Posts Tagged ‘Suriname’

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 11th, 2013

LatinAmerThe week’s must-read? This: Documents show depth of U.S. concern over Mexico violence. As I’ve been saying for nearly a decade, border security is national security.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s Fading Diva

Junk bond news: Specialist in Long Shots Bets on Argentina
David Martinez, head of a hedge fund that specializes in distressed debt, has made an unusual call: Invest in Argentina.

“You can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Mariscal said, “but you don’t know if it’s the train coming towards you.”

BOLIVIA
Skulls said to have miraculous qualities at the center of annual festival in Bolivia

BRAZIL
Before Global Games, Rio Is Fighting to Dim Red Light. Good luck with that.

Brazil’s oil industry
Bustista
Eike Batista’s oil firm files for bankruptcy protection

CHILE
Chile’s presidential election
Cruising back to La Moneda
A more left-wing Michelle Bachelet is set to win on a tide of social discontent

COLOMBIA
In pictures: Beyond El Dorado at the British Museum

Filling the FARC-Shaped Void

No pause in FARC peace talks for elections

CUBA
Michael Totten is Home From Cuba,

That is one truly strange place. It’s right there alongside Libya under Moammar Qaddafi in the bizarro department. I’m glad I went, but I’m even more glad to be out of there.

US hijacker William Potts returns from Cuba
An American man who hijacked a plane in 1984 and forced it to fly to Cuba has returned to the US.

ECUADOR
Indigenous peoples
Death in the Amazon

Attempt to Rehabilitate Chevron Judge Gets Very Weird

Chevron’s lead lawyer, Randy Mastro, had some success this week showing that [Ecuadorian judge Nicolas] Zambrano doesn’t seem to know very much about the record-breaking decision he supposedly rendered. When asked, the former Ecuadorian judge couldn’t name key elements of the ruling, such as the most powerful carcinogenic substance it cited or a crucial scientific study purporting to link oil contamination to human illnesses. He also struggled to explain how he was able to deploy French, American, and Australian case law in the ruling, since, as he conceded, he does not speak or read French or English.

The Chevron RICO trial grinds on

Phila. lawyer tells how Ecuador case against Chevron unraveled

GRENADA
An Army Ranger Gives an on Ground Account of the War in Grenada

GUYANA
The US Treasury as the Birthright of All Mankind

JAMAICA
BBC criticised over Jamaica Inn filming in Kirkby Lonsdale

LATIN AMERICA
From Brookings: The Upcoming Electoral Cycle in Latin America in the Midst of Social Unrest: What Lies Ahead?

MEXICO
Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized
The sophisticated underground passageway featured electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system and took about a year to build, officials said.

Documents show depth of U.S. concern over Mexico violence

NICARAGUA
Sandinista Constitutional reforms will institutionalize first lady’s precepts of ‘Christian, socialist and solidarity’ via Boz

  • Increases government control over radio, television, telephone and internet services, including requirements for local control and data storage.
  • Institutionalizes various FSLN organizations into the government and constitution, further merging the government and party (which would have serious repercussions if the FSLN did lose an election some day in the future, in that the party would still retain control over aspects of government).

PANAMA
Panama Canal’s LNG Surprise to Redefine Trade in Fuel: Freight

LNG carriers will cross the 48-mile waterway 350 times a year, and voyages to Asia from the U.S. will cost 24 percent less than longer routes, according to calculations from the canal authority. The expected 12 million tons, assuming half the transits are hauling cargoes, would be equal to about 5 percent of the world’s trade in 2012, Fearnley Consultants AS estimates.

The U.S., now the world’s largest producer of natural gas because of the extraction of fuel from shale rocks, will account for much of that traffic as it becomes the third-largest exporter of LNG by 2020, Morgan Stanley estimates. With American energy independence now at a 27-year high of 86 percent, the route will boost exports to Japan, offsetting nuclear-power generation lost after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

PARAGUAY
Paraguay says can be launch pad for Israeli technology in Latin America
With a favorable tax system, stable business environment, Paraguay could be key to providing Israeli innovators with access to broader Latin markets, says Paraguayan minister.

PERU
Peru’s central bank sees gloomier economic growth

PUERTO RICO
De Blasio, in Puerto Rico, Finds Relaxation and Fellow Red Sox Fans

On Vacation, With Politics
Mayor-elect de Blasio Attends Somos El Futuro Conference in Puerto Rico

Is Puerto Rico the next Greece? Nest eggs could suffer

La Mallorquina, open since 1848, closed:

My grandparents used to take the family (of 12!) to eat there in the 1920s and ’30s.

SURINAME
Suriname leader’s son on terror charges
The son of Suriname’s president is charged by the United States with attempting to provide material support to the Shia militant group Hezbollah.

VENEZUELA
Desperation News and Views

Miami Herald reporter held for second night in Venezuela while covering economic crisis; he was released on Saturday and is back in the USA.

Real life: Venezuela’s Maduro orders military occupation… of electronics stores

John Hinderaker watches the pageants and posts lots of pictures: MISS UNIVERSE: A FINAL PREVIEW [UPDATED WITH RESULTS]

The week’s posts and podcast:
Chile: Left turn coming up

Venezuela burns down Mexican plane

Obama makes campaign stop, meets Coco & Berta

Venezuela: Entire medical system collapsing

Chile: Neruda wasn’t poisoned

Venezuela: ADS in the slums

Latin America: Mexico and the Expanding Hemispheric Crime and Terror Crises

Colombia: Things are about to get worse

Mexico: Templars, Inc.

Cuba: The FARC rides the yacht

Podcast:
With Jerry Brewer on Silvio Canto’s podcast


The Labor Day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Not Crying for Argentina but Fearful of a Ruling
The U. S. and the International Monetary Fund are concerned about a decision that would force Argentina to pay all its creditors equally and hold processing banks responsible if the country did not.

COLOMBIA
Colombia Deploys Military After Protest
President Juan Manuel Santos ordered 50,000 troops into Bogotá after violent protests in support of striking farmers left two dead.

CUBA
Cuban General Dead, North Korean General Purged — Coincidence?

Full Disclosure: Contents of North Korean Smuggling Ship Revealed

Dissidents: Cuban political prisoner Ivan Fernandez is near death because of hunger strike

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS!!! Honduras election campaign waiting for movement

LATIN AMERICA
Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile Agree to Remove All Trade Tariffs

MEXICO
Covert U.S. operation sends manned aircraft to help Mexican police

Editorial: Deafening silence from Mexico journalists (H/T Gates of Vienna)

NICARAGUA
Well, I told you so: Chinese executive who wants to build Nicaraguan trans-ocean canal has spotty global record

PERU
South American countries gripped by snow

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Poised for Worst Year Since ’00 on ‘Spooked’ Buyers

Troubling Winds
Puerto Rico’s heavy debt load and weak economy make its bonds a risky bet — and your municipal-bond fund investments may be more vulnerable than you think. Barron’s looks at the territory’s financial troubles — and which funds might be most exposed.
By subscription only: Puerto Rico Responds to Barron’s Story

SURINAME
UNASUR Summit in Suriname Welcomes Back Paraguay

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan high-rank officials in US drug-trafficking watch list
Most of the sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) were imposed on Venezuelan military men and government officials

Who protects reputation for the Bolibourgeoisie?

We Interrupt Maduro’s Enabling Bill In Order To Defend Syria

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua’s canal: “Dubious Plans and Abundant Unknowns”

Bahamas: Cuban arrivals from Bahamas allege beatings and sexual abuses

En español: Bayly entrevista al Padre Conrado

Cuba: A cargo container full of [counterfit?] euros and dollars

Panama: Cuban weapons “in mint condition”

En español: Como en Venezuela no hay panes, Maduro va a tener que multiplicar penes ACTUALIZADO

Puerto Rico: Throw the lawyer in the clink

Colombia: Farmers and students protest

The 2013 Tango Salon World Champions: Tuesday night tango: Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni

Argentina: Cristina gives US bondholders a raspberry

Brazil: Dilma fires foreign minister

Venezuela: No bread, but they’ll build a circus

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week


The maggot Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 29th, 2013

LatinAmerNo, not maggot Anthony Weiner (with apologies to any soft limbless larva of dipterous insects who may be reading this blog). The catchy headline is not from a Star Trek movie, but from another trek . . . to Peru,

A British woman returned from a holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living inside her ear.

Now that I have your attention, here’s the news from our hemisphere:
ARGENTINA
Sure this is the real thing? GREEN Coke launched in Argentina with natural sweetener and fully recyclable bottle

BOLIVIA
Evo says the continent must cease to depend on foreign companies for its large-scale industrial projects: Bolivia’s Morales Calls for South America’s “Technological Liberation”

BRAZIL
Pope Warns of Drug Scourge as Latin America Moves to Legalize

Papal Visit a Mixed Blessing for Rio
Mishaps at a papal event are raising doubts about Rio de Janeiro hosting the upcoming Olympics and the World Cup.

Pope urges talks in divided Brazil
Pope Francis urges Brazil’s government and civil society leaders to use dialogue as an alternative to violent protest and “selfish indifference”.

CHILE
‘Murder’ claim roils Chile campaign
A Chilean lawyer wants charges against the father of the conservative presidential candidate for the murder of her rival’s father.

Some final thoughts on Capriles in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia civil conflict has killed ‘nearly a quarter of a million’: study
Almost a quarter of a million Colombians have been killed in the country’s bloody half-century conflict, most of them civilians, a government-funded report revealed on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence of the vast scale of human rights violations since hostilities began.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica Aims for Zoos without Cages. [Insert NJ Turnpike joke here]

CUBA
The Castro Brothers Get Caught in the Act News of arms shipments to North Korea rudely interrupts the happy talk about reforms in Cuba.

The Cuban Cargo Caper

In the spirit of rock and roll and freedom, Cuban heavy metal band Hipnosis defects

ECUADOR
U.S. Aims to Resume Bilateral Talks With Ecuador Before Year-End

Chevron’s latest headache in $19 billion lawsuit
A federal appeals court is weighing a sixth attempt by representatives of the Amazon Defense Front to toss the judge hearing the oil giant’s RICO case.

HAITI
Haiti cholera epidemic caused by UN, say experts

HONDURAS
UNREAL! Chicago Teachers Union Officials Travel to Honduras to Discuss “Revolution” With Former Tyrant

LATIN AMERICA
FDA set to overhaul food safety rules for imported fruits, veggies

Latin America and Edward Snowden
South Americans in glasshouses

MEXICO
WSJ letter to the editor: Mexico Needs Big Oil-Policy Change
Pemex’s freedom of maneuver has been held hostage for a half-century by a national narrative that misunderstands the global dynamic of the oil industry

NICARAGUA
Chinese Businessman Seeks to Build Nicaraguan Canal

PERU
More than 100 bodies exhumed in Peru

PUERTO RICO
Luis Gutierrez Asks Congress To Oppose Puerto Rico Statehood Resolution In Joint Letter With Nydia Velazquez

SURINAME
Suriname wants Dutch compensation for slave trade (h/t Gates of Vienna)

VENEZUELA
Apocalyptic South American fuck-up nudges up fund manager’s alpha

In Venezuela, the only fully-stocked supermarket belongs to the government: Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket and its one-in one-out policy
Demand at Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket – the government-run Bicentenario – is so high that it is now operating a “one-in, one-out” policy.

The week’s posts:
Brazil: 3 million expected at Copacabana today

Latin America and the China bubble

Cuba: A grim anniversary

Venezuela: Maduro gets hacked

Habemus Papam, habemus tango

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Brazil: The Pope in a pickle

UNESCO self-ridicules UPDATED

Puerto Rico: Wind farm fiasco


Roundup: More on Iran in Latin America

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Following up on yesterday’s post on Iran’s infiltration in Latin America,


Demonstrators holding photos of the 85 people who died in the 1994 AMIA bombing

BBC: Iran ‘in Latin America terror plot’ – Argentina prosecutor
An Argentine prosecutor has accused Iran of trying to infiltrate countries in Latin America to sponsor and carry out “terrorist activities”.

AP: Argentine Prosecutor: Iran Infiltrating Continent

NYT: Prosecutor in Argentina Sees Iranian Plot in Latin America

In his report, Mr. Nisman contended that the 1994 bombing was not an isolated event. “It has to be investigated as a segment in a larger sequence,” he said in a report summary, pointing to parallels with the case of two Guyanese men convicted in 2010 of conspiring to attack Kennedy International Airport in New York.

In that case, a former Guyanese government official, Abdul Kadir, opened himself to a claim by prosecutors in New York that he secretly worked for years as a spy for Iran when he said during cross-examination that he had drafted regular reports to Iran’s ambassador in Venezuela on plans to infiltrate Guyana’s military and police. The plot to attack the airport did not advance beyond the conceptual stage.

Mr. Nisman, who has investigated the bombing since 2005, suggested that “criminal plans” by Iran could be under development in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

And let’s not forget the direct flights fron Tehran to Caracas.

WSJ: Iran in America’s Backyard
Remember that botched attempt to blow up John F. Kennedy airport in 2007?

Connecting the dots, Mr. Nisman found that one of the Iranian agents in the plan to incinerate JFK—Guyanese citizen Abdul Kadir—had a “close relationship and hierarchical subordination” to Rabbini. But Kadir’s activities were supported from other countries as well. He “was very important to the plot, not only because he was a successful leader, but also due to his deeply rooted connections with Iran and its embassy in Venezuela.” And he was active in countries throughout the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago; Dominica; Barbados; Antigua and Barbuda; Surinam; and Grenada. “His activity as an Iranian leader allowed him to establish and strengthen relations with other regional Islamic leaders and by 1998 he was the representative of the Secretariat of the Caribbean Islamic Movement.”

It is unlikely that either Kadir or Rabbani would have gotten as far as they did without the use of a seemingly benign activity to shield them. “The dual use of institutions controlled by the Iranian Regime, the cultural, religious and propagation activities conducted by its agents abroad and the radical indoctrination of its supporters” become operational with “the construction of intelligence stations,” the summary explains. These have “the capability to provide logistic, economic and operative support to terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.”

Telegraph (h/t Gates of Vienna): Argentine prosecutor accuses Iran of establishing Latin America terrorist networks
An Argentine prosecutor accused Iran on Wednesday of establishing terrorist networks in Latin America dating back to the 1980s and said he would send his findings to courts in the affected countries.

The Economist, back in January: Argentine-Iranian relations
A pact with the devil?

US State Department: Country Reports on Terrorism 2012


The rigged Venezuelan election Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 15th, 2013

In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, at least according to the chavista-controlled board of election, won last night. Henrique Capriles Radonski demanded a recount, asserting that electoral fraud had taken place. Here’s his speech last night (in Spanish),

Watch live streaming video from venezuelasomostodos at livestream.com

In his speech, Capriles said he wants the Cuban military out of Venezuela’s government and institutions. As Mary O’Grady said, The Castro regime wasn’t going to allow an easy victory for the opposition candidate who has pledged to stop sending oil to Havana.

By now, ballot boxes are turning up,

Maduro’s acceptance speech was a double dose of crazy.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s economy
Gaucho blues
A dollar shortage bites

Via The Argentine Post, a link I missed when it was first posted,
Argentina’s Plan for Iran

BRAZIL
Brazilian state of Acre in illegal immigration alert
The Brazilian state of Acre has declared a state of emergency after a surge of illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bolivia and Peru.

CHILE
Chile poet Pablo Neruda’s remains to be tested in US
The family of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda has agreed to send his remains to a laboratory in the United States for toxicology tests.

COLOMBIA
FARC links with Al-Qaeda?

Evidence has emerged of a link between the FARC and Islamist terrorist groups in the North African Maghreb after two Colombian nationals were arrested in Algeria last month by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Spanish intelligence services.

Colombian authorities row over Farc jail terms
Colombia’s attorney-general has said members of the rebel group Farc could escape jail terms should a peace deal be struck.

Colombia’s emerald king
Death of a tsar

COSTA RICA
Via DP, National holiday turns violent as families blocked from president’s speech
Costa Ricans outraged that they weren’t allowed to attend the annual Juan Santamaría Day festivities in an Alajuela park.

CUBA
In Spanish: Jaime Bayly entrevista al bloguero cubano Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo,

Time to Occupy Beyonce and Jay-Z

US Treasury OFAC: Send Beyoncé and Jay-Z an Anniversary Present

Rosa Maria Payá denounces death threats against her and her family.
Rosa Maria Payá holds the Cuban government responsible for whatever may happen to her and her family.

ECUADOR
Quito’s new airport
A tight fit

HONDURAS
Smoke from nearby forest fires forces 4-hour closure of airport for Honduras’ capital

JAMAICA
Puerto Rican jury rejects death sentence in police killing

MEXICO

Mexico Is Picking Up the Peso
Reforms, Search for Risk Are Boosting the Currency; ‘a Cultish Characteristic’

Mexican Proposal to Allow Foreigners to Own Coastal Property

PERU
Rural development in Peru
The Andean connection
Diminishing distance, falling poverty

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico protects top US turtle nesting site long eyed by developers

Puerto Rico Agrees To Pay More Than $35 Million In Back Wages To Thousands Of Workers

SURINAME
Politics in Suriname
Guerrilla, rapper, gold miner…president?

URUGUAY
Uruguay president ‘sorry’ for Fernandez ‘old hag’ quip
The President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, has apologised for apparently referring to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as an “old hag”.

Luis Alberto Lacalle, abogado y presidente de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay de 1990 a 1995 envia un afectuoso saludo a la Fundacion HACER de Washington DC desde el 25 Aniversario de la Fundacion Libertad de Rosario

VENEZUELA
Maduro and Capriles: tale of two Venezuelan presidential candidates

Venezuela’s presidential election
Voting in St Hugo’s shadow
In his search for a popular mandate, Nicolás Maduro ascribes divine powers to his predecessor but offers few earthly policies

Venezuelan blogs for their complete coverage:
Caracas chronicles
Devil’s excrement
Venezuela Nr=ews and Views

The week’s posts and podcast,
Venezuela: Maduro wins

Venezuela: two election day live feeds

A word on elected Latin American dictators

Venezuela: How important is tomorrow’s election? UPDATED

If you are in Hialeah tonight: Rosa María Payá event

OLPL en el show de Bayly

G-r-o-s-s: Bolivarian “sanitary” towels

Venezuela: Capriles Campaign Chief killed

Venezuela: The meaning of April 14 UPDATED

Cuba this morning

Venezuela: Violent deaths per 100,000

Podcast:
Talking with Silvio Canto.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 11th, 2012

A brief Carnival this week,
BOLIVIA
NY Hasid resorts to hunger strike after nearly a year in Bolivian prison

BRAZIL
Brazilian politics
What Lula did next

CUBA
There’s a lot of public relations recently on Communist William Morgan:
George Clooney’s making a movie about him, George Clooney Puts on His Directing Helmet to Help Castro’s Cuba with ‘Comandante’, based on the New Yorker article, The Yankee Comandante
A story of love, revolution, and betrayal
. Humberto Fontova‘s more realistic,

Something also tells me the film will be devoid of any input by Roberto Martin Perez and others who suffered the longest terms of political incarceration in modern history because of Morgan’s treachery. After all, their anti-Castro plot, as the New Yorker article explains (echoing Castro) had nothing whatsoever to do with restoring Cuba’s freedom. Instead it was inspired by the wicked dictator Rafael Trujillo.

According to Armando Lago about 2000 Cubans were murdered by firing squad while Morgan loyally served Castro. Indeed in 1959-60 many of the men and boys cramming La Cabana’s galeras were were there because of Morgan’s treachery.

Morgan lived in a mansion during this time, had a fancy car and owned a frog farm. Might it occur to Clooney to ask how this AWOL GI, deadbeat-Dad and ex-con managed to acquired these luxuries? In fact they were all stolen at gunpoint from their rightful Cuban owners. “Bienes Malversados”–INDEED!

O’Grady: Castro Endorses Obama
The dictator’s daughter gets a visa to make speeches here while the regime continues to hold an American hostage.

Another Cuba-related Law Heads to Court

HONDURAS
Honduran sourdough bread

MEXICO
Mexico election diary
How important is the tactical vote really?

Eric Holder’s sizzling summer
Attorney general on hot seat for probes on gun-running, child exploitation funds

PERU
Peru Leader Faces Outrage, Defections on Mining Plan

Peru searchers find bodies in Andes chopper crash

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Borrowing Costs Rise on Rating Concern: Muni Credit

Puerto Rico Schools to Expand Instruction in English

SURINAME
Suriname’s president
Catch me if you can
Legal troubles? Run for office

VENEZUELA
Venezuela opposition floods streets in support of presidential candidate
Leader Hugo Chávez vowed to flood the streets with supporters as hundreds of thousands turned up in Caracas to rally for his rival

Chavismo Pulls Dirty Trick On Podemos And Patria Para Todos (And Ultimately On Capriles)

Capriles smashing launch: le ladró en la cueva

Fading Chávez Rouses Markets

The week’s posts,
Funereal erection, while “Chavez’s days are numbered,”

Leaks and islands

Remember that dry offshore Cuban oil well? UPDATED

Romney names Hispanic Steering Committee, “Juntos con Romney”

Romney targets Hispanics on jobs


The (brief) Carnival of Latin America & the Caribbean

Monday, February 6th, 2012

LatinAmerARGENTINA
The War for Oil… And Squid?, via Instapundit

Prince William’s Falklands tour ‘is his duty to the RAF’
Former Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mike Jackson says Prince William’s arrival in the Falkland Islands is a routine part of life in the Royal Air Force.

BRAZIL
Brazil’s President Flexes Clout in Cuba Trip

Standoff between striking police, soldiers

CHILE
Competition in Chile
The shine comes off

CUBA
Since Fidel is such an exemplary figure of virtue, Pope Benedict XVI to receive Fidel Castro back into the Catholic Church?

Political Repression in Cuba: Rundown for the week of January 30th, 2012

WashPost Coos ‘So Nice to Meet You, Havana’ (But Bring Your Own Charmin)

HAITI
Haiti’s judiciary
Just what the Doc ordered

HONDURAS
What’s the Honduran government’s cut of your travel costs?

LATIN AMERICA
ALBA bloc of nations to see new members
Suriname and St Lucia are seeking membership in the ALBA group of left-leaning nations, as the bloc continues to flex its muscle and take jabs at the United States.

MEXICO
Carlos Slim
Let Mexico’s moguls battle
Mexico suffers from two near-monopolies. It should let them fight each other

Mexico conservatives back woman presidential candidate

PUERTO RICO
17 Dominican migrants die trying to get to Puerto Rico

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s Fateful Presidential Primary
Chávez’s political opposition attempts to unify behind a candidate.

Venezuela everyday more like Cuba, will smell like it soon

February 4th. 1992: A Day Of Shame For Venezuelans

The week’s posts:
Holder insults Puerto Rican Congressman
Weirdest theft of the year: Chilean ice
Venezuela: Who armed the kids?
Law-abiding Mexicans arm themselves
Fast & Furious: No one’s responsible
Venezuela: Jews fleeing persecution


28797

The first 2010 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 4th, 2010

LatinAmerWelcome to the first Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean of 2010. I hope you had a joyful holiday season and wish you a prosperous and happy year.

LATIN AMERICA
U.S. diplomacy stumbles in Latin America
The Obama presidency was expected to herald closer ties after years of perceived neglect under Bush. But relations have soured amid the Honduran coup and Iran’s increasing ties in the region.

A Look Back at U.S. Engagement in the Western Hemisphere

Wal-Mart Picks New Latin American Chief

BRAZIL
This week’s must-read: 2010 for Latin America (the failure of Lula?)

Brazil Steers an Independent Course
Washington needs to rethink its assumptions on South America.

CAYMAN ISLANDS
Investors could only lose in Goldman’s Caymans deals

COLOMBIA
Álvaro Uribe’s Colombia
Not yet the promised land: A safer and richer country, but one that needs more jobs and better socioeconomic policies—as well as constant vigilance

Bombardment kills at least 18 Colombian rebels. Rebels my foot. They were terrorists.

CUBA
Why they want to end the embargo NOW!

The color of the highway

The New York Times: Carrying Water For Castro, Again
An inexcusable piece hails a Cuban musician’s Castro-approved visit to the States. No mention that Cuban dissidents receive beatings instead of visas.

A Black Market Finds a Home in the Web’s Back Alleys

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Police colonels jailed as Puerto Rican fugitive case widens

ECUADOR
The B-Cast: Ecuador, Hollywood & Trial Lawyers vs. Chevron = Liberal Hypocrisy

GUATEMALA
Hoping Luis makes it: OMG, I may be going to NASA’s Singularity University in 2010!

HONDURAS
2009 Rainfall Data, La Ceiba, Honduras

MEXICO
Earthquake near Mexicali

Drug Gangs: The Brutal Beast South of the Border

Insidious rise of Gulf Cartel
Interviews, files and court records trace a syndicate’s growth from small-time pot smuggling to a mega-empire with a hub in Houston

PUERTO RICO
Three Kings celebration observes birth of Christ

SURINAME
Racially charged violence claims lives in Suriname
A murder on Christmas Eve sparked vicious riots in the Surinamese town of Albina. Locals took to the streets battering, raping and even killing Brazilian and Chinese immigrants.

VENEZUELA
Highlights of Hugo Chavez’ wisdom in 2009

Invading Venezuela

NI GOBIERNO NI “OPOSICIÓN” PODRÁN FRENAR LO QUE VIENE…

Venezuela begins 2010 with electricity rationing
; Chavez’s ‘Bolivarian revolution’ appears to be getting results.

This week’s posts and podcasts:
Bolivia’s prez wants to produce Coca Colla
If it’s cold in Peru, it’s global warming
The insidious rise of the Gulf Cartel: 15 Minutes on Latin America

At Real Clear World:
Hugo Chávez: Now It’s Time to Annoy the Dutch