Posts Tagged ‘Cristina Fernádez de Kirchner’

The constitutional showdown in Argentina: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,


Redrado Remains at Argentine Central Bank Amid Clash after president Cristina Fernandez provokes a constitutional crisis.

Constitutional Showdown in Argentina
President Cristina Kirchner tries to seize control of the central bank.

Crisis Threatens to Curb Central Banks
Argentina’s bad timing
Argentine President and Central Bank in Standoff

The devalued currency Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 11th, 2010

LatinAmerWelcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. The two top stories of the week are the Venezuelan currency devaluation, and Argentina’s Central Bank dispute.

Threat of Terrorism in Latin America

Today’s roundup at The Americano

Argentine Leader Fights Bank Move

Argentina’s bank grab
The reserves, or your job: The president’s ultimatum to her Central Bank chief

Brazil reflects on Lula’s last year

Lula and the generals
Don’t look back: The army blocks a truth commission

The Vigil brothers, Cuban Political Prisoners of the Week, 1/10/10

En memoria de Gloria Amaya


U.S. says contractor arrested in Cuba is no spy

500 Cuban Doctors Manage to Defect Via Venezuela

Flota aerea Taura trasladada desde ayer a la base de Manta

Ecuador Orgs Reiterates Solidarity with Cuba

Guest blog: Diaspora, remittances and immigration

A peaceful getaway or a lawless frontier?

Mexican Cartel Skins Rival’s Face, Stitches It on Soccer Ball

Tijuana reels amid a surge of violence
After some gains in Mexico’s drug war in 2009, Tijuana has had a bloody turn of events in the new year. More than a dozen people, four of them students, were reported slain in the last week.

Organised crime in Mexico
Outsmarted by Sinaloa: Why the biggest drug gang has been least hit

A Mexican cult
Death in holy orders: Syncretism in the era of the drug baron
. There is a novel on this, named La Virgen de los sicarios, and a movie of the same name.

Foto (del abuso) familiar

How to be a wheeler-dealer

Señor Topocho

Peru’s Interbank Names Interim General Manager

Good news: Puerto Rico to Become Cruise Ship Hub of Caribbean

Chavez’s 3-Tiered Currency System May Spur Inflation

Venezuelan devaluation and Giordani for dummies!

Chavez Says Dollars Were Sold Very Cheap at Old Rate

By subscription: Chavez To Activate $1 Billion Fund

Chavez’s Devaluation Leaves Venezuelans Jittery About His “Socialism of the 21st Century”

Special thanks to the Baron, Eneas, Maggie and Vlad

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Chavez devalues the currency: 15 Minutes on Latin America
Oliver Stone: “We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’”
Chavez devalues currency, creates a distraction
Court reinstates head of Argentina’s Central Bank
Argentina’s central bank impasse: 15 Minutes on Latin America
Al-Qaeda and the FARC – together? 15 Minutes on Latin America
Argentina’s Central Bank director resigns: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Court reinstates head of Argentina’s Central Bank

Saturday, January 9th, 2010


The news broke earlier yesterday as I was starting my podcast, and you may recall that I mentioned that a federal judge had suspended the decree that would allow the government to use foreign reserves to pay debt. The same judge reinstated Redrado.

Here’s an update,

Court Reinstates Fired Central-Bank Chief
Argentina’s Constitutional Crisis Escalates as Judge Blocks President Kirchner From Using Reserves to Pay National Debt

On Friday morning, federal judge Maria Jose Sarmiento granted an injunction request by two opposition parties barring the central bank from transferring money into the so-called Bicentennial Fund, which Mrs. Kirchner had hoped to create with $6.57 billion from the reserves.

A few hours later, Judge Sarmiento ordered the reinstatement of the bank president, Martín Redrado, whom Mrs. Kirchner dismissed on Thursday for refusing to make the transfer.

Since Fernandez does not control the legislature, she’s facing strong opposition:

Mrs. Kirchner faced a further threat on the legislative front, as Argentina’s vice president, Julio Cobos, moved Friday to call Congress out of recess for an emergency session on the reserves dispute. Mr. Cobos has fallen out with Mrs. Kirchner and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, and is their chief rival before next year’s presidential elections.

Mr. Cobos has questioned the legitimacy of the special decrees of “necessity and urgency,” which Mrs. Kirchner used both to enact the Bicentennial Fund and to fire Mr. Redrado. Some constitutional scholars said such decrees were intended for use only in emergencies, such as natural disasters. Congressional leaders maintain that the legislature must be consulted to replace the central-bank president and has final control over the reserves. Mrs. Kirchner’s faction of the Peronist party lost the majority in Congress in June midterm elections.

The government’s dealings with the central bank represent “a new abuse of the republic’s institutions,” said Ricardo Alfonsín, a leader of the opposition Radical Party.

Mrs. Kirchner accused Mr. Cobos of conspiring against her with Mr. Redrado, and lashed out at the Radicals, saying they presided over economic debacles when in power.

“If they didn’t know how to govern at least let us do it,” she said.

Underlying the dispute is the Kirchner administration’s need for funds to sustain the Peronist patronage machine. Last year, public spending grew at three times the rate of revenue.

From the government’s standpoint, paying debt with reserves frees up resources for politically popular spending programs. It also helps to persuade skeptical financial markets of Argentina’s willingness to pay its debts.

She can’t persuade them.

Argentina’s Central Bank director resigns: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010


In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
Argentina’s Central Bank President Redrado Resigns under duress in a dispute with the government over the use of central bank reserves to pay debt this year. However, other reports state that he is not leaving.

Related reading:
Argentina’s Central Bank President Redrado Is Fired

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner fired Central Bank President Martin Redrado, the state news agency Telam reported.

Redrado, who took office in September 2004, will be replaced by Mario Blejer, the agency reported.

Television channel C5N said Redrado was sacked amid a dispute with the government over the use of central bank reserves to pay debt this year.

An official at the press offices at the presidential palace declined to comment and the central bank press office said it had no information.

Blejer’s wife, Susana, told Bloomberg News that her husband was traveling in Europe and isn’t available for comment.

Redrado has resisted releasing $6.5 billion in foreign currency reserves that Fernandez ordered for a special fund to meet the country’s rising debt obligations this year.
The money that he would have to transfer from the Central Bank’s reserves reaches the amount of 6,569 million dollars. The amount will be used to pay the debt in 2010.

The Globe and Mail has a more detailed report, Argentina asks central bank boss to quit

On December 31, the Wall Street Journal reported that Argentina Central Bank Calls On Government To Stem Inflation. So much for that.

Argentine peso, stocks weak on cenbank tension

Argentina’s new media law: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern: How Argentina’s new law limits the media.

Related reading:
Argentine Senate overwhelmingly approves media law
Argentina clamps down on private media ownership
Argentina clamps down on freedom of the press

Castro says he “probably won’t be around in 4 years”: Today’s 15 Minutes on Latin America

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern:

While rumors abound as to whether Castro is in a coma (an old rumor if there ever was one), here is this from AP: Castro says he probably won’t be around in 4 years

Fidel Castro said Thursday he doubts he’ll make it to the end of Barack Obama’s four-year term and instructed Cuban officials to start making their decisions without taking him into account.

There are those who doubt wheter the made it to the end of George W. Bush’s eight-year term, but I digress. The statement from Castro came in a Granma article,

Thursday’s essay came out on a government Web site shortly before the nightly news. Newscasters did not mention it, instead reading a column Castro had released on Wednesday.

The bulk of Thursday’s column was devoted to praising Obama, the 11th U.S. president since the Cuban revolution, in part for his decision to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Castro recalled his thoughts Tuesday as he watched Obama assume the “leadership of the empire.”

“The intelligent and noble face of the first black president of the United States … had transformed itself under the inspiration of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King into a living symbol of the American dream,” he wrote.

Castro praised Obama as honest, writing: “No one could doubt the sincerity of his words when he affirms that he will convert his country into a model of freedom, respect for human rights in the world and the independence of other nations.”

However, Castro suggested Obama would succumb to threats greater than his own qualities: “What will he do soon, when the immense power that he has taken in his hands is absolutely useless to overcome the unsolvable, antagonistic contradictions of the (American) system?”

Obama has said he will not end the U.S. embargo on Cuba without democratic reforms on the island, but will ease limits on Cuban-Americans’ visits there and on the money they send home to relatives. He has also offered to negotiate personally with Raul Castro.

The column was Castro’s second in as many days. Before that, Castro hadn’t been heard from in more than a month, fueling rumors that he had suffered a stroke or lapsed into a coma. Those rumors were dispelled on Wednesday when Argentine President Cristina Fernandez met with him, the first foreign leader known to have done so since Nov. 28.

Referring to Gitmo,

“We demand that not only this prison but also this base should be closed and the territory it occupies should be returned to its legal owner — the Cuban people,”

which we’ve heard lots of times already from the “not to be around in 4 years” dictator.

After all, why should anyone doubt that Castro’s alive? Didn’t Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez meet with Castro just three days ago? Yes, she did.

Didn’t she have her picture taken with him? Oh yes, she did:

According to Noticias 24 Cuban vicechancellor Alejandro González Galeano made a special trip to Caracas (where Fernandez was visiting Chávez) to hand-deliver the photos.

I guess the Cubans couldn’t email them.

Interestingly, Fidel didn’t meet with Panama’s Martín Torrijos and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa when they visited Cuba recently. Raúl Castro insists that Fidel is not dead yet

“Now you know that Fidel is fine,” he said, adding that his brother spends days “exercising, thinking and reading a lot, advising me, helping me.”

“You think if he were gravely ill that I’d be smiling here?” Castro told reporters. “Soon I’m going to take a trip to Europe. You think I would leave here if Fidel were really in grave condition?”


Castro urged Cuban government leaders to continue his work and not change direction in the case of [his] grave illness or death. By the way, Castro refers to Obama as the “eleventh US president”, meaning the eleventh president since the Castro took power.

After her “emotional” meeting with Castro, Fernandez went on to a 24-hr visit to Venezuela (her second visit), where she and Chávez pledged to meet every three months to review their bilateral agenda and signed a dozen letters of agreement on energy and agriculture. The Argentinian government-owned company Enarsa might be involved in developing mature oil fields in eastern Venezuela (how effective would that be remains to be seen).

Even Chávez was saying that

t is unlikely that ailing former Cuban leader Fidel Castro will ever appear in public again.

“That Fidel in his uniform who walked the streets and towns late at night, hugging the people, won’t return,” Chavez said during his Sunday television and radio program. “That will remain in memories.”

Without a hint of irony, Chávez stated,

“Fidel will live forever, beyond the physical life,”

The nightmare lives on, indeed. (h/t Babalu)


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