“Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at, because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now.”
I posted the YouTube here, but this is worth reading in full while listening:
NYT op-ed by Roger Cohen: Cry for Me, Argentina
Argentina, however, is a perverse case of its own. It is a nation still drugged by that quixotic political concoction called Peronism; engaged in all-out war on reliable economic data; tinkering with its multilevel exchange rate; shut out from global capital markets; trampling on property rights when it wishes; obsessed with a lost little war in the Falklands (Malvinas) more than three decades ago; and persuaded that the cause of all this failure lies with speculative powers seeking to force a proud nation — in the words of its leader — “to eat soup again, but this time with a fork.”
A beautiful country, ruined.
Tonight at 8PM EST in Silvio Canto’s podcast, we’ll talk to Victor Triay, author PLUS US-Latin America this week, including my article, Venezuela: “Don’t you get weary!”
VIDEO Ted Cruz: To Save Venezuela, Sanction Iran and Starve the Castros
Last November Secretary of State John Kerry declared the Monroe Doctrine dead; Putin was listening:
Russia Seeks Several Military Bases Abroad – Defense Minister (emphasis added)
Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.
“The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced plans to shrink army to pre-World War II levels. His timing could not have been more perfect.
There you have it:
The Optimistic Conservative:
The timing of SSV-175’s patrol is presumably no coincidence. We don’t know exactly when she left her Northern Fleet home port on the Barents Sea, but since she was in Curacao on the 30th, we do know it was at least before 10 January (and probably before that. At an overall speed of 12 knots, the ship would have needed to leave the Barents around 2 or 3 January). It’s unlikely that the AGI is in Central America just for the excitement of popular unrest in Venezuela, however. The more interesting event could well be the deployment of the Iranian navy task force.
John Kerry was on TV just now saying “This is not Rocky IV.” No, it’s not: this is real.
Fernando del Rincón de CNNEE entrevistó al General Ángel Vivas,
El exgeneral Ángel Vivas, que tiene una orden de captura en su contra por incitar la violencia, le dijo a Fernando del Rincón que “debemos rescatar la república democrática” libre de los poderes extranjeros que buscan “dirigir el destino de los venezolanos”.
“Los cubanos están en todas las estructuras del Estado venezolano”, dijo.
Más en el enlace.
Linked to by HACER. Thank you!
Finally, a CNN reporter on the job,
— AnonymousBolivar (@WilliamsXtreme) February 25, 2014
“Since when does the National Guard wear white sneakers?”
— Richard (@RNCF2012) February 25, 2014
“A woman was brutally beaten by female operative of the People’s Guard in Valencia” The perpetrator was later identified as Josneidy Castillo.
— Boina Verde (@cesago) February 24, 2014
— Judith Alves 350 (@LocaLuzCaraball) February 25, 2014
— MAIPO GOLD (@goldtwittee) February 24, 2014
Marco Rubio’s speech on Cuba and Venezuela,
— Ricardo Ramírez. (@RicardoARM_) February 25, 2014
SOS Venezuela video:
El Carabobeño daily’s Flickr photos of the National Guard attacking civilians.
Alex Beech explains media indifference to Venezuela on her Facebook page.
Caracas Gringo: Maduro Must Resign Now! translates the following video,
Monica Showalter‘s Facebook page: Cuban troops instructing Venezuelan goons how to build barricades. Venezuela’s freedom fighters are up against the muscle of Castro
Also via Monica, an article from 2005, Hugo Chávez Enlists a Kennedy for Anti-U.S. Campaign
WSJ: Venezuela’s Maduro Faces Internal Criticism
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro encountered the first criticism from within his ruling coalition when a state governor criticized the government’s crackdown on a growing student movement.
I don’t know, but when two such dissimilar political figures act the same way, something is afoot. Some crack in the facade is showing. Some weakness is being perceived and they both want to take advantage of it.
Victoria Henderson writing at PanAm Post, Chavismo Apologists: The Long Arm of the “Official” Story
Canadian Media Extends Olive Branch to Venezuelan Regime
There’s a women’s protest scheduled for tomorrow. There’s also an initiative to cancel the upcoming Carnival festivities,
— Nicolás Maburro (@Maburrito) February 25, 2014
Special thanks to my former classmate Doris for her Facebook posts.
Alfredo Corchado, Mexico Bureau Chief for the Dallas Daily News, and one of the foremost experts in the subject, relates how Mexico nabs top drug kingpin in operation with U.S. without firing a shot. Also important is the timeline,
TIMELINE: Detentions and killings of reputed Mexican drug kingpins
Top Mexican drug cartel captures or killings in recent years:
SATURDAY: Authorities said Mexican and U.S. officials captured the world’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in the beach resort of Mazatlán.
JULY 15, 2013: Authorities in northern Mexico captured Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, alias “40,” leader of the brutal Zetas cartel.
OCT. 7, 2012: Mexican marines killed Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, alias “El Lazca,” a founder and top leader of the Zetas. His body was later stolen from a funeral home. Treviño Morales took over the Zetas.
OCT. 6, 2012: Mexican marines arrested alleged Zetas regional leader Salvador Alfonso Martínez Escobedo, who was suspected of involvement in massacres and the killing of U.S. citizen David Hartley in 2010 on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border.
SEPT. 12, 2012: Mexican marines captured purported top Gulf cartel leader Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sánchez, alias “El Coss.” U.S. authorities had offered a $5 million reward for his arrest.
DEC. 9, 2010: Mexican federal police killed Nazario Moreno González, leader of La Familia Michoacana cartel, during a gunfight in the village of El Alcalde. His body was never recovered, and rumors have persisted that Moreno, known as “the Craziest One,” is still alive.
JULY 29, 2010: Mexican army troops raided a house in the town of Zapopán and killed Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa cartel.
DEC. 16, 2009: Mexican marines killed Arturo Beltrán Leyva, leader of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, in a shootout in Cuernavaca.
Read the whole article, buy Corchado’s book.
Will El Chapo Rule From Prison?
Without a doubt, the week’s top story is the opposition’s continuing demonstrations in Venezuela, eclipsing even the capture in Mexico of Chapo Guzmán, the most-wanted criminal of the hemisphere (and who will face charges in at least three US federal courts), . You can click on #LaSalida for all my posts covering the story.
. . . three deep-lying explanations help to illuminate the country’s diminishment. Firstly, Argentina may have been rich 100 years ago but it was not modern. That made adjustment hard when external shocks hit. The second theory stresses the role of trade policy. Third, when it needed to change, Argentina lacked the institutions to create successful policies.
“We have spent 50 years thinking about maintaining government spending, not about investing to grow,” says Fernando de la Rúa, a former president who resigned during the 2001 crisis.
This short-termism distinguishes Argentina from other Latin American countries that have suffered institutional breakdowns. Chile’s military dictatorship was a catastrophic fracture with democracy but it introduced long-lasting reforms. Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party governed steadily for most of the 20th century. “In Argentina institution-building has taken the form of very quick and clientilist redistribution,” says Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bolivia under water: Why no national disaster declared amid floods?
The Bolivian government says its massive aid operation, which includes food and tents, is well underway, but not everyone is satisfied with the response.
Optics? THE ROUSSEFF TWO STEP
Brazil Sidestepping to the Right via Instapundit.
Haitians will not be stripped of Dominican Republic citizenship
Stalled Spending Chokes Mexico’s Growth
Mexico posted its worst economic performance in 2013 since the global recession of 2009, thanks in part to massive government spending delays that businesses struggled to overcome.
A canal across Nicaragua: Is this for real? Here’s a hint: “The price tag alone is nearly four times Nicaragua’s economic output.”
Puerto Rico Plans $2.86 Billion Offering for 16 Months of Cash, supposedly “to regain financial footing” until June 2015. And then what?
Venezuela: chaos and thuggery take the place of the pretty revolution
Hugo Chávez’s dream world has become a nightmare of shot-down protesters, jailed oppositionists, economic meltdown and a brutal war waged against a defiant middle class
The week’s posts, radio, and podcast:
Venezuela: #24F Barricading the country
At Da Tech Guy: Venezuela: “We must become the media”
This week’s podcast had to be cancelled due to software difficulties at Blog Talk Radio.