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Showing posts from September 5, 2014


Venezuela's economy
The death of pragmatism

Sep 3rd 2014, 16:42 


IT WAS billed as a “big shake-up”. With Venezuela immersed in its most severe economic crisis since 2003, President Nicolás Maduro's announcement of a major restructuring of his government raised hopes that he might have a plan to tackle the problem.

 Instead, on September 2nd Mr Maduro ruled out any “capitalist” solution, declared his economic policy “successful” and sidelined Rafael Ramírez, the only cabinet member proposing substantial change.

Mr Ramírez, chairman of the state oil corporation and vice-president for the economy, had argued for a unified exchange rate, reducing the money supply and raising the domestic price of petrol. After months of dithering, the president finally gave his answer by moving Mr Ramírez to the foreign ministry and splitting his super-portfolio into three separate jobs, none of them in the hands of a political heavyweight.

Venezuela is in trouble. 

Such trouble, in fact…

Brazilian Gang Runs Cocaine Trade in Peru's Rebel Heartland

Written by Marguerite Cawley
Friday, 05 September 2014

PGC leader Osmar de Souza was captured in Paraguay in 2012

An emerging criminal group from Brazil may control up to 60 percent of the cocaine trafficked out of Peru, as Brazilian organized crime moves closer the source of the illegal drugs demanded by its booming domestic market, apparently securing supplies directly from the world's top cocaine producer.

According to a confidential report from Peru's anti-drug authority (DIRANDRO) accessed by La Republica, a Brazilian organization known as the First Catarinense Group (Primeiro Grupo Catarinense - PGC) is the top client for several drug trafficking clans based in Peru's Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (known as the VRAEM). 

The PGC is reportedly displacing Mexican groups like the Sinaloa Cartel, who were formerly responsible for much of the drugs moved out of the VRAEM and the Upper Huallaga Valley.

One of the PGC's principal connections is reportedly Peruvian na…

SOUTH CAROLINA PORTS : Business leaders brief Administration on international trade policy


| Sep 04 2014 at 04:48 PM |

As Congress is threatening to cut funding for the Export-Import Bank and negotiations for two significant international trade agreements are in progress, business leaders and port officials, including SC Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome, met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other senior Administration officialsto brief them on how international trade policy affects their businesses and communities.

“American businesses realize that in order to compete and succeed globally, they have to sell their goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders,”
said Secretary Pritzker. 

“As U.S. businesses increase their exports, they create economic growth and support jobs here at home. Last year, U.S. exports hit a record $2.3 trillion and supported 11.3 million jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009. President Obama and I believe we have to use every tool in our toolkit to ensure t…