The distraction: Cuba Moves to Legalize Small- and Medium-Size Businesses
Yesterday, General Raul Castro welcomed General Kim Yong-chol, Vice-Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee and Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (equivalent to the U.S. Director of Central Intelligence).
According to the Pentagon, “North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) is responsible for clandestine operations. The RGB includes six bureaus charged with operations, reconnaissance, technology and cyber, overseas intelligence, inter-Korean talks, and service support.”
The RGB also oversees Bureau 121, North Korea’s nefarious cyber-warfare agency.
Isn’t that comforting?
Last week, the French investigative journal, Intelligence Online,reported that North Korea’s regime has sent a special forces contingent to Venezuela to help its embattled quasi-dictator, Nicolas Maduro.
Furthermore, how this arrangement stems from a confidential military cooperation and intelligence-sharing agreement that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with Cuba’s Castro regime in March (at the same time President Obama was wining-and-dining in Havana).
H/t Carlos Eire, who adds,
This is what it must have been like for Romans in the early fifth century, as they watched their world crumble.
Go to Carlos’s post to find out how the song relates to it all,
Read my article, Univision anchors make the news, again, and remember,
I am not getting paid millions of US dollars by Univision to be an open-borders advocate, therefore I am free to tell you the truth: There’s no such thing as a “Hispanic” race.
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, said he would meet Uribe in Havana, Cuba, where the negotiations are being held, or in another location to discuss “the future of our nation.”
Uribe has not replied yet. I hope he doubles up on bodyguards.
Ojo! U.S. Senate endorses Colombian peace, NOT the Santos surrender. Big difference:https://t.co/wIUwgWDtS0
— MaryAnastasiaO'Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) May 16, 2016
Venezuela can’t pay its millions of dollars in debt to Indian pharmaceutical companies, say Indian officials, so officials are considering a proposal that would see the Latin American company swap oil for its drug debts.
Under the deal, a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela SA, known as PDVSA, would issue a three-year international bond and hand it to approved suppliers in exchange for cancelling some of the $20 billion worth of unpaid invoices. The bond would be priced at about a 40% discount to the company’s benchmark obligation, which currently trades at about 45 cents on the dollar, said the sources and the deal prospectus.
You’d be rolling the dice on the latter one: Are you willing to the take the bonds now, which are less than the amount of debt you would get back through litigation?
While you think about that, keep in mind that
The Venezuelan government and PDVSA are due to make about $6 billion worth of bond payments through the end of the year, obligations which consultancy Sintesis Financiera believes can only be met by cutting imports of basic goods to the lowest per capita levels since the 1950s.
And, on top of it, here’s what oil production looks like,
The Venezuelan economy is 95% dependent on oil exports.
How bad are things? Bad enough that government-financed Telesur is doing a fundraiser.
A regular pattern in Latin America: Leader comes to power through elections, changes the country’s Constitution (which they regard as a pliable ‘living’ thing) to consolidate power around themselves, thereby screwing up the country.
For a brief moment, I hoped Colombia would prove to be an exception.
Man, was I wrong!
Mary O’Grady writes about Santos’s Power Grab in the Name of Peace. The Colombian leader, using the Hugo Chávez playbook, wants a constitutional rewrite (emphasis added),
Hugo Chávez destroyed political pluralism in Venezuela by consolidating power in the executive. Now Colombia’s PresidentJuan Manuel Santos wants to copy the Bolivarian strongman. He’s asking Congress for the power to rule by decree for six months and for a blank check to amend the constitution in ways he has not spelled out. Since Mr. Santos’s Liberal Party controls Congress, he is expected to prevail.
Mr. Santos wants this authoritarian power so he can unilaterally change the constitution to include the terms of a “peace” accord he has been secretly negotiating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for almost five years. He initially promised a referendum on the final agreement so Colombians could vote point-by-point on its particulars, such as whether guerrilla felons should be able to run for office. But he went back on that promise—and many others—a long time ago.
Mr. Santos now proposes a simple up-or-down vote on the end product, which is still not available. His government has poured billions of taxpayer pesos (millions of dollars) into a publicity campaign to convince the electorate that voting no is the same as voting for war.
Mr. Santos also got Congress to agree to lower the constitutionally mandated minimum turnout for his plebiscite to 13% of the electorate, from 50% plus one. Last week the Liberal Party proposed that Colombians as young as 14 should be permitted to cast a symbolic vote in the plebiscite. If the vote is close, presumably Mr. Santos will use the opinions of high-school freshmen to prove the wisdom of his deal.
If this goes through, it will be a disaster for not only Colombia, but the whole Hemisphere.
Among Santos’s proposals is placing unelected FARC leaders in Congress. This means that officials from the largest narco-terrorist organization (allegedly involved with al-Qaeda in the European drug trade) in the world would be in the legislative body of Latin America’s fourth-largest economy.
Additionally,as part of the ugly deal, the FARC would take part in nominating judges to one of the special congressional tribunals that would try the FARC.
Santos has included the ELN in the peace talks, too. How’s that working out so far?
Catatumbo is an area largely controlled by the guerrillas of the FARC, ELN and EPL. The government is currently holding peace talks with the FARC and the ELN. El Mundo says that Hernández-Mora was in an area controlled by the ELN.
Hernández-Mora, who has been reporting from Colombia since 1999, is a long-standing critic of the peace process with the FARC and ELN. In a report tweeted on Friday evening, she said local people had held a strike to protest the disappearance of two children and that she could not leave the area.
— Pilica (@Pilica7) May 22, 2016
Santos’s approval rating is 21%. His Liberal Party controls Congress.
Nick Cohen takes to task “lefty westerners who trawl the world for revolutions to praise:” Radical tourists have been deluded pimps for Venezuela, in The Guardian, no less.
Viviana Fein still trying to justify herself: Alberto Nisman may have been forced to kill himself, says Argentine prosecutor. Shot in the back of the head, no less.
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) May 22, 2016
Brazil Partners with WHO to Track Tobacco, Alcohol Industries. Country Also Plans to Monitor Use of Alcohol and Sugar Intake. I don’t drink or smoke, but this gives me a craving for a Derby and caprinhas.
Chileans are angry because of an economic downturn and a corruption scandal involving Ms Bachelet’s family.
FARC has said in the past that it no longer recruits child soldiers. But during a visit this year by a New York Times reporter to a rebel camp,minors said guerrilla fighters had taken them into custody in recent months.
At Drudge: Hell opens? Costa Rica volcano erupts…
Furthermore, how this arrangement stems from a confidential military cooperation and intelligence-sharing agreement that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with Cuba’s Castro regime in March.
Venezuela’s Maduro stopped by: Venezuelan president in Jamaica for working visit
‘El Chapo’ Extradition to the U.S. Approved. The Mexican Foreign Ministry said Friday that the government has authorized the extradition of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the U.S. where he faces drug trafficking and other charges.
Lord Rolls Royce (en español),
Paraguay battles over land rights in the courts and across the airwavesAs soya companies appropriate land in Paraguay, many small-scale campesino farmers are forced out to cities. For those who stay to fight for their land, the conflict can turn bloody
Peru’s Fujimori faces money laundering investigation ahead of election. Prosecutors have opened an investigation against Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori and her husband. The probe comes shortly before nationwide polls and will look into suspicious campaign contributions.
Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is ‘Crazy as a Goat’, says former Uruguayan president. The colloquial equivalent in American English is “batshit crazy.”
Good luck with that, Oil-for-Drugs Swap: India’s Answer to Venezuela’s Unpaid Bills