podcasting live in Silvio Canto’s show. Live at 8PM, and archived for your listening convenience.
From The Economist’s Intelligence Unit,
Brazil extends contracts for 11,500 Cuban doctors
Since August 2013, Cuba has collected over US$700m from the Brazilian government in exchange for the services of 11,456 Cuban medical professionals working in over 2,700 towns and cities across the country. The Brazilian government recently announced that the programme will continue next year, with total payments amounting to US$511m.
Communist Cuba is broke, and its main source of income is selling off its citizens (emphasis added),
Currently, the sale of services abroad is Cuba’s largest source of hard currency: in 2014, the government estimates that it will collect US$8.2bn from these deals. Around 50,000 Cuban health professionals work in 66 countries worldwide, although around half of those work in Venezuela, with an additional 11,456 in Brazil. The agreements with other foreign countries are similar to the Brazilian setup, with Cuban doctors paid less than the salary of local medical staff, and the remainder of their pay being transferred to the Cuban government.
I am disgusted to read that The Economist’s Intelligence Unit ended its report with this,
The Economist Intelligence Unit is not changing its macroeconomic forecasts in light of the renewal of the programme, but it will come as a relief to the Cuban government and will help to mitigate the scaling-back of the sale of professional services to Venezuela.
As Capitol Hill Cubans correctly points out,
These government-to-dictatorship contracts, whereby Cuban doctors have absolutely no say about salary, work conditions and have their passports confiscated, have been denounced internationally — andwithin Brazil – as forced labor.
(Read here the testimony of a Cuban doctor who defected.)
They are clearly in violation of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the International Labor Organization’s (“ILO”) Convention on the Protection of Wages.
As Brazil’s National Federation of Physicians (FENAM, in Portuguese), has stated, “the contracts of the Cuban doctors have the characteristics of slave labor and only serve to finance the Cuban government.”
Meanwhile, in the island-prison,
“The USSR discovered that the best way to control its people was by keeping them standing in line all day long.”
En la URSS descubrieron que la mejor forma de controlar al pueblo era teniéndolo todo el día haciendo cola pic.twitter.com/WmXavpciIR
— Yusnaby Pérez (@Yusnaby) September 2, 2014
The Center for a Secure and Free Society has released a report,CANADA ON GUARD: Assessing the Immigration Security Threat of
Iran, Venezuela and Cuba which
highlights attempts to violate Canada’s immigration system, examines Venezuela’s role as a “bridge” for Iranian covert access to Canada, reviews the use of cultural exchange and other soft power strategies to win support for state sponsors of terrorism, and presents preliminary policy recommendations for strengthening Canada’s immigration and national security system
The report’s key points are:
- Iran is cooperating with Venezuela and Cuba to exploit the seams in the Canadian immigration system.
- From 2009 t0 2011, Latin America was the largest embarkation region for improperly documented Iranians migrating to Canada who seek refugee status.
- Venezuelan authorities provided at least 173 passports, visas and other documentation to Islamist extremists seeking to slip unnoticed into North America.
- Soft power solidarity networks in Canada serve as a “Trojan Horse” for Iran and ALBA to establish cover for spies, saboteurs and other nefarious actors.
Less than a year after Canada shuttered the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, the Iranian regime opened an “unofficial” consulate in Montreal and began shuttling paperwork back and forth to the Iranian embassy in Cuba for processing.
Especially interesting: the sections on how Cuba’s role in the Misión Identidad (biometric ID cards) immigration system facilitates the entry of Cuban agents into Venezuela, and Tare[c]k El Aissami’s role as Iran, Syria and Hezbollah’s man in Mérida.
Read more about Iranian infiltration in Canada and the Americas here.
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!
The golf course opened in March 2004 as Coco Beach Golf & Country Club but renamed itself in 2008 after making a licensing deal to use the Trump name. The facility has two 18-hole courses that were designed by professional golfer Tom Kite and a 46,000-square foot clubhouse.
Over in Atlantic City, Trump Entertainment Resorts Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Filing Includes Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Casinos (emphasis added)
Units associated with Trump Plaza, which is already slated for closure, and with the Trump Taj Mahal sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with Tuesday’s filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., along with Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and other affiliates. Among other things, the filings halt Mr. Trump’s efforts to get a New Jersey court to get his name off the casinos.
September is working out to be a tough month for The Donald.
Chile Blames Terrorists After Bomb Blast Hurts 14 (emphasis added)
A blast ripped through a fast-food restaurant next to a busy subway station in Chile’s capital on Monday, injuring at least 14 people in the most damaging of nearly 30 bombings or attempted bombings in Santiago this year.
While no group claimed responsibility for the blast, many past bombings have been claimed by anarchist groups and Chile’s government said it would invoke the country’s tough anti-terror laws.
The explosion took place during lunchtime at a restaurant in a small, underground shopping mall connected to the Escuela Militar subway station in Santiago’s affluent Las Condes neighborhood.
Regarding the 29 other bombs,
Santiago is one of the safest capitals in Latin America, but Chileans have been shocked by at least 29 bombs that have been found across the city so far this year. Some have not gone off and none of the other bombs before this one caused any injuries.
In some cases anarchist groups have said the bombs were planted to demand freedom for two Chilean anarchists imprisoned in Spain for an explosion in a cathedral in Zaragoza last year.
The leftist anarchists arrested for the Spain explosion, Francisco Javier Solar and Monica Andrea Knight, are alleged members of the “Commando Insurreccional Mateo Morral,”
a man and a woman who were part of a well organized anarchist command ‘extremely dangerous’ and with strong international connections.
However, nobody has claimed responsibility for the Santiago blast so far.
The bomb was detonated during lunchtime at a restaurant in a small, underground shopping mall connected to the Escuela Militar subway station in Santiago’s affluent Las Condes neighborhood.
How convenient: Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.
Behemoth Argentine dinosaur Dreadnoughtus made T. rex look puny
Researchers are studying the remains of a colossal, long-necked dinosaur, named Dreadnoughtus meaning “fearing nothing”, that shook the Earth about 77 million years ago
Prisoner Faces New Charges
Unresponsive plane crashes into seaIn this July 11, 2009, image obtained from the US Navy, Two F-15 Strike Eagles assigned to the Louisiana Air National Guard 159th Fighter Wing fly over southern Louisiana’s wetlands during a photo exercise
A private plane tailed by US fighter jets when it failed to respond to air traffic control, crashes off Jamaica, with an American couple on board.
5 gold miners still trapped in Nicaragua
Puerto Rico Luring Buyers With Tax Breaks
The week’s posts:
Brazil: Marina Silva is now frontrunner
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The week in the administration
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 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.