Pence slams Venezuela government, drawing rebuke from Maduro

Pence slams Venezuela government, drawing rebuke from Maduro

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence held up Venezuela on Thursday as a prime example of what happens when democracy is undermined and urged Latin American leaders to condemn its government, in comments that Venezuela’s president called nauseating.

Already suffering a severe economic crisis, Venezuela, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has recently been convulsed by clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.

“We need only look to the nation of Venezuela to see what happens when democracy is ...  

Cuba must end human rights violations to improve relations, US warns

Cuba must end human rights violations to improve relations, US warns

Cuba must end human rights violations if it wants the US to continue normalising relations, secretary of state Rex Tillerson has warned.

Donald Trump is expected to travel to Miami on Friday to announce reversals to elements of Barack Obama’s Cuba policy, which saw embassies reopen, direct flights resume and companies do business after half a century of cold war hostility.

Addressing the Senate foreign relations committee in Washington on Tuesday, Tillerson testified that Obama’s reforms effectively removed pressure on Raúl Castro’s ...  

Venezuela protesters set fire to Supreme Court building as crisis deepens

Venezuela protesters set fire to Supreme Court building as crisis deepens

Anti-government protesters set fire to the supreme court in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday. This is the twelfth week of upset in the country, as protesters demand the resignation of president Nicolas Maduro and call for elections. The supreme court Monday voted to reject a motion that would prevent Mr Maduro from rewriting the country’s constitution.

Violence broke out in protests at the Supreme Court over a bid to change the constitution, and Venezuela’s chief prosecutor said on Monday her family had been ...  

Venezuela Defaults On Russia; Is Goldman Sachs Next?

Venezuela Defaults On Russia; Is Goldman Sachs Next?

Venezuela defaulted on part of its $2.5 billion loan from Russia’s state-controlled oil company Rosneft once again, giving Wall Street bond lords cause for concern that a default on PDVSA oil bonds is right around the corner. PDVSA is a quasi-sovereign and is the government’s only remaining cash cow. The government owed Rosneft a reported $950 million.

News of the missed payment sent Venezuela’s $3 billion government bond due 2022 to trade at around 57 cents, for an annualized yield of ...  

Trump is Right to Reset U.S.-Cuba Policy

Trump is Right to Reset U.S.-Cuba Policy

José R. Cárdenas

6/14/2017

Reports are coming in that this Friday, in a Miami speech, President Donald Trump will unveil his revisions to former President Barack Obama’s controversial policy to normalize U.S. relations with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba. While no specifics have as yet leaked, it is largely expected that Trump will tighten certain aspects of the myriad executive orders Obama issued to circumvent the U.S. embargo, primarily in the areas of liberalized tourist travel and other commercial exchanges with the ...  

The U.S. Needs to Act in Venezuela

The U.S. Needs to Act in Venezuela

José R. Cárdenas

6/13/2017

As the crisis in Venezuela hurtles into its third month at the cost of more than 60 dead and thousands more injured and imprisoned in street demonstrations against the socialist government of Hugo Chávez heir Nicolás Maduro, indications are the Trump administration is ready to discard the do-nothing policy of Barack Obama.According to a recent Reuters report, the administration is weighing sanctions on Venezuela’s critical oil sector, including the state oil company PDVSA. (The oil-rich country remains the ...  

Venezuela’s Crisis — Right On Our Doorstep

Venezuela’s Crisis — Right On Our Doorstep

For the last few weeks the most violent city in the world has reached new terrible lows. No, not Baghdad. No, not Kabul. The most violent city in the world, in terms of homicides, violent crime, and police brutality, is actually Caracas; right on our doorstep.

Venezuela, a country awash with natural resources, has been systematically dismantled by two Socialist dictators in two decades. Economic mismanagement, nationalization and expropriation of private enterprise, exorbitant corruption, and a trickle down culture of cronyism ...  

Stop being soft on our despot, Venezuela’s bishops tell Francis

Stop being soft on our despot, Venezuela’s bishops tell Francis

AN UNEXPECTED item popped up on the agenda of Pope Francis in recent days. Although the meeting did not feature in his pre-announced weekly schedule, on June 8th it became known that he had squeezed in some time to confer with six bishops from Venezuela, one of the most troubled places in the historically Catholic world.

The visitors declared afterwards that they had stressed their absolute loyalty to the pontiff, and that he in turn had expressed his “full trust” in ...  

A Graft Machine’s Collapse Sows Chaos in the Caribbean

A Graft Machine’s Collapse Sows Chaos in the Caribbean

Hipolito Polanco was locked in a primary against President Danilo Medina in the Dominican Republic when he got a phone call from a number he didn’t recognize.

It was January 2016, and Polanco, a 39-year-old lawyer, was the last candidate still standing to challenge the president for the Dominican Liberation Party nomination. The voice on the phone was offering him a bribe and a high-ranking political position if he quit the race. “They asked me, ‘What’s your price?’” says Polanco. “They ...  

Trump’s new Cuba policy: What’s at stake for the island?

Trump’s new Cuba policy: What’s at stake for the island?

Warmer ties with Cuba after almost 60 years of hostility was one of President Barack Obama’s main foreign policy legacies.

He and Cuban leader Raul Castro agreed to normalise diplomatic relations in December 2014 and in August 2015 the US re-opened its embassy in Havana, more than half a century after it had closed following Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution.

Now reports say that President Donald Trump may announce his new Cuba policy as soon as next Friday. Many are expecting a rollback ...  

Hezbollah Operatives Scouted Targets in NY, Panama: Feds

Hezbollah Operatives Scouted Targets in NY, Panama: Feds

Two men with ties to Hezbollah conducted “pre-operational surveillance” on possible targets for attack in New York, as well as U.S. and Israeli embassies in Panama, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

No specific plot was underway but the men were allegedly scouting the targets to assess their vulnerabilities, including LaGuardia Airport and FBI headquarters in New York.

The two men allegedly received weapons and bomb-making training in Lebanon. Ali Kourani, of the Bronx, was arrested last week on the terror-related charges. Samer El ...  

Brazil Electoral Court Case Against Temer Loses Force

Brazil Electoral Court Case Against Temer Loses Force

BRASILIA — After its chief judge urged his peers to consider Brazil’s political stability, the country’s top electoral court on Thursday excluded testimony of engineering company executives in an illegal campaign funding case against President Michel Temer

The decision by the Supreme Electoral Court suggested it may throw out the case that has threatened to unseat the scandal-hit president. That would clearly be a temporary win for Temer, but analysts say it would still leave him weakened and by no means ...  

Venezuela’s Deepening Crisis Exposes Split in Ruling Party

Venezuela’s Deepening Crisis Exposes Split in Ruling Party

Cracks are beginning to show in Venezuela’s ruling party after a ratcheting up of violence surrounding the deadly street demonstrations demanding President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster.

Public Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, long loyal to Maduro and his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez, has become one of the most strident critics of a crackdown on dissent that has left more than 65 dead and hundreds behind bars. On Thursday, she lambasted the president and decried a “brutal repression” against dissidents. Days before, the defense ...  

Trump Will Reverse Damage Done by Obama’s Cuba Policy

Trump Will Reverse Damage Done by Obama’s Cuba Policy

If “America First” means anything, it must mean preventing a virulently anti-American criminal enterprise from perpetuating its existence next door and reproducing itself throughout the hemisphere. And since this is precisely what President Obama’s opening to the Castros accomplished, President Trump is duty-bound to reverse this mistake.

In fact, if The New York Times is to be believed—and on this we should, as coddling the Castros is one thing the Gray Lady has been consistent on for sixty years—the administration is ...  

Stuck in a death spiral, Venezuela is borrowing money at any cost

Stuck in a death spiral, Venezuela is borrowing money at any cost

You don’t need to be an economist to recognize the sad, self-destructive pattern of Venezuela’s financial collapse. If you’ve ever had a friend or family member gripped by gambling addiction or a drug problem, you’ve seen it. You know where this typically ends.

At the pawnshop.

Last week, Goldman Sachs acquired $2.8 billion worth of bonds issued by Venezuela’s state oil company at just 31 cents on the dollar, paying $865 million for the securities. Now Venezuela is looking even more desperate, ...  

ISLAMISMO: TOLERANCIA 0

ISLAMISMO: TOLERANCIA 0

Por Sebastián Martínez Ferraté

¿Nos enteraremos los europeos algún dia que los yihadistas nos han declarado la guerra?.

Mientras haya predicadores aceptados por una sociedad abierta a los mal llamados derechos humanos que justifiquen la violencia y el odio a los que no somos musulmanes, o mejor dicho a los que formamos parte de sociedades liberales, seguirán apareciendo asesinos como en Niza, Paris o Londres.

Lo que estos últimos días la mayoría de políticos europeos y medios de comunicación hablan de excesiva tolerancia, ...  

What If Brazil’s President Gets Impeached Again?

What If Brazil’s President Gets Impeached Again?

Imagine this: two impeachments in one year. It’s a long shot, but it could happen to Brazilian president Michel Temer, the beleaguered ex-vice to Dilma Rousseff, the country’s first lady president, and the second to be forced out of office since democratic rule in the early 1980s. Brazil apparently likes to do things in two’s, so history is our guide, Temer could ultimately step down. In this worst case scenario for Brazil, what happens to the blockbuster economic reforms the ...  

Lava Jato debe ser transparente en Brasil y en el mundo

Lava Jato debe ser transparente en Brasil y en el mundo

Por Roger F. Noriega

La Operación “Lava-Jato” comenzó sin grandes pretensiones como una investigación de una estructura de lavado de dinero utilizada por narcotraficantes. Tres años después, el trabajo de las autoridades brasileñas elevó los descubrimientos de la operación al nivel de uno de los escándalos de corrupción más grandes de la historia, revelando casos de desvío de recursos públicos y lavado de dinero, en al menos doce países.

Desde que 77 ejecutivos de Odebrecht decidieron colaborar con ...  

The Blueprint for Saving Venezuela

The Blueprint for Saving Venezuela

Venezuela’s ongoing political crisis reached new heights at the end of March when a wave of anti-government protests erupted throughout the country after the Supreme Court took over legislative powers from the National Assembly. The opposition responded by launching a nationwide protest campaign against what they call a “coup on democracy,” and within the week the court overturned its decision. Weeks later, with protests escalating, the system seems to have been shaken for the first time in a decade. Meanwhile, ...  

Dire conditions drive growing anti-government opposition in Venezuela

Dire conditions drive growing anti-government opposition in Venezuela

JUDY WOODRUFF: After years of recession, skyrocketing inflation, and hardship, the oil-rich country of Venezuela is spiraling into social and economic collapse.

Many of its people have been taking to the streets on an almost daily basis for the last two months to demand that President Nicolas Maduro step down.

With the support of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico went to Caracas to find out how the wave of uprisings is creating a ...  

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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.