You’re probably thinking, “But Fausta, we have bigger things to worry about: ISIS, border crime, Iran nuclear deals. Why are you carping about Venezuela?” For the answer, read my article here.
Archives for July 2015
I can hear Vin Diesel speaking in Portuguese.
Brazilian comic-book antihero out for revenge against corruptionThe Indoctrinator’s battle against unscrupulous officials has made the character a cult hit
O Doutrinador is the creation of Rio native Luciano Cunha, who started the strip on line
The Indoctrinator appears to personify, in an extreme way, the indignation many Brazilians hold against the political class in their country, their bad feelings about government, and the protests “against everything” that has sprouted up over the past few years.
But Cunha’s fans are just not typical comic-book readers. He believes people read his creation not because of the artwork but because of the message the main character tries to get across: that “some sort of justice” will be handed down against corrupt public officials.
Cunha isn’t able to make a living from O Doutrinador. Any agents out there? I want to see him at Comicon, and getting bids on movie rights!
Not only did he tunnel out, ‘El Chapo’ Ally Tunneled Out Months Before
Nearly 14 months before crime boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from his maximum-security cell through a tunnel, one of his Sinaloa Cartel lieutenants broke out of another prison in the same way. (emphasis added)
The passage through which Adelmo Niebla González and two underlings busted out of a prison in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state, in May 2014 shared many of the same technological and building styles.
We’re talking about a cartel known for its elaborate tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border, but Mexican authorities put them all on ground-floor because,
“No one can say it was obvious this would have happened,” Mr. Rubido, whose more than three decades included several stints as Mexico’s top spy chief, said of Mr. Guzmán’s escape.
How do you spell c-o-r-r-u-p-t-i-o-n . . .
Hey, how about an open border!
Over eggs at a San Antonio café, a reporter listens as former law enforcement officials and one ex-drug cartel operative swap theories about El Chapo’s latest escape and what it says about the U.S. and Mexico
Sinaloa became the McDonald’s of the drug trade. Customers could find its products — cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines — everywhere. Operations ran so smoothly that after Chapo’s arrest in February 2014, many experts predicted that they’d continue to hum along without him. However, hopes ran high in the United States and Mexico that Chapo’s arrest would herald a new era of trust between the two governments. The arrest was seen as a sign that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was serious about ending a long history of government corruption, and that Washington, after some skepticism, could trust him.
Chapo’s latest spectacular escape seems to have put an end to any such illusions.
Cristina Fernandez’s son Maximo continues to be investigated:
Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio and prosecutor Carlos Stornelliordered a raid on the offices of Presidential son and La Cámpora leader, Máximo Kirchner, Monday, seeking accounting information as part of the ongoing Hotesur K-money laundering and corruption case.
. . .
The raid itself represented the execution of Judge Bonadio’s “procedural orders” seeking information about 35 separate companies with ties to the Kirchner family and its business interests, specifically including “banks and companies” associated with K-businessman Lázaro Báez – the number one recipient of public works contracts during the Kirchner administration. Báez is a business partner of President Kirchner, and the former administrator of her largest hotel, Alto Calafate.
Judge Bonadio was about to start reviewing the evidence retrieved during the raid, when he was removed from the case by two other judges.
As you may recall, peronistas were calling for Bonadio’s impeachment last year.
You can tell that Judge Bonadio’s under pressure that he’s come out saying, “Si aparezco suicidado, busquen al asesino; no es mi estilo“. If I turn up suicided, look for the killer; it’s not my style.
While the economic factors vary from country to country, most are suffering from lower global growth, loss of export revenue from falling commodities prices, and a rising dollar that is making emerging-market yields less attractive to portfolio investors anticipating that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates soon.
Latin American countries never seem to get out of the extractive economic model set under the Spanish and Portuguese empires; add to that the end of quantitative easing and of zero interest rates in the U.S., and the prospect is glum.
Mexico’s recent public auction of shallow-water exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico failed to attract international bidders:
The private sector often has a better understanding of subsea prospects than the public sector, but Mexico’s wariness about fully ceding control may have prevented the government from understanding the true value of the blocks. “They are still having trouble letting go of the old mindset of full control, rather than letting the market decide,” says one industry executive. One of the two blocks awarded to the winning consortium (comprising Mexico Sierra Oil and Gas, Dallas-based Talos Energy and London-based Premier Oil) was more hotly contested than the government expected; four groups offered well above the government-mandated minimum.
Because of historical sensitivities, Mexico awarded rare profit-sharing contracts between the state and private firms, rather than fully confer ownership of oil reserves to the private sector. It also required a level of corporate guarantee to cover spillages that went beyond international norms. Its potential ability to rescind contracts has alarmed some oil companies, too, lest their wells be expropriated without compensation in the future.
Once you factor in those risks vs current oil prices, the real story here is simpler: the financial arithmetic facing a potential investor has been totally upended by the collapse of oil prices.
And let’s not forget the batshit-crazy approach to debt.
From The Economist:
Just what we needed:
‘Mojito diplomacy’ as Cuba reboots US relations in reopened embassy
Guests toast inauguration of island’s new Washington mission inside its ‘Hemingway’ bar
Just like Hemingway’s favorite Havana hangout, a small but attractive bar had been set up nearly four years ago in one of the rooms at the Cuban embassy to liven up breaks between the many closed-door meetings held with political scientists and activists there.
Is “political scientists and activists” the current euphemism for operatives of the Communist regime?
But back to mojitos, here are the ingredients:
Depending on who you believe, the mojito either came from the Spanish word ‘mojar’, which means to wet, or the African word ‘mojo’, which means to cast a spell. Anybody who’s ever tasted one will agree that it’s thirst quenching and spellbinding in equal measures.
2 parts BACARDÍ Superior rum
4 lime wedges
12 fresh mint leaves
2 heaped tsp of caster sugar
1 part soda water/club soda
Sprig of fresh mint to garnish
Gently press together the limes & sugar. Bruise the mint leaves by clapping them between your palms, rub them on the rim of the glass and drop them in. Next, half fill the glass with crushed ice, add the BACARDÍ Superior rum & stir. Top up with crushed ice, a splash of soda and a sprig of mint.
To recap: the new “mojito diplomacy” is all wet, cast under the spell of Communism, aims to stupefy, and is served in a room named after a drunk misanthrope who blew his brains out.
Dissidents in the island-prison could not be reached for comment.
At Stratfor, Why the U.S. Should Be Wary of Cuba (registration required)
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!