Russian destroyer Vice Adm Kulakov (berthed to starboard of cruiser Moskva) in Cuba, earlier in their Americas deployment (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
… and other news from the brave new world
In case you were wondering: no, the former-Soviet navy didn’t use to send warships to visit Nicaragua, back in the day. Although the Nicaragua of the 1980s under Daniel Ortega was a client of the Soviet Union, Moscow didn’t send naval task forces to visit back then. Soviet navy ships were in Cuba on a regular basis, but running the Russian navy around a Central American circuit is a new thing.
And what a thing it is. Russia and Nicaragua can’t do this quietly. They have to Continue reading
David Frum exposes How Hugo Chavez brought Afghanistan to South America. Frum, who’s been to Afghanistan and Iraq, traveled to the world’s most dangerous city. Caracas,
The violence in Venezuela isn’t political, exactly. It is more a reflection of the general breakdown of law in a society where every institution of state has been corrupted and degraded.
A little while ago, I was asking, Assuming Assad asks asylum . . . will he go to Cuba, Venezuela, or Ecuador? One commenter asked about Bolivia, too.
Assad Is So Out of Vogue that the Russians are distancing themselves:
The Syrian dictator has yet to be pried from power, but with the Kremlin sending war ships for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens, it may not be long before the Assads are passé. That’s good news, isn’t it? In the Middle East, “yes” and “no” are rarely correct answers.
Following last week’s looting of supermarkets, and facing currency exchange restrictions and 20% annual inflation, Argentine Firms Get Creative
Many of Argentina’s businesses say the country’s increasingly unorthodox macroeconomic policies are becoming a headache.
So we now have Newsan SA (which makes Sanyo plasma-television screens and JVC video cameras) fishing shrimp and hake, tire maker Pirelli exporting honey, and BMW exporting leather, grape juice, and rice. Why?
Capriles is still governor of Miranda, but Venezuelans voted heavily for Chávez allies in regional elections
Allies of Venezuela President Hugo Chávez won almost all 23 governors’ races in elections on Sunday.
Venezuela’s ruling party had vowed to sweep the nation’s key governors’ race as a tribute to their stricken leader President Hugo Chávez who is convalescing in a Cuban hospital.
On Sunday, it made good on that promise, winning 20 of 23 states and punching into opposition strongholds, according to preliminary results.
Andres Oppenheimer writes about the most corrupt countries in our hemisphere (emphasis added):
Among the world’s 20 least corrupt countries in the world are Germany (13th), Barbados (15th), the United Kingdom (17th) and the United States (19th), followed by Chile and Uruguay (tied in the 20th place). Bahamas is tied with France in the 22nd place.
Earlier this week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to seek his help in dissuading Syrian president Bashar Assad from using nerve gas on his own people and in encouraging Assad instead to give up power.
I wonder if Clinton had read a report from the region saying that the Syrians’ chemical weapons had been moved recently after the Syrians realized the Central Intelligence Agency knew their location. Why is this of interest? Because, according to this account, the weapons were “under the direct supervision of experts from Iran, Russia and North Korea.”
…will he go to Cuba, Venezuela, or Ecuador?
The embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is considering the possibility to claim political asylum for himself, his family and his close circle in Latin America if he has to cede power, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
“Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister held meetings in Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador over the past week, and brought with him classified personal letters from Assad to local leaders,” the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported.
Hmmm…Let’s think that one through:
Last week the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management issued a report updating its 2006 A Line in the Sand findings.
The new report (pdf file), A LINE IN THE SAND: COUNTERING CRIME,
VIOLENCE AND TERROR AT THE SOUTHWEST BORDER found (emphasis added):
Although the United States tightened security at airports and land ports of entry in thewake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S.-Mexico border remains an obvious weak link in the chain.