Venezuelans are storming supermarkets and attacking trucks as food supplies dwindle

Venezuelans are storming supermarkets and attacking trucks as food supplies dwindle

In the darkness the warehouse looks like any other, a metal-roofed hangar next to a clattering overpass, with homeless people sleeping nearby in the shadows.

But inside, workers quietly unload black plastic crates filled with merchandise so valuable that mobs have looted delivery vehicles, shot up the windshields of trucks and hurled a rock into one driver’s eye. Soldiers and police milling around the loading depots give this neighborhood the feel of a military garrison.

“It’s just cheese,” said Juan Urrea, a ...  

Venezuela govt may seek to dissolve congress: spokesman

Venezuela govt may seek to dissolve congress: spokesman

Venezuela’s government is considering asking the high court to dissolve the legislature controlled by President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents who are seeking to remove him from office, a spokesman said Tuesday.

It was the latest maneuver in a political conflict that has raised tensions in the volatile South American country as it struggles with an economic crisis.

Maduro’s side “has started discussions to request a consultation with the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court” with a view to achieving “the abolition of this ...  

Rio violence leaves little confidence in public security

Rio violence leaves little confidence in public security

Should Olympic visitors be in a hurry to get to sporting events when they arrive in Rio’s international airport, they’ll hop on the accordion-pleated double buses of the new Bus Rapid Transit line. It takes riders on a smooth ride from the northern edge of the city on through Rio’s west zone, where 21 Olympic arenas and venues are located.

The key link between Rio’s north and west is a neighborhood called Praça Seca, where you’ll likely see locals buying handicrafts ...  

Latest Brazil Study On Impeachment Unlikely To Save Dilma

Latest Brazil Study On Impeachment Unlikely To Save Dilma

A technical report into whether or not Dilma cooked the books on fiscal accounts in 2014 turned out in her favor. Come to find out, she did not push forward accounts, but still — according to one Brazil economist I spoke with — did commit crimes of fiscal responsibility. That will still be for the Senate to decide when suspended president Dilma Rousseff goes to trial at some point in late July, early August.

What appears clear for Brazil watchers is ...  

What Venezuela’s Post-Maduro Government Must Do

What Venezuela’s Post-Maduro Government Must Do

By Roger F. Noriega

June 28, 2016

A successor to Nicolás Maduro would be called upon quickly to address the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos and civil strife caused by nearly two decades of corruption, mismanagement and autocratic rule in Venezuela.

Thanks to the determination of Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, key governments in the Americas are conscious of the challenges and prepared to support a constitutional transition. O.A.S. mediation and monitoring of constitutional procedures to recall and ...  

Brazil Is Back to Pre-Junk Levels as Swaps Traders Bet on Temer

Brazil Is Back to Pre-Junk Levels as Swaps Traders Bet on Temer

Brazil is winning over derivatives traders as Acting President Michel Temer seeks to repair the nation’s finances. The cost to hedge against losses in Brazil’s bonds with credit-default swaps has tumbled by almost a third in the past six months, the biggest drop among the world’s major economies. Prices of the swaps are also now back to levels that prevailed before S&P Global Ratings cut the country’s rating to junk in September.

The turnaround is part of a rebound in Brazil’s ...  

For Colombia, Peace Will Be the Hardest Part

For Colombia, Peace Will Be the Hardest Part

You might have missed it in the cacophony over Brexit, but the longest shooting war in the western hemisphere ended June 23. On the same day Britons voted to ditch Europe, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by their acronym FARC, announced their historic agreement to lay down arms.

The deal, sealed in Havana, Cuba, is a Latin American watershed, coming after 52 years of bloody conflict that claimed 220,000 lives and uprooted 6.5 million — ...  

Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism – Venezuela Now Faces Imminent Famine

Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism – Venezuela Now Faces Imminent Famine

Venezuela has been held up for years as a glorious example of what socialism could do for a country. And of course now we can still hold up Venezuela as a glorious example of what socialism can do for a country. Which is, if current reports are to be believed, manage to create actual famine in a middle income country. It’s really a quite extraordinary result for any economic policy at all, to be able to manage that. And it ...  

What Fueled a Deadly Clash in Mexico?

What Fueled a Deadly Clash in Mexico?

A violent confrontation in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca last week pitted federal and state police against an antigovernment mob. Protesters burned buses and cars, lobbed Molotov cocktails and set piles of debris on fire. At least six people were killed.

Now another battle is under way over who gets to write the definitive history of what actually happened on the bloody Sunday of June 19 in Nochixtlán. The narrative that becomes the accepted version of events matters greatly for ...  

As the Olympics Near, Brazil and Rio Let the Bad Times Roll

As the Olympics Near, Brazil and Rio Let the Bad Times Roll

In 2009, when Rio de Janeiro won the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games — beating out Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago — Brazil was flying high. Although it had not escaped the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, it had suffered less economic damage, and come back more quickly, than other countries, including the United States. With the economy booming, the federal government felt so flush that its popular president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had instituted a series ...  

Nicaragua suppresses opposition to ensure one-party election, critics say

Nicaragua suppresses opposition to ensure one-party election, critics say

A Nicaraguan government crackdown on free speech, opposition parties and foreign diplomats has been condemned as an attack on civil liberties to bolster one-party rule.

With less than five months to go until the country holds a general election, former Sandinista guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega looks almost certain to win a third presidential term unimpeded after the latest assault on opposition leaders.

The supreme court last week ousted Eduardo Montealegre as leader of the main opposition party, the Independent Liberation party (PLI), ...  

Venezuela debate: Latin America’s moment of truth

Venezuela debate: Latin America’s moment of truth

The Organization of American States first took steps 15 years ago to make sure that democratically elected government survived in the Western Hemisphere after decades of rule by military governments.

Now members of that organization are being called on to explain what democracy means to them and how far they’re willing to go to defend those ideals.

On Thursday, the OAS will debate whether the embattled Venezuelan government is truly democratic after OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro invoked the group’s Democratic Charter, the ...  

Venezuelan president is to blame for humanitarian crisis, OAS chief says

Venezuelan president is to blame for humanitarian crisis, OAS chief says

The head of the Organization of American States has blamed Nicolás Maduro’s government for Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, saying the South American oil-rich nation was now mired in poverty, corruption and violence.

Addressing the permanent council of the 34-nation regional group, Luis Almagro said Maduro’s government had violated basic democratic principles, which had altered the constitutional order of the country.

Despite opposition by Venezuela and allies such as Ecuador and Bolivia to Thursday’s proceedings, Almagro won the backing of a majority of member ...  

Brazil Girds for Terrorist Threat at Rio Olympic Games

Brazil Girds for Terrorist Threat at Rio Olympic Games

Islamic State has begun posting digital propaganda in Portuguese, presenting an apparent threat and a new challenge to Brazilian security officials just six weeks before the start of the Olympic Games.

The postings, which have surfaced on encrypted webpages and an instant-messaging platform, lay out the tenets of the radical militant group. Brazil’s federal intelligence agency, the ABIN, told The Wall Street Journal Thursday that Islamic State’s Portuguese-language channel reflects its “extremist ideologies.”

“The opening of this new front of disseminating information ...  

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement.

The tank deal and spy base have raised concerns among some officials in the Pentagon and nations in the region about a military buildup under ...  

Elecciones en España: Camino a la Perdición

Elecciones en España: Camino a la Perdición

Por Sebastián Martínez Ferraté

Ya en el año 1523, el humanista y filosofo español Luis Vives decía “en España todo es cerrazón y noche”, hoy 500 años después nuestro país es tierra de envidia y soberbia.

La campaña política que se esta desarrollando en España por parte de la totalidad de los partidos políticos es realmente penosa, ya que todos los argumentos presentados están más que agotados.

En los mítines, solo se oyen insultos, descalificaciones y pactos de silencio donde se reparten los ...  

Colombia, FARC Rebels Agree on Cease-Fire

Colombia, FARC Rebels Agree on Cease-Fire

BOGOTÁ, Colombia—Guerrilla commanders and President Juan Manuel Santos’s government announced Wednesday they had reached an agreement on a definitive cease-fire that would end hostilities in one of the world’s oldest conflicts.

The two sides, which have been negotiating in Cuba since November 2012, said in a statement that they had also agreed to the disarmament of 7,000 guerrillas fighters and a security plan to protect demobilized rebels, who have long feared being targeted by regional warlords upon laying down their weapons.

People ...  

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

On July 8, 2009, the champagne finally flowed. After an intense two-year competition, a consortium led by a Spanish company in severe financial distress learned that its rock-bottom bid of $3.1 billion had won the worldwide competition to build a new set of locks for the historic Panama Canal.

The unlikely victors toasted their win at La Vitrola, a sleek restaurant in an upscale neighborhood east of downtown Panama City. Within days, executives of the four-nation consortium, Grupo Unidos por el ...  

Venezuela opposition says has sufficient signatures for referendum

Venezuela opposition says has sufficient signatures for referendum

Venezuela’s political opposition said on Wednesday it had collected the required number of valid signatures to begin a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro, amid the country’s economic crisis.

The painstaking process of validating the signatures began earlier this week. The electoral council has required that those who signed for a recall vote against the 53-year-old president return to polling stations to verify their signatures through fingerprint detection.

“We’ve achieved the goal,” said Carlos Ocariz, the opposition governor of a Caracas district. ...  

EE.UU. apoyará al pueblo venezolano o a su gobierno corrupto e incompetente?

EE.UU. apoyará al pueblo venezolano o a su gobierno corrupto e incompetente?

Por Roger F. Noriega

Junio 22, 2016

Venezuela está a punto de colapsar bajo la guardia del presidente Obama con un descontento  generalizado que crece día a día en ese país. Después de observar a distancia como esta crisis se agravaba, la semana pasada el secretario de Estado John Kerry respaldó un esfuerzo de rescate regional, así como un referéndum popular para sustituir al presidente Nicolás Maduro. A menos que diplomáticos estadounidenses se muevan rápidamente para conseguir apoyo a favor de este ...  

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Jose Cardenas discusses Cuba's problematic ties abroad at the Center for Security Policy’s 4th Annual Latin America Symposium

About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.