Crisis at Venezuela’s PDVSA deepens as Caribbean debts pile up

Crisis at Venezuela’s PDVSA deepens as Caribbean debts pile up

Unpaid debts and broken promises are making Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA an outcast in several Caribbean countries where it had been a guest of honor.

The state-run company’s crumbling finances are causing operational disruptions across one of its most essential regions, according to internal company documents, six sources with knowledge of its operations, and Thomson Reuters vessel-tracking data.

Business partners in the island nations of Curacao, Bonaire, Jamaica and the Bahamas are turning away from the firm as debts pile up to ...  

Colombia delays peace talks with ELN rebels until captive freed

Colombia delays peace talks with ELN rebels until captive freed

Colombia is delaying peace talks with Marxist ELN rebels until they free a politician held captive for six months, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday, as he struggles to salvage a peace deal with FARC guerrillas that was rejected in a plebiscite.

The National Liberation Army (ELN), the nation’s second-biggest insurgent group, must release Odin Sanchez to the International Committee of the Red Cross before talks can begin in Ecuador, Santos said, reiterating a condition he set months ago.

The opening ...  

Will the Americas ever take action on Venezuela?

Will the Americas ever take action on Venezuela?

Nine months after the secretary-general of the Organization of American States threatened to invoke the hemispheric organization’s Democratic Charter against Venezuela, the 34-nation group continues its wait-and-see approach.

The Venezuelan government essentially has dared the United States and the United Nations-like OAS to just try and take action in response to its suspension of a recall referendum that could have ousted President Nicolás Maduro.

That move by the Maduro administration prompted OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro to compare the Venezuelan government last week ...  

Congress: Cuba to Share Critical U.S. Intel With Iranian Spies

Congress: Cuba to Share Critical U.S. Intel With Iranian Spies

Obama administration efforts to bolster the sharing of critical intelligence data with Cuba is likely to benefit Iran, which has been quietly bolstering its foothold in the country with the communist government’s approval, according to conversations with members of Congress and other sources familiar with the matter.

A little noticed Obama administration directive on Cuba, released Oct. 14, instructed the U.S. director of national intelligence to assist and cooperate with Cuba’s intelligence services.

The directive has raised red flags on Capitol Hill, ...  

Venezuela on the Brink

Venezuela on the Brink

By José R. Cárdenas

10/27/2016

Venezuela under the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chávez and his successors has been this century’s longest national train wreck — and the situation only continues to get worse. Colossal economic mismanagement, corruption, and political repression have led to the country’s across-the-board ruin. Indeed, the situation has grown so dire that international organizations are now raising alarm bells about a profound humanitarian crisis. A new report from Human Rights Watch says:

A new report from Human Rights Watch says: ...  

Negotiators ‘close’ to presenting amended Colombia peace deal: FARC

Negotiators ‘close’ to presenting amended Colombia peace deal: FARC

Colombia government and FARC guerrilla negotiators are “close” to reaching agreement on amendments to a peace deal that was rejected by the country’s voters earlier this month, FARC chief Rodrigo Londoño said Wednesday.

Voters rejected the initial deal in an October 2 referendum, rejecting the compromises made in the five years preceding the agreement that delivered President Juan Manuel Santos a Nobel Peace Prize.

The vote disallowed the president to execute the peace process that had already begun after the signing of ...  

Obama’s Shameless Display in the UN

Obama’s Shameless Display in the UN

In a body as reflexively anti-Western as the United Nations, it is no surprise that the United States often finds itself under attack. Previously, American representatives had the stomach to defend their country against those assaults. Apparently, those days are over.

Beginning in 2014, the Obama administration began to make good on that perennial liberal objective of normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba for no reason other than the perceived backwardness of its Cold War-era posture. Unilaterally and without reciprocity from Havana, ...  

Venezuela protests against Maduro escalate, dozens injured

Venezuela protests against Maduro escalate, dozens injured

Venezuela’s increasingly militant opposition stepped up its push to oust leftist leader Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday with protests that drew hundreds of thousands but also saw unrest leading to dozens of injuries and arrests.

In an incident sure to inflame the already polarized situation, a policeman died after being shot on Wednesday night in central Miranda state.

The government blamed opposition activists clashing with security forces on a highway out of Caracas. The police force of Miranda, whose governor is opposition leader ...  

Venezuelan dictatorship digs in and hunkers down

Venezuelan dictatorship digs in and hunkers down

By Roger F. Noriega

10/26/2016

Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and the band of criminals who call the shots in that country on Thursday smothered any hope for a constitutional, democratic recall that would have allowed voters to replace his repressive and hapless regime. The country’s democratic forces now are rallying the people to confront Maduro, whose government is incapable of resolving food shortages and social chaos wrought by nearly 20 years of abusive rule.

Until now, President Obama has preferred “dialogue” between the ...  

Y Rajoy Sera Presidente Pero…

Y Rajoy Sera Presidente Pero…

Por Sebastián Martínez Ferraté

En un acto de partido hace pocos días Mariano Rajoy decía : ”me ganaré día a día la gobernabilidad”, pues deberá explicarse muy bien para que sea creíble porque ya avanzó Javier Fernández, el Presidente de la Junta Gestora del Comité Federal del PSOE, que la abstención en la investidura en ningún caso garantizaría las acciones del Gobierno del PP, por lo que D. Mariano deberá estar dispuesto a buscar acuerdos parlamentarios para llegar lo mas lejos ...  

Se afianza la dictadura en Venezuela

Se afianza la dictadura en Venezuela

Por Roger F. Noriega

El jueves, el líder venezolano Nicolás Maduro y la banda de delincuentes que toman decisiones en ese país, sofocaron cualquier esperanza para alcanzar una salida constitucional y democrática que habría permitido a los votantes reemplazar a su régimen represivo y deplorable. Las fuerzas democráticas del país están aglutinando a la gente para hacer frente a Maduro, cuyo gobierno es incapaz de resolver la escasez de alimentos y el caos social provocado por los casi 20 años de ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro, Opposition Allege Coup Ahead of Protests

Venezuela’s Maduro, Opposition Allege Coup Ahead of Protests

Venezuela’s government and opposition dug in for a protracted fight Tuesday, with each side accusing the other of waging a coup ahead of national protests planned for Wednesday.

The country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly voted to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro, approving a measure to summon him to testify next Tuesday as they investigate him for violating the constitution and possibly abandoning his post.

Congress’s decision caps a raucous two-day session, where the legislature alleged that the government’s suspension of ...  

Venezuelan legislature launches trial against Maduro

Venezuelan legislature launches trial against Maduro

Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly voted on Tuesday to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for violating democracy, but the socialist government dismissed the move as meaningless.

The OPEC member nation’s political standoff has worsened since last week’s suspension of an opposition push to hold a referendum to try to recall Maduro, 53.

With that avenue closed, the opposition coalition has raised the stakes, using its power base in congress to begin legal action against Hugo Chavez’s unpopular successor. …

CLICK HERE ...  

To Achieve Real Peace in Colombia, Go After the FARC’s Money

To Achieve Real Peace in Colombia, Go After the FARC’s Money

By José R. Cárdenas

10/25/2016

Although voters in Colombia recently rejected a negotiated peace accord between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla movement, a ceasefire continues to hold as both sides say they remain committed to achieving an agreement for a lasting peace.

The principal reasons for the accord’s defeat have been ably identified elsewhere. Suffice it to say, many Colombians oppose the transitional justice system intended to hold FARC leaders accountable for ...  

Colombia’s ELN rebels balk at hostage ultimatum

Colombia’s ELN rebels balk at hostage ultimatum

Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), has accused the Colombian government of “torpedoing” peace talks between the two sides due to start on Thursday.

The ELN was reacting to a demand by government negotiator Juan Camilo Restrepo for the release by Thursday of a man held hostage by the ELN. Mr Restrepo said the talks would not begin if the hostage was not released.

The two sides have been engaged in an armed conflict for five decades. Government ...  

Venezuelan Oil Is Largely Staying in Ground or Going Up in Smoke

Venezuelan Oil Is Largely Staying in Ground or Going Up in Smoke

This fading oil town has an eerie glow at night, illuminated by dozens of oil wells burning off precious oil and gas for lack of functioning equipment to process it.

Every month, Punta de Mata’s smoke columns grow higher, a staggering waste at a time when Venezuela, the holder of the world’s largest oil reserves, desperately needs cash from every barrel to import scarce food and medicine. The wells are, quite literally, burning money.

Making matters worse, for every barrel of light ...  

Mexico president: Trump visit could have been handled better

Mexico president: Trump visit could have been handled better

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he could have done a better job handling a controversial Aug. 31 meeting with Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Pena Nieto said in an interview with Mexico’s Channel 11 television station that “we could have done things in a better way, that must be recognized.”

The president came under criticism in Mexico for not demanding an apology from Trump, who has suggested many Mexican immigrants are criminals or rapists.

Pena Nieto defended the decision to ...  

U.S. Said to Be Closing in on Venezuelan Asset Seizures, Charges

U.S. Said to Be Closing in on Venezuelan Asset Seizures, Charges

Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge several individuals and confiscate their property over the alleged looting of Venezuela’s state oil company in what may amount to one of the biggest asset seizures in U.S. history.

Three people familiar with the case say the government has been investigating at least a dozen Venezuelans and is expected to file charges in Houston against a few of them as soon as next month. Those on the list, including former executives of Petroleos de Venezuela ...  

How to derail Venezuela’s new dictatorship

How to derail Venezuela’s new dictatorship

AS VENEZUELA’S political and humanitarian crisis has escalated, the government of Nicolás Maduro made clear that it was prepared to shred what remained of the country’s constitutional order to stop a growing opposition movement. It stripped the opposition-controlled national assembly of its powers, imprisoned several top leaders and tried to slow a campaign to trigger a constitutionally authorized recall referendum on Mr. Maduro. But the opposition drive continued, so last week the regime took definitive action: It formally suspended the ...  

National Assembly Agreement for the Restoration of Constitutional Order in Venezuela

National Assembly Agreement for the Restoration of Constitutional Order in Venezuela

Yesterday, Venezuela’s National Assembly held a special session in response to the unconstitutional suspension on October 20 of the Venezuelan people’s effort to recall President Nicolas Maduro through a peaceful and democratic referendum. Below please find the National Assembly’s “Agreement for the Restoration of Constitutional Order in Venezuela,” which condemns the Maduro regime’s coup d’état and outlines the actions to be taken in order to restore democracy, the rule of law and separation of powers in Venezuela.

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ...  

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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.