Posts Tagged ‘Roger Noriega’

Mexico’s Energy Reform: So Far, So Good

| September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Inside Sources

By Roger F. Noriega and Felipe Trigos

The enactment of the “secondary legislation” to implement Mexico’s energy reform is an impressive step forward.  That country’s economic future could be fundamentally transformed, if Mexico’s leaders follow through on a transparent, sustained effort to modernize the oil, gas, and electricity sectors and keep government spending and interference from undermining prosperity.

For the first time in 80 years, Mexico has opened the door to private investment in the energy sector, leaving behind years of anachronistic resource nationalism that has contributed to the decline of the state-owned oil company, Pemex, and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

Insufficient investment in exploration and infrastructure, over-taxation, political interference, union influence, and corruption all have contributed to the decline of Pemex.  From 2001 to 2013, oil production in Mexico fell more than 30 percent. Meanwhile, the CFE has lost almost a billion dollars in 2012 and 2013 for similar ... Read More

NORIEGA: La inseguridad de Centro América intensifica la crisis en la frontera sur de Estados Unidos

| July 25th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

La oleada de inmigrantes ilegales en la frontera suroeste de los Estados Unidos,  hizo sonar la alarma para el Presidente y el Congreso e impulsar una misión de rescate internacional para enfrentar a criminales, narcotraficantes y pandilleros que amenazan la seguridad de EE.UU., junto con las vidas y sustento de millones de centroamericanos.

El presidente Obama ha solicitado $3.7 mil millones en fondos de emergencia para hacer frente a la afluencia de inmigrantes ilegales a lo largo de la frontera de Estados Unidos con México. A pesar de que la suma es considerable, es evidente que los programas que están siendo ejecutados y planificados por la administración son medidas provisionales. Estas medidas no hacen nada para hacer frente al causante del problema a largo plazo: la creciente criminalidad  y la corrupción en Centroamérica, que en su mayoría son alimentadas por el tráfico ilegal de drogas provocado por la demanda de los ... Read More

NORIEGA: Central American insecurity fuels U.S. border crisis

| July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

The surge of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southwest border
should sound the alarm for the President and Congress to lead an
international rescue mission to confront murderous narco-traffickers
and street gangsters who threaten U.S. security along with the lives and
livelihood of millions of Central Americans.

President Obama has requested $3.7 billion in emergency
funding to cope with the influx of illegal immigrants along the
 US-Mexico border. Notwithstanding that considerable sum, it is clear
that the programs currently being implemented and planned by the
administration are primarily stopgap measures. They do nothing to
address the long-term driver of the problem: the escalating
criminality and corruption in Central America—most of it fueled by
illegal drug trafficking driven by U.S. demand—that undermines
democratic institutions, rule of law, economic opportunity, and public
safety.

The immediate task is to staunch the current explosion of
illegal crossings, including thousands of unaccompanied minors.
Although the uptick in violence in their homelands contributes to
economic dislocation and fear, loose talk about a more permissive ... Read More

Why isn’t Mexico’s security strategy working?

| June 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

BY ROGER F. NORIEGA AND FELIPE TRIGOS

Key Points:

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto must recognize that security is not a distraction from his economic agenda and that confronting criminal enterprises is indispensable to the nation’s stability and prosperity. Peña Nieto has not implemented an effective security strategy, and his response to drug violence is uncalibrated and improvised. Mexico should respond more effectively to innovative, globalized cartels and be more receptive to US collaboration so that it can counter criminality fueled by US demand for illicit drugs.

President Enrique Peña Nieto came to power in Mexico 18 months ago promising to reform Mexico’s economy to make it more competitive and prosperous. He also stressed the need to change the controversial antidrug strategy pursued by his predecessor, Felipe Calderón.

Although Peña Nieto has made considerable progress on an ambitious economic agenda thus far, he has been slow to articulate, let alone implement, an alternative strategy for dealing ... Read More

¿Cuba ofrece oportunidades a empresas estadounidenses?

| June 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Inter-American Dialogue

Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor

Preguntas y Respuestas Destacadas

Pregunta:

El presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de EE.UU., Thomas Donohue, encabezó una delegación a finales de mayo durante una visita a Cuba para evaluar los cambios económicos bajo el régimen de Raúl Castro. Esta fue la primera visita de la cámara a la isla comunista desde 1999. El viaje fue criticado por legisladores, incluyendo a el presidente del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores, senador Robert Menéndez (demócrata por Nueva Jersey). El senador Menéndez comentó que  el encarcelamiento de líderes empresariales extranjeros, la violación de las normas internacionales de trabajo y la negación de derechos básicos a los ciudadanos “difícilmente parecen una oportunidad atractiva para cualquier hombre de negocios”. ¿Qué logró el viaje de Donahue? ¿Qué oportunidades ofrece Cuba para las empresas de los Estados Unidos? ¿Qué importancia y éxito han tenido las reformas económicas de Castro?

Respuesta de Roger Noriega, director ejecutivo de Vision ... Read More

Does Cuba Offer Opportunities for U.S. Businesses?

| June 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Inter-American Dialogue

Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor

Featured Q&A

Does Cuba Offer Opportunities for U.S. Businesses?

Question:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Thomas Donohue led a delegation in late May to Cuba for a three-day visit to assess economic changes happening under President Raúl Castro. It was the chamber’s first visit to the communist island since 1999. The trip drew criticism from lawmakers including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) who said Cuba’s jailing of foreign business leaders, violation of international labor standards and denial of basic rights to citizens “hardly seem an attractive opportunity for any business leader.” What did Donahue’s trip accomplish? What opportunities does Cuba offer for U.S. businesses? How significant and successful have Castro’s economic reforms been?

Response from Roger Noriega, managing director of Vision Americas LLC, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs:

“Tragically, five decades of absolutist rule have demonstrated that there is very little ... Read More

Bipartisan Venezuela sanctions legislation builds momentum

| May 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
By Roger Noriega

An extraordinary bipartisan coalition of US Senators used a hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee Thursday to pummel the Obama administration’s passive Venezuela policy. The State Department witness made little headway in discouraging legislation that prescribes targeted sanctions on Venezuelan officials who have been killing, arresting, and abusing street protestors for more than two months.

What has become abundantly clear over the past weeks—though perhaps not at Foggy Bottom—is that approval of that legislation is needed to put the United States squarely on the side of the Venezuelan people who are confronting the criminal, incompetent, and illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded the late despot Hugo Chávez just over a year ago.

Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, defended US policy supporting an ongoing “dialogue” between the Maduro government and elements of the democratic opposition. Led by Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), senators on the panel challenged the effectiveness of the dialogue strategy, ... Read More

Favoreciendo la ‘estabilidad’ sobre la libertad en Venezuela

| May 7th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The American

Roger F. Noriega

La política de EE.UU. hacia Venezuela no es sólo injusta, sino tonta.

La Habana y Washington están en lados opuestos de prácticamente todas las cuestiones de política exterior – ya sea Irán, Siria, Ucrania, Corea del Norte, el terrorismo, o incluso el destino de Sahara Occidental. El único lugar en el planeta en el que Estados Unidos y Cuba parecen haber encontrado un terreno común es en Venezuela, donde los dos favorecen un ridículo “diálogo nacional” para poner fin a  un levantamiento popular contra el régimen incompetente y criminal de Nicolás Maduro.

Cuando los miembros de la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado cuestionen a la encargada de políticas latinoamericanas del gobierno de Obama, la secretaria adjunta de Estado Roberta Jacobson, el jueves por la mañana, puede ser que pregunten por qué está en el interés de EE.UU. el ayudar a un régimen izquierdista hostil a aplastar las protestas democráticas, ... Read More

Protesters Burn Effigies of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro

| April 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Protests in Venezuela continued over the weekend following President Nicolas Maduro’s refusal to offer concessions in talks with the opposition.

Masked protesters burned effigies of Maduro and used petrol bombs as police sprayed them with tear gas and water cannons. Many of the protesters are peaceful but some have resorted to violence.

The unrest has resulted in about 40 deaths, which the opposition blames on state security forces and pro-government militias known as “colectivos.” Some U.S. lawmakers have pressed for sanctions against the government in response.

“There are many who have already died and it’s for them that we’re here,” one protester told the BBC. “They’re not going to have an Easter again, nor carnival.”

Recent talks between Maduro and the opposition yielded few concrete results. Opposition leaders say the mismanagement of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, the late strongman who ruled Venezuela for 14 years, has culminated in soaring crime rates, rampant inflation, and shortages ... Read More

What’s been the fallout from the ‘Cuban Twitter’ revelations?

| April 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
Inter-American Dialogue

Q: The U.S. Agency for International Development created and operated “ZunZuneo,” a communications network similar to Twitter that had the aim of destabilizing the Cuban government, the Associated Press reported on April 3. USAID responded by saying the purpose of the program was “to create a platform for Cubans to speak freely among themselves, period,” while the White House denied that it was a covert program. How much of an impact will the revelations have on U.S.-Cuban relations? What does the controversy mean for bilateral issues such as the imprisonment in Cuba of former U.S. government contractor Alan Gross? Are social media programs such as these a good use of USAID funding and the U.S. government’s resources?

A: Roger Noriega, managing director of Vision Americas LLC, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs: “Most conversations about U.S. policy toward Cuba involve ... Read More

Latin America the World’s Most Violent Region

| April 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Latin America is now the world’s most violent region but is receiving less U.S. military and financial assistance, according to a recent report and other figures.

Latin America surpassed Africa as the region with the most murders per 100,000 people, according to the new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Several countries in the Western Hemisphere had murder rates that eclipsed 25 per 100,000 people in 2012, compared to the global average of about six.

The report said 30 percent of the homicides in the Americas could be attributed to a proliferation of organized crime and gang-related violence.

For example, Honduras had one of the world’s highest murder rates with 90.4 per 100,000 people. Mexican drug cartels and transnational criminal groups such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street gangs have infiltrated the country in recent years.

Some of the violence is fueled by those groups’ drug smuggling operations into the United States. ... Read More

America’s Most Brutal Gang Could Be Big Winner In El Salvador’s Election

| March 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Watch the latest video at video.latino.foxnews.com

Watch the latest video at video.latino.foxnews.com

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere, Roger Noriega, explains why Americans should care about the elections in El Salvador.

Click here for original video

Read More

Pressure to Punish Maduro Mounts

| March 1st, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Lawmakers are pressuring President Barack Obama to impose sanctions against Venezuelan officials involved in an ongoing crackdown against protesters in the socialist state.

At least 17 people have died, more than 250 have been injured, and 55 remain behind bars following protests this month against the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition leaders say the protesters were killed by intelligence agents, police, and government-affiliated militias known as “colectivos.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) introduced a resolution on Thursday that urged Obama to impose targeted sanctions such as visa bans and asset freezes on Venezuelan individuals accused of human rights abuses.

“With the Venezuelan people struggling and sacrificing for freedom, liberty, and human rights, they deserve to have their voices be heard, and they deserve the world’s leading defender of human rights to be on their side,” Rubio said in a statement.

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western ... Read More

Las elecciones cruciales para el presidente de El Salvador en 2014

| March 1st, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

Las elecciones presidenciales de El Salvador pone a la nación en una encrucijada. ¿Van a continuar por el camino de la revolución al estilo venezolano, o elegir un nuevo camino hacia la libre empresa y la libertad política? AEI Fellow Roger Noriega explica.

Read More

El Salvador’s crucial 2014 presidential election

| February 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

El Salvador’s presidential election puts the nation at a crossroads. Will they continue down the path of Venezuelan-style revolution, or choose a new path towards free enterprise and political freedom? AEI Fellow Roger Noriega explains.

Read More

El Salvador Could Be the Next Venezuela

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

El Salvador could morph into another Venezuela if the current ruling party retains control in presidential runoff elections next month, a leading expert on the region tells the Washington Free Beacon.

Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs in the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview that the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which currently has control of the country, reportedly has ties to regional drug traffickers, violent gangs in the country, and Venezuela’s regime.

The FMLN’s Salvador Sanchez Ceren nearly won the elections outright earlier this month after garnering almost 49 percent of the vote. Norman Quijano of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) finished in second with nearly 39 percent. The two will face off in a March 9 runoff election.

Noriega, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said Sanchez Ceren represents the hardline, guerrilla faction of the leftist FMLN movement that emerged as a political ... Read More

El Salvador could become the next Venezuela

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

DANIEL WISER

El Salvador could morph into another Venezuela if the current ruling party retains control in presidential runoff elections next month, a leading expert on the region tells the Washington Free Beacon.

Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs in the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview that the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which currently has control of the country, reportedly has ties to regional drug traffickers, violent gangs in the country, and Venezuela’s regime.

The FMLN’s Salvador Sanchez Ceren nearly won the elections outright earlier this month after garnering almost 49 percent of the vote. Norman Quijano of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) finished in second with nearly 39 percent. The two will face off in a March 9 runoff election.

Noriega, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said Sanchez Ceren represents the hardline, guerrilla faction of the leftist FMLN movement that emergedas a political party ... Read More

El Salvador se podría convertir en la próxima Venezuela

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

De acuerdo a un destacado experto en asuntos latinoamericanos, El Salvador podría transformarse en otra Venezuela si el actual partido de gobierno alcanza la victoria en la segunda vuelta de elecciones presidenciales el próximo mes.

Roger Noriega, ex subsecretario de Estado para Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental en el gobierno de George W. Bush , dijo en una entrevista que el Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN ), que actualmente tiene el control del país, tiene vínculos con los traficantes de drogas regionales, las pandillas violentas en el país, y el régimen de Venezuela.

El candidato del FMLN, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, estuvo a punto de ganar las elecciones a principios de este mes, luego de obtener casi el 49 por ciento de los votos. Norman Quijano del conservador Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) terminó en segundo lugar con casi el 39 por ciento. Los dos se enfrentarán en una segunda vuelta el ... Read More

Hezbolá en las calles de Caracas?

| February 20th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
By Roger Noriega

Un hombre a quien el Departamento del Tesoro de EE.UU. ha designado como un operativo de la organización terrorista Hezbolá, aparentemente se ha trasladado de Siria a Venezuela en los últimos días en apoyo a la violenta represión del gobierno Venezolano contra los manifestantes estudiantiles . Ghazi Atef Nassereddine fue sancionado por el gobierno de los EE.UU. en 2008 por proporcionar apoyo logístico y financiero a Hezbolá.

Fuentes y documentos corroboran el papel de Nassereddine como representante de Hezbolá ante el régimen venezolano y como un colaborador cercano del presidente Nicolás Maduro. En los últimos años, se ha hecho pasar como un diplomático asignado a la embajada de Venezuela en Damasco, donde ha utilizado su posición para facilitar viajes y visas para muchas personas procedentes de Oriente Medio a Venezuela. Desde ese puesto, tuvo un acceso extraordinario a altos funcionarios de seguridad sirios que han hecho la guerra a los opositores ... Read More

Hezbollah in the streets of Caracas?

| February 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
AEI

A man whom the US Treasury Department has designated as an operative of the terrorist organization Hezbollah has relocated from the Syria war zone to Venezuela in recent days, apparently in support the government’s violent crackdown against student demonstrators. Ghazi Atef Nassereddine was sanctioned by the US government in 2008 for providing logistical and financial support to Hezbollah.

Sources and documents substantiate Nassereddine’s role as Hezbollah’s principal representative to the Venezuelan regime and a close collaborator of President Nicolás Maduro. In recent years, his official cover has been as a diplomat assigned to Venezuela’s embassy in Damascus, where he has used his position to facilitate travel for many persons from the Middle East to Venezuela. From that post, he had extraordinary access to senior Syrian security officials who have waged war on opponents of the Assad regime.

Two witnesses also have told me that Nassereddine worked personally to obtain Maduro’s approval of Hezbollah money ... Read More

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