President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wants tax evaders hiding about $160 billion in dollars to help finance Argentina’s oil-producing ambitions. Her offer: Buy a 4 percent bond or face the prospect of jail time.
The tax authority announced the plan May 7, highlighting its information-sharing agreements with 40 nations and warning Argentines who don’t use the three-month amnesty window that they risk fines or arrest. Evaders have two options for their cash and the only one paying interest will be a dollar bond due in 2016 to finance YPF SA (YPF), the state oil company. The 4 percent rate is a third the average 13.85 yield on Argentine debt and less than the 4.6 percent in emerging markets.
Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.
“State-controlled prices — prices that are set below market-clearing price — always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.
Then the government raised prices by 20%, which will eat up the 20% raise in minimum salary that went in effect on May 1st.
According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, the Maduro dictatorship is blaming its opponents for Caracastan’s toilet paper shortage.
“The Revolution will import around 50 million rolls of hygienic tissue… so our people can calm down and realize that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated by media campaigns that speak of shortages,” said Minister of Commerce Alejandro Fleming, through the state-run Venezuelan News Agency.
Minister Fleming cited facts and figures to prove that the production and importation of toilet paper was more than adequate in Caracastan, and then claimed that a “sobredemanda” — a sudden spike in demand — fiendishly orchestrated by the government’s opponents had caused the product to disappear from store shelves throughout the country.
Considering the disastrous state of what’s left of the Venezuelan economy, it’s no wonder people may have the runs,
Finance Minister Nelson Merentes said the government was also addressing the lack of foreign currency, which has resulted in the suspension of foreign supplies of raw materials, equipment and spare parts to Venezuelan companies, disrupting their production.
“We are making progress … we have to work very hard,” Merentes told reporters Wednesday.
Many factories operate at half capacity because the currency controls make it hard for them to pay for imported parts and materials. Business leaders say some companies verge on bankruptcy because they cannot extend lines of credit with foreign suppliers.
Speaking of runs, consumers who had spent hours waiting in line were stampeding in Caracas when they heard chicken parts and flour were finally available,
accusing him of hoarding products as part of an “economic war” on the state by private business.
Mendoza, whose company is Venezuela’s biggest beer- and flour-maker, denied that and pointedly challenged the government to sell production plants nationalized under Chavez back to the private sector to boost efficiency.
Mendoza would not be intimidated, and at least for now, Maduro backed off.
Toilet paper buyers continue to wait in line,
Fleming, the commerce minister, said monthly consumption of toilet paper was normally 125 million rolls, but that current demand “leads us to think that 40 million more are required.”
“We will bring in 50 million to show those groups that they won’t make us bow down,” he said.
Hmmm… 125 + 40 – 50 still leaves you 115 million rolls short, Minister Flemimg.
“Popo,” as the volcano is known, has displayed a “notable increase in activity levels” in the last few days, including tremors and explosive eruptions, according to a statement from the federal government.
Webcams have shown large chunks of molten rock spewing from the crater, and ash has rained down on the nearby city of Puebla. On Sunday, Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention elevated its warning level to “Yellow Phase 3,” the fifth stage of a seven-stage warning scale.
“Don Goyo”, Popo’s other name was throwing red rocks.
Popo’s twin, Iztaccihuatl, remains dormant.
And, no, don’t ask me how to pronounce Iztaccihuatl.
A group of Cubans attending AfricAmericas, a six-day event being held here through today, told stories that most U.S. blacks would find familiar, “but it is not like here,” said Manuel Cuesta Morua, who has been a tour guide, history teacher and a museum director whose political activism cost him his job. “In Cuba, we are all equal, but [blacks] can’t be in the media. We have the same education, but we can’t have that job.
“Here there are civic tools” and a justice system that can work, he said. “We have no political or symbolic representation, no access to the emerging economy” and no avenues to leadership positions.
4. Barbara Walters is retiring. Back in 1977 she spent 10 days in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s guest.
She came back with an interview that aired on TV, and a very persistent rumor that she boinked the dictator. Then she went back 25 years later, asked the same questions and got the same BS answers, like “we [Cuban Communists] don’t have the same notion of freedom as you”,
Since Fidel’s not available for interviews, but the regime needs money, expect more dissidents being allowed to travel abroad and that Mariela will get more awards.
Mexican students studying to be teachers released a hostage on Wednesday—in the municipality of Nahuatzen—due to concerns about his health. But they continue to hold five others. The students are supported by the Michoacán State Teachers Organization, which warned that the remaining captives, who are state policemen, would be freed only when a demand for 1,200 new teaching jobs is met.
to celebrate Mother’s Day, Emory Tango Ensemble and Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta, directed by Kristin Wendland (March 30, 2012, Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts), performing Desde el alma, a vals with the theme of a mother’s love,
by Alberto Paz
Rosita Melo was born in Uruguay in 1897 but she lived in Argentina since age 2. She wrote the music for Desde El Alma, a Boston-style vals, at age 14 in 1911. In 1922 she married poet Victor Piuma Velez who wrote the first set of lyrics for Desde El Alma. It was a theme dedicated to the love of a mother. In 1948, Homero Manzi called to tell them that he was interested in including the song in his movie Pobre mi madre querida [My Poor Beloved Mother], but with different lyrics as demanded by the movie script. This would not affect the copyright ownership of the song. Piuma Velez and Rosita Melo opposed the idea, and requested that if Manzi wrote new lyrics, Piuma Velez’s name should be included as co-author. Manzi agreed, the lyrics became famous and the vals, already a classic became universally famous.
The Boston-vals is a style originated in the city of that name in the United States. It is associated with the piano and its characteristic is that the player does not mark the rhythm with the left hand as it is customary with that instrument. The rhythm is marked witht he right hand along with the melody. The left hand only marks the first note of the beat, the bass.
Labor activist Miguel Suarez, who was traveling with Shabazz, told The Associated Press that his friend was beaten up at a bar near Plaza Garibaldi, a downtown square that is home to Mexico City’s mariachis.
Plaza Garibaldi is popular with tourists, but the pair were at a bar across the street from the plaza in an area of rough dive bars tourists are warned against going to.
Suarez said he and Shabazz were lured to the bar on Wednesday night by a young woman who made conversation with the American in English. The Palace bar is on one of Mexico City’s busiest avenues.
“We were dancing with the girls and drinking,” said Suarez. Then the owner of the bar wanted them to pay a $1,200 bar tab, alleging that they should pay for music, drinks and the girls’ companionship.