Archive for January 9th, 2013

U.S. Inauguration in Cuba a Precedent for Ailing Chavez

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY JOSHUA GOODMAN & RANDALL WOODS

What does a constitutional showdown in Venezuela over ailing President Hugo Chavez’s month-long absence have in common with an obscure 19th century U.S. vice president? Cuba, of course.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court cited William R. King’s delayed swearing in as the 13th vice president of the U.S. in a ruling today backing the government’s position that Chavez’s inauguration for a new term, scheduled to take place tomorrow, can be postponed until he recovers from cancer surgery in Cuba.

King was elected on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce in 1852 and took the oath of office on March 24, 1853 — 20 days after the new government came to power — while being treated in Cuba for tuberculosis. Thanks to an act of Congress he was legally vice president for those three weeks before he swore in. The parallels with Chavez are thin, as King’s delayed inauguration on foreign soil was a tribute ... Read More

Cuba vies for control in post-Chávez Venezuela

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER

Hugo Chávez and the Castro brothers knew in the summer of 2011 that the Venezuelan’s chances of survival were almost nil and began to prepare for a post-Chávez era.

They would try to cure the loquatious lieutenant colonel, of course, but ever since the doctors realized the type of cancer he had (an aggressive and rare rhabdomyosarcoma), the gravity and extent of the metastasis and the delay in taking him to the operating room, nobody had any illusions.

But for a miracle, Chávez was sentenced to an early death. That is why the Castros concealed the medical information and handled the crisis in total secrecy. It was not a whim. It was a desperate and uncomfortable way to maintain political control. It was vital to keep up the pretense that Chávez would recover, so that no ambitions would flourish inside the restless tribe of presumptive heirs.

To the Cuban brothers, ... Read More

México denuncia falta de colaboración de Nicaragua

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

Mexico – La Fiscalía de México denunció el martes que no ha obtenido respuesta a sus cinco solicitudes de colaboración a las autoridades de Nicaragua en el caso de los 18 mexicanos que se hicieron pasar por periodistas de Televisa, declarados culpables de narcotráfico en el país centroamericano.

El Gobierno mexicano “ha formulado desde el 29 de agosto del 2012 a la fecha cinco solicitudes de colaboración a las autoridades del Gobierno de Nicaragua, de las cuales no se ha obtenido respuesta ni pronunciamiento alguno”, apuntó la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR, Fiscalía) en un comunicado.

Los mexicanos, encabezados por Raquel Alatorre Correa, considerada la cabecilla del grupo, fueron declarados culpables de los delitos de narcotráfico, lavado de dinero y crimen organizado el pasado 20 de diciembre por un juez de Managua y conocerán su sentencia el 18 de enero próximo.

Al momento de su detención el 20 de agosto en Nicaragua transportaban ... Read More

Mexico’s new president is naming his foreign policy team

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
Dallas News

BY ALFREDO CORCHADO

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is firming up his foreign policy team, naming key players to oversee everything from security cooperation with the Obama administration to Mexicans living in the United States.

Peña Nieto is expected to officially name Eduardo Guerrero Gutiérrez, a security expert and writer whose work appears in top intellectual magazines, as a top security adviser. He was an influential critic of former President Felipe Calderón’s drug policy, which left more than 60,000 people dead in drug violence and more than 25,000 missing since December 2006.

Additionally, Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade Kuribreña this week named Arnulfo Valdivia Machuca, a native of Peña Nieto’s native state of Mexico, to head the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, known as IME. The appointment drew praise.

“He’s a thoughtful person in what may become an increasingly important role reaching out to Mexico’s diaspora,” said Shannon K. O’Neil, a Mexico expert at the ... Read More

Uribe Lawyer Says Colombia Death Squad Investigation Is Baseless

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY OSCAR MEDINA

An investigation into former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for ties to illegal paramilitary groups is “deplorable” and “without any foundation” since the witnesses are prisoners who are lying to try to get reduced jail sentences, Uribe’s lawyer said.

Uribe was informed Jan. 4 of a preliminary investigation into whether he had been involved in the creation of illegal so- called “self-defense” groups in Antioquia province, his lawyer, Jaime Granados, said in a telephone interview today. The two witnesses had been jailed by Uribe’s government and are now being manipulated by congressman Ivan Cepeda, a political opponent of Uribe’s, Granados said.

Granados said that “with the testimony of two liars he sent to jail, they decide to reopen a case without any foundation, motivated by Cepeda, an opponent of his.”

Uribe, who was president from 2002-2010, has weathered a number of attempts to prove his ties to illegal armed groups during his time as ... Read More

En política exterior, Peña relega el tema de seguridad

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
Milenio Diario

Ciudad de México • El tema de la seguridad dejará de ser el eje fundamental de la política exterior de México, ya que a partir de ahora el gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto instruyó al cuerpo diplomático que refuerce las áreas de comercio, ciencia y tecnología, educación y turismo.

Durante la 24 Reunión de Embajadores y Cónsules, los diplomáticos aseguraron que la nueva política estará centrada en fomentar la inserción del país a nivel global para promover el desarrollo económico y social de un “México de paz”.

En conferencia de prensa, el Subsecretario para Asuntos Multilaterales y Derechos Humanos de la cancillería, Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo, detalló que se puso énfasis en mantener e impulsar las inversiones extranjeras en el país, así como las inversiones mexicanas en el exterior.

Rubén Beltrán Guerrero, embajador de México en Rusia y ex subsecretario para América Latina, señaló que dentro de la hoja de ruta de la diplomacia ... Read More

Chavez Won’t Take Oath This Week as Foes Warn of Anarchy

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY JOSHUA GOODMAN & CHARLIE DEVEREUX

Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won’t be sworn in for a new term tomorrow, plunging the nation into an institutional crisis that opposition leaders warn could result in “anarchy.”

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, in a letter sent to lawmakers last night, said that Chavez has requested more time to recover from cancer surgery in Cuba and won’t attend a scheduled Jan. 10 inauguration. Instead, the Supreme Court will administer the oath at a “later date” as allowed by the charter in exceptional circumstances, according to the letter.

Chavez’s fragile health has heightened uncertainty in South America’s largest oil producer, with the opposition rebuffing the government’s insistence that the socialist leader will remain in power and his swearing-in is a formality. Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected a request requiring National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello to take power as a caretaker until Chavez recovers or an election is held.

“Who’s governing Venezuela?,” Julio Borges, head of ... Read More

In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez’s absence raises questions

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
From the Los Angeles Times

BY CHRIS KRAUL & MERY MOGOLLON

CARACAS, Venezuela — A group of constitutional law professors on Tuesday said President Hugo Chavez‘s absence from an oath-taking ceremony Thursday without a formal request for postponement for health reasons will make an extension of his mandate unconstitutional and a “usurpation of authority.”

The law professors made their case on the same day that Vice President Nicolas Maduro confirmed widespread expectations that Chavez will not attend the inauguration because he is still recovering from Dec. 11 cancer surgery in Havana.

“The medical team working to reestablish [Chavez's] health agrees that the postoperative recovery period should extend past Jan. 10, and so he will not be able to appear before the National Assembly on that date,” Maduro said in a statement read Tuesday before the legislative body. The National Assembly subsequently approved an unlimited absence.

Maduro also said Chavez would be sworn in on an unspecified date by the Supreme Court, a ... Read More

Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez won’t attend scheduled swearing-in

| January 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez won’t be able to attend his scheduled swearing-in this week, Venezuela’s government announced Tuesday, confirming suspicions that the leader’s illness will keep him in a Cuban hospital past the key date.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro broke the news in a letter to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, saying on the recommendation of Chavez’s medical team, his recovery process “should be extended beyond Jan. 10” and for that reason he won’t be able to attend Thursday’s scheduled inauguration.

Maduro said Chavez was invoking a provision in the constitution allowing him to be sworn in before the Supreme Court at a “later date.” Cabello announced he had received the request during a legislative session.

Tensions between the government and opposition have been building in a constitutional dispute over whether the ailing president’s swearing-in can legally be postponed. The president underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba last month and ... Read More