Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 51

Boletim Informativo Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Monday, January 31st, 2022

The Americas

Putin is already in Cuba and Venezuela

Russia has slowly been sinking its teeth into the region for decades and the West has said nothing. So has China. The issue deserves more attention.
The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-is-already-in-cuba-and-venezuela-south-america-influence-western-hemisphere-ukraine-11643567547

The Economist: Russia has become a crucial ally of Venezuela’s dictatorship

Russia’s role in the region is troubling. For the past 15 years or so it has propped up crooked dictatorships in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Vladimir Putin relishes a chance to needle the United States and look mighty on Russian television.
The Economist: https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2022/01/29/russia-has-become-a-crucial-ally-of-venezuelas-dictatorship

A Haitian ex-senator had his US visa revoked because of his links to Nicolás Maduro

Former Haitian senator and presumed current presidential candidate Jean-Charles Moïse prides himself on being an opposition leader and leftist ideologue, one who has no problem flaunting in the face of the United States his relationships with some of Latin America’s most controversial leaders.
Miami Herald/The Norman Transcript: https://www.normantranscript.com/region/a-haitian-ex-senator-had-his-us-visa-revoked-while-transiting-through-miami-here-is/article_07222e4e-d397-5ca8-8080-c8f42422f4c0.html

Human Rights: Villains took over the Hall of Justice

At the end of 2019, the United Nations (UN) assembly decided that Venezuela, represented by the regime of Nicolas Maduro, would have a seat in Geneva, among the 47 countries that make up, on a rotating basis, the Human Rights Council. It was rather striking news. The Venezuelan delegation will be present until December 2022 in this body that has precisely issued orders to investigate the Maduro Government.
Havana Times: https://havanatimes.org/opinion/human-rights-villains-took-over-the-hall-of-justice/

Smartmatic’s global controversies: follow the money

Since 2004, Smartmatic’s election technology has been used in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States. These activities have gone hand in hand with vocal controversies, particularly in Venezuela, the US and the Philippines.
The Manila Times: https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/01/31/opinion/columns/smartmatics-global-controversies-follow-the-money/1831212

Peru

Peru’s Interior Minister resigns amid security crisis

Avelino Guillen has presented his resignation as head of the Ministry of the Interior this Friday after more than a month of tension with the Commander General of the Police, Javier Gallardo, who stopped dispatching with him after the government official rejected the withdrawal and change of placement of outstanding and specialized agents. The conflict led the minister to request the dismissal of the police chief from President Pedro Castillo, according to the digital media IDL-Reporters. But after a few weeks, the request has not materialized.
Plainsmenpost.com: https://plainsmenpost.com/avelino-guillen-perus-interior-minister-resigns-amid-security-crisis-international/

Peru’s Ministry of Environment denounces oil spilled is almost double that reported by Repsol

The Government of Peru denounced this Friday that the volume of oil spilled in Ventanilla and originating in the La Pampilla refinery, a subsidiary of the multinational company Repsol, is almost double that reported by the company. Repsol estimated 6,000 barrels while the Ministry of Environment calculates the spills is almost 12,000 barrels of oil.
Parisbeacon.com: https://www.parisbeacon.com/36968/

Peru’s Castillo to meet Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro

“There are common demands on the largest border that our country has (with Brazil) and I am going to sit down and talk (with Brazilian president Bolsonaro), but to make it clear, I am going to sit down and talk to serve the population of Peru”, said Castillo during a visit to the border town of Caballococha.
Peru21.com: https://peru21.pe/politica/castillo-sobre-proxima-visita-a-bolsonaro-falta-que-digan-que-le-voy-a-regalar-el-territorio-a-brasil-tambien-nndc-noticia/

Bolivia

There are ten international drug trafficking mafias with a presence in Bolivia

Most of them are from Colombia, but the main ones are from Brazil. The First Command of the Capital (PCC) and Comando Vermelho are the gangs with the most presence all over the country. From Peru there is the Shining Path and from Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/pais/hay-diez-mafias-del-narcotrafico-internacional-con-presencia-en-bolivia_265534

Evo Morales assures DEA did not find any link of him and drug trafficking

Former President Evo Morales said that the DEA, the United States anti-drug agency, does not mention him in the report that was the basis of the accusation brought by the New York District Court against Maximiliano Dávila, the last anti-narcotics chief of his administration.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/pais/morales-asegura-que-la-dea-no-le-hallo-ningun-indicio-de-narcotrafico_265575

Argentina

Argentina strikes breakthrough deal with IMF in $45 billion debt talks

Argentina has struck an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund over a new $44.5 billion standby deal, both sides said on Friday, a major breakthrough in tense talks to restructure loans the country cannot repay.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/argentina-strikes-breakthrough-deal-with-imf-40-bln-debt-talks-2022-01-28/

Maritime conflict heats up as China’s fishing fleet goes dark in Argentine waters

Since 2018, foreign vessels have spent close to 1 million hours fishing between Argentina’s maritime border and the high seas, yet spent 600,000 hours “in the dark,” suspected of illegal fishing within Argentine waters in the South Atlantic, according to a report by the ocean conservation organization Oceana.
Courthousenews.com: https://www.courthousenews.com/maritime-conflict-heats-up-as-chinas-fishing-fleet-goes-dark-in-argentine-waters/

Ecuador

Blinken analyzes Ukraine’s crisis, Venezuelan migrants, with Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguín

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, addressed the crisis in Ukraine this Friday during a virtual meeting with the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Holguín, the State Department reported.
La República, in Spanish: https://www.larepublica.ec/blog/2022/01/29/blinken-analiza-con-holguin-la-crisis-en-ucrania/

Ecuador’s private heavy crude pipeline bursts in Amazon region

Ecuador”s privately held heavy crude pipeline burst on Friday and technical staff are at the scene working to contain the damage, crude transport company OCP Ecuador said.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/ecuadors-private-heavy-crude-pipeline-bursts-amazon-region-2022-01-29/

Analysis

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Don’t fall into the trap again, president Díaz-Canel

Your job, Mr. President (and that of Mr. Maduro in Venezuela) is not to guarantee Russian security, but rather the well-being of Cubans (and Venezuelans). Something that is far beyond your possibilities, as long as they don’t change the productive system that this poor country suffers from, but, at least, it can save our compatriots the bitterness of another defeat
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/dont-fall-into-the-trap-again-president-diaz-canel/

José Azel: Our post-truth era

In 2016, post-truth was selected by Oxford Dictionaries as its word of the year due to a 2,000 percent increase in usage compared to 2015. So, what exactly is post-truth, and what are its implications for democratic politics?
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/our-post-truth-era/

Panama’s success is defying political science

The Latin American country has experienced one of the world’s most impressive -and surprising- trajectories of the past three decades.
The Business Standard: https://www.tbsnews.net/thoughts/panamas-success-defying-political-science-364228

Pedro Corzo: Colombia, alert, your hopes are being stolen

Colombia, a key country in the continent, is preparing for elections that can change its living conditions forever and lead it towards the “sea of happiness” that Hugo Chávez promised Venezuelans.
La Republica, in Spanish: https://www.larepublica.ec/blog/2022/01/27/colombia-alerta-te-roban-las-esperanzas/