@DrNetas nos pone al tanto,
Archives for May 2014
To those out there thinking that chavismo has “improved the economy drastically and ameliorated poverty drastically”, chew on this:
9.8% of the population is living in extreme poverty (a 38% increase over the prior year), according to the Venezuelan government’s own figures, as Education Minister Héctor Rodríguez mentioned on February 25 during his speech at a Campaign for Eradicating Extreme Poverty event.
Keeping the populace poor is a feature, not a bug, for chavismo; Héctor Rodríguez himself has said, “We’re not going to pull them out of poverty so they can become protesters,” a sentiment echoed by Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who says. “The poor must remain poor, we need them like that, we must keep them poor and hopeful.” [quotes in Spanish here]
But back to the latest poverty numbers, Spanish newspaper ABC reports and I translate,
During the second half of 2013, 9.8% of the population, that is, 2,791,292 citizens lived in extreme poverty, while during the same period in 2012 the number was 7.1%, according to statistics published in Venezuelan daily «El Universal».
Looking at the article in El Universal (my translation), the number of households living in poverty increased by 28% in one year:
The percentage of Venezuelan households living in poverty increased from 21.2% in 2012 to 27,3% in 2013.
Contrast that with the chavistas rolling in dough. That’s 21st Century socialism.
The news of Chavez’s death was released on March, 2013. All this was happening while he was still alive, but his legacy lives on.
Wives of Jailed Venezuela Opposition Mayors Dominate Vote. The wives of Daniel Ceballos and Vicencio (Enzo) Scarano won by landslides in San Cristobal and San Diego, yet
The result is little more than a symbolic victory for Mr. Maduro’s detractors as both sides remain in a tenuous standoff after more than three months of off-and-on demonstrations that have cost at least 42 lives. Protests began by addressing rampant crime before taking on corruption as well as economic woes like high inflation and frequent shortages of basic goods.
Sunday’s vote is unlikely to change the political landscape. Mr. Maduro, the successor of late leftist firebrand Hugo Chávez, has emerged mostly unshaken with the help of soldiers to put down the unrest, while the opposition is split over its next step as the protest movement shows signs of fatigue.
Bloggers differ on this conclusion: Alberto de la Cruz sees it as Cuba’s puppet dictatorship in Venezuela takes major hit in mayoral elections.
Daniel Duquenal explains,
All the efforts of the regime to brow beat these cities, to divide opposition, to promote abstention have failed and it looks like the gains were made more at the expense of chavismo than possible abstention. there is no way around, this is a major set back for the regime, a major confirmation that the opposition is now an electoral majority. Days of reflection for all ahead. Chavismo strategy is a dead end of violence and repression. The MUD cannot possibly win if it does not find a more durable way to tie protest and elections and clear message as it was, miraculously, the case today. Yes, I wrote miraculously.
Juan Cristobal Nagel has more on Polls vs. chavismo vs. guarimbas vs. naysayers and sees it as
a heavy defeat for chavismo. It shows that the government continues losing support, unable to muster its forces even when faced with political neophytes and an opposition that is both financially and physically exhausted. If they were counting on political infighting within the opposition to keep their voters home, they were mistaken.
I hope the opposition is able in future elections to again circumvent the chavista intervention in election results.
Highly-connected chavistas continue to loot the oil money. Alek Boyd is on the trail of Derwick Associates:
The Derwick boys aren’t in the wealth-creation league of Onassis-type of entrepreneurs: they’re simply laundering proceeds from ill gotten contracts their school chums got for them thanks to chavismo’s rampant corruption and nepotism.
Alek also has an update on Raúl Gorrín
The City of Miami recently declared Raul Gorrin -Boligarch owner of TV channel Globovision- persona non grata, after reports have surfaced about his property purchases in Cocoplum. U.S. authorities would do well in checking backgrounds of property owners at Jade Ocean..
With deep gratitude to all who have served our beautiful country in the armed forces, this week’s Carnival.
Last month the Argentine congress gave final approval to pay $5bn (£3bn) in compensation for Repsol’s stake in Argentine oil firm YPF.
The Spanish company has now announced that it has sold the last batch of bonds it received to cover its losses.
A Desperate Mother’s Search Leads to a Fight Against Sex Trafficking
Desperate for answers about her daughter’s disappearance in 2002, Susana Trimarco started the Fundación María de los Ángeles, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates sex slaves in Argentina.
Brazil Deploys Vast World Cup Security Plan
Brazil is spending $855 million on security and safety during the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, which the country will host from June 12 to July 13, the government said on Friday.
Freak hail storm strikes World Cup 2014 host city Sao Paulo
A hail storm covers streets in ice in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the football World Cup in less than a month
Colombia’s President Santos to face Zuluaga in run-off vote
Official results from Colombia’s presidential election say the incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos will face his main rival, Oscar Zuluaga, in a run-off next month.
Oscar Iván Zuluaga, a conservative candidate closely allied with former President Álvaro Uribe, won the most votes in the first round of Sunday’s presidential election.
— Karel Becerra #Cuba (@KarelBecerra) May 24, 2014
6 Gunned Down on Bus in El Salvador
How Mexico’s New President Is Turning His Country Into a Servile US Client
Enrique Peña Nieto is using violence and repression to dismantle his country’s progressive legacy. So, is servility why Mexico’s holding Andrew Tahmooressi?
Borinqueneers to get Congressional Gold Medal
Marijuana to Be Sold for Less Than $1 a Gram in Uruguay
Authorities said the price was deliberately set below what marijuana sells for illegally, and the quality control of the drug available at pharmacies would be “very high”
The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: rising volume of drugs coming from Venezuela
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Cuba and moral blindness
US-Latin America stories of the week
Uruguay Has Big Hopes for Pot Industry
Uruguay hopes that its status as the only country to fully regulate the cannabis industry will turn it into a magnet for investment in medical and other applications of the plant
No word as to whether Uruguay hopes that its status as the only country to fully regulate the cannabis industry will turn it into a magnet for investment in the snack food industry.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .
The Economist has a report on Drugs trafficking in the Caribbean
An old route regains popularity with drugs gangs
The final destination is likely to be North America or Europe, sometimes via West Africa. Puerto Rico is a way-station, physically in the Caribbean but within United States’ customs barriers. The French territories of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana do the same for Europe
Clink on the map for the full article:
One thing that has been bothering me since I posted this is how the map shows no information on Cuba. Are we to believe Cuba is not involved in drug trafficking?
Today’s the first round of the Colombian presidential election.
I say the first round because it’s unlikely that current-president Santos will get a large enough majority to avoid a second round.
Uribista Óscar Iván Zuluaga was making headway until the video scandal popped up:
Colombian Presidential Candidate Stumbles Over Campaign Allegations
Conservative Óscar Iván Zuluaga’s Surge in Pre-Vote Polls Hurt by Flap Over Videotapes
A 55-year-old former finance minister who has centered his campaign on sharply criticizing Mr. Santos’ peace talks with Marxist rebels, Mr. Zuluaga became entangled in the scandal after one of his campaign workers was arrested on May 6 for allegedly spying on Mr. Santos’s emails and those of guerrilla commanders participating in negotiations taking place in Havana, Cuba, with the Colombian government.
Eighteen days, two viral videos and numerous denials later, Mr. Zuluaga just can’t shake off accusations he was directly involved in what prosecutors here call a complex case of computer hacking.
Zuluaga denies involvement with the spying that the Santos campaign accused him of orchestrating.
Santos, however, had a scandal, too,
another scandal took off on May 8, when Mr. Zuluaga’s most powerful supporter, former President Álvaro Uribe, alleged $2 million that may have been tainted by drug trafficking was funneled into Mr. Santos’ 2010 presidential campaign. The Santos administration denied accepting funds from drug traffickers, and prosecutors said Mr. Uribe didn’t presented evidence.
5) Colombia is now the closest Western ally in South America, bucking the left’s pink tide
There’s enough dissatisfaction that Colombia Politics blog advises, If no one deserves your vote, vote “en blanco”. The Miami Herald speculates, Analysts say it’s far from clear how badly Zuluaga will be hurt by the scandal, but some have suggested it may sap enough votes to put another candidate into the second round against Santos.The Brazilian psychic predicts Zuluaga will be the next president:
As Drudge says, developing . . .
UdQ 181: Gastón Azcárraga