy 

In his 1986 State of the Union Address, President Reagan declared: “Surely no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the security of our frontiers, for the protection of our vital interests, than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua and to protect Nicaragua’s democratic neighbors.” The region and the world obviously look much different today than they did in 1986: The Soviet Union and the Cold War are long gone, and Nicaragua no longer poses the same geopolitical threat to U.S. interests. Yet the Sandinistas are once again attempting to create a dictatorship, and Nicaragua’s neighbors are once again struggling with rampant violence. Large portions of Guatemalan territory are effectively controlled by the Zetas Cartel, and Honduras is now the global murder capital. (Honduran human-rights commissioner Ramón Custodio Lopez has expressed fears that his nation is becoming a failed state.) And while a March 2012 gang truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18 has significantly reduced homicides in El Salvador, the gangs have continued to extort and terrorize the Salvadoran people, and their truce appears to be unraveling.

PANAMA
Lawyer: Panama Sets $1M Fine for North Korea Ship

PERU
Peru thwarts antiquities smugglers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s economy
Buying on credit is so nice
The debt crisis has not stopped Puerto Ricans from shopping

VENEZUELA
Venezuela: Bozo as Al Capone, or is it Vice-Versa?

Venezuelan tyrant* confirms: new wave of confiscations, redistributions.

Another update: Visiting royals? Those regrettable moments

The week’s posts:
Ecuador: Promises, promises

Bachelet wants to increase taxes, put private colleges out of business, and rewrite the Constitution. What could possibly go wrong? Chile: A step to the left

As expected in Colombia: Santos to run for 2d term

Arturo Sandoval receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Kerry puts a “Kick me” sign on America

Argentina: Cristina gets dog, reorganizes cabinet

En español: La terapia intensiva de esta semana

Cuba: What Castro knew about Oswald

Venezuela: Involving Interpol against @JJRendon

At Da Tech Guy’s: How things can get worse in Venezuela


The lions’ Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 18th, 2013

LatinAmerAn American crew rescued twenty five African Lions from Bolivia and now there’s a documentary about it, Lion Ark; this Carnival is dedicated to them.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to return to work next week
President has been on leave for six weeks after surgery following a head injury

Bieber’s concert gear impounded in Argentina

Judge Maria Giraudi ordered that the singer’s belongings be held after photographer Diego Pesoa filed suit for damages, alleging that Bieber’s bodyguards hit him and damaged his equipment as the singer was leaving a nightclub.

Pesoa’s lawyer, Matias Morla, said Bieber “gave the order to beat him and then got back in his van.”

Paco Almaraz takes care of the little burned-out twerp (in Spanish):

BRAZIL
Dirceu is now in the clink: Brazil Mensalao jailings begin
Brazil starts jailing high-profile politicians convicted last year in the country’s biggest corruption trial, the “Mensalao” (big monthly allowance).

CHILE
The calm in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia and the FARC
Not out of the woods yet
Just as an agreement is reached, news of an assassination plot highlights the risks to the peace negotiations

CUBA
Chasing the Ghost of Castro’s Oil

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Senate Unanimously Confirms Gay Ambassador to Dominican Republic
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Senate has confirmed James “Wally” Brewster as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, despite recent protests from antigay groups in the Caribbean nation.

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
The last word, with more to follow

HONDURAS
Criminal Violence and Displacement: Notes from Honduras

Will Honduras Become a Failed State?

Corte Suprema hondureña acusa a Lula da Silva de intromisión

JAMAICA
Jamaica failed drug tests ‘tip of iceberg’
Jamaica’s most senior drug tester says the country’s recent rash of failed tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”.

LATIN AMERICA
Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday

MEXICO
Forcibly Displaced Persons now a Formidable Concern in Mexico

Farmers against Templars:

Mexican Farmers Confront Drug Cartels
Farmers in the rich agricultural heartland of Mexico’s Michoacán state, fed up with a reign of terror and extortion by a drug cartel, have organized community police forces and driven out the cartel.

NICARAGUA
Power grab in Nicaragua
The comandante’s commandments
The Sandinistas propose re-election without end for Daniel Ortega

PANAMA
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama extends North Koreans visas to get ship, crew

Mexican Trafficker With Ties To Sinaloa Cartel Extradited To U.S. From Panama

Biden to visit Panama for trade talks, disposal of chemical weapons

PERU
AP PHOTOS: A tough life on Lima’s rough edges

PUERTO RICO
How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery

VENEZUELA
Who is Tareck el Aissami?

The criminalization of dissidence and opposition: CHÁVEZ’S SUCCESSOR SEES A TRILOGY OF EVIL

Venezuela jails 100 ‘bourgeois’ businessmen in crackdown

Venezuela’s President Maduro moves nearer to decree powers

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: The start of the really bad news

Colombia: FARC plot to murder Uribe

Venezuela: Jim Wyss recounts his 48 hours in Venezuelan custody

Brazil: “Mensalão”s must serve their sentences

Ecuador: Court halves Chevron judgement

En español: Terapia intensiva y el avión quemado

The UN Human Rights Council beclowns itself, again.

Venezuela: Price controls, profit caps UPDATED

At Da Tech Guy: Attention Christmas shoppers! Che on aisle nine!

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 11th, 2013

LatinAmerThe week’s must-read? This: Documents show depth of U.S. concern over Mexico violence. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, border security is national security.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Fading Diva

Junk bond news: Specialist in Long Shots Bets on Argentina
David Martinez, head of a hedge fund that specializes in distressed debt, has made an unusual call: Invest in Argentina.

“You can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Mariscal said, “but you don’t know if it’s the train coming towards you.”

BOLIVIA
Skulls said to have miraculous qualities at the center of annual festival in Bolivia

BRAZIL
Before Global Games, Rio Is Fighting to Dim Red Light. Good luck with that.

Brazil’s oil industry
Bustista
Eike Batista’s oil firm files for bankruptcy protection

CHILE
Chile’s presidential election
Cruising back to La Moneda
A more left-wing Michelle Bachelet is set to win on a tide of social discontent

COLOMBIA
In pictures: Beyond El Dorado at the British Museum

Filling the FARC-Shaped Void

No pause in FARC peace talks for elections

CUBA
Michael Totten is Home From Cuba,

That is one truly strange place. It’s right there alongside Libya under Moammar Qaddafi in the bizarro department. I’m glad I went, but I’m even more glad to be out of there.

US hijacker William Potts returns from Cuba
An American man who hijacked a plane in 1984 and forced it to fly to Cuba has returned to the US.

ECUADOR
Indigenous peoples
Death in the Amazon

Attempt to Rehabilitate Chevron Judge Gets Very Weird

Chevron’s lead lawyer, Randy Mastro, had some success this week showing that [Ecuadorian judge Nicolas] Zambrano doesn’t seem to know very much about the record-breaking decision he supposedly rendered. When asked, the former Ecuadorian judge couldn’t name key elements of the ruling, such as the most powerful carcinogenic substance it cited or a crucial scientific study purporting to link oil contamination to human illnesses. He also struggled to explain how he was able to deploy French, American, and Australian case law in the ruling, since, as he conceded, he does not speak or read French or English.

The Chevron RICO trial grinds on

Phila. lawyer tells how Ecuador case against Chevron unraveled

GRENADA
An Army Ranger Gives an on Ground Account of the War in Grenada

GUYANA
The US Treasury as the Birthright of All Mankind

JAMAICA
BBC criticised over Jamaica Inn filming in Kirkby Lonsdale

LATIN AMERICA
From Brookings: The Upcoming Electoral Cycle in Latin America in the Midst of Social Unrest: What Lies Ahead?

MEXICO
Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized
The sophisticated underground passageway featured electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system and took about a year to build, officials said.

Documents show depth of U.S. concern over Mexico violence

NICARAGUA
Sandinista Constitutional reforms will institutionalize first lady’s precepts of ‘Christian, socialist and solidarity’ via Boz

  • Increases government control over radio, television, telephone and internet services, including requirements for local control and data storage.
  • Institutionalizes various FSLN organizations into the government and constitution, further merging the government and party (which would have serious repercussions if the FSLN did lose an election some day in the future, in that the party would still retain control over aspects of government).

PANAMA
Panama Canal’s LNG Surprise to Redefine Trade in Fuel: Freight

LNG carriers will cross the 48-mile waterway 350 times a year, and voyages to Asia from the U.S. will cost 24 percent less than longer routes, according to calculations from the canal authority. The expected 12 million tons, assuming half the transits are hauling cargoes, would be equal to about 5 percent of the world’s trade in 2012, Fearnley Consultants AS estimates.

The U.S., now the world’s largest producer of natural gas because of the extraction of fuel from shale rocks, will account for much of that traffic as it becomes the third-largest exporter of LNG by 2020, Morgan Stanley estimates. With American energy independence now at a 27-year high of 86 percent, the route will boost exports to Japan, offsetting nuclear-power generation lost after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

PARAGUAY
Paraguay says can be launch pad for Israeli technology in Latin America
With a favorable tax system, stable business environment, Paraguay could be key to providing Israeli innovators with access to broader Latin markets, says Paraguayan minister.

PERU
Peru’s central bank sees gloomier economic growth

PUERTO RICO
De Blasio, in Puerto Rico, Finds Relaxation and Fellow Red Sox Fans

On Vacation, With Politics
Mayor-elect de Blasio Attends Somos El Futuro Conference in Puerto Rico

Is Puerto Rico the next Greece? Nest eggs could suffer

La Mallorquina, open since 1848, closed:

My grandparents used to take the family (of 12!) to eat there in the 1920s and ’30s.

SURINAME
Suriname leader’s son on terror charges
The son of Suriname’s president is charged by the United States with attempting to provide material support to the Shia militant group Hezbollah.

VENEZUELA
Desperation News and Views

Miami Herald reporter held for second night in Venezuela while covering economic crisis; he was released on Saturday and is back in the USA.

Real life: Venezuela’s Maduro orders military occupation… of electronics stores

John Hinderaker watches the pageants and posts lots of pictures: MISS UNIVERSE: A FINAL PREVIEW [UPDATED WITH RESULTS]

The week’s posts and podcast:
Chile: Left turn coming up

Venezuela burns down Mexican plane

Obama makes campaign stop, meets Coco & Berta

Venezuela: Entire medical system collapsing

Chile: Neruda wasn’t poisoned

Venezuela: ADS in the slums

Latin America: Mexico and the Expanding Hemispheric Crime and Terror Crises

Colombia: Things are about to get worse

Mexico: Templars, Inc.

Cuba: The FARC rides the yacht

Podcast:
With Jerry Brewer on Silvio Canto’s podcast


Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Nicaraguan Marta Cecilia Aviles Asman addresses NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio,
Bill de Blasio Should Ask Me About the Sandinistas
The New York mayoral candidate still fondly recalls a regime that I fled in terror for my life.
(emphasis added)

After the revolution in 1979, I joined the government. I was hired to help “humanize” Nicaraguan prisons. I was enthusiastic about the work—until I found out that Sandinista-style “humanization” often involved extrajudicial executions.

I once appealed to a prison warden to allow a diabetic prisoner his dose of insulin. The warden refused, telling me: “If it was up to you, we’d let them all out!” When I wrote a note to higher-ups complaining about all this, I was told by co-workers to get out of government before I was silenced permanently.

My moment of truth came at a meeting of government workers with Interior Minister Tomas Borge several months after the revolution. Borge was a confirmed Marxist but had been discreet until that moment. “Why not say it?” Borge said to the crowd. “We are going toward socialism.” The Sandinistas had already nationalized the banks and were confiscating property and executing opponents in the streets. I was scared to see what would come next.

Ponder for a moment, if you may, electing a mayor who openly praises such a regime.



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The Homeland location Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 21st, 2013

LatinAmerIs it Puerto Rico, or is it Caracas? Showtime picked a safer location for Homeland than the real-life Tower of David for last week’s episode.

ARGENTINA
‘Queen Cristina’ facing the end of her reign
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Politically weakened and physically frail, Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez Kirchner is facing the end of a decade of a family rule as she recovers from brain clot surgery ahead of key elections

Argentina to pay $500 million to resolve disputes with foreign firms

Will Iran thaw bring justice for AMIA victims?

Argentine Train Slams into Station
An Argentine commuter train slammed into the end of the line Saturday morning at the same station in Buenos Aires where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year.

BOLIVIA
Vicuna herded on motorbikes for biennial shearing in Bolivia
Every two years, about a hundred men and women Aymara villagers conduct a frenetic chase to round up wild vicunas for shearing, an event which lasts four days

BRAZIL
Brazil’s (and Odebrecht’s) Secret Deals With Dictators

Public finances in Brazil
Going for broke

Brazil army to guard oil rights sale
Union leaders in Brazil attack a decision to deploy troops to guarantee security for a controversial oil exploration rights auction.

CHILE
Chile men convicted over gay murder
A court in Chile convicts four men for torturing and beating to death 24-year-old gay man Daniel Zamudio in a Santiago park in March.

COLOMBIA
Ex-President Uribe on course to win 2 million votes

Starbucks to take on Juan Valdez in Colombia

CUBA
Babalú Exclusive: Cuban footprints across America – Martina the Beautiful Cockroach

Castro police block mother from naming her son after Cuba opposition leader Antúnez

Havana Havana, Your Fountains Are Broken

Cuban dissidents plant a hoax to trap government spies
Cuban dissidents invented a story to flush out infiltrators. A blogger bit, but denied having links to the Cuban government.

ECUADOR
Witnesses say U.S. lawyer used fraud in Chevron case in Ecuador

EDUCATION
Weak Universities Hurt Latin America, Spain

EL SALVADOR
On a different note…

El Salvador: Where women may be jailed for miscarrying

MEXICO
The most bad-ass doctor ever

Crime in Mexico
Out of sight, not out of mind
Having decided to play down the fight against drug kingpins, Enrique Peña Nieto has yet to come up with a serious alternative

Gunman in clown suit kills senior Mexican drug cartel member

NICARAGUA
NYC MAYOR CANDIDATE BILL DE BLASIO SUPPORTED SANDINISTAS, ACTIVE ALLIES OF “PALESTINIAN” JIHADISTS

PANAMA
Ibero-American Summit Marked by Notable Absences
Missing from the conference in Panama are nine presidents and Spain’s King Juan Carlos

PERU
Peru’s air force reinstates UFO department
Peru’s air force has said it is reviving a department to research anomalous aerial phenomena – in other words, UFO sightings

US gives $100 million to Peru for counternarcotics

PUERTO RICO
It’ll be talk like a pirate day: New John Malkovich series to be filmed in Puerto Rico, adding millions to local economy

VENEZUELA
The opposition will not be televised

A disabling enabling law

WORLD CUP
Jaime & Silvia recap the World Cup prelims (in Spanish):

The week’s posts:
Michel Moynihan interviews Vargas Llosa

Chile: Matthei/Parisi vs Bachlet?

Honduras: Zelaya’s baaaack

Mexico: Taxing the fat out of you

Venezuela: Nicolas loses Heinz

Brazil: Biggest Sao Paolo cartel threatens violence at World Cup

Mexico: El Bloombito lobbies against sugary sodas

Paraguay: Guy makes up his mind after 80 years

En español: La terapia intensiva de esta semana

Video: NAFTA and Mexican Agriculture

Garcia, Lee and Rangel lying for Castro?

Podcast:
Cuba & other US-Latin America issues of the week.



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Nicaragua: Bill de Blasio ignores the truth

Monday, October 7th, 2013

NYC mayoral candidate admired the Sandinistas. Mary O’Grady tells the real story about the Sandinistas:
Bill de Blasio, From Managua to Manhattan
Nicaragua’s Marxist regime was an inspiration to New York’s leading mayoral candidate.

Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza was toppled in 1979. Many had fought to rid their country of his one-man rule, and a broad-based ruling directorate was set up after Somoza was banished. It was supposed to organize elections. Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front that overthrew Somoza, had other ideas. He wanted to remake Castro’s Cuba in Central America.

Mr. Ortega’s first step was to cleanse the Sandinista directorate of moderate elements, using fear and intimidation. In 1980, his security thugs assassinated Jorge Salazar, a popular and charismatic Nicaraguan businessman who had opposed Somoza’s dictatorship but also opposed the effort to install a Marxist-Leninist military government. It worked. Members of the directorate, who had naively believed that they were part of a new democratic Nicaragua, were terrified. They resigned and the ruling junta became totally Castroite.

The crackdown that followed was ruthless. Cuban enforcers were brought in to help. Houses, farms, ranches and businesses were confiscated, and the independent media were muzzled. Central planning meant price controls for everyone. Even rural women carrying produce to market were arrested as speculators.

Highland peasants who had fought to remove Somoza rebelled. They didn’t want to be ruled by a left-wing dictator any more than by the right-wing variety. They organized themselves into “Contras.” The Miskito Indians also fought back. In retribution the army burned their villages and carried out executions. Thousands fled to Honduras to live in refugee camps.

In the Sandinista nation some pigs were more equal than others. Property seized by the state somehow never made it into the hands of the poor, but comandantes got rich. When a decade of economic decline forced an internationally monitored election in 1990, opposition candidate Violeta Chamorro won the presidency. But the heavily armed comandantes refused to return their loot to its rightful owners. Critics dubbed it “la piñata.” Mr. Ortega has since returned to power.

DeBlasio, who honeymooned in Cuba, apparently believes “advances in literacy and health care” justify all of this.

Nicaragua canal: Plan, nothing more

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The Economist weighs in,
Nicaragua’s proposed canal
A man, a plan—and little else
Yet again, Nicaraguans are letting their longing for a trans-oceanic canal get the better of them

Since June, when the Sandinista-stuffed National Assembly rubber-stamped a law granting a 50-year concession, renewable up to 100 years, to Mr Wang’s HKND Group, many have wondered whether the 40-year-old telecoms boss is a crank. In August the Associated Press reported that in many countries, including Nicaragua, where he has claimed to be doing business, his companies are barely noticeable. Although both Mr Wang and President Daniel Ortega insist that the project will go ahead, people who have worked with HKND say it has more of an option to build than an obligation. In effect, the cost of the option is the tens of millions of dollars that Mr Wang is expected to pay from his own pocket to find out which route is most physically and financially feasible.

Hence ERM, a British consultancy, is looking at the environmental and social impact of digging a deep channel through Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest in Latin America, and carving through ancestral indigenous lands. Australian engineers are pondering how to remove millions of truckloads of dirt in a country with no large excavators, let alone nearby roads or railways. McKinsey, a business consultancy, is said to be working out how the project could make enough money to entice sovereign-wealth funds to bankroll it.

Good luck with that; all they have is dubious plans and abundant unknowns.

Again: the Chinese government are not involved in this; only Wang Jing – and he and Ortega already made a $300million sweet deal.

I’ve been saying all along, Don’t be the next Lord Crawley.

The last Monday in September Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 30th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina’s official statistics
Warranting attention

Rising Peronist ready to challenge Fernández

BOLIVIA
Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

BRAZIL
Rousseff returns to social media to campaign for reelection

COLOMBIA
Pablo Escobar, and Alvaro Uribe´s political suicide

CUBA

Cuban exile, Pedro Pan kid: from orphanage to Denver mayor’s office

Cuba to Let Its Athletes Play Professionally Abroad
In an effort to thwart the wave of top baseball players defecting to the U.S., Cuba will allow its athletes to play abroad as professionals, breaking with a decades-old policy.

Prominent dissidents arrested on 12th Sunday in a row of repression in Cuba

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Experts fear crisis over ruling stripping citizenship from Haitian-Dominicans

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
It’s hard to be green
Correa gets away with a U-turn

MEXICO
Those migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border? They’re southbound

With push on agenda, Mexican president meets resistance
Plans to increase taxes on the rich and open up the state oil company upset people on the left and right.

Humor:
Paco Almaraz (in Spanish)

NICARAGUA
De Blasio ignored Nicaragua anti-Semitism

New York City’s Next Mayor: A Stealth Socialist Who Loved Sandinista Nicaragua and Castro’s Cuba

PANAMA
Panama Canal to Cut U.S.-Asia LPG Shipping Costs as Fleet Grows

PERU
Peru ‘drugs mules’ Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid home for Christmas if they shop gang

The pair, both 20, have been told they could be released from custody in less than two months if they agree to help Peruvian authorities find and jail the criminal gang behind the £1.5m cocaine pick-up.

PUERTO RICO
Life in Puerto Rico Becomes Costlier Amid Crisis

VENEZUELA
Who is Luis Oberto?

It Was The Worst Of Times For Nicolas Maduro This Week

Venezuela’s economy
Maduro’s balancing act
Adjustment and reform are economically essential but politically impossible

Venezuela jail search yields arsenalInmates at Sabaneta jail protest against being transferred on 18 September 2013
Guards searching a jail in Venezuela where 16 inmates were killed in fighting two weeks ago find tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The week’s posts and podcast:
Dominican Republic: Haitians stripped of citizenship

Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos

Venezuela: Did anyone miss Maduro at the UN?

Assange’s not going to like Ecuador

Why has Brazil stagnated?

Colombia: Legalizing the FARC

Colombia: Time to make the donuts!

Argentina: Cristina trusts Iran

Cuba: Putinesca

Maduro goes to China

Podcast:
Venezuela & other US-Latin America stories

UPDATE:
Linked by Instapundit. Thank you! And, Instapundit readers, every Monday is Carnival of Latin America & the Caribbean day!


The Renault 4 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 16th, 2013

LatinAmerToday’s Carnival is dedicated to the Argentina Renault 4 Motor Club, which granted Pope Francis a lifetime membership, for his fondness for the “roadrunners”, as the fans call their little cars.

Over in Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro fell off his bike. The clueless anchorwoman went on reading the scripted propaganda as if nothing had happened. She probably didn’t even have a livefeed for the event, demonstrating it’s all about the narrative,

For more serious news,

BELIZE
See the Cathedral of Human Sacrifices in the Cave of the Crystal Maiden

BRAZIL
Reporter Glenn Greenwald to testify at Brazil spy probe
A parliamentary commission in Brazil investigating spying allegations says the journalist Glenn Greenwald will be invited to testify next week.

CHILE
David and Daniel (h/t American Digest)

Forty years after the coup and the IACHR

COLOMBIA
Colombia Implements Hotel Guest Immigration Tracking Program

Woman arrested with ‘cocaine bump’
A Canadian national is arrested in Bogota trying to board a flight to Toronto with a phony pregnant belly filled with cocaine, Colombian police say.

The US Embassy tweeted on its campaign to save endangered species,

CUBA
Makes you wonder what kinds of strings Vlad attached to his $800 million offer: Concrete Crypt for Communist Dreams: Cuba’s Unfinished Nuclear Power Plant

Lacking nuclear fuel and without the primary components installed, the plant sat in limbo until December 2000, when Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba. Putin offered Fidel Castro a belated $800 million to finish the first reactor. Despite Cuba’s reliance on imported oil for power, Castro declined. Project status: officially abandoned.

Amnesty International calls on Castro Kingdom to free Ivan Fernandez Depestre

ECUADOR
Chocolates From Ecuador
Until recently, Ecuadorean cacao growers had been cultivating low-grade cacao beans and selling them to foreign chocolate makers to process. The past few years have seen the emergence of local producers. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

EL SALVADOR
A U.S. Reward for Misrule in El Salvador The FMLN has made the country poorer and less free. Yet $227 million in American aid is coming.

GUATEMALA
Guatemalan bar attack leaves 11 people dead

HONDURAS
Honduras, A Bottomless Pit

MEXICO
Mexico captures third man linked to killing of U.S. border agent

MEXICAN SMUGGLER’S WILD RIDE: DRAGGED PASSENGER, RAMMED BORDER PATROL, CRASHED IN DITCH

NICARAGUA
Territorial disputes
A sea of troubles

NOTHING brings together domestic foes like an external enemy. So when President Juan Manuel Santos announced that Colombia would not heed a ruling last November by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that granted 70,000 sq km (27,000 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that Colombians have considered their own since 1928 to Nicaragua, even his harshest critics applauded.

PERU
Drug labs on Brazil-Peru border targeted in joint operation

PUERTO RICO
Analysis: Puerto Rico’s population drops as economy wobbles

The 4.9 million Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States as of 2011 outnumbered those on the island by more than 1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

VENEZUELA
“New Conferry” Chronicles (Corrected)

Venezuela: From crazy to insane

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Pope Francis, Renault 4 Club’s lifetime member

En español: El primer podcast de HACER

New book: Latin America in the Post-Chávez Era: The Security Threat to the United States

Colombia: Alvaro Uribe at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Argentina: SCOTUS to hear defaulted bonds case

Mexico: #EstamosHartosCNTE Fed up with the teachers’ union

Mexico: Bloomberg wants “sugary drinks” taxed

Venezuela: Can Chavismo last long?

Mexico: How the teachers’ union became so unpopular

Podcast:
Syria and Latin America reaction