Posts Tagged ‘Chong Chon Gang’

The disgraced OAS Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 24th, 2014

LatinAmerThe big news of the week: the OAS voted on Friday to shut out the media and the public from Maria Corina Machado’s testimony, thereby disgracing itself.

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA Y EL NARCOESTADO (PARTE II)

Al menos seis carteles operan en Argentina.Colombianos en Rosario,mexicanos en el Norte de Buenos Aires,narcotransportistas bolivianos en la ruta 34,”la ruta blanca”,sumadas a otras organizaciones criminales transnacionales que incluyen a chinos y serbios.

Pope meets Argentine Falklands veterans and calls for South Atlantic peace
Former archbishop of Buenos Aires has previously backed Argentina’s claim on the islands

How convenient: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner turns Pope Francis from foe to friend
Argentinian president praises cardinal’s commitment and vision, despite previously treating him as a political arch-enemy

BOLIVIA
Más de dos millones de libras de coca ilegal incautada colapsan los depósitos – Erbol

BRAZIL
Brazil’s ‘Constitution Of The Internet’ Puts Net Neutrality In The Spotlight

Brazil troops to quell Rio violenceHeavily-armed police patrol a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, on March 13, 2014
Brazil’s government says it will send federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to quell recent attacks targeting police ahead of the World Cup in June
.

On Thursday, three police bases in the city were attacked by suspected gangs.

Four police officers have been killed since February in similar attacks.

CHILE
6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Chile, no damage reported

Chile asks extradition of alleged ex-guerrilla Marie Emmanuelle Verhoeven,

The 54-year-year-old has been wanted since 1996 on an international arrest warrant for the 1991 slaying of Jaime Guzman, leader of the conservative Chilean party Independent Democratic Union.

Andres Oppenheimer: Bachelet’s Chile: moving closer to Venezuela?

Chile: huge protest to urge new president to adopt reforms, via Bad Blue.

COLOMBIA
“Colombia’s democracy is mortally wounded”; Petro

CUBA
CUBA GIVES DOCTORS BIG PAY RAISE–TO $64 A MONTH

Obama Shouldn’t Forget Our Man in Havana

Uruguay’s Mujica Found Fidel Castro “Deteriorated” But Engaged

ECUADOR
Chevron seeks $32 million in legal fees in Ecuador case

GUATEMALA
Alfonso Portillo, Ex-President Admits Taking Taiwan Bribes

HAITI
Documentary: Post-quake Haiti rebuilding, a ‘Fatal Assistance

JAMAICA
Jamaica’s gang culture
Bad Vybz

LATIN AMERICA
Global Economy and Development – Brookings: A HIGH-CARBON PARTNERSHIP?
CHINESE-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS IN A CARBON-CONSTRAINED WORLD

MEXICO
US Sentences Mexican to 40 Years for Murder of Border Patrol Agent
Fourth Defendant Sentenced in Murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas

PANAMA
Behind the Chong Chon Gang Affair: North Korea’s Shadowy Arms Trade

PERU
Police, striking miners clash in Peru, 11 injured

PUERTO RICO
Finra Examining Trading in Puerto Rico Bonds
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is examining trading in Puerto Rico bonds, just a week after the island territory’s $3.5 billion bond sale.

VENEZUELA
Drone Camera Corrects CNN Español Report on Caracas Demonstrations

VenEconomy: Silence Means Consent

Airlines Move to Cut Off Service to Venezuela

Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that international airlines would likely stop serving Venezuela unless the country took steps to resolve the issue. Carriers don’t want to acquire more bolivars, which aren’t exchangeable outside the country.

Venezuela says street protests have caused $10 billion in damage

Venezuela’s protests
Inside the barrios
Support among the poor for the government of Nicolás Maduro is conditional

Can the Chavistas Save Venezuela from Cuba?

Chavistas want to save their movement from incompetent leadership and foreign interference and to protect their social base. Student protesters want to roll back the authoritarian intrusions and economic mismanagement that threaten their future. These fundamental goals are far from mutually exclusive for Venezuelans of good will looking to rescue their country.

Venezuela Battles Media, Social and Otherwise, to Restrict Protest Coverage

Venezuela Goes Mad

The week’s posts and podcast:
#SOSVenezuela: Who’s doing the killing? UPDATED

#SOSVenezuela: Yesterday’s #22M march

#SOSVenezuela, Maria Corina, and the OAS

LIVE: OAS hearing on Maria Corina Machado blacked out?

Insourcing from . . . Mexico?

Venezuela-Cuba Military Cooperation and the Narco-Terrorist Connection

En español: Terapia intensiva #200 ¡Felicidades a @DrNetas por las doscientas terapias!

Colombia: Santos wets himself UPDATED

Brazil’s high operating costs

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Latin America: Putin gets his license

Venezuela: The Left vs. reality

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week


The Venezuelan riots Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 17th, 2014

This week’s big story: Three dead, several dozen wounded in Venezuela’s ongoing riots as the country enters a new stage of repression:

Twitter reports image blocking in Venezuela

Tomorrow Leopoldo López will lead a march from Venezuela Square and then go to the office of Ministry of Interior and Justice, to hand a petition and hand himself in:

ARGENTINA
Argentina to Replace Bogus Inflation Index to Mend IMF Ties

The nationwide index released on Feb. 13 will replace the benchmark greater Buenos Aires index that has shown inflation at less than half the pace of private estimates since 2007, when former PresidentNestor Kirchner replaced senior staff at the statistics agency. The move comes a year after Argentina became the first nation to becensured by the International Monetary Fund for failing to report accurate economic data.

Soon after, Argentina Fines Retailers
A day after reporting the highest inflation in over a decade, Argentina’s government fined several retail chains for failing to stock certain price-capped products.

BOLIVIA
Peru and Bolivia to meet concerning port sharing proposal

BRAZIL
Brazil’s Economy Seen in a Major Downturn
Data released Friday suggest economic growth has weakened over the past two quarters, illustrating how far a country once considered the darling of emerging-market investors has fallen.

Effects of Brazil’s drought could last through the election

CHILE
Chilean Port Workers End Strike After New Agreement

COLOMBIA
Colombia at crossroads; show us promised land Mr President

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica doubles down on security
While neighboring nations turn to their armed forces for help fighting drug trafficking and violence, no-military Costa Rica taps into other approaches.

CUBA
WaPo editorial: Cuba’s changes are no more than window-dressing

New York Times unmasks selfish motives behind Castro’s ‘reforms’

Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship once again stops consular services in U.S.

Cuba: Release Alan Gross, Maybe US Can Help with “People to People” Banking Transactions

For the third time in a week, Cuban police arrest Antunez

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haitian migrants caught, repatriated to Haiti

ECUADOR
Ecuador Faces Legal Quandary over Intra-Indigenous Violence

EL SALVADOR
Castaway back in El Salvador in an emotional homecoming (+video)
After 13 months adrift at sea, and a flight across the Pacific, José Salvador Alvarenga returns to his native El Salvador — and is too overcome for words

HONDURAS
Honduras suspends eight consuls in US

Honduras has suspended eight of its 10 consuls in the United States.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said there would be an investigation into whether the eight had illegally issued identity papers.

JAMAICA
Jamaican dancehall deejay arrested in lottery scam

MEXICO
Vicente Fox says: For Mexico, legalization is freedom

Mexico: A Different Kind of Gun Story

NICARAGUA
Constitutional Changes Take Effect in Nicaragua

Changes to the Nicaraguan constitution that allow President Daniel Ortega to run for re-election as many times as he wishes entered into force Tuesday with their publication in the official gazette.

PANAMA
More on the Chong Chon Gang, U.N.: Cuba weapons shipment to North Korea violated arms embargo

PARAGUAY
Downpour Saves Paraguay Market from Flames

PERU
Misery, poverty greet paroled foreign drug mules in Peru

PUERTO RICO
CNN gets its panties in a bunch over this, but they don’t have time to report on Venezuela: First on CNN: Christie vacationing in Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
The bong show:
Following legalization in US, Uruguay, marijuana gets second look
Experiments with legalizing marijuana in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay have countries as diverse as Morocco and the Netherlands rethinking how they approach the drug.

Uruguay President Jose Mujica urges US and Europe to change drug policy
After legalising the production and sale of cannabis in his own country, Uruguayan President Jose Mucjica calls on rich, “developed countries” to re-evaluate their strategy for dealing with narcotics

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan Opposition Leader Says He Will Risk Arrest
Leopoldo Lopez Says He Plans to March With Antigovernment Protesters Tuesday

A new landmark date for repression in Venezuela: confirming the dictatorship

5 Ways To Invest In Venezuelan Freedom

Venezuelan dissenter Leopoldo López: Maduro waits for orders from Havana
On Thursday night, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro rejected violent events and, without naming opposition leader Leopoldo López or ex Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia Fernando Gerbasi, said they were “fugitives from justice”

Maduro says the solution to shortages is to eat less:

Chocolate and Chávez

“The final stage of socialism isn’t Communism. It’s an empty shelf.” Gone With the Whine

The week’s posts and podcast:
Panama: World-wide port expansions

Venezuela: Today’s headlines

Panama: Chong Chon Gang goes back to Cuba, captain goes to jail, garage sale coming up

Venezuela: Street scenes UPDATED

En español: Los Horóscopos del Maestro Piyush

Is Venezuela collapsing?

Cuba: The truth about Che

Venezuela: Now reporting

Venezuela: Huge demonstrations UPDATED

Sochi? No, Princeton!

Puerto Rico: Growth yes, more taxes no

Iran in U.S. maritime borders: A question

At Da Tech Guy Blog: The truth about Che.

This week’s podcast: A book about Fidel Castro PLUS US-Latin America issues of the week

Panama: Chong Chon Gang goes back to Cuba, captain goes to jail, garage sale coming up

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

The North Korean rust bucket returns to Cuba:
N Korean ship seized with Cuban weapons returns to Cuba

The Panama Canal Authority recently said the ship could leave, after Pyongyang paid a nearly $700,000 (£425,000) fine.

The ship was seized seven months ago with Soviet-era weapons and fighter jets hidden under sacks of sugar.

Three members of the crew stayed behind to face arms trafficking charges.

The captain, the first officer and the political officer of the Chong Chon Gang face sentences of up to 12 years.

Panama will be having a garage sale,

Panamanian officials quoted by Reuters news agency said the arms would likely be sold or given away and the sugar sold to companies interested in turning it into ethanol.

Related:
Odebrecht’s Cuba Port at Center of Illegal Weapons Smuggling

The ship’s automatic identification system was turned off to hide its stop at the Port of Mariel. Moreover, while the logs showed multiple ports of call, they omitted the Mariel stop.

This is the same Mariel port that the Brazilian conglomerate, Odebrecht, has been expanding (since 2011) in partnership with Castro’s military.

In other words, this Cuba-North Korea weapons transfer occurred right under Odebrecht’s nose (at best).

Why? Perhaps because in addition to the port, Brazilian construction and infrastructure giant Odebrecht is planning to build a plastics plant in Cuba

Panama: North Korea to pay fine for the rust bucket

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Remember the Chong Chon Gang? The North Korean ship loaded with Cuban armaments (including MiG fighter jets, anti-aircraft systems and explosives) that the Canal authority intercepted last July?

Well, the latest is that the $1million fine was bargained down to a devilish amount which better suits the evil Communist regime.

That fine has now been reduced by a third to $666,666, and the North Korean government has pledged to pay it next week, Panama’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
Panamanian Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega said 32 of the ship’s 35 detained crew members would also be allowed to leave the country.

Hopefully it won’t be paid in counterfeit money.

No word as to what happens to the weaponry.

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!


The Thanksgiving week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 25th, 2013

LatinAmerUpdate on Honduras’s election: What next?

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINEAN PROSECUTOR ALBERTO NISMAN CHALLENGES CONSTITUIONALITY OF THE ARGENTINA-IRAN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Argentina to slap steep taxes on luxury imports; Cristina buys hers in Paris anyway.

BRAZIL
Brazil awards $9 billion of airport deals, prepping Rio for Olympics

Crude cost of Brazil’s new pipeline is a dark shadow

CHILE
The Aftermath of Chile’s Election

This may be about to change: Why does Chile prosper while neighbouring Argentina flounders?
Chile has usually followed economically sensible policies, inflation is low and the budget is almost balanced – by contrast Argentina engages in repeated self-inflicted economic upheaval

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Wayward Search for Peace (emphasis added):

One should therefore be skeptical of rosy reports from Havana about agreements being made on this point or that. All agreements to date are worthless until the guerrillas turn in their weapons and human rights violators surrender to the authorities.

Secondly, the Obama administration must clearly and loudly annunciate U.S. interests in the matter. After all, U.S. taxpayers have a $10 billion investment in Colombia, used to train and equip Colombian security forces and have as much a stake as anyone in any final agreement with the FARC. That the U.S. has relegated itself to the closet while the likes of Cuba and Venezuela flaunt their participation in negotiations is absurd — and no doubt has contributed to the Colombian people’s doubts about the outcome.

CUBA
Feinberg’s Pitch for Dictatorship in Cuba

Cuba Seeks Mexican Businessman in Corruption Probe

Deciphering diplo-speak on Cuba

Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’
What the Cuban leader thinks really happened on that fateful November day in Dallas

Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Deportation fears on rise in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
Donziger on Stand in Chevron Trial
Attorney Defends Himself Against Claims He Bribed a Judge in Lawsuit Over Pollution in Ecuador

NICARAGUA
The New Sandinista Autocracy 

In his 1986 State of the Union Address, President Reagan declared: “Surely no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the security of our frontiers, for the protection of our vital interests, than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua and to protect Nicaragua’s democratic neighbors.” The region and the world obviously look much different today than they did in 1986: The Soviet Union and the Cold War are long gone, and Nicaragua no longer poses the same geopolitical threat to U.S. interests. Yet the Sandinistas are once again attempting to create a dictatorship, and Nicaragua’s neighbors are once again struggling with rampant violence. Large portions of Guatemalan territory are effectively controlled by the Zetas Cartel, and Honduras is now the global murder capital. (Honduran human-rights commissioner Ramón Custodio Lopez has expressed fears that his nation is becoming a failed state.) And while a March 2012 gang truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18 has significantly reduced homicides in El Salvador, the gangs have continued to extort and terrorize the Salvadoran people, and their truce appears to be unraveling.

PANAMA
Lawyer: Panama Sets $1M Fine for North Korea Ship

PERU
Peru thwarts antiquities smugglers

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s economy
Buying on credit is so nice
The debt crisis has not stopped Puerto Ricans from shopping

VENEZUELA
Venezuela: Bozo as Al Capone, or is it Vice-Versa?

Venezuelan tyrant* confirms: new wave of confiscations, redistributions.

Another update: Visiting royals? Those regrettable moments

The week’s posts:
Ecuador: Promises, promises

Bachelet wants to increase taxes, put private colleges out of business, and rewrite the Constitution. What could possibly go wrong? Chile: A step to the left

As expected in Colombia: Santos to run for 2d term

Arturo Sandoval receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Kerry puts a “Kick me” sign on America

Argentina: Cristina gets dog, reorganizes cabinet

En español: La terapia intensiva de esta semana

Cuba: What Castro knew about Oswald

Venezuela: Involving Interpol against @JJRendon

At Da Tech Guy’s: How things can get worse in Venezuela


The lions’ Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 18th, 2013

LatinAmerAn American crew rescued twenty five African Lions from Bolivia and now there’s a documentary about it, Lion Ark; this Carnival is dedicated to them.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to return to work next week
President has been on leave for six weeks after surgery following a head injury

Bieber’s concert gear impounded in Argentina

Judge Maria Giraudi ordered that the singer’s belongings be held after photographer Diego Pesoa filed suit for damages, alleging that Bieber’s bodyguards hit him and damaged his equipment as the singer was leaving a nightclub.

Pesoa’s lawyer, Matias Morla, said Bieber “gave the order to beat him and then got back in his van.”

Paco Almaraz takes care of the little burned-out twerp (in Spanish):

BRAZIL
Dirceu is now in the clink: Brazil Mensalao jailings begin
Brazil starts jailing high-profile politicians convicted last year in the country’s biggest corruption trial, the “Mensalao” (big monthly allowance).

CHILE
The calm in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia and the FARC
Not out of the woods yet
Just as an agreement is reached, news of an assassination plot highlights the risks to the peace negotiations

CUBA
Chasing the Ghost of Castro’s Oil

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Senate Unanimously Confirms Gay Ambassador to Dominican Republic
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Senate has confirmed James “Wally” Brewster as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, despite recent protests from antigay groups in the Caribbean nation.

ECUADOR
Oil in Ecuador
The last word, with more to follow

HONDURAS
Criminal Violence and Displacement: Notes from Honduras

Will Honduras Become a Failed State?

Corte Suprema hondureña acusa a Lula da Silva de intromisión

JAMAICA
Jamaica failed drug tests ‘tip of iceberg’
Jamaica’s most senior drug tester says the country’s recent rash of failed tests might be the “tip of an iceberg”.

LATIN AMERICA
Shampoo, rinse, repeat: Time Warp Monday

MEXICO
Forcibly Displaced Persons now a Formidable Concern in Mexico

Farmers against Templars:

Mexican Farmers Confront Drug Cartels
Farmers in the rich agricultural heartland of Mexico’s Michoacán state, fed up with a reign of terror and extortion by a drug cartel, have organized community police forces and driven out the cartel.

NICARAGUA
Power grab in Nicaragua
The comandante’s commandments
The Sandinistas propose re-election without end for Daniel Ortega

PANAMA
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama extends North Koreans visas to get ship, crew

Mexican Trafficker With Ties To Sinaloa Cartel Extradited To U.S. From Panama

Biden to visit Panama for trade talks, disposal of chemical weapons

PERU
AP PHOTOS: A tough life on Lima’s rough edges

PUERTO RICO
How Wall Street Has Profited From Puerto Rico’s Misery

VENEZUELA
Who is Tareck el Aissami?

The criminalization of dissidence and opposition: CHÁVEZ’S SUCCESSOR SEES A TRILOGY OF EVIL

Venezuela jails 100 ‘bourgeois’ businessmen in crackdown

Venezuela’s President Maduro moves nearer to decree powers

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: The start of the really bad news

Colombia: FARC plot to murder Uribe

Venezuela: Jim Wyss recounts his 48 hours in Venezuelan custody

Brazil: “Mensalão”s must serve their sentences

Ecuador: Court halves Chevron judgement

En español: Terapia intensiva y el avión quemado

The UN Human Rights Council beclowns itself, again.

Venezuela: Price controls, profit caps UPDATED

At Da Tech Guy: Attention Christmas shoppers! Che on aisle nine!

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The Uruguayan doobie Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 28th, 2013

LatinAmerTop news of the week: Even when president Jose Mujica insists it won’t all be party-time, Uruguay is now the first country to legalize the production and mass distribution of marijuana.

ARGENTINA
Argentina Captures One of its Leading Homegrown Narcos

Argentina appeals New York Judge Griesa’s order regarding banks’ disclosures
The Argentine government yesterday appealed an order by US Judge Thomas Griesa who asked some private banks to turn over information about Argentina’s assets abroad. The case had been started by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s NML Capital Ltd which is demanding in court full 100% payment of Argentine sovereign bonds face value.

Argentina Rivals Square Off
The important question isn’t whether the ruling Peronist movement will win, but which of its dueling factions will gain the upper hand in the run-up to presidential elections in 2015.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
Secret cable sent to US embassy in Argentina asks diplomats to find out how president handles stress

BOLIVIA
Bolivian Police Arrest 15 for Anti-Drug Agents’ Murders

BRAZIL
Brazil’s main city again rocked by riots and vandalism over transport facilities and costs

CHILE
Chile soldiers’ widows want Communist leader jailed
The widows of three Chilean soldiers have launched legal action against the country’s Communist Party leader.

COLOMBIA
Rights Activist Slain in Colombia

CUBA
Cuba’s currency
Double trouble

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy’s “Victory”?

Imprisoned couple Sonia Garro and Ramón Muñoz to stand ‘trial’ Nov. 1

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominicans of Haitian Descent Cast Into Legal Limbo by Court

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Worn-Out War on Chevron

Racketeering aside, the case also looks rather weak on its own merits. For starters, Texaco operated as a minority partner under state-owned Petroecuador when the pollution occurred, so it is difficult to argue the damage is all its doing. Through agreements in 1995 and 1998, the Ecuadorian government also freed the company of further liability following a $40 million cleanup. An arbitration panel in The Hague cited the government’s sign-off when it ruled last month that Ecuador’s lawsuit should have never proceeded in the first place.

Oil, Ecuador and The Economist
A volcano erupts
Rafael Correa lambasts us and “the empire of capital”

Ecuador Judge Says He Inflated Bribery Claims to Chevron

Ecuador vs Chevron:
Donziger: from Hans Solo to Darth Vader

HAITI
Arrest of Haiti government critic triggers protests

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Economic problems in Honduras

JAMAICA
‘Cool Runnings’ 2? Jamaican bobsled team aims for Sochi Olympics

MEXICO
How Mexico’s EPR Insurgents Have Changed Course
Government sources have linked one of Mexico’s most prominent guerrilla organizations to a series of recent social protests

Paco Almaraz is having Obama burnout (in Spanish),

PANAMA
Panama Says It Will Release Most From Ship to North Korea

PARAGUAY
Paraguay leader’s son arrested [in Miami] after Bal Harbour party guest is punched

PUERTO RICO
Are There Puerto Rico Bonds in Your Muni Fund?
You may own Puerto Rico’s troubled bonds, popular for their high yields and special tax benefits, without even knowing it.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Gangs Are the New Law in Urban Trinidad & Tobago

VENEZUELA
Chavista Freddy Bernal calls for investigation of Derwick Associates

The week’s posts and podcast:
Bolivia: What the “Bolivarian revolution” means, in practice

Venezuela: The ministry of Supreme Happiness

Is Brazil ready for the World Cup?

Remembering the invasion of Grenada

Mexico: Clown union disavows killing

Ecuador: Chevron racketeering trial roundup – the corrupt judge

Uruguay: The dollar doobie

Mexico: Don’t write off the Zetas

Ecuador: Who’s Financing the Pollution-Liability Suit Against Chevron?

Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas

Mexico: Is Peña Nieto backtracking?

Celia Google day

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Princeton:

Panama: Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Boz and Capitol Hill Cubans are posting on this violation on UN sanctions:
Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal,’ Panama says

Two Cuban MiG-21 jet fighters found aboard a seized North Korean cargo ship three months ago were in good repair, had been recently flown and were accompanied by “brand-new” jet engines, Panamanian officials say.

The assertions deepen the mystery around the Cuban military materiel that was found aboard the 508-foot North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang, which Panamanian authorities intercepted July 10 off the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.

“They had jet fuel still inside their tanks,” Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega told McClatchy in an interview earlier this month. “They were not obsolete and in need of repair.”

A senior aide to the foreign minister, Tomas A. Cabal, said the deal had been arranged at a meeting June 29 in Havana among Cuban leader Raul Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias and Kim Kyok Sik, who was then the chief of the Korean People’s Army general staff. Kim was dismissed from his post in August, a month after the ship was seized.

Expect a strongly-worded letter from the UN to follow.

On their part,

Panama is treading lightly in the case, wary of angering Cuba, which Nunez Fabrega said was “one of the biggest customers of the free zone” in Colon, where it buys abundant goods as a consequence of the five-decade-old U.S. embargo on the island. A ship travels weekly from Colon to Havana to supply Cuba’s tourist hotels.

Is Cuba paying cash for these shipments? If they’re buying on credit, you can bet Panama will never collect.

But then, according to the article,

Panama was eager for the crew and ship to be on their way once North Korea settles a fine of up to $1 million imposed by the Panama Canal Authority for endangering the waterway by transporting undeclared weaponry.

Optimism clearly runs rampant among the Panamanian authorities.

Either that, or that cargo container full of currency is really worth it.

Cuba: A cargo container full of [counterfit?] euros and dollars

Friday, August 30th, 2013

The Chong Chon Gang, which is undergoing a thorough inspection from Panamanian authorities, had a cargo container full of euro and dollar bills of assorted denominations, according to Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda.

The currency will be tested to see if it is counterfit, as expected (h/t Babalu).