Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Menem’

The $40/barrell oil Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Oil breaks $40 barrier for first time in six years, which is very important news for our hemisphere.

Menem vows to reveal evidence that could shed light on AMIA attack

The defence of Menem today requested the Federal Oral Court No. 2 (TOF 2), that is leading the investigation into the cover-up of the 1994 deadly attack, to have the Senate withdraw Menem’s state secrets privilege warning the release of the information “could affect” the interests of the Nation and “the breaking of peaceful coexistence” with other countries.

Argentineans Launch Petition against “Donald Trump” Wall with Paraguay
Locals Dry [sic] Infrastructure as Wasteful, Bad for Relations

Bolivian Police Drag Indigenous Protesters Out of Their Homes
Guaraní Pledge to Resist Evo’s Oil Exploration on Their Lands

Translation: Merkel reminds Rousseff that Germans want to get paid. Merkel calls for a free trade accord between the Europe Union and Mercosur. During the “surprise” visit,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Brazil’s government on Thursday to further open its markets to foreign companies, and said she saw an opportunity to reach a free-trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur trade bloc. Merkel is on a two-day visit to Brazil with a large delegation of government officials and representatives from German companies.

Study: Chile likely to draw from stabilization fund due to copper price drop

Colombia slashes gold holdings by two-thirds amid July rout

The reason for and timing of the move are not known, but it came as institutional and speculative investors pulled more cash en masse from commodities, ending a decade-long boom, as the stock market crash in China reignited concerns about demand from the world’s biggest consumer of industrial raw materials.

Obama Plays the Clinton Vietnam Card to Normalize Relations With Cuba, but Turns it On Its Head

Before restoring full diplomatic relations with Vietnam, President Clinton eased a majority of the economic sanctions. A mistake. However, by the time he did this, the Soviets were mostly gone from Vietnam; Vietnamese forces had pulled out from Cambodia and replaced with a UN peacekeeping force; and thousands of former South Vietnamese officials had been freed from political prisons and exiled to other nations including the United States.

What ultimately made it politically palatable for Clinton to remove sanctions was a 1993 Senate Select Committee report on POW matters that afforded Clinton the domestic political cover he needed to move forward to ease sanctions. Vietnam also started to return POW remains and allowed U.S. inspectors as part of the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting (JTF-FA) to visit various places throughout the country to investigate POW/MIA claims.

Ecuador Protests: Correa’s Oil Crisis, Policies Could Spell End Of Latin America Success Story

Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano roars back to life, locals speak of lava flow fears and damage to tourism

Prosecution requests impeachment of Guatemala president Otto Perez

IMF Considering Adjusting Some Measures Under Deal With Jamaica

International Monetary Fund (IMF’s) Mission Chief to Jamaica, Dr Uma Ramakrishnan says the fund is considering relaxing some of the targets under Jamaica’s economic support programme

Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco, Mexican who led search for mass graves found shot to death
Activist’s group had unearthed 129 bodies in Guerrero, where students went missing last year.

He worked for the politically active group called the Union of Towns and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (known as UPOEG)

Previously Deported Illegals Caught Smuggling Thousands of People Across Border

3-Time Deported Top Mexican Drug Trafficker Caught Illegally Re-Entering Texas

Investigation Lifts a Cloud Over President of Mexico
A seven-month conflict-of-interest investigation into the purchase of luxury homes by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s wife and his finance minister from a government contractor found no wrongdoing, Mexico’s comptroller said Friday.

Why am I not surprised? China’s Building a Huge Canal in Nicaragua, But We Couldn’t Find It

Turkey’s new direct connection to Panama may facilitate terrorist financing for Hamas

Turkey and Panama have no international trade to speak of, raising questions as to why, of the 28 countries not served by the airline, is Turkish Airlines expanding to Panama.

Likewise, New nonstop flight from Dubai to Panama a terrorist financiers’ dream? (h/t JC)

Financiers for Hezbollah and a number of other sanctioned Middle East terrorist groups must be jumping up and down for joy, for their jobs will become much easier. The amount of international trade between Panama and the Middle East is nominal, but the nonstop flights will greatly facilitate both illicit (i.e. money laundering) transactions, and terrorist financing operations.

Expect more of that if Obama’s Iran deal goes through.

Rogelio Livieres Plano, ousted bishop in Paraguay, dies at 69

The migrant nation
Urbanisation in Peru has brought citizenship but also a host of problems

Peruvian newspaper cancels cardinal column after papal ‘plagiarism’
Peruvian newspaper says it will not publish any more articles by Roman Catholic cardinal Luis Cipriani after papal plagiarism revelations

Now Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani has been unceremoniously dumped from his occasional column at El Comercio, Peru’s oldest privately-owned newspaper, after his writings were proved to include plagiarised words of popes.

Governor Luis Fortuño On The Lessons The US Must Learn From Puerto Rico

The former Governor of Puerto Rico explains that “bottom line, you can never tax yourself out of a hole.”

Hurricane Danny Has Begun Its Weakening; Drought Relief For Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico?

Good luck with that: Venezuelans Launch Mises Institute to Take Down ChavismoLibertarians Offer Ideological Cure to Economic Crisis

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua: Where’s the canal?

Argentina: Wheelchair tango

The Falklands: Pope Francis, what fresh hell can this be? UPDATED

Venezuela: Circling the drain

Somebody tell Al Sharpton Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens

Venezuela: Cuban doctors stuck in limbo, as the country collapses

Cuba: Air-travel, credit cards next . . . by executive action?

Menendez on Iran: Failure Theater, or not?

Cuba: “Who fears the billboard?”

“Culture is how we pass the time between hypocrisies.”

Brazil: Will Dilma get it?

Mexico: @Leon_Krauze looks at the big White House

Podcast: Cuba, marches in Brazil & other US-Latin America stories of the week

The foreign policy house of lies

Argentina: Cristina’s corrupt deals with the Ayatollahs

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Alberto Nisman, General Prosecutor of the AMIA 1994 bombing, filed a criminal complaint on January 14

against President Cristina Kirchner , her foreign minister and others, accusing them of conspiring to cover up an investigation into Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing

Nisman, who was barred by the Argentinian government from testifying on Iran’s increased influence in South America at a U.S. Congress subcommittee hearing in 2013, accuses Cristina of ordering Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others to negotiate immunity for Iranian suspects in exchange for allowing Argentina to import Iranian oil. Meanwhile,

Mr. Nisman has asked Judge Lijo to freeze $23 million of assets belonging to Mrs. Kirchner and the others named in the complaint. There was no time frame for a decision to be handed down on whether to proceed with a case against Mrs. Kirchner or the others. Court cases in Argentina can sometimes take many years to resolve.

Nisman inadvertently began uncovering evidence of the plot during the investigation of the AMIA bombing.


In 2009, his sleuthing led to the indictment of Carlos Menem, who was president at the time of the attack. He was accused of tampering with evidence that implicated a Syrian businessman. The case is still in progress.

However, judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, in charge of the AMIA investigation, criticized Nisman over procedural issues, saying that “the prosecutor has arrogated powers to investigate other things outside this procedure,” and claims to have found out from broadcast news about Nisman’s complaint.

On her part, Cristina says the accusations are an attempt to destabilize her government.

A brief roundup:
Prosecutor claims Argentina’s president hid Iran role in 1994 bombing
Alberto Nisman accuses Cristina Fernández of ‘fabricating the innocence of Iran’ over blast at Jewish community center offices that killed 85 people
. In the 300-page complaint,

Nisman claims that the president decided to “not incriminate” former senior Iranian officials for their roles in planning the bombing, and instead has sought a rapprochement with Tehran, “establishing trade relations to mitigate Argentina’s severe energy crisis,” the Buenos Aires Herald reported.

When her agreement with Iran was challenged in the Argentinean courts, “and here is the criminal (aspect), the president ordered to divert the investigation, abandoning years of a legitimate demand of justice, and sought to free the Iranians imputed (in the case) from all suspicions, contradicting their proven ties with the attack. She decided to fabricate ‘the innocence of Iran’,” the newspaper quoted Nisman as alleging.

Oil and trouble
A prosecutor accuses the president of obstructing justice in the country’s biggest terror case

In 2013, Argentina announced that it would collaborate with Iran in a joint commission “to advance knowledge of the truth about the attack,” as Ms Fernández wrote on Twitter at the time. The country’s Jewish population, the world’s seventh largest, was puzzled and angry about the accord. Now the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, alleges that the controversial deal was reached in back-channel negotiations that Ms Fernández initiated with Iran. He claims that she offered to cover up the involvement of any Iranian officials in exchange for increased trade. Argentina would export grain to Iran, while Iran would sell oil to Argentina to ease its severe energy deficit.

In the end, for reasons that are still unclear, the negotiations failed and the deal fell apart. But Mr Nisman has marshalled evidence of the talks in a 300-page document that he filed in a Buenos Aires court. “They decided, negotiated, and assured the impunity of the fugitive Iranians in the AMIA case with the aim of faking Iran’s innocence to serve geopolitical and commercial interests,” Mr Nisman declared. The allegations against Ms Fernández, her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, and others are based on “irrefutable proof” from two years of investigations and myriad wiretaps, Mr Nisman claims.

Kirchner Accused of Covering Up 1994 Terrorist Bombing
Prosecutor: President Made Secret Deal with Iran for Cheap Oil

Fernandez Graft Cases Multiply in Argentine Electoral Year

Argentina’s Jews Reel From New Twist in Terror Probe
Prosecutor Accuses President Christina Kirchner of Conspiring to Cover Up a Probe Into a 1994 Terrorist Attack on a Jewish Center

Argentina’s Kirchner Named in Criminal Complaint
An Argentine prosecutor filed a complaint against President Cristina Kirchner, her foreign minister and others for allegedly conspiring to cover up a probe into Iran’s alleged involvement in the bombing of a Jewish community center.

A federal prosecutor in Argentina has filed a criminal complaint against President Cristina Kirchner , her foreign minister and others, accusing them of conspiring to cover up an investigation into Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in this capital city.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, said on Wednesday that Mrs. Kirchner had ordered Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others to negotiate immunity for Iranian suspects in hopes this would reestablish trade ties and allow Argentina to import Iranian oil to ease a domestic energy crisis. The alleged plan didn’t come to fruition, however.

Prosecutor: Argentinian President Plotted to Cover Up Iranian Role in AMIA Bombing

The dead Hugo Chavez Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 11th, 2013

LatinAmerWelcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. The top story in our hemisphere this week: the announcement of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s death. While the government has announced a presidential election for April 14th, don’t expect chavismo to give up power anytime soon.

Mary O’Grady writes on Chávez ‘The Redeemer’
Even as his rule dimmed their future, Venezuela’s poor clung to the belief that he cared for them.

The cult of adoration is now under way, which fills a need peculiar to Latin America, as Enrique Krauze explains,

In Latin America the need to turn politicians into secular saints is due to the distrust many feel for the region’s weak institutions and a worship for so-called men on horseback—heroes who come to the nation’s rescue, said Mr. Krauze. The region’s deep Catholic tradition of anointing and then venerating saints is also an important factor, he said.

It could never happen here, could it?

Argentine court convicts ex-leader Menem
An appeals court in Buenos Aires convicts ex-President Carlos Menem of illegally selling 6,500 tonnes of arms to Croatia and Ecuador during the 1990s.

Brazil, Where a Judge Made $361,500 in a Month, Fumes Over Pay
Exploiting generous benefits and loopholes, some public sector employees are earning more than $260,000 in a year.

When Congress finally decided in 2012 to allow people to obtain the salary information of its employees, it also required them to find the name of each employee and submit it online. In other words, if someone wanted the information on the legislature’s 25,000-strong work force, then that person had to independently identify them and submit 25,000 separate online requests.

If only it were that easy here in São Paulo. One clerk at the state’s high court, Ivete Sartório, was reportedly paid about $115,000 after convincing her superiors that she should be compensated for not taking leaves of absence. But when asked recently about her wages, a spokesman for the court, Rômulo Pordeus, said that Ms. Sartório’s “matriculation number” was needed to request the information.

When asked how any curious taxpayer could get that number, he replied that it was in Ms. Sartório’s possession, and that he did not want to bother her about it.

World’s Largest Ground-Based Telescope Array Opens in Chile Soon: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Colombian ELN rebels free held German Breuer brothers
Two German nationals held hostage in Colombia since early November have been freed, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

Cuba dissident ‘forced off road’ to death

How Castro Defines Gender Equality

Land Rovers and Airplanes Ready as Falklands Votes on U.K. Ties

Central America
Out of control
In the first of two reports on the threat of rampant violence to Central America’s small republics, we look at the risk of Honduras becoming a failed state

Long Border, Endless Struggle

Power in Mexico
“The Teacher” in detention
Enrique Peña Nieto’s government has arrested a powerful union leader. Is this the start of something?

Unabated Violence Poses Challenge to Mexico’s New Anticrime Program
Recent violence, including gang rapes and the killing of police officers, has put pressure on Mexico’s new leader as he rolls out a less militaristic crime prevention initiative

Peru’s economy likely expanded 6-7 pct in January – cenbank

Peru Keeps 4.25% Rate as CPI Slows Amid Stable GrowthQ
Peru kept borrowing costs unchanged for a 22nd consecutive month as policy makers expect inflation to converge to the mid-point of their target and economic growth to exceed 6 percent.

Ex-Governor of Puerto Rico: GOP Must Lead on Immigration Reform

What Is The U.S. Doing At Chavez’s Funeral?

Not playing nice with the dead: Chavez main crimes

The Post Chávez Era Begins

WSJ timeline: Hugo Chávez: From Coup Leader to President
Born Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías on July 28, 1954, in a small farming village in Sabaneta, he was first elected president in 1998, six years after engineering a failed military coup.

Contrary To What Jimmy Carter Says, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez Was No Friend Of The Poor

Rev. Jesse Jackson Attends Hugo Chavez Funeral

The wild card in Venezuela: Armed Chavistas


Iran Leader Lambasted for Tribute to Chávez

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s lionization of his Venezuelan friend Hugo Chávez caused a political firestorm in the Islamic Republic, as doubts arose over whether the two countries could carry on their tight alliance now that Mr. Chávez is dead.

Chavez failed Venezuela: Column
Given the unqualified failure of his socialist experiment, dying young was probably the best thing Hugo Chavez could have done for his country.

Venezuela after Chávez
Now for the reckoning
After 14 years of oil-fuelled autocracy, Hugo Chávez’s successors will struggle to keep the Bolivarian revolution on the road

Venezuela Opposition Faces Hurdles
Chávez’s Heir Apparent Seen Riding Late Leader’s Coattails to Victory in Election Expected Next Month

The nature of Hugo Chávez’s appeal on the American left?

Chavez: Death of a tyrant

The week’s posts and podcast:
SNL Hugo’s Candle in the Wind

What’s left of Latin America’s Left?

Hugo Chavez’s funeral

Chavez aftermath


How Bob Menendez sponsored a bill that would have benefited his biggest political donor
US-Latin America this week: The death of Chavez

The central-bank-grab Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

LatinAmerWelcome to this week’s Carnival. This week’s top story? After the pensions, Kirchner Grabs the Central Bank
Argentina’s monetary policy is now subject to the fiscal demands of the government. Citizens can look forward to more inflation
The Strange Case of the American Physicist Jailed in Argentina

Argentina’s economy
Piggy bank
Rootling around for cash

Argentina’s Carlos Menem faces bombing trial
Carlos Menem was president at the time of the attack
Former Argentine President Carlos Menem is to stand trial for allegedly obstructing an investigation into an attack on a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires, officials have said.

Argentina threatens to sue banks helping Falklands oil explorers as trade war with Britain escalates
A group of British and American banks have been threatened with legal action by the Argentine government for advising and writing research reports about companies involved in the Falkland Islands’ £1.6bn oil industry.

How the U.S. Almost Betrayed Britain
Alexander Haig wanted Reagan to side with the Argentines over the Falklands, newly released papers show

São Paulo’s metro
Not yet fit for a metropolis
Traversing Brazil’s biggest city gets a bit easier

Brazil: Da Silva Says Treatment for Throat Cancer Was a Success

Chileans Mourn Death of Daniel Zamudio

Chile Earthquake 2012: 7.1 Magnitude Quake Strikes Country

Colombia: Attack Kills 36 Rebels

Colombia’s New Counterinsurgency Plan

CNBC Story Touches the Third Rail of U.S.-Cuba Policy, Property Claims


The Pope missed a great opportunity

Cuban dissidents under siege in Cuba while MSNBC’S MITCHELL PRAISES CUBA’S SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE

Elections in El Salvador and Belize
Separation of powers

Thirty years after the Falklands war
Short, victorious war
On April 2nd 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The war Britain fought to recover them still colours domestic politics

Falklands Rises as Explosive Issue, Again

Honduran authorities say at least 14 dead in prison fire following riot

Honduras Report and Photos, NYC Library Talk April 4, Miami Visit, Cuba, Haiti and Sudan, 74th Birthday (Yikes!)

Anti-Gun Groups Silent on Fast and Furious
Pressed by PJ Media, they refuse to condemn gun violence facilitated by the Obama administration
, via Silvio.


Mexico’s presidential election
The man to beat
As the presidential campaign officially begins, time is running out to catch up with Enrique Peña Nieto

Public advertising in Mexico
The government’s deafening loudspeaker

A Race to Satisfy World’s Hunger for Chocolate

Billions Lost In Tax-Refund Scam

Puerto Rico Names New Head of Police Department Amid Crime Wave, Scandals

Alejandro García Takes Lead in Puerto Rico Governor Elections: Poll

Thirteen percent of respondents said they would not vote in November and 12 percent were undecided.

Real Academia de la Lengua cita a la Constitución venezolana como ejemplo del mal uso del lenguaje

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez resumes Cuba cancer treatment, again.

Chavez Ready To Work His Magic On The Crime Problem

Venezuelan Struggle for Chavez Succession Breaks Into The Open, via Irish Spy.

Joel Hirst: Venezuela’s Political Prisoners

The week’s posts:
Carlos Eire on the Pope’s visit
Cuba: The Pope’s shameful trip UPDATE: Did Benedict see Chavez?
Cuba: Pope wants cooperation, protestor yells “down with Communism”
Air Force suspends Embraer contract pending investigation…
Pope now in Cuba, but will he visit Hugo?