Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Guest Opinion: Beware of investing in Cuba

| March 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Brainer Dispatch

Minnesota farmers and business owners should beware of investing in Cuba. Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, have been the only communist dictators of Cuba, all while the U.S. elected presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama to the office of U.S. President. The Castro dictators have never stopped working to spread communism and socialism into South and Central America. Particularly in Venezuela, Fidel Castro has mentored Hugo Chavez and his designated successor Nicolas Maduro in the methods of “nationalizing” western businesses. In the 1960s Fidel Castro nationalized 382 U.S. businesses, including banks and factories, under communism in Cuba.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Fidel Castro actually urged the Soviet leader, Khrushchev,, to launch a nuclear weapon strike against the U.S. using Soviet missiles based in Cuba. As Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara revealed many years later, the U.S. did ... Read More

Securing the border: Understanding and addressing the root causes of Central American migration to the United States

| March 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
US Senate

Statement before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

United States Senate

Ambassador Roger F. Noriega

Visiting Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

   March 25, 2015

Mr. Chairman, I commend you and your Committee for organizing a series of hearings this week to focus attention on the fundamental responsibility of securing our borders. I also would like to begin my testimony by recognizing the service of the U.S. government officials who testify before you today. I know from experience that their jobs are critical to our security, and I thank them for their service to our nation.

No event in recent years has underscored the vulnerability of the United States’ southwest border as dramatically as the wave of illegal immigrants—many of them children—crossing our border in a five-month period beginning last March. Overall in FY 2014, 51,000 “unaccompanied alien children” (UACs) were detained ... Read More

Venezuelan leader’s popularity inches up to 25 percent – poll

| March 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
Swiss Info

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s popularity inched up to 25 percent in March, according to leading local pollster Datanalisis, after the United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials.

The measures from Washington provided an unlikely helping hand to the socialist leader at one of the worst moments for the ruling “Chavismo” movement.

Maduro has cranked up revolutionary rhetoric against so-called “imperialist” aggression to fire up supporters and unite his disparate coalition ahead of parliamentary elections, a strategy that seems to have triggered a modest popularity bounce.

“Maduro has a 25 percent popularity level,” Datanalisis said in a tweet on Tuesday, citing its president Luis Vicente Leon.

That’s up from the low 20s, though Leon suggested the difference was within the margin of error. He did not provide the poll’s margin of error or sample size.

... Read More

Colombian army nabs drug suspect wanted in U.S.

| March 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

A Colombian man wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges was detained by soldiers near the border with Panama, Colombia’s army said Monday.

Special forces of the army’s Air Assault Division captured Juan Carlos Portela Noriega in Chigorodo, a town in the Uraba region. He is reputed to be a leader of the Clan Usuga gang, which operates in the area.

The U.S. government has requested that Portela be extradited for trial before a federal court in Texas, the Colombian army said.

Authorities in Colombia say Portela has connections to the Mexico-based Los Zetas and Sinaloa drug cartels and that he has coordinated exports of cocaine and other banned substances.

The drugs were transported via speedboat to Panama, where they would be loaded onto cargo vessels bound for Central American, used by the Mexican cartels as a staging area for shipments to ... Read More

The Maduro Smokescreen

| March 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
The London Economic

By Max Bluer

The sweeping presidential powers, the detention of political opponents, even the troop mobilisations are empty gestures. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela’s main goal is now to distract his people, and the world, from his country’s problems.  

Highly dangerous. A power grab. A smokescreen. The response from internal opponents and the international community to the Venezuelan Congress’ decision to grant President Nicolás Maduro new decree powers has been overwhelmingly critical. The law, which in its preamble specifies its objective as ‘protecting national sovereignty from foreign interventions’, allows the executive to bypass Congress in areas of ‘freedom, equality, justice and international peace, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national self-determination’.

The vague wording of the new legislation – freedom, equality and independence are terms that can mean just about anything – has scared many both within and outside Venezuela. The fear is that Maduro will go beyond the law’s ... Read More

Mexico steps up migration enforcement, but is it working?

| March 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

BY DAVID AGREN

SALTILLO, Mexico — Eulio Iglesias, 50, spent eight days traveling through Mexico last year in a bid to cross into the United States before he was stopped at the Texas border and returned to his native El Salvador.

This year, the same attempted journey — an effort to get back to New York City where he worked in hotels and restaurants for 20 years, and still has children — took him twice as long. That’s because Mexican authorities have increased immigration enforcement, forcing him to ride rickety vans and buses down back roads, bribe police to avoid being detained and ply circuitous paths on foot to evade patrols and checkpoints.

“Everyone is out to catch you,” he said after arriving at a shelter for migrants here in Saltillo, 190 miles south of Texas.

For years, Central American migrants have taken risky paths to reach the USA through Mexico. Now, the government ... Read More

Venezuela’s Maduro Sees Only Plots As His Economy Crumbles

| March 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
NPR

As the U.S. prepares to reopen its embassy in communist Cuba, relations with another Latin American nation — oil-rich Venezuela — are crumbling.

President Nicolas Maduro accuses the U.S. of plotting a coup against him, and is expelling most U.S. diplomats from Venezuela. He is also demanding that Americans secure visas to enter the country.

The visa requirement is still so new that upon my arrival in Caracas this week without one, the immigration official doesn’t even notice. She stamps my U.S. passport and says, “Welcome.”

I’m here in time for the second anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela’s socialist revolution until he succumbed to cancer. The events include military parades and a modern dance performance about Chavez, whom many Venezuelans still adore.

By contrast, Maduro is struggling. He has failed to tame one of the world’s highest inflation rates, food shortages are getting worse and the economy last year ... Read More

Venezuela’s Desperate Times and Maduro’s Desperate Measures

| March 4th, 2015 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

BY CARL MEACHAM

On March 1, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced the latest in a series of claims accusing the United States of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs: an unspecified number of U.S. citizens, among them an American pilot, arrested in Táchira were, according to Maduro, conducting espionage operations for the U.S. government.

This all comes just one day after his government released four U.S. missionaries arrested earlier in the week.

Over the weekend, Maduro also announced a series of new measures supposedly designed to counter U.S. influence in Venezuela, including visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela, significantly downsizing the U.S. embassy in Caracas, and banning a number of prominent U.S. officials (some already retired) from entering Venezuela. In recent weeks, Caracas has also accused Vice President Joe Biden of conspiring to overthrow the Maduro administration and alleged that U.S. officials helped to plan an attempted attack on ... Read More

Detained American Missionaries Leave Venezuela

| March 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BY  WILLIAM NEUMAN

CARACAS, Venezuela — Ratcheting up tensions with the United States, President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday ordered a sharp reduction in the number of diplomats at the American Embassy here, said Americans would now need visas to enter the country and took other measures to retaliate for sanctions imposed by Washington on Venezuelan officials.

Mr. Maduro announced the steps at a rally at the presidential palace, hours after four missionaries from North Dakota who had been held and questioned by Venezuelan authorities since Wednesday left the country.

Venezuela, a major oil exporter to the United States, is mired in a deep economic crisis marked by recession, high inflation and shortages of basic goods and medicines. Mr. Maduro, a leftist whose popularity is slumping, blames capitalist enemies and the United States for the country’s troubles and has accused Washington of plotting ... Read More

US pressures Cuba to turn over fugitives

| February 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Sun Sentinel

By William E. Gibson

U.S. officials will continue this week to pressure Cuba to turn over fugitives wanted for Medicare fraud and other crimes in the United States.

Closer cooperation between the two old adversaries could disrupt a criminal pipeline that has funneled ill-gotten gains from Florida to Cuba, an organized crime network disclosed last month by the Sun Sentinel after a year-long investigation.

Some members of Congress are demanding the return of fugitives, hoping to halt Cuban crime rings and discourage scams.

“I would hope that if those who wish to violate American law understand that they can’t hide from prosecution in Cuba, it would help to deter people from ripping off American taxpayers,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat who represents parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties.

The issue will be raised Thursday when Cuba’s alleged links to terrorist groups are discussed at a House subcommittee hearing.

Chairman Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said Cuban spying ... Read More

Dissidents Say as Many as 200 Arrested in Cuba

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

Cuban dissidents say that more than 100 anti-government activists have been arrested and they are awaiting word Monday on how many have been released.

Berta Soler, leaders of the group Ladies in White, said that 53 members of her group and 36 other dissidents were arrested Sunday during the group’s traditional march through Havana after Sunday Mass.

Elizardo Sanchez, head Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, one of the country’s largest human rights groups, said that between 150 and 200 dissidents had been arrested across the country Sunday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said on Twitter that the U.S. is “concerned about violent silencing of peaceful voices for change.” She meets with Cuban officials Friday for the second round of talks on re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Click here for original ... Read More

Brazil Aims to Boost Economic Ties with U.S.

| February 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

By Tim Ridout

WASHINGTON – Fresh off a narrow victory in a contentious election, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has signaled an interest in restoring momentum in Brazil’s ties with the United States as well as a renewed focus on the European Union. Brazil’s growth is collapsing due to continuing infrastructure, regulatory, and fiscal problems, as well as tightening external credit and low global commodity prices. The cumulative impact of these factors is encouraging tighter fiscal and monetary policies at home, and a trade agenda that focuses on a Mercosur-EU free trade agreement with Brussels and trade facilitation and regulatory convergence with Washington.

These initiatives are being pursued in the context of negotiations over a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and EU, a mega-trade deal that Brazil worries will leave it outside global value chains. Given its similar fears regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stagnant domestic economic ... Read More

US-Funded News Station Wants to Bring Free Press to Cuba. But Raúl Castro Wants to Shut It Down.

| February 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
Daily Signal-01

By Josh Siegel

MIAMI—Carlos García-Pérez, who heads the U.S. government’s Office of Cuba Broadcasting, is used to his news station being a target.

The Miami headquarters of Radio and TV Martí is protected as if it is one. Located randomly off the side of an expressway, the building is guarded by a barbed-wire gate.

Signage outside confirms the news station as U.S. government property, and visitors are asked by a uniformed guard to not bring their cell phones into the building.

The federal government launched Radio Martí in 1983 and TV Martí in 1990 with the hope to combat communism by exposing Cubans to freedom and democracy, providing uncensored information from Miami to Cuba.

Since the beginning, the Castro regime, notorious suppressors of free press, has worked hard to block the station’s programs.

Today, the Cuban government sometimes successfully jams its transmissions, especially in ... Read More

Why Castro’s demand for reparations from US could backfire

| January 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor

By Howard LaFranchi

WASHINGTON — Cuban President Raúl Castro had a surprise for the Obama administration when he issued a new and considerably tougher set of demands this week for reaching normalized relations with the United States.

Return of the Guantánamo Bay naval base to Cuban sovereignty was perhaps the most stop-and-take-notice condition Mr. Castro set in a speech Wednesday. But it was the brother of Fidel Castro’s demand concerning reparations that could end up stirring the bitterest pot and posing the highest obstacle to normalization.

Castro said United States payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic reparations for damages caused by the five-decade-old embargo, and indeed a lifting of the embargo Cuba considers a “blockade,” would also have to take place before the two adversaries can renew relations that were severed soon after the Cuban revolution of 1959.

But Castro’s reparation demands also carry a risk. That’s because ... Read More

Mexico AG: Captured drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman won’t be extradited to US anytime soon

| January 28th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By MARIA VERZA, Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Captured Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will not be extradited to the United States anytime soon, Mexico’s top prosecutor said Tuesday.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said he was expecting to receive a formal request later in the day from Washington, which also wants to prosecute Guzman on drug trafficking charges. But U.S. authorities will have a long wait.

“I could accept extradition, but at the time that I choose. ‘El Chapo’ must stay here to complete his sentence, and then I will extradite him,” Murillo Karam told The Associated Press in an interview. “So about 300 or 400 years later — it will be a while.”

Murillo Karam later clarified that he was referring to the time that it would take for Guzman to complete his sentences, “given all the crimes ... Read More

US Caribbean energy summit seeks ways to ease region away from shaky Venezuela oil program

| January 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
FoxNews.com

A decade-long addiction to oil subsidized by Venezuela may be coming to an end for several Caribbean nations, with a nudge from the United States.

Fears that falling oil prices could knock the wheels off the already wobbly economy of oil-dependent Venezuela have sparked apparent interest in alternatives to Petrocaribe, a trade program created by the late President Hugo Chavez that has kept the region dependent on the South American country for energy.

Evidence of that interest will be on display Monday as Caribbean leaders converge in Washington for the first Caribbean Energy Security Summit, hosted by Vice President Joe Biden. Plans for the event have been in the works for months, but with oil recently falling to below $50 a barrel, a sense of urgency has emerged given Venezuela’s increasingly precarious situation.

“It’s absolutely the case that the economic situation has deteriorated for Venezuela ... Read More

Confirmed: U.S. Will Request That Mexico Extradite Drug Lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Forbes

BY DOLIA ESTEVEZ

Washington has decided to request the extradition of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, who is now in a maximum-security prison outside Mexico City. Mexico’s Attorney General José Murillo Karam said he expects the U.S. government will ask for Guzmán’s extradition in the “next hours.” During a press conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, Murillo Karam said there will be “no problem to process the request to decide, at the right time, what would be most appropriate.”

The “right time,” according to Mexican sources, would be after Guzmán is fully prosecuted and sentenced in Mexico, where he faces eight active criminal cases. Guzmán, who topped the list of most wanted drug criminals in the world and was captured last year, would not need to finish serving his sentence in Mexico in order to be sent to the U.S., according to Mexican diplomatic sources. Therefore, if the prosecutions proceed as ... Read More

Cuba wants off U.S. terrorism list before restoring normal ties

| January 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

BY DANIEL TROTTA

(Reuters) - Cuba will tell the United States in face-to-face talks this week it wants to be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism before restoring diplomatic relations, a senior foreign ministry official said on Tuesday.

The two adversaries will meet in Havana on Wednesday and Thursday in an attempt to restore ties that the United States severed in 1961.

They are the first talks since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on Dec. 17 they would resume diplomatic ties and swap prisoners in a historic shift after five decades of hostilities.

The Cuban official said it was “unfair” to put Cuba on the U.S. State Department’s list, which also includes Iran, Syria and Sudan.

While saying removal from the list was not necessarily a condition for restoring ties, the official said the Cubans would press the issue with the U.S. delegation.

“We cannot conceive of re-establishing diplomatic relations while Cuba continues to be included on ... Read More

Is Ecuador’s president using U.S. law to censor critics?

| January 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

By Simeon Tegel

LIMA, Peru — You might think that using United States laws to shut up social media opponents would be the last thing Rafael Correa would do.

A vocal adversary of Washington, Ecuador’s leftist president has also made a name for sheltering WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in his country’s London Embassy, and briefly offering asylum to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

So, it might come as a surprise to learn that Ecuadoreans who dare to post content critical of Correa and his government on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook say they are finding their images and videos systematically targeted and taken down.

Even more unexpected is the justification being given time and again: the supposed violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998.

The law, intended to combat online piracy, holds Internet companies liable for copyright violations they host, however unwittingly. It also establishes a fast track “notice and takedown” process ... Read More

Debt Dispute Between Hedge Funds and Argentina at Impasse

| January 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BUENOS AIRES — The hopes of easing a debt dispute between Argentina and a group of New York hedge funds seemed to be dashed on Monday after the country’s economy minister made an offer that appeared to fall well short of what the investors were seeking.

Argentina made the informal offer after a potentially onerous legal clause in its bonds ceased to apply on Dec. 31. The hedge funds, known as holdouts, had sued Argentina in the United States to get full payments on bonds that the country defaulted on in 2001.

The provision that expired on Dec. 31, known as the rights-upon-future-offers clause, had prohibited Argentina from paying out better terms to the holdouts than it had to investors who had accepted less money in debt restructuring deals in 2005 and 2010. Now, the country can, in theory, strike a ... Read More

Page 1 of 3412345»102030...Last »