Archived posts with tag ‘Venezuela’

08.03.12
Danger Room: Don’t Freak Out, But Iran Is Helping Venezuela Build Drones

by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Iran is planning to build drones for the Venezuelan military. Just so you know, it sounds worse than it is. That’s according to Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, chief of U.S. forces in South America. According to Fraser, who spoke to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, the drones are to be manufactured [...]

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06.02.12
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Venezuela The Venezuelan National Assembly reformed the country’s anti-terrorism law “to “help combat crimes such as money laundering, bomb threats and airplane hijackings,” in a move that has angered opposition and rights activists while prompting a rhetorical defense from the government. “[It is] a strong law against terrorism and those who finance [...]

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17.01.12
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Iran Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited four countries in Latin America last week. The five-day trip — postponed from September because of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s cancer therapy — brought Ahmadinejad through Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.  Although the trip was overshadowed by the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week [...]

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06.01.12
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Bolivia Bolivia is officially no longer party to the United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The reason: the treaty’s prohibition of the coca leaf, used in traditional Bolivian medicine. The reason the coca leaf is banned by the U.N.? It’s the raw material for cocaine, one of the world’s most lucrative illegal [...]

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24.10.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Chile A university boycott by thousands of Chilean students demanding education reforms has led to a shortage of military recruits, provoking the government to call up 57,000 18-year-olds for potential service in 2012. The military usually has more than enough volunteers to fulfill its needs, but as the boycott has shut the [...]

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10.10.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Mexico
Thirty-six bodies were found in the eastern coastal city of Veracruz on Thursday, two days after the Mexican government announced a major military operation in the city. Marines found the bodies hidden in three homes during neighborhood searches, reported the Los Angeles Times.

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20.07.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Mexico
A 300-acre marijuana plantation discovered in Baja California by the Mexican army last week was apparently operated by the Sinaloa Cartel, according to military sources referenced by El Universal. General Alfonso Duarte, commander of Mexico’s northwestern Second Military Region, said the plantation could have generated about 120 tons of marijuana worth about $160 million. The field is the largest ever discovered in Mexico, breaking a record made in 1984 at a Chihuahua ranch belonging to Guadalajara Cartel drug lord Rafael Caro. The army destroyed the crop over the weekend.

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12.07.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Venezuela
Hugo Chavez is back. The Venezuelan president’s return to Caracas July 4 — four days after announcing he had been treated for a cancerous tumor in Cuba — was marked by a booming address to supporters from the balcony of the presidential palace. “The return has begun,” he said. “This is the best medicine for whatever illness,” he added. Venezuela marked its bicentennial the next day. Chavez, absent, followed (and tweeted) the celebration while recuperating.

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02.07.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Venezuela
Hugo Chavez revealed he is being treated for cancer in a startling address on state television Thursday. Chavez’s low-profile stay in Cuba the past several weeks fueled speculation the Venezuelan president was seriously ill — until Thursday the government said Chavez was recovering from the removal of a pelvic abscess — and raised questions among the opposition over whether he is fit to govern. If Chavez is unfit to govern, the acting presidency should fall to Vice President Elias Jaua, although this does not seem likely at the moment. The Venezuelan government maintains Chavez is in full command of state affairs.

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21.06.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Venezuela
Armed inmates at El Rodeo prison complex east of Caracas have been under siege by thousands of Venezuelan soldiers backed up by armored vehicles since Friday. The siege began after 22 people were killed in gun battles between prison gangs last week. Reports are severe: open fires, unretrieved bodies inside the prison and use of “weapons of war” by the army, according to a report from The Guardian. At least two soldiers were killed in the initial assault. Most of the prisoners have since been moved, but at least several dozen armed inmates remain inside.

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02.06.11
Robert’s Latin America Round-Up

Honduras
Honduras was readmitted to the Organization of American States on Wednesday, nearly two years after former President Manuel Zelaya was ousted and expelled from the country by the Honduran military. Zelaya was allowed to return — although not as president — last week to Tegucigalpa in a deal negotiated by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The deal, known as the Cartagena Accords, called for fraud charges against Zelaya to be dropped, to allow the National Popular Resistance Front to stand for elections, and for the Honduran government to “recognize the right of Hondurans to call for a public vote on eventual constitutional reforms,” according to IPS. Zelaya, in return, recognized the government of conservative Porfirio Lobo. The 2009 coup brought international condemnation on Honduras, including loss of membership in the OAS.

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30.05.11
Peter’s Atlantic Round-Up

Iran
Spanish authorities uncovered a big sanctions-busting deal this week after raids in Barcelona and Madrid. The bust concerns the export of nine Bell-212 helicopters to Iran and chopper parts to Venezuela. The aircraft could be converted for military uses and thus are banned by U.N. sanctions. Furthermore, the parts were being exported to Venezuela without the proper permits. The total value of the choppers and parts comes to well over 100 million Euros.

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