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The_Lone_Wolf

International Events VI: Glorious Anarchy and Chaos!

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Ok I was just kidding wishfully. Back to mundane routine. Meh 

Or not 

Let's continue... 

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Just learned that Güira de Melena (where both of my parents came from) was one of the municipalities confirmed to have had demonstrations. I hope everyone who spoke up for democracy and freedom there, and everywhere else in Cuba, is okay.

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This Substack article from Noah Smith explains the economic facts and related economic policy decisions behind the crisis in Cuba really well. And of course Brad DeLong has a podcast titled after a famous Vernor Vinge lines.

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Citizenship for sale: fugitives, politicians and disgraced businesspeople buying Vanuatu passports

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/citizenship-for-sale-fugitives-politicians-and-disgraced-businesspeople-buying-vanuatu-passports

Quote

 

A controversial “golden passports” scheme run by the Pacific nation of Vanuatu saw more than 2,000 people, including a slew of disgraced businesspeople and individuals sought by police in countries all over the world, purchase citizenship in 2020 – and with it visa-free access to the EU and UK, the Guardian can reveal.

Among those granted citizenship were a Syrian businessman with US sanctions against his businesses, a suspected North Korean politician, an Italian businessman accused of extorting the Vatican, a former member of a notorious Australian motorcycle gang, and South African brothers accused of a $3.6bn cryptocurrency heist.

The passport scheme allows foreign nationals to purchase citizenship for US$130,000 in a process that typically takes just over a month – all without ever setting foot in the country.

Marketed by agencies as one of the fastest, cheapest and most lax “golden passport” schemes anywhere in the world, the program grants unfettered, visa-free access to 130 countries including the UK and EU nations. Vanuatu also operates as a tax haven, with no income, corporate or wealth tax.

Experts have warned the scheme is ripe for exploitation, creating a back door for access to the EU and UK and allowing transnational criminal syndicates to establish a base in the Pacific, and Vanuatu’s taxation laws make the country an attractive site for money laundering.

 

 

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2 hours ago, L'oiseau français said:

I was looking at Worldometer for the first time in a while and I see Cuba is having a very worrisome number of daily cases.

Delta was brought in with Indian construction workers.  It's really, really, really bad.

A perfect storm of disaster confluences.  Heart breaking beyond belief.  And very very very close-up and personal for us.  And WE CAN'T DO A THING TO HELP. NOT A THING.

 

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15 hours ago, Zorral said:

Delta was brought in with Indian construction workers

Moment of pride Modi in denial 

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U.S. military once trained Colombians implicated in Haiti assassination plot, Pentagon says:

Quote

“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past U.S. military training and education programs, while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces,” Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

The Pentagon’s review is ongoing, Hoffman said. He did not say how many of the men received training or precisely what it entailed.

 

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1 hour ago, Proudfeet said:

:dunno:

I think it might be easier to count the countries that don't train with the US than the ones that do. Unless you're saying that Columbia should be blacklisted?

...I literally didn't say anything, thought it was news worth sharing.

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

...I literally didn't say anything, thought it was news worth sharing.

And I thought its not particularly surprising that former military would have trained with the US. Its a very broad group of people. 

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8 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

Its a very broad group of people. 

Which is one of the reasons I think it's news worth sharing.

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17 minutes ago, DMC said:

Which is one of the reasons I think it's news worth sharing.

And I thought it wasn't particularly noteworthy, which was why I made too much of your first post. Lets just move on?

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Few days back was musing that the Brazilian tRump is still alive and someone said assholes live longer 

Totally unrelated 

Hope bolsanaro's operation goes well 

:devil:

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Posted (edited)

We're having a bit of rain in Western Europe.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/western-germany-floods-angela-merkel-horror-catastrophe-deaths-missing-search-flooding-belgium

Death toll exceeds 120 as Germany and Belgium hit by devastating floods

Authorities in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate said 63 people had died there, including at least 12 residents of an assisted living facility for people with disabilities, while neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia put the death toll at 43.

Officials warned the figures could rise further. About 1,300 people in the Ahrweiler district of Rhineland-Palatinate remain unaccounted for, although efforts to contact them were being hindered by damage to phone networks.

Experts said the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) issued an extreme flood warning earlier this week and questioned why the toll was so high. Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist, told Politico the disaster was “a monumental failure of the system”.

The Belgian interior minister, Annelies Verlinden, said the country’s death toll had risen to 20, with another 20 still missing. Most of the dead were found around Liège, a city of 200,000 people, despite an order for residents of central districts and areas bordering the Meuse River to evacuate.

Verlinden said water levels on the Meuse running into the Netherlands remained critical. “There are a number of dikes on the Meuse where it is really touch and go whether they will collapse,” she said.

The army has been sent to four of the country’s 10 provinces to help with rescue operations and evacuations, along with teams of emergency workers dispatched from Italy and France. Residents of some towns, including the resort of Spa, which has been under water since late on Wednesday, were being accommodated in tents.

While they have so far suffered no loss of life, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were also severely affected, with flash floods sweeping through the Swiss villages of Schleitheim and Beggingen, several towns in the Grand Duchy evacuated on Thursday, and thousands told to leave their homes in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht. (...)

Malu Dreyer, the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate, said climate change was “not abstract any more. We are experiencing it up close and painfully.”

In pictures: https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2021/jul/16/aftermath-germany-belgium-floods-in-pictures

Edited by Mindwalker

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Posted (edited)

This has been an awful, awful week. First Haiti, then Cuba -- Puerto Rico, doubtless, not far behind.

We've entered a new era.  Cannot work with the Cuban government, so all the plans for musical events Partner's business and associates had been making -- nope.

 Miguel Díaz-Canel's adminstration failure is so massive even our most loyal Cuban friends cannot support it.  This has never happened in all the decades we have been dealing intimately with Cuba. We have been receiving first hand reporting from our friends throughout Cuba, but in in bits and pieces, partly because nobody knows all of it, and -- related -- the internet is so often out, but we do get fone calls and Whatsapp several times a day.  The 'net comes back, for a few hours at a time, but w/o any announcement.

It's all effed.  Once again we see a government screw the health of its people in the name of the economy.  Worse even that the food shortages it is covid, which is racing through Cuba at a pace far behond the administrations assed plan of vaccination.  It's Delta, and it was brought in in the crews of Indians the administration imported to complete a luxury tourist hotel, to bring in the needed money.  But what tourists now?  40% of the construction crews deplaned Covid-19 Delta variety positive.  They are housed in a barracks.

Our friends, particularly the older ones, are weeping.  They cannot imagine a world in which they have no faith in their government to protect them.  As they grew up in years when Fidel was firmly in place, they've never known anything like the volatility of politics and international cruelty that we in the USA have known all along, and increasingly so in the last couple of decades, and particularly the last 4 years.  Biden isn't helping.  Not at all.

There is no light at the end of this tunnel, which begins and ends in Miami.  Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio displayed a flag with a map of Cuba and the PB's insignia over that.  Cuba's majority Black population has no idea what this means.  Not even the older Black Cubans do.

Edited by Zorral

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Has anyone been following what is going on in South Africa? The US press has only recently starting reporting on it. As far as I can tell, the current government tried to arrest the ex-President and the supporters of the latter responded with riots, looting and violence:

Quote

South African authorities fear a new wave of attacks aimed at undermining the economy, investment and the rule of law as networks loyal to former president Jacob Zuma seek to force his return to power.

Investigators believe the unrest last week, which killed more than 200 and caused massive damage across a swath of the country, was deliberately provoked as part of a broader strategy by political opponents to force president Cyril Ramaphosa to pardon Zuma or even step down.

The worst violence since the end of the apartheid regime 27 years ago has injured many people beyond the 200 people dead and caused massive economic damage. Hundreds of shops have been looted, factories destroyed, warehouses razed, clinics vandalised and ports disabled.

The immediate trigger for the chaos was the imprisonment last week of Zuma to serve a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. Loyalists and close aides of the former president, who faces a number of corruption charges, are among those suspected by authorities of organising the wave of violence.

 

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4 hours ago, Altherion said:

Has anyone been following what is going on in South Africa? The US press has only recently starting reporting on it. As far as I can tell, the current government tried to arrest the ex-President and the supporters of the latter responded with riots, looting and violence:

 

Well, yes, go back and read the previous posts. A very full explanation of the situation was given. 

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