Archive for the ‘Luis Fortuño’ Category

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

LatinAmerARGENTINA
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

BELIZE
Software founder McAfee denies killing neighbor

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

BRAZIL
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
Colombia Peace Talk Negotiators Meet Again

COSTA RICA
Students protest Costa Rica’s information crimes law

CUBA
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

ECUADOR
Los fabricantes de burbujas

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

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

VENEZUELA
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

ARGENTINA
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
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

CHILE
Slow-Burning Challenge to Chile on Easter Island

COLOMBIA
Colombian President in Recovery

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

CUBA
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
Ecuador president says he’ll advise Tunisia on debt renegotiations

EL SALVADOR
Gangs’ Truce Buys El Salvador a Tenuous Peace

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

MEXICO
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.

PANAMA
Makes One Think

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

PERU
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.

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

Puerto Rican Identity, In and Out of Focus

VENEZUELA
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

LatinAmerARGENTINA
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)

BRAZIL
Economic policy in Brazil
Sparking recovery
The president cuts taxes again

CHILE
Nuestro Cine: Selling Democracy

COLOMBIA
Michelle Bachelet: Peace cannot be constructed without including women

White House staff involved in Cartagena brothel scandal?

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

Cubans and Americans

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

HONDURAS
Private city in Honduras will have minimal taxes, government

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

IMMIGRATION
Immigration Slows, Lowers Proportion of Latin Americans in US

JAMAICA
Jamaica and Zimbabwe
Lovers’ tiff

LATIN AMERICA
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

MEXICO
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

NICARAGUA
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?

PUERTO RICO

VENEZUELA
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.

UPDATE:
Linked by El Ñame. ¡Muchas gracias!

VIDEO: Luis Fortuño’s speech

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Related,
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

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina will plant 22 percent less wheat this season

BRAZIL

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.

CHILE
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.

CUBA
Breaking: Sources from Cuba report Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas killed

No More Statues of Che

Silicone Island

ECUADOR
Ecuadorian banks shield Iran’s money

Ecuador’s embassy hires PR firm

JAMAICA
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
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.

MEXICO
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

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

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

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


VENEZUELA
CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER: Los tres misterios de Hugo Chávez

Read more here: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2012/07/22/1255871/carlos-alberto-montaner-los-tres.html#storylink=cpy
THE PRESIDENT’S DENIAL OF VENEZUELA’S NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT: WILL THE U.S EVER GET IT RIGHT IN LATIN AMERICA?

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
ARGENTINA
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

BRAZIL
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

CHILE
Chileans Mourn Death of Daniel Zamudio

Chile Earthquake 2012: 7.1 Magnitude Quake Strikes Country

COLOMBIA
Colombia: Attack Kills 36 Rebels

Colombia’s New Counterinsurgency Plan

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

POPE BENEDICT 16 CONTINUES SHAMELESS APPEASEMENT OF CUBA’S ATHEIST TRYANTS

The Pope missed a great opportunity

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

EL SALVADOR
Elections in El Salvador and Belize
Separation of powers

FALKLAND ISLANDS
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

HONDURAS
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!)

MEXICO
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.

misLEDEing

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

PERU
A Race to Satisfy World’s Hunger for Chocolate

PUERTO RICO
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.

VENEZUELA
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.

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The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 5th, 2011

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentine Prostitutes Fight for Union

BRAZIL
Brazilian Senate approves bill that would require journalists to have a degree in journalism

Governance in the Amazon
Pará-statals
A plan to create two new states

Protecting Brazil’s forests
Fiddling while the Amazon burns
Keeping the world’s biggest forest standing depends on greens, Amerindians and enlightened farmers working together—if lawmakers let them

CHILE
Chilean Student Protesters Vow to Continue Marches

Community TV, radio under attack in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia uncovers huge ‘phantom pupil’ subsidies scam
Colombia’s government has been paying out huge amounts in education subsidies for some 180,000 students who were falsely enrolled, officials say.

CUBA
RUSSIA AND CUBA TO STRENGTHEN MILITARY COOPERATION, via Gates of Vienna

Dictated Hashtags

Nothing says random kindness and senseless beauty like Che

Alan Gross: The two-year anniversary of America’s forgotten hostage

HONDURAS
Suspensions, drug and polygraph tests for Honduran police

LATIN AMERICA
Latin America Strives to Become the Greenest Continent

MEXICO
Iran in Mexico and the Caribbean: Building a Strategic Trampoline towards the US

Is the PRI ready to privatize PEMEX?

Alleged Drug War Tactics Under Fire

Fast & Furious: Justice Dept. details how it got statements wrong
FBI Criminal Informant Complicit in Brian Terry’s Death (PJM Exclusive)
From multiple sources come shocking charges of deadly ineptitude and an FBI coverup in Fast and Furious

New Fast and Furious Memo Backs Up Whistleblower Testimony
BREAKING NEWS on Fast and Furious: Holder Sweats as More Lies Uncovered by Feb. 3rd Memo

PUERTO RICO
John Stossel interviews Governor Luis Fortuño,

URUGUAY
Uruguay identifies military torture victim Julio Castro

VENEZUELA
Foreign Policy top 100 thinkers of the year

¿Celacomió? Absolutamente não, meu amigo.

Did Venezuela Really Compensate Cemex For Only Half of What it Wanted?

The week’s posts,
Chilean-style retirement in the cards?
At Real Clear World, CELAC: Chavez’s Latest “Alternative”

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