Posts Tagged ‘Fausta’s blog’

Venezuela: Lopez on trial, Tower of David evacuation

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Leopoldo López‘s show trial has begun; while the defense has asked for an adjournment, we all know what the verdict will be: guilty.

Daniel Duquenal expands on this,

The first thing, oddly, is the timing.  Since Lopez arrest 5 months ago and the alleged clear evidence one wonders why did it take so long for the regime to start the trial. Waiting for the end of guarimbas? A trial can restart them at any time. Waiting for folks to go on vacation? There are no flights out!  Expecting for scarcity problems to soften? They are not and will not for the foreseeable future. The answer is elsewhere,with the PSUV congress about to open. Some red meat thrown to the radical wing. Period, IMHO.

Another thing to wonder comes by asking the reverse question: why bother trying Lopez anyway? International pressure plays a role here, but not necessarily the way you may think. Sure enough there has been plenty of publications, the Washington Post for one pushing up the subject of Lopez dismal jail conditions. But the real deal brokers may be the people trying to organize Venezuela’s financial rescue.

Without a doubt, this is a show trial: Daniel concludes his post,

In case you still do not get it, the trial starts with 138 “witnesses” for the prosecution and only 1, ONE, for the defense

In other Venezuelan news, the infamous Tower of David, Caracas’s high-rise to nowhere, is being evacuated. Caracas Chronicles says the Chinese are involved:

Thanks to Kepler, we can somehow confirm that our Chinese overlords are indeed taking the building. In this article from the website Archidead, looks like the Bank of China will turn “La Torre de David” as its South American HQ.

It’s going to be interesting to see what exactly the Chinese get from this, considering the ruinous state of Venezuela’s oil industry.

Maybe Homeland will do a follow-up episode on the “new”, Chinese, tower.


Communism at work: Give up your car

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Translation: Workshop:
Maximum Socialist Efficiency
The State enterprise building
the New Economic Order

My latest article, Communism at work: Give up your car, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

In other related news, Maduro says he needs $15billion to rebuild the exhange system, which is the amount Hugo Chavez spent on weapons purchases three years ago.

En español: Dilma llega a la Unidad de Quemados

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Immigration: The coyotes’ job, in dollars

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

El Nuevo Herald has a report that has not made its way yet into the Miami Herald, Coyotes, detrás de millonario tráfico de migrantes (Coyotes, behind the multi-million immigrant trade).

Among the findings:

  • It’s a high-risk business, generating an estimated US$6.6 billion per year.
  • Each illegal alien pays $5,000-$10,000.
  • The human traffic networks bribe authorities, gangs controlling railways, and drug cartels’ tax.
  • The profit is estimated at US$3,500-$4,000 per illegal alien per successful trip.
  • The field guides may not necessarily know who they work for.
  • Mexican teens may work as field guides since they are returned to Mexico and not charged as adults. They are paid $100 per illegal alien.
  • U.S. citizens are paid $150-$200 per illegal alien when delivering them to safe houses.

The reporters interviewed some of the coyotes, from one that claims to charge $2,500 from the Guatemala-US trip, to another who charges US$10,000 from Central America to the US. The $10,000 includes hotels, bribes, and a cut for the cartels, but there may be an additional $5,000 fee for hazard pay if the Zetas must be avoided/paid off.

I continue to ask, who’s paying for the current invasion? Or are we supposed to believe that tens of thousands of Central America’s indigents suddenly could come up with the money to pay the coyotes? And that the coyotes are not getting paid?

Added:
Seton asks, And does the report say how much is saved by the Obama Administration picking up the last leg of the process?

UPDATE:
The AP article, in English, MIGRATION SPOTLIGHTS MEXICAN ‘COYOTE’ SMUGGLERS

Linked to by Warner Todd Hudson. Thank you!
Linked to by Wizbang. Thank you!

—————————————

At Drudge:
Gov. Rick Perry deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to border


Budget to transport illegals across USA approaches $100M…

Gutierrez to La Raza: Obama promised to ‘stop deportation of our people’ …

‘Punish’ citizens who oppose amnesty…

100,000 Illegal Alien Gang Members in TX…

REPORT: Border Patrol Ordered to Release Pregnant Women…

Senate immigration bill would provide enough green cards to admit every single person in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador…

NY immigration groups to close over alleged fraud…

Cuba-North Korea: Another weapons cargo?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Remember the Chong Chon Gang, the North Korean rust bucket caught by the Panamenians carrying attack planes and armaments?

Now there’s the Mu Du Bong!

(No, I did not make up that name.)

Was North Korean rustbucket stuck on Mexico reef sent to smuggle Cuba arms?
North Korean vessel aground on Mexican reef has similarities to one impounded in Panama

A North Korean freighter has run aground in the Gulf of Mexico just days after a stop in Havana that sparked comparisons with another Pyongyang vessel captured last summer with an illegal shipment of Cuban weapons.

The 130-metre Mu Du Bong grounded on a reef about 11km from the Mexican port of Tuxpan, according to shipping officials. The task of pulling it off the reef would be complicated and take several days, they said.

And, of course, the Mu Du Bong and the Chong Chon Gang share another feature (aside from the same commercial agent, Ocean Maritime Management Company, and the same penurious lack of maintenance),

Both freighters sailed in Cuba waters but their exact locations were a mystery for several days because there were no reports from their automatic location beacons, required by safety regulations. The Chong Chon Gang turned off its beacon to hide its locations, UN investigators found later.

The real answer is that we won’t know what the Mu Du Bong is carrying until the ship is inspected.

Nothing to see here . . .


The upcoming Russian spy base in Cuba Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 21st, 2014

LatinAmerJust as the headlines feature a Video Posted by Ukrainian Government Shows Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Carrier Hightailing It Back to Russia… Missing One Missile, Russia will reopen spy base in Cuba

A report that Russia will reopen a Havana base that eavesdropped on U.S. communications from Key West to Washington has triggered fresh warnings of Moscow’s expansionism and predictions of a continued freeze in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Until its closure in 2002, the Lourdes base was Moscow’s largest intelligence facility abroad, with up to 1,500 KGB and GRU military intelligence officers manning an array of antennas and computers in the super-secret 28-square-mile base.

The article says, “If true, reports that Russia will reopen a spy base in Cuba will complicate, if not halt, any Obama administration effort to warm up relations with Havana,” which is risible, considering current U.S. foreign policy.

ARGENTINA
Britain should open talks with Argentina over the Falklands, says Vladimir Putin
The Russian president backs Buenos Aires’ territorial claim to the islands

20th Anniversary of AMIA Bombing is Sober Reminder to Remain Vigilant Against the Global Iranian Threat, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Pope Francis demands justice for Jewish centre attack victims

BOLIVIA
Bolivia becomes first nation to legalise child labour from age 10
Bolivia says law reflects reality in country where 1 million children regularly work, but activists complain it will increase poverty and contravenes United Nations conventions

BRAZIL
Brazil President Loses Ground
Dilma Rousseff is losing ground with potential voters and raising the odds that she will face a runoff in October’s presidential election, a recent poll showed.

Building the myth of under-development, BRIC by BRIC

CHILE
Hard-Line Socialism Overrules Chilean Consensus
“With Us or Against Us” Mindset Obstructs Public Debate

COLOMBIA
Colombian drug boss ‘The Mouse’ arrested by Spanish police
Hernan Alonso Villa is considered to be leader of the Oficina de Envigado cartel which is accused of 400 killings and is connected to the now-dismantled Medellin cartel

CUBA
ISIS follows Castro playbook

Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alexander Fernandez Rico, July 18, 2014

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Many Haitian migrants in Dominican Republic find they lack documents to get legal status

ECUADOR
ALBA’s Favorite Lobbyist

HONDURAS
US child migrants: Honduras calls for anti-drugs plan

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaicans Recruit Special Economic Zones for Accelerated Development
Elusive Foreign Investment, Diversified Economy the Targets

MEXICO
Opening of Mexican Energy Sector Takes Step Forward
Mexico’s Senate voted to give Mexican companies a greater role in energy projects under the landmark opening of the country’s oil and gas sectors, tightening the national content rules that President Enrique Peña Nieto had proposed and partly satisfying demands of local industry groups.

In Mexico, impunity prevails for attacks on the journalists, says Article 19

On Southern Border, Mexico Faces Crisis of Its Own
Mexico has announced plans for tightened deportation and border control policies as its migrant numbers surge in response to worsening gang violence in Central America.

PANAMA
Manuel Noriega sues Activision over Call of Duty
Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, is suing Call of Duty’s video games publisher.

PERU
Update: Family of ODU student who died in Peru hopes he could be back home by next week

PUERTO RICO
Real-Estate Investors See No Problem With Puerto Rico
About $1 Billion of Upscale-Property Deals in Recent Years

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s oil diaspora
Brain haemorrhage
Venezuela’s loss of thousands of oil workers has been other countries’ gain

The week’s posts:
Andrew McCarthy on the border invasion

FIFA regrets

China in Latin America

Border flood, alien invasion

Ecuador: BloombergBusinessweek lays it on the line

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
This week in smart diplomacy

Questions I’ve been asking

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Last month I was asking

On my June 14th post:

Are we supposed to believe that tens of thousands of Central America’s indigents suddenly could come up with the money to pay the coyotes? Or that the coyotes are not getting paid?

Yesterday Steven Hayward added to the questions,

• The level of violence and misery in central American nations has been severe for many years.  Why are current conditions thought to be a catalyst for a surge in refugees now?  Something has changed.  What?

• The passage of a child trafficking law in 2008—The Wilberforce Act—is insufficient to explain what has taken place.  Someone has put the word out widely in the region.  Who?  By what means?  Purely word of mouth, or has someone organized a publicity effort to spread the word?  Persuading mothers to surrender their children to be transported a thousand miles away is not an automatic sell, even with the vague promise that Obama will take care of them.  What are families specifically being told?  Where is the CIA in all this?  Do we have agents on the ground in central America figuring out who is publicizing and organizing this massive movement?

• It is not a simple matter for children to travel a thousand miles to get to the U.S.  How are the logistics being organized for transporting thousands of children thousands of miles?  Who is hiring the buses?  Someone is paying for this.  Who?—Drug cartels?  How much is this costing?

• The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Obama administration was warned a year ago that a flood of refugee children might be on its way.  The story points to a bland and tautological Dept. of Homeland Security report that attributes the rising number of UACs to its inability to process the numbers now appearing, thereby creating a backlog.  It offers no insight—in fact doesn’t even raise the question—as to why the numbers are surging.  It must have been written by the same people who run VA hospitals.

• It is a curious thing that the Obama administration apparently put out for bid a contract to process 65,000 children some months before they started showing up in large numbers.  Why was this done?  What was the information that led the administration to take this step?  It’s almost as though someone knew what was coming.

The White House blames the cartels,

That’s the same White House, by the way, which hid a huge spike in “family units” who are illegally crossing the Texas border, according to the Border Patrol’s data (emphasis added):

the number of migrants who cross the border in so-called “family units” has spiked five-fold to 55,420, according to the border patrol’s data, which came out amid a storm of news about the shoot-down of a Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine, delays in failed U.S. nuke talks with Iran, and on Hamas’ continued war against Israel.

In the Rio Grande area where most of the migrants are crossing the border, the number of so-called “unaccompanied children” was actually outnumbered by the inflow by adults, parents and children in “family units,” according to the data.

Many questions, but particularly, cui bono?

Related: Illiberal Immigration ‘Reform’.

And,
The asylum racket

Andrew McCarthy on the border invasion

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

An Obama-Caused Border Disaster
Make no mistake, the president has instigated the present influx of illegal aliens.
 

It is a grave error to view the swarming of illegal aliens across our southern border as anything other than a challenge to our sovereignty — a challenge abetted, rather than repulsed, by a president who vows to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” The challenge brings into sharp relief a question I’ve repeatedly pressed (see, e.g., hereherehere, and here): If the states cannot or will not defend themselves, are they still, in any real sense, sovereign?

Read the whole thing.

While you’re at it, note this: Only 21% of the 240,000 people who have crossed the border illegally in recent months in the Rio Grande Valley are minors. As McCarthy points out,

Moreover, the children at issue are not really “unaccompanied” as that term is defined in the federal code. Again, the law is intended to protect children who are forced to come to our country for certain nefarious purposes. The children in this case overwhelmingly have family members who have taken up residence in the U.S., often illegally. Joining these family members is the objective of their illegal entry. Many of the “children” are also gang members who, while technically minors, voluntarily come here to wreak havoc. Finally, even if we were to concede, for argument’s sake, that the human-trafficking law truly applies, its own terms allow its suspension in exceptional circumstances — a fact acknowledged by Senator Feinstein, an author of the law, who told the New York Times that the law has the “flexibility” to allow for accelerated removal proceedings.

The question remains, Why isn’t Obama sending illegals to states with vulnerable Dems?

By the Numbers: Central American Immigrants in U.S. (click to enlarge)

This week in smart diplomacy

Friday, July 18th, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, This week in smart diplomacy, is up. Please read it, comment, and hit Da Tip Jar!

FIFA regrets

Friday, July 18th, 2014

After seven years of planning, $14 billion (more than three times what it cost to put on the 2010 tournament in South Africa) and 31 days of competition, this:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says Brazil may have been wrong choice to host 2014 World Cup
Weeks after the protests in Brazil that marred the Confederations Cup, Blatter conceded ‘if this happens again we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights.’

After World Cup, Brazil Asks: Was It Worth It?

June Job Creation in Brazil Below Forecasts
Brazil generated 25,363 jobs in June, below most forecasts and the worst performance for the month since 1998, the government said Thursday

Russia’s the next host: Russia insists finishing stadiums not a problem, and hey, as hosts, they don’t even need to qualify.