The Americas ReportDecember 11, 2008Feature –
- Panamanian Election could mean another victory for Chavez. Nicholas Hanlon
It is no secret that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is mobilizing politically and militarily to create an anti-U.S. climate in Latin America. Chavez has now turned his attention to the upcoming elections in Panama; a small but strategically placed country connecting Central and South America. Panama is vital to U. S. economic and military interests. As stated in the August 14th edition of the Americas Report, "the United States is the largest user of the Panama Canal and 15-20% of U.S. trade including 40% of grain exports and 670,000 barrels of oil a day come through the canal."[i] At present, the favored winner of the Panamanian presidential elections in May, 2009 is Balbina Herrera of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). What we know of Herrera bodes poorly for the U.S. Her behavior, which bears a striking resemblance to that of Chavez, combined with past ties to Noriega, casts a potentially dark shadow on the future of the United States- Panamanian relationship. To learn more, please open the attachment.News –
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- LATAM NEWS: Mercosur "is virtually fractured" Uruguay admits openly. ALBA bank to fund associative economy. Spanish Judge Approves Probe of ETA and FARC Links. Ingrid Betancourt rules out "mediators" to release FARC hostages. ALBA and Petrocaribe meeting in Caracas postponed. ALBA supports Ecuador's decision to default on its debt.
- Argentina's President in Russia to Promote Trade. Argentina-Chile engage in naval exercises in Beagle channel.
- Russia looks to Bolivia-Argentina gas pipeline. Bolivia Suspends DEA Operations.
- Brazil Says China Offers $10 Billion Loan to Help Develop Oil Fields.
- Chile/Peru squabble over copper bill and military spending. Chilean vessel manages to out run Somali pirates.
- Colombian FARC member arrives in France.
- Ecuador's President to Visit Iran. Iran and Ecuador sign 12 agreements.
- Mexican Government Plane Crashes, Killing 2. Mexico says gang killings up 117 percent to 5,376.
- Nicaraguan writer says government is censoring him. Nicaragua's Ortega grants USD 2.5 million from Venezuelan loan.
- Russian Warship to Visit Panama Naval Base.
- Uruguay: Venezuela failed to meet trade agreements. NEWS ALERT: Amendment proposal will be passed next December 18. Reyes Reyes is the new chief of staff. Congress formally proposes unlimited presidential reelection. Rosales thinks his detention would be "shameful, arbitrary."