Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category

The Argentinian default Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 4th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, Argentina defaulted, as predicted, which made Cristina bellyache some more, as U.S. judge scolds Argentina over debt remarks.

ARGENTINA
Argentina debt default: frustration on the streets
Bloomberg’s Willem Marx reports from Buenos Aires on what Standard & Poor’s is calling a default by the Argentine government

A Lesson in Economics for Argentina

Carlos Tevez’s father freed after kidnapping in Argentina
Juventus striker’s family reportedly paid a £28,000 ransom for his safe return

ARUBA
VenEconomy: The Absurdities of the Carvajal Case

BRAZIL
Brazil Secures $700 Million in Loans During Japanese PM’s Visit

CHILE
Chile under International Orders to Compensate Mapuche
Anti-Terrorist Law Proves Unenforceable, Pending Reform

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Buenaventura on alert after ‘rebel’ attack
Authorities in the Colombian city of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast, have temporarily banned the sale of alcohol and the carrying of arms.

Why Starbucks in Colombia is a good thing

CUBA
Reconciling

Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alcibiades Guerra Marin, Aug. 2, 2014

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Puerto Rico, Dominican brace for Tropical Storm Bertha

ECUADOR
La DEA incauta aviones de empresa que tendría nexos con el gobierno ecuatoriano

EL SALVADOR
Salvadoran Authorities Charge Spanish Priest with Aiding Gangs

HONDURAS
Hope Dwindles for Hondurans Living in Peril

IMMIGRATION
SIGNS POSTED FOR ILLEGALS INCREASINGLY WRITTEN IN CHINESE
Illegals from China and over 70% of the world’s nations are flooding into America as its border collapses

MEXICO
Deal to stop migrants from boarding La Bestia train
Guatemala, Mexico and the United States have reached a deal to try to prevent migrants from jumping onto a freight train in an attempt to reach the US, according to Guatemalan officials.

Mexican Drug Lord Taunts the Authorities With Videos
In a line of work that usually operates out of the limelight, Servando Gómez has put himself — often with prominent people — in front of the camera
.

Mexican media denounces ‘gag law’
Mexican journalists denounce a new law that introduces a number of restrictions on crime reporting in north-eastern Sinaloa state.

Mexican Fracking Opponents Lose a Big Round in the Senate

PANAMA
Panama, Canal Contractors Finalize Accord

PERU
Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

Peru court order US mining firm to pay $163 million

PUERTO RICO
Minimum-Wage Hike Threatens 200,000 Puerto Rican Jobs
Half of Workforce Caught in Cross Hairs of Class-Warfare Folly

VENEZUELA
Did Nicolas Maduro Coerce Senator Landrieu?

“Anti-Imperialists” Mortgage Venezuela’s Future Abroad
China Preys on Incompetence, Ideological Naivity of Chavismo

The New Wave Of Elected Dictatorships Around The World

In Venezuela, imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s trial for inciting violence during riots has just begun while the country ranks among the world’s top in corruption and crime. If you believe Chavista state propaganda, the country’s problems wouldn’t exist if the US didn’t exist. In Iran, forget about a free press while the supreme leader effectively determines who can run for political office. As in Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt etc Iran’s judiciary is a power-arm of the regime. Need we mention symbiosis between mosque and state? In Turkey, the state is mandating several hours a week of religious indoctrination in schools while sponsoring widespread housing with no units for single living as high-ranking politicians polemically bully women into staying at home and having families. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdogan blames all manner of outside forces for his problems, America, Israel, Syria, US-based Gulenist Muslims and others. One more thing: since Vladimir Putin was the first to make this system respectable, the reader can just say ‘ditto Russia’ where Russia isn’t mentioned above.

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Colombia’s narco-subs

Argentina: Cristina gives bondholders the raspberry

Today’s illegal alien invasion update

Argentina defaults

Behold, the Hugo Chavez font

Is North Korea Selling (Cuban) Arms to Hamas?

El Pollo and Venezuela’s game of chicken: Venezuela exerted military pressure on Aruba

And now, MS-13 news

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal

At BlogHer:
Feels like 100

The week’s podcast:
Memories of old Havana PLUS US-Latin America stories of the week


Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Chicken run: The curious case of Venezuela’s Pollo Carvajal, on the released general, is up. Please read it and hit the tip jar!

Behold, the Hugo Chavez font

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Carlos Eire says it’s conclusive proof that humans need to evolve further.

To celebrate what would have been the 60th birthday of Venezuela’s ‘eternal leader’, a group of young ‘anti-imperialists’ have digitalised his handwriting as a new font, ChavezPro

I can’t wait for Unsavory Agents to design some toilet paper in ChavezPro.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Dustbury. Thank you!


El Pollo and Venezuela’s game of chicken: Venezuela exerted military pressure on Aruba

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

In today’s WSJ, Aruba: Venezuela Pressured It Militarily
The Netherlands’ release of a former top Venezuelan official wanted by the U.S. for alleged drug trafficking came after Venezuela raised economic and military pressure on two Dutch islands in the Caribbean, officials said.

Aruba’s chief prosecutor Peter Blanken said that Venezuelan navy ships neared Aruba and Curaçao over the weekend as Dutch officials were debating what to do with Hugo Carvajal —Venezuela’s former chief of military intelligence who was jailed in Aruba last week on a U.S. warrant.

“The threat was there,” Mr. Blanken said. “We don’t know what their intentions were, but I think a lot of people in Aruba were scared that something would happen.”

Holland is a member of NATO and as such Aruba would be protected, as WSJ commenter Donald Hutchinson points out, but, in the Obama administration’s era of “smart diplomacy”, the Dutch couldn’t count on that:

Assuming that US intelligence was not asleep, all,it would take would be a fly over by US Navy jets and a notification that any offensive action would be met by the immediate destruction of their ships. Holland is a member of NATO and such actioned would clearly be sanctioned,
It would also be a devastating set back to the former bus driver running Venezuela for bringing shame to their military.
But what one might expect from a timid White House and a preoccupied State Department?

Then there’s the oil,

Mr. Blanken said Venezuela’s government also had threatened to sever Venezuela’s vital commercial air links to Aruba and Curaçao. Venezuela’s state oil company also threatened to withdraw from a contract to manage Curaçao’s refinery, Mr. Blanken said, which would have put at risk some 8,000 jobs.

To put that number of jobs in perspective, Aruba’s total population is 103,009.

In the “no sh*t, Sherlock” file, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman’s reaction was, “This is not the way law enforcement matters should be handled.” At least they didn’t #hashtag it.

Hugo Carvajal a.k.a. “”el Pollo” is one of the guys who took part in Hugo Chávez’s unsuccessful 1992 military coup, later rising to the rank of general, but with a sideline,

Mr. Carvajal’s role as one of the Chávez government’s key liaisons to guerrillas from Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, emerged after computers belonging to a slain guerrilla leader were captured by Colombian security forces in 2008.

Here’s the indictment in the U.S. District Court accusing Carvajal of coordinating the transport of 5,600 kilos (6.17 tons) of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico.

In addition to good’ol military thuggery, Miguel Octavio asserts that the Netherlands caved in (emphasis added):

Clearly, everyone applied pressure, but the weak link did not turn out to be Aruba as I suggested on my first post, but rather The Netherlands, as reportedly even Russia played a role, exchanging concessions on the Ucraine plane for helping release Carvajal. No matter what anyone says or how this is interpreted, it was a severe blow to the US, who would have loved to get Carvajal onshore.

One of my sources also mentions that team Obama had about 30 days to hand over its Extradition Request to Aruba but failed to; the Treasury Dept, the DEA and a U.S. District Court (mentioned above) had indicted him last year. It reminds me of drug kingpin Walid Makled, who was released to Venezuela by Santos of Colombia after the U.S. dragged its feet.

We’re in the best of hands.

PS,
While the Dutch allow Carvajal diplomatic immunity, the Egyptians search Secretary of State John Kerry, which was no biggie, but he fumes over Israel’s criticism.

The ongoing illegal alien border surge Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 28th, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina debt: Judge orders non-stop negotiations
A US judge has ordered Argentina and its creditors to meet “continuously” to avoid the nation defaulting on its debts.

“Malvinas banner” display costs Argentina 30.000 Swiss francs fine
FIFA has fined the Argentine Football Association 30,000 Swiss francs (£19,540) as punishment for the displaying of a provocative banner relating to the Falkland Islands.

Pope sends message demanding justice on 20th anniversary of AMIA bombing
On the 20th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing, the Argentine pontiff sent a message for “justice” to Argentina’s Israeli community and relatives of the 85 victims that resulted dead in the attack.

BOLIVIA
Russia Offers to Assist Bolivia with Nuclear Energy Program

BRAZIL
Temple in Brazil Appeals to a Surge in Evangelicals

Brazil frees up $13bn for economy
In a bid to stimulate the sluggish economy, the Brazilian central bank announces plans to reduce the amount commercial banks have to keep in reserve.

CHILE
Senator urges Chile to take ‘active’ role in Israel-Palestine conflict
Campaigners from the large Palestinian community calls for greater action in conflict while DC deputy warns against ‘bringing the conflict to Chile.’

COLOMBIA
Court tosses out cases against Chiquita over Colombia killings
Lawsuits accused Chiquita of assisting in killing of plaintiffs’ relatives by paying $1.7 million to paramilitary group

CUBA
Another Unsuccessful Negotiation for Alan Gross’ Release

“Migrants” from Castrogonia returned to their generous and benevolent slaveowners

ECUADOR
No Tweets for You: Correa’s Opponents Censored
Twitter Suspends Accounts of Known Ecuadorian Critics

HONDURAS
Why Not Set Up Refugee Kiosks in Honduras? Can We Consider Any Idea from Obama, McCain?

IMMIGRATION
Obama’s Border Summit Theater

JAMAICA
Chris Blackwell says ganja can turn Jamaica around
Entrepreneur urges protection of small farmer

LATIN AMERICA
Crime in Latin America
A broken system
Citizens’ security is the region’s biggest problem. Time to improve criminal justice

MEXICO
In disappearing Mexican jungle, it’s tribes vs. biologists

Rate of Girls Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Alone Outpaces Boys, Study Finds
The number of unaccompanied girls caught crossing into the U.S. at the border with Mexico has grown far more quickly this year than the number of boys, according to a Pew Research Center report.

PANAMA
Panama’s biggest tourist draw turns 100

PERU
State-Run Petroperu Gets Its Hands Dirty, Hires Kids to Clean Oil Spill
Company Faced with Undeniable Evidence, Announces Immediate “Restructuring”

Previously uncontacted Peruvian Indians ‘could carry flu back to tribe’
Activists fear that virus contracted by Amazonian tribe members fleeing violent attacks could spread through vulnerable and isolated communities

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Grants Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Migrants

Looming Puerto Rico debt deadlines have investors nervous

URUGUAY
Mercosur is ‘not working’ because of protectionism and lack of arbitration
Mercosur is “not working” and is “stalled” admitted Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and blamed the situation on different visions of the block’s functioning, according to an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo.

VENEZUELA
The Hijacking of a Venezuelan Newspaper

Hugo Carvajal, a perspective

The week’s posts & podcast:
Aruba: Venezuelan consul detained on drug charges

The latest from the O administration: Let’s make it easier for the Hondurans!

Ecuador and the ‘straitjacket’

Venezuela: Lopez on trial, Tower of David evacuation

En español: Dilma llega a la Unidad de Quemados

Immigration: The coyotes’ job, in dollars

Cuba-North Korea: Another weapons cargo?

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Case study in “smart diplomacy”: Bolivia

Communism at work: Give up your car

The week’s podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


Aruba: Venezuelan consul detained on drug charges

Friday, July 25th, 2014

The other pollos.

Three chavistas indicted for conspiring with Colombian FARC drug traffickers to export cocaine to the U.S.:

  • Hugo Carvajal, a.k.a. “”el Pollo,” a former chief of Venezuelan military intelligence, detained in Aruba while awaiting confirmation as Nicolás Maduro’s consul-general to Aruba,
  • former Venezuelan judge, Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, arrested last week in Miami,
  • and the former head of Interpol in Venezuela, Rodolfo McTurk, whereabouts were unknown.

Daniel Duquenal speculates,

If indeed Carvajal is sent to the US, beyond diplomatic implications that this will entail, the local consequences will be high. There are possibly dozens and dozens of chavista high officials with dossiers under investigation and the reality for them has suddenly changed. Never mind that if Carvajal is indeed sent to the US, he may add a lot to these dossiers.

In addition to providing weapons to the FARC, Carvajal had been allegedly working with Iranian intelligence, and is under investigation for his role on the attacks to the Colombian consulate, and the Jewish center in Caracas.

WSJ:

In the Miami indictment unsealed Thursday, Mr. Carvajal is accused of taking bribes from late Colombian kingpin Wilber Varela, who was killed in 2008, and in return allowing Mr. Varela to export cocaine to the U.S. from Venezuela and avoid arrest by Venezuelan authorities.

Carvajal directly dealt with one-time of the world’s top three drug kingpins, Walid Makled, according to Makled himself,

“For example, I used to give a weekly fee of 200 million bolívares (about $50,000 at the time), and 100 million was for General Hugo Carvajal,” Mr. Makled said.

Makled went on trial in Venezuela since the Obama administration dragged its feet; I do not know the outcome of the trial.

Carvajal is now seeking diplomatic immunity in Aruba.

Venezuela: Lopez on trial, Tower of David evacuation

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Leopoldo López‘s show trial has begun; while the defense has asked for an adjournment, we all know what the verdict will be: guilty.

Daniel Duquenal expands on this,

The first thing, oddly, is the timing.  Since Lopez arrest 5 months ago and the alleged clear evidence one wonders why did it take so long for the regime to start the trial. Waiting for the end of guarimbas? A trial can restart them at any time. Waiting for folks to go on vacation? There are no flights out!  Expecting for scarcity problems to soften? They are not and will not for the foreseeable future. The answer is elsewhere,with the PSUV congress about to open. Some red meat thrown to the radical wing. Period, IMHO.

Another thing to wonder comes by asking the reverse question: why bother trying Lopez anyway? International pressure plays a role here, but not necessarily the way you may think. Sure enough there has been plenty of publications, the Washington Post for one pushing up the subject of Lopez dismal jail conditions. But the real deal brokers may be the people trying to organize Venezuela’s financial rescue.

Without a doubt, this is a show trial: Daniel concludes his post,

In case you still do not get it, the trial starts with 138 “witnesses” for the prosecution and only 1, ONE, for the defense

In other Venezuelan news, the infamous Tower of David, Caracas’s high-rise to nowhere, is being evacuated. Caracas Chronicles says the Chinese are involved:

Thanks to Kepler, we can somehow confirm that our Chinese overlords are indeed taking the building. In this article from the website Archidead, looks like the Bank of China will turn “La Torre de David” as its South American HQ.

It’s going to be interesting to see what exactly the Chinese get from this, considering the ruinous state of Venezuela’s oil industry.

Maybe Homeland will do a follow-up episode on the “new”, Chinese, tower.


Communism at work: Give up your car

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Translation: Workshop:
Maximum Socialist Efficiency
The State enterprise building
the New Economic Order

My latest article, Communism at work: Give up your car, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

In other related news, Maduro says he needs $15billion to rebuild the exhange system, which is the amount Hugo Chavez spent on weapons purchases three years ago.

The upcoming Russian spy base in Cuba Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 21st, 2014

LatinAmerJust as the headlines feature a Video Posted by Ukrainian Government Shows Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Carrier Hightailing It Back to Russia… Missing One Missile, Russia will reopen spy base in Cuba

A report that Russia will reopen a Havana base that eavesdropped on U.S. communications from Key West to Washington has triggered fresh warnings of Moscow’s expansionism and predictions of a continued freeze in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Until its closure in 2002, the Lourdes base was Moscow’s largest intelligence facility abroad, with up to 1,500 KGB and GRU military intelligence officers manning an array of antennas and computers in the super-secret 28-square-mile base.

The article says, “If true, reports that Russia will reopen a spy base in Cuba will complicate, if not halt, any Obama administration effort to warm up relations with Havana,” which is risible, considering current U.S. foreign policy.

ARGENTINA
Britain should open talks with Argentina over the Falklands, says Vladimir Putin
The Russian president backs Buenos Aires’ territorial claim to the islands

20th Anniversary of AMIA Bombing is Sober Reminder to Remain Vigilant Against the Global Iranian Threat, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Pope Francis demands justice for Jewish centre attack victims

BOLIVIA
Bolivia becomes first nation to legalise child labour from age 10
Bolivia says law reflects reality in country where 1 million children regularly work, but activists complain it will increase poverty and contravenes United Nations conventions

BRAZIL
Brazil President Loses Ground
Dilma Rousseff is losing ground with potential voters and raising the odds that she will face a runoff in October’s presidential election, a recent poll showed.

Building the myth of under-development, BRIC by BRIC

CHILE
Hard-Line Socialism Overrules Chilean Consensus
“With Us or Against Us” Mindset Obstructs Public Debate

COLOMBIA
Colombian drug boss ‘The Mouse’ arrested by Spanish police
Hernan Alonso Villa is considered to be leader of the Oficina de Envigado cartel which is accused of 400 killings and is connected to the now-dismantled Medellin cartel

CUBA
ISIS follows Castro playbook

Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alexander Fernandez Rico, July 18, 2014

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Many Haitian migrants in Dominican Republic find they lack documents to get legal status

ECUADOR
ALBA’s Favorite Lobbyist

HONDURAS
US child migrants: Honduras calls for anti-drugs plan

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaicans Recruit Special Economic Zones for Accelerated Development
Elusive Foreign Investment, Diversified Economy the Targets

MEXICO
Opening of Mexican Energy Sector Takes Step Forward
Mexico’s Senate voted to give Mexican companies a greater role in energy projects under the landmark opening of the country’s oil and gas sectors, tightening the national content rules that President Enrique Peña Nieto had proposed and partly satisfying demands of local industry groups.

In Mexico, impunity prevails for attacks on the journalists, says Article 19

On Southern Border, Mexico Faces Crisis of Its Own
Mexico has announced plans for tightened deportation and border control policies as its migrant numbers surge in response to worsening gang violence in Central America.

PANAMA
Manuel Noriega sues Activision over Call of Duty
Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, is suing Call of Duty’s video games publisher.

PERU
Update: Family of ODU student who died in Peru hopes he could be back home by next week

PUERTO RICO
Real-Estate Investors See No Problem With Puerto Rico
About $1 Billion of Upscale-Property Deals in Recent Years

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s oil diaspora
Brain haemorrhage
Venezuela’s loss of thousands of oil workers has been other countries’ gain

The week’s posts:
Andrew McCarthy on the border invasion

FIFA regrets

China in Latin America

Border flood, alien invasion

Ecuador: BloombergBusinessweek lays it on the line

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
This week in smart diplomacy

Venezuela: Looking for a bailout

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Venezuelan gov’t approaches world banks
Next October-November a very high concentration of the debt of the Nation and Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) will involve payment on account of amortization and interest for approximately USD 7 billion

Maybe they ought to consider auctioning the Matisse.

Venezuela Inches Toward a Single Exchange Rate

Rafael Osío Cabrices describes I escaped Venezuela for North America. Here’s how.

Empty hospitals, empty airports

Lying As A Revolutionary Way Of Life In Venezuela