Posts Tagged ‘Fausta’s blog’

This just in: Cuba off sponsors of terror list

Friday, May 29th, 2015

U.S. Takes Cuba off Terror List, Paving the Way for Normal Ties

Removal from the list, announced by the department on Friday in an e-mailed statement, came as a matter of course because Congress made no move to block the action within 45 days after President Barack Obama announced plans to do so on April 14.

Related: Cuba and terrorism.

Brazil: The WaPo’s evangelical Frank Underwood

Friday, May 29th, 2015

It’s not every day that you read “evangelical” and “Frank Underwood” in the same sentence: In an article on Brazilian politics, the Washington Post posits,

An evangelical Christian who plays rock drums and has been likened to Frank Underwood, the ambitious schemer in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” has upended Brazil’s politics since being elected speaker of the country’s lower house four months ago.

They are talking about Chamber of Deputies president Eduardo Cunha of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), about whom they conclude,

Brazilian politics is a rough-and-tumble game, and Eduardo Cunha does not mind playing dirty to win it.

Definitely a guy worth watching.

Is Venezuela dollarizing?

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Officially, they won’t, but in practice, yes:

Venezuela Embraces the Dollar—Reluctantly
Increasing dollarization reflects doubt in President Maduro’s ability to boost a sclerotic economy and halt a plummeting currency

From real estate to cars to even some cheaper goods like health-care products, an increasing number of vendors demand dollars—or its black market equivalent in bolivars, now about 350, several times the official rate. That prices out most Venezuelans, who can’t get greenbacks because of complex currency controls the government uses to prevent capital flight.

Those controls have helped exacerbate class divisions between those who hold only bolivars and those with access to dollars, undermining Mr. Chávez’s so-called Bolivarian Revolution, the social movement embraced by his successor, President Nicolás Maduro, which aims to equitably distribute wealth.

Steve Hanke saw it coming.

Worthless bolivar, replaced by hard currency, ought to not surprise anyone, or, as Capt. Louie said, “I’m shocked, shocked, there’s gambling going on in here.”

I wonder what became of my former friend, the liberal, who told me that Chávez had improved the economy. She’ll blame Maduro for not getting Communism straight, unlike Hugo.

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Additionally, just because you have dollars doesn’t mean you can get necessities.

For example, buying car tires: A contrast between a command economy, and a consumer-oriented economy.

At the command economy: Where gasoline is almost free, but two months go by and you can’t get tires for your car.

Gustavo Hernandez Acevedo describes Chavismo on wheels,

In early April, a close relative of mine was looking everywhere for new tires. He hasn’t found anything yet.

. . .

The root of the problem is (as expected) the fall in domestic production and the lack of currency to either reactivate local factories or bring enough imports to satisfy demand. Representatives of three major tire brands have met with government representatives, but they didn’t get any specifics about when they will get the resources to keep working.

But another factor is affecting the vehicle tire market: Proveeduria (Procurement)

What’s that?

It’s a state-led initiative thought up the central government back in 2013 to directly provide spare parts and tires to public and cargo transportation drivers, under the control of the Transportation Ministry. At the beginning, those State procurement stores got their tires from illegal units that were seized by the authorities.

But in March of this year, Land Transportation Minister Haiman El Troudi published an administrative order in which tiremakers are forced to sell 20% of production to proveedurias in order to keep public transportation up and running.

At the consumer-oriented economy: Tires replaced, car serviced, in less than three hours.

The other day I needed tires. I drove to the local service station, talked to the gentleman at the desk, and dropped off my car.
About an hour later, they called me back, we discussed price and what was needed.
Two hours later, the car was ready, I went, paid, and happily drove off.

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According to this official website of the Venezuelan government (link in Spanish), the Tower of David has been evacuated and its squatters placed in government housing. The structure will be used as an Emergency Coordination Center – hopefully after a great deal of refurbishing.

Previous reports mentioned that the Bank of China would be using “La Torre de David” as its South American HQ.

Brazil: Beam him up, Scotti

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Former New Camorra capo Pasquale Scotti, convicted of 20 murders, is now jailed,

Italian Mafia Boss Arrested in BrazilPasquale Scotti, convicted of murdering more than 20 people, was detained more than 30 years after his escape

Mr. Scotti was detained in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife at about 7 a.m. local time. He arrived in Brazil in 1986 using false identification documents, Brazilian and Italian police said Tuesday at a news conference in Brasília.

He married a local woman, with whom he has two children, and set up businesses in the area, including a real-estate brokerage and a fireworks factory, police said.

He had escaped from a hospital room following a shootout with Italian police in 1984.

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez’s jail video

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Leopoldo speaks through the cracks

For the first time in more than a year, Leopoldo Lopez spoke to Venezuelans in a video smuggled out of Ramo Verde prison. In it, he announced the beginning of a hunger strike, calling Venezuelans to take to the streets this coming Saturday.

Transcript in English at the link above; here’s the subtitled YouTube,

Also at Caracas Chronicles, Juan Cristóbal Nagel compares the danger you face for deciding to go out into the streets and marching vs. the danger you face for deciding to inhabit Venezuela for a year doing nothing political.

Daniel Duquenal:

. . . there is a bigger challenge. This one is to the citizens. Be you chavista or non chavista if you are tired of lines, crime, corruption and lack of future it is time for you, el pueblo, to express it, in unison.

Cubans Protest Venezuelan Political Imprisonment, 163 Get Arrested
Castro Brothers Declare Open Season on Female Activists, Artists

And, Lawyer Says Venezuelan Government Foe [Daniel] Ceballos Moved to Violent Prison
U.S. and advocacy group Human Rights Watch expresses concern for the safety of prominent opposition leader

The economy:
Venezuela: Running on Fumes?

Venezuela: No Rule of Law, Bad Money and a 335% inflation rate:

Facing this inflationary theft, Venezuelan’s have voted with their wallets. Indeed, they have unofficially begun to dollarize the economy. But, the only way to establish the rule of law in the monetary sphere is to officially dollarize the economy by officially dumping the hapless bolivar and replacing it with the U.S. dollar.

Parallel Rate Soars: Whose Fault Is It?

Note to all Latin Americans: Being a populist socialist won’t save you from ISIS

Monday, May 25th, 2015

RT reports in Spanish that ISIS is threatening South American heads of state, starting with the presidentas of Chile and Argentina:

El Estado Islámico habría amenazado de muerte a Cristina de Kirchner y Michelle Bachelet (The Islamic State issues death threats to Michelle Bachelet and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner)

“Satán Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Román Di Santo y ahora Bachelet, (…) objetivos directos para dirigir países que chocan con nuestros objetivos”, dice un párrafo. Otro extracto afirma: “La sangre que derramarán los infieles es el éxito del Islam a nivel mundial. Estamos cerca del inicio de una nueva era“, revela ‘La Razón’.

(My translation: “The Satans Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, [Argentina’s Federal Police Chief] Román Di Santo and now Bachelet, (…) are direct targets for heading countries that clash against our goals”, reads a paragraph. Another excerpt asserts: “The blood that will be shed by the infidels is Islam’s success on a world level. We are at the start of a new era,” reports ‘La Razón’. )

According to Clarín, Kirchner received three prior threats last year.

H/t: Gates of Vienna.

37 MS-13 indicted in Charlotte

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Expect more of this,

37 MS-13 GANG MEMBERS INDICTED IN CHARLOTTE, NC

Thirty-seven MS-13 gang members have been indicted in Charlotte, North Carolina on numerous offenses including murder and attempted murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, a law enforcement dragnet rounded up 16 of the alleged gang members. While five remain “at large” the remaining 16 are in state custody.
. . .

Gang activity in Charlotte made national headlines in recent weeks as the Obama administration admitted it improperly granted an illegal immigrant with known gang-ties executive amnesty.

You may recall this headline from last year, Feds: 12 ‘top-ranking’ MS-13 members charged in N.J.

Argentina: Veterans take torture case to inter-American court of human rights

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Argentinian Falklands veterans take ‘torture’ case to international arena
Veterans of the 1982 conflict recount their ordeal and the anti-Semitic abuse they faced in a press conference, including instances of beatings and sexual violence

Argentinian Falklands War veterans who accuse military officers of torture during the 1982 conflict will take their case to an international appeal court after Argentina’s highest court ruled the alleged offences’ statute of limitations had expired.

Mario Volpe, the president of the CECIM Falklands veterans’ association, said his organisation had asked the inter-American court of human rights to rule on whether the Argentinian state had deprived the former soldiers of “the right of access to justice and right to the truth”.

CECIM has gathered together some 150 complaints of former servicemen against their officers during the military dictatorship’s ill-fated invasion of the Falklands, which include instances of beatings, sexual violence, cruel immobilising practices in the absence of punishment cells and the application of electric shocks.

Their case had previously been dismissed under the statute of limitations, now they are appealing to the OAS’s International Court of Human Rights.

For her part, Cristina said, good luck with that “I hope you go to the inter-American Court; I’m sure you will be listened to.”

I’m still reading The Real Odessa: How Peron Brought the Nazi War Criminals to Argentina and highly recommend it.

Communism: When the only way out is death

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Communism: When the only way out is death, is up. Please read it!

Mexico: Human rights division head resigns over Iguala case

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

#HastaEncontrarlos

The head of the human rights division at Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office has resigned. Prior to that, Mexico’s Attorney General resigned under pressure over the investigation of the kidnappings and murders of 43 students last year in Iguala:

Mexico’s top human rights prosecutor resigns in midst of political storm
Questions over government inquiry into Iguala massacre costs Peña Nieto official her job

According to official figures, there are more than 25,000 missing-person cases in Mexico.

In March, National Human Rights Commission president Luis Raúl González urged the Peña Nieto administration to introduce fast-track legislation to deal with torture and forced disappearances.

Besides the Iguala case, the Mexican government has also been under pressure over the killings of 22 alleged drug traffickers, reportedly at the hands of the military in Tlataya.

The criminal conviction rate in Mexico is 1.8%.

[Post title corrected]