Posts Tagged ‘Fausta’s blog’

Cuba: Strawberries can get you jailed

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Over three million foreign tourists went to Cuba in 2013 and 2014, and Cuba last year received $300million + in trade with the U.S., but after easing U.S. sanctions, the average Cuban is sent to the clink and loses everything over strawberries (h/t Babalu):
Any farmer caught selling to the general population the strawberries that he cultivates will be fined 1000 CUP* (national currency) and have his land confiscated.

Argentina: Prosecutor drops #Nisman’s case

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

The only surprising thing about this is that it went this far:
Argentine Prosecutor Drops Case Against President Cristina Kirchner
Javier De Luca argued that accusations were spurious
(emphasis added),

In a 27-page decision, prosecutor Javier De Luca argued that Mr. Nisman’s case against Mrs. Kirchner and others was spurious. “The constitution prohibits the initiation and continuation of a criminal investigation simply to determine if a crime has been committed when it is readily clear that no crime has been committed,” Mr. De Luca wrote.
. . .
The prosecutor is a member of a pro-Kirchner group, Legitimate Justice, which some members of the judiciary say is focused on protecting government officials. The group’s leaders say they are trying to reform a judiciary that had become too close to big corporations and vested interests. Argentina ranks 127 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum ratings on judicial independence.

De Luca also argued that the negotiations with Iran with members of Cristina’s inner circle cannot be considered a crime since conspiracy is not included in the Argentine Penal Code.

Nisman’s writ: strike III and out?

Although the judges from that tribunal can question the grounds of De Luca’s decision they cannot take up the complaint itself, sources from the court told the Herald yesterday.
. . .
De Luca’s dismissal came the same day that Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel, along with a group of opposition politicians and intellectuals filed a writ before the Supreme Court to keep her son’s complaint afloat, something that is not likely to happen at the influential Comodoro Py courthouse.

As Capt. Louis Renault famously said,

UPDATE:
Carlos Hos has a list of unanswered questions regarding Nisman’s murder (in Spanish)

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Following last week’s VII Summit of the Americas, the hemisphere media showed an endless parade of Cuba propagandists touting “Cuba’s moral victory” over the U.S.

ARGENTINA
Argentina launches lawsuit against Falkland oil drillers

Tact gone, Britons living in the Falklands are like Chinese in Chinatown, says Argentine ambassador
Alicia Castro has likened British sovereignty over the archipelago to Chinese claims to the Soho district of Chinatown, as Argentina’s minister for Falklands affairs spells out the legal action his government is taking against British firms

BOLIVIA
Pope Francis will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

BRAZIL
Olympics: thousands of dead fish at Rio de Janeiro rowing venue
Thousands of dead fish wash up at Rio de Janeiro lagoon that will host rowing and canoeing events

COLOMBIA
Intel Leak: FARC Outgun Venezuelan Military to Poach Coltan Mines
Colombian Guerrilla De Facto Rulers in Amazonas Region

Colombia’s Santos Wants to Set Deadline for Peace Process

CUBA
OBAMA REMOVES CUBA FROM TERROR SPONSOR LIST, CUBAN SUPPORTED TERROR GROUP KILLS 10

Americans Murdered By Terrorists, Do Not Matter

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hillary Clinton Decided to Run at Oscar de la Renta’s Dominican Republic Beachfront Mansion

ECUADOR
Janet Hinostroza: “Justice Has a Very High Price in Ecuador”
Ecuadorian Journalist’s New Documentary Uncovers Deadly US Judicial Failure

JAMAICA
Report: Jamaica’s Parliament In Bottom Half Of World’s Effective Law-Making Bodies

MEXICO
Mexico confirms capture of Gulf Cartel leader

NICARAGUA
BACK FROM LIBERIA
U.S. downplays Nicaragua’s concerns about embassy staffer infected with Ebola

PANAMA
In Panama, Restoring Streets And Reforming Gangs At The Same Time

PARAGUAY
Paraguay activists ensure government’s oil ambitions will be no walk in the park
The threat of oil drilling in Defensores del Chaco national park, where potentially extensive reserves have been uncovered, is causing growing unease in Paraguay

PERU
Pre-Inca mummy dumped at Peru rubbish site discovered by cleaners

PUERTO RICO
Treasury Officials Increase Efforts With Finances of Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
Pope Francis’ iPad Fetches $30,500 at Auction in Uruguay

VENEZUELA
VenEconomy: The Sovereignty of Hunger in Venezuela!

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Today’s must-read

Venezuela: May the farce be with you

Cuba: “We’ll pay Spain”

Is ISIS at the US-Mexico border?

Today’s vision of hell, airline travel edition:

Venezuela: News from Poyais

Mexico: Radioactive material stolen

Cuba off Sponsors of Terrorism list; how’s that working so far?

Mexico: ISIS at the border?

Harvard hosts racketeer . . . twice

Breaking: Cuba off Sponsors of Terrorism list

Cuba: Victory lap at the VII Summit

Brazil: The demonstrators are not going away

More at the circus: Correa & Obama, BFFs

Podcasts:
Rick Moran’s RINO Hour of Power, Hillary announces: Should we even bother to count the votes? with Rich Baehr.

Silvio Canto’s The Panama summit and other US Latin America stories of the week with Roger Mailhot.



Cuba: “We’ll pay Spain”

Friday, April 17th, 2015

One for three big lies* joke:

Cuba to compensate Spanish firms that stayed loyal in “difficult years”
Havana makes pledge to Spain’s top trade official as he leads investors’ delegation

The pledge was made to Jaime García-Legaz, Spain’s secretary of state for trade, who this week has been leading a delegation of Spanish business people representing 43 companies to Cuba in search of investment opportunities.

The Spanish companies can now adapt the joke* to 1. The check is in the mail, 2. I’ll respect you in the morning, 3. I’ll pay you what I owe you.

* The three big lies joke (NSFW):
(more…)

Is ISIS at the US-Mexico border?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Judicial Watch has followed up on its report, so it’s worth asking, Is ISIS at the US-Mexico border?

Today’s vision of hell, airline travel edition:

Friday, April 17th, 2015

From Airbus, the folks who floated the standing up flights trial balloon, this:

Could cattle class get any worse? Introducing BUDGET economy where airlines are squeezing an extra seat in every row
Airbus are increasing their seats from 10 to 11 seats in every row
The addition will see Airbus creating a fourth cheaper class called Choice
The change is to be launched in 2017 on the Airbus 380 model
Airbus state the move is to reflect 90 per cent of fliers using economy
Thankfully seat widths will remain at the standard 18 inches

“Thankfully” nothing – When the seats are so narrow that the little head pillows are shown narrow side up, you know it’s hell.

Those seats are not wide enough for the average adult, but the 3rd graders may do OK.

Pity the fool who gets the aisle seat, too. Those are narrow aisles.

As for BUDGET economy, a friend just told me that the EU countries are charging a US$500 travel tax on flights from the US. How’s that for “BUDGET economy”?

Venezuela: News from Poyais

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Miguel Octavio tells us the story of Gregor MacGregor, creator of the country of Poyais, in From Poyais To Andorra: A Tradition Of Venezuelan Fraud

Good thing Lord Crawley wasn’t born yet.

In other Venezuelan news,
Venezuela to announce “political and economic” measures against Spain
Diplomatic spat grows over Spanish lawmakers’ call to release Caracas opposition leaders

The tit-for-tat dispute ignited after the Spanish Congress passed a non-binding resolution calling for the immediate release of jailed Venezuelan opposition leaders, including Leopoldo López and Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, who are being held in a military prison outside the capital.

“The [Spanish parliament] should go and voice their opinions about their own mothers, but they should not be giving opinions about Venezuela,” Maduro said in response on Tuesday night. He also accused Rajoy of maneuvering with others to oust his government.

Stay classy, Maduro.

Cuba: Victory lap at the VII Summit

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

How’s this for a proposal?
Stay the hell away from any Summit of the Americas and stop elevating the clowns.

What the US Got From Cuba Deal: Zilch
That pointless pow-wow between Raul Castro and President Obama over the weekend only underscores how Havana is giving up nothing for normalization.
(emphasis added)

But the president’s trolling of Cuba-defending Republicans ought to result in mockery, not outrage. Because the real problem with the Obama administration’s approach to normalization with Cuba isn’t the normalization itself. It’s that this normalization came without getting the United States any of their long-stated policy priorities for the Cuban people in return. Normalization is President Obama’s gift to the Castro regime—a gift with no strings attached.

This is, not coincidentally, the exact same problem we see with the administration’s approach to negotiations with Iran (with far more at stake, of course). In both cases, an avowed enemy of the United States is handed huge strategic concessions by the Americans—in exchange for what amounts to nothing.

Unilateral sanctions on Cuba have been oppressive and largely ineffective, and that’s why the public largely supports lifting them. But rolling them back should have come through the normalization process in Congress, and it should have come in return for tangible reforms in Cuba.

The government in Havana is best understood as a cross between violent left-wing radicals and organized crime. And we are normalizing our relations with them now—for what, exactly?

Summit Ends In Triumph For Castro

Things are so bad in Venezuela that its citizens are starting to pick up rifles. A nascent guerrilla movement is rapidly forming in the western region of Venezuela, according to Reuters. Such is the desperation that comes of Cuban control of all levers of power, as well as fraudulent elections to preserve a facade of democracy.
It also has been seen before — in spontaneous rebel movements that sprang up in Central America in the 1980s and in the military “Dirty War” that gripped nearly all of South America in the 1970s. Anyone attempting to fight back was smeared by the Castro propaganda machine as a human rights violator. But people fought back anyway, and some, such as Chile, really won.
There is also terrorism, which Cuba has spread through every country in the region in the past. Incredibly, it’s still going on as two large caches of smuggled weapons from rogue states in the Caribbean show.

Apartheid in Cuba: When will Cuba end its ‘internal embargo’? (h/t Babalu

When I travelled for two weeks in working class areas of Cuba last year, a Cuban worker explained to me that while they hear endlessly from the government about the “American embargo against Cuba,” the real problem is the “internal embargo”—the embargo that the government elite has imposed on the Cuban people to keep them from participating in the economies of the elite and the outside world.

The internal embargo is so complete that, not only is there physical separation from the elites, but there is even a separate currency.

You can bet that embargo won’t end.

How’s this for a proposal: Stay the hell away from any Summit of the Americas and stop elevating the clowns.

Brazil: The demonstrators are not going away

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

In fact, now some are calling for military intervention:

700,000 protest against Brazilian government with some calling for military intervention
Anti-government rallies continue as calls for Dilma Rousseff to be impeached grow. Some even urge the military to get involved

Anti-government rallies drew an estimated 700,000 protesters to the streets around Brazil on Sunday amid calls for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
. . .
The protests were aimed at the Workers’ Party (PT), which has been beset by a massive corruption scandal within state-owned oil company Petrobras.

The Workers’ Party has been implicated by an investigation that found some Petrobras contracts were inflated and profit creamed off for executives and politicians.

Elvis left the building, and was on the street:

As I’ve been saying, the outcome is entirely up to the Brazilians.

Venezuela: Opposition leaders’ wives to attend the Summit of the Americas

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The wives of jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma will be attending the upcoming Summit later this week.

Lilian Tintori and Mitzy Capriles will meet with NGOs, and Ms Tintori will be a panelist at the “Civil society and civilian actors” forum.

Let’s hope they don’t get stopped at the airport.