Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category

Russia and Argentina agree framework energy deals

| April 24th, 2015 | No Comments »

Russia and Argentina have signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation following talks in Moscow.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Russian leader Vladimir Putin hailed their co-operation as a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.

The agreements include Russian investment in a hydroelectric plant and a nuclear power plant in Argentina.

There was also a memorandum of co-operation on defence.

Correspondents say the Kremlin is keen to boost trade relations with Latin America to offset the effects of sanctions imposed by Europe and the US over the Ukrainian crisis.

Argentina is looking for foreign investment as its battles US hedge funds thwarting its effort to restructure defaulted debt.

Among the framework agreements was a Russian pledge to finance a hydroelectric power plant on Argentina’s Neuquen River.

Russia’s Rosatom nuclear corporation also agreed to build a ... Read More

In Argentina, prosecutor drops allegations against President Kirchner

| April 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
From CNN

By Mariano Castillo

(CNN)A prosecutor has dismissed allegations that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tried to cover up Iran’s involvement in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires.

The move by prosecutor Javier de Luca to drop the case could mean a definitive end to the accusations that have roiled the nation, according to Argentina’s state-run Telam news agency.

The case became of high interest globally after the original prosecutor who brought the allegations was found dead in January.

Alberto Nisman was found dead days after making the accusations. His death sparked outrage and conspiracy theories aplenty.

Nisman alleged that Argentina’s government agreed not to go after Iranian suspects in the bombing in exchange for a favorable trade deal.

The 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital is the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history. Eighty-five people were killed, and ... Read More

A leading presidential candidate in Argentina would lift currency controls, negotiate debt

| April 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
US News & World Report

By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The man who could be Argentina’s next president wants to put an end to tight government currency controls, make peace with the nation’s creditors and improve severely frayed ties to the United States. In short, Mauricio Macri is promising to undo much of what President Cristina Fernandez and her late husband Nestor Kirchner created over the past 13 years.

It’s a platform that appears to be gaining traction.

The right-leaning Buenos Aires mayor leads many polls ahead of the October elections. His popularity is buoyed by economic frustration and widespread anger over the mysterious death of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who accused Fernandez of protecting those responsible for Argentina’s most serious terror attack.

Macri believes pro-market reforms will restore confidence in Argentina, both at home and abroad. Those themes are resonating: A handful of polls conducted in March gave him single-digit leads, a big ... Read More

Argentina, A Quiet Link In South American Drug Trade

| April 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
World Crunch-01

By Jorge Ossona

BUENOS AIRES — Whether it’s poor kids sniffing coca paste, or middle class and wealthy youth indulging in refined cocaine, these are the hapless end users in a continental drug chain in which Argentina is now a critical link.

As in the late 18th century, when Spain turned this area into a viceroyalty with Buenos Aires as its capital, Argentina remains a corridor for goods destined for Europe. The trade then was in silver from the mines of Potosí in Peru, which the laws then mandated be exported via Buenos Aires, because it was the shortest route to Spain. The new route worked for decades, until Spain’s colonies began to revolt in 1810, and new states emerged on the continent. Two hundred years later, the country is again a strategic stepping stone, this time for drug cartels that want to ship cocaine from Peru and Bolivia back to the Old World. The decline of the Colombian cartels in the 1980s and 1990s and the problems their lackluster successors have had in taking their ... Read More

Argentina likely to return to capital markets

| April 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Jan Dehn

Whatever the result of Argentina’s presidential election later this year, the country will be in a different place a year from now with a new and more pragmatic government running the country. All the main contenders for president in the next government have similar ‘four pronged’ approach to address Argentina’s economic problems. Investors should look through this election ‘noise’ and towards the new government’s coming macro-economic reforms which we believe will usher in a new Argentina.

The era of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president, is set to be remembered as a strange epoch that began with default and ended with default. The Kirchners oversaw the restoration of order in Argentina after the chaos that accompanied the 2001 default, but then became bogged down by unnecessary confrontations and economic mismanagement.

The upcoming presidential election later this year will not only decisively mark the end of ... Read More

Una región que arropa la represión

| April 14th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
Felipe Trigos-01

La Séptima Cumbre de las Américas celebrada el pasado fin de semana en Panamá demostró de nueva cuenta la inhabilidad de superar la fascinación con el mito de la revolución cubana y la falta de comprensión sobre los daños que este movimiento trajo, no solo para Cuba, sino para toda la región.

Cuando líderes del hemisferio tienen la oportunidad de coincidir con Raúl o Fidel Castro en reuniones multilaterales, parecería que lo más importante en la agenda es rendir homenaje a los hermanos y aprovechar la oportunidad para la foto, quizás para no provocar la protesta clamorosa de izquierdistas que ven con ojos enamorados ‘la obra’ de los Castro, a pesar de 55 años donde se ha podido constatar la opresión, pobreza y sufrimiento que ha causado a millones que habitan la isla.

La Cumbre en Panamá, que se centraría en temas como la prosperidad y la equidad, acabó sirviendo de plataforma ... Read More

An ‘Obama doctrine’ fail: Cuba still won’t love us

| April 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
New York Post

The two men will cross paths at the Organization of American States’ seventh summit, a meeting of 35 Western hemisphere heads of state that kicks off today in Panama.

Cuba was finally invited to attend the two-day affair this year.

Because the Communist regime’s membership in the OAS has been suspended in 1962 (it only accepts democracies as members), and because in past years Washington insisted Cuba be banned from the summit, the island nation wasn’t being invited before.

But this year, the United States dropped its objections, and so Cuban President Raul Castro and Obama can be expected to hug it out like the bros they’re fast becoming.

It’s all part ... Read More

¿Puede Obama rescatar su fallida política exterior en Latinoamérica?

| April 9th, 2015 | 1 Comment »
Real Clear World-01

El presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, ha notado claramente que muchos en América Latina y el Caribe tienen una afinidad extraordinaria con el mito de la revolución cubana. Lo que aún no tiene claro es que la gran mayoría de los ciudadanos de la región preferiría vivir en el Chile construido por Augusto Pinochet que en la Cuba destruida por Fidel Castro.

Durante la Cumbre de las Américas en Panamá Obama se encontrará con una región que ha perdido la estabilidad y la prosperidad desde que asistió a su primera cumbre en 2009. A pesar de que esperaba cosechar elogios por su acercamiento con La Habana, Obama recibirá en cambio un trato hostil por parte de varios líderes latinoamericanos, quienes encabezados por Nicolás Maduro de Venezuela y apoyados por Castro están determinados en diezmar la influencia que le queda a Washington en una región de suma importancia para la ... Read More

Can Obama Rescue His Failing Latin America Policy?

| April 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

U.S. President Barack Obama has clearly noticed that many in Latin America and the Caribbean have an uncanny affinity for the myth of the Cuban revolution. What he has yet to realize, however, is that the vast majority of the region’s citizens would rather live in the Chile built by Augusto Pinochet than in the Cuba destroyed by Fidel Castro.

As Obama travels to Panama this week for his third Summit of the Americas, he encounters a region that has lost stability and prosperity since the president first attended the summit in 2009. Although he hoped to harvest accolades for his rapprochement with Havana, Obama will instead be greeted by a coterie of hostile counterparts, led by Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and abetted by Castro, who are determined to sever Washington’s remaining influence in a hemisphere critical to U.S. prosperity and security.

To be fair, other OAS leaders insisted that Castro ... Read More

Argentina Sues Citibank Over Recent Agreement With Holdouts

| April 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

The Argentine government said Wednesday it was suing Citibank, the latest in an escalating proxy fight related to a legal battle over paying back the South American country’s long-standing debt.

Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said the government was seeking an injunction to nullify in Argentine courts Citibank’s recent agreement with a group of holdout creditors in the United States that Argentine officials refer to as “vulture funds.”

“Citibank ceded to extortion and signed an agreement with the devil on March 20,” said Kicillof, adding it was done to “abandon its business in Argentina.”

A Citibank statement released late Wednesday said the bank was “disappointed” by the legal actions, and that it was simply trying to comply with a U.S. court order.

“Citi has acted in accordance with all applicable laws and will respond to these actions in due course,” read the statement.

The legal fight has its roots in Argentina’s $100 billion default in 2001. In 2005 ... Read More

Mr. Obama’s opportunity in Panama

| April 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post By Editorial Board

PRESIDENT OBAMA’s move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba in December was supposed to improve political and economic conditions for average Cubans and remove an irritant in U.S. relations with other Latin American nations, which have been pushing to end the isolation of the Castro regime. Four months later — a short time, admittedly — there is no sign of those benefits. According to Cuban human rights groups, political detentions have increased: There were more than 600 in March alone. More than 50 long-term political prisoners are still being held. Several Cuban opposition leaders are banned from leaving the country, which means they cannot attend this week’s Summit of the Americas in Panama.

U.S. and Cuban officials have yet to agree on the terms for reopening embassies. But the Castro regime has nevertheless reaped some substantial gains. Raúl Castro will be welcomed to the Americas summit for the first time; Mr. Obama will shake his ... Read More

Obama’s Amateur-Hour Foreign Policy In The Americas

| April 8th, 2015 | No Comments »
Investor's Business Daily

Terrorism: Seeking applause at a summit in Panama, President Obama vowed to swiftly remove Cuba as a state sponsor of terror. It just shows how his foreign policy runs — for political convenience, not national security.

As he headed off to the Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama tossed a tidbit for the region’s tyrants that’s expected to be a crowd-pleaser: A vow to quickly lift the State Department’s designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terror.

The move would let the communist dictatorship buy weapons from the U.S., gain dual-use technologies, end some financial sanctions and open Cuba to foreign aid.

And as for whether Cuba really was a state sponsor of terror and a threat to the U.S., well, that was secondary. Given the huge number of State Department political appointees, an independent assessment isn’t possible.

Pressure to lift the designation has come from the Cuban regime as a precondition ... Read More

La cumbre de las mentiras

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
El Pais


La próxima semana va a tener lugar en Panamá una cumbre de jefes de Estado de las Américas. Allí ocurrirán una celebración y una confrontación. También se dirán muchas mentiras.

La celebración se debe a la normalización de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba. Barack Obama y Raúl Castro se darán la mano, sellando así el inicio de una nueva fase entre ambos países. Esa foto quedará para la historia. Pero no será la única. También veremos la foto (o muchas fotos) del presidente Nicolás Maduro y sus aliados denunciando la sanción impuesta por Estados Unidos a Venezuela.

Mientras que la foto de Obama y Castro refleja lo que debería ser el futuro del hemisferio, la ópera bufa que será escenificada por el Gobierno de Venezuela reflejará su pasado. Un pasado en el cual los gobernantes utilizaban la mentira y la manipulación para confundir a incautos y engañar a ... Read More

Historic encounter: Obama, Raúl Castro to have ‘interaction’ at summit

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

By Mimi Whitefield and Nora Gamez Torres

President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro briefly shook hands at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in 2013, and then chatted on the phone last December before announcing plans for renewed diplomatic relations.

Now, the big question is what type of encounter the leaders of once-hostile neighbors might have in Panama during the seventh Summit of the Americas next Friday and Saturday. Both will attend — a first in the history of the intra-regional summits that began in Miami in 1994.

“This opens the door for everyone,” José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, said in January. “We can now deal with matters together. It releases a lot of tensions and pressures.”

But there won’t be a full complement of regional leaders. Chile’s Michelle Bachelet will stay home as her country weathers a month of natural disasters, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa ... Read More

Andres Oppenheimer: Obama on defensive at summit

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald


Until a few weeks ago, it looked like next weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama would be a golden opportunity for President Barack Obama to seal his announced normalization of ties with Cuba, and remove a decades-long sore point in U.S.-Latin American relations. But with few days to go before the 34-country summit, Obama’s prospects of emerging a big winner look bleak.

Several developments in the past few weeks will put Obama on the defensive at the mega-summit, a rare occasion where the U.S. president will meet collectively with all his Western Hemisphere counterparts. Since the first of these meetings was held in Miami in 1994, they have taken place only every three or four years.

First, the March 9 Obama executive order denying U.S. visas and freezing U.S. assets of seven Venezuelan government figures accused of human rights abuses or public corruption has led Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ... Read More

Argentine workers strike over taxes; transport paralysed

| March 31st, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

By Eliana Raszewski and Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s public transport networks ground to a halt on Tuesday, while port workers at the grains export hub of Rosario downed tools and banks shut their doors as a one-day strike to back demands for changes to income-tax rates gripped the country.

The strike caused major disruptions to domestic air travel, while garbage was left piling up on sidewalks and many businesses stayed closed as employees struggled to reach work, frustrating owners already grappling with a weak economy.

In the face of high inflation, the transport unions spearheading the strike are demanding Argentina’s leftist government raise the minimum threshold on paying income tax.

The unions complain that more workers will have to pay tax if double-digit salary hikes designed to keep pace with inflation are awarded without lifting the threshold for the lowest tax bracket.

... Read More

Can Argentina Capitalize On Its Vast Shale Reserves?

| March 31st, 2015 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

By Alexis Arthur

Argentina, once a regional energy leader, is now better known for financial busts and bombastic politicians than hydrocarbons prospects. Still, with a resource potential both vast and untapped, the nation has never been far from energy investors’ minds. The question today is just how much Argentina is willing to change and how this plays into a low oil price environment that is already negatively impacting investment elsewhere.

Argentina’s deliberate efforts to appease some of its international creditors, combined with an overhaul of the nation’s hydrocarbons framework have the potential to lure foreign investors back. The promise of a change of government– and potentially a more market-friendly approach – later this year should add to the country’s appeal.

Experts have kept a watchful eye on Argentina ever since the US Energy Information Administration identified the nation as holding the world’s second largest shale ... Read More

Appeals court dismisses Iran cover-up charges against Argentina president

| March 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

A federal court of appeals dismissed charges against the Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on Thursday, regarding an alleged conspiracy to shield Iranian officials’ from prosecution over their alleged role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community centre.

The charges had originally been made by prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January, four days before he was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in his Buenos Aires apartment.

On 14 January, Nisman had presented a 289-page writ in court that he said unveiled a conspiracy headed by Fernández to clear five high-ranking Iranian suspects of charges that they had masterminded the 1994 bombing of the Amia centre, in which 85 people were killed.

In a 2-1 vote, appeals judges dismissed Nisman’s accusation, but there is a strong likelihood that prosecutor Germán Moldes – who upheld Nisman’s charges before the judges – may appeal the decision to a higher court.

Fernández and other ... Read More


| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »

WASHINGTON, DC — The Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is among the terrorist organizations that are benefiting from the illegal drug trade in Latin America, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom), told lawmakers.

Illegal drug trafficking in Latin American generates at least “tens of millions” for Hezbollah, which uses the funds to fuel its operations in the Middle East, explained the Southcom general.

During a hearing this afternoon held by the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Ron Johnson (R-WI), the panel’s chairman, asked the general to comment on the nexus between drug traffickers and terrorist organizations in Latin America.

“Mr. Chairman certainly in a classified setting we can give you a lot more detail. Suffice it to say from open source, I think we know that in at least several occasions over the past decade and a half, terrorists have attempted ... Read More

Cleaning up Latin American democracy

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

During the multitudinous demonstration against Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, in São Paulo on March 15th, a lunatic fringe chanted for a return to military rule. That was sad more than worrying. The rightists were shouted down. Their isolation served to underline how routine democracy has become in many Latin American countries in the third of a century or so since the generals returned to barracks.

That outcome was not inevitable. Compared with Europe or North America, democracy in Latin America must struggle against big obstacles, including poverty, gaping income inequality and corruption. Another is poor institutional design. Latin America combines directly elected presidents, as in the United States, with multiparty legislatures chosen by proportional representation, in the manner of many European parliamentary systems. The result has often been gridlock: weak governments have lacked majorities in legislatures unthreatened by dissolution, which induces consensus in parliamentary regimes.

These ... Read More

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