US ‘closing in on Venezuelan asset seizures’

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 US ‘closing in on Venezuelan asset seizures’By Ben Bartenstein, Tiffany Kary & Alan KatzBloombergUS Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge several individuals and confiscate their property over the alleged looting of Venezuela’s state oil company in what may amount to one of the biggest asset seizures in the history of the United States. The people under investigation include current Venezuelan government officials, prominent businessmen and individuals suspected of involvement with cocaine-trafficking, two of the people said. Ricardo Hausmann, a Venezuelan economist at Harvard who would like to see the current government replaced, said US leadership in this area could prove important. “If the US were to say, ‘We’ve identified billions of dollars,’ it would have a devastating political effect at home with Venezuela’s current government,” he said. Roberto Rincón Fernández, a Venezuelan national living there, took part in a US$1-billion bribery scheme to secure contracts with PDVSA.

October 26, 2016 01:30 UTC

Venezuelan congress votes for Maduro trial

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Venezuelan congress votes for Maduro trialA photograph of Venezuela’s National Assembly, during their session in Caracas yesterday. Opposition-led National Assembly opts for move, but Socialists dismiss move as meaninglessCARACAS — Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly voted yesterday to open a political trial against President Nicolás Maduro for violating democracy, but the socialist government dismissed the move as meaningless. Unlike neighbouring Brazil, where Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from the presidency in August, a trial against Maduro would be largely symbolic given the government and Supreme Court have declared congress illegitimate. The opposition has accused Maduro of veering into dictatorship by sidelining the Legislature, detaining opponents and leaning on compliant judicial and electoral authorities to block a plebiscite on his rule. The National Assembly ordered Maduro to appear at a session next Tuesday — which he will almost certainly refuse to attend — and said it would also consider charges of abandoning his duties.

October 26, 2016 01:28 UTC

Vatican Announces Partial Opening of Dictatorship-Era Archives

On Tuesday, the Vatican and the Episcopal Conference of Argentina (CEA) announced that they had finished digitising more than 3,000 documents related to Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship. The CEA said that the records will be opened, but not to the public. In the case of victims who were members of the clergy, their religious superiors will also be able to view the files. Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke indicated that the files might be opened to a wider audience in the future. And in August, the US government made public the first batch of newly declassified intelligence files, shedding more light on the information Washington DC had about human rights during the dictatorship.

October 25, 2016 23:15 UTC

The Three Peronisms

There are three Peronisms. The ‘Kirchnerist’ Peronism, which led the party using more stick than carrot during its time in government and took responsibility for developing its tactical campaigns, was obviously weakened by last year’s elections. As Martín Rodríguez argues, Massa did not produce leaders like himself, as Macri did, except for those that he bought. If the canonical book by Richard Sidicaro (The Three Peronisms) identified the historical Peronisms – the foundational of 1945-55, the “impossible” from 1973-78 and the “Peronism against the state” of the Carlos Menem era) then three other Peronisms coexist today without problem. Because of this, the three Peronisms are not political parties in the classical sense or even internal currents of a single organic force.

October 25, 2016 15:22 UTC

Chile shifts to the right

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Chile shifts to the rightBy Patricio NaviaFor the HeraldMunicipal elections results hurt Lagos’ candidacyNEW YORK — The municipal elections in Chile held on Sunday confirmed the turn to the right that several Latin American countries have experienced in recent elections. The government was prepared to lose a few local governments, some of which it had surprisingly gained in 2012, when outgoing right-wing president Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014) and his right-wing Chile Vamos coalition suffered a setback. Chile Vamos’ mayors will govern 144 municipalities, including most of the regional capitals and the six of the most populated municipalities in Santiago. The election results are a boost to the right and to former president Piñera, who leads the polls among presidential hopefuls for 2017. As President Bachelet suffers from lame-duck syndrome, several presidential hopefuls have thrown their hats into the race.

October 25, 2016 05:45 UTC

Crossing the line of democracy

By the same token, Maduro should be criticized for violating the spirit of democracy without being distracted by any debate over whetherVenezuela is still technically a democracy. Even if many of the criticisms are self-serving or throwing stones from a glass house, enough remains valid from any standpoint. If the criticism only comes from ideologically opposed countries, it loses its force. It is the region’s leftwing and populist governments who urgently need to stop turning a blind eye to the outrages in Venezuela and to start pressuring Maduro to show more respect for the spirit of democracy for the sake of the credibility of their ideology. Venezuela’s institutional collapse needs to be stopped now before it enters into a sinister new phase of civil strife between pro-government and opposition mobs.

October 25, 2016 05:37 UTC

A message to our readers

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 A message to our readersThe Buenos Aires Herald, the only English-language daily in Latin America, will become a weekly as from next November 4, its main shareholder the Indalo Group announced last weekend. Last September 15, the Herald published an anniversary edition to mark its 140 years, to which its usual columnists, former editors, top politicians from across the political spectrum, human rights leaders, ambassadors and pundits all contributed. The Herald is the fourth-oldest newspaper in the country but its last edition as a daily comes out tomorrow. The decision to publish a weekly means a major downsizing of a permanent staff of 21 between journalists and designers. In mid-year the Sindicato de Prensa de Buenos Aires press association estimated around 2,000 job losses nationwide.

October 25, 2016 05:15 UTC

France clears ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 France clears ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in CalaisMigrants sit on a bus going to Normandy, as they leave the makeshift migrant camp known as “the jungle” near Calais, northern France, yesterday. But the sprawling camp in the sand dunes of northern France became emblematic of Europe’s migrant crisis, expanding as migrant numbers grew and quickly evolving into Europe’s largest slum, supported by aid groups, and a black eye on France’s image. Another 400 unaccompanied minors were being housed in heated shelters at the camp. The humanitarian organization France Terre d’Asile says 1,291 unaccompanied minors live in the camp. Some doubt the camp’s dismantling will end the migrant influx into northern France which predates the slum.

October 25, 2016 03:45 UTC

Leicester duo, Messi up for Ballon D’Or

Soccer Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Leicester duo, Messi up for Ballon D’OrBarcelona''s Lionel Messi was named again to the list for the Ballon D’Or award. Five-time winner Messi and three-time winner Ronaldo are the only previous winners nominated for a prize that is no longer linked to FIFA. Luis Suárez and Neymar complete a full Barcelona forward line on the list, though Champions League winner Real Madrid has the most nominees with six, including Wales winger Gareth Bale. Atlético also had Diego Simeone win the best coach award, Diego Godín earn the best defender award, and Jan Oblak clinch best goalkeeper. Barcelona won the Spanish league last season, ahead of Real Madrid and Atlético.

October 25, 2016 03:11 UTC

Macri: ‘Venezuela must leave Mercosur’

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Macri: ‘Venezuela must leave Mercosur’President says human rights are ‘not respected’ by Caracas government as he hosts VázquezPresident Mauricio Macri reiterated his previous calls for Venezuela to be suspended from the Mercosur regional trading bloc yesterday as he met with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez in the capital, with both heads of state citing major worriers over the state of human rights in the country. The statement released by the (Venezuelan) congress is overwhelming and we have confirmed together that under these circumstances, Venezuela cannot be a part of Mercosur,” Macri said during a press conference at the presidential residency in Olivos. “As I have said before, in Venezuela, human rights are not respected ... the conditions (now) exist for the evocation of the democratic clause” of the Mercosur, Macri said, suggesting that Venezuela should be suspended from the trading bloc by a consensus of the other member states (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay). Since his election late last year, Macri has repeatedly rebuked Venezuela’s socialist government and denounced various “abuses” he says they are committing in country. Macri said that the Venezuelan opposition’s statement suggested that a “state coup” was underway in Venezuela, echoing their language and cited the opposition declaration that said Maduro had violated the national Constitution by axeing the recall referendum.

October 25, 2016 03:11 UTC

Boy, 8, IDs Mendoza killer

Details of shocking triple femicide begin to emerge Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Boy, 8, IDs Mendoza killerDaniel Gonzalo Zalazar Quiroga, the man accused of carrying out a triple-femicide in Mendoza on Saturday, is seen being transferred to court yesterday. On Saturday, Zalazar — a martial arts expert — attacked and killed Lorena Arias, her grandmother Silda Vicenta Diaz and sister, Maria Susana Ortiz and critically injured two children — an 11-year-old boy and a 10-month-old baby, the child of Zalazar and Lorena Arias. Speaking to the C5N news agency, Arias said that Bautista had recounted what had happened at the time of the attack. Following the attack, Bautista eventually escaped from the property and ran to hide in the boot of the nearby car, staying there for the next several hours. The case is just one of a number of femicides in Argentina in recent weeks to have made national headlines.

October 25, 2016 03:11 UTC

Chile voters punish Bachelet’s ruling coalition

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Chile voters punish Bachelet’s ruling coalitionPresident’s New Majority loses 26 mayoral seats leaving only 141 to Chile Vamos’ 144SANTIAGO — Chileans gave the ruling, centre-left coalition a bloody nose in municipal elections on Sunday after more than two years of sluggish growth and bitter disputes over education, pension and labour reforms. The ruling coalition that Bachelet heads has dominated Chilean politics for 26 years, holding the presidency for all but four of those years and controlling a majority of municipalities — until yesterday. “Chile wants, needs a change,” said Sebastian Piñera, former president for the right-wing coalition. “Today we have taken a great step towards the change that Chile needs.”Yet, many voters didn’t turn to the coalition that backs Piñera. Independent candidates won 52 mayoral seats, compared with 41 four years earlier, with their percentage of the vote rising to 17.4 percent from 10.9 percent.

October 25, 2016 01:41 UTC

City magistrate rules Uber is legal

SERVICE IS PURELY COMMERCIAL, SAYS ZELAYA Tuesday, October 25, 2016 City magistrate rules Uber is legalCity magistrate Luis Zelaya yesterday knocked back the taxi-driver union’s lawsuit against the multinational Uber, ruling that the system linking private drivers with potential passengers via apps was purely commercial with no crime or illegality involved. The union had taken 33 Uber drivers to court but Zelaya ruled that they were not guilty of unfair competition, contributing to traffic congestion or any other offence. The magistrate did not rule out administrative misdemeanours or traffic infractions but “no crime.” Nor had the regularity and efficiency of public transport been affected in any way. Prosecutor Jorge Ballestrero had already defined Uber as “a licit commercial activity with legitimate aims.”But the taxi-drivers have not been the only ones to object to their transport rivals since their début in this city last April, staging numerous road-blocks and placing “Fuera Uber” stickers in their rear windscreens. City Hall has repeatedly described Uber as “beyond the law, which it must obey.”Herald staff

October 25, 2016 01:41 UTC

Estudiantes puts a stop to San Lorenzo

SOCCER — DOMESTIC LEAGUE Monday, October 24, 2016 Estudiantes puts a stop to San LorenzoTournament leader takes 2-1 away victory at the Nuevo GasómetroEstudiantes de La Plata stayed alone at the top of the First Division standings after beating San Lorenzo 2-1 at the Nuevo Gasómetro stadium yesterday in a seventh-round match. Estudiantes fielded three defensive midfielders to block Fernando Belluschi and Néstor Ortigoza, two of San Lorenzo’s playmakers. After wasting a couple of chances, Damonte scored with a header to take the 2-1 win. San Lorenzo fielded: Sebastián Torrico; Mathías Corujo, Marcos Angeleri, Fabricio Coloccini, Emmanuel Mas; Franco Mussis; Ezequiel Cerutti, Fernando Belluschi, Néstor Ortigoza, Sebastián Blanco; Nicolás Blandi. The Rosario derby went to Newell’s Old Boys yesterday as Maximiliano Rodríguez scored in extra time to take a 1-0 victory over Rosario Central at the Gigante de Arroyito stadium.

October 24, 2016 03:27 UTC

World laughs at Donald Trump in SNL’s debate sketch

Monday, October 24, 2016 World laughs at Donald Trump in SNL’s debate sketchBy Aaron BlakeThe Washington PostA week after drawing an unhappy response from Donald Trump for its portrayal of him in its spoof of the second presidential debate, Saturday Night Live didn’t back down on the third one. Featuring the debate again in its cold open — this time with Tom Hanks playing moderator Chris Wallace — Alec Baldwin’s Trump was as brutish and offensive as ever. There’s even a subtle jab at Trump’s strange comment that he would date daughter Ivanka if she weren’t his daughter. The sketch had some fun with the audience laughter that was clearly heard when Trump said that nobody respects women more than he does. This is the final debate sketch we’ll see, given that there aren’t any more debates.

October 23, 2016 13:18 UTC

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