Archive for February 5th, 2013

Kerry promete presionar para promover la democracia y la cooperación antidrogas en Venezuela

| February 5th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
AEI

Traducción por IASW

El secretario de Estado de los Estados Unidos, John Kerry, ha dicho al Senado de su país que los Estados Unidos insistirá en que “cualquier nuevo proceso electoral [en Venezuela] debe ser democrático, constitucional, pacifico y transparente y debe respetar los derechos humanos universales de los venezolanos.” Kerry hizo este compromiso por escrito en respuesta a una pregunta formulada durante el proceso para su nombramiento que pronto será publicado por el Comité de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado.

Anticipándose a la muerte o incapacidad del presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, Kerry dijo que “la Constitución venezolana y la Carta Democrática Interamericana deben definir el camino a seguir…” El nuevo jefe de la diplomacia de EE.UU. también se comprometió a “apoyar el fortalecimiento de las instituciones democráticas, el respeto a la libertad de expresión, el imperio de la ley y la protección de los derechos humanos”.

Kerry también se comprometió a convertir ... Read More

Kerry pledges to press for democracy and anti-drug cooperation from Venezuela

| February 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
AEI

Secretary of State John Kerry has told the US Senate that the United States will insist that “any new elections [in Venezuela] should be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and transparent and must respect the universal human rights of the Venezuelan people.” Kerry made this pledge in writing in response to a question submitted during consideration of his nomination. It will soon be published by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Anticipating the death or incapacitation of Venezuela’s cancer-stricken leader Hugo Chávez, Kerry said, “The Venezuelan constitution and the Inter-American Democratic Charter should define the way ahead.” The new chief US diplomat also pledged to “support the strengthening of democratic institutions, respect for freedom of expression, rule of law, and the protection of human rights.”

Kerry has also committed to make counternarcotics and counterterrorism cooperation a priority in any future bilateral relationship with Venezuela, along with the traditional issues of commerce and energy.

The new secretary ... Read More

Argentina Freezes Prices to Break Inflation Spiral

| February 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

BY ALMUDENA CALATRAVA

Argentina announced a two-month price freeze on supermarket products Monday in an effort to stop spiraling inflation.

The price freeze applies to every product in all of the nation’s largest supermarkets — a group including Walmart, Carrefour, Coto, Jumbo, Disco and other large chains. The companies’ trade group, representing 70 percent of the Argentine supermarket sector, reached the accord with Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, the government’s news agency Telam reported.

The commerce ministry wants consumers to keep receipts and complain to a hotline about any price hikes they see before April 1.

Polls show Argentines worry most about inflation, which private economists estimate could reach 30 percent this year. The government says it’s trying to hold the next union wage hikes to 20 percent, a figure that suggests how little anyone believes the official index that pegs annual inflation at just 10 percent.

Economist Soledad Perez Duhalde of the abeceb.com consulting firm ... Read More

Worst Economic Policy Decision Of The Year, Argentina Edition

| February 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
Seeking Alpha-01

When it comes to misguided economic policies, Argentina wins the prize more often than not.

Monday the government of Argentina announced a two-month price freeze on all products sold at the nation’s largest supermarkets, representing about 70% of the Argentine market. It is apparently a voluntary freeze, worked out in a joint accord between the supermarket chains and the government. On its face, this is a blatant attempt to cool the inflationary fires that are slowly consuming the Argentine economy, and it comes on the heels of the IMF chastising Argentina for manipulating its inflation statistics. Now, not only does Argentina manipulate its inflation statistics, it also manipulates its prices.

It won’t work, of course, and is only likely to make things worse. It won’t take consumers long to figure out that they have two months to stock up on things before prices resume their rise. And that will almost surely lead to shortages ... Read More

Germany Check Bust Stirs Questions in Venezuela

| February 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

Venezuela’s opposition is demanding that the government explain how a former Iranian official ended up with a check in Venezuelan currency worth about $70 million.

Venezuela’s opposition coalition said in a statement on Monday that the government should clear up why the Iranian had a check for 300 million Venezuelan bolivars that was found by German customs authorities.

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported in its Sunday edition that the man who was trying to enter Germany with the check was Tahmasb Mazaheri, Iran’s former central bank chief.

The weekly reported that customs officials at Duesseldorf airport found the check in his luggage on Jan. 21 upon his arrival from Turkey, and that Mazaheri told authorities the money was to be used for the construction of 10,000 apartments funded by the Venezuelan government.

President Hugo Chavez’s government has built close ties with Iran’s government in recent years, and Iran has helped build public ... Read More

Why Correa’s Third Term Could Mean More Trouble for Ecuador’s Media

| February 5th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY JOHN OTIS

In the South American nation of Ecuador, President Rafael Correa is heavily favored to win a third term in the February 17 election. But if he does, it could mean four more years of trouble for the Ecuadorian media.

Correa is targeting TV, radio and newspapers with lawsuits, fines and insults. All this from a president who offered political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the interests of freedom of expression. Now press freedom groups describe Ecuador as one of the hemisphere’s most restrictive nations for the media.

“There was more press freedom under Ecuador’s military dictatorship in the 1970s than there is today under the democratically elected government of Rafael Correa,” according to veteran journalist Miguel Ribadeneira, who heads one of Ecuador’s largest radio stations.

“This government is the worst.”

Since he was first elected in 2006, President Correa has complained about sloppy, unprofessional journalism. He claims many of the ... Read More