A look at the situation in Venezuela

Guest:  Comandante Cazorla, opposition leader, joins us for a discussion of the situation in Venezuela….the economic crisis plus the political problems…..the state of the opposition …..the polling data on upcoming elections……the food shortages all over the country……crime in the streets of Caracas and other cities…..the relationship with Cuba……US-Venezuela relations after the sanctions……and other issues about the situation in Venezuela….

Special note:  We had a little of distortion in our connection with Venezuela…..please forgive us for the static at the beginning of the show…

Click to listen:


Cuba and US-Latin America stories of the week

Guest:  Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog, joins me for a look at US-Latin America stories of the week……we will discuss the latest legal setback for President Obama’s executive order……….what impact will it have in Central America?  The latest from Mexico’s upcoming mid-term elections……..Chile and the president’s problems……Argentina and Mr Nisman……Venezuela and allegations of drugs……Colombia and FARC……US-Cuba talks…….

and Jorge Ponce will joins us to talk about the death of the author of Fidel Castro’s “Double life”………click to listen:


The Panama summit and other US Latin America stories of the week

GUESTS:  Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, the editor of Fausta’s Blog……plus Roger Mailhot, a Canadian businessman with vast Latin America experience and currently living in Lima, Peru…….we will discuss the Latin American summit in Panama….the US-Cuba talks…..President Obama and Raul Castro…..the US-Venezuela rift…..more marches in Brazil…….the continuing crisis in Argentina….the murder of Alberto Nisman……and other US-Latin America stories of the week….

Click to listen:



Reds Return to Red Square on May Day 2014

may day 2014

MOSCOW – Tens of thousands of Russians marched through Red Square on Thursday as part of May Day celebrations in the first such display of Soviet-era-like ceremony since 1991 – the year the communist Soviet Union dissolved.

“For the first time, stages will be filled, and 5,000 (labor) veterans will stand on the tribunes of Red Square,” Sergei Chernov, chairman of the Moscow Labor Union Federation, was quoted by ITAR-Tass as saying, ahead of the march, which is being seen as part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to stoke patriotic feelings following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

As many as 2 million people were expected to be on hand for the event organized by Russian labor unions, which are mostly loyal to the Kremlin. In the end, about 100,000 people participated in the celebration, some holding signs saying: “Let’s go to Crimea for vacation” and “Putin is right.” Russian flags fluttered through the crowd.

Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, whose City Hall approved the measure, led the procession.

Earlier, he assured people it would not be a return to Soviet times…

Well, THAT’S a relief!

Meanwhile, on this not-a-return-to-Soviet-times May Day in Ukraine…

Pro-Russian protesters storm prosecutor’s office in Ukraine’s Donetsk


A report directly from Venezuela

We spoke on Friday night with Comandante Cazorla in Venezuela.  He updated the situation in his homeland.

Michael Prada joined me to talk about the influence of Cuba in Venezuela.


“Ojo y mucho cuidado”: Elections in El Salvador

(My new American Thinker post about the elections in El Salvador)

Not long ago, Central America was a big part of our foreign policy discussion in the US.

Remember the contras? Noriega and the Panama invasion?  El Salvador civil war?

We don’t have those problems anymore and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and so on.  Nevertheless, the region faces violence and economic challenges.   It is also a source of illegal immigration to the US.

Last Sunday, the left won the first round of the El Salvador election, as reported in The NY Times:

 “In El Salvador, a divided right may have benefited the front-runner of the left-leaning Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, known as the F.M.L.N., which appeared in good position to hold on to the presidency. It won the office for the first time in 2009, after a string of losses to conservatives following peace accords in 1992 ended one of the bloodiest civil wars in the Americas. The F.M.L.N. candidate, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, a former guerrilla commander and the vice president, got 49 percent of the vote, but not the majority needed to avoid a March 9 runoff, according to preliminary results.”

The right should do better in the 2nd round because many of the 3rd party votes are more likely to go right then left.  At the same time, the left goes to the “runoff” with 49% of the vote in the first round.  As they say, I’d rather go to the runoff with 49% in the first round than 39%!

No matter who wins, the people are not happy with the political class because of a sluggish economy and rampant gang violence.The winner of the election will have a very brief honeymoon and face citizens who want quick results. It won’t be easy governing El Salvador.

Central America has come a long way from “contras” and “the civil war” of the early 1980s in El Salvador.  Unfortunately, they face a new set of problems, such as mindless gang violence and insecurity.

And let’s not forget that Central America is a source of illegal immigration to the US. It’s in our interest to have jobs and economic growth in the region.

P. S. You can hear my chat with Fausta Wertz (Fausta’s Blog) and Miguel Portillo-Cuadras from El Salvador & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.