Archive for the ‘Ecuador’ Category

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

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

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

BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

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

US GENERAL TO SENATE: TERROR GROUPS BENEFITING FROM LATIN AMERICAN DRUG TRADE

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Breibart

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

Ecuador Expects $4 Billion in Loans From China in 2015

| March 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY MERCEDES ALVARO

Ecuador expects to receive $4 billion worth of loans this year from different Chinese lenders, of which about $1 billion correspond to disbursements of loans approved last year, a top government official said.

Finance Minister Fausto Herrera said Monday the loans will have a maturity of around eight years.

According to Mr. Herrera, disbursements of Chinese loans have been delayed because or a sharp drop in oil prices in the first months of the year but would begin to arrive next month.

According to unofficial estimates, China has committed more than $12 billion in financing to Ecuador between 2009 and 2014. Most financing operations from China to Ecuador have been tied to oil sales and several have been backed with presales of crude oil.

Mr. Herrera said the new loans aren’t linked with the selling of crude oil.

The minister said despite the decline of around 50% in oil prices, the Andean country plans to maintain ... Read More

Thousands Protest Against Government in Ecuador

| March 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By MERCEDES ALVARO

QUITO—Thousands of people took to the streets in Quito and at least 12 other cities in Ecuador Thursday to protest against the government of President Rafael Correa, asking for changes in economic, labor and social policies.

Government supporters also gathered in Quito at the traditional Plaza de la Independencia in front of the presidential palace and a few blocks from the Plaza de San Francisco.

Mr. Correa said protests seek to destabilize his government in a difficult economic year due to falling oil prices and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar.

Lower oil prices are expected to drag down economic growth in the country whose oil sector generates about one-quarter of total government revenue and about half of the country’s exports.

President Correa has said his government is prepared to deal with these problems, adding that his government has already done a lot for workers, indigenous and the poor population.

At midday, during the ... Read More

Ecuador slaps new tariffs on one-third of its imports

| March 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

BY ALEXANDRA VALENCIA

(Reuters) – Ecuador will impose a new set of variable tariffs on one-third of all its imports in an attempt to protect its oil-reliant economy, which has been hit by the plunge in global crude prices, the government said on Friday.

The measure, which begins on Wednesday an extends for 15 months, aims to improve the small Andean nation’s deteriorating trade balance by targeting mainly consumer goods but not its foreign purchases of commodities or capital goods that its industry needs.

The tariffs will range from 5 percent to 45 percent depending on the extent to which products compete with those manufactured locally.

Ecuador adopted the dollar as its currency in 2000, making domestic industry vulnerable to a flood of cheaper imports now that the currencies of several key trade partners have weakened as a result of lower oil prices slashing their export earnings.

The tariffs will make it ... Read More

Ecuador’s Oil Export Revenue Falls 44% in January

| March 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY MERCEDES ALVARO

QUITO—Ecuador’s crude oil export revenue totaled $598 million in January, down about 44% from a year earlier, due to lower oil prices, the central bank said on Friday.

Lower oil prices are expected to drag down economic growth, in a country whose oil sector generates about one-quarter of total government revenue and about a half of exports.

Economists say Ecuador’s economy will likely grow between 1% and 2% this year.

The average price of crude oil in January decreased 55% to $41.40 a barrel from the previous year.

In terms of volume, Ecuador exported 11.57 million barrels of crude oil in January, a 25% increase from a year earlier and an increase of about 8% from December. All of the oil was exported by Ecuador’s state-owned companies.

Crude oil is Ecuador’s main export, which the Andean country sends primarily to Asia, the U.S. and the Caribbean.

The central bank also said Ecuador produced 17.29 million ... Read More

Facing up to cheap oil: a tale of Latin America’s two Opec members

| March 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Andres Schipani 

Last week Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s oil minister and the president of Opec, called for an extraordinary meeting of the oil exporters’ cartel in the face of falling prices. Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, Opec’s smallest member, rallied behind her saying prices were “unnecessarily low”.

They may not achieve much – Saudi Arabia and other Gulf exporters are against production cuts – but the calls will nevertheless be welcome in Venezuela, where the sudden collapse of oil prices has been especially bad news.

Rather than hoping for help from its friends, Venezuela might have done more to help itself. As laid out in new report from LatAm Confidential, a Financial Times research service, there is plenty of difference in the way Latin America’s two Opec members have responded to lower oil prices. While Venezuela has done little, Ecuador has adjusted to leaner times.

Embattled Venezuela is more exposed to lower oil ... Read More

Ecuador Will Deal With Oil’s Drop and Dollar’s Rise, President Correa Says

| February 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

By MERCEDES ALVARO

QUITO, Ecuador—President Rafael Correa said Ecuador will implement measures to curb the economic impact of the drop in oil prices and the stronger U.S. dollar, two events that private-sector economists say will hurt growth this year.

“We are taking all measures needed to be prepared. A good economic policy is to make the country less vulnerable to these external factors,” Mr. Correa said during his weekly address broadcast on Saturday.

The price of Ecuadorean crude oil has fallen almost 56%, from $91 in January 2014 to about $40 a year later.

Lower oil prices are expected to drag down economic growth, analysts say, or a country whose oil sector generates about one-quarter of total government revenue and about a half of the country’s exports.

“Ecuador is leaving behind years of prosperity with strong oil prices, in which the state took a leading role in the economy,” said Alberto Acosta, an economist with private ... Read More

Migrants’ remittances to Latin America grew 4 pct. in 2014

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Expatriates’ remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean increased 4 percent in 2014 to $62.3 billion, the biggest jump since the global economic crisis in 2009, the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank, said Tuesday.

The largest gains went to Mexico and Central America, while several South American countries saw a decrease in remittances, due largely to the persistent economic crisis in Spain.

The overall advance in remittances to Latin America reflects improvements in the U.S. labor market, new migration patterns and the proliferation of new ways to transfer money, according to the report.

Remittances to Mexico increased 8.8 percent over 2013, while funds sent to Honduras increased 12.5 percent, and to Guatemala, 9 percent.

The Spanish economic crisis, with high levels of unemployment and falling pay, is largely responsible for decreases in remittances to Bolivia, 2.4 percent; Peru, 2.3 percent, and Colombia, which saw ... Read More

In Ecuador, a rapid decline in press freedom

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
KBIA

BY JASON MCLURE

Many people know Ecuador as the home of calm and picturesque sights, from the Galapagos Islands and lush Amazonian rain forest to soaring Andean peaks.

But the media environment in Ecuador is not so serene. President Rafael Correa, now in his third term of office, regularly files lawsuits against journalists and even cartoonists who mock his government. In his weekly television address, Correa often spends time singling out his critics on social media and is known to tear up copies of newspapers he dislikes. In addition, a communications law passed in 2013 has given the government greater legal powers to fine and censure its critics in the press. Will the situation get worse?

Click here for original ... Read More

Latin America 2015 outlook darkens as commodities sink: poll

| February 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

BY SILVIO CASCIONE

(Reuters) – Latin America has embarked on a painfully long period of greater austerity, and lower commodity prices and economic growth will barely pick up speed this year, a Reuters poll found Thursday.

With nose-diving oil and metal prices weighing on government finances and jeopardizing investments, economists in the quarterly poll chopped 2015 growth forecasts again for the region’s seven largest countries, from Mexico to Argentina.

Brazil is now expected to grow a meager 0.5 percent in 2015, down from an estimate of 1.1 percent in the prior survey and barely up from an expected 0.2 percent growth in 2014.

Mexico will probably expand by 3.4 percent, compared to 3.7 percent in the last poll, while oil producer Venezuela, flirting with a debt default, will probably contract 2.0 percent, according to the poll of about 50 economists.

Growth would probably improve somewhat in 2016, but would still fall short of the ... Read More

Page 1 of 4112345»102030...Last »