MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega moved closer to indefinite re-election Tuesday after his allies in the National Assembly approved constitutional changes that opponents say are designed to keep the Sandinista leader in power for life.
The legislation eliminates presidential term limits and lowers the bar for re-election by naming the candidate with the most votes as the winner, eliminating the current requirement for the winner to garner at least 35 percent. Ortega is serving his third term under a supreme court decision that overrode the constitutional ban. Continue reading
Most Americans are oblivious to the ongoing sell-off of institutionalized names. Many take for granted that these companies are still under the Stars and Stripes. Advanced and emerging foreign markets are exploiting this fiscal weakness, as their businesses establish distribution routes and introduce domestic brand names to the United States consumer marketplace.
Below is a sample of corporations that most people think are American, but are owned by foreign companies.
- Budweiser – Belgium
- Adidas; Alka-Seltzer; Dial Soap; Puma; Trader Joe’s; Tretorn; T-Mobile – Germany
- Flatiron Building; Sunglass Hut – Italy
- Chicago Skyway; Indiana Toll Road – Spain/Australia
- Gerber Products; Toll House – Switzerland
- Frigidaire – Sweden
- Red Bulls MLS team – Austria
- Good Humor-Breyers – Britain/Netherlands
- French’s Mustard; Holiday Inn – Britain Continue reading
Brazil is generally regarded as a moderate, pro-Western country. In fact, it has been under communist leadership and has been since 1994, when Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva first came to power – with the help of Democratic Socialists of America and the AFL-CIO.
Democratic Socialists of America member Stanley Gacek was a labor attorney and AFL-CIO International Affairs Assistant Director, responsible for the Federation’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. Continue reading
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles. Continue reading
Caracas: Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have signed a deal to develop three gas fields that span their maritime border and contain reserves totaling nearly 12 trillion cubic feet.
“We’ve signed the accords for (the Loran-Manatee bloc, the largest of the three), and today we signed (the accord governing) how we’re going to operate those fields,” Venezuela’s Rafael Ramirez, who heads state-owned oil giant PDVSA, said Wednesday. Continue reading
According to Robert Valencia, China is vying for greater economic influence in Latin America, to include possibly constructing and operating an alternative ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua. One unanticipated consequence of this burgeoning US-China rivalry, Valencia observes, is that it might push Latin American countries closer together.
During the first weekend of June, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California to discuss cyber espionage and territorial claims in the Pacific Rim. While tension on these topics has hogged the headlines, the fight for influence in another area could be even more important—Latin America. Other emerging markets in Africa, where China has an overwhelming influence due to foreign direct investment in mining and oil, also offer economic opportunities, but Latin America has an abundance of natural resources, greater purchasing power, and geographic proximity to the United States, which has long considered Latin America as its “backyard.” Continue reading
This is far from a reaction to Washington’s “pivot” as the CCP running China would say. Fact of the matter is, China’s threatening rise is what lead to the pivot in the first place. This is something that they would’ve done, regardless of the situation, yet more of now since they have a weak administration in the White House that doesn’t want its credit card cut off from Beijing.
China has been quietly taking steps to encircle the United States by arming western hemisphere states, seeking closer military, economic, and diplomatic ties to U.S. neighbors, and sailing warships into U.S. maritime zones.
The strategy is a Chinese version of what Beijing has charged is a U.S. strategy designed to encircle and “contain” China. It is also directed at countering the Obama administration’s new strategy called the pivot to Asia. The pivot calls for closer economic, diplomatic, and military ties to Asian states that are increasingly concerned about Chinese encroachment throughout that region.
“The Chinese are deftly parrying our ‘Pivot to the Pacific’ with their own elegant countermoves,” said John Tkacik, a former State Department Asia hand. Continue reading
In a sign Venezuela’s food shortages could be worsening, restrictions on the sale of 20 basic items subject to price controls, including toilet paper and chicken, are set to begin next week in its most populous state, officials said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government said it is incorrect to call the plan rationing because it is meant to fight smuggling of price-controlled food across the border into Colombia. He said there are no plans to extend the program nationally. Continue reading
BOGOTA : Colombia’s defense ministry later this month will sign a cooperation agreement with NATO, in hopes of joining the international military alliance, President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.
“In June, NATO will sign an agreement with the Colombian government, with the Defense Ministry, to start a process of rapprochement and cooperation, with an eye toward also joining that organization,” Santos said at a military promotion ceremony. Continue reading
China and Brazil agreed to trade in each other’s currencies just hours ahead of the BRICS summit in South Africa.
The deal, which extends over a three-year period and amounts to an exchange of about $30 billion in trade per year, marks the latest effort among two of the world’s largest emerging economies to shift the dynamics of international trade that have long favored the U.S. dollar. Continue reading
In a move instigated by residents themselves, 1,672 eligible voters are being asked whether they want the Falklands to remain an internally self-governing British overseas territory.
The result, due overnight on Monday, is not in doubt – but the scale of the “yes” vote will be closely watched as a sign of the Falklanders’ strength of feeling.
However predictable the result, the “yes” campaign has been carried out with enthusiasm.
Homes and shops are festooned with posters and flags, both the British Union Jack and the deep blue Falklands standard which includes the Union Jack and a crest with a sheep in the middle. Continue reading
AFP - Brazil is set to join the select group of countries that have nuclear-powered submarines, President Dilma Rousseff said Friday.
Rousseff stressed Brazil was committed to peace but also needed its defense deterrent, as she inaugurated a naval shipyard in Rio de Janeiro state where the country’s first nuclear-powered sub is set to be built in partnership with France.
“We can say that with these installations we are entering the select club of countries with nuclear submarines: The United States, Russia, France, Britain and China,” said Rousseff.
Known as the Metallic Structures Construction Unit, the factory in the city of Itaguai near Rio de Janeiro is part of the ambitious ProSub program launched in 2008. Continue reading