Thursday, April 13, 2017

Latin America stories of the week with Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Guest:    Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, editor of Fausta's Blog.......we will look the mess in Venezuela.....Maduro's weekend with Raúl Castro........In Argentina, Cristina Fernandez's 4th indictment.....Down in Brazil, documents show that  Odebrecht paid ex-President Lula $5 million......El Salvador's VP involved with "Chepe Diablo" (not to be confused with El Chapo)......Kate del Castillo's new Netflix series, "Ingobernable"................Mr. Krause calls on the US to accept Mexicans as a consequence of US-Mexican history from the 19th century........the latest on the election in Ecuador.......A new post by Fausta about Mexico and more stories.........

Click to listen:

Tags: Venezuela marches, Maduro in Cuba with Raul Castro, Lula and allegations of bribes, Ex-president Cristina Fernandez and indictments, Mexico and illegal immigration, a new series about a First Lady in Mexico To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Looking for a Brazilian politician free of scandal

Don’t be surprised if your Brazilian friends refer to every politician as a “crook.” Frankly, he’s got good reasons to reach that conclusion.     
Down in Brazil, where the last president was impeached for corruption, the new man is now sitting under a huge cloud of his own. This is from Simon Romero of The New York Times:      
A judge on Brazil’s Supreme Court authorized new corruption investigations on Tuesday involving dozens of the country’s most powerful politicians, dealing yet another blow to the beleaguered government of President Michel Temer.
The ruling by Justice Luiz Edson Fachin allows federal prosecutors to start new inquiries of at least eight ministers in Mr. Temer’s cabinet, including his chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, and his foreign minister, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, as well as much of the Senate.
Altogether, this means that nearly a third of the cabinet and nearly a third of the Senate will be the target of inquiries in this new phase of the colossal scandal that emerged three years ago into graft around Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company.
Brazil has been Exhibit A of crony capitalism for some time. It is a terrible drain on the economy, one of the Top 10 GDP’s of the world.    
Graft is so common that it is an accepted cost of doing business or no different than having good coffee around when your customers come in for a plant tour.
According to a 2013 report by Forbes:
A 2010 study by the FIESP (the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo State, in its acronym in Portuguese), the average annual cost of corruption in Brazil is between 1.38% to 2.3% of the country’s total GDP. 
The World Bank lists Brazil in its database with a GDP of $2.253 trillion as of 2012, while the OECD expects Brazil to grow 2.5% this year.
If the numbers of the FIESP study are to be believed, just in 2013 something between $32 billion and $53.1 billion can be accounted as “corruption money,” which, it is important to remember, gets out of circulation that hits growth. 
To put into perspective, if that money was invested in Brazil’s precarious education system, the number of Brazilian students enrolled in elementary school could be improved from its current 34.5 million to 51 million.
Better schools and better bridges and better roads and so on.      
Last, but not least, let’s not  forget about the voters. In other words, they voted for these people. Yes, they voted for them when the economy was booming and there was plenty of money to pay for all of those campaign promises.
The investigation pf President Temer will take months so don’t expect an impeachment or resignation any time soon. Nevertheless, it just makes Brazilians more cynical and they were pretty cynical before all this started a couple of years ago.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Tags: Brazil and politics  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Don’t overreact to the Kansas special election

By midnight, the results from the Kansas special election were Republican Ron Estes with 52.5% of the vote to 45.7% for Democrat James Thompson.   Yes, it’s probably true that 6 points is too close in a heavy GOP district but he won.  
One of the critical features of this election was that the Republican nominee was the state treasurer. Given Brownback’s widespread unpopularity, and the significant budget hole that could be (perhaps unfairly) attributed to Estes, it isn’t surprising that Thompson ran well.
Moreover, Thompson didn’t exactly run as a national Democrat. While he wasn’t a conservative Democrat by any stretch of the imagination, his website emphasized his support for Second Amendment rights, funding law enforcement, and “discourage[ing] illegal [immigration] activity,” alongside support for LGBT rights and steps to combat climate change. Again, this isn’t to say he is conservative or a “blue dog” Democrat; he isn’t. It’s just to say he ran to Hillary Clinton’s right, especially on the salient issue of guns.
While we are on the subject of Thompson’s website, notice that his issues page never mentioned Trump. Brownback’s name, however, appears eight times, three times in bold. Again, local issues really were an important feature of the race.
So was Thompson running against the unpopular Governor Brownback or what?   Again, look at the candidate’s website.  
Did he call on Congresswoman Pelosi to campaign for him?   I don’t think so!  
Does he favor sanctuary cities?   Probably not!
Yes, it was closer than it should have been but the GOP did not exactly put up a candidate that excited anyone.        
We repeat that incumbent GOP Governor Brownback is extremely unpopular and Mr. Estes is the state treasurer.     Estes was not exactly a dream candidate!
What does it mean for 2018?    At this point, not much.    Let’s check the landscape in the summer of 2018!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Tags: Kansas special election 2017  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Search This Blog