• Iran,  Latin America

    The Tehran-Caracas-Buenos Aires connection

    Guest post by Cait At the end of a lengthy interview on the Argentine news program Dos Voces, televised on January 14, the late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman calmly said that whether he lived or died, he had evidence to back his formal accusation that the Argentine president and her foreign minister conspired with Iran to cover up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires: “Esté Nisman o no esté Nisman,” he said, “las pruebas están.” Two months later – and within hours of being published – “Chavistas confirmam conspiração denunciada por Nisman,” investigative journalist Leonardo Coutinho’s special report for the Brazilian…

  • Human Rights,  Latin America

    Obama sanctions human rights abusers in Venezuela

    Cross-posted from the Human Rights Foundation The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) welcomes the executive order issued yesterday by President Obama that imposes targeted sanctions against Venezuelan citizens involved in recent human rights abuses in the country. The order, which also expresses concern about the Venezuelan government’s treatment of its political opponents, names seven individuals sanctioned under the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014. HRF applauds this action as a crucial step in exposing human rights abuses committed by the government of Nicólas Maduro. “Dictatorships would be powerless if they didn’t have enforcers willing to arbitrarily arrest, torture, and execute innocent people,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen.  …

  • Iran,  Latin America

    The continuing farce in Argentina

    The tragic farce surrounding the death of Argentinian AMIA bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman continues unabated. Reuters reports: The Argentinian government took out full-page advertisements in local newspapers on Wednesday, stressing that a stalled agreement with Iran remained the best way to get to the bottom of the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. An Argentine federal court last year struck down the controversial deal, which would have allowed the interrogation of Iranian suspects. Tehran denies any responsibility for the attack that killed 85 and refuses to extradite its citizens. The investigation has become front-page news again since the beginning of the year, when the lead prosecutor…

  • Latin America

    Judge throws out Nisman’s case against Kirchner, but questions remain

    Now that an Argentinian judge has dismissed the charges originally brought by prosecutor Alberto Nisman– that President Cristinia Fernandez de Kirchner and other leading officials tried to cover up evidence of Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people– there are still some unanswered questions. –Who killed Alberto Nisman and why? –What was behind the farcical agreement between Argentina and Iran to establish a “truth commission” to investigate the bombing? –Will we ever get even close to bringing those responsible for the atrocity to justice? I’m not optimistic we’ll get satisfactory answers to any of them.

  • Latin America

    Kirchneristas know whom to blame

    Responding to the hundreds of thousands of Argentinians who took to the streets in a downpour Wednesday to protest the response of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government to the likely murder of AMIA bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman, supporters of Kirchner are planning their own demonstration on March 1: The government of Argentina is pushing its anti #Nisman march. "Fatherland or CIA + Mossad Mafia." This is real. pic.twitter.com/fCu5KAB6EZ — Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) February 21, 2015 That’s right: if you zoom in on the “M,” you will notice the references to both the CIA and the Mossad: I imagine some Argentinians are still upset the whole Eichmann business in 1960,…

  • Latin America

    Caracas mayor is latest victim of crackdown on opposition

    The Independent reports: A mayor in Venezuela was arrested in dramatic scenes yesterday after dozens of armed police broke into his office and forcibly removed him from the building. Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma was physically escorted out of the premises by Sebin officers after being accused of sowing seeds of unrest in the country and allegedly plotting a coup to bring down the government. A trail of supporters in the building followed Mr Ledezma, of the Fearless People’s Alliance, as he was being led away to the lifts. The government have also transferred nearly all of his powers to a newly-created body. Opposition politician Ismael Garcia wrote on Twitter that…

  • Latin America

    Kirchner charged in AMIA bombing coverup

    If (as seems likely) Argentine AMIA bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered rather than committing suicide; and if the purpose of the murder was to derail legal proceedings against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other top government officials in connection with covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 atrocity which killed 85 people; then it appears to have failed. The federal prosecutor who has taken over the case of Alberto Nisman, the Argentina investigator who was found dead after accusing the president of covering up the country’s worst ever terrorist attack, has formally accused Cristina Kirchner – giving his support to his late colleague. Gerardo Pollicita took over the…

  • Latin America

    Kirchner’s speech

    Perhaps those who are fluent in Spanish can give us some idea of what she said and how she said it, but Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s one-hour televised address dealing with the death of AMIA bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman offers the remarkable sight of La Presidenta dressed entirely in white and seated in a wheelchair. (Perhaps unfairly, I can’t help but contrast that with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who never once sought attention or pity for the fact that his legs were incapacitated by polio.) Apparently the gist of it (once again) is: “I’m the real victim here.” She did, however, promise to disband Argentina’s intelligence agency…

  • Journalism,  Latin America

    Journalist who broke Nisman story tells of fleeing Argentina

    Damian Pachter, the Argentine journalist who first reported the death of AMIA bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman, writes for Haaretz about the threats that convinced him to flee for his life and go to Israel. I have no idea when I’ll be back in Argentina; I don’t even know if I want to. What I do know is that the country where I was born is not the happy place my Jewish grandparents used to tell me stories about. After I left Argentina I found out that the government was still publishing wrong information about me on social media. The Twitter feed of Casa Rosada, the Argentine presidential palace, posted the…