Brazil: World Cup stadium now a parking lot

May 14th, 2015

The Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, the most expensive of the stadiums, is being used as a bus parking lot.

Business Insider: Brazil’s $3 billion World Cup stadiums are becoming white elephants a year later. Why? Several were built in cities that don’t even have top-rated teams. Add to that the distance to major urban areas, and the expense of holding events at those venues.

Some stadiums are still are paying for the construction, and then there are contracts:

The club team Atlético Mineiro plays its games at the old Independencia stadium in Belo Horizonte — it can’t make money playing at the new Estádio Mineirão because of its contract with the stadium’s owners, the AP reports.

Many – including myself – saw it coming, prior to the WC. In all, another one for Capt. Louis Renault.

We talked about this in Silvio Canto’s podcast last night:

In other news, Brazil is ranked 60th on education in a list of 76 countries (link in Portuguese) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Argentina (62d), Colombia (67th) and Peru (71th) did even worse.

If the Pope were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

May 13th, 2015

Recently, Pope Francis

  • met with Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutierrez, the self-declared founder of liberation theology.
  • Restored to the priesthood Miguel d’Escoto, the Sandinista who expounded liberation theology as a priest and turned Nicaragua into a Cuban-ruled hellhole. D’Escoto also considers Fidel Castro a saint.
  • Brokered the “easing” of U.S.-Cuba relations that left the Cuban dissidents out in the dark.
  • Welcomed Raul Castro for an hour-long private audience.
  • UPDATE: Recognizes the Palestinian state.

To quote the estimable Mark Steyn, “If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?”

More on the Pope and liberation theology at IBD: Liberation Theology’s Comeback Comes With A KGB Caveat

UPDATE
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Hezbollah in Latin America: $100million a year, and more

May 13th, 2015

The “more” includes growing ties with Mexican drug cartels – which are in charge of human traffic across the border – and the terrorist group for bringing into the U.S. Islamic terrorists, in exchange for weapons.

Read my article, Hezbollah in Latin America: $100million a year, and more

En español: Unidad de quemados OHL

May 13th, 2015

y Pacasso trae el Exótico Hotel Marigold 2

Honduras: “It’s over for the little guy”

May 12th, 2015

Back in the days of The Sopranos, “It’s over for the little guy”. Now there’s real muscle doing the protection rackets.

Honduran gangs choke small businesses with ‘war tax’

“Nearly all the merchants have left. They decided to leave before they got killed or had to pay the ‘war tax,'” said Sheila, methodically slicing bananas and tossing them into boiling oil.

The “tax,” in her case, is $20 a month, which she pays the gangsters so they will let her stay in business.
. . .
The maras now have some 100,000 members in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

A MORE PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS HONDURAS? Not quite in the works yet (emphasis added):

President Orlando Hernández’s speech promoted his plan for domestic development. While detailing the new initiatives for the prosperity of his people, the president seemed to lack equal detail when addressing questions of what Honduras can do to tackle the global illegal drug issues in which it is entangled. Only when his administration takes on the problems that Honduras is facing on a transnational level will President Orlando Hernández be able to meet the standards necessary to join the Alliance for Prosperity, and make use of the admittedly questionable advantages it offers.

Haiti: Clintons’ scam

May 12th, 2015

Mary O’Grady:
How the Clintons Worked the Angles in Haiti
Bill handled earthquake aid while Hillary was secretary of state. The nation deserved better.

Within two weeks of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the word had already gone out from the State Department that Bill Clinton would be in charge of U.S. reconstruction efforts. “That means,” one individual told me and I reported in a Jan. 25, 2010 column, “if you don’t have Clinton connections, you won’t be in the game.”

The “game,” as my source called it, meant securing hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development and grants from multilateral institutions like the InterAmerican Development Bank, which gets the bulk of its funding from the U.S.

The Clintons deny that Bill’s power over State’s purse was used to secure donations to the Clinton Foundation. But at least two contributors who gave more than $1 million as I described in a March 9 column, including the InterAmerican Development Bank, benefited from U.S. earthquake aid.

No bid contracts, carte blanche from the Obama administration, Bill handling hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars . . . as Capt. Louis Renault said,

Cuba: Fidel’s fantasy islands

May 12th, 2015

.The murderous dictator has a getaway from the misery he inflicts on his enslaved people:

An excerpt from Juan Reinaldo Sanchez’s book The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo

Inside Fidel Castro’s luxurious life on his secret island getaway

Fidel instantly fell in love with this place of wild beauty worthy of Robinson Crusoe and decided to have it for his own. The lighthouse keeper was asked to leave the premises and the lighthouse was put out of action and later taken down.

To be precise, Cayo Piedra consists of not one island but two, a passing cyclone having split it in half. Fidel had, however, rectified this by building a 700-foot-long bridge between the two parts.

The southern island was slightly larger than its northern counterpart, and it was here, on the site of the former lighthouse, that Castro and his wife, Dalia, had built their house: a cement-built, L-shaped bungalow arranged around a terrace that looked out to the east, onto the open sea.

While ordinary Cubans suffered, this is where Castro would relax.

Socialism or death, he said.

If Pope Francis is really really nice, maybe he’ll get to visit Cayo Piedra next September. Or will Obama?

Cuba: The annotated Raul-Pope Francis meeting

May 11th, 2015

The excellent Carlos Eire translates, annotates, and interprets a report on Raul Castro’s meeting with his new BFF, Pope Francis,
King Raul : “If the pope stays on the same path, I might join the Catholic Church!”

King Raul and the Holy Father exchanged gifts during this “cordial” visit.  The tyrant gave the pope a rare medal commemorating the 200th anniversary of Havana’s cathedral — of which only 25 exist.

The tyrant responsible for driving 20 percent of his subjects into exile also had the audacity to give the pope a contemporary painting by an unnamed Cuban artist that depicts a kneeling migrant praying on a beach, at the foot of a cross made from boats.

(Le Rrrrronca!)

Read the whole thing.

Exit question:
Is Francis granting a private audience to the Ladies in White when he goes to Cuba next September?

The Ricky Ricardo Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

May 11th, 2015

Today’s Carnival is dedicated to Desi Arnaz, who raked in the bucks by creating a TV character that interviewers can’t seem to forget.

ARGENTINA
This week could be decisive for Nisman probeBoard of coroners will issue final report to prosecutor Fein that could answer key questions

No. Is Argentina’s economy pulling a tango turnaround?

Argentinean University: Austrian Economists Need Not Apply
Slighted Professor Claims Ideology Trumps 20 Years Experience at Comahue

BELIZE
Belize offshore oil proposal has environmentalists worried about reefs, fisheries, tourism

BOLIVIA
Militar boliviano diz que Podemos seria braço do tráfico venezuelano
Relatório afirma que partido de esquerda foi financiado por Hugo Chávez e seus aliados bolivarianos para transformar a Espanha em porta de entrada de cocaína na Europa
[Bolivian serviceman claims Podemos will be an arm of Venezuelan drug traffic
He says the Leftist party was bankrolled by Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian associates to transform Spain into a port of entrance for Europe’s cocaine]

Bolivia’s access to the sea
Beaches of the future?
A South American border dispute has implications for international law

Both countries are parties to the Pact of Bogotá, which obliges signatories to submit disputes to international tribunals. But the pact excludes conflicts that were settled before 1948.

BRAZIL
Brazil football fan club deaths lead to police arrests

British lawyer killed in Amazon fell victim to boat captains’ ‘game of dare’Husband of Gillian Metcalf says neither of the two drivers took action to prevent tragedy in high-speed collision

CHILE
Crisis socialista: Bachelet despide a todo su gabinete

COLOMBIA
Colombia ELN rebels ‘displayed solider’s leg as trophy’

Samuel Angel: “Santos y Petro han sido los peores administradores que hemos tenido”

CUBA
Ca$tro r€gim€ $€nd$ m€dica£ a$$i$tanc€ to N€pa£

EconomyGeeks Radio: Entrevista a Yusnaby Perez

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic stunned by two weeks of forest fires

ECUADOR
Ecuadorian State Workers Forced to March for Correa
Sign the Roll or Suffer the Consequences

Ecuador’s president demands respect from his constituentsRafael Correa attacks the press for reporting a presidential run-in with a young protestor who gave him the finger. He could start by staying off Twitter.

EL SALVADOR
Fear, uncertainty prevail on San Salvador’s increasingly violent streetsAs homicides soar after failed truce, El Salvador could surpass Honduras as most murderous peacetime country

GUATEMALA
Guatemala vice-president steps down amid customs corruption scandalPresident announces deputy has vacated her offices as ex-aide stands accused of orchestrating fraud worth million

HONDURAS
Death valley: the land war gripping Honduras
With a murder rate 65 times higher than Ireland’s, Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries. And few parts are more dangerous than the Lower Aguán Valley, where local farmers claim that big business has illegally taken over their land

MEXICO
Mexican police capture one of the masterminds behind Iguala massacreThe suspect, a former deputy police chief, was arrested at an exclusive country club

Mexico rescues more than 100 kidnapped migrants

Police in Mexico have rescued more than 100 migrants kidnapped by a human trafficking gang near the capital.
Reports said some of the migrants had been held hostage for five weeks in a house in Mexico State.
Most of the victims were Central Americans, but they also included people from India and Sri Lanka.

Los Cuinis: The Wealthiest Narcos You Never Heard OfJalisco Battle Brings Mexico’s Top Dogs Out of the Shadows

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua Canal: A Giant Project With Huge Environmental Costs, if it happens.

PANAMA
Panama Finds Collecting Venezuelan Debt Harder than Pulling TeethNew President Still Hopes to Bring $1 Billion Owed into Port – good luck with that.

Panama Supreme Court Judge Faces Charges of Pederasty, CorruptionCongressman Mario Miller Claims Accusations Have “No Legal Foundation”

PARAGUAY
Ten-year-old’s pregnancy sparks Paraguay abortion debate

PERU
Drug trade’s lowest rung: Peru’s expendable cocaine couriers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico may run out of cash by Sept: Gov. bank

VENEZUELA
Mass grave found on the Venezuela-Colombia border

The week’s posts and podcast:
Identity politics: Halperin interviews Ted Cruz, expects Ricky Ricardo

Haiti: Clinton’s crony gets the contract

Today’s “WTH Moment” brought to you by Jorge Ramos

Book review: Carly Fiorina’s Rising to the Challenge

John Oliver riffs Latin America

“You will not like Cuba”

Chile: Bachelet ditches entire Cabinet

“Terrorism is most definitely not a weapon of the weak”

Just what we need: Ferries to Cuba! UPDATED

This is what free speech is all about

Mexico: Jalisco’s new generation of crime

Puerto Rico: The great debt scam

It’s that time of year,

Cuba: Fidel, druglord

Podcast:



Identity politics: Halperin interviews Ted Cruz, expects Ricky Ricardo

May 9th, 2015

WARNING: The following is a rant.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and, if I had $5 for every liberal idiot who looks at me and says “You don’t look Puerto Rican”, etc., because I don’t fit the Liberal template of what a Lateeeno/Lateeena should be like, this blog wouldn’t need to carry ads.

Frankly, by now I expect to consistently encounter discrimination and bigotry from Liberals. It’s in their mindset – identity politics is their lifeblood.

Ruben Navarrete describes one instance:
Ruben Navarrette: Halperin interview of Ted Cruz was painful

. . . Halperin made it personal, and the interview careened into a ditch. He told Cruz that people are curious about his “identity.” Then, the host asked a series of questions intended to establish his guest’s Hispanic bona fides. What kind of Cuban food did Cruz like to eat growing up? And what sort of Cuban music does Cruz listen to even now?

The interview starts at the 9:00 point in this video,

Update: Louder With Crowder has the clip of the interview by itself:

Halperin was likely expecting Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo singing Texas Pete,

Or perhaps Halperin was disappointed Ted didn’t invite him over for cortadito and pastelitos de guayaba. Halperin capped it all off by asking Cruz to “say something in Spanish.”

Cruz is much too polite, but I’m not. Here’s something in Spanish, Halperin,
Read the rest of this entry »