Strong Brazil Protest Turnout Casts Doubt on Rousseff Future

Strong Brazil Protest Turnout Casts Doubt on Rousseff Future

More than one million people marched through cities across Brazil on Sunday to protest political corruption, a weak economy, and to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, in a showing that could accelerate efforts to remove her from office.

The protest in Sao Paulo was the largest ever recorded by polling firm Datafolha, surpassing even the 1984 rallies to demand direct presidential elections following the military dictatorship. Other cities also had record turnout, and the 100,000 people in capital ...  

Cuban concerns over Venezuela’s economic woes

Cuban concerns over Venezuela’s economic woes

“Viva Cienfuegos! Viva the refinery! Viva Fidel!” shouted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez into the microphone. It was December 2007.

A lean, upbeat President Chavez was at the height of his powers. Dressed in his traditional red guayabera, he was in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos to inaugurate a refurbished oil refinery, a joint venture between Cuba and Venezuela. The socialist leader heralded the energy project as the jewel in the crown of their bilateral relationship, and testament to his close personal friendship ...  

‘You won’t get rid of me!’ Venezuela’s Maduro tells foes

‘You won’t get rid of me!’ Venezuela’s Maduro tells foes

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro insisted on Thursday his opponents would fail in a new push to oust him this year and end 17 years of socialist rule in the OPEC nation.

Having won control of the National Assembly in a vote at the end of 2015, the energized opposition alliance has launched a multi-pronged campaign to remove Maduro via street rallies, a recall referendum and a constitutional amendment.

The first protest march is planned for Saturday in Caracas. Speaking on state TV, ...  

Electoral Council Strikes No. 2 Candidate From Peru Race

Electoral Council Strikes No. 2 Candidate From Peru Race

Peru’s electoral council on Wednesday barred the main challenger to front-runner Keiko Fujimori from the country’s April 10 presidential election on a technicality. It voided economist Julio Guzman’s candidacy by a vote of 3-2, claiming the mechanism by which his party chose him violated its own internal rules.

Political analysts called the ruling petty and arcane and noted that never before in Peruvian history had a candidate been so stricken from a presidential race. Critics claiming political chicanery noted that no ...  

Lula Dealt Blow as Brazil Prosecutors Charge Him Over Assets

Lula Dealt Blow as Brazil Prosecutors Charge Him Over Assets

Brazilian prosecutors dealt another blow to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, accusing him of hiding assets from authorities just days after a separate probe unleashed a new round of political turmoil in the country.

The Sao Paulo state prosecutor’s press office on Wednesday confirmed the charges, declining to provide additional details. Newspaper O Globo reported they are for money laundering and hiding assets, such as ownership of a seaside triplex apartment in the city of Guaruja. Prosecutors will hold ...  

Argentina probes Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht’s local unit

Argentina probes Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht’s local unit

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina is investigating whether the local unit of Odebrecht [ODBES.UL] paid bribes to government officials, an Argentine prosecutor said on Wednesday, deepening the regional fallout from the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history.

The probe laid out by Sergio Rodriguez, the lead prosecutor on public administration investigations, is a further sign of international cooperation in a case that saw a Brazilian court on Tuesday hand down a 19-year prison sentence to the company’s former chief executive officer, ...  

Colombia Santos says will not sign bad peace deal to meet deadline

Colombia Santos says will not sign bad peace deal to meet deadline

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos will only sign a peace deal with Marxist rebels by a March deadline if a satisfactory accord has been reached and will extend talks if necessary, he said on Wednesday. Colombia has been negotiating an end to 50 years of war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group since late 2012. The two sides agreed last year to sign a peace deal by March 23, 2016.

“After all this effort, ...  

Venezuela recalls top diplomat in U.S. over sanctions

Venezuela recalls top diplomat in U.S. over sanctions

(CNN)Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he’s recalling his country’s top diplomat in Washington. Charge d’affaires Maximilien Arvelaiz will be heading back to Caracas, Maduro said Wednesday in a national address. The announcement comes days after U.S. President Barack Obama extended an executive order that imposed sanctions on top Venezuelan officials and declared the South American nation a national security threat.

In an address announcing what he called his “anti-imperialist plan,” Maduro decried what he said was a long “history of threats ...  

Inside Brazil’s Massive Corruption Scandal

Inside Brazil’s Massive Corruption Scandal

Brazil already was engulfed in a debilitating crisis: the economy is in free fall after shrinking four percent last year, and unemployment is rising. Then, last week, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was held for questioning by federal authorities investigating a major corruption scandal involving state oil giant Petrobras, and fresh allegations now link current President Dilma Rousseff directly to the case. The opposition has called for national mass demonstrations on Sunday, pushing for Rousseff’s impeachment.

The still-popular ...  

Venezuela Prepares For Another Coup d’Etat

Venezuela Prepares For Another Coup d’Etat

Venezuela’s Bolivar Revolutionary government loves a conspiracy as much as the next guy and they are about to be served yet another as President Nicolas Maduro’s own military wants him out of office, the sooner the better.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan opposition presented its strategy for a constitutional way to remove Maduro from power and bondholders — mainly those holding oil company PDVSA debt — are worried about what a changing of the guard means to their investment. The intensity of ...  

Obama’s Cuba Trip Showing Signs Of Imploding

Obama’s Cuba Trip Showing Signs Of Imploding

Diplomacy: President Obama’s “historic” trip to communist Cuba is showing signs of falling apart. Far from the beisbol and mojitos junket that the president’s PR team is selling, disputes are all over, starting with which dissidents the regime will let the president see. It goes to show what a bad idea this was.

Making the first visit to the island since the Coolidge administration, President Obama’s public relations men are touting a host of fun-filled photo-op activities, such as a “shared ...  

Oposición venezolana anuncia mecanismos para revocar a Maduro

Oposición venezolana anuncia mecanismos para revocar a Maduro

La Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) dio a conocer este martes los mecanismo constitucionales para el cambio de Gobierno del presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. La oposición contempla llamar a un referendo o aprobar una enmienda constitucional con marchas en todo el país. La MUD convocó a los venezolanos a aprobar una enmienda constitucional, “votada y defendida por el pueblo”, iniciar el proceso para el referendo revocatorio, aprobar la Ley de Referendos para según ellos “impedir el bloqueo” y así ...  

La crisis política deja a Dilma Rousseff contra las cuerdas

La crisis política deja a Dilma Rousseff contra las cuerdas

La presidenta de Brasil, Dilma Rousseff, no tiene tiempo para recuperarse del escándalo de la semana pasada, cuando la operación anticorrupción Lava Jato salpicó al expresidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, acusado de lucrase con una trama que desangró a la petrolera estatal Petrobras. Rousseff tiene por delante una semana de enfrentamientos en el Congreso, donde su base de apoyo es cada vez más inestable; el domingo está programada una gran protesta contra la gestión del Partido de los Trabajadores ...  

Detention of Brazil’s Former President Could Mark the End of a Dynasty

Detention of Brazil’s Former President Could Mark the End of a Dynasty

A corruption scandal centered on the state oil giant has roiled Brazil. The detention today of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former President and favored son, could be a key moment in the fall of a political dynasty that has this century reshaped Latin America’s largest nation.

The 70-year-old former metal worker, who is universally known as Lula and left office in early 2011 with an approval rating of 83% to be succeeded by his handpicked successor Dilma Rousseff, spent ...  

Will Obama dump dissidents for baseball in Cuba?

Will Obama dump dissidents for baseball in Cuba?

By The Editorial Board

THE WHITE House is said to be thrilled that President Obama will attend a baseball game when he visits Cuba two weeks from now: The matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and a Cuban team will provide a splashy exhibition of the warming relations with the Castro regime. There’s still no word, however, about a promised presidential meeting with Cuban dissidents, the brave women and men whose fight for democratic freedoms in one of the world’s most ...  

Replacing an Irreplaceable Leader in Bolivia

Replacing an Irreplaceable Leader in Bolivia

After 10 years in Bolivia’s highest office, President Evo Morales has begun to lose his grip on power. The failure of a constitutional referendum that would have extended term limits means he will not be able to run for re-election in 2019. But even though Morales’ charisma is central to his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party’s popularity, the referendum vote does not give an opposition candidate the upper hand in the next presidential election. Opposition parties are still disorganized, and ...  

Fresh evidence emerging of Iran’s deadly nuclear and terror ties to Argentina

Fresh evidence emerging of Iran’s deadly nuclear and terror ties to Argentina

By Ambassador Roger F. Noriega

3/07/2016

Last week, an Argentine intelligence official testified that Iran sought nuclear technology from that South American country and that a prosecutor investigating suspected Hezbollah bombings in Buenos Aires had been murdered for attempting to expose Tehran’s dangerous plot.

This fresh testimony supports reports I published in July 2011 regarding suspicious nuclear diplomacy in 2007 and a massive cash transfer in 2010 involving then Iranian and Argentine leaders, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nestor Kirchner, respectively. Despite congressional inquiries and ...  

Congreso chileno creará frente internacional de apoyo a oposición venezolana

Congreso chileno creará frente internacional de apoyo a oposición venezolana

El presidente del Senado chileno, Patricio Walker, anunció el lunes que impulsará la creación de un frente parlamentario internacional de apoyo a la democracia en Venezuela para exigir al gobierno de Nicolás Maduro que respete la legitimidad del Parlamento, en manos de la oposición.

“Vamos a crear un frente internacional de apoyo a la causa de la libertad y la democracia en Venezuela, pidiendo que exista respeto al poder constitucionalmente elegido por la gente”, dijo Walker en un punto de prensa.

El ...  

Why There Are Limits to Capitalism With Communist Characteristics

Why There Are Limits to Capitalism With Communist Characteristics

NEW DELHI — As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to embark on an historic visit to Cuba, the future of the communist-ruled island is the subject of widespread speculation. Some observers are hoping that the ongoing shift toward capitalism, which has been occurring very gradually under Raúl Castro’s direction, will naturally lead Cuba toward democracy. Experience suggests otherwise.

In fact, economic liberalization is far from a surefire route to democracy. Nothing better illustrates this than the world’s largest and oldest autocracy, ...  

Venezuela investigating possible slaying of 28 miners

Venezuela investigating possible slaying of 28 miners

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan officials said Monday they are investigating the alleged killing of 28 miners in the southeastern jungle state of Bolivar.

Families say the wildcat miners were murdered Friday by members of a gang seeking to control a disputed gold claim. They say the gang threw the miner’s dismembered bodies in a truck and took them away.

“We will conduct an objective, independent and impartial investigation,” Venezuelan ombudsman Tarek William Saab said Monday, echoing a promise by the public ...  

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José Cárdenas Interview with Opinion Journal: "Hungry in Venezuela" Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’

Ambassador Roger Noriega discusses the implications and impact of the president’s visit to Cuba on PBS News Hour

Felipe Trigos habló sobre la visita del presidente Obama a Cuba

Testimony by Ambassador Roger Noriega before House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Latin America in 2015: A Year in Review

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.