Archive for the ‘Bolivia’ Category

Bolivia and the Drug Cartels

| April 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Canada Free Press

BY SIERRA RAYNE

Since 2006, Evo Morales has been the president of Bolivia. As an active campaigner against the war on drugs, a coca grower himself, and an admirer of Che Guevara, controversy has swirled about his administration.

Morales promoted international decriminalization of the coca leaf and has expelled US counter-narcotic agents, leading senior international officials to express concern that the nation is vulnerable to drug cartels and could be becoming a narcostate.

The concerns appeared to be validated by reports emerging from this South American nation in late 2009. Rival drug factions were fighting over smuggling routes and the cartel-linked gangs were developing more advanced cocaine production facilities—including mobile labs. Even the Bolivian police acknowledged that removing the US-DEA may not have been the best choice. According to Colonel Oscar Nina, the director of the anti-narcotics police, “the withdrawal of the DEA has affected our work, they provided fast, direct access to a certain kind of information.” Nina ... Read More

Latin America the World’s Most Violent Region

| April 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Latin America is now the world’s most violent region but is receiving less U.S. military and financial assistance, according to a recent report and other figures.

Latin America surpassed Africa as the region with the most murders per 100,000 people, according to the new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Several countries in the Western Hemisphere had murder rates that eclipsed 25 per 100,000 people in 2012, compared to the global average of about six.

The report said 30 percent of the homicides in the Americas could be attributed to a proliferation of organized crime and gang-related violence.

For example, Honduras had one of the world’s highest murder rates with 90.4 per 100,000 people. Mexican drug cartels and transnational criminal groups such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street gangs have infiltrated the country in recent years.

Some of the violence is fueled by those groups’ drug smuggling operations into the United States. ... Read More

Flexible friends

| April 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

China lends disproportionately to countries that lack other options

THE rise of China has changed every region. But it has reinforced patterns, too. China’s demand for commodities has entrenched Latin America’s position as a supplier of raw materials. The country guzzles oil from Venezuela and Ecuador, copper from Chile, soyabeans from Argentina, and iron ore from Brazil—with which it signed a corn-import deal on April 8th.

Chinese lending to the region also has a strong flavour of natural resources. Data are patchy, but according to new figures from the China-Latin America Finance Database, a joint effort between the Inter-American Dialogue, a think-tank, and Boston University, China committed almost $100 billion to Latin America between 2005 and 2013 (see chart). The biggest dollops by far have come from the China Development Bank (CDB). These sums are meaningful. Chinese lenders committed some $15 billion last year; the World Bank $5.2 billion in fiscal year ... Read More

Una broma orwelliana-PROYECTO DE DECLARACIÓN (Misión Permanente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia)

| March 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Evo Morales OAS

     PROYECTO DE DECLARACIÓN

SOLIDARIDAD Y APOYO A LAS INSTITUCIONES DEMOCRÁTICAS , el diálogo y la paz en LA REPÚBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA

(Misión Permanente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia)

ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVIA

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

MISIÓN PERMANENTE ANTE LA ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS

MPB- OEA- ND002 -2014

Washington , DC , 05 de marzo 2014

Su Excelencia :

Tengo el agrado de dirigirme a Vuestra Excelencia en relación con el Aviso de Convocatoria CP / INF 6878/14 del 4 de marzo de 2014, por el cual se convocó a una reunión privada del Consejo Permanente el 6 de marzo , 2014, en respuesta a la solicitud de Panamá “para considerar la situación que se desarrolla en la República Bolivariana de Venezuela.”

A este respecto , la Misión Permanente del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia ante la OEA se complace en adjuntar a la presente un proyecto de declaración ... Read More

La OEA ausente en Venezuela

| March 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
The American

La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) se mantiene inerte en Venezuela, y la inestabilidad política, la crisis económica y la violencia del gobierno contra los manifestantes estudiantiles son hechos que están apunto de colapsar al país sudamericano. Desde hace años la OEA fue secuestrada por la petro-diplomacia de Venezuela y ha sido atada y amordazada.

El “consejo permanente”, compuesto por los embajadores de la región, tenía previsto reunirse la semana pasada para revisar los eventos en Venezuela a solicitud del presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli. La reunión fue abruptamente “pospuesta” después de que el presidente de la Republica Dominicana, Danilo Medina,  le pidiera a su representante ante la OEA, quien preside el consejo permanente, que no regresara a Washington para postergar la reunión. Medina siguió las instrucciones de Venezuela. El embajador dominicano regresó a Washington ayer y convocará al consejo con la venia del gobierno venezolano.

Los estados miembros de la OEA ... Read More

The Roots of Venezuela’s Disorder

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

BY MARY O’GRADY

On Wednesday, as Venezuelan strongman Nicólas Maduro was promising more repression to crush relentless student protests, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters that Moscow plans to put military bases in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. A few days later a Russian spy ship arrived in Havana harbor unannounced.

The usual Cold War suspects are back. More accurately, they never left. Former KGB officer Vladimir Putin is warning President Obama that Russia can make trouble in the Americas if the U.S. insists on solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Meanwhile, Latin America’s aging Marxists are lining up behind Mr. Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chávez.

Russia and Cuba are finally reaping the benefits of the revolution they have long sown in Latin America. Any chance of defeating them requires setting the record straight about how Venezuela got so poor.

Venezuelan politicians sold left-wing populism like snake oil for decades before Chávez came to power in ... Read More

Maduro y sus chivos expiatorios

| February 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Universal

POR RUBÉN M. PERINA

El presidente Maduro, acorralado por la debacle económica que tiene encima y por las protestas estudiantiles no tiene otra salida que la de buscar chivos expiatorios. Así lo vemos culpando de esos hechos a la “oligarquía” o “la burguesía”, a los inescrupulosos y acaparadores industriales y comerciantes venezolanos, a los “fascistas” conspiradores y golpistas de la oposición; y en el frente externo, por supuesto, al gobierno de Estados Unidos por financiar a la oposición y las protestas, por su propensión imperialista, así como al de Colombia, Chile y Panamá por su supuesta injerencia en los asuntos internos del país. Toda una cortina de humo para ocultar la realidad.

Similares acusaciones han hecho sus aliados de rigor, los gobiernos de Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua y Ecuador. Por otro lado, algo más mesurados, organismos regionales como la Unasur, Mercosur, la Celac y el Secretario General de la OEA han expresado su ... Read More

How Chavez planted the seeds of violence

| February 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Globe and Mail-01

BY GRACE JARAMILLO

After witnessing the collapse of the cruel Yanukovych regime in Ukraine, Canadians should worry a bit more about a political nightmare in their own hemisphere. Venezuela has become the next civil-war scenario, unless something is done to encourage dialogue and political mediation.

This is not an over-the-top statement. At least 13 people have already died and many dozens more have been injured in three weeks of massive demonstrations in Venezuela’s main cities. What is less well understood is how the Bolivarian revolution led by late president Hugo Chavez has planted the seeds of violent resistance against any political challenge to its power.

For more than 10 years, Mr. Chavez sponsored parallel military organizations that did not answer to any regular chain of command – just to him. It is assumed that some of them respond to Mr. Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, but others do not. According to the non-partisan International ... Read More

The Most Important Alliance You’ve Never Heard Of

| February 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The Atlantic

BY MOISÉS NAÍM

In Venezuela, students have been killed while protesting against the government of Nicolás Maduro, who is jailing opposition leaders and just closed a television station that dared broadcast the demonstrations. Argentina is irresponsibly racing toward a dangerous economic cliff. The Brazilian economy is in recession and 2014 will mark its fourth consecutive year of subpar growth, as the country reels from its largest capital flight in more than 10 years.

Is a decade of progress in Latin America coming to an end? For some countries, surely. But not necessarily for the entire region. Four nations are developing an initiative that could add new dynamism to Latin America, redraw the economic map of the region, and boost its connections with the rest of the world—especially Asia. It could also offer neighboring countries a pragmatic alternative to the more political groupings dominated by Brazil, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Amid all the bad news in the region, the presidents of ... Read More

Netanyahu: Iran engaged in ‘subversive activities’ in Latin America, world

| February 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Jerusalem Post-01

BY HERB KEINON

In meeting with Peruvian president, PM claims that nuclear talks have already allowed Iran to escape from sanctions.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Peruvian President on Monday in Jerusalem, where the two discussed relations between Israel and Peru and spoke of recent developments with regards to the Iranian nuclear program.

Speaking about Iran’s global influence, especially in Latin America, Netanyahu accused Iran of inflammatory behavior, saying  that “Iran is engaged subversive activities around the world, including in Latin America.”

The two leaders met on the eve of nuclear talks between world powers and Iran due to re-start Tuesday in Vienna, and Netanyahu told the Peruvian president that a different policy is required than what is currently in place.

“A policy that requires Iran to stop its aggression, to stop its nuclear military program, and to become a nation among the nations, not a rogue state that arms itself with nuclear weapons.” he said.

The prime minister continued: “I think it is important ... Read More

Bolivia’s Morales: The US abolished Costa Rica’s army

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
Tico Times

Media outlets throughout Latin America on Tuesday reported on statements by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who claimed the United States had abolished Costa Rica’s army. In actuality, Costa Rica abolished its own army in 1948, and the U.S. was not involved.

Morales, who was commenting on recent elections in Costa Rica and El Salvador, said, “For the first time a leftist party stands out in a country that was once a colony of the United States, and I think – and I hope I’m not wrong – it is a country without armed forces, as the United States eliminated the army in Costa Rica.”

News outlets attributed Morales’ statement to a report from Spanish news agency EFE, which was cited by Yahoo News, Bolivia’s La Jornada, Colombia’s Vanguardia and El Salvador’s El Mundo.

Morales also said the results of the recent presidential elections “are part of a process of rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean against U.S. imperialism.” He expressed his hope ... Read More

Netanyahu to make rare trip to Latin America in April

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Jerusalem Post-01

BY HERB KEINON

Efforts are underway to organize a rare, if not unprecedented, visit to Latin America by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in April, with travel to Mexico and Colombia aimed at bolstering economic and political ties with pro-American countries.

Netanyahu met last month in Davos with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. In June he met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Jerusalem. Both invited him to visit.

Colombia and Mexico, along with Peru and Chile, make up the Pacific Alliance free-trade bloc, which accounts for more than a third of Latin America’s gross domestic product and is seen in Jerusalem as having strong economic potential for Israel.

Israel is expected to be offered “observer” status in the alliance.

In addition, Peruvian President Ollanta Moises Humala is scheduled to visit here next week.

Government officials said that just as Netanyahu is interested in expanding economic ties with China, he sees great potential in expanding trade relations with Latin America. Both efforts are part ... Read More

Latin America has democracy, but lacks democrats

| February 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Hill

BY MAURICIO CLAVER-CARONE

Latin America’s democratically elected leaders paraded through the last remaining dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere and paid homage to its totalitarian rulers.

They were in Havana for a summit last week of the Community of Latin American States (CELAC, in Spanish), an anti-U.S. concoction of deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Currently the organization’s rotating presidency is held by Cuban dictator, Gen. Raul Castro.

Seemingly these elected leaders were neither interested nor concerned that Cuba’s government had threatened, beaten and arrested hundreds of the island’s democracy advocates who had tried to plan and hold a parallel summit to discuss the lack of freedom and human rights in Cuba.

In regards to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, this would seem to be particularly unfortunate. Both were once themselves victims of military dictatorships and scorned dignitaries who coddled their repressors.

So why would Latin America’s democratically elected leaders willingly participate in ... Read More

Bolivia vs Rurelec: paying one way or another

| February 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

BY ANDRES SCHIPANI

In the last week an international court ordered Bolivia to pay $41m in compensation to UK-based power generator Rurelec for the nationalisation of its assets. After a stream of seizures in recent years, the move could set a precedent for other companies waiting for reparations from the Andean country’s leftwing government.

However, to some observers there is a big question looming: will Bolivia actually pay up? And if so, when?

Let’s recap: after waiting for a financial settlement from Bolivian authorities, Rurelec took the country to court last year – clearly a good option after the Bolivian government pulled out of a World Bank arbitration body in 2007 saying it had always favoured the interests of multinational corporations.

Although the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled the company should be paid compensation, it granted only a fraction of the $142m Rurelec had sought.

Still, according to a statement by Rurelec:

[the arbitration tribunal] ... Read More

Testimony of Douglas Farah: Terrorist Groups in Latin America: The Changing Landscape

| February 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives

Testimony of Douglas Farah

President, IBI Consultants LLC

Senior Non-Resident Associate, Americas Program, CSIS

Before the House Foreign Affairs

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade

“Terrorist Groups in Latin America: The Changing Landscape”

February 4, 2014

2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Sherman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the FARC and lessons learned.  The U.S.-Colombia partnership is one of the most successful in recent times.

I have had the privilege of working in Colombia since 1989. I have seen the nation teeter on the edge of the abyss in the 1990s, to emerge as a regional model of democracy and economic development.

The FARC, despite the ongoing peace talks with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos in Cuba, remains engaged in criminal enterprises ... Read More

Bolivia ordered to pay UK power company $41m over nationalised assets

| February 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

BY ANDRES SCHIPANI

Bolivia must pay $41m in compensation to UK-based power generator Rurelec for the nationalisation of its assets after an international court order on Saturday that will give hope to other companies seeking payouts from the government.

The Andean country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, ordered Rurelec’s Bolivian assets and those of France’s GDF Suez to be seized at the “thunderous request of the people” on May day in 2010.

The country faces costs of up to $1.87bn from current investment disputes, including Rurelec, according to information from the office of Bolivia’s prosecutor-general.

Rurelec waited almost two years for a financial settlement on its seized assets but then in March 2012 submitted a claim for some $142m to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague based on an independent valuation that was double the book value of its 50.01 per cent stake.

Back then the country’s vice-president, Álvaro García Linera, called ... Read More

CELAC: Incluyente o excluyente?

| January 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
Felipe Trigos

Por Felipe Trigos

Esta semana, los jefes de Estado de treinta y tres países se reunieron en La Habana, Cuba para la cumbre de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC). Esta organización, a diferencia de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), excluye a Estados Unidos y Canadá en lo que se supone es un esfuerzo regional para: promover la igualdad, la pluralidad y la diversidad.

La Habana se preparó para que los visitantes a la cumbre pudieran percibir una visión de “la Cuba real ” y la llamada apertura del régimen de Raúl Castro. La realidad sigue siendo sombría para la mayoría de los cubanos que viven bajo el régimen autoritario de los hermanos Castro. Yoani Sánchez, connotada disidente Cubana, expreso que “No puede ser que invitados a #CumbreCELAC se muestren indiferentes y “desinformados” ante arrestos y amenazas de la #OperacionLimpieza”. La representante permanente de los Estados Unidos ante la ... Read More

Cuba’s CELAC Summit: Masking the Truth of a Failed Diplomacy

| January 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

BY JERRY BREWER

Havana, the capital of the Castro brother’s Cuba, will play host to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit this January 28-30. The heads of state and government representatives from 32 Latin American and Caribbean nations are scheduled to attend.

Conversely, Cubans who will apparently not be allowed anywhere near the meetings are crying foul, even with strained abilities to communicate to an outside free world. After all, CELAC was created to “deepen Latin American integration.”

Evidently Cuba is disallowing any integration by dissidents, who seek to have a free voice and be heard on their own island, with the leaders of other Latin American nations. Furthermore, it has been claimed by many that some of those who will attend have expressed no intentions to attend any peaceful events organized by the opposition.

Is this snubbing of dissidents and removal from the summit areas indicative solely of the ... Read More

The Future of the Bolivarian Revolution in the Post-Chávez Era

| January 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
University of Miami

BY DOUGLAS FARAH

Throughout his years in power, but particularly beginning in 2004, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez spent a significant amount of political and economic capital creating a structure to carry out his dream of establishing a regional alliance of countries espousing his “Socialism for the 21st Century” doctrine and enmity toward the United States.

Grouped under the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and including Iran as an observer, the alliance was largely sustained by Chávez’s vision and Venezuela’s largess in the form of petroleum and petroleum products at steeply discounted prices, as well as other economic benefits for member nations. In return, Chávez received international solidarity and a platform for launching a new regional defense doctrine in which the United States was identified as the primary external threat.[1]

A key question in the post-Chávez era is what will become of the Bolivarian edifice now under construction and whether ... Read More

Venezuela May Meet New Reality, and New Price, at the Pump

| January 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BY WILLIAM NEUMAN

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela has the world’s cheapest gasoline, about 6 cents a gallon, a price so low that drivers often fill their tanks for less than a dollar and tip the gas station attendant more than the cost of the fuel pumped into their cars.

With their country holding the world’s largest estimated oil reserves, many Venezuelans consider cheap gas almost an inalienable right of citizenship — a coveted remnant of the boom days when Venezuela saw itself riding its oil riches to a first world dream of wealth and status.

But the illusion of inexhaustible wealth that every citizen can effortlessly tap into at the nearest gas station may finally crash into hard reality. President Nicolás Maduro has called for what was once unthinkable: It is time, he has said, to raise the price at the pump.

“I am ... Read More

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