Maradona Warns Ecuador Voters: Don’t Become Another Argentina

“He (Lenin Moreno) is trying to be the president of an Ecuador that doesn’t want to follow the path of Argentina,” Maradona said.

Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona encouraged Ecuadorean voters Wednesday to support leftist presidential candidate Lenin Moreno, warning that right-wing candidate Guillermo Lasso could degenerate Ecuador into a neoliberal mess, like his own Argentina under Mauricio Macri.

the message in a Twitter video ahead of the country’s April 2 runoff election. “I want to send a warm greeting to Ecuadoreans, to my friend (President Rafael) Correa and of course Lenin Moreno. He is trying to be the president of an Ecuador that doesn’t want to follow the path of Argentina,” he said.

“I tell my Ecuadorean friends: Lenin Moreno is the great chance we have. If you think otherwise, look at television and look at the strikes and marches in Argentina and Brazil where it seemed like they couldn’t fall.”

In 2015, Argentine voters elected right-wing Mauricio Macri as president, ushering in a period of neoliberal austerity that rolled back progressive gains made by former President Cristina Fernandez and Nestor Kirchner. Macri, campaigning against “big government,” has since implemented policies aimed at cutting and privatizing social programs, much like what Lasso is proposing.

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Macri’s Economic Doctrine Falling Flat? Shell Mulls Divestment in Argentina

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Argentina is beginning to see signs that conservative President Mauricio Macri’s policy, touted as a surefire plan to attract waves of foreign investment and revitalize the country’s economy, is backfiring less than a year into his mandate, as energy giant Royal Dutch Shell announced that it is considering selling off its assets in Argentina.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Wednesday during a press conference in New York that the Netherlands-headquartered multinational is undertaking a “strategic review” of its business activities in the South American country, Reuters reported.

According to the company, the review focuses on Shell’s “downstream” operations including refining, transportation, and distribution, but would not impact the “upstream” activities of oil and gas exploration and production.

The move is part of a global divestment campaign amounting to US$30 billion. In a statement, Shell indicated that the company has “no intention of losing presence in Argentina.”

“We consider our global investments in shale a priority for future growth as of the year 2020, therefore we are committed to development and growth of our non-conventional (energy) business in Argentina in the coming years,” the company stated.

The review will consider divesting holdings including Shell’s refinery in Buenos Aires, which has a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, as well as the company’s network of some 600 service stations and other assets.

Shell announced preliminary plans in June to scale back operations in some countries to focus on expanding business in liquified natural gas, chemical industries, and other ventures. The revised vision came just months after Shell acquired British oil and gas corporation BG Group for US$54 billion in February, making it the second largest private oil company in the world.

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Argentina cries. Chile celebrates

 Chile against Argentina . Messi against Vidal

 Lionel Messi missed during penalty shots, ultimately handing the victory to Chile.

Lionel Messi, the man whom Argentina was expecting to lead the country to victory, was ultimately responsible for their defeat.

The scrappy match was determined via penalty shots after a scoreless extra 30 minutes of play. Chile came out on top, scoring four penalty shots to Argentina’s two.

The Argentine keeper managed to block Chile’s first attempt, but that was followed by a errant kick by Messi.

Lucas Biglia’s shot was blocked by the Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo, leaving the match in Francisco Silva’s hands who put his shot past Sergio Romero.

Chile successfuly defended its crown, having won the Copa America tournament in 2015. Argentina has now gone 23 years without winning a major tournament.

Match Preview Argentina vs. Chile

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OAS : Argentina government against Venezuela

The meeting would seek to issue a joint statement regarding the situation in Venezuela and possibly paving the way for its suspension from the body.

The Argentine mission to the Organization of American States, or OAS, called Monday night for an extraordinary meeting of the organization’s permanent council this Wednesday in order to analyze the political, social and economic situation in Venezuela, a move Caracas has slammed as “foreign intervention.”

According to media reports, the meeting would seek to issue a joint statement regarding the situation in the South American country.

The new Argentine government led by Mauricio Macri has expressed hostile attitudes toward the Venezuelan government over the past few months as the new administration moves the country away from left-wing foreign and domestic policies previously implemented by the Kirchners.

Meanwhile, the head of the OAS, Luis Almagro, has invoked the procedure to open the so-called Democratic Charter against Venezuela, which could lead to the suspension of the country from the bloc.

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#Obama to Declassify #US Records on #Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’

Soldiers with automatic rifles control access to Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.

Ahead of his visit to Argentina, the U.S. president will release military and intelligence records on U.S. involvement during the 1876-1983 dictatorship.

The United States government will declassify documents from U.S. military and intelligence agencies related to Argentina’s 1976-83 “Dirty War,” the seven-year period when a U.S.-backed military dictatorship cracked down on left-wing opponents, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The move coincides with President Barack Obama’s visit to Argentina next week on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 coup that installed the dictatorship.

More than 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during that brutal period. Argentina returned to democracy in 1983. The declassification effort will include records from U.S. law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the presidential libraries at the National Archives. It follows the declassification in 2002 of more than 4,000 State Department cables and other documents related to human rights abuses from the 1976-83 period.

“President Obama, at the request of the Argentine government, will announce a comprehensive effort to declassify additional documents, including for the first time military and intelligence records,” U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice said in a speech hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington. “On this anniversary and beyond, we’re determined to do our part as Argentina continues to heal and move forward as one nation,” she said.

On previous trips, Obama has failed to apologize to Latin American nation’s for CIA activities in the region during decades past. Argentina have welcomed the announcement. “Anything that helps analyze what happened during this chapter is a positive,” an Argentine government spokesperson told Reuters, declining to comment further
on a matter he said Obama and President Mauricio Macri would address.

Obama plans to visit Parque de la Memoria, or Memory Park, to honor the victims of that period. The U.S. president has been criticized by human rights activists and leading figures in Argentina over the timing of his visit as it coincides with the anniversary of the coup.
The right-wing Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, who took office in December 2015, has been eager to cozy up to the United States after years of fraught relations between the two countries under the leadership of the Kirchners.

Argentina Congress Approves Vulture Funds Deal Amid Protests

The question is:

Does the US has something to do with those decisions? History will tell us. Hope not in the far future.

What are the Vulture Funds?

The proposed settlement for holdout creditors must now pass to Argentina’s Senate after the lower house voted 165 to 86 in favor of the deal.

Argentina’s lower house of Congress voted Wednesday to approve a settlement package for vulture funds, reportedly worth $4.65bn, after a marathon debate amid massive protests against the agreement, which now needs to pass through the Senate for final approval. Lawmakers in the lower house voted 165 to 86 in favor of the deal after an extended 20-hour debate on how to handle the country’s over decade-long battle with predatory creditors. President Mauricio Macri campaigned on promises to reopen negotiations with vulture funds in the name of attracting international investment to kickstart the economy.

In 2014, negotiations in New York between Argentina and the “holdout” creditors fell through, putting the country into a “partial default” despite showing the will and capacity to pay 90 percent of its creditors on a month by month basis. The break down in talks have prevented Argentina from accessing international credit markets, forcing it to issue domestic bonds to generate funds and to obtain loans from countries such as China.

​​Former President Cristina Fernandez frequently emphasized the importance of securing alternative sources of external finance capital, as a strategy to promote autonomous development and economic growth, arguing that the negotiations were an issue of national sovereignty. This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:

Argentine Vice President Says #CELAC Crucial for Domestic Agenda

Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti

Credits: EFE

The Argentine vice president says regional integration is important in advancing its own domestic policy objectives.

Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti outlined various policy objectives for her country’s government such as the strengthening of democracy, poverty reduction and the fight against narco-trafficking at the fourth CELAC summit in Quito, Ecuador, on Wednesday.

“CELAC is a space to help us grow. Specifically, as it relates to the goals of our government over the next several years,” Michetti stated.

The newly elected vice president vowed to promote policies with the goal of widening social inclusion, reducing poverty, and expanding dignified employment. However, Michetti’s comments come as her newly elected administration fired more then 12,000 public workers, as part of a purge of various state agencies.

Meanwhile, during her speech, Michetti reiterated her commitment to strengthen democratic institutions, amid the highly criticized arrest of Indigenous, social leader Milagro Sala, after protesting the new government of Mauricio Macri.

Similarly, the recent decision by Argentine President Mauricio Macri to declare a “Emergency State for Security”, drew widespread criticism from local NGO’s, expressing concern over potential human rights abuses involving law enforcement in efforts to combat drug-trafficking.

Towards the end of her speech, Michetti said that one of the key priorities for her government is to combat climate change through the “promotion of clean and renewable energy through encouraging investment in these industries.”

“We are currently working in conjunction with Bolivia and Chile in the area of renewable energy.” She stated.

​Bolivia is considered one of the regional powers in energy, with the second-largest natural gas reserves in South America. Both from an energy and political point of view, Bolivia represents a key part of the regional cooperation efforts that have occurred over the last decade in the region.

Vice President Michetti stepped in for Argentine President Mauricio Macri who did not attend his first ever Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit due to a “recommendation” from his doctors.