Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Cuban activists forced to stay inside -- Human Rights Day (Dec. 11, 2019)

Many Cuban political dissidents and independent journalists said police stopped them from leaving their houses yesterday, on international Human Rights Day. Some activists had planned to publicly call for the liberation of opposition leaders Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was arrested two months ago, reports Reuters. Human rights groups have pointed to a broader crack-down against dissent in the one-party country. (See Dec. 3's briefs.)

“‘Go back up to your flat because today you cannot go out’ said a state security official guarding the entrance of my building,” wrote Luz Escobar, a reporter for the alternative news website 14ymedio, on Twitter. Online news magazine El Estornudo reported that its director, Abraham Jiménez Enoa, was similarly prevented from leaving his home, yesterday. And journalists were also affected, reports the Nuevo Herald.

See, also, Havana Times and 14yMedio for more context.

More Cuba
  • The U.S. Trump administration chose yesterday to implement flight cuts from the U.S. to nine Cuban destinations. (CNN)
News Briefs

Regional Relations
  • A final copy of "“NAFTA 2.0." hasn't yet been released, but generally speaking the deal updates the previous 1994 free trade pact. The Washington Post has a rundown on changes. The new and old deals are more alike than different, according to CNN.
  • And Politico has the inside story of the intense international negotiations that went on behind the scenes to get unions, House Democrats and the Trump administration all on board. "The deal didn’t come easy — and it was on the brink of death multiple times over the past year."
  • In Mexico business leaders "emerged bruised and resigned to a new stricter trade deal with the United States and Canada that could usher in more intrusive enforcement of labor rules in Mexico," according to Reuters.
  • A former Mexican public security secretary was arrested in Texas yesterday, on charges of accepting bribes in exchange for has permitting the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity. Genaro García Luna is considered the architect of Mexico's war on drugs, and oversaw the creation of Mexico’s federal police during his tenure in Felipe Calderón's government. According to a New York indictment against him unsealed yesterday, García Luna “received millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for providing protection for its drug trafficking activities," reports the Guardian. He is also accused of lying to American investigators and taking part in a conspiracy to traffic cocaine, reports the New York Times. The news was stunning "even in a country that has struggled with profound drug corruption for years," reports the Washington Post.
  • During his time as Mexico’s security minister, García Luna worked closely with the DEA, and oversaw the Sensitive Investigative Units program, tweeted reporter Ginger Thompson yesterday. "Those units were notoriously leaky ... and one leak triggered a massacre." (See post for June 13, 2017, on her investigative report on the 2011 Allende Massacre.)
  • Argentine President Alberto Fernández swore-in yesterday, with a speech in which he promised policies prioritizing the country's poorest, in the midst of sky-high inflation, economic recession and the highest poverty rate in a decade. He emphasized a unity message in an intensely politically polarized country, but also spoke out against politically motivated judicial cases. He also promised to restructure the country's scandal-ridden spy agency and eliminate its "discretional funding" that will instead be directed towards an anti-hunger plan. The Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales celebrated the move as a fundamental step towards democratizing the political system. (Ámbito, Página 12)
  • In a day charged with symbolism, some analysts (Buenos Aires Times) focused on his hug with former president Mauricio Macri -- a nod towards healing divisions? -- while others (La Nación) were more skeptical. He said the right things, but was joined by the wrong people, according to Miami Herald columnist Andrés Oppenheimer.
  • Fernández joins the ranks of personally austere leaders from Uruguay's José Mujica to Mexican AMLO: he drove himself to the ceremony, yesterday, in his own second-hand Toyota, notes the Guardian.
  • Beyond politics, the central problem is that Fernández doesn't have the funding to deliver the relief he promised, warns the Economist. Indeed, Fernández warned creditors that the country has the will to pay sovereign debt, but not the resources. (El País, Página 12)
  • Thousands of people defied oven-like temperatures to celebrate on the streets of Buenos Aires -- El País.
  • U.S. presidential advisor Mauricio Claver-Carone flew to Buenos Aires for the swearing in, but skipped the ceremony because Venezuelan communication minister Jorge Rodríguez -- who is sanctioned by the U.S. and a dozen Latin American nations -- was present. (Bloomberg, La Nación)
  • The combined collapse of the Norway-mediated dialogue process in Venezuela, together with regional powers’ decision to define Venezuela as a threat to hemispheric security, could complicate resolution of the country's drawn out crisis, according to a new International Crisis Group report. "Allies of the two sides should press them to overcome their reluctance and return to the negotiating table, possibly under a new format, where they should show the necessary flexibility to reach a workable agreement."
  • Sanctions can be counter-productive, writes Francisco Toro in a Post Opinión piece. Currently Venezuelans live in the worst-case scenario: governed by a dictatorship in a sanctioned economy. He calls on the U.S. to recalibrate its sanctions regime to adapt to a realist scenario of prolonged confrontation between the Maduro government and the political opposition.
  • It's an issue that also confront's Venezuela's opposition, according to last week's Venezuela Weekly. They are at a "conjuncture in which they need to decide, on multiple fronts, whether they are a temporary parallel government that seeks to dislodge Maduro through maximum pressure in the short-term, despite the costs on the Venezuelan people and the inevitable scandals involved in working through improvised institutions; or whether they are going to seek sustainability and prioritize the well-being of the Venezuelan people by reaching some sort of modus vivendi with the Maduro government, despite the costs of tacitly recognizing it," wrote David Smilde and Dimitris Pantoulas.
  • It's not easy being in Venezuela's political opposition -- largely because of the absolute enmity of the government, significant persecution, and a hugely distorted playing field. But also because opposition leaders live in a perpetual state of infighting, writes Alberto Barrera Tyszka in a New York Times Español op-ed.
  • Nicaraguan human rights activists demanded freedom for political prisoners yesterday -- Human Rights Day -- and said torture and repression of opponents form a structural part of the Ortega government's imposed "normalcy." (Confidencial)

Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...  


  1. Just wanted to call out Paul for his fantastic service through my home buying process - from identifying the best rate through to obtaining approval and settlement. This was my first home purchase and I think it's fair to say that it would have been significantly more challenging without his help. Paul was on top of everything that needed to be done - going the extra bit in dealing with the bank and conveyance to ensure that the whole process was concluded smoothly. The best part was that Paul was always there to answer any questions and provide support, making life much simpler. Highly recommended! or Call/Whatsapp: +1 (270) 560-0820

    Affordable Loans At 3% Interest Rate.

    I'm recommending (BBVA FINANCIALS) to you all, they are Located here in United States and the UK. They offer loan to anyone who is interested in getting any type of loan. They lend me the sum of $150.000.00 with loan interest rate of 3%. They offer all kinds of loan even with a bad credit score. The Good news is NO CREDIT CHECKS, No collateral and also even with a low credit score you can still get loan, you can approved within 48hrs if you are serious about the loan as well because they will need your correct information to approve your loan.

    Email Address: Email:
    Call Or Text: +1 501-429-4229

  3. Halo semuanya, Nama saya Siska wibowo saya tinggal di Surabaya di Indonesia, saya seorang mahasiswa, saya ingin menggunakan kesempatan ini untuk mengingatkan semua pencari pinjaman untuk sangat berhati-hati karena ada banyak perusahaan pinjaman penipuan dan kejahatan di sini di internet , Sampai saya melihat posting Bapak Suryanto tentang Nyonya Esther Patrick dan saya menghubunginya melalui email: (

    Beberapa bulan yang lalu, saya putus asa untuk membantu biaya sekolah dan proyek saya tetapi tidak ada yang membantu dan ayah saya hanya dapat memperbaiki beberapa hal yang bahkan tidak cukup, jadi saya mencari pinjaman online tetapi scammed.

    Saya hampir tidak menyerah sampai saya mencari saran dari teman saya Pak Suryanto memanggil saya pemberi pinjaman yang sangat andal yang meminjamkan dengan pinjaman tanpa jaminan sebesar Rp200.000.000 dalam waktu kurang dari 24 jam tanpa tekanan atau tekanan dengan tingkat bunga rendah 2 %. Saya sangat terkejut ketika saya memeriksa rekening bank saya dan menemukan bahwa nomor saya diterapkan langsung ditransfer ke rekening bank saya tanpa penundaan atau kekecewaan, segera saya menghubungi ibu melalui (

    Dan juga saya diberi pilihan apakah saya ingin cek kertas dikirim kepada saya melalui jasa kurir, tetapi saya mengatakan kepada mereka untuk mentransfer uang ke rekening bank saya, karena saya berjanji bahwa saya akan membagikan kabar baik sehingga orang bisa mendapatkan pinjaman mudah tanpa stres atau penundaan.

    Yakin dan yakin bahwa ini asli karena saya memiliki semua bukti pemrosesan pinjaman ini termasuk kartu ID, dokumen perjanjian pinjaman, dan semua dokumen. Saya sangat mempercayai Madam ESTHER PATRICK dengan penghargaan dan kepercayaan perusahaan yang sepenuh hati karena dia benar-benar telah membantu hidup saya membayar proyek saya. Anda sangat beruntung memiliki kesempatan untuk membaca kesaksian ini hari ini. Jadi, jika Anda membutuhkan pinjaman, silakan hubungi Madam melalui email: (

    Anda juga dapat menghubungi saya melalui email saya di ( jika Anda merasa kesulitan atau menginginkan prosedur untuk mendapatkan pinjaman

    Sekarang, yang saya lakukan adalah mencoba untuk memenuhi pembayaran pinjaman bulanan yang saya kirim langsung ke rekening bulanan Nyonya seperti yang diarahkan. Tuhan akan memberkati Nyonya ESTHER PATRICK untuk Segalanya. Saya bersyukur

  4. Hari yang baik untuk semua warga negara Indonesia, nama saya Nurul Yudianto, tolong, saya ingin berbagi kesaksian hidup saya yang sebenarnya di sini di platform ini sehingga semua warga negara Indonesia berhati-hati dengan pemberi pinjaman pinjaman di internet

    Setelah beberapa waktu berusaha mendapatkan pinjaman dari lembaga keuangan, dan terus ditolak, saya memutuskan untuk mengajukan pinjaman secara online tetapi saya curang dan kehilangan Rp18,7 juta, kepada seorang wanita di saudi arabia dan Nigeria.

    Saya menjadi sangat putus asa dalam mendapatkan pinjaman, jadi saya berdiskusi dengan teman saya Nyonya Rika Nadia ( yang kemudian memperkenalkan saya kepada Lady Esther, manajer Cabang dari Access Loan Firm, sehingga teman saya meminta saya untuk mendaftar dari LADY ESTHER, jadi saya Menjerit dituangkan dan dihubungi LADY ESTHER. melalui email: (

    Saya mengajukan pinjaman sebesar Rp250 juta dengan suku bunga 2%, sehingga pinjaman disetujui dengan mudah tanpa tekanan dan semua persiapan dilakukan dengan transfer kredit, karena tidak memerlukan jaminan dan jaminan untuk pengalihan pinjaman, saya diberitahu untuk mendapatkan sertifikat perjanjian lisensi untuk mentransfer kredit saya dan dalam waktu kurang dari satu setengah jam uang pinjaman telah dimasukkan ke dalam rekening bank saya.

    Saya pikir itu adalah lelucon sampai saya menerima panggilan dari bank saya bahwa akun saya telah dikreditkan dengan jumlah Rp250 juta. Saya sangat senang bahwa akhirnya Tuhan telah menjawab doa-doa saya dengan buku pinjaman dengan pinjaman asli saya, yang telah memberi saya keinginan hati saya.

    Semoga Tuhan memberkati LADY ESTHER untuk mewujudkan kehidupan yang adil bagi saya, jadi saya menyarankan siapa pun yang tertarik untuk mendapatkan pinjaman untuk menghubungi Mrs. LADY ESTHER melalui email: ( atas pinjaman Anda

    Akhirnya saya ingin berterima kasih kepada Anda semua karena meluangkan waktu untuk membaca kesaksian hidup saya yang sebenarnya tentang kesuksesan saya dan saya berdoa kepada Tuhan untuk melakukan kehendak-Nya dalam hidup Anda. Anda dapat menghubungi saya untuk informasi lebih lanjut melalui email saya: ( Salam