Category Archives: Latin America

Maduro defying Trump, just like Assad did Obama and Castro did Kennedy – By Anthony L Hall

By Anthony L Hall  –

President Trump is notoriously thin-skinned. And nothing gets under it quite like observations that he’s behaving just like his predecessor, Barack Obama. Yet there’s no denying that he’s behaving towards Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro just as Obama did towards Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.

No doubt you recall Obama declaring that Assad must go:

The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.

(The Washington Post, August 18, 2011)            Continue reading

U.S. must cultivate Central America or lose out to China – Panama president-elect

Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo

PANAMA CITY,  (Reuters) – Panama’s president-elect, Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo, said the United States should pay more attention to Central America or risk losing ground to China, which has won diplomatic support and increased its investment in the region in recent years.

Cortizo, of the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), won Sunday’s unexpectedly close presidential election with 33 percent of the vote and a 2 point gap over his nearest rival, the electoral tribunal said.

The U.S.-educated former agriculture minister and businessman said that if the United States neglected a region it has long considered its backyard, it was inviting China to fill the gap.          Continue reading

New training document for asylum screenings reflects tougher U.S. stance

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO, (Reuters) – The Trump administration has revised training guidelines for asylum officers in ways that could make it harder for migrants seeking refuge in the United States to pass an initial screening.

The revisions to a lesson plan used by hundreds of asylum officers suggest the Trump administration is finding new ways to narrow who can access asylum as bolder policy proposals with that same goal have been blocked by federals courts, said former government officials and immigration experts who reviewed the internal plan that was shared with Reuters. The changes could potentially lead to more denials and deportations before migrants’ full cases can be heard, they said.      Continue reading

Venezuela crisis: Maduro claims victory over ‘deranged’ coup attempt

Venezuela crisis: Maduro claims victory over ‘deranged’ coup attempt

President blames Trump imperialists and ‘coup-mongering far right’ as rival Juan Guaidó calls for more protests

 National Guard armoured vehicle drives into protesters in Venezuela – video

Nicolás Maduro claimed his troops have thwarted a botched attempt to topple him masterminded by Venezuela’s “coup-mongering far right” and Donald Trump’s deranged imperialist “gang”.

In an hour-long address to the nation on Tuesday night – his first since the pre-dawn uprising began – Maduro accused opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his political mentor Leopoldo López of seeking to spark an armed confrontation that might be used as a pretext for a foreign military intervention.                Continue reading

Brazil’s indigenous tribes protest Bolsonaro assimilation plan

President Jair Bolsonaro plans threaten their reservation lands.

Brazil’s indigenous tribes protest Bolsonaro assimilation plan (Reuters photo)

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Thousands of people representing the more than 300 tribes native to Brazil marched to government offices in Brasilia this past week to protest the policies of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro that threaten their reservation lands.

Wearing body paint and headdresses made with the colorful feathers of Amazon birds, they brandished bows and arrows and beat drums while chanting resistance songs. The march comes at the end of a three-day rally in the Brazilian capital called the Free Land Encampment.            Continue reading

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro’s sons bash vice president, widening rifts in Brazil government

Eduardo Bolsonaro (left) and Carlos Bolsonaro

BRASILIA,  (Reuters) – A barrage of criticism this week from the sons of Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro aimed at the vice president has laid bare stark divisions in his cabinet, raising serious concerns from senior members of his four-month-old government.

People close to the president say the retired military officers who make up a third of Bolsonaro’s 21-member cabinet fear the attacks on Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a former general, are threatening to derail an uphill effort to pass the president’s economic reform agenda.

Bolsonaro’s sons Carlos and Eduardo, among the president’s four sons and a daughter from three marriages, have accused Mourao of disloyalty and criticized him on social media and in the press.      Continue reading

USA: President Trump signs order for crackdown on overstaying visitors

– foreign travellers may be required to post cash bonds

U.S. President Donald Trump opened a new flank in his battle against illegal immigration on Monday April 22, 2019 when he ordered his administration to crack down on “visa overstays” – foreigners who legally enter the country but remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.

The president signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit plans within four months to crackdown on overstays, such as punishing countries whose citizens have high rates of overstays and requiring foreign travellers to post “admission bonds” that would be repaid once they leave the country.

The order is the latest example of Trump’s renewed push on immigration, following a shakeup of the Department of Homeland Security and his increasing frustration with the rising number of Central American migrants entering the country, according to a USA Today report. Continue reading

Guyana asks World Court for swift Venezuela border case hearing

 – Venezuela refuses to participate

The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

Guyana wants the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to go ahead with oral hearings into the border controversy with Venezuela because Caracas has refused to submit counter arguments, the Foreign Ministry here said.

“In consequence, Guyana has decided to ask the Court to proceed directly to the holding of oral hearings, at the earliest possible date, to determine its jurisdiction over the case,” the ministry said.        Continue reading

Mexico: Denials of U.S. immigrant visas skyrocket after little-heralded rule change

Immigrant Visas denied – as they could require government financial assistance

Balbino, a 33-year-old Mexican national who had entered the United States illegally 14 years ago, thought he had a strong case for a spousal visa: a wife and children who are U.S. citizens, a father-in-law who had pledged in an affidavit to financially support him if necessary, and a letter from his employer guaranteeing him an $18-per-hour job upon his return.

When he went for the interview, he was at the final step of legalizing his status, which would, he hoped, pave the way for a more stable life for himself and his family. Instead, the consular officer denied his application on the grounds that he could become a drain on U.S. taxpayers by requiring government financial assistance, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.          Continue reading

Belize: Put the National Interest FirstSir Ronald Sanders | Caribbean 360

Belize: Put the National Interest First

Sir Ronald Sanders | Caribbean 360

BELMOPAN, Belize – Narrow party-political ambitions frequently thwart the wider national interest in practically every country.

The world is watching this play-out now as a public spectacle in Britain where the Brexit question continues to be deeply immersed in both personal political purposes and a struggle for the supremacy of one political party over another. At the end of it, Britain will be a much-diminished nation economically. It will also have little clout in the international community.

But it is not in Britain alone that this tragedy of political ambition over wider national interest is being displayed. On April 3, seven days before a referendum is scheduled to be held in Belize to determine if the country should take its border dispute with Guatemala for final arbitration to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the opposition political party, the Peoples’ Unity Party (PUP), obtained an injunction from the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, to stay it.           Continue reading

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