Posts Tagged ‘Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’

Argentina: Election runoff?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Following the ruling party’s candidate Daniel Scioli’s absence at the presidential candidates’ debate, there is now speculation on a possible runoff:

The Argentinian ruling party’s candidate Daniel Scioli maintains a commanding lead in the presidential race but still lacks enough voter support to win outright in the first round, a poll by the Poliarquia consultancy showed on Sunday.

Apparently Macri is in second place,

His nearest rival Mauricio Macri, the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires city, trails with 26.2 percent, while Sergio Massa, who defected from the ruling party in 2013, has 20.1 percent ahead of the Oct. 25 ballot.

Since Scioli was absent at the debate, the remaining candidates were allotted an additional 30 seconds, which Massa kept in silence to highlight what he called Scioli’s mockery,

In a political landscape that José Benegas calls “peronist vs. peronist”, there may be something different, maybe,

Macri promises swift reforms to open up markets in Latin America’s third biggest economy but many voters worry he would return Argentina to the neo-liberal policies of the 1990s that led to a devastating economic depression.

As opposed to existing chronic default and a collapsing currency.

Four days ago Macri inaugurated a monument to Peron.

Cristina’s worried about her legacy,

“The Kirchnerist wing will be left out [of government],” Mr. Arzadun said. But traditionally, “the political power in Argentina revolves around Peronism.”

Ms. Fernandez is enlisting allies in Congress, where her son and potential political heir, Maximo Kirchner, is running for a seat for the first time. Meanwhile, she can count on the Front for Victory’s ultraloyal grass-roots groups to help her maintain control of the Peronist movement — and come out on top in a potential power struggle with a Scioli-led government.

Scioli needs to convince some non-Peronist voters to reach the ‘magic 40%’.

Jorge Lanata has been reporting on election fraud (which allegedly included buying votes with drugs. Here’s last Sunday’s program (in Spanish),

The Columbus Day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Why Does Argentina Keep Shielding Iran?

Behind the scenes, Pope Francis wields clout in Argentina homeland

Following the mysterious death of a prosecutor who had indicted Mrs. Fernandez on conspiracy charges, Francis in January stepped in forcefully to keep the president from being deposed in a “soft coup,” The Washington Times learned from a close personal friend of the pope.

Local magnates had plotted to seize the moment and oust the president after Alberto Nisman was found with a gunshot wound to his head hours before he was due to testify on a supposed top-level cover-up of Iran’s suspected involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

But through calls and intermediaries, Francis persuaded “the right people at the right moment” to let Mrs. Fernandez serve our her second term, set to expire Dec. 10, Gustavo Vera, a Buenos Aires legislator and social activist who maintains a close friendship with the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, said.

Cristina stops by the Vatican frequently, and has had six private audiences with Francis.

Argentina’s La Presidenta Boogies Like She’s Hillary Clinton

Bolivia, Russia Sign Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

Rosatom will assist in the establishment of a nuclear research institute, including training for staff, Energy Minister Luis Sanchez said from Moscow in comments reported by official news agency ABI.

The pact also anticipates that Rosatom will advise the Bolivian government on how to educate the population about the nuclear power initiative, seen as necessary in light of the rejection by residents of La Paz of plans to build a nuclear research center in their neighborhood.

Besides power generation, Bolivia will use peaceful nuclear technology for medical applications and devices employed in geological research and prospecting for oil and gas, the minister said.

Legal Setbacks Buffet Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.Rulings set up possible path to unpopular leader’s impeachment, but prospect remains distant

Pope Francis angers victims of sex abuse after calling protesters ‘dumb’. Pope made remarks at Vatican to a group of Chileans who have been protesting against a bishop alleged to be complicit in a sex abuse scandal

Bachelet’s Brand of Austerity Is Too Little, Too Late. Slowing Government Spending Growth to 6 Percent Isn’t Going to Cut It

Augusto Pinochet ordered killing in US, declassified documents reveal. Gen Augusto Pinochet ‘directly ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat in Washington’

“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength;” Uribe loyalists are Colombia’s ‘new terrorists’: Senate peace commission chairman

U.S. Envoy Bernard Aronson Pushes Peace in Colombia. Diplomat says largely secret talks between government and FARC rebels suffered ‘near-death experience’ before last month’s breakthrough

Raul Castro’s demands for Gitmo plus reparations show Cuba still a prime enemy

Violence in El Salvador:Rivers of blood. A crackdown on gangs has so far made things worse

Risk of new landslide in Guatemala.Guatemalan authorities order the evacuation of some 40 families from an area where a landslide killed at least

Venezuela accuses Guyana of lying about border dispute

US brings drug charges against powerful Honduran family.The Rosenthals own a large business conglomerate and have important political ties

The indictment charged Jaime Rolando Rosenthal Oliva; his son Yani Benjamin Rosenthal Hidalgo; and his nephew Yankel Antonio Rosenthal Coello.

Honduras football boss Yankel Rosenthal charged in US

Good luck with that: Mexico’s President to Propose Bill to Improve Efforts to Locate 25,000 Missing. Legislation aims to improve coordination between authorities in search for people missing since war on drugs began

Panama engages investors ahead of funding forays

Companies Flee Brazil for Paraguay’s Greener Pastures. Businesses Look to Move Investments Off Rousseff’s Sinking Ship

Peru’s Economic Woes Echo Latin America’s. Chosen by the IMF as host of its annual meeting to celebrate the region’s growth, it’s now a symbol of economic struggle

Just like their counterparts at the central bank, Peruvian government officials are finding that some of the usual ways to propel a developing economy don’t work in this case. In particular, Peru cannot take the common step of expanding its industrial sector to export value-added products rather than raw materials because of globalized value chains and an oversupply of industrial facilities in China, said Piero Ghezzi, Peru’s minister of production.

Hedge funds are threatening Peru with a lawsuit: US hedge fund threatens to sue Peru. A US hedge fund threatens to sue Peru over bonds issued by the country’s former military regime.

Puerto Rico May Not Be Able to Avoid Defaults, Adviser Says. I am shocked, shocked!

Here’s What Happened When Venezuela Imposed Gun Control Laws

Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world; hands down

Argentina: The curious incident of Cristina at the UN, UPDATED

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of Silver Blaze, there’s the the curious incident of the dog in the night-time,

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had a curious incident of her own at the UN.

The Telegraph asks, Why didn’t Cristina Kirchner mention the Falklands during her UN speech? For the first time in her eight appearances at the General Assembly, the president of Argentina failed to speak about the Falklands. After describing several of Cristina’s speeches (and let’s not forget some have been delusional), The Telegraph concludes,

It was unclear why she omitted the reference this year – especially given that this is her last address as head of state. In October Argentina will hold elections, and she cannot run for a third term.

Maybe the meds worked?

You can read her speech in Spanish here.

Curiouser and curiouser,
Argentine President: In 2010, An Obama Administration Official Asked Me to Provide Iran with Nuclear Fuel; Obama Administration Official Confirms Story. Ace posts,

Mediate notes the oddness of asking Argentina, specifically, to supply Iran with nuke fuel — given the bombing a Jewish center in Argentina in 1994,a case officially unsolved but believed to have been sponsored by Iran.

And perhaps there’s a reason Kirchner is making this accusation now:

Coincidentally [???– or not. Ace], the speech by Argentinian President Kirchner coincides with the release of the anticipated documentary film Los Abandanados, which examines the role of Iran in the 1994 AMIA bombing. The film also highlights the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Nisman, who actively devoted his life to uncovering the judicial misconduct following the attack. Nisman was found dead in January at his home in Buenos Aires, hours before he was scheduled to address the Congress of Argentina.

Jason Howerton has now updated; Samore [sic? Kirchner names a Gary Seymour, not Samore*, in her speech. Fausta] confirms he went shopping in Argentina for fuel for Iran’s nukes.

The idea is that we’d give Iran mid-enriched uranium and of course they would enrich it no further than that.

Ace says, “It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable.”

We live in unbelievable times.

Is the Iran story true? Who confirmed it, Seymour or Samore?

Initially I posted a paragraph from Kirchner’s speech in Spanish, but this is bothering me enough I decided to translate it myself:

*Cristina’s speech (emphasis added):

Nosotros sabíamos de estas negociaciones, estábamos esperanzados en que el acuerdo finalmente llegara. Ustedes se preguntarán y cómo sabíamos. Simple, en el año 2010, nos visitó, en Argentina, Gary Seymour, en ese entonces principal asesor de la Casa Blanca, en materia nuclear. Él nos vino a ver con una misión, con un objetivo que la Argentina que había provisto, en el año 1987, durante el primer gobierno democrático y bajo el control de OIEA, la Organización Internacional, en materia de control de armas y regulación nuclear, había provisto el combustible nuclear, del denominado reactor “Teherán”. Gary Seymour, le explicó a nuestro Canciller, Héctor Timerman que estaban en negociaciones precisamente para llegar a un acuerdo y que la República Islámica de Irán no siguiera enriqueciendo uranio, lo hiciera a menor cantidad, pero que Irán decía que necesitaba enriquecer este reactor nuclear de Teherán y esto entorpecía las negociaciones. Nos venía a pedir a nosotros, los argentinos que proveyéramos de combustible nuclear a la República Islámica de Irán. No estaba Rohani todavía, estaba Ahmadinejad, ya había comenzado las negociaciones.

My translation:

We knew of these negotiations, we hoped that an agreement would finally come about. You may ask, how did we know. Simple, in 2010, we were visited, in Argentina, by Gary Seymour, who at that time was the White House’s main advisor on nuclear issues. He came to see us with a mission, a purpose that Argentina had foreseen, in 1987, during its first democratic government, and under the control of the IAEA, the International Organization on nuclear regulations and weapons control, had provided the nuclear fuel, for the reactor named “Teheran”. Gary Seymour, explained to our Minister of Foreign Relations, Héctor Timerman, that they were negotiating to reach an agreement so that the Islamic Republic of Iran would not continue enriching uranium, that they would [instead] do it in smaller quantities, but that Iran said that they needed to enrich this Tehran nuclear reactor and that hindered the negotiations. He came to ask us, the Argentinians, to provide nuclear fuel to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rohani wasn’t on yet, it was still Ahmahinejad, who had started the negotiations.

The Blaze‘s translation polished Cristina’s meandering style to a much clearer paragraph, but it changed Seymour to Samore:

In 2010 we were visited in Argentina by Gary Samore, at that time the White House’s top advisor in nuclear issues. He came to see us in Argentina with a mission, with an objective: under the control of IAEA, the international organization in the field of weapons control and nuclear regulation, Argentina had supplied in the year 1987, during the first democratic government, the nuclear fuel for the reactor known as “Teheran”. Gary Samore had explained to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, that negotiations were underway for the Islamic Republic of Iran to cease with its uranium enrichment activities or to do it to a lesser extent but Iran claimed that it needed to enrich this Teheran nuclear reactor and this was hindering negotiations. They came to ask us, Argentines, to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel. Rohani was not in office yet. It was Ahmadinejad’s administration and negotiations had already started.

My question remains, who confirmed the story, Seymour, or Samore, or who?

Argentina: The #tucumanazo, stories of a fraud foretold?

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

This does not bode well:
Riot police suppress protests calling for new elections in Tucumán

Allegations of electoral fraud bring demonstrators out on the street in Argentinean province

At stake was the governorship of Tucumán, where Alperovich and his associates from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Front for Victory (FPV) coalition manage a $3 billion dollar budget as they please. If no new elections are held, his vice-governor, Juan Manzur, will soon take over.
. . .
Though the province is the nation’s smallest, it has the fifth largest population and has now become the site of a landmark moment in this election season. According to preliminary results, presidential election favorite Daniel Scioli’s center-left FPV coalition won Tucumán by 14 points but this victory may cost him, with images of irregularities on the day of voting and other fraudulent maneuvers threatening to damage his standing.

Twitter #tucumanazo:

The sign reads, “I don’t fear the state’s repression.
I fear the people’s silence

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

Friday, August 21st, 2015

After the pontiff took home the Communist crucifix, I borrow Dorothy Parker’s question to ask him, Pope Francis, what fresh hell can this be?

Pope Francis poses with ‘dialogue for Malvinas’ sign
Pope Francis poses with a propaganda sign calling for “dialogue” between Britain and Argentina

It is time for dialogue between Argentina and the United Kingdom about the Falkland Islands

Argentina’s rulers for decades have used the Falklands as a propaganda tool by which they can distract from the dictatorship, the economic situation, the poverty, the corruption, the “silence is health” mentality. The Falklanders have confirmed their right to self-determination by overwhelmingly voting to remain British in a March 2013 referendum.

Cristina Fernandez, whom the pope has hosted at least five times since his ascension to the papacy, is particularly fervid on the Falklands (a subject dear to Hugo Chavez, her 21st Century Socialism compadre) also because of new oil findings on Falklands territory. There’s even a Twitter hashtag,

Gustavo Hoyo, director of the “dialogue” movement, has been tweeting pictures of ordinary Argentines and well-known faces holding the placard.

By holding the sign, Francis has now joined in the propaganda, on the 50th anniversary of the UN’s Decolonization Committe resolution asking for dialogue, just as Cristina ramps up the rhetoric as the October 25 election looms.

Sure enough, Cristina tweeted it,

What a tool you are, Francis.

Mercopress says the pope’s not a tool, but a clueless fool,

“The Holy Father did not even realise he had this object in his hands. He has discovered this just now after seeing the photograph,” Father Ciro Benedettini said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Interesting how so many have to explain “what Francis really meant” after the fact.

“Nobody takes Francis by surprise”, tweets Cristina:

Argentina: A story in 5 tweets

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

(See Argentina’s Cabinet Chief Refutes Drug Trafficking Allegations as Extortion

With a week to go for the primaries in Argentina, Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez was accused of involvement in drug trafficking by those implicated in ephedrine trafficking in a television program, Periodismo para Todos (Journalism for Everyone), or PPT.)

Here’s Lanata’s Sunday show of Aug. 2 (in Spanish but NSFW),

Full show here,

Following which, Police: Lanata building damaged during street fight

Argentina: Cristina tweets Iran

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Today’s Capt. Louis Renault moment:

Argentine President Defends Her Country’s Iran DealAgreement in 2013 was much criticized

What’s with the hair?

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner is using the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers to defend a much-criticized deal her own government made with Tehran nearly three years ago.

That 2013 accord, to create a “truth commission” with Iran to investigate the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, was criticized by many in Argentina and abroad—including officials in Israel—who said it would permit Iranian suspects to avoid justice.

Political analysts in Argentina say the nuclear deal, forged this month, has given Mrs. Kirchner the chance to put her own dealings with Iran it in a new light. She has done so through a series of tweets and public comments.

Alberto Nisman’s s murder is all about Iran.

Argentina: Judge in Cristina’s hotel case, “If I turn up suicided, look for the killer”

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Cristina Fernandez’s son Maximo continues to be investigated:

Máximo Kirchner’s Offices Raided in Hotesur Corruption Case

Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio and prosecutor Carlos Stornelliordered a raid on the offices of Presidential son and La Cámpora leader, Máximo Kirchner, Monday, seeking accounting information as part of the ongoing Hotesur K-money laundering and corruption case.

. . .

The raid itself represented the execution of Judge Bonadio’s “procedural orders” seeking information about 35 separate companies with ties to the Kirchner family and its business interests, specifically including “banks and companies” associated with K-businessman Lázaro Báez – the number one recipient of public works contracts during the Kirchner administration. Báez is a business partner of President Kirchner, and the former administrator of her largest hotel, Alto Calafate.

Judge Bonadio was about to start reviewing the evidence retrieved during the raid, when he was removed from the case by two other judges.

As you may recall, peronistas were calling for Bonadio’s impeachment last year.

You can tell that Judge Bonadio’s under pressure that he’s come out saying, Si aparezco suicidado, busquen al asesino; no es mi estilo“. If I turn up suicided, look for the killer; it’s not my style.

Argentina: Cristina, Iran, #Nisman, and The New Yorker and The Tower reports

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Six months ago, prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead of a bullet to the head on January 28 in his Buenos Aires apartment, on the eve of the day when he was scheduled to testify to congress on his findings regarding a civil lawsuit he had filed the week prior accusing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of colluding with Iran to obscure the investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing.

Nisman’s civil lawsuit was dismissed.

The investigation into his murder is still pending.

Three days ago, president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tweeted a transcript and video of her interview with The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins,

Cristina may have been hoping for a puff piece like Vogue magazine’s infamous profile of Asma al-Assad.

Filkins met her at the Quinta Olivos, asked questions, and let her talk (which she did – boy, did she ever, for over two hours).

Rather than a puff piece on the self-absorbed Cristina, Filkins wrote an excellent article on the Nisman case,
Death of a Prosecutor
Alberto Nisman accused Iran and Argentina of colluding to bury a terrorist attack. Did it get him killed?
This is what Filkins had to say about his conversation with Cristina,

Pesident Kirchner works in an ornate mansion in central Buenos Aires known as “the Pink House”—for the tint of its walls, once supplied by horse blood—but her official residence, in a northern suburb, is called Quinta de Olivos. Dating to the sixteenth century, Olivos, as it is known, is a white three-storied palace that resembles an enormous wedding cake.

When I met Kirchner there, two months after Nisman died, the mystery was still dominating the news. I was ushered into a wide split-level room that had been set up as a television studio. Kirchner entered a few minutes later, in a flouncy dress and heavy makeup, followed by two dozen aides, nearly all of them men. With the cameras running, Kirchner reached over, before the interview began, to fix my hair. “Is there some girl who can help him with his hair?” she asked. “We want you to be pretty.” Then she began to straighten her own. “I want to primp myself a bit,” she said. “Excuse me, I’m a woman, besides being the President: the dress, the image—”

“Divine!” one of her aides called from off the set.

While Filkins did not refute any of Cristina’s lies, his is not a puff piece at all,

Over time, Kirchner has grown more dictatorial and, according to muckraking reports, more corrupt.

The article must be read in its entirety.

Likewise, Eamonn MacDonagh reports at The Tower on Alberto Nisman’s Secret Recordings, Revealed
Before he was murdered, the Argentinian prosecutor investigating the massive 1994 Buenos Aires bombing wiretapped over 40,000 phone calls. His one question: Did the Argentinian government conspire to cover up Iran’s involvement in the attack?

An idea of the importance of the recordings can be gleaned from a February 2013 conversation between alleged Argentine government intelligence operative Ramón Héctor “Allan” Bogado and Khalil. In that call, which was widely reported in the Argentine press, Bogado told Khalil, “We have a video of the [AMIA] attack,” leading Khalil to reprimand him for not being more careful when speaking on the phone. Of course, it’s impossible to know for sure who Bogado meant by “we,” but one distinct possibility may be that the AMIA bombing was filmed by Argentina’s intelligence services, or that a video recording of it, perhaps containing vital evidence about the identity of the terrorists who carried out the attack, fell into their hands.

Both Filkins’s and MacDonagh’s articles are indispensable reading on the Nisman case.

Investigative journalist Jorge Lanata, in his show Periodismo Para Todos (Journalism For All), continues his coverage of the Nisman murder, and commissioned forensic expert Cyril Wecht for his opinion on whether Nisman’s death was a murder or a suicide. You can watch the report here.

Wecht’s interview starts 35 minutes into this YouTube; the show is in Spanish but Wecht’s portion is in English,

One of the world’s foremost forensic experts, Wecht asserts that Nisman’s death is most likely a murder.

Which comes as no surprise.

Also in Lanata’s report: The man in charge of internet security at Nisman’s apartment building has been in charge of cyber defense for Argentina’s military since January.

Tom Clancy would have had a field day.

Argentina: Cristina drops the mask on anti-semitism

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner visited a school and bragged tweeted about it,

I said, you must read The Merchant of Venice so you understand the vulture funds. Laughter all around.”

No, don’t laugh. Usury and bloodsucking were immortalized centuries ago by the best literature.”

Jonathan Tobin looks at how Kirchner’s Jew Hatred Casts Cloud on Argentina

We don’t have to learn more about Kirchner’s literary tastes to understand the depth of her prejudices against Jews. Her dealings with Iran and previous comments on social media are enough to damn her as a vicious anti-Semite. But this latest incident solidifies her stance in a way that no objective observer could possibly misinterpret.

Given the willingness of the Argentine government to make crooked deals with Iran and to cover up involvement in terrorism and perhaps even murder of Nisman, there may not be any way to hold Kirchner accountable for her actions. But foreign governments should draw the right conclusions from Kirchner’s Jew hatred and act accordingly. She may be untouchable at home but no decent foreign government should ever receive her as a leader. Until a person not tainted by the virus of anti-Semitism leads Argentina, it should get a cold shoulder from the United States as well as other nations on all issues

Read the full article.

Here’s a reading suggestion:
In view of the Nisman murder and botched-up investigation, Argentinian schools ought to read Jean Anouilh’s Becket and watch the film adaptation to better understand Argentinian politics.