Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 63

Boletim Informativo Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Monday, February 28th, 2022

The Americas

Ukrainian diasporas in Latin America protest invasion

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, chanting “Long live Ukraine” and holding banners saying “Stop the war” and “Ukraine is not alone.”
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/she-woke-up-with-bombs-ukrainian-diasporas-latin-america-protest-invasion-2022-02-26/

How the war in Ukraine could empower Maduro

Rapidly rising oil prices linked to the war in Ukraine put Venezuela, an OPEC member with the world’s largest oil reserves, in a stronger financial position.
Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/25/russia-ukraine-war-latin-america-maduro-bolsonaro-fernandez-amlo/

As U.S. popularity declines, Putin gains foothold in Latin America

Russian trade in the region has increased by 44% since 2006 to nearly $12 billion in 2020. Over the past year, high-ranking Russian and Latin American officials have met much more frequently to discuss collaboration and negotiate bilateral trade agreements.
Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/us-popularity-declines-putin-gains-foothold-latin-america-1682702

Not just Ukraine: Putin wants to remake the world

Russia’s military offensive marks the launch of an era vastly different from the security landscape of the second half of the twentieth century. The West must confront the ways in which it will be impacted.
Atlantic Council: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/not-just-ukraine-putin-wants-to-remake-the-world/

Peru

President Castillo is part of a mafia that operates within his government, witness says

Businesswoman and lobbyist Karelim Lopez proposed to become a protected witness with the Public Ministry, and after four days of interrogations, she revealed the president Castillo’s participation in irregular dealings of million-dollar contracts in the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC), also with the participation of the ministers of Transportation and Housing.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/politica/justicia/karelim-lopez-afirma-que-el-presidente-pedro-castillo-maneja-presunta-mafia-en-el-mtc-que-direcciona-obras-noticia/?ref=ecr

Congress of Peru advances meeting to deal with complaints against Castillo

The Congress of Peru, which dominates the political opposition, decided to advance the meeting of its Board of Spokespersons to early Monday, February 28. There they will analyze the revelation that a businesswoman investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office has implicated the president, Pedro Castillo, in an alleged case of corruption.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/lo-ultimo/congreso-peru-reunion-denuncias-castillo/

Peru’s Castillo denies accusations, says his enemies seek to impeach him, ask to activate the Inter-American Democratic charter

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo denied on Sunday having committed “illicit acts” reported by the press based on alleged statements by an aspiring effective collaborator of the prosecution, who claims that the president would be part of a criminal clan that obtains money from public works. Previosly Castillo said he was facing the risk of a coup against his government.
Associated Press, in Spanish: https://apnews.com/article/be574e3939af2a33e035ca3cec3b39f5

Paris Beacon News: https://www.parisbeacon.com/52787/

Carlos Rafael “El Gallo” Zamora, a colonel with 50 years of experience in infiltration, influence and destabilization in democratic countries, serves as Cuba’s ambassador to Peru

A strategic objective for Cuba is for our country to follow the course that they traced from Havana for the partners of the so-called Socialism of the 21st Century, such as the Chavista Venezuela, the Bolivia of Evo Morales or the Nicaragua of Commander Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo. Special investigation.
Caretas, in Spanish: https://caretas.pe/politica/carlos-rafael-el-gallo-zamora-coronel-cubano-con-50-anos-de-experiencia-en-infiltracion-influencia-y-desestabilizacion-en-paises-democraticos-funge-de-embajador-de-la-isla-en-el-peru/

Pedro Castillo accumulates 10 constitutional complaints in Congress subcommittee

President Pedro Castillo accumulates 10 complaints in the Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations of the Peruvian Congress, for alleged crimes in the exercise of his functions, infractions of at least 4 articles of the Magna Carta, and articles in the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Justice Code.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/politica/congreso/presuntas-infracciones-pedro-castillo-acumula-10-denuncias-en-su-contra-en-la-subcomision-de-acusaciones-del-congreso-congreso-maria-del-carmen-alva-noticia/

Bolivia

Bolivia in the global drug map

No one knows how or since when, but the fact is that Bolivia has reappeared on the global map of drug trafficking as a producer of large quantities of cocaine that is distributed in different countries around the world.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/opinion/editorial/2022/2/27/bolivia-en-el-mapa-global-de-la-droga-324503.html

The Bolivian Constitution rejects “all war of aggression”, but the government hasn’t condemned Russia yet

Neither the foreign minister nor President Luis Arce have so far made a specific statement on the Russian invasion to Ukraine. A former constituent assures that the country cannot support any foreign military action by constitutional mandate.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/mundo/la-constitucion-de-bolivia-rechaza-toda-guerra-de-agresion-pero-el-pais-no-condena-la-accion-militar_268947

Evo Morales says Russia is not invading, but only “setting sovereignty”

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales considered this Sunday that Russia is not invading Ukraine and that it is only establishing sovereignty against the “expansionist policy” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
https://www.la-razon.com/nacional/2022/02/27/morales-asegura-que-rusia-no-esta-invadiendo-sino-solo-esta-sentando-soberania/

Ecuador

This is how Ecuador will pay for the effects of the war in Ukraine

For each week of possible blockade of trade corridors to the countries of the Eurasian zone, Ecuador may lose USD 25 million in exports of bananas, flowers and shrimp.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/economia/rusia-ucrania-ecuador-comercio-logistica-costo-guerra/

Ecuador makes efforts to evacuate 350 of its citizens from Ukraine at the beginning of the week

Ecuador already has nearly 800 registered citizens in Ukraine and the country’s Foreign Ministry, Juan Carlos Holguín, says it is taking steps to evacuate at least 350 of them on a humanitarian flight between Monday and Tuesday from Poland.
News 3 Channel/CNN Español: https://kesq.com/news/2022/02/26/ecuador-hace-gestiones-para-evacuar-de-ucrania-a-350-de-sus-ciudadanos-a-inicios-de-semana/

Argentina

The condemnation of Russia and the interests of Argentina

Fernández returned from Moscow with less than what he had brought: he did not bring any specific announcement and the promises that had attracted him were belied by reality. How could anyone in the government think that a man who was preparing to invade a neighboring country had time to promote investments on the other side of the world?
Clarin, in Spanish: https://www.clarin.com/opinion/condena-rusia-intereses-argentina_0_V78ZFJ3mZP.html

The Putin effect in Argentina

The declaration of the Argentinian Foreign Ministry on the Russian invasion to Ukraine, which was encouraged for the first time to ask Russia to desist its belligerent attitude, allows us to notice a shift in foreign policy. It is likely that this shift is due to the need for the political support that the Argentine government needs from other countries, led by the United States, in their arduous negotiations with the IMF aimed at refinancing the debt of some 44,000 million dollars with that organization.

Argentina will send a mission of “White Helmets’ to assist refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine

The delegation, sent by the Argentinian Foreign Ministry, will coordinate efforts with the consulates of Brazil, Cuba and Mexico to facilitate the departure of citizens from Latin America.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/02/27/invasion-de-rusia-a-ucrania-argentina-enviara-una-mision-de-cascos-blancos-para-asistir-a-los-refugiados-que-escapan-de-la-guerra/

Analysis

Carlos Sánchez Berzain: International actions against terrorism of state from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua

The governments from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua use the same “illegitimate and criminal methods aimed to generate fear and terror in the civilian population that would not, in any other way, be generated”. This is “Terrorism of State” comprised by crimes against humanity evidenced by detentions, torture, false accusations, sentencing, assassinations, and violations of human rights. International organizations and democratic governments have the legal obligation of taking effective actions against terrorism of State.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/international-actions-against-terrorism-of-state-from-cuba-venezuela-bolivia-and-nicaragua/

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Vladimir Putin’s War

It was the early days of the year 2000. The first major American official who spoke with Vladimir Putin was Madeleine Albright. Mrs. Albright, born in Prague, was then Secretary of State in the second term of the Clinton administration. She recorded her impression of the person who had replaced Boris Yeltsin at the helm in Russia: “He is small and pale, and he is so cold and emotionless, that he could be a reptile”.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/vladimir-putins-war/

Ricardo Israel: Why negotiate with Putin?

He is not an example of democracy, enough to observe the treatment of dissidents. In The Economist´s 2021 Democracy Index Russia appears in the category of “authoritarian” regime, at number 124 among 167 countries, bad or very bad under Scandinavian standards, but it is also true that, despite everything, today there are more freedoms than in many other periods of its millenary history, in addition to that, despite its authoritarianism, its variant of nationalism has popular support.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/why-negotiate-with-putin/

Think Russian aggression is limited to Europe? Think again

If a new proxy war breaks out between Washington and Moscow through some sort of U.S.-funded insurgency in Ukraine, then you can certainly bet that Moscow would hedge its bets against such actions, by leveraging its influence with corruptible Latin American governments who harbor anti-American sentiments.
Florida Today: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2022/02/25/think-russian-aggression-limited-europe-think-again-opinion/6938320001/