Bolivia Opens An Anti-Imperialist Military Academy to Counter U.S. Influence

Close to sixty percent of the Bolivian people live at or below extreme poverty. You would think its left-wing ruler, Evo Morales, would focus all of his waking energies on reforms that could make a dent on that data point including lowering taxes, encouraging trade and foreign investment. Of course, that would be logical. Morales …

Iran’s Cozy Relationship With Bolivia Goes Nuclear, Regional Relations Keep Expanding

Iran continues to carefully expand its network in Latin America; what are we doing about it?  Publicly, very little. A region rich with strategic natural resources, poverty, and anti-American governments, the Iranian mullahs see opportunities to exploit and they have wasted no time in doing so. Working closely with countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for …

Around Town …

Last week, a virtual Obama issued a statement on export controls reform during an annual export controls federal government confab hosted by the Department of Commerce.  The praise flowed: “a strong first step” said the Business Roundtable, “undoubtedly welcome” penned Ars Technica, and the National Foreign Trade Council said the reform will be “significant,” to …

Around Town …

The Australian newspaper reported earlier this week that the Australian government has blocked several shipments of controlled items including water pumps used to cool nuclear reactors.  Ominously titled “Kevin Rudd’s secret war on Iran,” the reporter who penned the article asks readers to contact them if they have had exports blocked by the government.  That …

Around town …

The Asia Times reports on a midsummer tale of two Chinese spies and export controls. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei talks about a new start for non-proliferation. Clif Burns at the Export Law Blog penned an item on Syria sanctions relief.  While it may be good for some U.S. sectors seeking …

Venezuelan Officials: Drug Kingpins

According to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans, “Venezuela’s cooperation on counternarcotics has deteriorated according to a report released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  “The report, requested by U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar in February 2008, is an effort by Lugar to ensure that funding for United States Government policies designed to interdict narcotics …

Around the Hemisphere …

The Bolivarian Axis makes a move in Honduras to institutionalize leftist rule.  This is how it was done in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua.  They will trample rule of law, minority rights, and slowly take control of the country.   A blogger claiming to be the son of an Honduran Senator states that during a Congressional …

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 …

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 …

U.S. Pressure on Senior Cuban Officials Should Increase

The seemingly never-ending obsession with U.S.-Cuba policy is reaching a fever pitch.  With Democratic control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for the first time in decades, the pro-Castro camp is salivating at the thought of normalizing relations with the Communist government of the only designated state sponsor of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere.   They should be …

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 …

U.S. Suspends Trade Preferences for Bolivia, While Ecuador Receives Limited Extension

In response to Bolivia’s repeated failures to cooperate in regional anti-drug efforts, the Bush Administration announced this week that it would suspend trade preferences for Bolivia.   The move will increase tariffs on Bolivian goods entering the U.S. effective October 31, 2008.  “Unfortunately, Bolivia has failed to cooperate with the United States on important efforts to …

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 …

Iran’s Western Hemisphere Strategy Reportedly Includes Central America TV Station

A colleague in South America sent me a news item that I wanted to pass along to my readers.  Folks who follow regional matters have known for some time that Iran has slowly been creeping its way into various pockets in the Americas.  Pick a leftist, rogue, and anti-American leader in the Western Hemisphere and …