Archive for January 10th, 2013

Op-Ed: Venezuela’s Coup Made in Cuba

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

BY CARLOS PONCE

Almost a month after his last public appearance and from his surgery to continue the treatment against an aggressive cancer, Hugo Chávez remains in intensive care in Cuba with multiple respiratory, abdominal and infectious complications.

Chávez never delegated power to his Vice President Nicolas Maduro, he only obtained a temporary permit to travel to Cuba, but he supposedly remained in total control of the presidency. Nobody knows the true extent of such delegation of duties or if Chávez is actually awake or has been in coma all this time.

The information provided by the regime has been more than contradictory. The only source of information has been the social media. If Chávez has been in a coma all this time, then we have been in the presence of people who usurped power and they have been running an illegal government.

Hugo Chávez was aware of the potential complications of this new ... Read More

Debe alinearse cooperación de EU.-Medina

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
Reforma

Silvia Garduño

Ciudad de México  (10 enero 2013).- El Embajador de México en Estados Unidos, Eduardo Medina Mora, dijo que la cooperación de ese país en materia de seguridad debe alinearse con el objetivo del Gobierno federal para reducir la violencia y lograr un México en paz.

“La cooperación con Estados Unidos tiene que alinearse a este objetivo”, señaló en conferencia de prensa.

Dijo que si bien el tema de seguridad no estará por encima de otros temas en la relación bilateral, sí será permanente.

Aseguró que se trabajará para construir un México en paz y de normalidad, y puesto que el tráfico de drogas hace más agudo el problema de la violencia, la cooperación de EU es fundamental.

El diplomático indicó que la Iniciativa Mérida ha sido un esfuerzo importante que necesita ir aparejado con la nueva estrategia de seguridad.

“Con respecto al ajuste de la Iniciativa Mérida, lo que nosotros plantearemos es que nuestro interés ... Read More

OPPENHEIMER: Cristina: más populista, menos popular

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

Buenos Aires – Las cosas no le están saliendo bien a la presidenta argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner: sólo catorce meses después de haber ganado su reelección con una victoria aplastante, casi no pasa una semana en la que no surjan nuevos cuestionamientos sobre su habilidad política o su estabilidad emocional.

El pasado fin de semana, Fernández de Kirchner publicó una extensa y airada carta en su página de Facebook criticando al actor Ricardo Darín —ganador del Premio Oscar y uno de los actores mas queridos del país— por haber dicho en una entrevista con una revista de espectáculos que la presidenta debería explicar el origen de su fortuna.

Según el diario La Nación, la fortuna de la presidenta aumentó en un 1.155 por ciento, a 19 millones de dólares, desde que su difunto esposo Néstor Kirchner asumió la presidencia en 2003.

En su respuesta a Darín el 6 de enero – una ... Read More

Colombia’s FARC rebels say ceasefire to end January 20

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

BY NELSON ACOSTA

HAVANA – A unilateral ceasefire declared at the beginning of peace talks with the Colombian government in November will end on January 20 unless the government agrees to also lay down its arms, the country’s Marxist FARC rebels said on Wednesday.

The rebels announced the ceasefire on November 19, the first day of peace talks in Havana aimed at ending five decades of conflict in Colombia, but said it would last only two months if the government did not observe the truce.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has refused to take part, choosing instead to keep up military pressure to try to force the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to reach an accord.

“There will not be an extension of a unilateral ceasefire,” FARC lead negotiator Ivan Marquez told a news conference in the Cuban capital.

“Only the signing of a bilateral ceasefire would be possible, if the government deems such a measure reasonable,” he said.

The FARC ... Read More

Ecuador Economic Growth Stagnates as Oil Drop Cuts Spending

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY NATHAN GILL

Ecuador’s economy, South America’s seventh biggest, is growing at its weakest pace since 2010 as lower oil prices and limited financing options after a 2008 default crimped government spending and cooled domestic demand.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.7 percent in the third quarter from the previous year and 1.5 percent from the prior quarter, the central bank said today in a report on its website. The bank revised down figures for second-quarter growth to 4.6 percent from a previously reported 5.2 percent, the lowest yearly reading since the third quarter of 2010.

Ecuador’s government, which depends on oil sales for about 44 percent of its revenue, used public spending to boost growth in 2012, Economic Policy Minister Jeannette Sanchez said yesterday. As oil prices fell last year, revenues declined, which limits the amount the government can spend to stimulate the economy, said Capital Markets economist Michael Henderson.

“Under Correa you’ve basically seen government spending driving ... Read More

Venezuelan lawmaker: ‘Cuba making decisions for Venezuela’

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
From CNN

BY SAMUEL BURKE

The Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that President Hugo Chavez’ inauguration can be postponed.

The court also ruled that in the meantime, Chavez’ handpicked vice president, Nicolás Maduro, should run the government.

Opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she believes the Venezuelan constitution clearly states that the National Assembly president, Diosdado Cabello, should run a caretaker government before new elections are called.

“Why violate the constitution at this point?” Machado asked rhetorically, pointing out that this move would keep power with the “Chavistas,” not transfer control to any opposition party.

Cecilia Sosa, a former president of the Supreme Court told CNN that she believes the Supreme Court’s decision is unconstitutional, and also agreed that the constitution says National Assembly President Cabello should serve as caretaker president, not Vice President Maduro.

Machado said that choosing the vice president over the National Assembly President exposes serious internal divisions and mistrust among ... Read More

Bolivia: another nationalisation battle

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
Financial Times

BY ANDRES SCHIPANI

It looks like another tough battle is in store for one more foreign utility owner fighting back against Bolivian nationalisation.

Red Eléctrica, the Spanish power grid operator, is to seek arbitration at ICSID, the World Bank’s investment dispute settlement agency, after Bolivian troops marched in to take over Transportadora de Electricidad, which handles about three quarters of electricity transmission in the Andrean country, in May last year.

As readers will know, since coming to power in January 2006 Evo Morales, Bolivia’s leftwing and first indigenous president, has nationalised and re-nationalised the country’s hydrocarbons industry and telecommunications, among other things. Ten days ago, he decided to nationalise two electricity distribution companies owned by Spain’s Iberdrola.

Red Eléctrica told Reuters: “We have informed the ICSID [the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes] of the process of dialogue that is under way.”

Good luck to it with that. Bolivia – like Rafael Correa’s Ecuador and Hugo Chávez’s ... Read More

In Chavez’s absence, U.S. works to open communication with Venezuela

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

BY JUAN FORERO

CARACAS, Venezuela — With cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez battling for his life, the Obama administration has embarked on a discreet but concerted weeks-long diplomatic initiative to open channels of communication with his sharply anti-American government.

The effort to break through a years-old deep freeze with one of the world’s top oil suppliers comes as Venezuela plunged deeper into an institutional crisis Wednesday over Chavez’s long absence since undergoing surgery Dec. 11 in Cuba.

But American officials have been preparing for a post-Chavez scenario, one in which they can engage Caracas on a variety of concerns the State Department has had about the Venezuelan government’s policies. They include the close alliance Venezuela has built with Iran, extensive narco-­trafficking through Venezuelan territory and prickly economic issues important to U.S. companies, such as their inability to repatriate earnings from here because of currency controls.

“Regardless of what happens politically in Venezuela, if the Venezuelan ... Read More

Con manifestación, gobierno lanza en su ausencia mandato de Chávez

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
From AFP

Nicolás Maduro será presidente encargado con los poderes limitados que le otorgó el mandatario.

Con Chávez enfermo en Cuba desde hace un mes este jueves, el gobierno venezolano inaugura su tercer mandato presidencial con una gran concentración popular en presencia de mandatarios latinoamericanos, en el día en que debía tomar posesión ante la Asamblea Nacional.

La ceremonia transcurrirá en un ambiente distendido después de que fuese resuelta una agria controversia constitucional, al fallar el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) que Chávez no debe ser sustituido y que su gobierno continúa en funciones, lo que fue aceptado por el líder de la oposición, Henrique Capriles.

“Es un día histórico, porque se inicia el mandato del presidente Chávez 2013-2019″, afirmó el vicepresidente Nicolás Maduro al convocar al pueblo venezolano a concentrarse este jueves ante el palacio de Miraflores, sede del gobierno, en presencia de los presidentes de Bolivia Evo Morales; Uruguay, José Mujica y Nicaragua, ... Read More

Hugo Chavez ceremony delay fuels Venezuela arguments

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
BBC

BY SARAH GRAINGER

Venezuela is fast approaching unchartered waters with the ruling by the Supreme Court to postpone the inauguration of President Hugo Chavez to allow him more time to recover from cancer surgery in Cuba.

Never before has a Venezuelan president missed his swearing-in ceremony.

The court says the decision to allow the postponement is permitted by the constitution – specifically Article 231 which says that if for some reason the president cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, the inauguration can take place in the Supreme Court.

Government ministers have also argued that President Chavez’s swearing in for a fourth term of office is a mere formality, given that he was already the incumbent president.

They say any attempt to block Mr Chavez from continuing the presidency would be contrary to the will of the majority of Venezuelans who voted for him in elections in October.

The political opposition has also used ... Read More

End of Hugo Chavez era in Venezuela appears near

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
Marketplace

BY SCOTT TONG

As far as we know, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is in a Cuba, dealing with complications from cancer surgery. Today the Supreme Court postponed his inauguration for another term, scheduled for Thursday. Chavez has picked a successor, in case he can’t continue.

Confused yet?

Suffice to say, the Chavez era may be coming to a close. True or not, we look back now at how this socialist strongman fused his ideas and his country’s oil money to refashion the country in this image, for better of worse.

Chavez economics starts with Chavez ideology. He took office in 1999, pledging to fight corruption and share the wealth.

“People tend to vote with their pocketbooks, even here,” says business publisher and consultant Robert Bottome in Caracas. “And so Chavez was offering a change. He was going to get the economy growing again. Throw the bastards out. He has tremendous personal appeal.

Early on in his ... Read More

México: Peña Nieto promulga la Ley General de Víctimas

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
BBC

El presidente Enrique Peña Nieto firmó este miércoles la Ley General de Víctimas que pretende resarcir el daño causado a miles de personas durante la guerra contra el narcotráfico en México.

La norma había sido vetada por el expresidente Felipe Calderón quien se negó a publicarla el año pasado.

Calderón había promovido ante la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) una controversia contra la enmienda legal, de la que el nuevo gobierno se desistió desde hace varias semanas.

“Es la esperanza de un Estado que rompa la espantosa brecha que tiene con las personas”, dijo el poeta Javier Sicilia, fundador del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad y uno de los principales promotores de esta ley, durante la ceremonia en que se promulgó el decreto.

Al firmar la legislación, el presidente Peña Nieto reconoció que el escenario del país es grave. “Hay un México lastimado por la delincuencia. Las víctimas ... Read More

Hugo Chavez: Continuity or crisis as swearing-in delayed?

| January 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
BBC

BY WILL GRANT

For President Hugo Chavez’s supporters, 10 January was supposed to be a party, a celebration of his 14 years in power in Venezuela, with the promise of more to come. But the guest of honour will not be there.

Earlier this week, the Venezuelan government confirmed what many had long suspected: President Chavez is too ill to be sworn in to office.

He remains in Cuba, recovering from major cancer surgery and has not been seen in public for a month.

But in the pro-Chavez neighbourhood of San Agustin in Caracas, community leaders say it is business as usual.

“Chavez has always had the permission to (take time to) recover his health under the Bolivarian constitution,” said radio presenter Eduardo “Mao” Lopez, on the government-funded community radio station, Radio Alameda.

As Mr Lopez was speaking, the Supreme Court announced its ruling that Mr Chavez could continue his convalescence in Havana indefinitely and ... Read More