September 8th, 2014
The WSJ reports,
Venezuela’s Press Crackdown Stokes Growth of Online Media
Digital Alternatives Expand as Newspapers and Broadcasters Struggle
Using legislation, steep fines, pressure on advertisers and control of printing paper, the government during the past decade has corralled the mainstream press, says Carlos Lauria, who oversees the Americas for the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. He and other free-speech advocates say the intimidation has deepened since Mr. Maduro was narrowly elected in April 2013 after the death of his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, with dozens of reporters detained, beaten and censored, Mr. Lauria says.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently ranked Venezuela among the worst offenders on its press-freedom index.
The article mentions Twitter, La Patilla, Vivoplay and Prodavinci.
I also recommend these 4 Venezuelan blogs (in alphabetical order): Caracas Chronicles, Devil’s Excrement, Infodio, and Venezuela News And Views.
September 6th, 2014
The former Lula cabinet member is now ahead in the polls:
Brazil’s Marina Silva Woos Farmers Ahead of Presidential Poll
Frontrunner Needs Powerful Agriculture Lobby She Alienated as Environment Minister
Ms. Silva doesn’t need the support of farmers like Mr. Ceolin to win the elections in October—an initial Oct. 5 vote and what polls indicate will be an inevitable runoff. All the polls taken since she officially became the Socialists’ candidate, replacing the late candidate Eduardo Campos, show her beating incumbent Dilma Rousseff in the Oct. 26 runoff.
But if she becomes president, strong opposition from Brazil’s wealthy and influential agricultural sector could make governing more difficult, said Paulo Calmon, a political-science professor at the University of Brasilia.
Ms. Silva promises to end Ms. Rousseff’s policy of forcing state-controlled oil company Petrobras to subsidize the price of gasoline to help control inflation, a policy that ethanol producers have strongly criticized because cheaper gasoline boosts competition for ethanol fuel. The Silva stance doesn’t just play to farmers: The prospect of less interference with Petrobras has boosted the company’s shares, and the benchmark Ibovespa stocks index, to the highest levels in more than a year.
Will see how it all develops; Guido Mantega, the finance minister for the last eight years, is on his way out.
September 5th, 2014
My latest, The week in the administration, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.
Raise your hand if you’re sure,
September 5th, 2014
US Signs Agreement with Mexico to Protect Mexican Workers–Including Illegals
The four-page memorandum states in the “Overall Objective” section, in part, that its purpose is: “to establish a collaborative relationship to provide Mexican Nationals in the United States with information, guidance, and access to education and training resources to help them understand and exercise their workplace rights, particularly with regard to reducing violations against them under the laws and regulations that are administered and enforced by EEOC.”
Nowhere in the MOU does it show exactly what Mexico is doing to protect its workers’ rights and what processes there are to safeguard them in Mexico.
Linked yo by Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!
September 4th, 2014
Readers of this blog will find nothing surprising about this, but this article is today’s must-read:
Iran’s Tango with Latin America
Latin America and the Caribbean tend to be looked at through the prism of drugs, criminal violence or illegal immigration. Anything that challenges this myopic view, such as Iran expanding its operational reach into the region, is either ignored or the threat minimized to justify the way things have always been done. On numerous instances, U.S. agencies responsible for an avalanche of data about the transnational, cross-regional nexus between narcotrafficking, arms networks and terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, have been marginalized and the Western Hemisphere links to these particular security risks erroneously set aside or treated solely as “law-enforcement matters.”
The crime-terror convergence; the bilateral relations between Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia; the decades-long systematic effort to establish clandestine intelligence stations and operatives. Read it here.
September 4th, 2014
The drug trade doesn’t move just from South America to Europe and the USA:
Drugs raid recovers tonnes of cocaine and marijuana in Chile
Dramatic footage shows Chilean authorities seizing almost $30m worth of cocaine and marijuana during a raid
According to a regional prosecutor, the drugs were intended to be sold domestically during Chile’s independence celebrations which are taking place later this month.
Video below the fold,
Read the rest of this entry »
September 3rd, 2014
My latest, Just what are “immigration rights”?, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.