A few months before, I registered the Crudo Ecuador brand with the Ecuadorean Institute of Intellectual Property. The I.E.P.I. published the Gaceta, a booklet that shows all the brands that are being registered, including mine.
That’s when things took a dark turn. Some Twitter users began posting I.E.P.I. documents. These documents are supposed to be confidential; they showed my telephone number, my address, my ID number. Then they started posting information from the civil registry. And then, a photo of me in a mall. When I showed my wife the picture, she said, “Hey, this was taken three days ago.” So they’d been following us.
Puerto Rico is in trouble, after years of bad policies, mismanagement, excessive debt and bad luck.
Its economy has been shrinking or stagnant for a decade and theunemployment rate sits at nearly 12 percent. The commonwealth and its utilities have a debt of $73 billion, its public pension funds are woefully underfunded and one state agency has warned that the government could be forced to shut down soon because it might run out of money.
In many ways Latinos face less prejudice than Jews or Italians did in the 1880s, and have more opportunities to integrate into American society at large than those earlier generations of immigrants did. The evidence if anything suggests that Hispanic immigrants are more open to the cultural influences of American political and social ideas than were earlier waves. While very few Italian, Jewish or Greek immigrants, for example, converted to evangelical Protestantism, 24% of hispanic adults in America are now former Catholics. Hispanics are a large and varied group, but by and large they are learning English, starting businesses, joining Protestant churches and voting Republican at levels that suggest that they are anything but a permanently alienated racial underclass in formation.
And then there’s the Democrats’ assumption that “Hispanics” are a homogeneous group.
Authorities are investigating allegations that the companies formed a cartel to drive up the value of contracts with state-controlled energy giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.BR +11.89% and paid bribes to the Petrobras executives and Brazilian politicians.
The prosecutors’ targets include Brazilian-based multinational construction companies Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão and OAS, who together are partners in billions of dollars of contracts for the Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But a Justice-OLC opinion is all the more necessary on domestic issues because the President’s authority is far more limited. He is obliged to execute the laws that Congress writes. A President should always seek legal justification for controversial actions to ensure that he is on solid constitutional ground as well as to inspire public confidence in government.
Twenty-first century slavery and twenty-first socialism are two sides of the same coin.
Every now and then, someone wakes up to this fact.
In the meantime, the Brazilian slave conglomerate of Odebrecht continues to prosper and grow.
Their deal for slave labor at the Castrogonian port of Mariel didn’t stop officials in South Florida from striking deals with them. Neither has Odebrecht’s latest deal for a sugar mill in Cienfuegos, Castrogonia, which will also employ slave labor.
Will a lawsuit against them in Brazil slow them down or stop them?
Take-away question: And why does Cuba need a deepwater port just now? Apparently it is “for larger ships passing through an expanded Panama Canal.” In which case, why would the so-called embargo make any difference?
Odebrecht is helping erect or expand four World Cup stadiums, financed with 1.5 billion reais ($447 million) in subsidized loans from Brazil’s state development bank. The company is one of the biggest contributors to Rousseff’s worker’s party, a relationship not lost on people critical of the World Cup’s cost to taxpayers.
Hmmm . . . Brazil, Inc.,
“Brazil has a lot of state-owned companies and big private firms with strong ties to governments in what I like to call Brazil Inc.,” said Peter Lannigan, managing director at broker-dealer CRT Capital Group LLC. . . .
Campaign donations from five Odebrecht units grew to 37.9 million reais in 2012, from 8.1 million in 2002, according to the electoral tribunal. Odebrecht’s building unit gave 6 million reais to the worker’s party in 2013, as incumbent Rousseff, a former guerrilla who was tortured by the military regime, seeks re-election. Units of World Cup stadium builders OAS SA, Queiroz Galvao SA and UTC Enghenaria SA also ranked among the top 10 contributors
has loaned a third of a trillion dollars since 2010, twice the amount the World Bank provided to about 100 countries combined
According to critics, most of the money goes to the country’s richest and most politically connected companies, among them JBS (the largest contributor to Dilma Rousseff’s campaign), construction giant Odebrecht, and now-broke Eike Batista’s EBX Group (which received $4 billion in loans).
Treasury funds and payroll tax revenue are used for loans.
In exchange for loans, BNDES has acquired a minority stake in dozens of private companies, giving the bank’s executives a say in their operations.
For all practical purposes, BNDS is acting as an investment bank, not a public institution focused on fostering social development, while maintaining its lack of transparency,
But analysts say there is another downside to BNDES’s big spending: It fans inflation, which has remained stubbornly high at just under 6 percent a year.
To keep it under control, the Central Bank on Nov. 27 raised its benchmark rate to 10 percent. Such a high interest rate — the highest of any developed country — is believed to crowd out the development of private lenders.