Compare and contrast:
Full show here.
Faustam fortuna adiuvat
American and Latin American Politics, Society, and Culture.
Compare and contrast:
Full show here.
While Secretary of State John Kerry and Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power busied themselves in a video conference with Pres. Obama, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a most powerful speech, which you can watch in full:
Read my post on Netanyahu’s thunderous silence and the West’s moral vacuum.
Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had a curious incident of her own at the UN.
The Telegraph asks, Why didn’t Cristina Kirchner mention the Falklands during her UN speech? For the first time in her eight appearances at the General Assembly, the president of Argentina failed to speak about the Falklands. After describing several of Cristina’s speeches (and let’s not forget some have been delusional), The Telegraph concludes,
It was unclear why she omitted the reference this year – especially given that this is her last address as head of state. In October Argentina will hold elections, and she cannot run for a third term.
Maybe the meds worked?
You can read her speech in Spanish here.
Mediate notes the oddness of asking Argentina, specifically, to supply Iran with nuke fuel — given the bombing a Jewish center in Argentina in 1994,a case officially unsolved but believed to have been sponsored by Iran.
And perhaps there’s a reason Kirchner is making this accusation now:
Coincidentally [???– or not. Ace], the speech by Argentinian President Kirchner coincides with the release of the anticipated documentary film Los Abandanados, which examines the role of Iran in the 1994 AMIA bombing. The film also highlights the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Nisman, who actively devoted his life to uncovering the judicial misconduct following the attack. Nisman was found dead in January at his home in Buenos Aires, hours before he was scheduled to address the Congress of Argentina.
The idea is that we’d give Iran mid-enriched uranium and of course they would enrich it no further than that.
Ace says, “It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable.”
We live in unbelievable times.
Is the Iran story true? Who confirmed it, Seymour or Samore?
Initially I posted a paragraph from Kirchner’s speech in Spanish, but this is bothering me enough I decided to translate it myself:
*Cristina’s speech (emphasis added):
Nosotros sabíamos de estas negociaciones, estábamos esperanzados en que el acuerdo finalmente llegara. Ustedes se preguntarán y cómo sabíamos. Simple, en el año 2010, nos visitó, en Argentina, Gary Seymour, en ese entonces principal asesor de la Casa Blanca, en materia nuclear. Él nos vino a ver con una misión, con un objetivo que la Argentina que había provisto, en el año 1987, durante el primer gobierno democrático y bajo el control de OIEA, la Organización Internacional, en materia de control de armas y regulación nuclear, había provisto el combustible nuclear, del denominado reactor “Teherán”. Gary Seymour, le explicó a nuestro Canciller, Héctor Timerman que estaban en negociaciones precisamente para llegar a un acuerdo y que la República Islámica de Irán no siguiera enriqueciendo uranio, lo hiciera a menor cantidad, pero que Irán decía que necesitaba enriquecer este reactor nuclear de Teherán y esto entorpecía las negociaciones. Nos venía a pedir a nosotros, los argentinos que proveyéramos de combustible nuclear a la República Islámica de Irán. No estaba Rohani todavía, estaba Ahmadinejad, ya había comenzado las negociaciones.
We knew of these negotiations, we hoped that an agreement would finally come about. You may ask, how did we know. Simple, in 2010, we were visited, in Argentina, by Gary Seymour, who at that time was the White House’s main advisor on nuclear issues. He came to see us with a mission, a purpose that Argentina had foreseen, in 1987, during its first democratic government, and under the control of the IAEA, the International Organization on nuclear regulations and weapons control, had provided the nuclear fuel, for the reactor named “Teheran”. Gary Seymour, explained to our Minister of Foreign Relations, Héctor Timerman, that they were negotiating to reach an agreement so that the Islamic Republic of Iran would not continue enriching uranium, that they would [instead] do it in smaller quantities, but that Iran said that they needed to enrich this Tehran nuclear reactor and that hindered the negotiations. He came to ask us, the Argentinians, to provide nuclear fuel to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rohani wasn’t on yet, it was still Ahmahinejad, who had started the negotiations.
The Blaze‘s translation polished Cristina’s meandering style to a much clearer paragraph, but it changed Seymour to Samore:
In 2010 we were visited in Argentina by Gary Samore, at that time the White House’s top advisor in nuclear issues. He came to see us in Argentina with a mission, with an objective: under the control of IAEA, the international organization in the field of weapons control and nuclear regulation, Argentina had supplied in the year 1987, during the first democratic government, the nuclear fuel for the reactor known as “Teheran”. Gary Samore had explained to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, that negotiations were underway for the Islamic Republic of Iran to cease with its uranium enrichment activities or to do it to a lesser extent but Iran claimed that it needed to enrich this Teheran nuclear reactor and this was hindering negotiations. They came to ask us, Argentines, to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel. Rohani was not in office yet. It was Ahmadinejad’s administration and negotiations had already started.
My question remains, who confirmed the story, Seymour, or Samore, or who?
Raul Castro is on a roll:
Cuban Dictator Castro Thanks U.S. With Insults And Grievances, since too much is never enough,
“After 56 years in which the Cuban people put up a heroic and selfless resistance, diplomatic relations have been re-established between Cuba and the United States of America,” the military dictator said.
Normalization of relations “will only be achieved with the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; the return to our country of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base; the cessation of radio and TV broadcasts and of subversive and destabilizing programs against the island; and when our people are compensated for the human and economic damages they still endure,” he said.
After a speech, there’s always a photo-op:
Words fail pic.twitter.com/DMdWOXUo4y
— Fausta (@Fausta) September 29, 2015
Capitol Hill Cubans want to know, Which Conditions for Lifting the Cuban Embargo Does Obama Disagree With?
[Post corrected to add two final links]
According to the FAO, which presented the diploma on June 8th, Venezuela is one of 72 countries that have reached the UN Millennium Development Goal of halving the percentage of their populations suffering from hunger. But the prize, based on government data up to 2012, comes amid growing evidence that the trend has reversed.
As of June 2014, Venezuela ranks 182 out of 189 in the World Bank Economy Rankings. The International Monetary Fund keeps a List of IMF Member Countries with Delays in Completion of Article IV Consultations or Mandatory Financial Stability Assessments Over 18 Months. As of the writing of this post, Venezuela hasn’t held an Article IV consultation with the IMF in 114 months. The Venezuelan government has not allowed its own numbers to be verified for almost a decade.
And the FAO fell for the Venezuelan government’s data, hook line and sinker.
Of all the odd news I’ve read in the past decade or so, the Mexican Nazi cheerleaders take the cake for crassness and ignorance (and I’m being kind), but they’re an example of the abysmal lack of history education in our hemisphere.
More contradictions: Nisman’s laptop not accessed after his death
Argentina president attacks ‘ill-mannered’ Cameron over FalklandsCristina Kirchner condemns David Cameron after PM tells Argentine foreign minister to stop ‘threatening’ residents on South Atlantic islands
CentAm aid cut back
U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to End Cuba EmbargoThe Cuba Trade Act of 2015 would give private firms, including financial institutions, the right to conduct business with the Communist-ruled island.
Cuba’s Web Entrepreneurs Search for U.S. Clients, and Reliable Wi-FiAs the United States opens up to Cuba, a little-advertised circle of software developers, web designers and translators are selling their skills long-distance.
Economic war (a real one)
Time to dissolve the UN: UN peacekeepers ‘barter goods for sex’UN peacekeepers regularly barter goods for sex with people in the countries the world body is meant to be helping, a draft UN report says.
Fifa crisis: Paraguay ends immunity for ConmebolParaguay is ending the diplomatic immunity of the headquarters for South America’s Conmebol football association, the latest fallout from the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa.
Venezuela: Running on Fumes?
"This image is not from a century ago, is not Cuba, nor the Soviet Union. It's Venezuela in search of food." https://t.co/dKE48tva39
— Fausta (@Fausta) June 9, 2015
The week’s posts:
Mexico: Springtime for Hitler
The week’s books:
Alejandro Rebossio of Spain’s El País reports that Pope Francis’s comment on “Mexicanization” was prompted by UN data showing Argentina as the country with the third-largest number of seized cocaine shipments, after Brazil and Colombia.
The cocaine route starts in Colombia and Peru, makes a layover in Bolivia, and is processed in Argentina, where some of it is consumed, while most is exported to Europe.
Gustavo Vera also mentioned, in his emails to Pope Francis, that Argentina has the highest per-capita cocaine consumption in Latin America.
You can read Rebossio’s article here (in Spanish).
Earlier this week I mentioned that Venezuela needs to sell its oil between $150-$200/barrel in order to break even. While the country’s economy is increasingly dependent on oil revenues since oil accounts for 95% of all exports, Venezuela ships cut-rate oil to Cuba and 13 other countries. For the last year, Venezuela’s had to cut back:
For a decade, the 13 beneficiaries of Venezuela’s largess have depended deeply on the oil to finance social spending and infrastructure, and rewarded Caracas with diplomatic support on the international stage, regional diplomats said in interviews.
Even as Venezuela pledges to continue the program, the country’s oil exports to the countries fell about 20% through October compared with the same period last year, says ClipperData LLC, a New York data tracker. And last year, Venezuela’s cut-rate oil exports declined 15% from 2012, the International Monetary Fund says.
Petrocaribe may become a thing of the past, which curtails Venezuela’s influence at the OAS and the UN,
The program has cost Venezuela $22.1 billion, with Petrocaribe countries accumulating more than $11 billion in debt through 2013, said Mr. Piñon, basing his calculations on PdVSA data.
In return, Venezuela got loyal allies that voted with Venezuela at the United Nations, the Organization of American States and at other regional bodies, diplomats and officials from four countries said.
Let’s hope the US State Department recognizes this as an opportunity, especially as Russia and Iran widen their scope in our hemisphere.
But I doubt they will.
I told you on October 13:
it’s very likely Chavez’s daughter Maria Gabriela Chavez will soon be sitting next to an American diplomat at the United Nations Security Council.
Sure enough, today:
Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola and New Zealand won seats on the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for two years from Jan. 1, 2015, while a run-off vote between Spain and Turkey was taking place to decide who gets the fifth available spot.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes in favor
Somewhere in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin is laughing.
De facto control of Venezuela by Cuba ought to trouble all peaceable nations. Cuba violated a U.N. embargo on arms shipments to North Korea in 2013 when it put a load of weaponry on a North Korean vessel headed for Asia. The Venezuelan National Guard is a partner of Colombia’s drug-trafficking terrorists. Numerous terrorism experts warn that Venezuela is working closely with both Iran and Hezbollah to make trouble in the West and that the country has become a transit point for Iranian agents seeking to gain a foothold in the Americas.
Permanent members Russia and China would gain a reliable ally on the Security Council by adding Venezuela. It is true that the U.S. has veto power to block dangerous moves by a member. But Venezuela could influence the discussion agenda and would undoubtedly employ Cuba’s legendary propaganda tactics to do so.
Symbolically the elevation of Venezuela to the council would be a win for U.S. foes, and Venezuela knows it.
I don’t see the Obama administration doing anything about it. Instead, I say it’s very likely Chavez’s daughter Maria Gabriela Chavez will soon be sitting next to an American diplomat at the United Nations Security Council.