Archive for the ‘Bolivia’ Category

Germán Cardona: «Militares bolivianos y venezolanos exportan cocaína en aviones oficiales»

| May 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC Madrid-01

Por Javier Chicote

El coronel boliviano Germán Cardona se encuentra en España, donde espera que le concedan asilo político. Denuncia una persecución en su país después de que el pasado febrero presentara un incendiario informe en el que denuncia una trama de narcotráfico en su país con la participación de altas esferas políticas y militares.

-¿Qué es el cártel de las Estrellas?

-Una organización narcotraficante que opera en el departamento de Santa Cruz que está controlada por miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas y de la Policía Nacional de Bolivia y encabezada por el ministro de la Presidencia, Juan Ramón Quintana. Éste, según mis fuentes, controla varios aeropuertos clandestinos en la frontera con Brasil para exportar cocaína.

-¿Está relacionado con el cartel de los Soles, el que según la DEA dirige Diosdado Cabello, el número dos de Nicolás Maduro?

-El cartel de las Estrellas ... Read More

Revolt from indigenous base challenges Bolivia’s Morales

| May 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Just months after President Evo Morales won re-election with a convincing three-fifths of the vote, Bolivia’s first indigenous president is suddenly up against a formidable opposition.

It comes not from the conservative business elite that long has chafed at Morales’ leftist rhetoric, but rather from the very “anti-colonialist” movement that propelled him to power nearly a decade ago.

When Morales next week swears in mayors and governors elected in runoff voting May 3, he will be face-to-face with those who have benefited from the discontent with his Movimiento a Socialismo, or MAS.

Opposition candidates won mayoral races in eight of Bolivia’s 10 most important cities, a gain of two. MAS held onto only two, relatively minor state capitals — Sucre and Potosi.

Significantly, a former rising star in Morales’ inner circle who turned insurgent won the governorship of La Paz state, Bolivia’s most populous state, home to the capital and a bastion of ... Read More

El número dos venezolano, Cabello, envió droga a Europa vía España

| May 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC Madrid-01

POR EMILI J. BLASCO

Estados Unidos está cerrando el cerco en torno a altos cargos venezolanos implicados en el narcotráfico, con una investigación abierta sobre Diosdado Cabello, presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, siguiendo acusaciones de testigos que dibujan una situación de narcoestado. Así lo adelantó ya a finales de enero ABC y así lo publicó ayer «The Wall Street Journal».

Pero la droga que sale de Venezuela -el noventa por ciento de la producción de Colombia se distribuye desde suelo venezolano; unas cinco toneladas semanales- no solo va a Estados Unidos, sino que también llega a Europa, con España como punto importante en las rutas que siguen las mafias, entre ellas principalmente el cártel de los Soles, la organización paraestatal del narco venezolano. Su nombre viene de los soles que llevan los generales venezolanos en la charretera.

De acuerdo con fuentes próximas a la Administración para el Control ... Read More

Frustration with Latin America’s left on the rise

| May 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By JOSHUA GOODMAN

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s socialist government is struggling to put food on the shelves amid runaway inflation. Brazil’s president is facing calls for impeachment. And even Cuba’s communist government, an iconic touchstone for generations of leftists, is embracing closer ties with the U.S.

Whether it’s because of corruption scandals or stagnant growth, the popularity of the crop of leftist Latin American governments that have been running the region since the start of the millennium appears to be waning. Voters who embraced what became known as the pink tide that swept away the pro-Washington, free-market policies dominant in the 1990s are increasingly turning against the populist firebrands they once rallied behind.

Across the region, polling numbers are tanking and street protests are on the rise.

Triggering the growing disenchantment are some serious economic headwinds. Most leaders came into power just ... Read More

Susan Kaufman Purcell: The New Normal in Latin America

| May 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
Latin American Herald Tribune

By Susan Kaufman Purcell

At the recent Summit of the Americas in Panama, the topic that received the most attention was the U.S. decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. This allowed the historic handshake and the official talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro that ended half a century of diplomatic isolation.

Various polls have shown, however, that that the diplomatic problems between the United States and Cuba have not been a major concern of Latin Americans. Why then were the Latins so enthusiastic about this particular change in U.S. policy toward the region?

The answer was not that normalization would bring an end to the Castro dictatorship, since Latin America has not cared whether Cuba remained a dictatorship. Nor were Latin American governments preoccupied that the inflow of dollars to Cuba following the normalization of relations would mainly benefit Cuba’s unelected and wealthy rulers, especially the military, which controls the ... Read More

Frustration with Latin America’s left on the rise as leaders hit by economic slowdown, scandal

| May 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
Star Tribune

By JOSHUA GOODMAN

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s socialist government is struggling to put food on the shelves amid runaway inflation. Brazil’s president is facing calls for impeachment. And even Cuba’s communist government, an iconic touchstone for generations of leftists, is embracing closer ties with the U.S.

Whether it’s because of corruption scandals or stagnant growth, the popularity of the crop of leftist Latin American governments that have been running the region since the start of the millennium appears to be waning. Voters that embraced what became known as the pink tide that swept away the pro-Washington, free-market policies dominant in the 1990s are increasingly tuning hostile against the populist firebrands they once rallied behind.

Across the region, polling numbers are tanking and street protests are on the rise.

Triggering the growing disenchantment are some serious economic headwinds. Most leaders came into power just as China’s economy was ... Read More

Hezbollah en América Latina: el narcotráfico, su principal fuente de financiamiento

| May 11th, 2015 | No Comments »
Infobae

Las actividades delictivas del grupo terrorista Hezbollah en la región continúan su ascenso sin que ninguna alarma se encienda en los Gobiernos de América Latina. Incluso en muchos casos, las autoridades de algunas administraciones regionales son cómplices de sus movimientos. Tráfico de drogas, de armas, de influencias, lavado de dinero y otras maniobras ilícitas son las elegidas por las células que la agrupación libanesa mantiene a lo largo de esta parte del mundo.

Desde 2006 a la fecha, fue sobre todo el narcotráfico la vía que más dinero aportó al financiamiento de Hezbollah. Bajo diferentes fachadas, jefes regionales del grupo terrorista se instalaron en diferentes ciudades latinoamericanas para tapar sus verdaderos propósitos. Mezquitas, centros culturales islámicos, comercios y otras organizaciones sin apariencia política reúnen a cientos de fieles, quienes en muchos casos son “utilizados” por la agrupación extremista.

Es la Triple Frontera (conformada por Paraguay, Brasil y la Argentina) la “capital” de ... Read More

Chile, Bolivia at World Court Over Border Dispute

| May 11th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY ROBERT KOZAK

Chile and Bolivia took their long-running squabble over Bolivia’s request for ocean access to a court in the Netherlands on Monday, with Chilean lawyers arguing it was all settled long ago in a 1904 peace treaty.

That pact, Chile said, means the United Nations’ International Court of Justice can’t be asked to declare a winner in the dispute.

The border brawl has cooled relations between Bolivia and Chile for years but Bolivia in April 2013 asked the court to force Chile to negotiate over Bolivia’s request for access to the Pacific Ocean.

Landlocked Bolivia says it lost about 250 miles of coastline and thousands of square miles of mineral-rich land following a Chilean invasion in 1879. Bolivia could transport natural gas and minerals were it to have a route to the ocean.

Chile, led today by President Michelle Bachelet, has said the World Court should reject Bolivia’s claim since the 111-year-old peace treaty settled the ... Read More

Latin America leads world on murder map, but key cities buck deadly trend

| May 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

By Jonathan Watts

Latin America may be the most murderous continent on Earth, but huge improvements in public safety have been achieved in several major cities, according to a new homicide map of the world that is being launched this week.

Several metropolises that were once bywords for violent death – such as Medellín, Bogotá, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – have seen declines of more than 60% in the murder rate over the past two decades thanks to improved living standards, better education, decelerating urbanisation and more effective policing, say the researchers behind the Homicide Monitor.

But while overall figures are falling, the map reveals that murders are stubbornly concentrated in poor communities, and the victims are mostly young – usually black or mixed-race – men.

The Monitor is an interactive online world map with data on the distribution of murder by country, year, age of victim and – where figures are available ... Read More

Bolivia to supply lithium for e-car batteries

| May 1st, 2015 | No Comments »
Deutsche Welle

Three engineering firms, two German and one Swiss, are bidding for the right to build a lithium processing plant the in highlands of Bolivia. Lithium-ion batteries are used in mobile phones and electric cars.

Bolivia’s National Evaporative Resources Management Board (GNRE) this week invited bids for the rights to build a plant in Bolivia to process lithium mined from Salar de Uyuni, a vast salt flat in the Bolivian highlands.

Bolivian Mining Minister César Navarro announced on Tuesday in La Paz that only three firms met the technical requirements of the call for bids to build the planned lithium carbonate production plant: K-Utec, Ercosplan, and SEP.

K-Utec and Ercosplan are both based in the state of Thuringia in Germany, while SEP is based in Winterthur, Switzerland. The bidders now have ten months’ time to submit detailed engineering plans in support of their bids.

The Bolivian government intends to spend 570 ... Read More

Long in charge, leftist leaders struggle across South America

| April 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

By Nathaniel Madden

Argentina may not be alone in South America moving from left to right in the coming days.

A string of leftist leaders across the continent have come under scrutiny in recent months for political scandals, falling poll numbers and economic reverses that, in the case of Venezuela, have produced the world’s second-highest inflation rate after Syria.

Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late populist President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, has seen his approval rating fall to just 28.2 percent, following months of popular protests driven by high levels of violence, food and consumer good shortages, and an inflation rate in 2014 of 63.4 percent. Mr. Maduro’s government recently announced it will soon start to ration electricity, despite the fact that the country by some estimates has even more proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia.

Corruption and inflation are also driving factors behind the low approval ... Read More

Petrobras, Gazprom ink Bolivia gas deal

| April 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
BN Americas

By Michael Place

Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petrobras has agreed to invest up to US$2.057bn to develop new natural gas fields in Bolivia, officials in La Paz said on Tuesday.

The 15-year agreement forms part of a memorandum of understanding also involving Russian gas producer Gazprom for exploration projects in gas-rich Tarija department.

Under the deal, Petrobras will drill prospects in the Sunchal, San Telmo and Astillero areas, which hold estimated gas reserves of 4.88Tf3 (138Bm3).

According to Bolivia’s state hydrocarbons company YPFB, Petrobras has committed to invest in exploration and production, transport and storage facilities.

“These new areas will allow us to increase our reserves and consolidate Tarija department as Bolivia’s energy center,” YPFB chief executive Guillermo Achá said in a statement.

Achá denied that Bolivia faced an imminent decline in natural gas output due to a lack of new discoveries.

“Gas production is not ending. On the contrary, all these activities indicate that we will increase production,” he added.

Bolivia’s state ... 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

Voters rebuke Evo Morales and the ruling party

| April 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

On winning power nine years ago, Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president, touted his victory as the end of 500 years of colonial rule. Bolivia may have been independent since 1825, but its rulers had the outlook of the imperialists. Change came at last with Mr Morales’s indigenous resistance movement. It would govern “for the next 500 years”, he proclaimed.

The president’s mastery of theatre and symbolism, and his rewriting of the constitution to reinforce the rights of Bolivia’s large indigenous population, go a long way toward explaining his enduring popularity. In elections last October he easily won a third term. His Movement To Socialism (MAS) claimed two-thirds of the seats in both chambers of the legislature. Supporters began talking of a fourth term in office starting in 2020, even though under the constitution he is not eligible to run again.

So the results in regional and local elections held ... 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

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

POR MOISÉS NAÍM

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

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