Taiwan Loses Panama to China

Panama’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands as they exchange documents after signing a joint communiqué on establishing diplomatic relations, in Beijing on June 13, 2017. GREG BAKER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

The island just got lonelier.

Taiwan has lost one of its precious few allies. Panama cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Tuesday. The Panamanian government said there was “only one China” and Taiwan is part of it. This is another blow to the independence of a small island nation trying to keep free from the Communist control of China.

 

China is the second biggest user of the Panama Canal. Since 1997, the Trumpet has tracked and reported how Chinese companies have gained control of the majority of the ports and loading bays of the Panama Canal, the latest of which was bought in June of last year. Chinese investment in the Central American nation is growing as Chinese companies are developing the purchased ports in Panama and developing the land around the Panama Canal.

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Mexico was second deadliest country in 2016

 

(CNN) It was the second deadliest conflict in the world last year, but it hardly registered in the international headlines.

As Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan dominated the news agenda, Mexico’s drug wars claimed 23,000 lives during 2016 — second only to Syria, where 50,000 people died as a result of the civil war.

“This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths [in Mexico] are nearly all attributable to small arms,” said John Chipman, chief executive and director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which issued its annual survey of armed conflict on Tuesday. Continue reading

Raul Castro’s daughter: His successor may surprise Cubans

AP

 

HAVANA (AP) — One of the highest-profile members of Cuba’s ruling family said Wednesday that the country could be surprised by the person who succeeds her father as president.

Mariela Castro’s uncle Fidel led Cuba for a half century before he was succeeded as president by her father, Raul Castro, who has said he plans to step down in February. Continue reading

Special Report: Pope Francis’s Communist Mentor

 

An excerpt from George Neumayr’s “The Political Pope,” to be released Tuesday.

After Pope Francis early in his papacy decried capitalism as “trickle-down economics” — a polemical phrase coined by the left during the Reagan years that Francis frequently borrows — radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh commented, “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.” Talk show host Michael Savage called him “Lenin’s pope.” Pope Francis took such comments as a compliment. “I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended,” he told the Italian press. Continue reading

“All I Have Is Hunger” – Many Venezuelans Too Weak To Protest Despite Maduro Misery

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While tens of thousands of angry Venezuelans turned out for the ‘mother of all protests’ yesterday, facing an increasingly hostile military/police state, the numbers could have been significantly larger but for the fact that legions of poor Venezuelans are simply too frail from starvation to protest.

Some say they are intimidated by armed pro-government militias who scour the slums for signs of dissent. Others say they are afraid to lose the few food handouts the cash-strapped government still provides.

“We wear our protest on the inside for the fear of losing our bag of food,” said San Félix resident Luisa Gutiérrez, a single mother of three. Continue reading

Trump Administration Vows to ‘Devastate’ MS-13 Gang

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L–R: Homeland Security secretary John Kelly, President Donald Trump, ad Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Mark Wilson, Win McNamee, Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

 

President Donald Trump and two of his key cabinet chiefs addressed the growing problem of the violent transnational MS-13 gang on April 18, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions even saying the gang could qualify as a terrorist organization.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called MS-13 one of the greatest hazards the nation faces.

And Trump sent out a tweet: “The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!”

The MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, gang was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s by mostly-illegal immigrants who were escaping the civil war in El Salvador. Continue reading

The Soviet Union fought the Cold War in Nicaragua. Now Putin’s Russia is back.

A view from the outside of the new Russian satellite station above a volcanic crater in Managua. Built alongside Laguna de Nejapa, on a hillside facing the U.S. Embassy, the base is intended to be a tracking site for GLONASS, Russia’s version of a GPS satellite navigation system. Some suspect the site could also be used for spying activities. (Joshua Partlow/The Washington Post)

 

On the rim of a volcano with a clear view of the U.S. Embassy, landscapers are applying the final touches to a mysterious new Russian compound.

Behind the concrete walls and barbed wire, a visitor can see red-and-blue buildings, manicured lawns, antennas and globe-shaped devices. The Nicaraguan government says it’s simply a tracking site of the Russian version of a GPS satellite system. But is it also an intelligence base intended to surveil the Americans?

“I have no idea,” said a woman who works for the Nicaraguan telecom agency stationed at the site. “They are Russian, and they speak Russian, and they carry around Russian apparatuses.” Continue reading

‘WE WILL RETURN’ Argentina vows to ‘NEVER STOP’ trying to take back the Falkland Islands

Anniversary of the Falklands conflict

The comments came at the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the 1982 conflict with the UK [Getty]

 

ARGENTINA “will never cease to claim” the Falklands and “will return to the Islands”, a government minister has claimed in the latest threat by the South American nation.

Recent reports suggest Argentina is looking to make a renewed bid to gain control of the Falkland Islands, as Britain pushes forward with its Brexit plans.

Rogelio Frigerio, the Minister of Interior Affairs, said: “We will never cease to claim what belongs to us. Not one single day of our lives are we going to let our arms down. Continue reading

Brexit talks turn ugly over Gibraltar

As previously discussed a few times, bitter over Brexit, the EU will now find ways to punish Great Britain and gun for Gibraltar and even the Falkland Islands. In regards to Gibralter, it will go on the offensive and support a separation, whereas with the Falkland Islands it will turn a blind eye.

 

Royal Gibraltar Regiment on parade outside Buckingham Palace in London (Photo: Defence Images)

 

Britain has said Spain can have no new powers over Gibraltar, as Brexit prompts hard talk on sovereignty, security, and borders.

“We will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes”, the British prime minister’s office said in a statement on Sunday (2 April).

The British defence minister, foreign minister, and the chief minister of Gibraltar issued similar comments in a debate prompted by the start of Brexit talks last week. Continue reading

Latin America: Front Line of Trade War

Caption: Demonstrators during a protest rally against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto meeting with President Donald Trump, in Mexico City on September 15, 2016. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

America’s new protectionism is forcing Latin America to seek new partners.

America’s influence in Latin America is decreasing, while the influence of other world powers in the region is growing. If it continues, this trend could destroy America.

Dominance of the Caribbean basin is integral to America’s safety and essential to its ability to project power globally. If a rival power were able to establish a significant presence in the Caribbean, it could threaten the American heartland. The Caribbean is also key to United States’ trade. The majority of all U.S. waterborne foreign trade travels to or from U.S. ports on the Gulf of Mexico. When you include goods traveling through the region from other ports, no other part of the world is more essential to America’s trade.

This is why more Americans ought to be concerned that foreign powers are rapidly moving into the Caribbean, as well into South America itself. Continue reading

China eyes global economic leadership as U.S. turns inward

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Kenyan laborers and a Chinese foreman work to finish the construction of an existing bridge that goes across a corner of Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya. A controversial Chinese-built railway project involving an even larger 6km bridge that would go all the way over the beloved protected area in Kenya’s capital has divided conservationists in this East African country. (Photo: Ben Curtis, AP)

 

This year, a 300-mile railway will begin slicing through Kenya, cutting travel time between the capital, Nairobi, and one of East Africa’s largest ports, Mombasa, from 12 to four hours and breeding hopes of an economic and tourism revival in the region.

The country’s most significant transportation project since its independence in 1963 is being built courtesy of China.  China Road and Bridge, a state-owned enterprise, leads construction of the $13.8 billion project, which is financed nearly 100% by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The railroad is one of a host of infrastructure projects China spearheads around the world in an ambitious quest to reinforce its emergence as the world’s next economic superpower while President Trump turns his back on globalization. Continue reading

Driven into their Arms

MEXICO CITY/BERLIN (Own report) – The Mexican government is pushing to rapidly modernize its free trade agreement with the EU and has declared its “close affinity” to Germany, following US President Trump’s threats of massive reprisals by building a wall at the border and imposing punitive tariffs. Because of its extreme dependence on the USA, Mexico can only hold its ground by intensifying its relations with other countries, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Mexico’s enticements are greeted with sympathy by German business circles. The majority of German firms active in Mexico had already decided on new investments and is planning to carry these out, despite expected disadvantages from the projected US trade policy. Experts assume that the US administration cannot afford excessive punitive tariffs or other exorbitant escalations. At an appearance last week in Mexico, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser ostentatiously announced investments worth US $200 million and signed an agreement of intent with Mexico’s Minster of Economics for infrastructure and industrial projects with a possible volume of up to US $36 billion. Continue reading

Drug bust in N.C. shows long reach of Mexico’s cartels, likely corruption of U.S. officials

Overdose deaths have surged as cheap heroin pours into the U.S. from Mexico. /Getty Images

 

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office authorities said they began targeting a large scale heroin distribution ring in 2013. The investigation found that a Mexican heroin trafficking ring based in the Charlotte-Matthews area had been supplying heroin to Rowan County for more than 10 years, with some transactions involving quantities of up to $10,000 worth at a time, WXII-12 News reported on Feb. 2.

“In the last few years Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the massive amounts of drugs — especially heroin — that get smuggled into the U.S. by Mexican traffickers who later use street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs to distribute them throughout the country,” the Judicial Watch blog said.

“Undoubtedly, these enterprises benefited tremendously from the Obama administration’s open border policies.” Continue reading

Report: Juarez Cartel Used Shell Companies to Finance Mexican President’s Election

AFP

 

An in-depth investigation has revealed that through the use of shell companies, members of the Juarez Cartel financed the political campaign of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The cartel members appear to have also used government programs to launder money and profit form their networks of contacts.

The bombshell revelation was made this week by the independent news outlet Aristegui Noticias who claim that top officials of the Juarez Cartel financed thousands of cash cards that were handed out by Mexico’s Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) during the 2012 political campaign that resulted in the victory of Enrique Pena Nieto. According to the Mexican journalists, the cash cards were provided by a company called Monex. They were reported to be financed through a series of shell corporations by key players with the Juarez Cartel. Continue reading

A Preview Of Trump’s Seven Imminent Executive Orders

 

Having already signed a (mostly symbolic) executive order on Obamacare on Friday night, urging US agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals, Trump is preparing to unload a volley of many more executive orders. Courtesy of Axios, which quotes “one of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town”, here is a preview of the initial round of Trump executive actions, some of which may hit as soon as Sunday afternoon:

  • Look for a possible hiring freeze at executive branch
  • 5-year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials
  • Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds. (It’s already illegal to use U.S dollars on abortions.)
  • Task the Defense Secretary and joint chiefs to come up with plan to eviscerate ISIS
  • Report on readiness, and something cyber security related
  • Border/immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal
  • Trade: Withdraw from TPP and a thorough review of NAFTA

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