Posts Tagged ‘Alan P. Gross’

Cuba: What are the names of the 53 prisoners?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

On December 17, Pres. Obama read his Statement on Cuba Policy Changes. In it, he mentioned,

In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team.

No specifics, just “a substantial number of prisoners.”

Later it was revealed by the White House that, out of the untold number of political prisoners in Cuba (where in 2014 the number of arrests totaled 8,012), 53 were to be released as part of the deal. As Jason Poblete points out,

The 53 are part of a deal that included impregnating (through artificial insemination by having his sperm collected at prison in the U.S. and then flown to Cuba at U.S. taxpayers’ expense) the wife of a spy serving two life sentences for murder. U.S. taxpayers also paid to fly the spy to Cuba, where he was received as a hero, and the U.S. government paid about $3.2 million to Alan Gross.

Following the Statement, I have been trying to find the list of the 53 names. I set out right away, even asking on Twitter after my (failed) initial search,

The names, as far as I could see, are nowhere to be found. I thought perhaps I could not find them due to the fact that I have very limited resources through which I can conduct research. However, none of the dozens of Latin American or Spanish news sources I constantly consult had any information at all on the names, which is very unusual.*

As it turns out, I am in good company:

Reuters reports,
In U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap, mystery surrounds the unnamed 53

Cuba’s most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba.

For years, dissident leaders have told the United States which opponents of Cuba’s communist government were being jailed or harassed, but they say they were not consulted when the list of prisoners to be freed was drawn up or even told who is on it.

The lack of information has stoked concern and frustration among the dissidents, who worry that the secret list is flawed and that genuine political prisoners who should be on it will be left to languish.

“We’re concerned because we don’t agree with the silence, because we have a right to know who they are. Who are they?” said Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White dissident group, which marches in Havana on Sundays to demand the release of prisoners.

“There are not just 53 political prisoners, there are more, and we are concerned that the U.S. list might have common criminals on it,” she told Reuters in Havana.

Reuters also brings up another interesting question, in view of Obama’s wording “a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team,”

It also is not clear if some prisoners were kept off the list because the Cuban government refused to release them.

Mary O’Grady is also asking, Where Are Cuba’s Political Prisoners?
Fifty-three of those jailed by the Castros were supposed to have been freed in the Obama deal.
She couldn’t even get an answer from the State Department:

I asked the State Department this last week. State referred me to the White House. White House officials declined to provide the list of names citing “concern that publicizing it would make it more difficult to ensure that Cuba follows through, and continues with further steps in the future.”

Bottom line: The U.S. government cannot confirm that they have been released and is not certain they’re going to be released, even though the three Cuban spies have already been returned.

O’Grady points out,

If Mr. Obama is serious about selling U.S.-Cuba detente, a little less obfuscation would be nice. The U.S. has not confirmed the identity of the intelligence asset who it says had been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years and was also traded for the Cuban spies. Mr. Obama said the Cuban, before his arrest, had supplied key information to the U.S. that led to the nabbing of those spies, as well as three others.

Press reports and intel experts I talked to say the “asset” is Rolando Sarraff. But a debate is raging in the intelligence community about whether Mr. Sarraff, who has not been heard from since his arrival on U.S. soil, is all he’s cracked up to be by Mr. Obama. Another possibility is that his résumé was embellished to cover up for what was essentially a trade of the convicted spies for Alan Gross, the U.S. Agency for International Development contractor who was arrested by Cuban state security in Havana in 2009.

Considering how the Communist regime has a history of touting the release of prisoners for propaganda purposes, this secrecy around the names of 53 people is extraordinary enough that, by now, my question is, is there a list?

The lack of transparency equals lack of accountability. Just what one would expect from the Obama administration.

* Note: Unusual enough that I can not recall a news item in ten years of blogging where two weeks’ research turned out nothing.

Confirmed: US Sperm For Spies program

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Disgraceful.

Babalu named it, Obama’s Sperm for Spies program:
Cuban spy serving life for murder was allowed to send sperm to wife in Cuba

Yes. They threw in a baby with the bath water.

Gerardo Hernández, who was serving two consecutive life sentences since he was the

head of the spy ring known as the Wasp Network, was convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to commit murder for his role in the Brothers to the Rescue incident that left four Cuban-Americans dead.

was able to impregnate his wife through artificial insemination by having his sperm collected at prison in the U.S. and then flown to Cuba at U.S. taxpayers’ expense (emphasis added):

The plan was hatched with the help of US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), his office confirmed to help ensure the release of ailing US aid worker Alan Gross

The US Justice Department, which ought to change its name to the No-Justice Department, confirmed,

“We can confirm the United States facilitated Mrs. Hernandez’s request to have a baby with her husband,” spokesman Brian Fallon told CNN.

In exchange, Alan Gross was not allowed to attend his mother’s funeral when she died last June.

Yesterday I said, “There will be more coming from these – up to now – seemingly unrelated stories.” Little did I know a baby was in the deal.

UPDATE
CUBA SIGNALS THAT EXTRADITION OF US FUGITIVES OFF THE TABLE



Cuba: #AlanGross released – is Obama ending the embargo in exchange? UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Alan Gross, the American political prisoner held by the Communist Cuban regime for five years, has been released.

As I have written before,

In December 2009, Alan P. Gross was arrested while in Cuba working as a U.S. government subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s small Jewish community. He was held in jail, and, in March, 2011 was convicted for “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state”.

What does “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state” means? It means that, in Cuba, attempting to provide access to the internet is a crime.

American Alan Gross Released From Cuba After 5 Years in Prison
Gross Is Headed to U.S. on Government Plane, Obama Administration Official Says

Administration officials have said that his captivity has precluded any modification in U.S.-Cuban relations, so his release could clear the way for discussions about a broader deal. President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about Cuba from the White House at noon on Wednesday.

I fully expect Obama to declare an end to the embargo before year’s end. Will that be his “statement about Cuba from the White House at noon”?

UPDATE 10AM:
The remaining three of the Cuban Five were released in exchange: The Miami Herald (emphasis added),

The Cuban government had linked Gross’s release to the imprisonment of five Cubans convicted in 2001 of infiltrating South Florida military installations and spying on the exile community. The men, considered heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the U.S.

The administration had repeatedly ruled out a swap, saying the USAID subcontractor wasn’t a spy and can’t be part of a spy-for-spy swap. But news reports Wednesday indicate that three Cubans were released in exchange for Gross. The other two of the so-called Cuban Five were previously released after completing their sentences.

Val Prieto:

This is a major setback for the opposition and dissident movements in Cuba. The Obama administration, by making this “deal”, has confirmed that they are OK with the repression, brutality, incarceration, and murder the castro regime foists upon the opposition. And I will once again say what I have been saying since day one of this farce of a presidential administration, for the record: faced with the fact that he is, by far, the worst President this nation has ever seen, and with no true positive legacy, Obama is relying on the low hanging fruit of the Cuban embargo to placate the left. Look for President Executive Action to undermine codified US Cuba policy.

Get ready. This is going to be one hell of a day.

Read also my post at Da Tech Guy Blog.

UPDATE 11AM:
“Normalizing” U.S.-Cuba relations means giving the Communist Cuban government a lifeline, at a particularly critical time, now that its sugar daddy Venezuela nears economic collapse as oil prices drop. Marco Rubio:

“This is going to do absolutely nothing to further human rights and democracy in Cuba,” Rubio said in an interview. “But it potentially goes a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.”

UPDATE 11:19

Guardian Washington bureau chief Dan Roberts,

UPDATE 11:25AM
CBS News affiliate in Miami stated Gross will not be with Obama at the WH press conference.

UPDATE 11:30
Betrayal: Vatican Brokered Secret U.S.-Cuba Talks

Pope Francis and the Vatican played a significant role in reopening diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. The Vatican not only hosted in-person meetings between Cuban and U.S. officials, but actively played a role in the discussions, according to senior Obama administration officials. The meeting to finalize the reopening of relations was also held at the Vatican this past fall. The Vatican sent a personal letter to President Obama regarding Cuban relations. “We haven’t received communications from the Pope of this nature,” said a senior adminstration official. “That gave us greater impetus and momentum.”

Rep. Ron de Santis:

This prisoner swap sends a signal to rogue regimes and actors that taking an American hostage can be leveraged into scoring policy concessions. This makes America less safe and emboldens the dictatorship in Cuba.

UPDATE 11:53
The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana

In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 minutes off the American coast.

Congress need not be consulted?

UPDATE 11:59AM
Is Cuba easing its embargo on American products and American travel?

12 noon:

Cuba no longer listed as state sponsor of terrorism.

UPDATE 12:16
Obama claims “Todos somos Americanos” – “we’re all Americans”. Not at all.

UPDATE 12:30PM
I was wondering, is Cuba easing Cuba’s embargo on American products and American travel? Will they not continue to shelter FARC & other known terrorists? Nothing on that in O’s speech.

Not in Raul Castro’s speech, either,

Castro said that he had spoken to Secretary Kerry about normalizing relations between the two country, adding that President Obama’s decision deserved “respect and gratitude.” He also thanked the Vatican, Pope Francis and Canada for their support in the process.

But he stressed there was still much work to be done: the US economic blockade remains in place, he said, causing “enormous damage to our people. It must end.”

Acknowledging that the blockade is established in law, Castro said that president Obama could modify its application, and he called on the US government to adopt measures which will benefit both countries.

“Recognizing that we have many fundamental differences on the subjects of national soveignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, we reaffirm our willingness discuss all of these subjects.”

Castro called on the US government to remove the obstacles between the countries, dividing families – specifically he called for the re-establishment of direct flights, postal deliveries and telecommunications.

“The progress we have already made shows that it is possible to find solutions to our problems,” he said.

Another question:
How is Obama going to prevent Cuba’s possible role in bypassing sanctions on Venezuela, Russia and Iran?

UPDATE 2PM
Alan Gross on TV thanking all who helped in the effort to release him.

CODA:
As Val Prieto put it, “and from the here’s a swift kick in the nuts department….”

Alan Gross returns to the United States, is greeted by an image of Che Guevara

LINKED TO
by
Memeorandum.
Pirate’s Cove. Thanks!
Hot Air. Thanks!
American Patriot. Thanks!
Right Wing News. Thanks!



Cuba’s American hostage

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

My latest article at Da Tech Guy’s, Cuba’s American hostage, Alan P. Gross.

Cuba: Alan Gross on hunger strike

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Very bad news:
Alan P. Gross, the American who’s been in prison for over four years, has started a hunger strike.

Gross, 63, had already lost over 100lbs and has a large lump growing on his back, which under the “excellent free healthcare” Cubans endure are considered “chronic illnesses that are typical of his age.” He said in a statement (h/t Babalu)

that he was frustrated by the continued lack of effort by the U.S. government to orchestrate his release.

“I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal,” Gross said in a statement released by his attorney. “Once again, I am calling on President Obama to get personally involved in ending this stand-off so that I can return home to my wife and daughters.”

In practical terms, the Cuban government is holding Gross hostage over the release of the Cuban Five, men convicted in federal court on espionage charges. Two of the men have been released from prison and returned to Cuba.

Sen. Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke about Gross on the Senate floor,

“And the clock is ticking for Alan Gross. On December 4th, 2009, Alan Gross, a private sub-contractor for the U.S. government, working to bring information to the Cuban people, was arrested in Cuba. Mr. Gross is a 64-year old development professional who worked in dozens of countries around the world with programs to help people get access to basic information.

“Since 2009, he has been detained in Villa Marista – a prison in Havana notorious for its treatment of political prisoners by the Cuban National Security Agency. This is not a minimum security prison where foreigners are routinely held. It is a harsh, repressive prison –reserved for Cuban dissidents.

“He is still being held at Villa Marista, and so I come to the floor to urge my colleagues – indeed, to urge the Administration – to do all it can to free Mr. Gross, and keep pressure on the Castro regime.

“After serving four years of a 15 year sentence, this 64 year old American’s mental health is reported to be deteriorating and his life may well be in danger.

“The case of Alan Gross is only one example of why we cannot let up until the dead weight of this oppressive regime is lifted – once and for all — from the backs of 11 million Cubans living on that island nation, isolated from the world.”

Gross’ situation is desperate.

Related:
A Cuban immigrant to Ecuador attempted suicide when denied entry.

Castro’s “Murder, Inc.”

UPDATE:
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

The Colombian graffiti Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

LatinAmerFollowing 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.

ARGENTINA
Drugs in Argentina
Southward marching powder

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.

Argentina police raid brothels
Raids on brothels in and around Buenos Aires lead to the rescue of almost 100 women forced into prostitution, Argentine police say.

Video: NSFW Pro-abortion and gay activists attack the Catholic cathedral in San Juan (h/t Gates of Vienna)

BOLIVIA
Chile will not cede territory to Bolivia: FM

BRAZIL
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.

World Cup 2014: aerial view of collapsed Brazil football stadium
Three people have been killed in an accident at a Sao Paulo stadium that is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup

Brazilian who auctioned off virginity wants to sell it again Catarina Migliorini claims that deal last year was never consumated [sic] and she is now looking for another buyer

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Must Balance Growth and Spending

CUBA
Reuters (Poor and Irresponsible) “Analysis” of Cuba’s Banking Woes

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.

23 UNPACU activists arrested in violent crackdown Santiago de Cuba

Arms Smuggling versus Equestrian Tourism: Which matters most?

Thanksgiving Terror From Friends of The Council on Foreign Relations

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
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.

A look at the traders behind the China-Ecuador-U.S. oil triangle

HONDURAS
Elections in Honduras Advantage, the old guard

Honduras ruling party hope wins presidency on vow to tame gangs

JAMAICA
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.

Jamaican authorities seize 3,300 warheads, and ‘Ja Fighting A War’ (h/t Gates of Vienna)

MEXICO
EPN’s first year

Monthly Mexico Media Roundup

PANAMA
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.

North Korea agrees fine with Panama for ship’s release

PARAGUAY
Paraguay senator loses immunity after public pressure

PERU
Peru’s government Partners in crime A spy casts a shadow on the president

PUERTO RICO
Research and Markets: Puerto Rico Oil and Gas Markets Outlook to 2025

URUGUAY
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.

Wine Finds: Malbec from Uruguay is a restrained treat

VENEZUELA
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:

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.

Pero Tenemos Free Gas 

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

Venezuela less influential in LatAm, says Oppenheimer

Mexico: No more Pact

Brazil: Will the stadium meet the deadline? You betcha.

Ecuador: Oil bidders not quite chomping at the bit

Argentina: Same old, same old

Shearith Israel’s Thanksgiving

Cuba closing its consulates in the US

Mexico: Teen hit man sent back to USA

En español: Terapia intensiva

Ecuador: How China took control of Ecuador’s oil

In case you missed it, Che in 10 quotes

Honduras: What next?

At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?

UPDATE:
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!


Jessie Jackson heads to Colombia anyway

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

As mentioned earlier, Jessie Jackson wants to mediate the release of American Kevin Scott Sutay, even when Colombia’s president doesn’t want him to:
Colombia’s Santos Won’t Authorize Jesse Jackson Role in Kidnap Case
Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos said he won’t authorize a plan by Marxist rebels to have civil-rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson help facilitate the release of a U.S. war veteran they kidnapped
. Worth remembering:

During the peace process, there is no cease-fire deal so the violence continues. In one of the deadliest strikes in years, the FARC killed 19 soldiers in two attacks on July 20, Colombia’s Independence Day.

Jackson says he’s heading to Colombia anyway:

Jackson said he still intends to travel to Colombia in the coming days in hopes of working out an agreement.

“The American is free, but he cannot be retrieved, so he indeed is not free,” Jackson said. “He’s no longer being held by FARC. He’s being held by a lack of access.”

Jackson spoke those words wshile in Cuba, where he was denied access to another American, Alan Gross.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson ended a four-day visit to Cuba on Monday without getting to visit a U.S. government development subcontractor who is serving a 15-year sentence in the Caribbean nation.

The civil rights activist said he had requested access to Alan Gross of Maryland, but island authorities told him it couldn’t be arranged in time.

Carlos Eire translates the subtext, and asks questions:

In other words: Jesse Jackson was denied the chance to trade Alan Gross for the four imprisoned spies who are known as the “Cuban Five.” He also failed to have any impact on negotiations between the government of Colombia and the FARC terrorists. And these failures are being reported as something unexpected.

What these crack reporters fail to cover is perhaps more significant than what they report. Above all, they fail to raise essential questions: Who appointed Jesse Jackson to the role of mediator? Who is paying for his trip?

And one more question: Who will be paying for the trip to Colombia?

Cuba: Castro’s pawn

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Mary O’Grady asks about Alan P. Gross, now in his 4th year of imprisonment,
Cuba Admits Gross Is a Pawn

Is Washington engaged in a negotiation with Havana to try to free U.S. Agency for International Development contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban jail? If so, what’s on the table?

From the looks of it, Cuba wants “the release of several Cuban intelligence officers convicted in 2001 of spying on the U.S.” in exchange for Gross’ freedom, rather than a ransom.


Cuba: Alan Gross’ family may now have enough to pay for his ransom

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Cuban prisoner Alan Gross settles lawsuit against Md. company

Lawyers filed a notice of the settlement Thursday in federal court in Washington. The settlement amount was not disclosed, and the agreement only covers Development Alternatives Inc., also known as DAI, not the government.

DAI’s chief executive officer said in a statement that settling the lawsuit, in which neither party admits fault, allows the company to work together with Gross’ family to bring him home.

Gross’ wife Judy, who has traveled to Cuba on several occasions to see her husband, said in the same statement that the family is “very pleased that DAI has committed to help address the injuries sustained by our family.

The $60million lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

Cuban officials have suggested they would be willing to free Gross in exchange for the men. Four of the men remain in prison in the United States. One man who completed his sentence but was serving probation in the U.S. was recently allowed to return to Cuba permanently.

Since the US is not amiable to releasing the four, will Havana take the cash instead?

[Title typo corrected]

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 28th, 2013

ARGENTINA
Documentary (in Spanish):

BRAZIL
Brazil Nightclub Fire Kills at Least 245

Brazil Streetwalkers to Take English Lessons for 2014 World Cup; RELATED: The Proud Winner of the Miss Brazilian Prostitute Title Was Beaming

COLOMBIA
Security in Colombia
Fear of missing out
The second-biggest guerrilla group tries to muscle in on peace talks

Colombian Police Seize Over 4 Tons of Cocaine Bound for Mexico

CUBA
Alan Gross and his descent into hell

All talk
The government fails to promote new leaders—even though hard times loom

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes – 16-year-olds.

GUATEMALA
Edging back from the brink
A potential “failed state” is clawing its way back to something like normality

HONDURAS
Honduras can’t pay its bills, neglects services

MEXICO
As Deadly Mexican Cartel Loses Control, Heroin and Meth Trafficking Rise

Florence Cassez released in Mexico

PERU
EU-Colombia-Peru Aim for Trade Accord in Effect by First Quarter

Peru on the Right Path to Eradicating Child Malnutrition, UN Official Says

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Top 10 Most Wanted Captured by NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force

VENEZUELA
More than 50 people have been killed in a prison riot in western Venezuela, hospital staff say. [GRAPHIC PHOTOS] En Uribana ya van más de 50 muertos y 120 heridos (FOTOS)

Chavez Cancer Freezes Venezuela’s Overseas Oil Funding (h/t DP)

Venezuela’s $100 billion oil industry is seeing the first drop in funding in five years from some of its closest partners, as concern mounts President Hugo Chavez’s battle with cancer is creating a political vacuum, people familiar with the matter said.
The government, which for a decade has disclosed credit lines from China when they’re signed, has announced none since April, according to a report released Jan. 13 by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, known as UNAM. Russian and Indian companies are withholding planned investments in Venezuelan oilfields, according to eight oil company executives and consultants who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to talk about the matter publicly.

Hugo Chavez Starting More Treatment in Cuba, Hugo Chavez Respiratory Infection: Venezuelan President Overcomes Health Issue

Why President Hugo Chávez’s Twitter Account Went Silent

The Missing President

Chavez is not going quietly

Impunity in Venezuela
The price of justice
A family with a case against the government faces “extermination”

Gustavo Rios, Hugo Chavez Impersonator, Thinks Dictator’s Cancer Is No Laughing Matter

The week’s posts:
South American cocaine’s African routes

Brazil: Barcodes on Rio’s sidewalks

Venezuela: Hugo’s fake picture

Halitophobia! in Spanish, no less

Venezuela: Noelia’s plane seized by the government