Archive for the ‘US-Latin America’ Category
A couple of Sundays ago, Ecuador had a presidential election, and a leftist named Lenin Moreno defeated a center-right businessman, Guillermo Lasso.
It was so close that Mr. Lasso called for a recount, especially after some “irregularities” showed up.
So the left opted for the Gore gambit, or a partial recount of the votes (via Fausta’s Blog).
Guess who won the partial recount! Who else but the leftist named after Lenin? Whom else did you expect when the incumbent president running the recount was committed to the leftist winning?
This is from the BBC:
Following a recount of almost 1.3 million votes in Ecuador, the electoral council has confirmed left-wing candidate Lenín Moreno as the winner of the presidential poll held on 2 April.
The recount slightly boosted Mr Moreno’s margin over his conservative rival, Guillermo Lasso.
Mr. Lasso had demanded a full recount citing allegations of fraud but the national electoral council only agreed to a recount of 10% of the votes.
Mr. Moreno will be sworn in on 24 May.
As I was reading this story about the partial recount, it occurred to me that Ecuador could have used their own version of Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court decision from 2000 that shut down partial recounts in Florida.
I appreciate the U.S. every day that I watch the left steal elections in Latin America.
God bless the USA and Bush v. Gore!
Guest: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, the editor of Fausta’s Blog……….we will look back at Mariel 1980 and the events that sent 100,000 Cubans to the US this week…….the runaway Mexican governor………….Mexicans returning to Mexico….King Felipe & PM Rajoy to visit Cuba……Colombia the ELN and economy………….no recount in Ecuador……total chaos in Venezuela………..plus more stories………
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Guest: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog…….we will look the mess in Venezuela…..Maduro’s weekend with Raúl Castro……..In Argentina, Cristina Fernandez’s 4th indictment…..Down in Brazil, documents show that Odebrecht paid ex-President Lula $5 million……El Salvador’s VP involved with ‘Chepe Diablo’ (not to be confused with El Chapo)……Kate del Castillo’s new Netflix series, ‘Ingobernable’…………….Mr. Krause calls on the US to accept Mexicans as a consequence of US-Mexican history from the 19th century……..the latest on the election in Ecuador…….A new post by Fausta about Mexico and Putin………plus more stories……….
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Down in Argentina, where tango is king and fútbol is the national religion, the ex-first family is back in the news:
Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina was indicted again on corruption-related charges on Tuesday, and this time her son and daughter were also charged in a case involving a family real estate company.
The federal judge, Claudio Bonadio, said there was enough evidence to indict Mrs. Kirchner for conspiracy over allegations that businesses rented properties from the real estate company, Los Sauces, in exchange for public works contracts and other favors.
For the first time, Mr. Bonadio also indicted the former president’s children, Máximo and Florencia Kirchner, in the case that includes charges of money laundering and negotiations incompatible with public office.
The charges could lead to prison sentences of up to 10 years if the Kirchners are convicted. Mr. Bonadio also ordered the freezing of assets of about $8.5 million each for Mrs. Kirchner and her son, and $6.5 million for her daughter.
As my friend from Argentina said yesterday, “diós mío – where did they get all of that money?” Then he answered his own question: “El sistema. ¡La corrupción!”
The answer is sadly obvious. As my friend said, it’s the corrupt system that started many years ago. We call it “crony capitalism” up here, and they call it “el sistema” down there.
The allegations include kickbacks involving the renting of rooms in a hotel owned by the Kirchner family. By the way, the name “Kirchner” refers to her late husband, the man she followed in the presidency.
The ex-first family has been indicted on fraud and corruption charges relating to public works projects in Santa Cruz Province in southern Argentina. I guess there is always a public works project when we talk about corruption in Latin America.
First, there was Evita Perón, although she never became president. Second, there was the second Mrs. Perón, who did become president in the 1970s and resigned over corruption. Third, there is now President Cristina, who is apparently going down with her kids as well.
It all makes for some rather remarkable political drama, with President Cristina now tweeting her innocence and calling everything a witch hunt.
At least Evita had a Broadway play named after her. They still love her down there! She never became president, and that may have been a blessing.
Ecuador is bitterly divided over the presidential election last Sunday. Some experts are saying that Ecuador is bucking the movement to the right that we saw in Argentina and Brazil. Frankly, I would not jump to conclusions about an election that half of the country is not accepting. There are some rough days ahead for this little country in South America.
Down in Ecuador, we saw protests again:
Supporters of Ecuadorean opposition leader Guillermo Lasso gathered in the streets for a second night Monday to protest what they consider fraud at the ballot box that tilted a presidential runoff in favor of his leftist rival.
Sunday’s razor-thin election win by ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno bucked the trend of right-wing electoral victories in South America following 15 years of leftist domination.
Even as calls from Latin American governments congratulating Moreno poured in, Lasso, a conservative banker, vowed to keep up the fight against the installation of an “illegitimate” government.
The current score is Lenin Moreno 51%, Guillermo Lasso 49%, with 99% of the vote reported. The raw numbers are roughly 200,000 out of 4.8 to 5 million votes.
Lasso is challenging results because several exit polls had him up, one by 5-6 points.
The right is pointing out that there were serious problems with the official website counting votes, i.e. memories of 1988 Mexico when the official computer crashed.
Furthermore, violence was also reported in some provinces and it may have been related to voter suppression.
The other issue is that the right just does not trust the bureaucracy put together by incumbent President Rafeal Correa, a leftist leader who has divided the country terribly. Let’s call it “Deep state Ecuador style”.
Back to the article:
Part of the problem is the opposition’s distrust of the National Electoral Council, which it says has become an appendage of the executive in the way the electoral board in Venezuela has all but lost independence under President Nicolas Maduro, a key ally of Correa.
“We’re looking at an unprecedented situation: those behind the fraud are the judges themselves,” Lasso told foreign reporters, adding that his campaign would seek a recount once the results are certified. “We expect they’ll deny our requests but in doing so they’ll be confirming the fraud.”
Despite such heated rhetoric Lasso so far has failed to present any evidence of vote tampering except for a single voting act of 248 ballots from a rural area whose tally is says was reversed in favor of Moreno when official results were computed.
The left will probably win this one thanks to the “deep state”.
Again, it’s not what the country needs. Mr. Assange in London may be the only person in the world who feels good about this count.
Guest: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, the editor of Fausta’s Blog…….we will look at Trump’s calls to President Temer of Brazil & President Bachelet of Chile regarding Venezuela….Argentina teachers’ strike…..Gold money laundering in Miami…….Odebrecht in Peru…a UK agency ranks Mexico as the 3rd most violent country…..more violence in Veracruz….and corn imports……….and a few other stories from the news…….
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It started in Brazil and it is now moving into just about every other country in the region. We are not talking about “zika” but rather “Odebrecht”!
Let me share this story from the Washington Post:
Odebrecht made a humble start in Brazil’s muggy northeast, where in 1944, founder Norberto Odebrecht launched a neighborhood construction firm with global ambitions.
“He believed in a model based on trusting people,” said one former Odebrecht executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.
“He said, ‘If I choose them well, the sky’s the limit.’ ”
The sky was indeed the limit as the company began to make money the old-fashioned way.
Then Brazil’s crony capitalism got in the way and Mr. Odebrecht figured out that bribing politicians was a good way of getting ahead and keeping the regulators out of your business.
It was working beautifully as late as the 2014 World Cup:
Odebrecht was on a cloud during the first decade of the millennium, when Brazil won hosting rights to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, affirming its status as a rising star.
With the charismatic President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva touting Odebrecht abroad, the company secured lucrative foreign contracts to build highways, transportation systems, stadiums and power plants.
But Odebrecht’s other export was Brazilian-scale corruption, undermining countries it was supposed to be building up.
The company is today at the core of Brazil’s biggest-ever graft scandal, a $2 billion kickback scheme in which nearly 100 executives and politicians have been imprisoned.
Then it just went crazy and now it has become one of the biggest, if not biggest, scandal in Latin America history.
It is exhibit A of what crony capitalism has done to Brazil and many other countries:
The fallout is spreading across the region, creating a test for other countries tainted by Odebrecht’s dirty money.
Prosecutors in Brazil, the United States and elsewhere have unearthed evidence that could implicate current and former presidents across the Americas in criminal conduct.
Anti-corruption protesters marched in the streets last month in the Dominican Republic, where Odebrecht allegedly paid $92 million in bribes but where no charges have been filed.
Colombia’s top prosecutor made an explosive allegation this month: that Odebrecht channeled $1 million in illegal donations into President Juan Manuel Santos’s 2012 reelection campaign. But the jailed ex-senator who allegedly made the claim denied it a week later.
In Panama, 17 business executives and former officials have been charged, and one former Odebrecht executive has said he paid bribes to the sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli. The sons deny it. Prosecutors investigating the Odebrecht case have also raided the offices of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” leak.
Then there are countries such as Venezuela, where Odebrecht has left bridges to nowhere rusting in the jungle. The late Hugo Chávez gave the company $11 billion in contracts, and Odebrecht paid an estimated $98 million in bribes, according to the Justice Department…
And in Ecuador, where leftist Lula ally Rafael Correa is not running for reelection, his party’s loss in an upcoming runoff vote could open the books on $116 million worth of deals allegedly greased with $34 million in bribes.
As they say in Spanish, all of this leaves with my “boca abierta” or mouth open. The numbers are huge, the territory is wide and we can say “unprecedented” without any trouble.
My reaction is that this may be good for the region because so much of the corruption in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador is with left-wing regimes.
In other words, they’ve been preaching and singing kumbaya while practicing some good old-fashioned in-your-pocket corruption.
The left is in the middle of this mess with one hand waving at the workers and the other taking bribes from executives!
My question is this: How much longer before we find the Clinton Foundation playing in this game?
We remember the connection between the Clinton Foundation and FIFA, another corrupt enterprise.
The Odebrecht episode is exactly the kind of place where you would find President Clinton looking for cash and selling access to his wife, then Secretary of State and potentially President of the U.S.
Call me cynical but there has to be a Clinton floating in this “pay to play” movie!