Friday, February 18th, 2022
How Biden can get the Summit of the Americas right
The upcoming Summit of the Americas, which will gather leaders from across the hemisphere in Los Angeles in early June, comes at an opportune time. The meeting will occur as Latin America faces its darkest hour in decades, including a profound crisis of democracy, an uneven economic recovery, two destabilizing migration crises and an ongoing pandemic. But for the gathering to succeed, the host, President Joe Biden, will need to overcome a series of hurdles.
Russia’s influence in Latin America grows while US focuses on Ukraine
Russia is attempting to play the Latin American card with the United States as tensions between the two countries escalate over Putin’s threats against Ukraine
The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article258451498.html – storylink=cpy
In Latin America’s new Cold War, will China lift up autocrats?
A new Cold War is brewing in Latin America between the US and China amid a shifting global order driven more by economics and technology than by politics and ideology.
Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-02-17/as-china-encroaches-on-latin-america-what-happens-to-democracies
The Moscow Times: Bolsonaro’s Moscow visit win-win opportunity
In a world of international affairs heavily marked by ideological divides, the relationship between Russia and Brazil has always been a bit strange — but ideally suited to both nations’ interests.
The Moscow Times: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/02/16/bolsonaros-moscow-visit-win-win-opportunity-a76411
El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele told US lawmakers: “We are not your colony”
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has hit out at three US senators -Jim Risch, Bob Menendez and Bill Cassidy- after the lawmakers introduced a bill to mitigate any financial risks to the US from the Central American country’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.
Markets Insider: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/bitcoin-el-salvador-crypto-president-nayib-bukele-us-senators-law-2022-2
Alex Saab: the DEA’s “Cooperating Patriot’
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Alex Saab was an informant for the DEA and told them about bribes he paid to Venezuelan officers. AP journalist Joshua Goodman describes the hearing as “heated,” because Saab’s lawyers said that his family could be in danger if the regime found out about his ties with the U.S.
Caracas Chronicle: https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2022/02/17/alex-saab-the-deas-cooperating-patriot/
Pedro Castillo: “If they show that I have stolen a penny from this country, I ask for life imprisonment”
The Peruvian president pointed out that there is a sector that seeks to “break” democracy. “They have their own agenda and we have ours that the country has entrusted to us,” he said.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/vacancia-presidente-corrupcion-pedro-castillo-pide-cadena-perpetua-para-si-mismo-si-se-demuestra-que-ha-robado-al-pais-noticia-noticia/
President Castillo met five times with a lobbyist investigated for corruption
President Pedro Castillo met with lobbyist Patricia Sovero, investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly corrupt contracts in the Police during the pandemic, and General Javier Gallardo Mendoza on August 6 of last year.
Gesetion, in Spanish: https://gestion.pe/peru/politica/presidente-castillo-se-reunio-cinco-veces-con-lobista-investigada-por-corrupcion-noticia/
Bloomberg: Peru displaces Chile as the most stable economy in Latin America
Peru achieved 56.28 points in the agency’s country risk rating, while Chile stood at 52.79 points.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/peru/2022/02/17/bloomberg-peru-desplaza-a-chile-como-la-economia-mas-estable-de-america-latina-y-el-caribe/
New judge arrested in the worst scandal of corruption in the Bolivian judiciary
A third judge was arrested in Bolivia for freeing prisoners allegedly in exchange for money in the country’s biggest judicial scandal and in the midst of the visit of the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.
Santa Maria Times, in Spanish: https://santamariatimes.com/espanol/noticias/mundo/apresan-a-otro-juez-en-el-peor-esc-ndalo-judicial-en-bolivia/article_2418d0e8-7800-5043-bf4c-017914b3e90e.html
Former president of Bolivia almost collapses during court hearing
The former interim president, Jeanine Áñez, a political prisoner of the Luis Arce government since March, completed nine days on Thursday on a hunger strike.
Deutsche Welle, in Spanish: https://www.dw.com/es/expresidenta-de-bolivia-se-descompensa-durante-audiencia-judicial/a-60821656
Ucrania and its interest for Bolivia
It is in Bolivia’s interest that in handling the crisis in Ukraine the abuse and unilateral will of the nation with the strongest army does not prevail, but rather that the principle of territorial integrity of States is respected.
Correo del Sur: https://correodelsur.com/opinion/20220217_ucrania-y-su-interes-para-bolivia.html
Military Officers: The Arce Government broke the hierarchy in the Armed Forces
Three violated laws and three types of crimes, attributed to the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (FFAA), are part of the arguments that the specialists and military of the active service took into account to point out that in the Government of Luis Arce ” broke” the discipline and the military hierarchy.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2022/2/17/militares-el-gobierno-de-arce-quebro-la-jerarquia-en-las-ffaa-323682.html
This is Álex Saab’s money route, which passed through Ecuador
The alleged figurehead of Nicolás Maduro would have laundered some USD 350 million in the United States, the result of contracts for the construction of social housing in Venezuela. The revelation that Álex Saab worked as a collaborator of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) since 2018, opened a new chapter in the investigation of the Colombian businessman.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/en-exclusiva/ruta-dinero-alex-saab-paso-ecuador/
Ecuadorians in Ukraine remain calm in the face of tensions between that country and Russia
The tension between Ukraine and Russia remains, although there seems to be a de-escalation decision, but it does not convince everyone. In the middle of this scenario are the Ecuadorians who live in the Ukraine and who affirm that things are relatively normal in their day to day life.
El Universo, in Spanish: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/internacional/ecuatorianos-en-ucrania-se-mantienen-tranquilos-frente-a-tensiones-de-ese-pais-con-rusia-nota/?modulo=destacadas-tres&plantilla=home
Cristina Fernández indicted in case of alleged bribes
The Federal Criminal Chamber had opposed the pre-trial detention originally imposed on the defendant, but today rejected her efforts to overturn the trial, concluding the charges against the acting vice president by two votes to one, according to La Nación newspaper.
Merco Press: https://en.mercopress.com/2022/02/16/cristina-fernandez-indicted-in-case-of-alleged-bribes
Argentina’s president struggles to sell IMF deal to a sceptical Congress
Argentina’s agreement with the IMF to restructure $44.5bn in debt is being threatened by a rupture within the government’s own ranks just weeks ahead of a looming deadline for finalizing the deal.
Finantial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/1f4ddbe3-bd20-48d6-a97c-153ff2c5e15c
Argentine Jesuit provincial says Pope Francis has been “coopted’ by politics of hate
Pope Francis’ homeland is becoming “sick with hatred”, and his figure and message have been coopted, says father Rafael Velasco, the man who today leads the Jesuits of Argentina, much like the pontiff did back in the 1970s.
Crux Now: https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2022/02/argentine-jesuit-provincial-says-francis-has-been-coopted-by-politics-of-hate
Washington Post: Governance must trump ideology in Latin America’s elections
Outsiders are besting incumbents at the ballot box across Latin America. In a region where the establishment has long held a strong electoral advantage, those running against the political status quo have won more than half of the last 15 presidential elections. More important than the ideological direction of these new leaders is whether they have the ability to govern.
The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/governance-must-trump-ideology-in-latin-americas-elections/2022/02/17/f4373d20-8fe9-11ec-8ddd-52136988d263_story.html
What an ex-president’s arrest says about US-Latin America relations
The dramatic arrest and likely extradition of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is a stunning fall from grace for a leader once embraced by American authorities desperate to stem migration to the U.S.
Argentina: Weariness, resignation and conflict on the rise
Most polls reflect that negative outlook. And some warn that the depth of despair is more intense and extensive: “What many think is not only that in 2023 we are going to be worse off, but that their children’s generation is going to be worse off,” says Pablo Knopoff, director of isonomy.
La Nacion, in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/hastio-resignacion-y-conflictividad-en-alza-nid18022022/
Cuba as the ship of Theseus
Theseus was the mythical king and founder of Athens. Many myths surrounding Theseus and his journeys are recounted by the Greek historian Plutarch. Among them is the legend of Theseus slaying the half-man half-bull Minotaur, and the thought experiment we now know as the ship of Theseus
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/cuba-as-the-ship-of-theseus/