Brazil’s President Deploys Troops to Restore Order Amid Violent Protests

Brazil’s President Deploys Troops to Restore Order Amid Violent Protests

Brazil’s president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country’s capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader’s ouster.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched to Congress to protest economic reforms that President Michel Temer is pushing through and to demand he step down amid a corruption scandal.

Scuffles between police and protesters who tried to jump a cordon mushroomed into a series of clashes in which officers fired tear gas ...  

Venezuela prosecutor chides government over military tribunals

Venezuela prosecutor chides government over military tribunals

Venezuela’s chief prosecutor on Wednesday accused security officers of excessive force and condemned the use of military tribunals to judge protesters, deepening her split with President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

After nearly two months of massive anti-government rallies demanding early presidential elections, fissures have appeared in the hitherto publicly homogenous socialist administration.

In a speech on Wednesday, prosecutor Luisa Ortega said 55 people had been killed in unrest, around 1,000 others injured, and 346 properties burned or looted as chaos flares across the ...  

If Brazil president goes, here are possible replacements

If Brazil president goes, here are possible replacements

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Michel Temer faces a growing risk of not finishing his term after the emergence of an audio recording that appears to capture him endorsing hush money for a convicted former lawmaker. Many Brazilians are starting to think about who might replace him.

WHAT DOES THE CONSTITUTION SAY?

If Temer resigns or is forced out, the speaker of the lower Chamber of Deputies would be interim president for up to 30 days until Congress votes on who ...  

Brazil police arrest presidential aide in World Cup probe

Brazil police arrest presidential aide in World Cup probe

Brazilian police arrested a presidential aide and two ex-governors as part of an investigation into the 2014 World Cup’s most expensive stadium, another black eye for the country’s political establishment that adds pressure on beleaguered President Michel Temer.

Brazil’s federal police said the construction works were overpriced by more than $260 million.

Tadeu Filippelli, a special adviser in Temer’s cabinet, and former governors José Roberto Arruda and Agnelo Queiroz were arrested early on Tuesday.

Filippelli is one of the five special aides to ...  

Venezuela regional election date set amid opposition rebuke

Venezuela regional election date set amid opposition rebuke

Electoral officials in Venezuela are scheduling long-delayed regional elections for December, though the apparent olive branch may never come to fruition, as a special assembly to rewrite the nation’s constitution is slated to take place first.

The chief of the embattled South American nation’s electoral council said Tuesday officials were looking to hold elections for President Nicolas Maduro’s constituent assembly tasked with rewriting the nation’s constitution in July.

Under the terms proposed by Maduro, a third of the assembly’s 540 members will ...  

Trump wants to deport MS-13 gang members. El Salvador is dreading their return.

Trump wants to deport MS-13 gang members. El Salvador is dreading their return.

SAN SALVADOR — The Trump administration’s push to deport more Central American gang members has alarmed officials here who fear the returning gangsters could exacerbate violence in one of the deadliest countries in the hemisphere.

This year, the U.S. government has deported 398 gang members to this country, compared with 534 in all of 2016, according to Salvadoran government statistics. This sharp increase in the rate of gang deportations — and the prospect of more gang roundups in the United States ...  

Brazil says it will stick with reforms after S&P warns of potential downgrade to credit rating

Brazil says it will stick with reforms after S&P warns of potential downgrade to credit rating

The Brazilian government said on Monday it is committed to business-friendly reforms after S&P Global Ratings threatened to downgrade the country further into junk territory amid a political crisis.

S&P revised Brazil’s outlook to “CreditWatch negative,” which means it can downgrade the country over the next three months. Growing doubts about President Michel Temer capacity to stay in office and push forward the reforms “have heightened downside risk to the rating,” S&P said. …

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Una Colombia sin Guerrillas

Una Colombia sin Guerrillas

Por Sebastián Martínez Ferraté

El Coronel Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega, fue Director de la lucha contra el narcotráfico en Colombia en el mandato del Presidente Alvaro Uribe Vélez y en América se le recuerda por ser el Jefe de la operación para recuperar el Palacio de Justicia de Colombia del secuestro sufrido por parte de la guerrilla M-19 (Movimiento 19 de abril).

El Coronel Plazas Vega, es además historiador y catedrático así como administrador de empresas, pero si alguien en América saca ...  

Venezuela’s irreconcilable visions for the future

Venezuela’s irreconcilable visions for the future

“Venezuela is now a dictatorship,” says Luis Ugalde, a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who during his 60 years living in Venezuela has become one of the South American nation’s most well-known political scientists.

A former rector of the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Mr Ugalde does not mince his words. He compares Venezuela to an ailing patient who is on the brink of being killed off by well-meaning but incompetent doctors.

Venezuela’s problems are not new, he says. At their heart is ...  

Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles

Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles

Venezuela possesses 5,000 Russian-made MANPADS surface-to-air weapons, according to a military document reviewed by Reuters, the largest known stockpile in Latin America and a source of concern for U.S. officials amid the country’s mounting turmoil.

Venezuela’s socialist government has long used the threat of an “imperialist” invasion by the United States to justify an arms buildup. Much of that arsenal was obtained from Russia by Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez, whose tenure lasted from 1999 until his death in 2013.

The missiles, ...  

Protesters call for Temer resignation as uncertainty grips Brazil

Protesters call for Temer resignation as uncertainty grips Brazil

Demonstrators gathered across Brazil on Sunday to call for the resignation or ouster of President Michel Temer who is implicated in a widening corruption scandal that is undermining his government’s fragile efforts to end a historic recession.

Scattered demonstrations took place in cities including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where hundreds of demonstrators marched along the shoreline, chanting and waving banners reading “Temer Out!”

The protests were small compared with massive marches in recent years as fortunes flagged in Latin America’s ...  

Nicaragua says Russian satellite station ‘not for spying’

Nicaragua says Russian satellite station ‘not for spying’

Nicaragua is denying that a recently activated land-based satellite station donated by Russia has the purpose of spying on the region or the United States.

Orlando Castillo is director of Nicaragua’s state-run telecommunications company. He says the station known as Glonass aims to help tackle drug trafficking, natural disasters, global warming and other issues.

Castillo said late Wednesday that “it is not for spying on anyone.”

The station came online April 7 and is located south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Ties between Russia ...  

How the World Can Help Venezuelans Save Their Democracy

How the World Can Help Venezuelans Save Their Democracy

Venezuela is spiraling out of control. Daily life is growing ever more dire for most of the population, and the prospects for political reconciliation and an end to the humanitarian emergency are looking increasingly dim under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV. As the opposition struggles, so far unsuccessfully, to put an end to the crisis, the question arises: What can—or should—the international community do to help the Venezuelan people?

On Wednesday, ...  

‘We are the market’: Tillerson faults US for evils of Mexico’s drug trade

‘We are the market’: Tillerson faults US for evils of Mexico’s drug trade

If there was a single theme to emerge from today’s second go at joint Cabinet-level meetings with the Mexican government, it came across stunningly loud and clear: That the real heart of Mexico’s ongoing, bloody battle with hard drug production, organized crime and murder lies firmly in the United States.

“We Americans must own this problem. It is ours,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated bluntly during a news conference. America’s “pervasive demand” for illegal drugs was brought up repeatedly throughout ...  

A Healthy Dose of Skepticism about the FARC

By Roger F. Noriega

5/17/2017

President Juan Manuel Santos will visit Washington next week in hopes of gaining support for his government’s controversial peace agreement with the ex-FARC. He already knows that some of Colombia’s strongest supporters in the United States question the effectiveness of a peace plan that the FARC already is violating.  Ultimately, salvaging the peace plan and saving Colombia are not mutually exclusive objectives. But, both goals can only be achieved if Colombians maintain a rational skepticism about the ...  

¿Dosis de escepticismo frente a las Farc es sano?

¿Dosis de escepticismo frente a las Farc es sano?

Por Roger Noriega

17/05/2018

El presidente Juan Manuel Santos visita Washington con la esperanza de obtener apoyo para el polémico acuerdo de paz de su gobierno con la exguerrilla de las Farc.

Santos ya sabe que algunos de los apoyos más fuertes de Colombia en Estados Unidos cuestionan la efectividad de un acuerdo de paz que las Farc ya están violando.

Rescatar el proceso de paz y salvar a Colombia no son objetivos mutuamente excluyentes. Pero ambos objetivos solo pueden lograrse si los colombianos ...  

Brazil roiled as President Temer reportedly taped arranging bribe

Brazil roiled as President Temer reportedly taped arranging bribe

Brazilians awoke to fresh political turmoil Thursday morning as federal police moved against key allies of the president and arrested a prosecutor in response to secret tapes about bribery, allegedly made by a meat baron as part of a plea bargain.

Late on Wednesday, the newspaper O Globo reported that President Michel Temer was caught in a secret audio recording authorizing the head of meatpacking giant JBS SA to pay bribes to buy the silence of disgraced political leader Eduardo Cunha, ...  

Venezuela: Where supplies are few and pain is everywhere

Venezuela: Where supplies are few and pain is everywhere

Pain is rarely worse than when it’s needless. That’s something young Daniela Chacon and much of Venezuela feels now.

Daniela’s eyes, peeking out between her pink woolen hat and surgical mask, drip tears of extreme pain. She can still feel the leg she had amputated a day earlier: a common syndrome known as “phantom limb.” Yet this life-changing loss, one that causes her to scream as the doctors change her dressing, was needless.

Years earlier, before a government-made economic meltdown crippled the ...  

Brazil’s 2018 Presidential Hopefuls Start Their Engines

Brazil’s 2018 Presidential Hopefuls Start Their Engines

Brazil’s next presidential election is still a year and a half away, but that hasn’t stopped some of the country’s leading potential candidates from mulling a run.

On Tuesday Joao Doria, the newly elected mayor of Sao Paulo, became the latest to hint at a potential bid, telling Bloomberg that he would run if his party chose him. A day earlier his political mentor, Sao Paulo state Governor Geraldo Alckmin, indicated that he could throw his hat in the ring. They ...  

Rubio: Keep America’s bonds with Colombia strong

Rubio: Keep America’s bonds with Colombia strong

As President Trump meets with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Washington on Thursday, the United States should use this opportunity to strengthen our bilateral bonds and reaffirm our commitment to the Colombian people.

The U.S.-Colombia partnership has become one of America’s most important relationships in the Western Hemisphere.

In the late 1990s, Colombia was nearly a failed state, devastated by conflicts with drug cartels and terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). But U.S.-Colombian cooperation over the past ...  

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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.