Posts Tagged ‘Central America’

The Groundhog Day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

To many observers of Latin America, watching developing news in our hemisphere almost makes every day Groundhog Day.

So let’s start with a little humor, since otherwise there are plenty of bad news,

ARGENTINA
Free press flees Argentina

Cry for Argentina as terrorists and gangsters get away with murder

The view from Buenos Aires
Justice in the dock
The mysterious death of a prosecutor who accused the president of misconduct has Argentines up in arms

Nisman did not trust his bodyguards, says friend who loaned him gun

BRAZIL
Brazil’s Economy Is On The Verge Of Total Collapse

Brazil Ends 2014 with First Budget Deficit in 13 Years

New Surge in Street Violence Plagues Rio de Janeiro
Amid a police ‘pacification’ effort, residents of the city’s poorer neighborhoods are getting caught in the crossfire as criminal gangs fight back.

CENTRAL AMERICA
Obama administration requests $1 billion in aid for Central America

CHILE
Periodista Tomás Mosciatti remece las redes sociales con análisis sobre el gobierno de Bachelet

Chile Trims Copper Prices Expectations for 2015

Chile’s President Bachelet proposes end to total abortion ban

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Fugitive Ex-Spy Chief to Surrender, Lawyer Says

The Jesus race: Colombia builds ‘tallest Jesus statue’ in Americas

CUBA
Must-read: Cuba Relations: Another Obama Fiasco in the Making?

Castro Is Now Issuing Demands On U.S. — Well Done, Mr. Obama

The Cuba Deal: Coexisting And Profiting With Tyrants

How Tourism Foments Repression 101

ECUADOR
Twitter Suspends User Account over Jokes at Correa’s Expense
Ecuadorian President Vows to Expose His Online Critics

HONDURAS
Honduran official angered by citizen perceptions of crime
Honduras’ foreign minister wrote a stern letter after a think tank published a report saying more than 30 percent of Hondurans indicated they were victims of crime last year. Official crime statistics are lower, but many lack confidence in police and don’t report all crimes.

IMMIGRATION
1,000 CRIMINAL IMMIGRANTS RELEASED IN 2013 COMMITTED NEW CRIMES

MEXICO
Watch Out, America: Mexico May Be the Next Failed State

Mexico to Cut Planned Spending
Government Seeks to Offset Effects of Lower Oil Prices and Adverse Global Economic Conditions

NICARAGUA
Tackling Cold War Demons in Nicaragua

PANAMA
Panama Supreme Court to Open Graft Probe against Martinelli

PARAGUAY
German Couple Working As Farmers Killed In Paraguay; Government Blames Leftist Guerrillas

PERU
Peru Repeals Controversial Labor Law

PUERTO RICO
You’re still on time for the Festival Casals (Feb 26 – Mar 14, 2015). Yo-Yo Ma is playing Elgar on the 15th.

VENEZUELA
“We love Venezuela because it welcomes foreigners as one of their own:”

Because nothing says “heartwarming” like spending 48 hours in detention: Odd Photo Choice for Venezuela Promotional Effort

VENEZUELAN SECURITY HEAD DEFECTS, BLOWS WHISTLE ON REGIME

Volver a ser pobre en Venezuela
La inflación galopante lleva a miles de ciudadanos a recaer en la pobreza. Los programas oficiales de ayuda no dan para más

THE WEEK’S POSTS AND PODCAST
El Salvador: Two American detainees, zero evidence

Puerto Rico, la isla estrella

Cuba: US clueless on number of fugitives

Today’s Capt. Louis Renault moment: Hugo Chavez died before he was of officially “dead”

Venezuela: Fire at will

Colombia: Santos wants former FARC as cops

Argentina: Tango and fireworks

Argentina: #Nisman’s funeral

Cuba: Gimme, gimme, gimme Gitmo!

Argentina: Cristina wants to dissolve Secretariat of Intelligence

Venezuela: The talking bodyguard

Argentina: Today’s cartoon

Venezuela: Turned away at the prison gates

Argentina: Yesterday, and today

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Coaching Loretta

Mexico: What happened to the 43 students?

Podcast:
Cuba, Argentina & US-Latin America stories of the week



El Salvador: Two American detainees, zero evidence

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Remember these two names: Miguel Lacayo and Tom Hawk. They are the Americans the Salvadorian government is preventing from leaving the country. Mary O’Grady has the story:
Bankrolling Attacks on U.S. Citizens
El Salvador won’t let two Americans leave the country, but the U.S. keeps the aid flowing.

No evidence of a crime has been presented. None of the accused—now nine, down from 20—has been brought to trial. But the ruling left-wing FMLN government and the ostensibly independent attorney general have libeled them in the press with allegations of squandering the national patrimony. The state has put a lien against their assets. They may not leave the country. Their legal bills are mounting. They face up to 10 years in jail.

One would expect the U.S. to raise a stink over the targeting of American citizens in what looks to be, at best, a witch hunt designed to criminalize privatization. But the Obama administration has not. Instead, the witch hunters are on the U.S. payroll.

To the tune of $700 million,

Over the past seven years the U.S.’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved some $700 million in grants to El Salvador despite the trampling of the rule of law by former president Tony Saca of the center-right Arena Party (2004-09) and by the pro-Castro FMLN governments of President Mauricio Funes (2009-14) and current President Salvador Sánchez Cerén. The MCC describes itself as an “independent U.S. foreign aid agency,” but today Secretary of State John Kerry is chairman of the board and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew is vice chairman.

Capt. Louis Renault is working overtime thanks to the current U.S, administration’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, as Hawk and Lacayo are held against their will in El Salvador, last Wednesday Joe Biden was touting

El Salvador passed a law providing new protections for investors

so the U.S. would nearly triple the money “we generally have provided to Central America.” Back to Mary O’Grady,

If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It’s not supposed to. This is about intimidating and ruining political enemies and consolidating economic power—with financial reinforcements courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Would “gender mainstreaming” fix the border crisis?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Marisol Ruiz writes, Want to Fix Border Crises? Empower Women.

Ms Ruiz, whose research focuses on gender and international relations, states that

A common denominator in most proposals is that they lack a gender perspective or simply ignore the concerns of women and girls. A long-term solution is to urge Central American governments to allocate resources – their own and any that the United States may want to contribute – to policies that reduce inequality and promote “gender mainstreaming” – the “globally accepted approach to achieving gender equality,” according to UN Women, so women’s and men’s concerns and experiences are “integral to the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all policies and programs.”
. . .
Any approval by US Congress for emergency funds should attach specific conditions to the aid packages, ensuring the money will implement policies focused on gender mainstreaming, highlighting the importance of transforming gender relations, rather than just implementing a one-size-fits-all approach to include women.

Her solutions include government spending in education, family planning, legalizing abortion, and “investing in political equality” by including women in the policymaking.

Yes, good, universal elementary school education and fostering literacy is a vital factor. But what is missing from Ruiz’s picture?

Not a word on the rule of law.

Not a word on curtailing corruption.

Not a word on protecting and encouraging property rights.

Not a word on fostering economic growth by decreasing bureaucracies, streamlining the registration and licensing of businesses, or investing in infrastructure.

Not a word on finding ways to provide access to capital (other than by remittances, that is).

Not a word on attracting foreign investment, industrializing, increasing exports, or increasing productivity.

So, would “gender mainstreaming” fix the border crisis? No.

The yet-more-World-Cup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 30th, 2014

For us not-fans, the World Cup drags on forever, but it’s only on its third week. The half-time verdict Expectations were low. They have been exceeded

They installed a huge stage right in the middle of Copacabana beach to watch #CHI beat #BRA Is it possible..? Yes we can !!

ARGENTINA
Ruling Risks New Argentine Default as Monday Deadline Approaches

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. must return a $539 million deposit from Argentina intended for restructured bondholders, a U.S. judge ruled, calling the transfer an “explosive action” that disrupted potential settlement talks with holders of defaulted debt.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York has ruled that Argentina can’t pay holders of its restructured debt without also paying more than $1.5 billion to a group of defaulted bondholders, raising the possibility of a new default as the South American nation approaches a June 30 payment deadline.

Robert Cohen, a lawyer for hedge funds holding the defaulted debt, told Griesa that Argentina “defiantly and contemptuously” violated his court orders.

BRAZIL
Prince Harry thanks Brazilians in first ever royal video message
Prince Harry thanks the people of Brazil for their hospitality in the first ever video message to be recorded by a member of the Royal family

The World Cup of Dirty Dreams: Inside Brazil’s Most Infamous Brothel
Full of beautiful women and XXX behavior, Rio de Janeiro’s Centaurus has enticed celebrities, soccer stars and anyone else willing to pay a fee and go inside. We go behind the doors of a scandalous sin palace

CENTRAL AMERICA
Central America Border Rush Fueled By Remittances

CHILE
Chile Falls from Investment Grace, Out of World’s Top 10
South America Drags the Regional Chain in Foreign Direct Investment Ranking

COLOMBIA
Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A growing problem. Jaime Bayly interviewed his former girlfriend. They did not talk about hippos:

COSTA RICA
StarTek leaves: Another US company closes operations in Costa Rica; 550 workers to lose jobs

CUBA
Amnesty International DOCUMENT – CUBA: FURTHER INFORMATION: PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE AWAIT SENTENCING

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Vatican Defrocks Ambassador in Abuse Inquiry

The Vatican has defrocked its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, an archbishop from Poland who was accused of sexually abusing boys while he served as the pope’s representative in the Caribbean nation.

The former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, 65, is the first papal nuncio known to have been removed from the priesthood because of accusations of child sexual abuse.

IMMIGRATION
Blame Comprehensive Immigration Reform Advocates for the Border Meltdown

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Falkland Islands UN resolution siding with Argentina ‘outdated’ and ‘not relevant’, says Britain
United Nations committee resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a Falkland Islands solution – essentially favouring Argentina’s stance – dismissed by Foreign Office

IMMIGRATION
Top Border Control Official: The US Is Now Part of the Smuggling Business

MEXICO
CARTEL MEMBERS AMBUSH FEDERAL POLICEMEN IN MEXICAN BORDER STATE

Mexico vigilante leader arrested
Jose Manuel Mireles, one of Mexico’s main vigilante leaders battling drug cartels, is arrested for carrying unauthorised weapons, officials say.

PANAMA
Panama pulls a Pontius Pilate move on Chong Chon Gang

PARAGUAY
Paraguay floods lead to evacuation of thousands

PERU
Peru’s Pay-to-Commit-Crime Politics: Presidential Corruption under Investigation
No More “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards, Says Peruvian Congress

Rare Incan ‘Calculators’ Found in Peru

PUERTO RICO
A Band-Aid for Puerto Rico
Legislation was passed to provide a mechanism to restructure the debts of Puerto Rico’s so-called public corporations.

URUGUAY
Take a bite out of crime? Mujica strongly supports Suárez and blasts FIFA: “they went too far”
Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica blasted FIFA’s Thursday decision to fine and suspend the country’s main scorer Luis Suarez from any football activity for four months arguing the association that rules world football measures things with different rods, and since Uruguay “is a small country, it’s cheap for them”.

VENEZUELA
Let’s wiki-audit PDVSA

Venezuela blackout interrupts live-television broadcast from President Maduro
A blackout cut electricity in various parts of Venezuela on Friday and twice interrupted the live television broadcast of a speech by President Nicolas Maduro, who said authorities were seeking more information about the outage.

Venezuela seeks support for a seat at the UN Security Council
Over 40 countries backed Venezuela’s nomination to the UN Security Council in 2013

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Boudou’s voodoo may land him in the hoosgow

Immigration headlines today

Venezuela: North Korea to open embassy in Caracas

En español: Terapia intensiva #213

Did you know the IRS employees are unionized?

Ecuador whines at the UN Human Rights Council

Bolivia reduces coca production

Brazil’s Odebrecht accused of slave labor

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week

O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

Friday, June 27th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog is up, O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition. Don’t miss it!

The really, really big field trip Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

LatinAmerAll of Latin America is absorbed in the World Cup; all, that is, except for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children arriving in the United States. This invasion, which until recently the White House ignored – as if it was a really, really big field trip – but now blames on the drug cartels, will not end because the federal government has no intention of stopping this influx, other that throw $250million at it – while doing nothing to secure the border.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s bonds
A good week for some investors
Vulture funds win a legal victory over Argentina’s government
; The Economist ought to do a little less editorializing on its headlines.

Uh-oh: China backs Argentina’s position on Falkland Islands
Chinese support calls at two-day G77 summit for the governments of Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations on ‘the Malvinas Islands question’

BOLIVIA
Industrialization is Bolivia’s Biggest Challenge, Economy Chief Says

BRAZIL
World Cup 2014: Protests and anger, in pictures

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff endorsed to run for re-election
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been officially endorsed by the governing Workers Party to run for re-election in October.

CENTRAL AMERICA
Joe Biden Discusses Immigration Reform With Central American Leaders

CHILE
Ending a six-year winning streak, Spain upset after World Cup ouster

COLOMBIA
Support From the Left Helps Keep a Right-Wing President in Power in Colombia

Andres Oppenheimer: Colombian leader starts new term with a great idea

COSTA RICA
5 Things to know about Costa Rica

CUBA
Now under house arrest, Antunez says he wasn’t beaten in jail but Cuban guards did torture his wife

Internet Foils Disinformation Operation Regarding Funeral For Mother of Alan Gross

Cuba Crackdown
Human rights advocates see increased threats against press in Cuba

Castro limos reborn as Havana taxis
Some of Fidel Castro’s old Soviet-built limousines have been decommissioned and are being used as Havana taxis for foreign tourists.

Cuba ends censorship — NOT
For a brief and shinning moment, it seemed that Cuba had unblocked access to several websites censored for years because of their criticisms of the government, including the U.S. government’s Radio/TV Marti.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
New US-Caribbean energy initiative

ECUADOR
ECUADOR SEEKS TO CONTROL OPPOSITION MEDIA BY DESIGNATING PRESS A ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’

Ecuador to Take Legal Action Against Using Indian Blood for Research

GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, US VP Biden Promises Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Stem Child Immigrants Flooding US Border

GUATEMALAN PRES TO US: PASS AMNESTY BILL WITH MORE GUEST-WORKER VISAS

HAITI
U.N. Chief Served Papers in Suit by Haitian Victims, Lawyers Say

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman denied that the official had been served.

HONDURAS
Honduras’ First Lady Says She Will Collect Her Country’s Child Immigrants

JAMAICA
With murder common, Jamaica morgue plans stall

MEXICO
Lawmakers visit Marine held in Mexico, say sergeant ‘needs to come’

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., visited Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi at the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico.

As far as I could find, VP Joe Biden didn’t mention Sgt. Tahmooressi when visiting with Peña Nieto.

Mexico’s Breakout Moment?

THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS STUCK IN MEXICO STASH HOUSES JUST OUTSIDE US

PANAMA
Panama police say remains may be missing Dutch women

PUERTO RICO
Exclusive: UBS faces criminal probe for Puerto Rico bond fund sales – lawyers

Puerto Rico: Is this any way to run an island?

SOUTH AMERICA
Unesco grants Inca Qhapaq Nan road system World Heritage status
A road system built by the Inca Empire has been granted World Heritage status by the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco.

The Qhapaq Nan roads go through six South American countries

It covers some 30,000 km (18,600 miles), from modern-day Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, via Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

URUGUAY
From The White House: On Mujica and Castro

VENEZUELA
It’s already out of toilet paper and flour, but now Venezuela Is Running Out of Cookies and Coffins
Thanks to an economic crisis, the list of things you actually can buy in Venezuela seems to be getting shorter every day

As World Oil Prices Rocket on Iraq Strife, Venezuela Oil Price Jumps above $100

The week’s posts and podcast:
WH blames cartels for immigration surge

Argentina: Cristina can’t pay up . . .

Cubazuela: Free healthcare for all

Central American media actively promoting illegal immigration into US

Mexican meth kingpin busted at World Cup

Today’s Google doodle: Boca

The plan

Colombia: The view from Venezuela

Argentina: SCOTUS rules for the creditors

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The new twist in illegal immigration: Children as human shields for the cartels

5 lessons Hillary could learn from Isabel


Central America: Everybody wants a canal

Monday, July 29th, 2013

and I have a bridge to sell you,

Two, Three, Many Canals in Central America (emphasis added):

Besides, the Panama Canal is already undergoing an expansion of its capacity to accommodate the latest class of super tankers through the isthmus. But everywhere you go in Central America today there is talk of new canals and of China’s willingness to pay for them.

Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Honduras, too. And there’s even a dry canal, “high-speed rail system powered by a hydro-generated plant in the Gulf of Fonseca.”

The whole thing sounds very pie-in-the-sky to me. As I mentioned last month, the Nicaragua Canal is not underwritten by the Chinese government, but instead by some guy with experience only in the telecommunications industry who’s not even started the feasibility studies – but has a track record of floating stocks, and who was awarded a $300 million telecommunications contract in Nicaragua by Daniel Ortega.

The Chinese government apparently has nothing to do with it. More to the point, why would the Chinese government involve itself with such high-cost, high-risk projects when the Panama Canal expansion is going well?

Could it be that the next Chinese stock market bubble will feature Central American canal stocks?

Somewhere in a jail cell, Bernie Madoff is asking himself, “why didn’t I think of that?”

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 21st, 2011

LatinAmerThe week’s must-read article: Jaime Darenblum’s Four Things You Need to Know about Venezuela
The Chávez regime is increasingly sustained by China, Cuba, drug-trafficking generals, and a paramilitary militia.

(1). The regime is financially dependent on China.
(2). The regime is run partly by Cubans.
(3). The regime’s senior military allies are complicit in the drug trade.
(4). The regime has trained thousands of pro-government paramilitary fighters, who represent a serious long-term threat to domestic peace and stability.

Darenblum also touches on the Iranian and Hezbollah presence, and the increasingly violent Venezuelan society. Go read every word.

ARGENTINA
Tests Mount for Argentine Economy

BOLIVIA
Bolivian migrants ride out hard times

BRAZIL
Chevron Mea Culpa in Spill
Oil Company Underestimated Pressure in Well Off of Brazil

A Path to Victory in the Drug War
Brazil’s Fernando Henrique Cardoso on why legalization of marijuana will reduce the cartels’ threat to Latin democracies.

CHILE
A Year Out of the Dark in Chile, but Still Trapped

CUBA
“Pedro Pan” is 50: The story of how 14,000 Cuban children were sent to the US!

The Relajo of the Obama administration’s Cuba travel policy

CENTRAL AMERICA
Stratfor report:
The Mexican Drug Cartel Threat in Central America

ECUADOR
Ecuador loses a great statesman

Edgar Terán: R.I.P.

HONDURAS
Weapons, weapons, who’s got the weapons? More here.

MEXICO
The return of Amlo: Mexican politics
Left in the lurch
Mexico’s divided leftist party has chosen a veteran radical as its presidential candidate. Will he pull it out of its hole, or dig it in deeper?

Apocalypto for Bondholders?
A Mexican bankruptcy ambushes U.S. investors

PERU
A Rags-to-Riches Career Highlights Latin Resurgence

Protests in Peru
Honeymoon over
Ollanta Humala struggles to contain opposition to mining projects

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Allocates Millions More to Cops as Drug Killings Soar

VENEZUELA
Chavez’s secret fight against cancer

Congressman Carlos Ramos questions Williams F1

Nationals catcher’s kidnapping just one of many in Venezuela

Even driving you cannot reach the boundaries of Venezuelan corruption

The week’s posts:
Dominican-born Muslim convert arrested on plot to bomb NYC
Cuba: Lie down with dogs…
Herman Cain flunks the Versailles test
Costa Risa: A tax increase Costa Ricans are not happy about
LIVECAST The Unwritten Story: How the Media and the Obama Administration Overlook Cuba’s Wave of Repression

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Costa Risa: A tax increase Costa Ricans are not happy about

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Tax ‘Experts’ Target Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s official tax stats are deceptive. In 2008 the central government’s revenues equaled only 15.9% of gross domestic product. But as Cato Institute scholar Juan Carlos Hidalgo pointed out in a January op-ed in the Costa Rican daily La Nación, that number doesn’t include local taxes or taxes paid to government entities like the Institute for Tourism and the Institute for Agrarian Development. Nor does it include social security taxes, which rich countries include when they discuss their tax-to-GDP ratios.

Tally up the total take and, according to Mr. Hidalgo, the burden for Costa Ricans in 2008 was 23.1% of GDP. In recessionary 2009 it fell to 21.7%. Compare that to the U.S. overall tax burden of 26.1% in 2008 and 24% in 2009 (the latest year for which Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development figures are available), and it is clear that Costa Ricans are not undertaxed.

Nevertheless, the country’s fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP rose to 3.5% of GDP in 2009 from only 0.2% in 2008. In 2010, according to the United Nation’s Economic Commission on Latin America, Costa Rica’s fiscal deficit was 5.2%, the highest in Latin America. The government forecasts a deficit of 5.5% in 2012.

The problem is government spending. While revenues as a percentage of GDP are forecast to be 7.5% lower this year than they were in 2008, expenditures as a percentage of GDP are expected to come in 29.4% higher. Most of that money is going into an expanded bureaucracy, which grew by 20% during the previous PLN government of Oscar Arias. Mr. Arias was also generous with salary increases. Tocqueville predicted it.

Now Ms. Chinchilla’s “reform” proposes, among other things, a 14% value-added tax on all goods and services to replace a 13% sales tax on goods only and tax hikes on small and medium-sized businesses. Far from simply raising taxes on the rich, as the politicians want people to believe, this proposal will hit ordinary Costa Ricans hard.

Check out the Costa Risa website (in Spanish). Tax increases are for the clowns.

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Nicaragua loses by a landslide UPDATED

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Hugo Chavez’s money pays off:
Nicaragua pres Ortega poised to win third term

With nearly 50 percent of voter support and an 18-point lead over his nearest challenger in the most recent poll, Ortega could end up with a mandate that would not only legitimize his re-election but allow him to make constitutional changes guaranteeing perpetual re-election.

Ortega’s well on his way – readers of this blog may remember that last year he insisted that the Nicaraguan Supreme Court declare term limits unconstitutional.

Over in Guatemala, a Retired general sweeps to power in Guatemala election

A retired right-wing general promising a crackdown on violent crime won Guatemala’s presidential election on Sunday and will be the first military man to take power since democracy was restored in 1986.

Otto Perez had 54.2 percent support with results in from 98 percent of polling stations while his rival, wealthy businessman Manuel Baldizon, trailed with 45.8 percent.

Guatemala’s electoral tribunal declared Perez the winner late on Sunday, and his supporters began celebrating in the streets.

It was a clear move to the right for Central America’s largest economy and came after leftist President Alvaro Colom failed to contain violent crime or protect the country from Mexican drug cartels using it as a key smuggling route.

The LA Times writes on how the Elections in Nicaragua, Guatemala underscore threats to democracy.

UPDATE,
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Condemns Ortega’s Manipulation of Election, Democratic Process in Nicaragua

“Sunday’s so-called ‘election’ in Nicaragua was a complete sham. Daniel Ortega made sure of it.

“According to the Nicaraguan constitution, Ortega was not eligible to run for another term as President. But he forced his way onto the ballot through a corrupt scheme that trampled over Nicaraguan constitutional mandates.

“And once he forced his way onto the ballot, Ortega pulled out more tricks to make sure that he would win. He denied countless Nicaraguans the right to vote in order to stack the deck in his favor. He has clearly learned from his dictatorial buddies in the region, like Chavez, who is an expert at trampling democracy.

“Last month, I sent a letter to the Department of State urging the Administration to stand up to Ortega’s scheme to cling to power. The U.S. and other responsible nations cannot recognize the outcome of this stolen election.”

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Cross-posted in The Green Room.

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