Published on 22 August 2014 by Big Story

usaidThe Costa Rican government will investigate undercover U.S. programs operated from the Central American country and using its citizens in a ploy to destabilize the government in Cuba, the director of intelligence and security said Friday.

Mariano Figueres told The Associated Press that the new administration, which took office May 8, has found no records or information from their predecessors about the U.S. Agency for International Development project, which starting in 2009 sent young Venezuelans, Costa Ricans and Peruvians to Cuba in hopes of stirring opposition to the island's communist government.

Figueres said Costa Rica's only information came from an 4 Aug Associated Press article, which said USAID and a contractor, Creative Associates International, used the cover of health and civic programs, some operating out of Costa Rica, in hopes of provoking political change in Cuba. The AP found the program continued even as U.S. officials privately told contractors to consider suspending travel to Cuba after the arrest there of contractor Alan Gross, who remains imprisoned after smuggling in sensitive technology.

"If we can confirm all this, of course we're not going to agree that our national territory be used to attack a friendly government, regardless of what ideological side you're on," Figueres said. "It's a matter of sovereignty and respect ... and we're very alarmed that they used Costa Rican citizens and put them at risk."

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Category: Latin American

Published on 11 August 2014 by Granma International

evo morales

Bolivia’s President presents 12-point government program to his party and leaders of principal social organizations

Bolivia has experienced sustained growth under the leadership of President Evo Morales, who is running for reelection this coming October 12, with a new 12-point programmatic agenda, which could allow the country to become one of South America’s most developed economies, devoted to the goal of buen vivir, a good life for all with social justice and equality. President Evo Morales is currently supported by 60% of voters, going into the October elections. 

When Morales assumed office for the first time in 2005, capitalist technocrats and the regional right wing thought he wouldn’t last long, lacking, they believed, the knowledge needed to carry out the anti-neoliberal policies proposed in his campaign, with the goal of creating a new nation.

The President, however, not only outwitted enemies who attempted to overthrow him, but ensured that Bolivia’s economy maintained a steady growth rate over the last 13 years, generating earnings which were used to meet social needs, thanks to new policies not based on market laws.

This past year, the country’s economy grew at a rate of 6.8%, and its reserves went from eight billion dollars in 2006, to 33 billion currently. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund, this trend should continue, with a growth rate of 5.1% forecast for this year, and 6.8% in 2015.

The Morales government nationalized the economy’s most important sectors – oil and gas – and promoted industrialization of these, along with that of lithium, and has to its credit a transparent system of administration, which has not, to date, allowed for incidents of corruption, or the misappropriation of funds, ills afflicting some other Latin American nations.

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Category: Latin American

Published on 19 August 2014 by Presna Latina

Julian assange

In addition of ensuring security of computer specialist and journalist Julian Assange as a political refugee, the Ecuadorian government is seeking an appropriate legal resolution to his case, said Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

At his Twitter account, the minister stressed yesterday the many nuances in Assange's legal case, saying: "The principle of effective judiciary protection says we have the right to trials without undue delays, something Julian Assange has not been allowed."

At a news conference in London along with the founder of the Wikileaks organization, Patiño said the British Parliament had passed a law to prevent extradition of people who have not been accused by a judge, as in the case of the computer specialist.

According to the foreign minister's statements with the press, this formal change opens new possibilities of understanding on the matter with the U.K. government, which has so far refused a safe-conduct pass to transfer Assange to Ecuador.

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Category: Latin American

Published on 4 August 2014 by Le Monde / www.alternet.org

The days when U.S.-backed armed forces overthrew constitutional, democratically elected governments are long gone.

 “In this country, they apply what the left used to call a ‘combination of all forms of struggle’. And if you make a list of the people involved, they have remained the same since the start; it’s the same organisations ... What changes, every time, is the method.”

Venezuelan interior minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres

window dressing coup

On 23 September 2010 the former Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutiérrez (deposed by a popular uprising in 2005) gave a talk to the InterAmerican Institute for Democracy in Miami, criticising his nation’s socialists for their mysticism, incoherent Marxism and dangerous populism. He told his listeners that to end 21st-century socialism in Ecuador (the subject of his talk), it would be necessary to get rid of President Rafael Correa.

His speech is on record; there’s a video that captures the thunderous applause it received. In the audience were Mario Ribadeneira, a minister in the government of Sixto Durán-Ballén (president 1992-96), when Ecuadorian neoliberalism was at its height; Roberto Isaías, wanted for fraud after the collapse of Filanbanco, Ecuador’s largest bank, of which he was part-owner; and Mario Pazmiño, a former head of army intelligence, sacked by Correa in 2008 for having too close a relationship with the CIA.

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Category: Latin American

Published on 20 July by www.venezuelanalysis.com

BRICS

Several multilateral meetings were held in the city of Fortaleza, including the 6th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, and meetings between China and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

During the BRICS summit, the five emerging economies created a new development bank and a multilateral reserve fund, each of which will potentially hold US $100 billion of pooled capital. The reserve fund will be used to support members of the bloc against adverse economic conditions or external impacts.

The creation of the new institutions is partly motivated by dissatisfaction with the terms of the financial hegemony exercised by the U.S. and its European allies through the IMF and World Bank.

“The strength of our project has positive potential: we want the global [financial] system to be fairer and more equal,” said Brazilian president Dilma Roussef to media.

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Category: Latin American

Nam News Network

Cuban doctors in Operation Milagro

Cuban doctors at the Jose Marti Eye Hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay, have administered 50,000 surgeries as part of the program known as Operation Miracle.

Sixto Amaro, a directive with the Social Prevention Bank, told reporters that the achievement will be publicly acknowledged next week and that Operation Miracle has allowed a saving of 100 million dollars in seven years.

The health program has been implemented in Uruguay since 2005 following a bilateral accord between Havana and Montevideo, said Amaro and added that out of the 50,000 eye surgeries, 38 were done on cataracts, which benefited retired persons.

The rest of the surgeries were administered on other eye conditions, PL news agency reported on Wednesday from the Uruguayan capital. Sources at the hospital said that over 70,000 patients are assisted at the center every year, with an average 250 consultations a day and more than 4,000 a month

Category: Latin American

Counterpunch

us aid zun

News from the AP about the U.S. government’s secret project to create a Cuban Twitter or “ZunZuneo,” to be used for disseminating propaganda and fomenting unrest in Cuba, spurring young people in that country to overthrow their government, comes as no surprise to anyone with even the most cursory understanding of U.S. policy in Cuba and Latin America in general. It is but a tiny part of a 55-year-old, completely unprovoked, genocidal policy against a nation whose only offense is failing to subordinate itself to the will of the U.S. government.

ZunZuneo was initiated and run by the ostensibly “humanitarian” U.S. Agency for International Development through a series of shell corporations which were not supposed to be traced back to the government. The project is typical of the type of subversion and interference with another nation that the U.S. government has always felt entitled to undertake, regardless of the principles of sovereignty and self-determination fundamental to international law.

Due to Cuba’s successful revolution in 1959 and their ongoing ability to resist U.S. subversion of their socioeconomic system, U.S. actions against the tiny nation in the Carribean have been harsher than any other victim who fails to recognize the U.S. as its rightful master. Early destabilization efforts included a vicious campaign of terrorism against Cuba, part of a massive CIA effort that later evolved into a policy of providing safe haven to terrorist exile groups and looking the other way as they violate the U.S. Neutrality Act and international law.

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Category: Latin American

nsnbc international

Vulture funds

 Argentina is facing the potential of a new financial crisis after it defied legal attempts to force it to repay US$1.33 billion in debt owed to the so-called “vulture” funds that have pursued the country for more than a decade. Over the weekend the Argentine government proceeded with a $US539 million payment to creditors that had agreed to restructured debt terms following the country’s 2002 default.

But it has ignored a US Supreme Court order to pay out a group of mainly New York-based “hold out” hedge funds. These had refused the country’s restructured terms and are demanding a payment of $1.33 billion. US Supreme Court Judge Thomas Griesa described Argentina’s payment to the restructured debt holders as illegal and “explosive”, ordering the Bank of New York Mellon to return the money to Argentina. The judge has pleaded with Argentine authorities to negotiate with the hedge funds to avoid a technical default. Argentina argues that paying both classes of creditor would also cause it to default.

A brief history of debt

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Category: Latin American

Rapadoo Observateur

cuba haiti medics

Haiti opened on June 11 its third community hospital with the support of Cuba and Brazil, after the earthquake that hit the nation in January 2010.The medical facility was inaugurated by President Michel Martelly at the Carrefour neighborhood, west of the capital Port au Prince and it will benefit a population of more than 60 thousand, according to PL news agency. Martelly stressed the importance of Cuban cooperation in the health sector and in other areas, such as education, fishing, construction and agriculture. Meanwhile, Cuban ambassador to Haiti, Ricardo Garcia, said that the facility, in which Cuban medical specialists will also work, will contribute to the strengthening and reconstruction of the Haitian health system in order to improve the people’s quality of life

Category: Latin American

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