Peru demands cash payment from Odebrecht in plea deal talks

Peru demands cash payment from Odebrecht in plea deal talks

LIMA (Reuters) – The office of Peru’s attorney general announced on Monday that it has asked Odebrecht for a “significant sum” of money as part of talks toward a plea deal, after the Brazilian company acknowledged distributing bribes to unnamed Peruvian officials.

The total amount Odebrecht will be required to pay will be negotiated with the company after it makes an initial deposit, said Hamilton Castro, the lead prosecutor investigating the public works contracts in Peru that Odebrecht may have won ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro names new vice president

Venezuela’s Maduro names new vice president

CARACAS, Venezuela — Embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday and named a hard-line former interior minister as Venezuela’s vice president.

The No. 2 job being taken over by Aragua state Gov. Tareck El Aissami is an appointed position, and Maduro has swapped it out in the past. But the vice presidency holds extra significance this year as the opposition has vowed to force Maduro from office. That could lead to his vice president serving the rest of ...  

Brazil’s Odebrecht agrees to pay $2.6bn fines in Petrobras case

Brazil’s Odebrecht agrees to pay $2.6bn fines in Petrobras case

Odebrecht, the Brazilian conglomerate, is close to agreeing to pay fines of up to $2.6bn in Brazil, the US and Switzerland in relation to a corruption scandal at state-owned oil company Petrobras in the largest settlement of its kind.

Sign up By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy. The fines follow a $957m payout announced to the market last week by Braskem, Odebrecht’s petrochemical unit, leaving the group ...  

Why Venezuela Should Default

Why Venezuela Should Default

New York — Guess which country has recently shown the greatest willingness to weather hardship in order to pay its foreign bondholders? Paradoxically, it’s the country that has been among the most vocal in its anticapitalist rhetoric. Venezuela continues to pay despite an economic crisis that would have stymied other sovereign borrowers long ago. Riots prompted by a shortage of cash are just the latest example of the country’s economic crisis. Although reallocating funds from debt service to the importation ...  

Recession emboldens Argentina’s opposition

Recession emboldens Argentina’s opposition

ASKED recently to rate his first year as Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri gave himself eight out of ten. Some immodesty is justified. Almost overnight after taking office Mr Macri dismantled the populist policies of his predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He eased currency controls; had the national statistics institute stop massaging inflation figures; and resolved a dispute with holders of overdue government debt, restoring Argentina’s access to capital markets.

Argentines have been less generous with praise. Mr Macri promised that by ...  

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales to run again despite referendum ruling it out

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales to run again despite referendum ruling it out

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales is to run for a fourth term in office after his ruling party proclaimed him its candidate in 2019 elections, defying the results of a February referendum.

His Movement for Socialism party approved his candidacy in a unanimous vote. Later, Morales said “if the people say let’s go with Evo, then let’s continue defeating the right and continue with our process”.

Bolivia’s first indigenous president was first elected in 2005, and then re-elected in 2009 and 2014. But ...  

We’re totally misunderstanding the difference between Mexico and China

We’re totally misunderstanding the difference between Mexico and China

During the 2016 campaign, China and Mexico were often painted with the same political brush. President-elect Donald Trump described the countries as America’s biggest economic rivals, taking advantage of us, undermining growth and stealing jobs.

The view wasn’t confined to Republicans: Bernie Sanders won followers as he lambasted the government for crafting free trade deals that sent jobs to Mexico and China.

Mexico and China are similar in some ways. They’re both populous countries, with workers who on average make a fraction ...  

We Need a Cuba Policy That Truly Serves the Cuban People

We Need a Cuba Policy That Truly Serves the Cuban People

By José R. Cárdenas

12/20/2016

As the 2016 presidential campaign began heating up — and Florida appeared more and more winnable — the Donald Trump campaign began increasing its criticisms of President Barack Obama’s 2014 decision to reverse the United States’ longstanding policy towards Cuba. In Miami in September, then-candidate Trump said, “All of the concessions Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them, and that I will do unless the ...  

Brazil’s Lula da Silva Indicted for Alleged Corruption, Money Laundering

Brazil’s Lula da Silva Indicted for Alleged Corruption, Money Laundering

SÃO PAULO—Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was indicted on Monday for alleged corruption and money laundering as part of the anticorruption probe centered on state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.

Judge Sergio Moro also accepted charges against Mr. da Silva’s wife, Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva, and six other people. Mr. da Silva’s lawyers denied any wrongdoing by Mr. da Silva and his wife.

The former president, who has now been indicted five times, is accused of ...  

Venezuela sends troops to tamp down cash chaos disturbances

Venezuela sends troops to tamp down cash chaos disturbances

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan troops are patrolling cities where rioting erupted over an official decree that nullified most of the country’s currency.

Officials have restricted overnight vehicle and pedestrian traffic in Ciudad Bolivar, the southern city most affected by the disturbances. Motorcycles have been banned for 48 hours. Bolivar state Gov. Francisco Rangel Gomez says 135 people have been detained because of the violence.

President Nicolas Maduro last week cancelled the country’s largest and most-used denomination, the 100 bolivar note. Following widespread ...  

The Dictator Who Stole Christmas

The Dictator Who Stole Christmas

It wasn’t the decision by Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro to take out of circulation the largest-denomination 100-bolivar note that set off riots and looting across the country on the weekend. It was the dictatorship’s failure to provide an orderly mechanism for the public to exchange the old bills for new ones.

But then again, what do you expect from a regime that has put one of South America’s most resource-rich nations in a hyperinflationary meltdown?

Mr. Maduro told the country on Dec. ...  

Hundreds arrested in Venezuela cash chaos, vigilantes protect shops

Hundreds arrested in Venezuela cash chaos, vigilantes protect shops

Security forces have arrested more than 300 people during protests and lootings over the elimination of Venezuela’s largest currency bill, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday.

The socialist leader pulled the 100 bolivar note this week before new bills were in circulation, creating a national cash shortage on top of the brutal economic crisis overshadowing Venezuelans’ Christmas and New Year holidays.

After two days of unrest over the measure – including one death and dozens of shops ransacked – Maduro on Saturday ...  

Securing the Peace in Colombia

Securing the Peace in Colombia

When Colombian voters narrowly rejected a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in a plebiscite last October, all seemed lost for Colombian President Juan Manual Santos. He had staked his legacy on the accord, painstakingly negotiated over four years in Cuba, with the goal of ending Latin America’s last guerrilla insurgency and delivering genuine peace to the country for the first time in generations.

The wounds were hardly healed days later, when Santos ...  

Illegal migration hits new high in November as families surge across border

Illegal migration hits new high in November as families surge across border

The Border Patrol nabbed more than 15,000 illegal immigrants traveling as families on the southwest border in November — a massive increase that marks the worst November on record and the second worst overall, according to statistics released Thursday.

The number of children traveling without parents also ticked up, topping 7,000 for the month, but it’s the surge of families that is straining the Border Patrol and testing the Obama administration’s resolve.

Combined, the children and families fleeing Central America for the ...  

Lula da Silva, Ex-Brazil President, Hit With New Criminal Charges

Lula da Silva, Ex-Brazil President, Hit With New Criminal Charges

SÃO PAULO—Brazilian prosecutors filed new charges against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday, accusing him of further instances of corruption and money laundering as part of the Operation Car Wash anticorruption investigation.

A judge will now examine the charges and decide whether or not to put Mr. da Silva on trial. A spokesman for Mr. da Silva denied any illegal acts by the former president or his wife, Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva, who was also charged with ...  

Venezuela cash crisis worsens as new bills fail to arrive

Venezuela cash crisis worsens as new bills fail to arrive

New money was supposed to arrive Thursday so that Venezuelans could swap their old cash for new bills and coins.

On Sunday, Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, said in a radio address that he would give people 72 hours to exchange their 100 bolivar notes for coins of the same face value. The announcement came just a week after the country said it will replace the 100 bolivar note with six other bills, worth between 500 and 20,000 bolivars, starting December 15.

The ...  

Colombia’s peace deal has taken effect, but the country remains divided

Colombia’s peace deal has taken effect, but the country remains divided

THE announcement that Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, had won the 2016 Nobel peace prize came just as his effort to end the country’s long-standing conflict faced an unexpected test. In a referendum five days earlier, voters had rejected—by a margin of just 0.4 percentage points—the peace accord he had signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s strongest leftist guerrilla group. The surprise result caught both sides off guard, leaving them scrambling to salvage the agreement.

Mr ...  

Trump’s shadow hangs over US-Cuban rapprochement

Trump’s shadow hangs over US-Cuban rapprochement

Josefina Vidal, the Cuban diplomat who has led negotiations with the US over the past two years, was not her normal unflappable self last week. Despite a clutch of recent US-Cuba deals, including a Google venture, the usually polished Ms Vidal appeared tired and frustrated.

Sign up By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy. “Cuba hopes the new US government takes into account the results achieved since relations ...  

Splits form among Colombia’s Farc rebels after commanders expelled

Splits form among Colombia’s Farc rebels after commanders expelled

Fissures have begun to show in the ranks of Colombia’s Farc rebels after five mid-level commanders were summarily expelled from the group for refusing to demobilize and join a peace deal to end their 52-year war.

The Farc leadership said in a statement that the five commanders, who were all part of guerrilla units located in far eastern Guaviare province, were pushed out of the group for failing to follow orders.

“This decision is motivated by their recent conduct, which contradicts our ...  

Venezuela Power Clash Resumes After Vatican-led Talks Falter

Venezuela Power Clash Resumes After Vatican-led Talks Falter

Political conflict between Venezuela’s opposition-run legislature and socialist government flared again on Wednesday after the breakdown of Vatican-led talks, as each side moved to appoint its own members to the national election board.

The opposition Democratic Unity coalition blames President Nicolas Maduro for the OPEC nation’s shrinking and dysfunctional economy, and wants to remove him through a referendum or by bringing forward the presidential vote due for late 2018.

Maduro, 54, says he will stay the course, and accuses opponents of sabotaging ...  

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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.