Posts Tagged ‘Juan Manuel Santos’

Colombia: Santos throws the towel

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Methinks he’s really hankering for a Nobel Peace Prize:
Colombian President Santos Seeks New Path on Drug War
Leader Says He Hopes for Breakthrough on Drug War in Peace Talks With FARC Guerrillas

The Colombian leader, who faces a critical re-election test in May, said that an important breakthrough in the war on drugs would be achieved if, as expected, negotiators for his government and for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, reach an agreement on stamping out drug trafficking by the guerrillas, the third point in a proposed peace plan.

The FARC, which the U.S. considers to be a terrorist and drug trafficking organization, relies heavily on cocaine trafficking to finance its activities. The two sides have been locked in tough negotiations for the last 17 months in Havana to end the five-decade guerrilla insurgency.

“I expect to reach an agreement on that third point in the near future,” he said. If the FARC stops drug trafficking and becomes a partner with the government in eradicating drugs, it would have “enormous implications repercussions for Colombia and the world,” he said.

It sounds like Santos believes that the FARC will throw away its hugely profitable main source of revenues, everybody will hold hands, and a choir of potheads stoned on legal pot will Kumbaya as peace breaks out all over the land.

Forgive my cynicism, dear reader, but I visualize a slightly different scenario: The FARC signs whatever agreement will get them into congress (since Santos wants them in congress without being elected), legalizes all its drug activities consolidating power, and Colombia kisses the rule of law good-bye.

Álvaro Uribe’s not buying Santos’s tripe:
Pres. Santos forgot to tell the BBC that he promised secure democracy and he has allowed terrorism to advance

Colombia: Santos wets himself UPDATED

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The guy who wants to cut a deal with the FARC

VIDEO: Incredible footage shows the moment Colombia’s President WETS HIMSELF during re-election speech

UPDATE:
Colombian president has wet spot appear on pants during speech raising questions on health
Juan Manuel Santos, 62, is seen delivering a speech during his re-election campaign Saturday when the mysterious patch appeared. Santos is not publicly known to be suffering from an illness but had prostate cancer in 2012.

The Winter Olympics week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 10th, 2014

While the Sochi accommodations are nowhere near as nice as those in the more modest hotels in our hemisphere, Mexico sent the most interesting skier in the world, Bermudans wore shorts, and the guys from the Caymans wore shorts and flip-flops (which may explain why there only three). Dominica, Tortola of the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica (whose bobsled is now complete), Paraguay, Brazil, Peru and the US Virgin Islands also have athletes in Sochi.

ARGENTINA
Argentina bus crash near Mendoza kills at least 18

COUNTING THE COST
Argentina’s great decline
It has gone from being one of the world’s wealthiest nations to a serial defaulter, but can it get back on track?

Argentina: Repeat Economic Offender

ARGENTINA FREE FALL
Kirchner Government Doubles Down In Its War Against Math

Argentina is doubling down in its war against math. The WSJ reports that political activists loyal to President Kirchner are publicly targeting retailers by putting posters of the executives up all over Buenos Aires. The posters accuse the leaders of Walmart and other companies of fueling the country’s ruinous inflation by raising prices, even as the government continues to devalue the official currency and ignore traditional IMF economic policy.

Argentina to US senators: Show a little respect

BELIZE
A magical world at Francis Ford Coppola’s luxe resorts in Belize
Need isolation? Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge is in the middle of the untamed, natural beauty of a Belizean forest preserve. Need local culture? Turtle Inn is on the coast near the fishing village of Placencia

BOLIVIA
Bolivia floods kill 38, more heavy rains forecast

The European Union (EU) Thursday called on Bolivia to respect the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in favor of British power generator Rurelec PLC, said an official. US$41 million.

BRAZIL
Brazil may face water shortages during World Cup, group says, but I’ll bet it won’t be like the Sochi water.

Removida delegada que apura ligação de Lula com mensalão

Responsável pelo inquérito que investiga a suposta participação do ex-presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva no esquema do mensalão, a delegada Andrea Pinho foi removida do cargo nesta sexta-feira, 7. O inquérito que tem Lula como alvo será tocado por outro delegado, ainda não designado que pode pedir novas diligências ou o arquivamento do caso.

CHILE
Chile cool: art, music and graffiti in laid-back Valparaíso
The Chilean city of Valparaíso is alive with avant-garde culture and vibrant street art. Think mini Berlin by the seaside

COLOMBIA
Colombia`s media are wrong; election is up for grabs

Photo of Pres. Santos shaking hands with Timochenko, the FARC leader, back in the day, “If you want Timochenko as president and Iván Márquez in the Senate, you know who to vote for in the upcoming elections.”

COSTA RICA
‘Black Heart’ in Brazil heat drives coffee turnaround h/t DP

CUBA
Gorki Aguila, Cuban Rocker Faces Sham Trial

Cuba Regime Supporters Caught Off Guard with Reaction to Fanjul Story

Oh Happy Day! NBC refers to Communism as “pivotal experiment”

The Truth About Che Guevara

ECUADOR
Xavier Bonilla’s cartoon before:

Freedom of speech in Ecuador
Drawn and quartered
The government orders a newspaper to “correct” a critical cartoon

Xavier Bonilla’s cartoon after:

EL SALVADOR
JJ Rendón is suing Salvador’s president Mauricio Funes for $100 on defamation of character and slander from Funes calling him “a fugitive from justice, a rapist.” (link in Spanish) I hope Rendón wins, and gets to collect.

GUATEMALA
Claudia Paz y Paz, A Guatemalan crusader is reined in

Guatemalan court upholds top prosecutor’s ouster

HONDURAS
Democracy

MEXICO
In Apatzingán:Mexican Vigilantes Enter Key City in Michoacán State
Vigilantes Aim to Take Control of City from Organized Crime Group

THE AMERICAN VIGILANTE VERSUS THE MEXICAN CARTEL

Sochi 2014: ‘Mexican prince’ ready to hit slopes in Mariachi suit

Well, he already was successful lobbying against soft drinks: Look who’s giving advice to Mexico City? Señor Bloomberg. I suggest he brush up his Spanish,

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua: Ortega allowed to run for third successive term

PANAMA
Panama Canal work stops in $1.6bn row
The Spanish-led consortium working on a project to widen the Panama Canal confirms work has been suspended amid a row over cost overruns.

PARAGUAY
Julia Marino becomes Paraguay’s first Winter Olympian

PERU
400 Dead Dolphins Washed Up on Peru Beaches in January

PUERTO RICO
Networks Completely Ignore $70 Billion Puerto Rican Debt Crisis

Puerto Rico Downgrade Puts Bond Deal in Spotlight
Investors are looking beyond the junk-rated credit of Puerto Rico to see if it can sell debt needed for short-term finances, lay groundwork for economic recovery.

URUGUAY
Uruguay’s president nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for legalizing marijuana

VENEZUELA
D.C. mayoral candidate’s business to host Venezuelan government’s pro-Chavez event

Toyota Halts Venezuela Production as Car Sales Fall

Venezuelans fume as government signals end to ‘free’ petrol
In a country where petrol is cheaper than water, ministers say prices must increase for the first time since a rise 15 years ago sparked deadly riots

The fascists in charge of Venezuela want to kill the press, while banging students

The Paradox Of Chavista “Planning”: Even Simple Things Are Hard For Them

Antonio Pardo, A Venezuelan in Sochi (Important Update)

According to Alek Boyd and others, Mr. Pardo is not quite the feel-good story we made him out to be. Turns out he allegedly has links to Antonini Wilson and the suitcase scandal. State news media is falsely reporting he won a gold medal.

Venezuelan “skier” in #Sochi2014 has a Swiss bank, is partners with Carlos Kauffmann & Co. His brother’s a partner of L. Oberto in St Barts

The week’s posts and podcast:
“Smart diplomacy”: Ambassador to Argentina may not even speak Spanish

Mexico: The most interesting skier in the world

Brazil: Cuban doctor seeks asylum

Argentina: Burning down the house

Venezuela: Squatting at the Presidential Mansion

Puerto Rico: Junk bond status

Sochi: Airline loses Jamaicans’ bobsled

Mexico: Behind the Peña Nieto-Fidel photo-op

Left turns: El Salvador and Costa Rica

At Da Tech Guy: Ask Fausta: Is now the time to travel to Latin America? The answer is yes.

Podcast: Elections in El Salvador plus other US-Latin America issues


Colombia: Santos to run for 2d term

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Colombia Leader to Seek Re-Election
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that he would run for re-election next year.

Mr. Santos’ second bid for the presidency comes as the country’s growth accelerated faster than expected the second quarter, growing 4.2%. That was down 0.6 percentage points from the same period in 2012, but greater than the 2.8% expansion in the first quarter.

While Mr. Santos appears as the clear favorite in the 2014 elections, he does face some headwinds. His approval ratings plummeted in September, amid widespread strikes by agricultural workers that hindered the country’s food supply chain. People were also frustrated by what they saw as little progress in the peace process. His approval rating fell to around 20%, an all-time low.

Kevin Howlett:

Polls show that less than a third of Colombians want Santos back in the presidential palace come next August (when the possession takes place). However, with the state`s largesse at his disposal, the coalition votes in the bag, and the majority of the national media “on message”, public opinion will struggle to be heard. Santos` re-election has an air of inevitability.

The elections will take place next May.

Colombia: “Peace is not in Havana”

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Presidential candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga has had it with the FARC peace talks hosted by the Communist Cubans,

“Peace is not in Havana,” he said in his nomination speech. “The national agenda isn’t up for negotiation with the FARC.”

“I have never believed in this [peace] process because it’s based on a mistaken premise,” he told El Tiempo newspaper. “A legitimate state cannot sit down on equal terms with an organization that commits terrorist acts and finances itself through narco-traffic.”

While relatively unknown, Zuluaga has the backing of former president Alvaro Uribe, who would be a shoe-in for the Senate, while current president Juan Manuel Santos is increasingly unpopular.

Negotiations with the FARC have gone over a year.

Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Former Marine Kevin Scott Sutay, an American vacationing in Colombia, was taken hostage last June by the Marxist-drug guerrilla FARC.

Now the FARC request that Jesse Jackson participate in the negotiations for Kevin Scott Sutay’s release, after

Jackson inserted himself in the matter two weeks ago during a global forum of black leaders in Colombia, when he called on the guerrillas to free the American.

Jackson flew to cuba and said yes,

Jackson, speaking in Havana where he met on Friday night with Colombian rebel commanders who are in Cuba for peace talks with the Bogota government, said he hoped to arrive in Colombia within a week to facilitate the release of Kevin Scott Sutay.

“We accept this obligation and opportunity to render service to Kevin Scott, his family and our nation,” Jackson said. “We have made contact with the State Department urging them to contact as quickly as possible the nearest of kin of Kevin Scott because his release is imminent.”

Jackson is on a private visit to communist-run Cuba that is being hosted by the Council of Churches.

Not so fast, says Colombian president Santos,

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has rejected proposed mediation by US civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson over a rebel-held hostage.

Mr Santos said only the Red Cross would be allowed to be involved, because he did not want “a media spectacle”.

“Only the Red Cross will be authorized to facilitate the release of the North American kidnapped by FARC. We won’t allow a media circus”:

Reaching new heights of hypocrisy, The Farc say they want to free Mr Scott to boost peace talks. Well, it’s their hostage, they’re holding him, release him, then, if they’re so keen on “boosting peace talks.”


Colombia: Legalizing the FARC

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This does not bode well,
Santos Says Colombians Would Back FARC in Congress to Seal Peace (emphasis added)

President Juan Manuel Santos said Colombians would accept a deal granting unelected guerrilla leaders seats in Congress if it brings an end to a conflict that has left 220,000 dead

Say again?

  • Unelected
  • Guerrilla leaders
  • seats (plural) in Congress

And “special treatment,” too:

Voters would pass a referendum containing unpopular measures such as the transformation of the FARC into a political party and special treatment in the justice system for crimes committed by guerrillas, as part of a package that ends half a century of bloodshed, Santos said.

The thing standing between Santos’s sweet deal?

The process is complicated by opponents who “extrapolate and magnify” some issues in order to frighten the public, rather than weighing them as part of a pact that brings peace, he said.

It better be complicated: the FARC to this day is still sheltering international terrorists.

Colombia: Santos OK with FARC not disarming

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

What the hell?
The president of Colombia is not insisting that the Marxist–Leninist narco-terrorist guerilla that has murdered thousands disarm immediately?
Colombia Santos: Farc ‘to keep weapons until referendum’
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said the Farc rebels would be allowed to keep their weapons until a peace agreement was ratified.

Mr Santos said no-one could expect the rebels to give up their weapons before a peace accord had been given final approval in a referendum.

He added that a ceasefire would be implemented once a deal was reached in talks under way in Cuba.

There’s not going to be a referendum until at least Marcht next year.

Considering that last month the FARC rejected the referendum proposal, while continuing to attack the Colombian army (two weeks ago they killed 13 soldiers), one must pause and wonder, what is Santos thinking?

Colombia: Farmers and students protest

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Eight days on, No deal on Colombia farmers’ strike after night of talks

Representatives of Colombian farmers’ groups and government ministers say they have not yet been able to reach a deal to end a 10-day strike.

The two sides will reconvene on Wednesday after they failed to reach agreement after nine hours of talks.

The protests by livestock, dairy and crop farmers have been paralysing parts of the country.

The demonstrators accuse the government of running the agricultural sector into the ground.

On the agenda are the high cost of fertilisers and other key farming materials, and how farmers are being undercut by cheaper imports and agricultural products being smuggled across the border from neighbouring Venezuela and Ecuador.

The farmers have been backed by some student and trade union groups which have held demonstrations in the capital Bogota and the city of Cali to show their support.

President Santos’s reaction has been puzzling,
As Farmers’ Strike Paralyzes Colombia, President Questions Its Existence

The government has responded with calls for composure and accusations of outside manipulation. Since the strike began on Aug 19, President Juan Manuel Santos has tried to minimize the strikers’ actions, giving statements that have only served to taunt protesters and bring together union leaders.

“The so-called agrarian strike does not exist,” Santos said on Sunday. Acts of violence, the president said, were caused by guerrilla infiltrators – an often-used government claim — who wanted to destabilize the country and hamper dialogues with troubled agrarian sectors. “It’s just 10 or 15 people. The situation is under control and problems are being resolved,” Santos added.

“10 or 15 people”?

Five people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured in the numerous skirmishes that plague the countryside, according to police reports. Students in public universities have attacked authorities with rocks and homemade bombs. Protesters have burned cars and trucks, and an unknown group in Boyacá, a historically peaceful agrarian state located a few hours north of the nation’s capital, reportedly placed a cable line across a road late in the afternoon to kill an unsuspecting motorist that drove by. Red Cross medical missions have been detained at roadblocks, and there have been disturbances in more than half of the nation’s states.

Former president Álvaro Uribe harshly criticized Santos (video in Spanish),

Uribe accused Santos of ignoring farmers while favoring the FARC (with which Santos is negotiating). “The government has forgotten to stimulate local industry. . . coordination between [agricultural] producers and manufacturers has been neglected.” Uribe didn’t stop at that; he asserted that the Santos administration is leading the country to “anarchy towards a path to Castro-Chavismo.”


Venezuela: Where was Maduro born?

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro’s origins are muddled, since his birth certificate is missing and there’s very little information on the first 30 years of his life:
Venezuela’s Own ‘Birther’ Controversy: Where Was Nicolas Maduro Born?

there might be reasons for the Caracas leader to hide his place of birth. The opposition in Venezuela argues that the proud Bolivarian was actually born in neighboring Colombia, which, were it true, could remove him from the presidency: The Venezuelan Constitution specifies that the president needs to be Venezuelan by birth.

Little is known of Maduro’s past. There was a rumor earlier this year about the president belonging to a rock band, but it turned out to be false, as the rumor was refuted by the president himself in an interview with the TV channel Telesur. In any case, Maduro’s first 30 years of life — up until the coup d’état of 1992 led by the late Hugo Chávez — are shrouded in mystery.

No birth certificate has been found in Venezuela – or in Colombia. Apparently the book of birth certificates in the town of Cucuta, Colombia (where the opposition claims Maduro was born) for the month of November, 1962 is missing altogether, and the opposition claim that it’s missing by order of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.

Two members of the Venezuelan opposition have filed a complaint with the OAS against Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos; Santos’s administration replied he has nothing to do with it.

In a telephone interview last night, Pablo Medina, former presidential candidate for the opposition, listed the allegations (in Spanish)

Meanwhile,
Venezuela’s Maduro looks for ‘99’ as he seeks decree powers
Venezuela’s president is one vote shy of the 99 he needs to win the right to rule by decree.