Today’s podcast

March 26th, 2015

Talking with Silvio Canto, Jr., about US-Latin America: Cuba-Venezuela, elections in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina & more, archived for your listening convenience.

Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

March 26th, 2015

Read Steve Dudley’s report at In Sight Crime, Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Barrio 18 is one of the two largest gangs in El Salvador. The other, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), is thought to be slightly larger in membership than the Barrio 18. The Barrio 18 is known as the more violent and less sophisticated of the two.

Barrio 18 Gang Hierarchy

  1. “Palabreros” in the prison system: coordinate all criminal activities. One palabrero keeps a notebook that keeps track of all finances, homicides, drugs, and weapons.
  2. “Palabreros” outside the prison system, aka, “en la libre.”
  3. Leaders of the “canchas.” A cancha is a territorial division that isn’t necessarily based on municipal delineations. Each cancha has several “tribus,” or tribes.
  4. Leaders of the “tribus.” There are thought to be 28 Barrio 18 “tribus” in El Salvador, according to one study. Each tribu leader may be responsible for dozens and perhaps hundreds of members. In rival gang theMS13, these are known as “clicas,” and there are thought to be far more — an estimated 246.
  5. Collaborators: those who are not quite or never will be gang members. They help the gang with small jobs, like gathering intelligence, and moving or holding illicit goods.

The #Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

March 25th, 2015

Ben Cohen writes about The Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Consider, for example, the alleged role of the Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, in whom President Barack Obama has placed so much faith regarding negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Rouhani was not among the Iranian officials named by Nisman in his 2006 report. The Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer, however, revealed in a January 21 article that Nisman had told him about an Iranian witness who had reported that Rouhani had been a member of a special-intelligence committee, “which in 1994 was overseeing secret operations abroad, including the AMIA bombing.” Oppenheimer wrote that Nisman “added privately that he believed in [the witness’s] testimony, and that as a member of the committee Rouhani was likely to have known of the AMIA bombing plan.”

Such a promising lead should be pursued. But the Argentine government is incapable and unwilling to do so, and the current American administration is determined to let nothing obstruct its pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Iranians.

Read the whole thing, keeping in mind

Iranian Leader Khamenei: Death to America; Obama Is Trying to Turn Our People against the Regime

About that “Cuban side or the white side”

March 25th, 2015

I normally ignore anything said by members of The View because life’s too short, but today I’m writing About that “Cuban side or the white side”

And, not surprising,

Thank you, Newsmax

March 25th, 2015

Theodore Kettle of Newsmax included me in Newsmax’s Top 50 Conservative Blogs of 2015

24. Fausta’s Blog – If you want to keep track of what matters to lovers of liberty in Latin America, it’s Puerto Rican-born Fausta Wertz’s cornucopia of political, economic, and foreign policy information and commentary about south of the border, with a dose of New Jersey state current events thrown in (she has lived in Princeton forever). No surprise hers was the go-to site when President Obama announced plans to normalize relations with Communist Cuba — “No, Cuba is not China. No, you can’t have free markets without free peoples” — but she is also the handiest source for the latest on Colombia’s FARC guerillas or disguised Chinese backing of a proposed Nicaraguan canal.

It’s an honor to be included among them. Thank you!

Argentina: Beef for bombers

March 24th, 2015

After John Kerry (the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam) declared that “The Monroe Doctrine Is Over”, not only do we get Russia’s long-range bombers to conduct regular patrols over Arctic Ocean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, now Argentina’s considering leasing a dozen Russian long-range bombers, too:
Falklands defence: Why is Argentina considering an aircraft deal with the Russians?
Russia’s potential deal to lease 12 long-range bombers to Argentina is causing Britain to rethink its protection of the Falklands. Why is Cristina Kirchner cosying up to Moscow?

The Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft would be sent to Buenos Aires in exchange for beef and wheat, in a proposal which would help Moscow beat EU sanctions over Ukraine. Michael Fallon said that while any agreement between Russia and Argentina was not yet signed, Britain would increase its presence on the archipelago.

The beef-for-bombers deal offers endless opportunities for corrupt kleptocrats to make out like gangbusters (how do I love mixing my metaphors? Let me count the ways), but, also likely, from the Obama administration’s point of view, it potentially has the added benefit endangering a member of the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA).

Or are we to suppose that Argentina is leasing 12 long-range bombers for peaceful purposes?

Today’s WSV* moment: Now Snowden wants to come back

March 24th, 2015

Looks like those asylum offers from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador came to naught, and Brazil turned him down, so now the NSA leaker is pleading with Obama to cut him a deal

Letting him return to the U.S. to make his case would be “the best resolution for the federal government and the public broadly,” the former National Security Agency employee told CeBIT technology conference in Germany last week. “We don’t want to be the kind of government where people who reveal serious wrongdoing have to seek shelter in other countries to seek any kind of justice.”

What do you mean “we,” Comrade Snowden? “We” didn’t flee to Russia.

Let’s play it!

*WSV = World’s Smallest Violin

Today’s immigration headlines

March 24th, 2015

From Drudge,

DOCUMENTS: 165,900 Criminal Aliens Released into US Population Through April 2014…

Small-town America ‘struggling to cope’ with immigrants…

For small-town America, new immigrants pose linguistic, cultural challenges
A new generation of immigrants is arriving in Midwest towns from far-flung places such as Myanmar, Somalia, and Iraq. The communities are trying to adjust.

12,509 illegal kids already over border in new wave…

Related:
Judicial Watch: New Documents Show Homeland Security Released 165,900 Convicted Criminal Aliens throughout U.S. as of April 26, 2014
Documents show Al Jazeera wanted to film people with “significant diseases”



Ted throws his hat in the ring

March 23rd, 2015

and he didn’t need no stinkin’ teleprompter, either (video of full speech here, text of full speech here),

TedCruz.org

The crashed plane Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

March 23rd, 2015

An Argentine turboprop airplane crashed and burned shortly after taking off, killing all 10 people aboard,

Witnesses at the airport said that a few minutes after takeoff they heard a significant explosion followed by a huge fireball.

The passengers were members of the Argentine company La Rural which is an associate in a project to exploit a Convention Center under construction in the Atlantic resort of Punta del Este and had flown to Uruguay for a business conference with their Uruguayan partners and the local government.

La Rural is a leading company in Argentina and Latin America in the fairs, congress and events industry.

Was it an accident?

ARGENTINA
Exactly two months after his murder, Argentine Government Accuses Nisman of Embezzlement

Dead Argentine prosecutor was zeroing in on a terror threat to the entire Western Hemisphere

Investigan un supuesto refugio de jerarcas nazis en Argentina

BRAZIL
POLL NUMBERS!!! Dilma’s drop

Why is Brazil so angry?
Big Question: Over a million people took to the streets over the weekend calling for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, five months after she won a general election

CHILE
Hundreds protest over Chile bishopProtesters shout as Rev Juan Barros enter the Osorno cathedral
Hundreds of people in Chile try to stop the ordination of Catholic Bishop Juan Barros, accusing him of covering up a sex abuse scandal.

COLOMBIA
Drug Gang Led by Female Trafficker from Mexico Nabbed in Colombia

Guerra y paz en Colombia

CUBA
[pdf file] An Illusory Opening to Cuba:
Why Florida Shouldn’t Walk Through the Breach

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Where “Cold War Charm” is the half-century long misery endured by the inmates of the island-prison: Cuba’s Cold War charm has D.R. wary about losing U.S. tourists to next-door neighbor

ECUADOR
#19M Protests Put Correa’s Citizen Revolution on Notice
Thousands March in Ecuador as Anti-Authoritarian Outrage Boils Over

Populist Playbook: The Slow Death of Democracy in Correa’s Ecuador

HAITI
Clinton Foundation’s chickens coming home to roost in Haiti?

WaPo Reporter: Bill Clinton ‘So Disliked’ in Haiti After Charity Work ‘He Couldn’t Even Run for Mayor’

HILLARY CLINTON’S BROTHER DEFENDS HAITI GOLD MINE DEAL: ‘I RAISE MONEY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE’

HONDURAS
Are Special Economic Zones the answer? How ZEDEs Can Make Honduras Prosperous
Next-Generation Zones for an Anti-Poverty Success Story

Honduras sends soldiers to protect ‘lost city’ from drug cartels
Expendition team reportedly split on how to safeguard artefacts from looters after ‘lost city’ rediscovered in Honduras jungle also used by drug trafficker

JAMAICA
US Say Courts Crippling Ja Narcotics Fight

MEXICO
US Court Convicts Mexican of Kidnapping Mexican in Mexico
Federal Jury Convicts Mexican Citizen Living in San Antonio for His Role in Kidnapping Scheme

NICARAGUA
Wang Jing: The man behind the Nicaragua canal project

PARAGUAY
Paraguay and Latin America are officially the happiest nations in the world, in a Bobby McFerrin sort of way?

PERU
Peru’s Premier Removes Senior Spy Officials
Peru’s prime minister removed the head of the National Intelligence Service and other high-level officials, as allegations widened that the spy agency for years gathered information on a broad range of well-known people.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s Catholic Church Calls for Referendum on Gay Marriage

SOUTH AMERICA
The Islamization of South America

URUGUAY
After years in Guantanamo, ex-detainees find little solace in Uruguay Apparently they don’t have Uruguayan passports yet.

VENEZUELA

Unbroken: Former Venezuelan Political Prisoner Speaks Out
Police Chief Lucchese Describes His Year Behind Bars at Ramo Verde Military Prison

Enabling Maduro’s Tyranny in Venezuela
US Sanctions Give Perfect Excuse for Crackdown on Dissent
. I disagree – the crackdown has been going on, well before any sanctions.

Maduro’s English in action,

Yes, Venezuela is a security threat

Drums of War or Pipes of Peace?