Author Archive

Chairman Menendez Statement on Administration’s Announcements of Visa Restrictions against Human Rights Abusers in Venezuela

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s announcement today to apply visa restrictions against human rights abusers in Venezuela.

“Today’s announcement sends an unambiguous and direct message to President Maduro, members of his Administration, and the Venezuelan government: the United States will never tolerate systemic human rights violations conducted by a merciless government against its own people. The Administration’s visa sanctions are an important step in the right direction, but more hard hitting sanctions are needed. The Maduro regime will not go unpunished for violating the human rights and freedoms of its people.

“Since February, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan citizens have assembled to protest the country’s political and economic crisis. The freedom to assemble peacefully was met with shocking levels of violence, brute force, and the systemic ... Read More

Declaraciones del Presidente Menéndez Sobré Anuncios de la Administración Para Restringir Visas de Violadores de Derechos Humanos en Venezuela

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

Washington, DC - El senador Robert Menéndez (D-NJ), presidente del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores, emitió las siguientes declaraciones sobre el anuncio de la Administración para solicitar restricciones de visados contra los violadores de derechos humanos en Venezuela.

“El anuncio de hoy envía un mensaje inequívoco y directo al presidente Maduro, los miembros de su gobierno, y el gobierno de Venezuela: Estados Unidos no tolerará las violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos humanos llevadas a cabo por un gobierno contra su propio pueblo. Las sanciones anunciadas por la Administración representan un paso importante en la dirección correcta, pero se necesitan sanciones más contundentes. El régimen de Maduro no continuará sin recibir un castigo por violar los derechos humanos y libertades de su pueblo.

“Desde febrero, cientos de miles de ciudadanos venezolanos se han reunido para protestar la crisis política y económica del país. La libertad de reunión pacífica ha ... Read More

Rep. Salmon Statement on the Imposition of New Visa Restrictions against Venezuelan Human Rights Violators

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives   Washington, D.C.— Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today released the following statement upon the United States’ imposition of visa restrictions against violators of human rights in Venezuela:   “I was pleased to learn that, after months of stalling, the Obama Administration has finally decided to react to the Venezuelan government’s violent repression against protestors.  Today’s announcement of visa denials and prohibitions against Venezuelan officials complicit in the crackdown of legitimate protesters is long overdue, but merely a first step in the right direction.   “Venezuelan pressure for the release of General Carvajal, a known FARC narcotics trafficking collaborator, should be enough to show the Administration that sitting by idly while authoritarian dictators undermine democratic values and violate human rights in our hemisphere is no substitute for deliberate policy that reflects the interests of the United States.  The unraveling of U.S. leadership around the world is not just embarrassing, it threatens peace and stability.”   Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) ... Read More

Argentina hours away from bond default

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
BBC

By Katy Watson

Argentina’s economy minister is expected to return to the negotiating table on Wednesday in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the country defaulting on its bonds.

Axel Kicillof’s talks with “hold-out” investors ended late on Tuesday night in New York without agreement.

They are demanding a full pay-out of $1.3bn (£766m) on the bonds they hold.

A US judge has ruled that the “hold-outs” must be paid by Wednesday night if no deal is agreed.

But thousands of miles away in Buenos Aires, many are sceptical that there can be any agreement.

The government’s rhetoric has been clear.

The “hold-outs” are US hedge funds that bought debt on the cheap during Argentina’s darkest hours and never agreed to restructuring.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner calls them vultures, accusing them of taking advantage of Argentina’s debt problems to make a big profit.

What makes the problem worse is that if the “hold-outs” get their ... Read More

Cuba escapes UN sanctions in North Korean weapons transport scheme

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

But it puts a North Korea ship-operating company on its sanctions list.

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

The United Nations has sanctioned a North Korean shipping company but spared Cuban entities in connection with a Cuban weapons shipment seized aboard a Pyongyang-bound freighter in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.

Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd., a North Korean company that managed the freighter Chong Chon Gang when it was seized in Panama last summer, was added Monday to the list of violators of the embargo.

The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) committee that enforces the embargo said the company “played a key role in arranging the shipment of concealed cargo of arms and related materiel from Cuba.” Inclusion in the list carries banking and travel sanctions.

But the committee did not add to the list any of the Cuban enterprises or individuals involved in the shipment of 240 tons of Cuban MiG ... Read More

Dozing U.S. Diplomats Let Venezuelan Narco-General Slip Away

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

BY ROGER F. NORIEGA

Although a retired Venezuelan general and confidante of President Nicolás Maduro just managed to evade U.S. extradition to face drug smuggling charges, the unsealed indictment in his case reveals that U.S. prosecutors have gatheredcompelling evidence of widespread criminality at the highest levels of the Maduro government. Dozing U.S. diplomats let Major General Hugo Carvajal slip away this past weekend, but the fact that Caracas pulled out the stops to keep him from facing U.S. justice has exposed a regime with a very guilty conscience.

U.S. diplomats were caught off-guard on Sunday when the Netherlands decided to recognize the dubious claims of “diplomatic immunity” by Carvajal, who was being held in Aruba since his arrest last Wednesday at the request of U.S. law enforcement authorities. In court proceedings last Friday, Aruban authorities dismissed Carvajal’s claims of immunity, arguing that he had never been accredited as Venezuela’s consul general on the island.

After the Dutch government ... Read More

Oficiales Venezolanos tienen Nexos con Narcotraficantes Colombianos

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

Por WILLIAM NEUMAN

[Traducción por IASW]

El jefe de la inteligencia militar de Venezuela estaba en la nómina de un capo de la droga colombiano, invirtió su propio dinero en los envíos de drogas y coordinó personalmente el envío de miles de kilos de cocaína, de acuerdo con fiscales de Miami y Nueva York.

El representante de Interpol en Venezuela, por su parte, aceptó cientos de miles de dólares en sobornos de otro traficante, comentaron los fiscales de Miami.

Tres acusaciones federales que fueron hechas públicas la semana pasada abren una ventana para comprender los lazos entre militares venezolanos, funcionarios encargados de hacer cumplir la ley y narcotraficantes colombianos. Esta conexión, que funcionarios en Washington han advertido desde hace mucho tiempo ha sido rotundamente rechazada por las autoridades venezolanas.

Los casos salieron a la luz después de que la semana pasada autoridades de Aruba arrestaron al ex jefe de inteligencia militar, Hugo Carvajal, a petición ... Read More

Senador Bob Corker ha retirado su objeción al Acto para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y la Sociedad Civil en Venezuela

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

El senador Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) decidió retirar su voto de objeción en relación a la Ley de Sanciones contra Venezuela después de que el gobierno de Maduro interrumpiera el proceso de extradición de un narcotraficante buscado por los Estados Unidos.

WASHINGTON – Tras los recientes intentos del gobierno venezolano de impedir la extradición del ex general venezolano Hugo Carvajal, quien es buscado por cargos de tráfico de drogas en los Estados Unidos, el senador Bob Corker, republicano y miembro de alto nivel del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado, ha anunciado hoy que ha retirado su objeción a S.2142, Acto para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y la Sociedad Civil en Venezuela de 2014.

“Un diálogo regional sigue siendo la mejor opción para ayudar a los venezolanos a encontrar una solución negociada, de manera democrática que se ocupe de violaciones sistemáticas a los derechos humanos. Pero la complicidad del gobierno venezolano ... Read More

Corker Releases Hold on Venezuela Sanctions Bill After Maduro Government Disrupts Extradition of Drug-Trafficker Wanted in the U.S.

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

 Following recent attempts by the Venezuelan government to prevent the extradition of former Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal who is wanted on drug-trafficking charges in the United States, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced today that he has withdrawn his objection to S.2142, the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.

“A regional dialogue remains the best option to help Venezuelans find a negotiated, democratic way forward that addresses systematic violations of human rights. But the Venezuelan government’s complicity with criminal activity that threatens its neighbors and the U.S. demands a firm response from our country and other nations,” said Corker.

... Read More

México: 55 mil 325 asesinatos

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Excelsior

POR MARTÍN MORENO

La violencia en el país ni disminuye ni se ha controlado: durante 19 meses del gobierno se han registrado 55 mil 325 asesinatos, a un ritmo de dos mil 900 homicidios cada mes. Alrededor de 700 a la semana. Cerca de cien diarios (fuente: Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública).

¿Dónde está el viraje?

Tan sólo en la estrategia discursiva. En el manejo mediático. Bajo un lema: si no hablo de ello, se olvidan del problema. La violencia sigue allí.

Y no son filias ni fobias ni es discurso incendiario de López Obrador.

Son las propias cifras del SESNSP.

¿Y qué dicen esas cifras? ¿Cuáles son los parámetros —y miedos— que hoy tienen los mexicanos en cuanto a la violencia?

Revisemos:

Las cifras oficiales apuntan a que, de diciembre de 2012 a junio de 2014, se ... Read More

Brazil Economists Cut 2014 Growth Call for Ninth Straight Week

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Matthew Malinowski

Brazil economists reduced their 2014 growth forecast for the ninth consecutive week, as policy makers seek to spur demand without further stoking above-target inflation.

Brazil’s gross domestic product will expand 0.90 percent this year, compared with the previous week’s forecast of 0.97 percent, according to the July 25 central bank survey of about 100 analysts published today. The economists’ growth forecast has dropped by nearly half since their 1.63 percent estimate from May 23.

President Dilma Rousseff is torn between the fastest annual inflation in 13 months and weakening growth as she campaigns for re-election. The central bank said on July 24 its strategy does not contemplate a lower key rate as above-target consumer prices will remain resistant. The next day, policy makers announced they would loosen deposit requirements to free up 45 billion reais ($20.2 billion) in consumer credit.

Policy makers on July 16 held the ... Read More

Venezuelan Officers Linked to Colombian Cocaine Traffickers

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BY WILLIAM NEUMAN

The head of Venezuelan military intelligence was on the payroll of a Colombian drug lord, invested his own money in drug shipments and personally coordinated the shipment of thousands of kilograms of cocaine, according to prosecutors in Miami and New York.

And Venezuela’s liaison with Interpol took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from another trafficker, the Miami prosecutors said.

Three federal indictments unsealed last week open a window onto accusations of ties between Venezuelan military and law enforcement officers and Colombian narcotics traffickers, a connection that officials in Washington have long warned about and that has been roundly dismissed by the authorities here.

The cases came to light after the authorities in Aruba last week arrested the former military intelligence chief, Hugo Carvajal, at the request of ... Read More

Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA and LUIS ANDRES HENAO

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s government said Monday it will make another effort to reach a deal with US. creditors ahead of a looming deadline that risks sending the country into its second default in 13 years.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said an Argentine delegation would be in New York to meet with a court-appointed mediator Tuesday, just a day ahead of the deadline.

“Argentina’s position is to reach a dialogue that establishes fair, legal and sustainable conditions for negotiation with 100 percent of the bondholders,” Capitanich said at a news conference at the presidential palace.

But the mediator, Daniel A. Pollack, said in a statement that while the Argentines would meet him, they had not yet accepted his recommendation of face-to-face talks with the plaintiffs in the dispute, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer’s NML Capital Ltd.

... Read More

Aruba faced potentially ‘severe’ economic pressure over Venezuelan general

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

Venezuela threatened to extend a flight boycott and sink Aruba’s tourism industry as it fought for the release of a former general who is wanted in the U.S. on drug charges, a State Department official said.

BOGOTA – As tensions rose in Aruba over the fate of a Venezuelan general wanted in Miami on drug charges, the island nation was worried that Venezuela was prepared to cut off air traffic for an extended period and sink its tourism industry, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

Former Venezuelan Gen. Hugo Carvajal went home Sunday after being detained four days in Aruba at the request of U.S. authorities. While an Aruban judge ruled that he could be held pending a U.S. extradition request, the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Sunday said Carvajal had diplomatic immunity, declared him “persona non grata” and sent him back to ... Read More

EEUU: Venezuela amenazó a Holanda por Carvajal

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

BY POR LUIS ALONSO LUGO

WASHINGTON — Estados Unidos expresó el lunes su malestar ante lo que calificó como “reportes verosímiles” de que Venezuela amenazó a Aruba, Holanda y otros gobiernos para obtener la liberación de Hugo Carvajal Barrios.

“Esta no es la manera en que deben manejarse los asuntos relacionados al cumplimiento de las leyes”, dijo una portavoz del Departamento de Estado quien solicitó el anonimato para cumplir con las políticas de su despacho, sin precisar los reportes ni detallar en qué consistieron las amenazas.

La funcionaria agregó que su gobierno está profundamente decepcionado por la liberación de Carvajal, ya que estuvo justificada por alegatos de inmunidad que “van más allá de las normas internacionales establecidas” y aseguró que Washington solicitó la detención en cumplimiento pleno del tratado de extradiciones que suscribió con Holanda y Aruba.

The Associated Press solicitó una reacción a la embajada venezolana, sin obtenerla de inmediato.

Carvajal, el funcionario venezolano ... Read More

Japanese PM opens LatAm tour with Mexico energy deals

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

By Leticia Pineda

Mexico City (AFP) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe struck a series of energy deals with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the start of a five-country Latin American tour.

Abe, whose visit to the region comes on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s, met Pena Nieto at the presidential palace for talks that ended with the signing of a raft of deals.

The new agreements included one between Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan’s development bank, and another between Pemex and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.

With Japan on the lookout for new power sources after the Fukushima disaster forced the shutdown of its nuclear reactors, energy is high on the prime minister’s agenda for the trip.

Mexico is undergoing sweeping changes in its energy sector, with Congress poised to end struggling Pemex’s 75-year monopoly ... Read More

Netherlands Says Venezuelan Detained in Aruba Has Immunity

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By JUAN FORERO And DAN MOLINSKI CARACAS—Authorities in Aruba on Sunday freed a powerful former Venezuelan general, wanted by the U.S. on drug-trafficking charges, from jail on the Caribbean island after a ruling that he is protected from prosecution by diplomatic immunity.

Hugo Carvajal, who had headed the Venezuelan military-intelligence service and had been named consul general in Aruba, was escorted to the airport and flew to Venezuela on Sunday night.

His release comes four days after Aruban authorities had detained him at the airport on an American warrant, generating angry accusations from Venezuela’s government that Mr. Carvajal had been “kidnapped” and warnings that tiny Aruba would suffer economic consequences for cooperating with the U.S.

“We were ready to do whatever it took to defend the dignity and honor of Venezuela,” President Nicolás Maduro said Sunday night, hailing Mr. Carvajal’s release as a diplomatic victory for the South American country.

“We rescued him through the political, diplomatic operation ... Read More

Argentina Resumes Negotiations to Avert Default

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

Argentina’s government is resuming negotiations in a dispute with US. creditors that risks sending the country into default this week.

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said Monday that an Argentine delegation will travel to New York and meet a court-appointed mediator there on Tuesday.

Argentina will default for the second time in 13 years if it cannot reach a deal with the U.S. hedge funds over some $1.5 billion in unpaid debts before a July 30 deadline.

The creditors are hedge funds that bought Argentine bonds on the cheap and rejected Argentina’s restructuring offers following its record $100 billion default in 2001.

The looming default comes as Argentina’s economy struggles with a recession, a shortage of dollars and one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

 

Click here for ... Read More

US Official Fume as Venezuelan General Slips Grasp

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

JOSHUA GOODMAN & DAVID McFADDEN

US officials are saying Venezuela may have used threats to obtain the freedom of a former general detained in Aruba at the request of the American government.

In a statement released Monday morning, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says there are credible reports that Venezuela threatened the governments of Aruba, the Netherlands and others to force the release of former military intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal.

Carvajal was arrested when he arrived to serve as Venezuela’s consul on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. On Sunday, the Netherlands ruled that he was protected by diplomatic immunity.

Carvajal returned to Caracas Sunday night and received a hero’s welcome at the convention of the national socialist party. President Nicolas Maduro invited him onstage and called his return a great satisfaction.

Click here for ... Read More

Why a drug bust means hope for Venezuela

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
New York Post

The Netherlands’ decision to release powerful retired Venezuelan general Hugo Carvajal in Aruba, arrested Wednesday at the request of US law enforcement, is a boon to the narcostate in Caracas. It will make it easier for the Obama administration to continue ignoring the corrupt and repressive regime in Venezuela.

What happens in Venezuela matters here. It’s the world’s ninth-largest oil exporter, with the largest proven petroleum reserves of any country. And that nation of 30 million people and a $400 billion economy has disproportionate influence in the Americas.

Its government has spent billions of dollars on Russian arms and abetted the criminal activities of Iran and Hezbollah.

And the Carvajal arrest could’ve rip the veil off the regime’s alliance with Colombian narcotraffickers.

Were federal prosecutors lay out their case against Carvajal in a New York courtroom, they’d reveal the involvement of dozens of senior Venezuelan officials ... Read More

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