While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading
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Russian military commentator Col. (res.) Viktor Baranetz, a former Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, said that Russia should deploy Caliber cruise missiles to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela in order to defend their democracy and sovereignty and to point them “at America’s fat ass.” He was commenting on possible Russian actions against the backdrop of the ongoing debate in the U.S. regarding deployment of American troops to Ukraine. His statements aired on the Russian MoD TV channel Zvezda TV on June 26. Continue reading
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
With the world’s attention focused on Syria and North Korea in recent weeks for obvious reason, another geopolitical hotspot is on the verge of eruption. According to AFP, after weeks of increasingly more violent protests, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the army into the streets as the insolvent nation braces for what the opposition has vowed will be the “mother of all protests” on Wednesday.
Maduro, who recently backed down from a bid to usurp supreme power after a Supreme Court decision left the local Congress powerless, only to reverse itself following furious blowback even from his own party, has faced violent protests over recent moves to tighten his grip on power, and ordered the military to defend the leftist “Bolivarian revolution” launched by his late mentor Hugo Chavez in 1999. Continue reading
The consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft compiled a Crime Rate Index for calendar year 2016, and Mexico was in third place, as the third most dangerous country in the world. The list was released in December of 2016.
Verisk Maplecroft describes itself on its website as “a leading global risk analytics, research and strategic forecasting company offering an unparalleled portfolio of risk solutions.”
Here is the firm’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Countries list, with #1 as the most dangerous country in the world, #2 as the second most dangerous, and so on: Continue reading
Take cash away from the citizens and, in theory, they can’t make a run on the banks and spark a full economic collapse.
Take cash away from the citizens and they can’t have full economic control over their own lives.
- Maduro says move to fight smuggling, currency attacks
- 100-bolivar bills must be out of circulation in 72 hours
Venezuela’s government ordered all 100-bolivar bank notes out of circulation within 72 hours, amid a hard cash shortage and the scheduled release this week of bigger bank notes. Continue reading
One of the oil world’s longest and best kept secrets may finally be revealed. Saudi Arabia is preparing to unveil how much oil it holds, a closely guarded state secret that has been kept quiet for decades.
The decision to bring such important data to light comes as Saudi Aramco is preparing to partially privatize its assets, an IPO that could bring in some $100 billion. The IPO will be a monumental event, one that the Wall Street Journal says could offer Wall Street some of the largest fees in history. Continue reading
A company with direct ties to George Soros is providing voting machines to 16 states, including key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.
The balloting equipment tied to Soros comes from UK-based Smartmatic, whose chairman Mark Malloch-Brown is a former UN official and sits on the board of Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Continue reading
As the U.S. elections draw nearer, the amount of bellicose rhetoric from politicians and key military commanders (in truth, “politicians” as well) has been increasing. The main focus of that rhetoric has been directed toward Russia, and is also “blathered” in the direction of China, North Korea, and Iran when it suits U.S. political interests. The problem is that all of it is not just talk: action has been taken, especially regarding Russia and the Syrian theatre of operations.
Within the past several weeks, the U.S. has bombed Syrian troops, killing 62 outside of Deor ez-Zor in airstrikes and then admitting to doing so “mistakenly.” The Russians responded by firing up a UN/coalition convoy almost immediately after. Russian naval artillery then took out a command post with approximately 30 “coalition” officers, some of them being Americans. The U.S. then made itself responsible (indirectly) for an attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus, Syria: anti-Assad Islamic militants did the job, and these have support with funding and materials of the U.S. Continue reading
Fed up with what socialism has wrought in their country, angry Venezuelans on Sept. 3 chased President Nicolas Maduro through the streets during what was supposed to be a routine political event.
Maduro had traveled to Margarita Island off Venezuela’s northern coast to inaugurate a number of new public housing units and give a televised address during which he denounced his opponents’ demands that he step down from office, calling them “vampires”. Continue reading
BRASILIA — President Dilma Rousseff was stripped of her office Wednesday in the culmination of a political crisis that has left Latin America’s largest nation adrift, with an economy in deep recession and a public sharply divided over the country’s future.
Rousseff was impeached on arcane charges having to do with violating budget laws. But she was swept up in a tide of revulsion against Brazil’s political class as the once-flourishing economy contracted and political parties were tarred by a massive corruption scandal.
Wednesday’s 61-to-20 Senate vote closed out an extraordinary 13-year rule by the leftist Workers’ Party, which boasted of lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty before the economy began to nosedive and its political fortunes soured. Continue reading
Last week we reported that in addition to confiscating the guns of Venezuela’s famished population, president Maduro had a warning for would-be coup plotters (perhaps sensing that a coup is imminent): “Did you see what happened in Turkey?” said Maduro, in a televised public event on Thursday evening. “Erdogan will seem like a nursing baby compared to what the Bolivarian revolution will do if the right wing steps over the line with a coup.”
Investigations into past Iranian terrorist attacks in Argentina reveal the extent of its terror network in Latin America and its determination to sponsor global chaos.
On July 18, 1994, a Hezbollah suicide bomber operating under directions from Iran, rammed a truck laden with 600 pounds of explosives into the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (amia) building—a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. The ensuant blast killed 85 people and wounded more than 300 others.
Nearly 22 years later, the amia bombing remains as the worst terrorist attack in Argentine history, and it is largely unsolved. But the bombing is arguably the most revealing of the extent of Iran’s terror outreach beyond the borders of the Middle East.
As Iran has expanded and spread its acts of terrorism and its hatred for Jews all over the Earth, even right up to the United States’ backdoor, it simultaneously has worked hard to cover its tracks and present itself as a pragmatic international partner. Terrifyingly, Iran has scored some successes: The world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism is now essentially an ally of the U.S. and the West.
Time will prove that to be a fatal mistake. Continue reading
Some 120,000 desperate Venezuelans poured into Colombia over the weekend to buy food and medicine that are in short supply in socialist Venezeula.
Under the 21st century socialist, or “chavismo”, movement started by Hugo Chavez and continued by his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, 70 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty amid triple-digit inflation, mortality rates are skyrocketing, public services are collapsing, crime is out of control, and hospitals do not have basic, inexpensive medicines. Continue reading
Just over a year ago, cash-strapped Venezuela quietly conducted a little-noticed gold-for-cash swap with Citigroup as part of which Maduro converted part of his nation’s gold reserves into at least $1 billion in cash through a swap with Citibank.
As Reuters reported then, the deal would make more foreign currency available to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government as the OPEC nation struggles with soaring consumer prices, chronic shortages and a shrinking economy worsened by low oil prices. Needless to say, the socialist country’s economic situation is orders of magnitude worse now.
According to El Nacional, “the deal was for $1 billion and was struck with Citibank, which is owned by Citigroup.” Continue reading