Argentina: “Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent”

August 19th, 2014

Looks like Citibank lied down with dogs, and is now covered with fleas:

Citibank could lose Argentina banking license

If the banking giant obeys a US judge’s order, it risks losing its banking license in Argentina — and the $2 billion it has in local deposits.

But if it follows Argentine law, it risks violating a US federal court order.

Play me the world’s smallest violin: It’s not looking good,

In a recent speech, Kirchner reminded Citi of its obligations under Argentine law and noted that her government decides who gets banking licenses in the country.

The potential fallout is a major concern for Citi, which has a huge retail banking presence in Argentina — and throughout South America, which is siding with Argentina.

About 18 percent of Citi’s revenues come from Latin America.

Briefly interrupted

August 19th, 2014

I don’t know if it’s related to the infernal heat, but there was no internet for several hours today. Here’s some Terapia Intensiva while I get things done,

The Panama Canal Centennial roundup

August 18th, 2014

August 15th marked the Centennial of the inauguration of the Panama Canal.

U. of FL in Gainsville: Panama and the Canal

WSJ: The Panama Canal Celebrates 100 Years
Panamanian ownership has transformed a staid, state-owned utility into a modern business.

Under Panamanian leadership, the canal has not merely been maintained as one of the world’s premier shipping routes. It has been transformed from a staid state-owned public utility, with its quasi-socialist “zone” for employees, to a modern business that aims to maximize revenues and compete internationally. The privatization of the ports on both coasts and the railroad that runs alongside the waterway, as well as the construction of a third set of locks, are testaments to the visionary and entrepreneurial thinking that Panamanian ownership has brought.


Of course, no roundup would be complete without The Tailor of Panama, in book and film.

France24:Florida celebrates US engineering as Panama Canal turns 100

The 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal, hailed at the time as one of the world’s great wonders, has inspired a celebration in central Florida to showcase the experience of the US canal workers behind the engineering feat.

Fresno Bee:At age 100, Panama Canal looks to the future

To fuel that growth, the canal is in the midst of an expansion that includes new channels on both ends and state-of-the-art locks that will allow bigger, wider and heavier ships to transit the waterway.

Quijano, who is in charge of the autonomous government agency that oversees canal operations, said the expansion represents “the next 100 years of the canal.”

The $5.25 billion project was initially supposed to be completed to coincide with the canal’s 100th anniversary. But a dispute with the contractor, weather and delay in finding the right concrete mix for the new locks have pushed the completion date to December 2015 with commercial traffic beginning in 2016.

International Business Times: Panama Canal Anniversary 2014: 100 Years Ago Today, Navigation Project Launched “American Century

Mashable photos: The Panama Canal, Then and Now

BBC: My Panama Canal
The Panama Canal has been described as one of the wonders of the modern world. Cutting a swathe through the landscape, the canal connected the Pacific and Atlantic oceans for the first time 100 years ago. Today, the waterway provides employment and inspiration. Four people talk about their Panama Canal.

The Venezuelan show trial Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

August 18th, 2014

LatinAmerWhy is the Venezuelan regime so intent in making the trial of Leopoldo Lopez such a travesty?

Let me make that clear for the reader: the defense will not be allowed to present its evidence nor its witnesses. The only evidence and witnesses that will be allowed in court are the ones from the prosecution. The defense, we hope, will be only able to cross examine that evidence. Since we know that Venezuelan judges under chavismo can silence cross examination as they want, there you have it. Of course, I am sure that as the trial moves on the judge may allow the defense an item here, an item there, just to pretend that a trial did take place, but is not going to fool anyone. It is also true that in any serious trial the judges can dismiss useless evidence such as the nephew of the accused selling boy scout cookies as a character reference, but this is not the case here. What is going on here is outright denial of justice, it is a show trial, a kangaroo court, a pre-ordained execution.

Why is the regime taking such an international risk with a figure that has already won in international courts sentences establishing that the regime was unfair towards him?

One word: force.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Financial Troubles Pile Up
Creditor Plays Down Hopes of Deal to Bring Nation Out of Default; Peso Tumbles on Rate Cut

What could possibly go wrong? Argentinean Senate Introduces Sweeping Soviet-Style Economic Plan
Dictatorship-Era Law of Supply Not Interventionist Enough for Kirchner

Bat-shit crazy: Argentina says will use anti-terror law against U.S. printing firm

Fernandez said the printing firm had ties to foreign investors whose decade-long debt battle against Argentina in the U.S. courts led Argentina to default on its debt last month for the second time in 12 years.

BOLIVIA
With Subway in the Sky, Valley Meets Plateau

BRAZIL
Silva ‘to run’ for Brazil president
Former Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva agrees to run as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate after Eduardo Campos’s sudden death, an adviser says.

Brazil’s Economic Activity Index Down 1.2% in Q2

‘Water war’ in Brazil as Rio’s supply threatened
São Paulo and Rio authorities battle over scarce water resources as reservoirs run dry

CHILE
Airport heist in Chile sees gunmen escape with £4m
Largest robbery in country’s history as trucks transporting cash targeted in audacious raid in Santiago

Chilean Police Defuse Bomb Planted at Bank

COLOMBIA
Odebrecht-Led Consortium Awarded Colombian River Contract

Colombian Journalist Denied State Protection, Murdered Three Weeks Later
Press Associations, Human-Rights Groups Demand Justice for Luis Carlos Cervantes

Santos and the Company He Keeps: Populist Progressives Encircle Colombia
New Allies Threaten to Reverse Liberalization, Development Process

Colombia victims join peace talksRepresentatives of the victims join the talks in Cuba for the first time, 16 Aug 14
A group of victims of five decades of conflict in Colombia for the first time join government negotiators and Farc rebel leaders at peace talks.

COSTA RICA
Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica

CUBA
Castro’s WTO Blackmail

Cuba: A country where toilet paper is rarer than partridge

Photo essay of the day: The glorious legacy of the so-called Revolution

ECUADOR
Pie in the sky: Ecuador Seeks To Build A Silicon Valley Of Its Own

GUATEMALA
A Reminisce: Grand Theft Auto Murder

RAND PAUL HEADS TO GUATEMALA TO CONDUCT CHARITY EYE SURGERIES

Baja California and Guatemala sign Accord in re Migrants

HAITI
UN troops disperse Haiti protesters supporting Aristide

JAMAICA
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born review – a persuasive account of Ian Fleming’s Jamaica
Matthew Parker brings the outpost of empire where the 007 novels were written to vivid life

MEXICO
Kidnappings in Mexico surge to the highest number on record

Mexico’s kidnappers used to target the rich. Now even shopkeepers and taco vendors are victims.

PANAMA
At 100, Panama Canal looks to the future
Panamanians reflecting on the past 100 years say the biggest legacy of the canal is its contribution to the economy. ‘Without the canal, we wouldn’t have half the things we have now,’ says one shopkeeper.

100 Years of the Panama Canal
One of the supreme engineering feats of the early 20th century, the canal has been an immense boon to shipping and of major geopolitical benefit to the United States.

PERU
Gold, Peru’s New Cocaine

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Power Bonds Rally on Loan-Delay Deal
Utility to Delay Loan Payments and Work on a Business-Revamp Plan

URUGUAY
Not The Onion: Migrant Thinks He’s Arrived To U.S., Actually In Uruguay

VENEZUELA
Ten years of funk
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day the opposition lost its groove.

Venezuela Oil Price Falls to Lowest Since 2012 Even as Mid-East and Ukraine Simmer

What Government Control Of The Media Means In Venezuela

The week’s posts and podcast:
Mexico: The dancing ‘dipu-tables’

Coming soon to a school near you, 37,477 illiterate students

Brazil: Socialist Party candidate dies in plane crash

En español: Barbara Padilla

Socialism: making it harder to get a drink since 1848*

Brazil: Hacking the reporters

Cuba: The end of the deepwater oil lie

Brazil: Opposition now has Arminio Fraga

Venezuela: El Pollo as big fish

At Da tech Guy blog:
The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations

The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


Mexico: The dancing ‘dipu-tables’

August 18th, 2014

Puerto Vallarta PAN legislative-strategy meeting:

Video Rocks Mexican Opposition Party
Online Publication Shows Lawmakers From Conservative PAN at Party With Scantily Clad Women

The four-minute video was published this week by Reporte Indigo, a muckraking online publication known for taking on public corruption and politicians of all stripes. The publication’s publisher, Ramón Alberto Garza, said in an interview that the video’s newsworthiness rests in the question of whether the party was paid for with public funds. The PAN officials in the video, none of whom dispute its authenticity, say it wasn’t.

Mr. Garza didn’t reveal where his publication obtained the video, in which a chuckling man can be heard shouting, “The Viagra is going to run out.”

Here’s Garza’s interview, in Spanish,

Garza points out that one of the men caught hot-handed is the man in charge of managing the money allotted to the PAN funds from public funds.

It’s not the first time PAN members were caught copping a grope:

Brazilian police in late June arrested two PAN officials and two other Mexican men for allegedly groping a woman on a street corner after Mexico’s World Cup loss to Holland, then beating her husband when he tried to intervene. The men have been fired from their jobs with a Mexico City district government and remain jailed in Fortaleza, Brazil, charged with assault.

Paco Almaraz did a burnt-out unit skit on them,

Post re-edited for clarity.

On a lighter mode: The Art of Villany

August 17th, 2014

Tom Hiddleston for Jaguar,

Mark Strong fans will like this one: “Maybe we just sound right.”

Blogging on LatAm shall resume shortly.

Note to The Economist: Mujica is no Jefferson

August 15th, 2014

My latest article, The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Coming soon to a school near you, 37,477 illiterate students

August 15th, 2014

The Hill: Obama prepares schools for migrant kids.

That’s a bit of a stretch; Obama’s playing golf and dancing in Martha’s Vineyard, but,

A total of 37,477 children have been released to an appropriate adult sponsor, usually a parent, relative or family friend, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Those children, who have been settled in all 50 states, would all be eligible to attend public school.

Some of those children may have been schooled in their native countries; none know how to speak, write, or read English.

The onerous burden on all school districts affected is about to start.

But wait! There’s more:
Official: Second illegal immigrant wave of 30,000 coming in September, October

The Obama administration insists that Schools to List Immigrant Kids as ‘Homeless’ for Enrollment Records 

Guidance released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education about the unaccompanied minors also pointed out that unaccompanied minors in the custody of sponsors could be eligible for benefits under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
. . .
The VDOE memo reiterated the requirement that school divisions “must immediately enroll homeless students” and must do so regardless of whether or not they are able “to produce the records required for enrollment.”

Let me ask a question, are the millions of minority American schoolchildren stuck in substandard and failing schools now able to enroll anywhere regardless of whether or not they are able “to produce the records required for enrollment?


Thursday night tango: Natacha Poberaj & Vladimir Khorev

August 14th, 2014

dancing to Recuerdo,

Brazil: Socialist Party candidate dies in plane crash

August 14th, 2014

We talked about this in last night’s podcast:

Brazilian Candidate Dies in Crash
Eduardo Campos, the Brazilian Socialist Party candidate for president, was killed in the crash of a private jet, upending the October election.

A leftist who was also friendly to business and tough on crime. Mr. Campos had hoped to appeal to both progressives and fiscal conservatives, but his campaign had trouble gaining traction. A recent poll had shown him with about 8% of the likely vote—a distant third behind Ms. Rousseff and her main rival, Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party.

Campos was in third place behind Dilma and Aécio, but the accident may affect the SP’s standing,

Those standings could change, however, if Mr. Campos is succeeded at the top of the ticket by his popular running mate, Marina Silva, who ran for president herself in 2010 and won about 19% of the vote.

Ms. Silva had been exploring another presidential run again this year, but when her own party, Rede Sustentabilidade, was unable to meet the requirements to get her onto the ballot, she joined Mr. Campos’s ticket as vice president.

A deeply religious, environmental activist, Ms. Silva could attract votes from both the left and right in a way that Mr. Campos couldn’t, said João Augusto de Castro Neves, Latin America director at the Eurasia Group think tank in Washington.

“She will threaten both Dilma and Aécio,” he said.

It was a horrible crash: the plane’s fall damaged seven houses:

O Globo reports that firemen have found the plane’s cabin and Campos’s wallet (link in Portuguese).

In addition to the seven killed who were aboard the plane, there were six residents injured.