Militares le habrían dicho a Maduro que no reprimirán a la oposición, según Ramos Allup

Militares le habrían dicho a Maduro que no reprimirán a la oposición, según Ramos Allup

El presidente del Parlamento de Venezuela, el opositor Henry Ramos Allup, reveló este lunes que los generales y almirantes del alto mando le dijeron al presidente, Nicolás Maduro, que no reprimirán a los opositores en caso de estallidos populares.

En una “reunión de emergencia” celebrada la semana pasada, le advirtieron de “que no asumirían el costo de la represión contra el pueblo en caso de estallidos, reventones o disturbios por saqueos, y mucho menos en manifestaciones políticas, porque para eso estaban ...  

Brazil judge orders WhatsApp blocked, affecting 100 mln users

Brazil judge orders WhatsApp blocked, affecting 100 mln users

A Brazilian judge ordered wireless phone carriers to block access to Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout Latin America’s largest country on Monday, the second such move against the popular messaging application in five months.

The decision by the judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe applies to the five main wireless operators in Brazil and affects WhatsApp’s more than 100 million users in the country. The reason for the order is not known due to legal secrecy in ...  

U.S. Senate Can Help Ward Off Venezuela Implosion

U.S. Senate Can Help Ward Off Venezuela Implosion

BY JOSÉ R. CÁRDENAS

MAY 2, 2016

Last week, the Senate approved the nomination of career officer Roberta Jacobson to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. The vote came after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) lifted his hold in exchange for an extension of sanctions against human rights violators in Venezuela.

It was a good deal. We will have a senior representative in Mexico as that important bilateral relationship is coming under tremendous pressure due to the ravings of presidential candidate Donald Trump, ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro calls for ‘rebellion’ if opposition recall suceeds

Venezuela’s Maduro calls for ‘rebellion’ if opposition recall suceeds

Caracas (AFP) – A defiant Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged supporters to launch a general strike and “rebellion” if the opposition succeeds in ousting him from office in a referendum.

Maduro’s fiery May Day speech came as Venezuela’s emboldened opposition prepared on Tuesday to present more than 10 times the roughly 200,000 signatures needed to begin organizing a referendum to remove the unpopular president, blamed by many for the country’s deep economic crisis.

Maduro vowed to fight for his job, despite a ...  

Dilma Rousseff, Facing Impeachment in Brazil, Has Alienated Many Allies

Dilma Rousseff, Facing Impeachment in Brazil, Has Alienated Many Allies

BRASÍLIA — They were idealists, united in the struggle against Brazil’s military dictators. As democracy flourished, so did their careers. One of them, Paulo Ziulkoski, became the leader of an association of Brazilian cities. The other, Dilma Rousseff, rose even higher, becoming the president of Latin America’s largest country.

But their friendship soon fell apart. During a contentious meeting with the nation’s mayors in 2012, Ms. Rousseff rejected pleas for a share of Brazil’s soaring oil revenues. After the room erupted ...  

‘We want out of this agony’: What it’s like to eat in a country that’s on the verge of collapse

‘We want out of this agony’: What it’s like to eat in a country that’s on the verge of collapse

Despite breathless coverage of Venezuela’s vanishing supply of condoms, toilet paper, and beer, perhaps the country’s most debilitating shortage has been that of food, which appears to be a motivating factor for growing antigovernment sentiment.

“I want the recall because I don’t have food,” one woman told the Venezuelan commentary site Contrapunto, referring to a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that has so far reportedly drawn more than a million signatures in support.

“We want out of this agony — there ...  

We ignore Venezuela’s imminent implosion at our peril

We ignore Venezuela’s imminent implosion at our peril

The encouraging news from Latin America is that the leftist populists who for 15 years undermined the region’s democratic institutions and wrecked its economies are being pushed out — not by coups and juntas, but by democratic and constitutional means. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina is already gone, vanquished in a presidential election, and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff is likely to be impeached in the coming days.

The tipping point is the place where the movement began in the late 1990s: ...  

Brazil’s Leader-in-Waiting Sees No Quick Fix for Economy

Brazil’s Leader-in-Waiting Sees No Quick Fix for Economy

Vice President Michel Temer is playing down expectations that he can achieve a quick fix for Brazil’s economic troubles should his boss, Dilma Rousseff, be impeached. Temer, 75, would only achieve gradual improvements of fiscal accounts, is in no rush to raise the retirement age and has ruled out giving the central bank full independence, a move long favored by investors, said Wellington Moreira Franco, the vice president’s top adviser. He spoke in a 30-minute interview from his offices on ...  

Desperate Venezuelans take to streets, setting up barricades and raiding shops for food

Desperate Venezuelans take to streets, setting up barricades and raiding shops for food

Cities across Venezuela are increasingly agitated, as government offices closed their doors for the rest of the week in the face of a worsening energy crisis that is causing daily blackouts. Venezuela is among the world’s most violent countries, and crime generally spikes here when the lights go out.

Looting and fiery protests starting spreading Wednesday in Caracas, as hundreds of angry voters lined up to sign a petition beginning the process of recalling the deeply unpopular President Nicolas Maduro.

The socialist ...  

Peru enacted a dangerous law to fight drug smuggling, but traffickers still found a way around it

Peru enacted a dangerous law to fight drug smuggling, but traffickers still found a way around it

Peru has been one of the world’s top cocaine producers for decades, and as a part of the fight against drugs, the country reinstated a discarded law allowing the shoot-down suspected drug planes, a move that worried human-rights defenders.

Though no planes have been shot down yet, Peruvian authorities now claim that the law has forced traffickers to change their behavior — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still moving drugs.

“Drug traffickers are using other routes to transport drugs, we’ve seen ...  

50 Russian battle tanks headed to Nicaragua, sparking concerns in Central America

50 Russian battle tanks headed to Nicaragua, sparking concerns in Central America

Russia will deliver 50 new T-72B1 battle tanks to Nicaragua this year, in a deal worth some US $80 million, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency and Nicaraguan media. The first batch of 20 tanks is ready for shipment, and the remaining 30 are to be delivered by the end of the year or early 2017, according to the report.

The armaments add to a string of military hardware acquired by Nicaragua from Russia in recent years, including 12 anti-aircraft ...  

Mexico’s 43 missing students: Why the case is still a rallying cry

Mexico’s 43 missing students: Why the case is still a rallying cry

MEXICO CITY — In September 2014, a group of 43 teacher’s college students were attacked and disappeared in the troubled southern state of Guerrero. The case gained international attention as their families and other Mexican citizens took to the streets to demand answers from the government. But more than a year and a half later, the government and an independent group of experts have two distinct takes on how events unfolded, raising questions about the future of the investigation and ...  

No, Venezuela is it is not a victim of its own economic success.

No, Venezuela is it is not a victim of its own economic success.

Some of you will be familiar with the Twitter feed of the DPRK News Service, an often hilarious online parody of the output of socialist North Korea’s official pronouncements on world affairs: “Kim Il-Sung University professors announce individually packaged celerys, bringing joy to celery lovers throughout our land.” “International shouting tycoon Donald Trump criticizes U.S. politicians for their swinish and uncouth table manners.” But we live in times beyond satire, and even the imaginary Norks behind Juche Beyoncé (“Noble dissident ...  

Brazil Prosecutor Vows to Keep Petrobras Corruption Probe on Course

Brazil Prosecutor Vows to Keep Petrobras Corruption Probe on Course

CURITIBA, Brazil—A member of the prosecutorial team spearheading Brazil’s landmark corruption investigation says he and his colleagues will press forward with the vast criminal probe, despite fears that a new government coalition might try to shut it down.

The future of Operation Car Wash, which uncovered a yearslong embezzlement ring centered on state oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, is among the questions raised by the prospect of President Dilma Rousseff being removed from office.

Ms. Rousseff, who was chairwoman of ...  

Few Expect Mexico’s Government to Suffer at Polls, Despite Outrage Over Abductions

Few Expect Mexico’s Government to Suffer at Polls, Despite Outrage Over Abductions

MEXICO CITY — In a drab white tent along Reforma Avenue here, across from offices of the attorney general, a small group gathers each day to maintain the vigil for the 43. The tent bears their black and white images: forty-three students from a teachers college, seized by the police in the city of Iguala in September 2014 and never heard from again; literal and figurative reminders of their absence.

The same street once teemed with hundreds of thousands of protesters, ...  

Venezuela Panel Clears the Way for a Process to Oust Nicolás Maduro

Venezuela Panel Clears the Way for a Process to Oust Nicolás Maduro

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s electoral commission on Tuesday released documents that would allow opposition politicians to collect signatures and formally begin a process aimed at removing President Nicolás Maduro from office.

The decision by the commission — which is controlled by Mr. Maduro’s Socialist government and previously resisted handing over the papers — lifted hopes of the opposition politicians, who control the National Assembly and have vowed to oust the president by the end of the year.

It made Venezuela the second ...  

Venezuela blackouts: ‘We can’t go on living like this’

Venezuela blackouts: ‘We can’t go on living like this’

Caracas, Venezuela (CNN)About the only thing that can be counted on around the clock at Gustavo Diaz’s home these days is the gas stove. The food in the fridge is spoiling. The microwave oven sits unused. The television is dark and the stereo system silent. It’s sweaty and uncomfortable inside, thanks to government-imposed electricity blackouts meant to deal with chronic power shortages across the country.

Even getting running water is a problem. “We can’t go on living like this,” he said. ...  

Prominent El Salvador Businessman Tied to Suspected Drug Planes

Prominent El Salvador Businessman Tied to Suspected Drug Planes

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has filed a probable cause petition asking a judge to ratify the forfeiture of four aircraft authorities say belong to the prominent El Salvador businessman José Enrique Rais after drug sniffing dogs alerted them to three of the aircraft that they say were improperly registered in the United States.

The petition alleges that Rais, a politically connected Salvadoran citizen, used “dummy” corporations and “straw” owners to improperly register aircraft as belonging to US corporations. ...  

Top Venezuela court blocks bid to cut President Maduro’s term

Top Venezuela court blocks bid to cut President Maduro’s term

Venezuela’s supreme court has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to cut President Nicolas Maduro’s term from six to four years. The court ruled that the amendment could not be applied retroactively to Mr Maduro’s current term. The amendment was proposed by the opposition, which won control of the legislature last year.

The opposition has tried various means to oust Mr Maduro, including constitutional reform and a referendum. In its judgment, the supreme court ruled that the proposed amendment was constitutional, but could not be ...  

Brazil Impeachment Countdown Begins as Senate Elects Committee

Brazil Impeachment Countdown Begins as Senate Elects Committee

Brazil’s Senate took its first major step forward in the impeachment process on Monday by electing members of a committee that will recommend whether to oust President Dilma Rousseff.

Senators approved in a vote the 21 members of the committee, who are scheduled to pick their president and rapporteur during their first meeting on Tuesday. The committee is made up of multiple parties and has as many as 10 days to hear Rousseff’s defense and make a recommendation to their peers ...  

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UNDERSTANDING AND ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSES OF CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES

About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.