Archive for the ‘Trinidad Tobago’ Category

The Uruguayan doobie Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 28th, 2013

LatinAmerTop news of the week: Even when president Jose Mujica insists it won’t all be party-time, Uruguay is now the first country to legalize the production and mass distribution of marijuana.

ARGENTINA
Argentina Captures One of its Leading Homegrown Narcos

Argentina appeals New York Judge Griesa’s order regarding banks’ disclosures
The Argentine government yesterday appealed an order by US Judge Thomas Griesa who asked some private banks to turn over information about Argentina’s assets abroad. The case had been started by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s NML Capital Ltd which is demanding in court full 100% payment of Argentine sovereign bonds face value.

Argentina Rivals Square Off
The important question isn’t whether the ruling Peronist movement will win, but which of its dueling factions will gain the upper hand in the run-up to presidential elections in 2015.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
Secret cable sent to US embassy in Argentina asks diplomats to find out how president handles stress

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Police Arrest 15 for Anti-Drug Agents’ Murders

BRAZIL
Brazil’s main city again rocked by riots and vandalism over transport facilities and costs

CHILE
Chile soldiers’ widows want Communist leader jailed
The widows of three Chilean soldiers have launched legal action against the country’s Communist Party leader.

COLOMBIA
Rights Activist Slain in Colombia

CUBA
Cuba’s currency
Double trouble

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy’s “Victory”?

Imprisoned couple Sonia Garro and Ramón Muñoz to stand ‘trial’ Nov. 1

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Worn-Out War on Chevron

Racketeering aside, the case also looks rather weak on its own merits. For starters, Texaco operated as a minority partner under state-owned Petroecuador when the pollution occurred, so it is difficult to argue the damage is all its doing. Through agreements in 1995 and 1998, the Ecuadorian government also freed the company of further liability following a $40 million cleanup. An arbitration panel in The Hague cited the government’s sign-off when it ruled last month that Ecuador’s lawsuit should have never proceeded in the first place.

Oil, Ecuador and The Economist
A volcano erupts
Rafael Correa lambasts us and “the empire of capital”

Ecuador Judge Says He Inflated Bribery Claims to Chevron

Ecuador vs Chevron:
Donziger: from Hans Solo to Darth Vader

HAITI
Arrest of Haiti government critic triggers protests

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Economic problems in Honduras

JAMAICA
‘Cool Runnings’ 2? Jamaican bobsled team aims for Sochi Olympics

MEXICO
How Mexico’s EPR Insurgents Have Changed Course
Government sources have linked one of Mexico’s most prominent guerrilla organizations to a series of recent social protests

Paco Almaraz is having Obama burnout (in Spanish),

PANAMA
Panama Says It Will Release Most From Ship to North Korea

PARAGUAY
Paraguay leader’s son arrested [in Miami] after Bal Harbour party guest is punched

PUERTO RICO
Are There Puerto Rico Bonds in Your Muni Fund?
You may own Puerto Rico’s troubled bonds, popular for their high yields and special tax benefits, without even knowing it.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Gangs Are the New Law in Urban Trinidad & Tobago

VENEZUELA
Chavista Freddy Bernal calls for investigation of Derwick Associates

The week’s posts and podcast:
Bolivia: What the “Bolivarian revolution” means, in practice

Venezuela: The ministry of Supreme Happiness

Is Brazil ready for the World Cup?

Remembering the invasion of Grenada

Mexico: Clown union disavows killing

Ecuador: Chevron racketeering trial roundup – the corrupt judge

Uruguay: The dollar doobie

Mexico: Don’t write off the Zetas

Ecuador: Who’s Financing the Pollution-Liability Suit Against Chevron?

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

Mexico: Is Peña Nieto backtracking?

Celia Google day

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Princeton:

The Syrian news Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 9th, 2013

LatinAmerEveryone’s talking about Syria, but what does it have to do with Latin America? This:
Iran, Cuba warn of fallout of Syria attack
Iran and Cuba have expressed concerns about the consequences of any foreign military action against Syria, stressing a political approach to resolve the crisis in the Arab country.
(h/t Capitol Hill Cubans)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla expressed their deep reservations about the threats of military action against Syria in a telephone conversation on Wednesday.

Iran and Cuba: Chummy enough to do joint conference calls on behalf of Assad, no less.

Here’s looking at you, kid,

Meanwhile, Syrian Refugees Flock To Latin America As World Ponders Taking Action Against Assad

ARGENTINA
‘Dirty War’ judge Romano extradited to Argentina
A former Argentine judge has been extradited to face charges of human rights abuses during the 1976-1983 military rule.

BOLIVIA
Andres Oppenheimer: Authoritarian leaders breed corruption
What’s most amazing about the arrest in Miami of Bolivia’s top anti-corruption police official, caught on tape extorting a bribe from a well-known businessman, was that hardly anybody was surprised by the news.

BRAZIL
Brazil’s Independence Day Marked By Widespread Protests

Political corruption in Brazil
Lawmaker behind bars

CHILE
Chile court admits omissions during dictatorship

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s peace talks
To the edge and back again
A hiccup serves to confirm that the government and the FARC are making progress

The week Santos lost Colombia

CUBA
Grounded TV Marti plane a monument to the limits of American austerity

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Vatican Abruptly Removes Dominican Republic Envoy

ECUADOR
Ecuador writes off ill-fated satellite

MEXICO
Mexico Set to Unveil Tax-Code Overhaul
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to introduce Sunday a wide-reaching proposal that seeks to boost federal tax revenue, a move that could prove politically complicated in a slowing economy.

Capture of a Mexican drug lord
Got Ugly Betty. Now get Shorty

PUERTO RICO
Fortuño: Puerto Ricans In U.S. Shouldn’t Have A Say On Statehood, But Congress Needs To Act

57 Undocumented Migrants Detained in Puerto Rico

TRINIDAD
Venezuela Reaches Gas Deal with Trinidad

VENEZUELA
SIBCI’s Syria

La corrupción apaga a Venezuela
La abundancia de la naturaleza es superada por la infinita corrupción en los gobiernos que han administrado el país

Accountability Is A Dirty Word For Chavismo

The week’s posts and podcast:
Capital flight: from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic

Colombia: Santos OK with FARC not disarming

Brasil: Médico cubano relata exploração do trabalho na Ilha dos irmãos Castro

Spy vs Spy

Mexico: Senate approves education reform

Colombia: Santos’s approval plummets

NSA spying: Mexico & Brazil not amused UPDATED

Mexico: Will the teachers imperil reforms?

Podcast:
US-LatAm stories of the week


Roundup: More on Iran in Latin America

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Following up on yesterday’s post on Iran’s infiltration in Latin America,


Demonstrators holding photos of the 85 people who died in the 1994 AMIA bombing

BBC: Iran ‘in Latin America terror plot’ – Argentina prosecutor
An Argentine prosecutor has accused Iran of trying to infiltrate countries in Latin America to sponsor and carry out “terrorist activities”.

AP: Argentine Prosecutor: Iran Infiltrating Continent

NYT: Prosecutor in Argentina Sees Iranian Plot in Latin America

In his report, Mr. Nisman contended that the 1994 bombing was not an isolated event. “It has to be investigated as a segment in a larger sequence,” he said in a report summary, pointing to parallels with the case of two Guyanese men convicted in 2010 of conspiring to attack Kennedy International Airport in New York.

In that case, a former Guyanese government official, Abdul Kadir, opened himself to a claim by prosecutors in New York that he secretly worked for years as a spy for Iran when he said during cross-examination that he had drafted regular reports to Iran’s ambassador in Venezuela on plans to infiltrate Guyana’s military and police. The plot to attack the airport did not advance beyond the conceptual stage.

Mr. Nisman, who has investigated the bombing since 2005, suggested that “criminal plans” by Iran could be under development in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

And let’s not forget the direct flights fron Tehran to Caracas.

WSJ: Iran in America’s Backyard
Remember that botched attempt to blow up John F. Kennedy airport in 2007?

Connecting the dots, Mr. Nisman found that one of the Iranian agents in the plan to incinerate JFK—Guyanese citizen Abdul Kadir—had a “close relationship and hierarchical subordination” to Rabbini. But Kadir’s activities were supported from other countries as well. He “was very important to the plot, not only because he was a successful leader, but also due to his deeply rooted connections with Iran and its embassy in Venezuela.” And he was active in countries throughout the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago; Dominica; Barbados; Antigua and Barbuda; Surinam; and Grenada. “His activity as an Iranian leader allowed him to establish and strengthen relations with other regional Islamic leaders and by 1998 he was the representative of the Secretariat of the Caribbean Islamic Movement.”

It is unlikely that either Kadir or Rabbani would have gotten as far as they did without the use of a seemingly benign activity to shield them. “The dual use of institutions controlled by the Iranian Regime, the cultural, religious and propagation activities conducted by its agents abroad and the radical indoctrination of its supporters” become operational with “the construction of intelligence stations,” the summary explains. These have “the capability to provide logistic, economic and operative support to terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.”

Telegraph (h/t Gates of Vienna): Argentine prosecutor accuses Iran of establishing Latin America terrorist networks
An Argentine prosecutor accused Iran on Wednesday of establishing terrorist networks in Latin America dating back to the 1980s and said he would send his findings to courts in the affected countries.

The Economist, back in January: Argentine-Iranian relations
A pact with the devil?

US State Department: Country Reports on Terrorism 2012


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 1st, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner rips British rule of the Falklands in Twitter tirade

A Bit of 1984: Biometriics Used in #Argentina Today (h/t McNorman).

BRAZIL
China and Brazil sign $30bn currency swap agreement
China and Brazil have signed a currency swap deal, designed to safeguard against future global financial crises.

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon up 26 pct, via Gates of Vienna

Rio 2016 stadium escapes demolition
The Joao Havelange stadium, which was due to host the Rio 2016 Olympics, will not be demolished, despite structural problems that led to its closure.

CHILE
Chile ex-president Bachelet to run for re-election

Students and police clash in Chile
Thousands of Chilean students clash with police on the streets of the capital, Santiago, during a protest calling for education reforms.

COLOMBIA
Colombia Kills Leader of ELN Guerrilla Group During Military Operation, Omar,

The deceased ELN leader was a member of the guerrilla group for 17 years and was purportedly heavily involved in the group’s extortion racket and cocaine production.

CUBA
Cuban Bullies at the U.N.
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady
Cuba’s military dictatorship tries—and fails–to put the kibosh on dissident Yoani Sánchez’s press conference at the U.N.

Eating a cable: Internet access still elusive in the island – by Yoani Sánchez

Cuba Harbors and Supports Terrorists. It Will Remain on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List. End of Story.

The State of Cuba in 2013

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Barack Obama called ‘a hypocrite and a coward’ over Falklands betrayal – BBC audience applauds

IMMIGRATION
A Bleak Picture
Employment among U.S. Citizens in States Represented by Gang of Eight

Bill Whittle,

“Imagine a country where not only are the borders secured by armed guards, but once you entered the country, if you even spoke about politics — at all — if you even mentioned anything politically, you would be deported. Imagine a country where everyone is required to be tracked all the time. Where all of these immigrants are constantly monitored. Imagine where the idea of immigrants even having a word on the internal politics of a country would be enough to get them deported.”

“I can imagine a country like that. That country is Mexico.”

LATIN AMERICA
HACER’s News Highlights of the week

Latins Rally to Restore Human Rights Panel

MEXICO
Growing Population Of Muslims Calling Tijuana Home, via Gates of Vienna

Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms
One hundred days of solidarity
(VIDEO STARTS RIGHT AWAY)

PERU
Peru intensifies currency fight

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Creates Tax Shelters in Appeal to the Rich

TRINIDAD
Trinidad’s gov’t official subject of US criminal probe
National Security Minister Jack Warner is the subject of a U.S. criminal probe, a local newspaper in the twin-island nation reported.

VENEZUELA
Hugo Chavez’s Legacy of Conflict and Propaganda
What the death of Chavez means for Venezuela and the U.S.

Rest in Peace Hugo Chávez, Says a Mural in Paris Filled with Portraits of Venezuela’s Caudillo

MARK FALCOFF: VENEZUELA’S FORTHCOMING ELECTIONS

Is SICAD A Radical Change In How The Economy Is Managed??

The week’s posts:
Peru’s definitely not Cyprus

BBC’s Book of the Week: Comandante

Obama heading to Mexico and Costa Rica

Meanwhile, over in the country with the strictest gun control laws in our hemisphere,

Venezuela: Maduro vs Lechuga

The fighting cholitas hit the mainstream

Hezbollah agent issued Venezuelan diplomatic passport

Argentina: Feed a regime, starve a media


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 15th, 2012

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentine Death Spiral Watch

Argentine leader defies her critics

Cristina Fernandez ruffling feathers with the Falklands to mask domestic failings
Several British newspapers have turned their eyes on Argentina arguing that the challenging situation faced by President Cristina Fernandez both domestically and internationally is making her increasingly take advantage of the Falkland Islands dispute as a smokescreen to mask domestic failings.

Ghana court refuses to free Argentine warship Libertad
A Ghanaian court has refused to free an Argentine warship seized in a debt dispute involving the South American nation’s creditors.
At The Economist, Argentina’s debt default
Caught napping
Hold-out creditors seize an Argentine ship in Ghana
. WSJ: Chasing Deadbeat Argentina
A U.S. investor tries to get its money back from Buenos Aires.

BRAZIL
Barbosa made first black head of Brazil’s Supreme Court

Massive Corruption Scandal Is Victory for Brazilian Courts, via Instapundit.

Brazilian politics
Local action
Voters ignore the Workers’ Party’s troubles

Shots fired as police swoop 10 minutes before 100 followers of Brazilian doomsday cult were due to commit mass suicide over end of the world
Authorities believed the group were preparing to drink soup laced with poison
They had barricaded themselves inside house after leader convinced them apocalypse would happen at 8pm yesterday
Luis Pereira dos Santos held as ‘toxic’ fruit tub is found… he claimed angel told him when the world would end
Police removed 19 children after ‘credible’ information about suicide pact
(h/t GoV)

CAYMAN ISLANDS
Is Cayman committing economic suicide? (H/T Instapundit)

CHILE
Entrepreneurs in Latin America
The lure of Chilecon Valley
As America shuts out immigrant entrepreneurs, Chile welcomes them

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Military to Play Crucial Role in Peace Talks

CUBA
Cuba Almost Became a Nuclear Power in 1962
The scariest moment in history was even scarier than we thought.

Three Elections, One Country

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominicans march against proposed tax hikes

ECUADOR
High Court Rejects Chevron Challenge in Ecuador Case

ENERGY
Which Biofuels Hold the Most Promise for the Future – Interview with Jim Lane, along with US Imports from Venezuela of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products, from K.

LATIN AMERICA
Gini back in the bottle
An unequal continent is becoming less so

NICARAGUA
Nicaraguan businessman sentenced to 30 years on drug charges

PANAMA
Message for US Citizens – US Ambassador to hold Town Hall in Panama City

PERU
Journalist working for human rights commission in Peru is threatened and extorted

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico drops plan to build natural gas pipeline that was opposed by many islanders

TRINIDAD
Jack Warner bans Trinidad and Tobago murder figures
Police in Trinidad and Tobago have been ordered to stop releasing murder statistics.

VENEZUELA
Hugo Chávez accused of spying on rival in runup to presidential election

Impacts of the Venezuelan Crude Oil Production Loss

Venezuela’s presidential election
Stuck with him
After a surprisingly comfortable re-election, Hugo Chávez will have to surmount a shaky economy and the risk his cancer will return

Venezuela’s Chavez hails ‘perfect’ democracy, mocks tyrant image
* Socialist leader re-elected with 55 pct of vote
* Opposition’s Henrique Capriles contemplates future
* Bonds fall on investor gloom at Chavez victory

Venezuela’s Farce Election

Chavez’s Win Proves ‘Elected Autocrat’ Isn’t an Oxymoron

El club de admiradores de Chávez
Las elecciones en Venezuela tendrán repercusiones en toda América Latina y aun más allá

Chávez Taps His Possible Successor

The Devil, The Future, The Past and The Present

Otto Reich: What Happened in Venezuela?

NORIEGA: Chavez victory may be short-lived
Democratic base motivated against ailing dictator

Jaime Bayly’s take (in Spanish),

The week’s posts and podcast,
Sin Zeta*

Venezuela: How Chavez won

Venezuela: Election aftermath

Podcast: Silvio Canto‘s

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 21st, 2012

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina ex-human rights official charged with embezzlement
A former top official with one of Argentina’s leading human rights movements has been charged with embezzlement.

UNC professor, jailed in Argentina, has his defenders

BRAZIL
Brazil’s economy
A bull diminished
The economy has slowed, but there are still opportunities around

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Ecopetrol Tops Petrobras As Biggest Latin Company -Study

Colombia to send 50 percent more natural gas this year to Venezuela

Political violence in Colombia
A blast from the political past

Twitter wars: Uribe vs Santos, in Spanish,

CUBA
Cuba after Hugo Chávez

Foreign investment in Cuba
Come and see my villa
The regime has taken to locking up businessmen

Repression, beatings, arrests, and imprisonment of opposition continue

Cuban independent journalist awaits deportation back to his hometown

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic Holds Presidential Election

HAITI
Never the gentleman, ‘Pay the f*** up!’ Sean Penn turns the air blue in Cannes with expletive-ridden plea at Haiti Relief benefit

HONDURAS
Probe underway in remote area of Honduras after gunfight involving U.S. drug agents

Honduras prisoners riot at jail in San Pedro Sula
Officials in Honduras say inmates have taken control of a prison in the city of San Pedro Sula

MEXICO
Van Jones rips Holder over Operation Fast and Furious: ‘We just don’t value all life the same’

Mexico’s Drug War: 50,000 Dead in 6 Years

Mexico’s drug war
Storm clouds with silver linings
A series of choreographed horrors belies an overall drop in killings

Obituary:
Carlos Fuentes, man of letters, died on May 15th, aged 83

PUERTO RICO
Supreme Court turns away suit seeking Puerto Rico congressional vote

TRINIDAD
Jihad in Trinidad

VENEZUELA
Chávez: Radicalizando la Revolución

The Little Known Story Of How ExxonMobil Seized $300 Million From Hugo Chavez

VIRGIN ISLANDS
Alleged blood diamond financiers tied to Obama Virgin Islands bundler

The week’s posts:
The College for Defense of the Bolivarian Alternative of the America: Latin America’s school for dictators

Venezuela: Debt Falls as Chávez Fails to Back Down

Border security is national security


The fake coup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. The big story of the week: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa consolidates his power after coreographing a coup. Mary O’Grady writes about What Really Happened in Ecuador
Eyewitnesses deny police kidnapped the president, and there’s no evidence a coup was in the making.

Another big story, Brazil’s election did not give Dilma Rousseff a 50% majority, so there will be a runoff in four weeks.

ARGENTINA
¿Instituciones? Bien, gracias

Argentina gives asylum to alleged Chilean assassin

BOLIVIA
“Planeta Muerto, Venceremos”

BRAZIL
In Brazil, student militants become presidential candidates
The Brazilian president’s hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, may be able to win in the first round. José Serra, former governor of Sao Paulo, has been polling second in a nine-candidate field.

Lula’s legacy
Life is better for Brazilians than it was eight years ago. But Lula is leaving unsolved problems for his chosen successor, who lacks his personal magnetism

Happy Brazil

COLOMBIA
FBI Raids Home of RNC Leftist Activist As Part of Terrorism Investigation

Security in Colombia
The beginning of the end
Demise of the FARC’s top killer

Procuraduría destituye a Piedad Córdoba por colaborar con la Farc

Colombia, Mexico recover from landslide

CUBA
Drilling Plans Off Cuba Stir Fears of Impact on Gulf

Fidel and the Jews
What should we make of Castro’s charm offensive?

The Kennedy-Nixon Debates: JFK Lied, Cubans Died h/t Dodgeblogium

Cuba’s Adversary Foreign Intelligence: The Threat

ECUADOR
At The Guardian: Ecuador police mutiny censorship

After declaring a state of emergency, the country’s president, Rafael Correa, ordered TV and radio stations to interrupt their programming to carry state news broadcasts.

It meant that citizens were unable to receive balanced information from an independent media at a critical time, said Freddy Barros, editor-in-chief with the TV station Ecuavisa.

At least 22 reporters and photojournalists were attacked, threatened, or harassed as they covered the police rebellion, according to the Quito-based group press freedom group Fundamedios.

Ecuador: censura mediática y falso golpe

Back in charge

CRISIS EN ECUADOR – DEVELOPING…
El Presidente de Ecuador Acusa a la Oposición de Conspirar
Para Derrocarlo – Amenaza con Disolver el Parlamento.

Gobierno de Ecuador declaró estado de excepción por intento de golpe
Chávez alerta a Unasur por intento de golpe de Estado a Rafael Correa


GUATEMALA

U.S. apologizes for Guatemala STD experiments
Government researchers infected patients with syphilis, gonorrhea without their consent in the 1940s

JAMAICA
Tropical Storm Nicole leaves 5 dead, 14 missing in Jamaica
Jamaican authorities said Tropical Storm Nicole killed five people in the country while more than a dozen remain missing.

MEXICO
U.S. Worsens Mexican Violence by Returning Criminal Aliens to Border Cities, Mayors Say

Measuring Mexico’s economy
Getting bigger
National accounts in the Wal-Mart era

Mexico building fence to keep out…illegal aliens

Mexican Pirates’ Killing of American Tourist Creates Outrage

Mexico Boom Biggest in Americas as Drug Criminals Lose to Nafta

PERU
A political tremor brewing in Peru

Peru’s capital set to have its first female mayor

TRINIDAD

Murder charge for leader of Trinidad Islamic group


VENEZUELA

Venezuela Votes against Chavez, h/t Dodgeblogium

DESPUES DEL 26 DE SEPTIEMBRE

Chavez Meets Defeat

World Elections: the Venezuelan election gets great analysis elsewhere

Chavez Announces Offensive Against Landlordism, again.

Chavez expropriated land was founded by Canarian

Commander-President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that his government expropriated 250. 000 hectares of land during the month of October and expects the number to double until the end of the year, and continue throughout 2011.

This week’s posts and podcasts:
Rousseff going to runoff after Brazil’s election
Spotlight on Brazil’s election
#Ecuador: Coup or warning? VIDEO
In today’s podcast: Killer Facts About Venezuela’s Parliamentary Elections
Don’t Rule Out Chavez Chicanery
Stoned to death… in Mexico?

At Real Clear World:
Chavez Loses National Assembly Super-Majority

23238

The “not MY fault” angle

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

I have an article on the Festivus Summit of the Americas coming up at Real Clear World, but in the meantime, I’m glad Gay Patriot West and William Jacobson noticed something a friend and I were talking about yesterday:

Bloomberg news reports the following statement by Barack Obama in his speech at the Summit of the Americas, after Daniel Ortega had spent an hour ripping into the U.S. (emphasis mine):
“You can’t blame the U.S. for every problem in this hemisphere,”Obama said. “I am very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”

I’m not going to focus on the refusal to defend his country, or to give it back to the suppressors of freedom such as Chavez and Ortega. Many others are proving that point.

The words which jumped out at me were Obama’s hope that he wouldn’t be blamed “for things that happened when I was three months old.” That phrase is similar to the analysis Obama used to excuse his friendship, and political coordination early in his career, with domestic terrorist bomber William Ayers. Obama excused the relationship because Ayers’ crimes were committed when Obama was just eight years old (emphasis mine):

“Mr. Ayers is somebody who lives in Chicago. He’s a professor at the University of Chicago, Illinois, teaches education, and he engaged in these despicable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old. I served on a board with him.”

There is something truly bizarre about this reasoning. If something happened when Obama was not of a certain age (we know it is at least eight years old, although we don’t know where the line is drawn) then he accepts no responsibility. That is fine if one is talking about personal responsibility only. Obama is no more responsible on a personal level for what others did, be it yesterday or 30 years ago, than anyone else.

But Obama no longer is “anyone else.” Obama is the President and bears the burden of dealing with accusations and attacks on this country related to events which did not take place on his watch.

If Obama agreed with the attacks by Ortega, Chavez and others, then Obama should have had the guts to say so, and dealt with the domestic consequences. That would have been brave. If Obama didn’t agree, then he should have had the guts to stand up for his country then and there, in front of the tyrants. That would have been even braver.

The one option no longer available to President Obama is to hide behind his narcissistic view of his own personal responsibility. That is cowardly. The presidency is bigger than the person, and only a big person realizes and accepts that fact.

The reaction was similar when Chavez handed Obama the Marxist screed, The Open Veins of Latin America. Obama’s reaction was

When a reporter asked Obama what he thought of the book Chavez gave him, the president replied: “I thought it was one of Chavez’ books. I was going to give him one of mine.”

That comment shows two things,
a. Obama’s neophyte status allowed him to miss Chavez’s subtext, which was that of showing Obama “How ignorant are you” by gifting him this book in Spanish.
and b. Obama looking at the exchange in narcissistic terms.

But hey, Obama wasn’t born when the deeds mentioned in the book were taking place, so he’s in the clear, as far as he’s concerned.

UPDATE
Via Larwyn, Can We Get Beyond Race?

A common denominator with Obama’s easy emphasis on racial divides—when juxtaposed to past evocation abroad of his Muslim sensitivities and middle name, serial apologies about American sins and pathologies, and constant denunciation of his predecessor—is a sense that the past tradition of America is culpable and therefore not his own—made explicit in his response to Daniel Ortega’s diatribe that he was just three months old during the Bay of Pigs troubles, and by extension not responsible for American transgressions. Again, separately all these new approaches are in themselves understandable, but in the aggregate they form a disturbing pattern seen earlier with the off-handed remarks about “typical white person,” the stereotyping of rural Pennsylvanians along lines of class and race, and the 20-year long patronage of a clearly racist preacher.

At some point, Obama needs to take a hiatus from this racialist identification, and, like a Sec. Condoleezza Rice, transcend race, let achievements and policies speak for themselves, and thus rise or fall on the content of his own character.

What was I doing in 2004?

Ignorance, or indifference? UPDATED

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

UPDATE
A handshake a day!

Saturday’s handshake, and a book:

oclibro18

Noticias 24 reports that Chavez gave Obama a book, Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Latin America’s Open Veins) by Uruguayan Marxist writer Eduardo Galeano. Obama got up and shook hands again, and again.

oclibro183

Update, 12:45PM, IT GETS WORSE
Change! Obama Refuses to Defend US From Marxist Tirade at Summit of Americas

Barack Obama refused to defend the United States today after a 50 minute-long tirade by Marxist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
Ortega blamed the US for the problems in the hemisphere.
Obama sat silent during the speech and later would not comment on the tirade.

Fox News has more on the president’s disgraceful lack of … spine.

Yesterday’s handshake:

Obama, Chavez Shake Hands at Summit of the Americas
Venezuela quoted Chavez as saying, “I’d like to be your friend.”

SUMMIT/AMERICAS

President Obama made the first move to greet Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez

which was quickly put to use as a propaganda tool by the little toad:

but it was the acerbic and anti-American leader who beat Obama to the punch on the World Wide Web.

In a clear indication Chavez sought to leverage his brief encounter with Obama at the opening ceremonies of the fifth Summit of the Americas here, Chavez’s government Web site almost immediately posted a photo of the two leaders and a government-approved commentary in Spanish that read as follows:

“Before the Inaugural session of the 5th Summit of the Americas, the President of the United States approached President Chavez to greet him. They both drew their hands in a historic handshake after many years of tension under the Bush administration, when relations between Washington and Caracas had deteriorated. President Chavez expressed to Obama his desire for changes in the relations between the two countries. Eight years ago I greeted President Bush with this same hand. I’d like to be your friend.”

So here’s the story:
Pres. Obama
1. either doesn’t know that last March 7 Chavez was telling him to go wash his a**,

or 2. Obama knows, and doesn’t care. That would mean he’s copacetic with a double-handed handshake with a man who has sworn to bring down the dollar, and who has his political opposition on the run.

Either way, this was a photo op that Chavez is already putting to good use.

Get ready for a lot of victorious crowing on Chavez’s part when the US ends the Cuban embargo.

Others blogging on this story:
Memeorandum
The Latin Variation Of The Jihadist Fist Bump
Good News! Commie Chavez Wants to Be Friends With President Obama
Finally: Obama and Evil Clown grip and grin
President Obama warmly smiles, shakes hands with Hugo Chavez
At least he didn’t bow
How noble! How wonderful!
Change!… Dear Leader Greets Dear Leader
Obama Chavez Handshake, with Chavez’s speech at Doha.
Via Larwyn, Friend of Dictators, Associate of Evil
Obama warmly greets Comrade Chavez
The TOTUS: Down Trinidad and Tobago way
Shot of the day
Live From the Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
You don’t know where that hand has been!
Pals
Obama and Chavez
When Bammy met Hugo
Hugo Chavez’s gift to Obama: L.A. pillage

You can follow the Fifth Summit of the Americas Facebook Page

More links Chavez’s soul
Shaking hands with the devil
Obama laughs it up with Hugo Chavez
You are known by the company you keep
Is this mano-a-mano stroking getting out of hand?
Obama, the Mexican guns, and Latin America: blame the US first
McClatchy: Obama and Hugo Chavez “shared a friendly handshake”
WHY HE’S NOT MY PRESIDENT: Reason # 200
Inspiration on the Library Shelf
Say hello to my little friend
That’s Amore!

Obama to Lift Cuba Travel Restrictions

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Hot off the WaPo:

In advance of Pres. Obama’s trip to the Summit of the Americas (which I talked about in this morning’s podcast),
Obama to Lift Cuba Travel Restrictions

President Obama will announce today that he is lifting travel restrictions that block Cuban Americans from traveling to Cuba and will relax the rules governing what items can be sent to the island, a senior White House official said.

The decision does not lift the trade embargo on communist Cuba but eases the prohibitions that have restricted Cuban Americans from visiting their relatives and has limited what they can send back home.

The Obama administration believes,

A White House aide said the president believes that democratic change will come to the Cuban nation more quickly if the United States reaches out to the people of Cuba and their relatives in the United States.

That was the motive behind the EU’s lifting restrictions on Cuba last year.

It didn’t work.