Archive for the ‘Luis Fortuño’ Category

The $40/barrell oil Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Oil breaks $40 barrier for first time in six years, which is very important news for our hemisphere.

Menem vows to reveal evidence that could shed light on AMIA attack

The defence of Menem today requested the Federal Oral Court No. 2 (TOF 2), that is leading the investigation into the cover-up of the 1994 deadly attack, to have the Senate withdraw Menem’s state secrets privilege warning the release of the information “could affect” the interests of the Nation and “the breaking of peaceful coexistence” with other countries.

Argentineans Launch Petition against “Donald Trump” Wall with Paraguay
Locals Dry [sic] Infrastructure as Wasteful, Bad for Relations

Bolivian Police Drag Indigenous Protesters Out of Their Homes
Guaraní Pledge to Resist Evo’s Oil Exploration on Their Lands

Translation: Merkel reminds Rousseff that Germans want to get paid. Merkel calls for a free trade accord between the Europe Union and Mercosur. During the “surprise” visit,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Brazil’s government on Thursday to further open its markets to foreign companies, and said she saw an opportunity to reach a free-trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur trade bloc. Merkel is on a two-day visit to Brazil with a large delegation of government officials and representatives from German companies.

Study: Chile likely to draw from stabilization fund due to copper price drop

Colombia slashes gold holdings by two-thirds amid July rout

The reason for and timing of the move are not known, but it came as institutional and speculative investors pulled more cash en masse from commodities, ending a decade-long boom, as the stock market crash in China reignited concerns about demand from the world’s biggest consumer of industrial raw materials.

Obama Plays the Clinton Vietnam Card to Normalize Relations With Cuba, but Turns it On Its Head

Before restoring full diplomatic relations with Vietnam, President Clinton eased a majority of the economic sanctions. A mistake. However, by the time he did this, the Soviets were mostly gone from Vietnam; Vietnamese forces had pulled out from Cambodia and replaced with a UN peacekeeping force; and thousands of former South Vietnamese officials had been freed from political prisons and exiled to other nations including the United States.

What ultimately made it politically palatable for Clinton to remove sanctions was a 1993 Senate Select Committee report on POW matters that afforded Clinton the domestic political cover he needed to move forward to ease sanctions. Vietnam also started to return POW remains and allowed U.S. inspectors as part of the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting (JTF-FA) to visit various places throughout the country to investigate POW/MIA claims.

Ecuador Protests: Correa’s Oil Crisis, Policies Could Spell End Of Latin America Success Story

Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano roars back to life, locals speak of lava flow fears and damage to tourism

Prosecution requests impeachment of Guatemala president Otto Perez

IMF Considering Adjusting Some Measures Under Deal With Jamaica

International Monetary Fund (IMF’s) Mission Chief to Jamaica, Dr Uma Ramakrishnan says the fund is considering relaxing some of the targets under Jamaica’s economic support programme

Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco, Mexican who led search for mass graves found shot to death
Activist’s group had unearthed 129 bodies in Guerrero, where students went missing last year.

He worked for the politically active group called the Union of Towns and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (known as UPOEG)

Previously Deported Illegals Caught Smuggling Thousands of People Across Border

3-Time Deported Top Mexican Drug Trafficker Caught Illegally Re-Entering Texas

Investigation Lifts a Cloud Over President of Mexico
A seven-month conflict-of-interest investigation into the purchase of luxury homes by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s wife and his finance minister from a government contractor found no wrongdoing, Mexico’s comptroller said Friday.

Why am I not surprised? China’s Building a Huge Canal in Nicaragua, But We Couldn’t Find It

Turkey’s new direct connection to Panama may facilitate terrorist financing for Hamas

Turkey and Panama have no international trade to speak of, raising questions as to why, of the 28 countries not served by the airline, is Turkish Airlines expanding to Panama.

Likewise, New nonstop flight from Dubai to Panama a terrorist financiers’ dream? (h/t JC)

Financiers for Hezbollah and a number of other sanctioned Middle East terrorist groups must be jumping up and down for joy, for their jobs will become much easier. The amount of international trade between Panama and the Middle East is nominal, but the nonstop flights will greatly facilitate both illicit (i.e. money laundering) transactions, and terrorist financing operations.

Expect more of that if Obama’s Iran deal goes through.

Rogelio Livieres Plano, ousted bishop in Paraguay, dies at 69

The migrant nation
Urbanisation in Peru has brought citizenship but also a host of problems

Peruvian newspaper cancels cardinal column after papal ‘plagiarism’
Peruvian newspaper says it will not publish any more articles by Roman Catholic cardinal Luis Cipriani after papal plagiarism revelations

Now Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani has been unceremoniously dumped from his occasional column at El Comercio, Peru’s oldest privately-owned newspaper, after his writings were proved to include plagiarised words of popes.

Governor Luis Fortuño On The Lessons The US Must Learn From Puerto Rico

The former Governor of Puerto Rico explains that “bottom line, you can never tax yourself out of a hole.”

Hurricane Danny Has Begun Its Weakening; Drought Relief For Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico?

Good luck with that: Venezuelans Launch Mises Institute to Take Down ChavismoLibertarians Offer Ideological Cure to Economic Crisis

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua: Where’s the canal?

Argentina: Wheelchair tango

The Falklands: Pope Francis, what fresh hell can this be? UPDATED

Venezuela: Circling the drain

Somebody tell Al Sharpton Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens

Venezuela: Cuban doctors stuck in limbo, as the country collapses

Cuba: Air-travel, credit cards next . . . by executive action?

Menendez on Iran: Failure Theater, or not?

Cuba: “Who fears the billboard?”

“Culture is how we pass the time between hypocrisies.”

Brazil: Will Dilma get it?

Mexico: @Leon_Krauze looks at the big White House

Podcast: Cuba, marches in Brazil & other US-Latin America stories of the week

The foreign policy house of lies

Puerto Rico: Junk bond status

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Only about 1 percent of American municipalities have been given a junk rating by S&P:

Puerto Rico GO Bonds Inch Higher After S&P Downgrade
A Sign That Some Buyers Are Relieved To Have The Downgrade Behind Them

S&P on Tuesday lowered Puerto Rico’s general obligation bond rating to double-B-plus from triple-B-minus, stripping the island of its investment grade rating. The rating firm said it cut the rating because of Puerto Rico’s “reduced capacity” to borrow and the contraction in its economy in all but one year since 2006. It kept the island’s ratings on watch and warned of further cuts if the island is unable to raise money.

Puerto Rico has also been weighed down by large pension obligations, a 15% unemployment rate and big losses in the value of some of its debt. But the Puerto Rico government has been taking steps to bolster the economy and improve its fiscal outlook by overhauling pensions and raising taxes.

Despite the benign response to the downgrade, the cut adds pressure on Puerto Rico to shore up its finances with a near-term borrowing, analysts said. Puerto Rico, which has $70 billion of debt, has been able to put off borrowing in recent months, but its flexibility is fading, said Daniel Hanson, a credit analyst at Height Securities LLC.

Island officials have been planning a bond offering of some $2 billion in coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials have been weighing how to raise money with offerings backed by sales taxes or the island’s general fund, or a deal structured by hedge funds and other distressed investors who may demand yields near 10%.

[T]he yields it will have to pay of up to 10% could likely scare off investors and further reduce confidence in Puerto Rico’s finances.

Moody’s and Fitch are expected to be next with their downgrades.

The White House Says There Are No Plans To Bail Out Puerto Rico

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla is finally trying to cut the budget and reduce the deficit to $75 million, something he’s been avoiding, considering how his predecessor, Luis Fortuño, was not re-elected for doing just that.

To add to García Padilla’s woes, a misspelling of his name caused a flurry of tweets under the hashtag #GobiernoPandilla (gangster government), including the news that the administration-appointed telecommunications board (Junta Reglamentadora de Telecomunicaciones) granted contracts to partisans, and that the University of Puerto Rico’s administrators’ payroll increased by 35%:

Monumental payroll increase UPR for #GobiernoPandilla’s #FriendsOfTheHeart

No word as to whether García Padilla, commonly referred to as Agapito (for Alejandro GArcía PadIlla + “to“), has considered laying off his five relatives working for the government.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Argentina Runs Out of Other People’s Money
The demonstration in Buenos Aires this month was the largest since Argentines restored democracy in 1983.

In the second quarter, the economy contracted by 1.4%. The Buenos Aires-based think tank Foundation for Latin American Economic Research (known by its Spanish initials FIEL) is forecasting 2012 GDP growth of only 1.5%. Inflation is estimated by independent economists at almost 25% annually. As salaries are adjusted upward to compensate for the loss of purchasing power, workers are being pushed into higher tax brackets. Argentines traveling abroad now have to explain their plans to government bureaucrats if they want to buy hard currency.

Add these pocketbook issues to the rising rate of violent crime, recurring corruption scandals, increasing antidemocratic efforts to silence independent media outlets and pronouncements from Mrs. Kirchner’s inner circle that it wants to amend the constitution to allow her to run for a third term. The Kirchner government has also angered labor leaders by letting it be known that it plans to shift union control of hundreds of millions of dollars in health-care premiums to the government.

Turkey in November in Argentina

Software founder McAfee denies killing neighbor

Trickle-down diplomacy
Evo Morales tries to swap a stream for a piece of Chilean seafront

In sign of growing clout, Brazil’s corn helps hold up U.S. market

As the result of a 2009 WTO ruling, Brazil now receives about $17 million in monthly payments from U.S. taxpayers — money being used to advance the Brazilian cotton industry with research on best practices, pest management and other issues. The Obama administration agreed to the payments as an alternative to either curbing government support for U.S. cotton growers or having Brazil slap import taxes on American goods to compensate for the loss to its farmers.

Oil in Brazil
The perils of Petrobras
How Graça Foster plans to get Brazil’s oil giant back on track

Colombia Peace Talk Negotiators Meet Again

Students protest Costa Rica’s information crimes law

IKEA: No deep business contacts with Cuban suppliers
Test sofa sets were of such poor quality that no orders were placed, IKEA says.

Cuban health care
Nip and tuck in
Medicine is big business in Cuba

Can I Wake Up?

Reporters Without Borders condemns Castro regime’s increasing harassment of Cuban independent journalists

Los fabricantes de burbujas

Holding Salvadoran War Criminals Accountable: The Massacre at University of Central America, San Salvador, 1989

Mexico ex-mayor killed after surviving two attacks
The former mayor of a town in western Mexico, who had survived two earlier assassination attempts, has been beaten to death

Mexican Economy Slows on Weak Exports

Panama Canal’s $5 billion makeover could be boon for South Florida
The $5.25 billion makeover of this century-old engineering marvel could be a boon for South Florida.

Make this a Koki Day!

Puerto Rico Statehood: Luis Fortuño Pushes Bid To Become 51st State After Status Vote

The GREAT devaluation robbery coming to Venezuela

Of Virtual Ice Cream Plants And Ministers In The Chávez Revolution

Fake Venezuelan Olympians held
Ten Venezuelans who falsely claimed to be Olympic weightlifters are arrested in Buenos Aires after scans show drug capsules in their stomachs.

The week’s posts:
More #post-election info: 28% Latino poverty rate

Argentina: Broadcast licenses, cable TV and fiber-optic Internet networks to be auctioned off

China & Brazil: Striking out while the iron’s hot

Belize: McAfee goes bonkers, UPDATED

The “six more years of Hugo Chavez” Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 8th, 2012

The president and the potbangers
Times are getting tougher for Cristina Fernández, but she is not beaten yet

Wall Street Billionaire Battles Argentina, Has Ship Detained Over $1.6B Bond

Brazil judges split on Lula aide
Supreme Court judges delivering their findings on a big corruption case disagree whether former chief of staff Jose Dirceu led scheme to buy opposition support.

Vigil Held on Carandiru Massacre Anniversary

Slow-Burning Challenge to Chile on Easter Island

Colombian President in Recovery

Colombian band Bomba Estéreo’s “El Alma Y El Cuerpo” (Soul and Body) Updated 2X

The sacrificial lamb has been shorn and taken to the altar. Immolation postponed.

Rumplestiltskin, Cuba detains anti-Castro blogger for 30 hours
Yoani Sanchez, a social media maven, and her husband are detained while en route to a politically sensitive trial.

Ecuador president says he’ll advise Tunisia on debt renegotiations

Gangs’ Truce Buys El Salvador a Tenuous Peace

Guatemalan Protests Leave At Least Six Dead as Police Clash with Demonstrator

Univision: Juarez drug cartel leader ‘El Diego’ was captured with Fast and Furious weapons

Ho hum: Mexican teenagers slaughtered with Fast and Furious guns

Mexico’s Cartels Increase Their Muscle In The U.S.

Makes One Think

Paraguay post-impeachment
A Liberal spring
The interim president enacts reforms

Peru rebels burn down helicopters at jungle airfield
Three helicopters were destroyed in the attack on the airfield in Cusco province
Left-wing Shining Path rebels in Peru have burned three helicopters used by a private gas consortium, officials say.

Humor: Estudiantes Universitarios Molestos Que No Pudieron Abuchear A Fortuño En Persona

Puerto Rican Identity, In and Out of Focus

The Other Election: Venezuela

Hugo Chavez Might Actually Lose His Election on Sunday

Venezuela’s presidential election
The autocrat and the ballot box
A united opposition and discontent over government mismanagement mean a genuine electoral challenge for Hugo Chávez

Chávez’s Foreign Fan Club
The Venezuelan election will have ramifications throughout Latin America and beyond

Will Hugo Chavez lose the election tomorrow?

How Hugo Chávez Became Irrelevant

Chávez’s Stamp Most Keenly Felt on Farms

The week’s posts:
Venezuela: “God’s timing is perfect”

#Venezuela: The results – it’s Chavez

#Venezuela election: Live coverage on line

Venezuela: Election results “between 9-10PM tonight”

Venezuela: Tupamaros threaten death to opposition

Watch now: @Univision’s Operation ‘Fast and Furious’: Arming the enemy (English subtitles, complete show)

Colombia: President Santos has prostate cancer

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Argentine Growth Halts as Fernandez Tightens Controls

Paypal suspends domestic transactions in Argentina
Paypal says that international transactions are still possible.
Paypal is to prevent users in Argentina from transferring money between their own accounts.

Argentina mints coin to commemorate Falklands war (h/t GoV)

Economic policy in Brazil
Sparking recovery
The president cuts taxes again

Nuestro Cine: Selling Democracy

Michelle Bachelet: Peace cannot be constructed without including women

White House staff involved in Cartagena brothel scandal?

JFK Tapes: New Insight Into White House Tensions During Cuban Missile Crisis

Cubans and Americans

Why Ecuador Is Sheltering Julian Assange
President Rafael Correa continues to follow the Hugo Chávez playbook

Private city in Honduras will have minimal taxes, government

Vallecito Resists, Satuye Lives! The Garífuna Resistance to Honduras’ Charter Cities (h/t DP)

Immigration Slows, Lowers Proportion of Latin Americans in US

Jamaica and Zimbabwe
Lovers’ tiff

Prisons in Latin America
A journey into hell
Far from being secure places of rehabilitation, too many of the region’s jails are violent incubators of crime. But there are some signs of change

President Obama Falsely Claims Fast and Furious Program “Begun Under the Previous Administration”

‘Fast and Furious’ Report Not the End of the Issa-Holder Battle
The chairman says an unprecedented level of cooperation, like that shown to the inspector general, could “perhaps eliminate the need for a protracted fight in the courts.”

IG: WH ‘Made it Impossible’ to Pursue Lead in Fast and Furious Probe

Nicaraguan lawmakers approve construction of refinery, pipeline

PDV Caribe, a unit of Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA, has a 51 percent stake in Albanisa, founded in Caracas on June 17, 2007, while Nicaraguan state oil firm Petronic holds the remaining 49 percent interest.

What could possibly go wrong?


Situación actual de la refinería de Amuay

Venezuelan “Amigos” Upset Over Chavez Ad

Jimmy Carter: Get Lost, Stop Meddling In Venezuela!

Puerto Rico: Would you like some fries with that?

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Governor Luis Fortuño, campaigning for re-election, lends a hand at Wendy’s in Cidra.

Linked by El Ñame. ¡Muchas gracias!

VIDEO: Luis Fortuño’s speech

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Every State That Elected GOP Governor in 2010 Saw Drop in Unemployment Rate

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Argentina will plant 22 percent less wheat this season


Brazil’s Crisis—and Opportunity
The breakdown of the customs union with Argentina could free it to seek better trade opportunities elsewhere.

Mystery of 500 penguins washed up on beach in Brazil
The bodies of more than 500 penguins have washed up on beaches in southern Brazil over the past week.

Corruption Case Roils Brazil
Allegations against political staff in imminent supreme court case raise concerns in ruling party.

The Remarkable Story of Chile’s Economic Renaissance, via Instapundit.

Chile child sex abuse to be investigated at 61 schools
Prosecutors in Chile are investigating about 60 schools in the capital, Santiago, over allegations that pupils were sexually abused.

Breaking: Sources from Cuba report Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas killed

No More Statues of Che

Silicone Island

Ecuadorian banks shield Iran’s money

Ecuador’s embassy hires PR firm

Jamaica at 50
On your marks, get set…oh
Half a century after Jamaica’s independence from Britain, its economy is struggling to get out of the starting blocks
(subscription only)

Latin America’s new authoritarians

More than two decades after Latin America’s last right-wing dictatorships dissolved, a new kind of authoritarian leader is rising in several countries: democratically elected presidents who are ruling in increasingly undemocratic ways.

Unlike the iron-fisted juntas of a generation ago, these leaders do not assassinate opposition figures or declare martial law.

But in a handful of countries, charismatic populists are posing the most serious challenge to democratic institutions in Latin America since the 1980s, when rebel wars and dictators were the norm. In Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and other countries, leaders have amassed vast powers that they use to control courts while marginalizing their opponents and the media, human rights groups and analysts say.

Mexican president to US: You know, you guys should really review your gun laws

HSBC let drug gangs launder millions: First Barclays, now Britain’s biggest bank is shamed – and faces a £640million fine
HSBC moved huge sum from Mexico into the U.S. between 2007 and 2008

In Mexico, Gold Mines Beckon Once More

Fat And Furious: Obama Pushes Food Stamps In Mexico

Boeing Nears Aircraft Deals with Copa Airlines, Aeromexico and Gol.

Old article, but still a must-read, In the Party of God
Hezbollah sets up operations in South America and the United States.

Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands to partner, manage ocean resources

Puerto Rico Governor Signs Package For Tax Breaks Hoping To Lure Hollywood

CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER: Los tres misterios de Hugo Chávez

Read more here:

The week’s posts,
The taxman cometh, at Hot Air.

Silvio Canto’s podcast (auto start).

Ecuador to channel financial operations with Iran through third parties

Colombia: “What do you believe?”

The central-bank-grab Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

LatinAmerWelcome to this week’s Carnival. This week’s top story? After the pensions, Kirchner Grabs the Central Bank
Argentina’s monetary policy is now subject to the fiscal demands of the government. Citizens can look forward to more inflation
The Strange Case of the American Physicist Jailed in Argentina

Argentina’s economy
Piggy bank
Rootling around for cash

Argentina’s Carlos Menem faces bombing trial
Carlos Menem was president at the time of the attack
Former Argentine President Carlos Menem is to stand trial for allegedly obstructing an investigation into an attack on a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires, officials have said.

Argentina threatens to sue banks helping Falklands oil explorers as trade war with Britain escalates
A group of British and American banks have been threatened with legal action by the Argentine government for advising and writing research reports about companies involved in the Falkland Islands’ £1.6bn oil industry.

How the U.S. Almost Betrayed Britain
Alexander Haig wanted Reagan to side with the Argentines over the Falklands, newly released papers show

São Paulo’s metro
Not yet fit for a metropolis
Traversing Brazil’s biggest city gets a bit easier

Brazil: Da Silva Says Treatment for Throat Cancer Was a Success

Chileans Mourn Death of Daniel Zamudio

Chile Earthquake 2012: 7.1 Magnitude Quake Strikes Country

Colombia: Attack Kills 36 Rebels

Colombia’s New Counterinsurgency Plan

CNBC Story Touches the Third Rail of U.S.-Cuba Policy, Property Claims


The Pope missed a great opportunity

Cuban dissidents under siege in Cuba while MSNBC’S MITCHELL PRAISES CUBA’S SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE

Elections in El Salvador and Belize
Separation of powers

Thirty years after the Falklands war
Short, victorious war
On April 2nd 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The war Britain fought to recover them still colours domestic politics

Falklands Rises as Explosive Issue, Again

Honduran authorities say at least 14 dead in prison fire following riot

Honduras Report and Photos, NYC Library Talk April 4, Miami Visit, Cuba, Haiti and Sudan, 74th Birthday (Yikes!)

Anti-Gun Groups Silent on Fast and Furious
Pressed by PJ Media, they refuse to condemn gun violence facilitated by the Obama administration
, via Silvio.


Mexico’s presidential election
The man to beat
As the presidential campaign officially begins, time is running out to catch up with Enrique Peña Nieto

Public advertising in Mexico
The government’s deafening loudspeaker

A Race to Satisfy World’s Hunger for Chocolate

Billions Lost In Tax-Refund Scam

Puerto Rico Names New Head of Police Department Amid Crime Wave, Scandals

Alejandro García Takes Lead in Puerto Rico Governor Elections: Poll

Thirteen percent of respondents said they would not vote in November and 12 percent were undecided.

Real Academia de la Lengua cita a la Constitución venezolana como ejemplo del mal uso del lenguaje

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez resumes Cuba cancer treatment, again.

Chavez Ready To Work His Magic On The Crime Problem

Venezuelan Struggle for Chavez Succession Breaks Into The Open, via Irish Spy.

Joel Hirst: Venezuela’s Political Prisoners

The week’s posts:
Carlos Eire on the Pope’s visit
Cuba: The Pope’s shameful trip UPDATE: Did Benedict see Chavez?
Cuba: Pope wants cooperation, protestor yells “down with Communism”
Air Force suspends Embraer contract pending investigation…
Pope now in Cuba, but will he visit Hugo?

Fortuño’s Plan to Energize Puerto Rico

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Mary O’Grady’s article in today’s WSJ, Fortuño’s Plan to Energize Puerto Rico
Tax cuts and regulatory reforms are increasing investment on the island
, nails it,

Mr. Fortuño says that he expects Washington to give him a carve-out for LNG tankers, but he doesn’t have it yet. He also says that a large part of the environmentalist push-back is political, suggesting to me that he ought to be more worried than he is. This kind of politics needs to preserve the status quo of the welfare state. And that implies blocking Mr. Fortuño’s development agenda no matter what it means to the poor.

Read the whole article.

Fortuño has made great progress, as he explained in this 2011 Reason interview,

Puerto Rico is now the second-most competitive economy in our hemisphere Latin America. [Correction: Puerto Rico is the second in Latin America, after Chile; fourth in our Hemisphere, after US, Canada and Chile, according to the 2010-11 Global Competitiveness Report, page 15.]

A huge problem, however, is the Puerto Rican mentality of dependence on the government: government jobs, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, welfare, Social Security, name it, the average Puerto Rican looks first to any of those and rarely, if ever, to self-employment or entrepreneurship, even when thousands of Dominicans and Haitians come to the island illegally to work off-the-books on their own.

As I was watching the film Runaway Slave last week, I kept thinking that Puerto Rico, in order to flourish, must get off the welfare state plantation.

Fortuño has his work cut out for him.