Around the Hemisphere …

Mexico has started nuclear radiation detection operations at one of its busiest seaports.  A similar program was initiated in Jamaica earlier this year. For decades a majority of the leaders throughout the Western Hemisphere worked against U.S. policy toward Cuba.  Regional leaders criticize U.S.-Cuba sanctions as “inhumane,” among other things.  How times changed.  It seems as …

Ecuador and Terrorists, Targeted Sanctions May Be Warranted

The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s latest op-ed is well worth a read by folks considering extending ATPDEA trade preferences to Ecuador.   The op-ed has struck a nerve with the Correa regime that has responded with shrill commentary, rather than facts. Bottom line:  Ecuador remains a terrorist safe haven and, unless the Correa crew changes …

In and About the Hemisphere …

Rule of law programs are one of the most critical components of reform in developing countries.  For anyone who thinks there is rule of law in Ecuador, take a look at this.  In 2004, Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady penned a good article on Ecuador and ROL that will give you a flavor of …

Ecuador, A Democracy in Name Only

Last year Ecuador strongman Rafael Correa stated that he preferred “one thousand times” to be an ally and friend of state sponsor of terrorism Cuba and Venezuela, than to be a friend of the United States.  And Correa has by act and deed, kept his word. The only democracy existing in Ecuador,  is in name …

Attacks on Freedom of Speech, Other Rights, Continue in South America

The Republicans may be in the minority, but the minority still has some formidable pivot power points if they wish to exercise minority rights.  There is nothing like a Congressional “hold” to get the attention of would-be appointees and other politicos. And there is no better place to begin than with Western Hemisphere appointments. The Obama Administration, and its …

Venezuela, and likely Bolivia, Belong on State Sponsors of Terror List

It should come as no surprise that Venezuela, and likely Bolivia, are supporting Iran’s nuclear ambitions by exporting uranium to the mullahs.  Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has been supporting the Iranian regime during the past few years in a somewhat vain attempt to upset the regional power balance in Latin America against the United States. With the support …

Nuclear Watchdog Inks South America Deals, U.S. Congress Should Scrutinize Closely

United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials inked various agreements with the governments of Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia this week.  These agreements aim to increase cooperation and assistance for the development of civilian nuclear power programs in these countries.  Mohamed El Baradei, the IAEA Director General, was in Latin America for these meetings that also included …

The AIG Sideshow, A Dangerous One for Liberty and Rule of Law

What the U.S. Congress did this week is reminiscent of third-world nation politicking. Using the tax code as a political weapon to punish a class of citizens is something we come to expect from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Argentina’s Christina Kirchner, or the European Union. One would hope that cooler heads will prevail in the Senate, …

AP: Turkey Holds Iran Shipment to Venezuela

The Associated Press reports that “Turkey was holding a suspicious shipment bound for Venezuela from Iran because it contained lab equipment capable of producing explosives, a customs official said Tuesday.” “Experts from Turkey’s Atomic Institute determined there were no traces of radioactive material, but said the equipment was enough to set up an explosives lab,” …

Russia Proposes Nuclear Reactor Plan to Chavez

The Russian military naval exercises in South America are somewhat of a nostalgic novelty item.  It is more annoying than serious a matter.  The nuclear cooperation chatter with anti-American leaders in the Western Hemisphere is quite another matter. At its core, the Russians are upset that the U.S. is working with the Czechs and Poles on a missile defense shield …

Elhefnawy: The Next Wave of Nuclear Proliferation, Regional Considerations

While it barely generates the media attention that Iran or North Koreahas during the past few years, there are leaders in Latin America, South America to be exact, who have hinted that nuclear weaponization programs are a “right” of developing countries.   Despite public acts to the country such as signing on to key non-proliferation treaties or …

Iran’s Growing Penetration of the Americas, Courtesy of Latin American Leftist Leaders and Interests

“The core of this effort is fueled primarily by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and Communist Cuba.  This Lernaean Hydra also breathes its ideological poison with fellow travelers in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and political parties and business interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean…”  The incoming Obama-Biden Administration has been making the perfunctory statement that it will …

Suspected Hezbollah Operatives Nabbed in South America, Congress Should Approve Colombia FTA

Colombian officials announced last week that they had arrested suspected Hezbollah operatives in Colombia.  The capture of the three potential terrorists was part of an international anti-drug and anti-money laundering operation that had been ongoing for about two years called Operation Titan.  According to various news sources it was the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that made …

Ecuador and Bolivia Do Not Deserve Preferential Trade Extension

A majority of Americans do not know that for approximately sixteen years many products from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, have been allowed to enter the U.S. market under lower or no tariff rates.  In exchange for the preferential trade treatment, these countries were supposed to cooperate extensively with the U.S. in various counternarcotics efforts throughout the …

The South American Nuclear Genie

Faced with the possibility of decreasing crude oil prices, a crimp to his “petro-democracy” antics throughout the Americas, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez appears to be preparing a new political talisman to generate headlines and regional mischief: the nuclear power genie.  With Russia’s cooperation, Chavez says he will start a civilian nuclear power program.  If this announcement had been made …

Proposed Russian-Cuba-Venezuela Space Cooperation Raises Many Questions

“If the [INKSA] waiver is to be granted, and it appears that it must be in order to ensure safety, redundancy, and continuity, it should include some sort of escape clause for early termination; and it should not be granted until NASA promises that the space shuttle program will not be scrapped…” The Russians appear to be enjoying lately publicly challenging the …

McCain: Deeply Disappointed by the Decision of Venezuela’s government to expel U.S. Ambassador Duddy

ARLINGTON, VA — Today, U.S. Senator John McCain delivered the following statement on Venezuela and Ambassador Duddy’s expulsion by the Venezuelan government: “I am deeply disappointed by the decision of Venezuela’s government to expel U.S. Ambassador Duddy. This diplomatic escalation, which follows Bolivia’s expulsion of the American ambassador there, reminds us anew of the dangerous trends …

Making Some Sense of Anti-American Shenanigans in South America, It is Not a Cold War Part Deux

The U.S. Ambassadors to Bolivia and Venezuela have been expelled this week from South America.  An act of political immaturity on the part of these two South American countries, we should respond, in kind, and with clarity of purpose.  In other words, we should provide exit papers for their Ambassadors in Washington, DC and begin …

Non-Profit Funding From Nefarious Foreign Sources, It is Not Just From the Middle East

Chavez and his supporters do not care about America’s poor, they are using them to advance their anti-American agenda. The folks at Casa de Maryland should return that money. I doubt that they will. If a U.S. non-profit organization was accepting money from a terrorist, a terrorist organization, a state sponsor of terrorism or a …

Ecuador’s Path to Dictatorship Continues Unchecked, ATPDEA Extension Should be Conditioned

There is a cottage industry of anti-American activists throughout the Western Hemisphere eagerly awaiting the U.S. withdrawal next year from the anti-narcotics facility in Ecuador. It received a boost yesterday from the leftist government of Rafael Correa who is making good on a campaign promise to “kick the gringos out” from coastal facility and civilian …