My latest article at Da Tech Guy: Cuba’s foreign prisoners
talking about Medical tourism in Latin America plus other issues this week with Silvio and Prof. Carlos A. Roncal.
Live now, and archived for your convenience.
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) December 4, 2013
Translation: URGENT: The citizens of #Cordoba defending their city during the police protests.
A police strike for higher pay — which the governor blamed on his closure of brothels that provide a money stream to corrupt officers — has prompted waves of looting and robberies in Argentina’s second largest city.
The violence in Cordoba began Tuesday night and continued Wednesday morning, with storefronts being shattered, mobs stealing merchandise, robbers attacking people in the streets and vigilantes arming themselves to protect their homes. More supermarkets and a mobile television van recording the violence were attacked this morning, even as officers and provincial authorities began negotiations to end the strike.
Hospital authorities reported one shooting death and more than 100 injuries, mostly from shattered glass.
[Gov. Jose Manuel] de la Sota also described the strike as a police response to his decision to close 140 brothels that provide income to corrupt officers. “We know that this, which is a terrible business, horrible, is linked to drug trafficking and that it would bring us problems sooner or later,” the governor said.
The new police salaries are the equivalent of about US$1,400/month at the black market rate. This is a 52% increase over their prior salary.
RT reports that the police union has agreed on the new salary,
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) December 4, 2013
Translation: [Breaking] #Córdoba’s governor: “There’s an agreement. The police will start chasing the looters.”
Ewa Sapiezynska and Hassan Akram, both from the University of Chile, writing at al-Jazeera, claim that Bleak media reports about the country’s polity and economy are exaggerated.
According to Sapiezynska and Akram, the Venezuelan economy is stable, economic woes are politically induced, and Venezuela’s electoral system is “the best in the world” because Jimmy Carter said so.
That al-Jazeera would publish such nonsense about the second-most corrupt and least-free nation in our hemisphere, a country with an implied annual inflation rate of 325%, , speaks poorly not only of al-Jazeera; it also makes you wonder what kind of charlatan they hire at the University of Chile.
Post edited for clarity.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, far-left former presidential candidate who was endorsed by Hugo Chavez has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack,
The 60-year-old Mr. López Obrador on Sunday addressed a large gathering in the city’s main square in opposition to plans to open the oil sector to private investment, and has planned a number of protest actions as the congress takes up the proposal this week.” target=”_blank”>The 60-year-old Mr. López Obrador on Sunday addressed a large gathering in the city’s main square in opposition to plans to open the oil sector to private investment, and has planned a number of protest actions as the congress takes up the proposal this week.
In other Mexico news,
U.S. Indicts Ex-Mexico Governor [Tomas Yarrington]
Former Mexican governor and one-time presidential hopeful is accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from drug cartels for protecting drug shipments
In the May indictment, opened on Monday in Brownsville, Texas, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson charged the former governor, Tomas Yarrington, with accepting millions of dollars to allow the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas drug gang to ship tons of cocaine through the state of Tamaulipas while he was governor between 1999 and 2005.
The indictment marks the second time in weeks that a Mexican governor has been indicted in the U.S., and is an embarrassment for the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Many Mexicans suspect the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, for years had ties to organized crime cartels. The PRI has denied that.
More than 100 people attempting to illegally cross into the United States from Mexico over the weekend threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents trying to stop them, the agency said Monday.
And, in a lighter mode, let’s not forget this week’s Terapia intensiva, in Spanish,
In our hemisphere, Haiti and Venezuela are in the bottom 20 most corrupt, while Canada, Barbados, the USA and Uruguay are in the top 20 least corrupt, with the Bahamas, Chile and Saint Lucia in the top 25,
h/t Business Insider
Contrary to the Pope’s expectations, the least corrupt overlap the Index of Economic Freedom. Economic freedom goes hand in hand with less corruption.
Related: Catholics and Communists
The Catholic Church, unfortunately, has been a fellow traveler in the global movement to regulate individual success, opportunity, and freedom out of existence for the great majority of mankind, through authoritarian control exerted under the wafer-thin guise of promoting “equality.”
And while we’re at it, you can replace the word “Africa” with “Latin America” in Paul Theroux’s essay,
Africa has the schools, the money and the resources to fix its own problems; it’s appalling to think of donors telling them otherwise, of the whole continent terminally indebted and living on handouts.
and you’ll be right.
In concert at Covent Garden, 1962:
Following Justin Bieber’s acts of vandalism, Colombian and Brazilian authorities are having to deal with an outburst of graffiti. Maybe they ought to ban the little twerp from coming back, or better yet, make him clean it up with his own two hands.
Authorities have focused on seizing drugs, not dismantling the organisations that peddle them. “This strategy is futile,” says former under-secretary of security for Buenos Aires province, Diego Gorgal. “It doesn’t change the supply, demand, or price of drugs.” It is also poorly executed. According to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report produced by the US State Department, Argentine security forces seized 12 tonnes of cocaine in 2010; in the first six months of 2012 they confiscated only 3.4 tonnes. Operation Northern Shield, an initiative to improve Argentina’s border security through the installation of seven radars in the north, has flopped. Only three have been activated. Their backup? Forty-year-old aircraft.
Fire ravages Oscar Niemeyer building
Authorities in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, fight a major blaze at a landmark building designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, The Latin America Memorial.
D.C. Jews press Obama to secure subcontractor’s release from Cuban jail Alan Gross was arrested in 2009 while on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet; a rally planned for Dec. 3 is meant to raise awareness for his cause.
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic
U.S. trial ends over Ecuador pollution judgment against Chevron: The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.
Uncovering Jamaica’s Jewish Past In the great Caribbean melting pot, one group is largely overlooked: Jewish refugees who settled centuries ago. Their descendants are unearthing graveyards to reclaim a piece of history.
EPN’s first year
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama Reverses: North Korean Crew Not Freed
Organized crime prosecutor Nahaniel Murgas first said only the ship’s captain, first mate and a Korean official who watched the crew would continue to be detained and face charges of arms trafficking. He appeared later in the afternoon at the base where the crew members were being held and changed his version, saying only the ship was legally free to go. He left without further comment.
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:
— German (@GerCortez) November 27, 2013
Venezuela elections: Empty shelves and a skyscraper squat
Venezuelans go to the polls in local and regional elections on 8 December that are being widely seen as a referendum on the six-month presidency of Nicolas Maduro. Opponents accuse him of leading the country to economic ruin, but he insists his reforms are essential and popular.
It’s [sic] means this entire thing, the whole of the macroeconomic mess, all the crazy dislocations of the last few years, the raspaíto, the impossible-to-find milk, the shoving matches for perniles, the cars that suddenly jump up in price as they roll out of the showroom, all of it (and, much worse, all of what’s to come) all of it is – to a much greater extent than almost anyone realizes – just a knock-on effect from the financial chasm left in PDVSA’s finances by the gasoline subsidy!
China + oil = deal CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?
The week’s posts:
Venezuela: “21st Century socialism” = same old Communism
At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!
Last month I referred to Maduro’s incarceration of business owners as the start of the really bad news: the mask dropped completely.
Must-read op-ed by Enrique Standish: Venezuela Finally Turns Communist
Maduro Follows Leninist Dogma to the Letter. Standish tracks the evolution in four stages:
- The first stage entailed obtaining total control of all institutions of the Venezuelan state.
- In the second stage, Chavez
passed 49 laws directed against the private sector. These laws eliminated private participation in the oil business, allowed for confiscation without payment of private lands, suspended constitutional guarantees for business owners, and established “military security zones” in major metropolitan areas — a de facto confiscation of prime real estate in Venezuela’s major cities. At the same time, he launched an all out attack against the country’s independent labor unions
- Third stage:
Chavez nationalized the holdings of international corporations in all sectors considered essential by his Cuban advisers: telecommunications, mining, steel, construction materials, oil and oil services, energy generation, distribution and transmission, gas, agricultural services, and even glass companies. At the same time, Venezuela entered into a hugely expensive and disadvantageous agreement with China, with the sole purpose of diverting its oil exports from the United States to the Chinese market.
Now in the fourth stage, Maduro has declared “Economic War” by ending what was left of free markets in Venezuela as he approved a law setting price controls on all goods, and another law creating a National Foreign Trade Center monopoly that will handle all imports entering Venezuela.
and a Zara store after,
Enter the black market, in force.
trusts the state, “charged with vigilance for the common good.”
I hate to say this, but the Pope’s moral authority just went missing.
More on The Pope’s Rhetoric.
Over at CNN, “Venezuela is on a fast track to ruin:”
Linked to by Moonbattery. Thank you!
In Central America and the Caribbean, Petrocaribe — the Venezuelan institution that provides subsidized oil to friendly countries — has raised from 50 percent to 60 percent the cash payments it demands from member countries and is also raising interest rates on their long-term oil debts.
In early November, Guatemala announced its withdrawal from Petrocaribe, saying that the new payment conditions were no longer attractive.
Not enough money to buy the love.
Related: Voodoo economics in Cubazuela: Maduro’s Mojo kicks into high gear