Chile: Bachelet’s proposal for failure

September 1st, 2015

Following Michelle Bachelet’s proposed labor reforms, companies are leaving the country and employers are laying off workers. Hana Fischer explains why:
Bachelet’s Labor Reforms Have Already Failed, in Uruguay
Empowering Unions a Sure Path to Economic Doom

The proposed labor reform currently being debated in the Chilean Senate presents several issues that are a concern:+

  • Inter-company unions will be in charge of collective bargaining for all workers.+
  • Employers will be prohibited from granting union benefits to non-unionized workers.+
  • Union leaders will be allowed to disrupt a company’s activities, because employers will be banned from replacing workers on strike.+
  • The reform would deny an employee the option to return to work, on an individual basis, after 15 days on strike, and consequently his right to continue working.+
  • Employees would be prohibited from censuring union leaders during a strike.+

52% of Chileans oppose the proposed law.

$5 says Bachelet will still go ahead.

En español: Mensaje a Jorge Ramos (with English excerpts)

August 31st, 2015

Discurso del joven Abogado Cubano Rafael Alejandro Hernández Real, quien vive en Mexico:

Humberto Fontova did a little translating,“Cubans migrants to Mexico are arrested, beaten, extorted, deported by the Mexican gov. in collusion with Castro! Where’s your indignation Mr Jorge Ramos (a Mexican citizen!)”

* “You claim to be a journalist not a politician. But Trump threw you out only because you were out of line. Your behavior was shameful.

* “Every week thousands of Cubans migrants to Mexico are arrested, beaten, extorted and swindled by the Mexican gov. in collusion with the Castro tyranny! But I’ve never heard you utter a peep against the Mexican government over this, Mr Jorge Ramos! And you claim to be a proud and vocal Mexican citizen, Mr Jorge Ramos!”

* Why not come to Mexico and try telling President Pena Nieto that deporting Cubans to Castro means they’ll live in a prison. Why not practice what you preach, Mr Ramos?!

* You denounce the U.S.–a country that opened its doors to you, yourself, sir–but you refuse to utter a peep against your native Mexico, that deports Cubans not because they’re delinquents–but as a matter of policy.”

* I’m speaking to you as someone who was jailed for 49 days in a Mexican prison for migrants and freed only after a hunger strike where I almost died.”

* “Next time you attend a Trump press conference you might ask permission to speak, and wait your turn like all the others. And since you seem to like to talk without permission come to Mexico and try that stunt!”

And,
If Ramos wants to report on crisis at the border, let him travel to the Colombia-Venezuela border.

UPDATE
Linked to by McNorman. Thank you!

The cone of uncertainty Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

August 31st, 2015

ARGENTINA
Ariel Velázquez: Young Activist’s Murder Becomes Political Football in ArgentinaAs Elections Near, Rival Parties Rush to Claim Slain 20-Year-Old as Their Own

Insight – Manufacturers in Argentina starved of dollars ahead of election, hurting output

BOLIVIA
Oil Exploration Campaign Kicks Off in Bolivia’s Amazon Region

BRAZIL
Río de Janeiro bars poor black youths from its most famous beachesPolice arrest slum youngsters en route to Ipanema and Copacabana in bid to fight theft

Brazil’s Recession Marks The Beginning Of A Long, Painful Contraction: Argentina, Venezuela, Rest Of Latin America Could Be Affected

Head of Brazilian State Bank Rebuts Accusations against Lula

CHILE
Clashes erupt as truck drivers protest arson attacks

COLOMBIA
The more you give them, the more they want: FARC Slams Santos-Backed Plans for Implementing Possible Colombia Peace Deal

Colombia will face 10 years of economic slowdown, analysts predict

CUBA
Human rights activists fear arrest ahead of Pope’s visit to Cuba

When Was This Cuba Story Written?, Pt. 2

DOMINICA
Tropical storm Erika heads for Florida after killing 20 on island of Dominica

ECUADOR
Sweden and Ecuador to begin Julian Assange talks next weekEcuador seeking formal agreement on judicial cooperation before Swedish prosecutors can interrogate WikiLeaks founder

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Britain orders £46m air defence radar to protect Falklands from ArgentinaThe new vehicle-mounted radar will be able to spot threats up to 75 miles away and the first systems will be delivered before the end of the year

GUATEMALA
Guatemalans Rally Against PresidentTens of thousands of Guatemalans took to the streets Thursday to demand that President Otto Perez resign, amid the country’s biggest political crisis since the end of the civil war nearly two decades ago.

MEXICO
Mexican Film Defrocks the Political Pimping of a Massacre
Young Idealists Serve as Cannon Fodder in Petty Power Struggles

HUMAN SMUGGLING, KIDNAPPING, SLAVERY AND EXTORTION RING BUSTED IN TEXAS

PANAMA
Panama Canal suspends planned draft restriction due to recent rains

PARAGUAY
11-year-old Paraguay rape victim has baby, stokes abortion debate

PERU
The Fascinating Afterlife of Peru’s MummiesFrom atop bejeweled thrones and sacred mountaintops, the Inca dead continued to wield incredible power over the living

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico bond deadlines loom: What you need to know

URUGUAY
Ten things you never knew about… UruguayToday is Independence Day in Uruguay, celebrating the country’s independence from the Brazilian Empire on August 25, 1825.

VENEZUELA
Woman, 80, trampled to death in Venezuelan supermarket stampedeRush for subsidized goods sees 75 people injured as thousands besiege supermarket

Scapegoating: Crime in VenezuelaJustice decayedThe government wrongly blames Colombia for its high murder rate

The government has paved the way by allowing the institutions of law enforcement to decay. The police force is underfunded and mistrusted. Venezuela has many fewer prosecutors and judges than it should. Chile, a country with much lower levels of violent crime, has a third more prosecutors than Venezuela in relation to the size of its population. Courts are reluctant to sentence criminals to serve time in crowded and violent jails: 90% of murders go unpunished. Gun control is weak.

And it all came to that

The week’s posts:
Brazil and other fallen BRICs

Why the knives are out on Menendez

Cuba: Getting Gitmo closed

What about the Trump/Ramos thing?

Argentina: The #tucumanazo, stories of a fraud foretold?

Heading to the World Meeting of Families in a VW bus . . . all the way from Buenos Aires

Crisis at the Venezuela-Colombia border

Bolivia: What’s with the proposed nuclear plant?

Brazil: Cunha charged with corruption and money laundering

En español: Los spots de campaña de Sergio Massa

Bolivia: The catch in the numbers

Puerto Rico: Don’t expect payment anytime soon



Sunday palate cleanser: Queen at Wembly

August 30th, 2015

Brazil and other fallen BRICs

August 28th, 2015

All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.
Pink Floyd

Brazil never learns from its boom-to-bust cycles, which are tied to commodity cycles. John Lyons and Paul Kiernan of the WSJ write,
How Brazil’s China-Driven Commodities Boom Went Bust

Developing nation’s big bet on China turns sour as China’s appetite for exports dims; ‘looking at a lost decade’ As the title explains, the phenomenon is not exclusive to Brazil, but repeats itself in the whole of Latin America.

Brazil fell under what some economists call the “resource curse,” a theory describing how countries with abundant natural resources sometimes do worse than countries without them. The idea is that the money from commodity sales can lead to overvalued currencies and shortsighted policy-making, leaving such countries badly exposed when the resource boom finally ends.

Read the whole sad story, which ends with,

Even now, Brazil is looking to China for help.

In that, again, the hemisphere is never learning. Even Chile, Colombia and Peru, who have free-trade deals with the U.S. and EU, are now looking at moves that hinder their economies.

Sing it, guys!

Why the knives are out on Menendez

August 28th, 2015

Why the knives are out on Menendez. Two words: Foreign policy.

Read my article here.

RELATED:
SATLOFF’S TEN QUESTIONS

Cuba: Getting Gitmo closed

August 28th, 2015

I fully expect the Obama administration to close not only the prison but also the U.S. base at Guantanamo, after which, Obama will do a turnkey ceremony in Havana with photo-op with Raul Castro.

Here’s the latest headline, on the latest hurdle:
Obama, Congress head for showdown over defense bill curbs on Gitmo

The House version of the fiscal defense authorization bill, now in House-Senate conference, contains language that prohibits transferring any Guantanamo detainees abroad or to the United States.

The bill does so by barring the Pentagon from spending any funds on the transfers or constructing or modifying prison facilities in the United States. It also bans putting the detainees in any Pentagon facilities worldwide or to combat zones.

Lastly, the House bill prohibits using any defense funds to send terrorists from Guantanamo to any foreign country unless the defense secretary provides a certification that past transferees haven’t returned to terrorist activities.

Although the bill fully funds the president’s budget request, Mr. Obama has threatened a veto on the grounds that it misuses the Overseas Contingency Operations to fund other defense programs. His real rationale for a veto, however, may be the House’s Guantanamo restrictions.

No similar restrictions are in the Senate version of the bill. However, the House bill notes that the White House ignored previous legal restrictions on Guantanamo prisoners, thus bolstering the argument for keeping the more restrictive House language.

As Drudge says, developing . . .

What about the Trump/Ramos thing?

August 27th, 2015

The bottom line:
In the battle of the egos, they each got out of it exactly what they wanted.

And, by the way, Univision’s influence in the Latino news market is vastly overrated, and it’s not even owned or controlled by Lateenos.

UPDATE
According to this study by the Pew Research Center, 82% of Hispanics consume news media in English, while the number who do so in Spanish decreases. Likewise,

The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news
exclusively in English. According to the survey,
one-third (32%) of Hispanic adults in 2012 did this, up from 22% in 2006. By contrast, the share of Hispanic adults who get their news exclusively in Spanish has decreased to 18% in 2012 from 22% in 2006.



Argentina: The #tucumanazo, stories of a fraud foretold?

August 27th, 2015

This does not bode well:
Riot police suppress protests calling for new elections in Tucumán

Allegations of electoral fraud bring demonstrators out on the street in Argentinean province

At stake was the governorship of Tucumán, where Alperovich and his associates from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Front for Victory (FPV) coalition manage a $3 billion dollar budget as they please. If no new elections are held, his vice-governor, Juan Manzur, will soon take over.
. . .
Though the province is the nation’s smallest, it has the fifth largest population and has now become the site of a landmark moment in this election season. According to preliminary results, presidential election favorite Daniel Scioli’s center-left FPV coalition won Tucumán by 14 points but this victory may cost him, with images of irregularities on the day of voting and other fraudulent maneuvers threatening to damage his standing.

Twitter #tucumanazo:

The sign reads, “I don’t fear the state’s repression.
I fear the people’s silence
.”

Heading to the World Meeting of Families in a VW bus . . . all the way from Buenos Aires

August 26th, 2015

Imagine, if you will, the ultimate road trip: Driving the PanAmerican Highway from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Monterrey, Mexico, and then steering northeast to Philadelphia, to arrive at the World Meeting of Families.

Read about a most incredible adventure, Heading to the World Meeting of Families in a VW bus . . . all the way from Buenos Aires.

And let’s get Da Tech Guy and the Walkers together!