Colombia: Venezuela Crumbles Into Uncertainty

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

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

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

DHS may leave known smuggling route into U.S. unprotected

Agent told ‘by end of month we’re not covering it anymore’

An active smuggling route at the U.S. southern border with Mexico will be largely abandoned by the government at the end of this month, an agent with U.S. Border Patrol has informed WND.

The so-called “S2 route” runs along a two-lane county road through a remote area. More than 900 illegal immigrants have been apprehended on the route over the past year, said the agent, who works out of the USBP’s El Centro sector but asked not to be identified.

“For basically the last year we’ve been out there covering that route. Now we were told by the end of this month we’re not going to cover it anymore,” said the agent, who said he has personally patrolled the route in the past. “Nobody is going to be on this road come Oct. 1. Continue reading

China’s New Silk Road to Make a Big Move in Gold

It’s one of the great engineering achievements in history…

At 48 miles long, the Panama Canal cuts through a narrow strip of land in Central America.

It links up the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing ships to pass through the landmass instead of sailing around a whole continent.

Ships pay dearly to use this shortcut… up to $375,000 for a one-way toll.

It’s worth the price. Continue reading

Panama Opens Canal Expansion

Panama officially opened an addition to its fabled sea canal Sunday for a new generation of super cargo ships, capping a nine-year, $5.4 billion expansion project that will double shipping capacity and impact global trade routes.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela unveiled the refurbished canal as the giant container ship Cosco Shipping Panama made its way through a string of locks on the 77-kilometer Isthmus of Panama. “This the route that unites the world,” Varela told a crowd of about 30,000 people who gathered to witness the inaugural trip through the vital waterway. Continue reading

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

If you think a Russian presence in Nicaragua is new, you might be in store for a shock. The Soviet-Nicaraguan runs decades long, even before the Cold War.

The Russians actually have built and kept airfields there maintained. They’re large enough to support heavy strategic bombers. These are also decades old, but were built with future use in mind. They also wanted (and likely still want) to build a deep water port there. Nicaragua will be used as a staging ground for a Soviet invasion from an almost undefended Southern United States. This is a strategic spot not only for bombings from America’s south, but also a means to control the strategic sea gate(s) in Panama.

This is likely more than a spy station that they want now, as a spy station is unsettling, but less unsettling than announcing plans for a strategic attack launching area in the open. Either way, it just shows you that Nicaragua was communist and still remains communist, and that the decade old plans for both against the West never died.

Here are three sources on this, one of which is from a Ronald Reagan address to the nation:

Address to the Nation on the Situation in Nicaragua – March 16, 1986

Russia reality check: Red invasion from Nicaragua

Red Dawn Alert: Russia, Nicaragua to reactivate Punta Huete; Soviets built strategic bomber-capable runway in 1987, MiG-21s expected but never arrived

 

Signals intelligence facility part of deal for 50 Russian tanks

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement. Continue reading

China Buys Panama’s Largest Port

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Caption: Colón, Panama (LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Consolidating power in the Panama Canal

For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States. But this is no longer the case.

In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.

Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, offers the company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.

While promising to upgrade the ailing Panama facilities and offer more trade with America’s distant east coast, there is substantial reason to hesitate at the purchase of such a critical trade hub.

Continue reading

Has ISIS Infiltrated Homeland Security? Orlando Terrorist Worked for Major DHS Contractor

Orlando nightclub terrorist worked for major DHS contractor that secures “90 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities.”

The Orlando nightclub terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS worked almost a decade for a major Department of Homeland Security contractor, raising alarms that ISIS sympathizers and agents have infiltrated the federal agency set up after 9/11 to combat terrorists.

Officials say Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an Afghan-American who held two firearms licenses and a security officer license, was employed by the security firm G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc. since Sept. 10, 2007. The Jupiter, Fla.-based company merged with the Wackenhut Corp. after 9/11 and assumed federal contracts. Continue reading

“Brexit” – What Else Is Wrong with the European Union?

  • Ever since the inception of the European Economic Community, British politicians across the entire political spectrum have been perceptive enough to realize that Britain will lose its sovereignty and turn into a vassal of the France-Germany axis.
  • This month, in March, an official audit reported that EU auditors refuse to sign off more than £100 billion ($144 billion) of EU spending. The Brussels accounts have not been given the all-clear for 19 years in a row.

Why are EU Regulations so long? Maybe because they have to be translated into the 18 official languages? Interpreters also have to be found who can work into and from those languages at the European Parliament. The translation budget is massive. One of the official languages currently is Irish. It can confidently be said that there is no one in the Republic of Ireland who does not speak English; many Irish do not even speak or understand Irish, and certainly none of Ireland’s politicians will be fluent only in Irish. But all of the “acquis,” the body of regulations that are already part of the EU body of laws, also have to be translated into the languages of candidates for EU membership, such as Turkey, thus adding more languages to the tally each time a new regulation is passed. If Catalonia breaks away from Spain and remains a member of the EU, Catalan will need to be added, even though Catalan politicians all speak perfect Spanish.

Continue reading

Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. border

When the U.S. Border Patrol nabbed two Pakistani men with ties to terrorism at the U.S.-Mexico border in September, it marked just the latest instance of illegal immigrants from so-called “special interest countries” using the southern border as a point of entry into the country.

Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, both in their 20s and from Gujrat, were caught Sept. 20 by agents south of San Diego and just over the international border from Tijuana. When agents checked their identities through databases, they got hits on both of them: Mr. Ahmad popped up as an associate of a known or suspected terrorist, while Mr. Azeem’s information had been shared by a foreign government for intelligence purposes. Continue reading

AZ Sheriff Babeu: We’ve Had 10,000 Unaccompanied Juveniles In Two Months, Obama Admin Says ‘Border Is Wide Open’

Pinal County, AZ Sheriff and Congressional candidate Paul Babeu (R) stated, “just the last two months alone, we’ve had 10,000 unaccompanied juveniles” who are “staying here” and that “the Obama administration says the border is wide open, that there is no law [sic] it comes to immigration” on Monday’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on the Fox Business Network. Continue reading

Cubans Surge Into Mexico, Southern United States

Cuban migrants are inundating Mexico and southern Texas in order to obtain asylum, an indication that Cubans still desire to flee their country after Havana’s normalization of relations with the United States.

Nearly 30,000 Cubans sought asylum in Texas during a one-year period that ended in September, an increase of 80 percent from the previous year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The migrants fear that, as part of the rapprochement between Washington and Havana, U.S. lawmakers and the Obama administration will soon end a longstanding policy—known as the dry foot provision—that offers Cubans a fast track process to securing legal residency and a green card if they enter the United States by land. Continue reading

Cuban Alliance with Russia Highlights Moscow’s Expanding Influence in Latin America

Putin’s government increases weapons sales, military cooperation as U.S. reduces aid to the region

Recent reports that Cuban military personnel are on the ground in Syria to support the alliance between Russia and the Assad regime underscore Moscow’s efforts to establish its most significant foothold in Latin America since the Cold War, analysts say.

A U.S. official told Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special operations forces arrived in Syria to assist Russia, which has deployed troops and equipment and launched airstrikes in recent weeks to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Cuban troops could be there to advise the Syrian army or operate Russian-made tanks. The White House said in response that it has seen no evidence that Cuban forces are actually in Syria. Continue reading