CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

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martes, diciembre 16, 2014

Putin's cronies lose $50 billion

Putin allies Alisher Usmanov, Vagit Alekperov and Vladimir Potanin suffered multibillion dollar losses.

Ouch! Russian billionaires have lost more than $50 billion this year due to the country's unfolding economic nightmare.

Western sanctions, low oil prices and the falling ruble have wiped billions off the wealth of Russia's 15 richest men, according to data from Bloomberg.
Here are the top 10 losers:
Leonid Mikhelson
The chairman of Russian gas producer Novatek has suffered the biggest losses, seeing his portfolio shrink by an estimated $8.7 billion. That's equivalent to a loss of nearly 50%.
Novatek was one of the first companies to be sanctioned by the U.S. over the crisis in Ukraine.
Vladimir Lisin
The chairman and largest shareholder of Novolipetsk Steel, and once Russia's richest man, has lost $7 billion, also nearly 50% of his wealth.
He is the vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee and the president of the European Shooting Confederation -- and as a gun enthusiast reportedly owns a valuable collection of rifles.
Alisher Usmanov
The metals magnate owns Russian daily newspaper Kommersant. In 2011, he sacked the editor after he published a picture of a ballot paper with "Putin, go f*!k yourself" scrawled on it in red ink.
Usmanov has lost $6.4 billion so far this year. He controls 48% of Metalloinvest, Russia's largest iron ore producer. He also has a share in Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) and Airbnb, and co-owns English soccer team Arsenal, Bloomberg data show.
He is also the president of the International Fencing Federation.
Andrey Melnichenko
The self-made coal and minerals magnate is another Russian billionaire feeling the chilling effect of Western sanctions and falling oil prices. He has lost nearly 40% of his wealth, or about $5.8 billion.
He is married to a former Serbian supermodel and owns one of the world's most admired super yachts -- the A.
Sergey Galitsky
The founder and owner of Russia's biggest food retailer Magnit is down over $5 billion. The soccer enthusiast is famous for pouring more than $250 million into his local Krasnodar club, building an arena and a sports academy.
He is thought to have lost over $855 million on Monday alone as the ruble went into free fall.
Vagit Alekperov
The chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil was once a Soviet energy minister.
Lukoil was the first privately-owned company to be sanctioned by the U.S. over the Ukraine crisis. His wealth has fallen by $4.9 billion, or about 40% so far this year.
Mikhail Fridman
The investment mogul has watched $3.5 billion evaporate.
He made his fortune on the sale of joint venture TNK-BP to Rosneft. Together with his partner German Khan, Fridman controls Alfa Bank, Russia's largest private lender.
Vladimir Potanin
The former deputy prime minister is currently the head of the world's biggest nickel producer Norilsk Nickel. His wealth has fallen by $2.8 billion, or about 20%.
Potanin was one of the main backers of Russia's bid to host the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and he invested heavily in the development of the Olympic village.
German Khan
Mikhail Fridman's partner in Alfa Bank sold his stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $3.3 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg.
He's lost $2.5 billion this year, equivalent to about 22% of his wealth.
Mikhail Prokhorov
Prokhorov's company Onexim group owns stakes in the Russian banking, energy and mining sectors. He's lost $2.4 billion.
Prokhorov also owns the Brooklyn Nets. He said earlier this year he was considering moving the company that controls the NBA team to Russia in order to comply with Vladimir Putin's call for Russian-owned companies to be based there.
He has criticized Russian policies in the past, condemning the country's anti-gay laws.


Vladimir Putin vs. the Currency Markets: What to Know About the Ruble’s Collapse


Vladimir Putin’s biggest enemy right now may well be the currency markets.
Even as it spars with Ukraine, Russia’s government is in the midst of a full-scale war to preserve the value of the ruble as a plummeting oil price has led to billions flooding away from the country. The ruble fell 11 percent against the dollar on Monday alone.
To try to stanch the bleeding, on Monday evening (the middle of the night Moscow time), the Central Bank of Russia announced a stunning interest rate increase. Its main deposit rate is now 17 percent, up from 10.5 percent when Russian banks closed for business Monday.
It may go without saying, but an emergency interest rate increase of 6.5 percentage points announced in the middle of the night is not a sign of strength. Rather, it is the kind of thing you see only in an old-school emerging markets currency crisis. And that is very much what Mr. Putin’s Russia is now experiencing.
The strategy is straightforward enough. The central bank, led by Elvira Nabiullina, is hoping that with interest rates so high, keeping money on deposit at a Russian bank is too good an offer to refuse. Russians (and Russian companies) have been shuttling rubles out of the country as fast as they can, looking for a safe port. The continued slide of the ruble is all the more remarkable given economic sanctions imposed in retaliation for Russian aggression toward Ukraine that make Russian money unwelcome at many global banks.
Perhaps the higher interest rates will make those moving money out of Russia think twice, and a resulting reversal in currency markets will lead speculators to conclude that betting against the ruble is no longer a sure thing.
But the move shows how Russian policy makers are stuck with no good options. Already the central bank has reportedly been intervening to try to short-circuit the sell-off, buying rubles to try to arrest the declines.
The problem is that if you try to defend your currency and lose, you are essentially throwing your money at currency traders for nothing. As Russia has deployed its reserves to (so far unsuccessfully) stop the currency collapse, it has made traders betting against the ruble richer while leaving the Russian government poorer. Poorer by $80 billion, to be precise.
But interest rate increases aren’t free. Higher interest rates are sure to choke off any chance for growth in a Russian economy that is already reeling from falling oil prices. Earlier Monday, the Russian central bank said it expects the country’s economy to contract 4.5 percent in 2015 if oil prices average $60 a barrel.
The hope is that by stabilizing the value of the currency, the interest rate increase will reduce the sense of financial panic and rapid outflows of money, which will do more good for the Russian economy than the higher interest rates will do ill.
“While such drastic tightening measures will inflict more pain on the economy, we have been arguing for a while that it is not about preventing recession, but a full-scale financial turmoil caused by the precipitous ruble fall,” Piotr Matys, a currency strategist at Rabobank International, told Bloomberg News.
But as Russia’s citizens are going to face an unpleasant combination of a contracting economy (caused by falling oil prices and higher interest rates) and high inflation (because the collapse in the ruble will make imported goods more expensive), one thing is certain: It will be a long, cold winter.


jueves, noviembre 13, 2014

Precio del petróleo, elecciones 2014 y revolución energética en EEUU

Diego Trinidad, PhD
En el dinámico mundo de la energía se producen cambios diariamente. Desde que escribí en agosto mi tercer artículo sobre la revolución energética que se ha producido en Estados Unidos en los últimos cinco años, mucho ha cambiado. Específicamente, el precio del barril de petróleo en el mercado mundial ha bajado dramáticamente un 27% desde principios del verano hasta la fecha (hoy domingo 9 de noviembre cerró en $78.65 el barril; a principios de junio estaba a $115 el barril). 

Esta baja en el precio del petróleo ya ha traído cambios enormes en la geopolítica mundial. En el futuro inmediato, todavía mucho más cambiará si este nivel de precios, entre $78 y $85 por barril, como todo parece indicar, se mantiene en el 2015. El petróleo a ese precio representa una ganancia de un trillón de dólares ($1’000,000’000,000, es decir, un millón de millones en español) para los consumidores en el mundo entero.

Esta semana, cuando en la elección congresional de EEUU el Partido Republicano ganó el control del Senado con un aumento de 8 senadores (quizás 9 cuando se celebre una elección especial en Lousiana en diciembre, donde el candidato republicano es favorito para ganar) se produjo el otro gran evento reciente.

Los cambios que el control del Congreso (Cámara de Representantes, donde el Partido Republicano ganó 18 escaños adicionales, y Senado, en el que en enero controlarán 53 ó 54 asientos frente a 46 ó 47) por los republicanos, comenzando en enero del 2015, traerán a EEUU en el campo energético serán sísmicos. El desarrollo de estos dos temas, y como afectarán a EEUU y el resto del mundo en el próximo año, es el tema de este cuarto artículo. Durante el nuevo año, según se produzcan más acontecimientos, continuará esta serie de artículos.

Algunos analistas y expertos previeron la caída en el precio del petróleo durante el verano, pero pocos pensaron que sería tan súbita y tan grande. Sin embargo, al nivel presente, la producción de petróleo en EEUU no será afectada significativamente.

La nueva tecnología de fracking (fraccionamiento hidráulico) para extraer petróleo de las formaciones rocosas de shale (esquisto) es productiva por lo menos hasta un precio de $60 por barril. Casi nadie prevé que los precios bajen a ese nivel, pero aunque así fuera, los nuevos pozos de petróleo que utilizan la tecnología de fracking son diferentes a los pozos tradicionales. Cuando el precio del petróleo baja y hace estos pozos económicamente  improductivos, pueden ser clausurados y fácilmente reabiertos cuando el precio sube de nuevo. 

Además, algunas compañías como Whiting Petroleum, basada en Denver, Colorado, y una de las dos grandes compañías que han desarrollado los yacimientos del campo Bakken, en Dakota Norte, junto con Continental Petroleum, tienen una estrategia interesante para enfrentar precios mas bajos en el mercado, como los de ahora: compran acciones futuras a precio más bajo, y cuando el precio baja, lejos de perder, ganan dinero.  De esa manera, se protegen y pueden soportar precios más bajos.

Para los consumidores americanos -y para el resto del mundo que no es productor de petróleo- los nuevos precios más bajos han sido una enorme bonanza económica. Cada consumidor americano ahorrará como $700 por año con la gasolina a menos de $3.00 por galón, como está ahora por primera vez en dos años.

Para el resto del mundo significará grandes ahorros en la importación de petróleo, presupuestos más bajos, y un nivel de inflación mucho menor. China ahorra más de $2 billones (un billón en inglés son mil millones) por cada dólar que baje el precio del barril de petróleo. Para la India, estos nuevos precios significan un ahorro de más de $40 billones.

Pero para ciertos países gobernados por regímenes autoritarios y dictatoriales, como Rusia, Irán y Venezuela, estos nuevos precios son ruinosos. Para Arabia Saudita y los Emiratos del Golfo Pérsico representa pérdidas multimillonarias de dólares en exportaciones, pero Arabia Saudita en particular, con reservas de 737 billones de dólares, puede fácilmente soportar este nivel de precios por largo tiempo.

Rusia, Irán y Venezuela no pueden. Rusia basa su presupuesto en un barril de petróleo a $100. Pero tiene reservas de 454 billones de dólares. Sin embargo, las tremendas pérdidas en divisas a precios alrededor de $80 significan que los proyectos expansionistas del Presidente Vladimir Putin quedan paralizados. De la misma manera, las mejoras necesarias en la infraestructura de Rusia, incluyendo en la exploración y producción de los pozos petroleros de Siberia, también tendrán que ser pospuestas.

Irán basa su presupuesto en el petróleo a $136 por barril y tiene bajas reservas por motivo de las restricciones comerciales provocadas por las sanciones impuestas por EEUU y la Unión Europea, a pesar de haberse relajado en meses pasados. Por otro lado, Irán produce y exporta gas natural, y en China sobre todo tiene un cliente a largo plazo. Pero los nuevos precios del petróleo han limitado mucho su capacidad para hacer daño en el Medio Oriente y en su apoyo a grupos terroristas, lo cual es una bendición para el resto del mundo.

Venezuela es el país que más y mayores riesgos enfrenta en el futuro inmediato. Venezuela necesita el petróleo a $120 por barril. De manera que desde principios del verano está sufriendo pérdidas ruinosas en sus recaudaciones por la exportación de petróleo, las cuales han caído a muy bajos niveles debidos al deterioro de su infraestructura de producción.

Por cada dólar que baja el precio de un barril, Venezuela pierde entre 450 y 500 millones de dólares en sus ganancias por la exportación de petróleo, y sus entradas dependen en un extraordinario 90% de la exportación de petróleo. Además, el año pasado Venezuela tuvo un déficit fiscal del 17% de su Producto Interno Bruto (PIB). Con un nivel de inflación del 60% anual (el mayor del mundo), reservas de solo 20 billones de dólares y una deuda externa gigantesca, la cual ya malamente puede pagar, el país está al borde de la quiebra. Cuanto tiempo puede sobrevivir bajo estas condiciones es la gran pregunta.

Claro que los problemas de Venezuela son mucho mayores debido a su ayuda, a través de PetroCaribe, a países de la Cuenca del Caribe, incluyendo, por supuesto, a Cuba. Todos estos países sufrirán muy pronto las consecuencias de la ruina venezolana, pero ninguno como Cuba.

El gobierno de Cuba ya hace años viene previendo el momento cuando los subsidios de Venezuela se reduzcan o terminen. Se ha asegurado de otros suministradores como Angola, Irán, Brasil, Rusia y otros exportadores de petróleo. Recibe ayuda económica de Rusia y de China, y esta misma semana se reportó que tiene planeado producir hasta un 24% de su energía de fuentes renovables para el año 2030. Además, todavía aspira a desarrollar las reservas de petróleo en sus aguas adyacentes.

Pero para esto falta mucho tiempo, el tiempo que el régimen cubano no tiene. Cuba probablemente nunca se verá en la situación que afrontó a partir de 1991-92, cuando perdió los subsidios económicos y el suministro de petróleo de la Unión Soviética, pero una reducción inmediata en la ayuda de Venezuela puede afectar seriamente al régimen en el futuro próximo.

Casi tan importante, si no mucho más, que la caída en los precios del petróleo, ha sido -y será- el impacto de las elecciones congresionales ganadas el pasado martes 4 de noviembre por el Partido Republicano. El control del Senado por los republicanos, y por consiguiente del Congreso, ya que la mayoría en la Cámara no solo se mantuvo, sino que aumentó, logrará que en enero del 2015, los grandes cambios previstos (y predichos en esta serie de artículos desde hace casi tres años) en lo que puede ser un renacimiento económico en Estados Unidos, se logren antes que un nuevo presidente sea electo en el 2016.

Ya los líderes republicanos de ambas cámaras han anunciado lo que será su programa de gobierno para el 2015. La primera ley que probablemente aprobará el Congreso, quizás en el mismo enero, será la construcción y apertura del viaducto Keystone XL, desde la provincia occidental de Alberta, en el oeste de Canadá, al Golfo de México. Este importante proyecto, paralizado innecesariamente por razones estrictamente políticas por el Presidente, producirá por si solo una tremenda bonanza económica para EEUU.

El Presidente dijo durante la campaña presidencial del 2012 que este proyecto solo crearía 50 empleos (lo que le ganó el premio de 4 “Pinochos” del Washington Post por una de las mentiras mas grandes del año). En verdad, de acuerdo con varios estudios recientes, creará al menos 45,000 empleos durante su construcción -y hasta medio millón de nuevos empleos para el 2035.

Pero no solo eso, sino que existen al menos 25 otros proyectos relacionados con la construcción del viaducto Keystone XL en Canadá y EEUU que pueden convertir a Norteamérica (incluyendo a México) en un productor de 17.5 millones de barriles de petróleo diarios, casi igual a la producción de Arabia Saudita y Rusia sumadas.

Otros dos proyectos de ley planeados por los republicanos en enero del 2015 son casi tan importantes como el anterior. Uno es la abrogación de la ley federal de 1975 que prohíbe la exportación de petróleo americano. El otro es el relajamiento en las regulaciones para construir plantas y terminales para la exportación de gas natural licuado a Europa en la costa este, y a Japón y China desde la costa oeste de EEUU.

Hay más de 25 proyectos esperando por su aprobación, y estas plantas/terminales demoran como dos años en construirse, de manera que el tiempo apremia. Claro que estos tres proyectos de ley, de ser aprobados por el Congreso en enero, pueden ser vetados por el Presidente.

Pero los tres proyectos cuentan con apoyo bipartidista (en el Senado quizás cuente con 65 votos; se necesitan 66 para anular un veto presidencial), y es muy posible que el Presidente, debilitado políticamente como ha quedado, y con solo dos años restantes en su segundo período, firme cada una de estas tres leyes. En estos momentos solamente se puede imaginar el efecto positivo que esto produciría en la industria privada en general, pero más que todo en la industria energética en particular.

Solo se puede imaginar el efecto que esto produciría en la industria privada en general, pero en la industria energética en particular será impactante. Los empresarios de negocios verían con optimismo un nuevo clima en el cual la economía funcionaría con mas libertad, menos regulaciones y menos interferencia del gobierno federal. Una tasa de crecimiento mayor que el 3% anual sería fácil de visualizar.

Tres otras medidas que pueden beneficiar mucho a la economía americana y contribuir a un mayor crecimiento económico, son la apertura de la gran reserva ANWR en el norte de Alaska (10 billones de barriles de petróleo), la apertura en general a la exploración y perforación en tierras federales del oeste de EEUU, donde se encuentran mas del 80% del petróleo y gas natural en el país, y finalmente, la liberación al mercado del petróleo contenido en la Reserva Estratégica de Petróleo situada en varias cuevas en las costas del Golfo de México.

Esta Reserva, una reliquia de los tiempos de Carter y Ford, cuando primero la OPEP (Organización de Países Exportadores de Petróleo) restringió la exportación de petróleo a EEUU después de la segunda guerra entre Israel y Egipto, ya no es necesaria, debido a que EEUU es el primer productor de petróleo en el mundo. Pero contiene 700 millones de barriles de petróleo, los cuales, si se liberan lentamente, pueden ayudar a bajar todavía más el precio de la gasolina en EEUU y aumentar la capacidad exportadora de petróleo americano al resto del mundo.

Adicionalmente, la aprobación de otras dos leyes más generales se contempla por el liderazgo congresional republicano. Una es rebajar la tasa a los impuestos corporativos,  que ahora están en un 39.1%, los mas altos en el mundo desarrollado. En contraste, en la Unión Europea promedian menos del 24%. El Presidente y los demócratas públicamente apoyan una rebaja al 29%; los republicanos prefieren el 25%. Pero claramente hay apoyo bipartidista a la medida, y esto sería quizás el mejor estímulo que pudiera recibir la economía.

La otra ley propone invitar a los capitales de compañías multinacionales americanas en el extranjero, que se calculan puedan llegar a dos trillones de dólares (dos millones de millones en español), para que sean repatriados sin pagar impuestos, solo con la condición de que sean invertidos en EEUU para crear empleos.

Pero el Presidente y su partido demócrata irracionalmente amenazan con cobrar hasta un 50% de impuesto a las compañías que accedieran a repatriar esos capitales, algo obviamente absurdo. Aquí no hay ningún espacio para negociar, pero tres trillones de dólares invertidos para crear empleos posiblemente producirían al menos tres millones de nuevos trabajos. El impulso para la economía sería incalculable. 

Sin embargo, estas dos últimas medidas, y hasta las tres anteriores (excepto la aprobación del viaducto Keystone XL, la abrogación de la ley que prohíbe exportar petróleo americano, y el relajamiento de las restricciones para exportar gas natural, las que SÍ cuentan con apoyo bipartidista) no serán fácilmente aprobadas por el Congreso, y si lo fueran, indudablemente serían vetadas. De manera que todas ellas son proyectos a largo plazo, casi seguro para después que una nueva administración llegue a Washington en 2017.

Todo esto, lo que hasta el pasado martes solo era una gran esperanza para el 2017, cuando un nuevo presidente (o presidenta), sin importar de que partido, tomara posesión del cargo, ahora puede ser realidad, mucho antes de lo que nadie hubiera pensado.

El mundo desde el nuevo año 2015 puede ser un mundo distinto, de mayor prosperidad y de mayor cooperación internacional, en el cual Estados Unidos otra vez se convierta en el motor de la economía mundial.

Ya no es un sueño, ya no hay que esperar tres años más. Ya puede ser realidad.


domingo, septiembre 28, 2014

Fuel of the future produced at Russia’s high-tech underground plant

Spent fuel storage in Zheleznogorsk
Russia’s ‘Breakthrough’ energy project enables closed a nuclear fuel cycle and a future without radioactive waste. The first batch of MOX nuclear fuel has been manufactured for the world’s only NPP industrially power generating breeder reactors.
The first ten kilograms of the mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) – a mixture of plutonium and uranium dioxides (UO2 and PuO2), have been industrially produced by Russia’s nuclear monopoly, Rosatom, at the Mining & Chemical Combine (GKhK) in the Krasnoyarsk region.
A world first, tablets of the fuel of the future have been put on serial production and are destined for Russia’s next generation BN-800 breeder reactor (880 megawatts), currently undergoing tests at the Beloyarskaya nuclear power plant.
The production line, now undergoing start-up and adjustment, was assembled in a mine 200 meters underground and will become fully operational by the end of 2014.
Fast fission reactors solve the problem of depleted uranium nuclear fuel on the planet. They can ‘burn’ not only ‘classic’ uranium-235, (scarce and already coming to an end), but also uranium-238, which is abundant, and expands the world’s nuclear fuel capacity by an estimated 50 times.
Fuel for breeder reactors could even be made from nuclear waste, which from an ecological point of view is a priceless advantage.
The GKhK facility will be equipped with a unique dissolvent reactor that will break down nuclear waste containing plutonium and extract plutonium dioxide to be used in MOX-fuel production.
Also, while producing electric energy, breeder reactors actually generate more fissile material, and that one also can be used as nuclear fuel.
The GKhK plant is Russia’s leading full nuclear fuel cycle complex, processing nuclear waste from power generating nuclear reactors to establish future nuclear fuel ring closure.
MOX-fuel for previous versions of fast breeder reactors in the USSR and Russia had limited production at Russia’s oldest Mayak nuclear processing facility.
Starting from 2016, industrial-level MOX-fuel production in Russia will run at full capacity.
“Produced MOX-fuel tablets fully conform to the technical specifications,” Rosatom’s statement said, adding that the fuel will now be thoroughly tested.


domingo, septiembre 21, 2014

Leaked transcripts reveal Putin’s secret Ukraine attack

Mary Greeley


Putin: Russia Could Invade Europe Within Two Days

Mary Greeley


sábado, septiembre 20, 2014

Canadian fighter jets intercept Russian bombers in Arctic

CBC News
Tu-95 long-range bombers, codenamed 'Bears' by NATO, have been in service since 1956, early in the Cold War, and have flown hundreds of missions on the perimeter of Canada's airspace. (Reuters)
Fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying about 75 kilometres off Canada’s Arctic coast in the early morning hours Thursday, NORAD revealed to CBC News.
Two CF-18s met the Tupolev Tu-95 long-range bombers, commonly referred to as "Bears," at around 1:30 a.m. PT as they flew a course in “the western reaches” of Canada’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the Beaufort Sea, said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defence Command.
The ADIZ extends approximately 320 kilometres from Canada’s coastlines, a distance far beyond the 22 kilometres, or 12 nautical miles, from the coast that define a nation’s sovereign airspace. Smith made it clear that the Russian bombers never entered Canada’s sovereign airspace, but did come within about 75 kilometres of Canada's mainland. 
The encounter comes one day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech in Parliament thanking Canada for its ongoing support as his country’s forces battle with pro-Russian separatist rebels.
“This is disturbing. We’ve heard stories like in the past, of Russian bombers challenging Canadian airspace,” said James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence and a Conservative MP from Manitoba.
“This plays into the narrative of a Putin regime that’s more aggressive not just in Crimea, not just in Ukraine, but indeed testing their neighbour in their entire region," he said. 
About six hours before the CF-18s intercepted the Russian bombers, American F-22 fighter jets were scrambled from a base in Alaska to meet a group of Russian aircraft, including two refuelling tankers, two MiG-31 fighters and two long-range bombers.
After the U.S. jets made contact, the group headed west back towards Russian airspace.
“We’re seeing increased aggressive actions being taken by the Russian Federation,” Bezan said during an interview on CBC’s Power & Politics.
Despite the ongoing tensions between Western allies and Russia, it is not the first time Canadian and U.S. aircraft have intercepted Russian bombers seemingly flying toward sovereign airspace.
According to Smith, NORAD has dispatched fighter jets to make contact with Russian long-range bombers “in excess of 50 times” in the last five years.
Canadian jets intercepted the same type of long-range bombers off the coast of Newfoundland in 2010. After that incident, Peter MacKay, then minister of defence, told CBC News that Canadian military aircraft intercept between 12 and 18 Russian bombers annually.


sábado, agosto 02, 2014

This Man Thinks He's In Charge of "Donetsk People's Republic"



jueves, julio 17, 2014

Theories Fly Over Giant Black Hole in Siberia

Свежие Новости.

Read Here >>

miércoles, julio 16, 2014

Russia: Man run over in road rage hit and run



martes, julio 15, 2014

Dramatic storm: Freak Russian hailstorm sends beachgoers screaming on hot summer day



Putin ultima con Rousseff la venta de un sistema de defensa antiaérea a Brasil

El presidente ruso, Vladímir Putin, y la presidenta brasileña, Dilma Rousseff, se vieron el domingo en la tribuna del estadio de Maracaná, en Río de Janeiro, donde la dirigente de Brasil ejerció el papel de anfitriona, entregó la Copa del Mundo al capitán de la selección alemana y, por último, pasó el testigo a su homólogo ruso, encargado de organizar el próximo Mundial, en 2018. Pero el siguiente encuentro entre los líderes de ambos países, que forman parte del grupo denominado BRICS (en el que también figuran China, India y Sudáfrica), se celebró este lunes en circunstancias muy diferentes, en Brasilia, sede del Gobierno brasileño. Durante más de dos horas, los mandatarios ruso y brasileña, cada uno envuelto en circunstancias políticas convulsas por diferentes razones, dialogaron y llegaron, según las notas divulgadas por el Ejecutivo de Brasilia, a varios pactos económicos. Entre otras materias, suscribieron acuerdos sobre infraestructuras, salud, tecnología, educación y cultura.
Entre todo el paquete destacan, sobre todo, las negociaciones sobre Defensa. Rusia y Brasil llevan regateando desde hace varios años por la venta, por parte de Moscú, de un sistema de defensa antiaérea para las Fuerzas Armadas brasileñas. El documento firmado este lunes especifica que, en agosto de este año, representantes de Brasil participarán en unas maniobras o demostración con fuego real de este sistema de defensa. También se adelantaba que la compra podría llegar a efectuarse “a corto plazo”, sin especificar más detalles. Además, en el encuentro se sellaron acuerdos en otros sectores estratégicos, como el aeronáutico.
Ambos países aspiran a duplicar sus transacciones económicas, que ahora alcanzan los 5.600 millones de dólares (4.110 millones de euros). Tanto Rousseff como Putin han manifestado su voluntad de llegar hasta un nivel de intercambios de 10.000 millones de dólares.
A la salida de la reunión y con el mandatario ruso al lado, la presidenta brasileña insistió en que los inversores rusos tienen en el gigante latinoamericano una gran oportunidad en sectores emergentes del país, como el energético. A este respecto, uno de los puntos del acuerdo prevé la colaboración de ambos países en la exploración, explotación, almacenamiento y transporte de yacimientos de petróleo y de gas en Brasil.
El encuentro de Putin con Rousseff se inscribe en la gira latinoamericana que el dirigente ruso ha emprendido en los últimos días y que le ha llevado ya por Cuba, Nicaragua y Argentina. Putin y Rousseff participarán en la cumbre de los denominados BRICS, que se celebra en Fortaleza, al noreste de Brasil. Este grupo heterogéneo de estados, unidos más por conformar un frente común ante los dictados del FMI y a las directrices de los países desarrollados que por compartir afinidades, tratarán de forjar una alianza más estrecha. En Fortaleza, los presidentes de China, Rusia, Sudáfrica, India y Brasil van a poner en marcha las bases para crear un banco de desarrollo que sirva para financiar proyectos de infraestructuras y un banco de reserva en previsión de crisis financieras.
De cualquier modo, no es el mejor momento ni para Putin, lastrado por la crisis ucrania, ni para Rousseff. Brasil ha perdido el fuerte ritmo de crecimiento de los últimos años y ahora languidece con un alza anual del PIB de apenas el 1%. La inflación, el problema crónico de la economía brasileña, se sitúa ya por encima del 6,5%, el tope que el Gobierno brasileño se ha autoimpuesto para que no descarrile la economía.
En una entrevista celebrada hace pocos días con un grupo de periodistas extranjeros, la presidenta brasileña admitía que el motor económico brasileño se ha ralentizado. Pero después lo justificaba, asegurando que los crecimientos anémicos del PIB no constituyen algo exclusivo de su país.
Rousseff, del Partido de los Trabajadores, se encuentra ahora en un momento político delicado por otra razón: se juega la permanencia en el cargo en las elecciones que se celebrarán en octubre, que se presentan muy disputadas.


viernes, julio 04, 2014

Putin's New 'Nuclear' Option

The escalating crisis in Ukraine being engineered by Vladimir Putin is taking on the feel of the Guns of August: an inexorable march towards a wider conflict, and perhaps a conflagration. 

Having few good options to prevent the Russian autocrat from taking whatever he wants from Ukraine and possibly other neighboring states in what the Kremlin calls “the Near Abroad,” Europe and the Obama administration have been ratcheting up economic sanctions on individuals, banks, and companies known to be favored by the Putin regime.
The London Daily Telegraph gives a flavor of what is in store in the wake of murderous attacks on Ukrainian military personnel by Russian special forces and others and retaliatory action by the government in Kiev:
The International Monetary Fund said the conflict risks deep damage to Russia’s economy, starving it of foreign funds and knowhow. “Geopolitical tensions have brought the Russian economy to a standstill.
"Russia’s actions in Crimea have increased the uncertainty of doing business in Russia and are having a chilling effect on investment. Capital outflows could reach $100bn (£58.3bn) in 2014.
"This comes at a crucial moment when the old growth model based on energy has been exhausted,” it said.
Russia’s central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said capital flight was playing havoc with exchange rate policy.
“Rouble stability is impossible unless we slow capital outflows,” she said.
If Putin intensifies his interference in Ukrainian affairs, the Russians seem likely to experience still worse economic dislocation. The Telegraph reports that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has issued a strategy paper that “called for a complete change in policy, deeming it impossible to work with the Kremlin so long as Vladimir Putin is in charge.” That would mean that the Western government heretofore most determined to avoid harsh sanctions on Russia (not least because they would harm Moscow’s many trading partners in Germany) will no longer run interference for the Kremlin and will seek the downfall of its longtime master.
So far, Vladimir Putin is responding to such economic measures and strategic developments by doubling down. He declared on July 1, “I want everyone to understand: Our country will continue to defend the rights of Russians abroad and to use our entire arsenal.”
Such statements would be ominous under any circumstance. That arsenal is formidable and has, to varying degrees, already been brought to bear.
Putin has put into place the ground forces needed to seize the industrial heartland of Ukraine. Other nations on Russia’s littorals – including NATO member nations in the Baltics – could also suddenly face Kremlin-manufactured separatist movements that ask Mother Russia for solidarity and protection.
Putin has already engaged in economic warfare against Ukraine, most recently cutting off its access to natural gas imports – ostensibly over payment arrearages, but clearly with an eye toward euchring accommodation of Russian demands.
President Putin has made no secret of his determination to brandish Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpile. He is comprehensively modernizing it, in contrast to the steady atrophying of America’s strategic forces, rationalized by President Obama’s reckless, unilateral pursuit of a “world without nuclear weapons” – starting with ours. The Russian despot has resumed provocative, Cold War-style penetrations by long-range nuclear-capable bombers of U.S. and allied airspace. He has also threatened to engage in nuclear attacks on adversaries, near and far.
It appears, however, that Putin may have just added to his “arsenal” a new weapon, one that could give him a new and devastating “nuclear option.” In fact, the mere threat of its use against the Europeans and the Americans may be sufficient to impel their acquiescence to his demands on Ukraine and, for that matter, just about anything else he wants.
According to a CNBC report on July 1, “The industrial control systems of hundreds of European and U.S. energy companies have been infected by a sophisticated cyber weapon operated by a state-backed group with apparent ties to Russia.” If true, Putin could threaten to unleash at any time via a Stuxnet-like computer worm an attack on the electric grids of the United States and Europe. Such a cyber attack could potentially disrupt the distribution of power to their respective critical infrastructures for protracted periods.
Should that occur, societal breakdowns, economic collapse, and losses that run to the hundreds of millions of lives are distinct possibilities, if not certainties. The Free World as we have known it could cease to exist, without a shot being fired.
Such a scenario was among those validated in London this week at a meeting of top government officials, legislators, public utilities regulators, electric industry leaders, scientists and other experts from the United States, Britain, Israel and a number of other countries. The good news is that, in light of such very bad news about the dangers we face – with or without a Russian Stuxnet 2.0 – this Electric Infrastructure Security Summit seemed to precipitate an unprecedented willingness on the part of the various stakeholders represented to collaborate for the purpose of protecting the grid against all hazards.
The prospect of Vladimir Putin or any other adversaries being able, one way or another, to pose such an existential threat to our nation demands corrective action without further delay. What is needed now is nothing less than a crash, supreme-priority Manhattan Project-style national effort. We must bring to bear the best minds and the necessary resources to protect our critical infrastructure and, thereby, help preserve this country and the rest of the Free World in the face of the present danger – and those in the offing.


lunes, junio 23, 2014

Russian pizza chain starts pizza deliveries by drone



miércoles, junio 11, 2014

Putin's Rasputin: The Mad Mystic Who Inspired Russia's Leader

As Russia continues stepping up its propaganda war, the Putin regime continues to implausibly deny any responsibility for the civil war spawned in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Putin’s cynical denial of responsibility for his operatives’ actions in Crimea strained the imagination of even the most credulous observers; even Putin had to confess that the “little green men” were really his soldiers all along. By some accounts, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Russia’s partners in its new Eurasian Economic Union, may be looking for a way out before the union even goes into effect next year.

Why does Putin risk a war in Ukraine? Because he cannot build a meaningful Eurasian Union without Ukraine—and if that means settling for as much of Ukraine as he can steal, so be it. As Leon Neyfakh recently wrote for The Boston Globe:
Ukraine—with its steel mills, coal plants, bountiful agricultural resources, and massive population of 46 million people—has always, according to Russia experts, been key to Putin’s vision for the Eurasian Union.
Why does Putin risk a war in Ukraine to build his Eurasian Union? Because he is implementing—in whole or in part—the Eurasianist doctrine which was developed by the man know as “Putin’s Brain:” Aleksandr Dugin (pictured, top). Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics helped reshape the views of Russia’s political and military elite in the late 1990s and gave a new form to old prejudices against the Western nations by means of the Eurasianist ideology. 
Putin appears to have given support to Dugin’s Eurasianism from the earliest days of his presidency: the Evraziia (Eurasian Movement) was organized in April 2001 as the "brainchild" of presidential counsel Gleb Pavlovsky. Eurasianism has not only found favor with the Putin regime: Gennady Zhuganov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Zhironovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party have both proclaimed their adherence to varying forms of Eurasianism, and Dugin is credited with having influenced both men.
Eurasianism leaves intact many of the territorial goals of the old Soviet Union while updating the ideology for a world which has grown cold to Bolshevik boilerplate. Gone is the old Marxist-Leninist claptrap about the "class struggle" in favor of a global conflict rooted in “sacred geography” and an "inevitable" conflict between the continental might of Eurasia and the "sea power" of the United Kingdom and United States.
However, Dugin is not only “Putin’s Brain”—he’s also “Putin’s Rasputin.” Dugin’s ideology is filled with invocations of "metaphysical Marxism" and adherence to the Traditionalist views of the "mystical fascist" thinker Julius Evola. Dugin’s ideology is one which claims that a final conflict is coming between Eurasia and (in Dugin’s words) “the kingdom of the Antichrist.” As pertains to this kingdom of the Antichrist, Dugin maintains, “the United States is the center of its expansion.” For Dugin, there is one course which lies open before those who oppose the "Antichrist:" “The American Empire should be destroyed. And at one point, it will be.” 
What remains to be seen is how far Putin will go to implement Eurasianism.


lunes, junio 09, 2014

Vladimir Putin: Volgograd Could Be Stalingrad Again With Votes

Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he does not want to put back together the USSR, but the little things he does says otherwise. 

Nikita Krushchev changed the city to Volgograd in 1961 to de-Stalinize the USSR. From the Associated Press:
But regional lawmakers decided last year to use the historic name in some city statements related to the war, angering many in Russia, where Stalin's name and legacy continues to cause fiery disputes. Putin made the statement Friday during a meeting with Russian war veterans in Normandy, France, where he attended D-Day commemorations.
Responding to a veteran's suggestion to restore the name of Stalingrad, Putin said it could be decided by a public vote.
This is not a surprise, though. In January 2013, the Volgograd city council said that for six days in a year the city will be known as Stalingrad. One of the days is February 2, which was the last day of the historic and bloody Battle of Stalingrad. This battle is the reason why the city is so important to Russia. The Russians fought the Nazis from August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943 at Stalingrad and was the turning point on the Eastern Front. The German 6th Army was destroyed and the Axis started to retreat from the East. A total of 1.7-2 million on both sides, including civilians, were killed.
Yet, it could be renamed for other reasons. Putin said the fall of the USSR was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century. He was a top KGB man in St. Petersburg before he moved to Moscow. During his first presidency and when he was prime minister, he bullied ex-Soviet states in order to dissuade them from forming closer ties to the West and Europe. In 2008, Russia and Georgia engaged in a war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It did not last long, but it is one of the reasons why Georgia wants to join NATO.
Former Georgian Prime Minister and representative to NATO Ambassador Grigol Mgaloblishvili told Breitbart News Russia wants to cripple much of Eastern Europe.
“The main objective of Russia is to regain its sphere of influence over the post-Soviet states,” he said. “After violating international law, after invading and occupying territories of European nations and violating the basic principles and consensuses of the post-Cold War order, Moscow has not paid any political price.”
His latest power grab is Ukraine. He bullied President Viktor Yanukovych to turn down a trade deal with the European Union for a $15 billion bailout and cheap gas. Russia cut the price of gas to $268.50. Yanukovych’s actions were met with a three-month protest in Kiev and he was ousted on February 22. In retaliation, Russia and Gazprom decided to use gas as a political tool and raised the price to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom also threatened to cut off gas if Ukraine does not pay off its debt and Putin made a few remarks that Europe’s supply could be in danger if they do not help Ukraine.
In mid-March, Putin annexed Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula, from Ukraine to "protect the ethnic Russians and Russian speakers" in the country. Pro-Russian forces erupted in east Ukraine after Crimea was annexed, but Putin claimed Russia was not involved. Donetsk and Luhansk held a referendum on May 11 and claimed independence from Kiev. On May 25, it was revealed Chechens from Russia were in Donetsk. These men told Courtney Weaver from Financial Times that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is very friendly with Putin, sent them. The new prime minister of Donetsk People’s Republic is Alexander Borodai, a Russian citizen from Moscow.
Due to Russia’s actions, other countries believe they might be Putin’s next target. A Russian diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council that Moscow is concerned about the treatment of Russian speakers in Estonia. Russia’s ambassador to Latvia told a radio station Russia will grant citizenship to ethnic Russians in the country.
Moscow implemented a new law that accelerates the citizenship process for any ethnic Russian or Russian speakers from another country. They also passed a law that allows them to intervene in a country they feel are mistreating any ethnic Russians or Russian speakers.


jueves, mayo 15, 2014

'Soviet Times': the Real Russian Catastrophe

Vladimir Putin has described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th Century. Western leaders have been quick to brand this as old-fashioned thinking. 
Their condescension sounds eerily like Neville Chamberlain’s remark that Hitler “missed the bus” in the Czech crisis.
The “bus” the Russians have missed is not failure to accept the breakup of the Soviet Empire. Rather, the great “catastrophe” of the 20th Century was its very existence. Behind this difference lies the amnesia that enables President Putin’s adventurism in the Ukraine and his determination to put the wheels back on a malevolent and lethal machine.
In 1989, the entire world witnessed the defeat of the Soviet Union across every front: ideology, economics, technology, and moral philosophy. This purported “catastrophe” freed enslaved satellite states from the terror and autocracy exported by the Bolsheviks across Eastern Europe.
Initially the Russian people joined with central and eastern Europeans in shedding the corporeal and spiritual chains of totalitarianism. But the moment proved fleeting when the Russians looked into the abyss and recoiled.
Russians now refer to their entire history from 1917 through 1989 as “Soviet Times.” Not Communist Era or the Reign of the Bolsheviks. Not the Red Terror or the Evil Empire. They instead adopted an anodyne phrase that has the ring of a Californian’s recollection of forbears who came from “somewhere back east.”
“Soviet Times” are comfortably moored far away from anyone’s experience or understanding, like a mysterious civilization that melted into the Siberian forests, leaving behind no people, artifacts, or runes. The disastrous policies and practices, the systematized cruelties, the twisted logic, and the murderous paranoia are lodged in some other universe of the mind, providing no leaven for thought or opinion, and certainly no instinct to examine with skepticism the leadership of Russia Redux.
Leningrad has reverted back to St. Petersburg to get the stink off of its name. Yet Lenin’s corpse still molders on display in Red Square. The Communist Party is now a maligned splinter group, but Putin’s United Russia Party is led by the nomenklatura of the old CPSU. Artwork confiscated by the Bolsheviks is still hanging in the Winter Palace innocuously labeled “from the collection of” the victim, while masterpieces looted in World War II are proudly displayed as glorious battle trophies. GUM department store in Red Square is now a luxury mall that would make a Kardashian blush, but the missile parade and goosestepping still headline the May Day parade. 
One looks in vain for Russian literature or journalism exposing the predations of the Communist regime during “Soviet Times.” There is no scholarship that draws lessons from the “success” of the Comintern and Stalin in infiltrating and purging foreign political parties, particularly Social Democrats and other home-grown leftists. There is no accounting of how many of the much vaunted 20 million Soviet dead in the “Great Patriotic War” fell at the hands of grossly incompetent generals, “state security organs,” well-armed commissars, and willfully blind apparatchiks.    
Asked what it was like to live under surveillance by the KGB during Soviet Times, Russians will insist that they personally had never been troubled. They have no stories about how the security system co-opted them to report on the “antisocial” activities and thoughts of schoolmates, coworkers, and neighbors. None of them was a member of the Communist Party; none spent youthful days in Komsomol or the Young Pioneers. No one in their families disappeared into the gulags, and no schoolmates died of head shots in the basement of the Lubyanka -- much less prepared transportation manifeststo the Kamchatka death camps, conducted midnight interrogations, or pulled the triggers on antisocial elements.
If this degree of denial seems implausible, consider this item from ITAR/Izvestia. On April 30, as Russia was digesting the Crimea and roiling Ukraine, a deputy foreign minister denounced Western sanctions as “a revival of a system created in 1949 when Western countries essentially lowered an 'Iron Curtain', cutting off supplies of high-tech goods to the USSR and other countries."
So that’s what Winston Churchill was referring to in his Westminster College speech.
Such obliviousness to the postwar grab of Eastern Europe by the Red Army staggers the imagination. Yet it illuminates Russians’ persistence in denying and rewriting their history. It is the same attitude that is reflected in internal polls showing Russians are fervently behind the new aggressiveness of Putin’s regime. They have easily fallen back into the hands of the same bloodthirsty revanchists who ran the system in Soviet Times; indeed, they treat with indifference the ascendancy of a man whose entire career from KGB High School on is the embodiment of the very secrecy, paranoia, and megalomania that oiled the USSR.
So long as Russians remain in denial of their antecedents they will be a belligerent and dangerous force in the world. It will be equivalent to what would have unfolded if the Allies had not insisted on “de-Nazification” of postwar Germany. Germans were not allowed to rebrand and reinstall the Gauleiters, SS commanders, Gestapo thugs, and Nazi party hacks as leaders of the new republic. Sixty years on, Germans are still called to account for newly discovered instances of Nazi cruelty and kleptomania and the shameful collaboration of industrialists, professors, jurists, politicians, and civil servants.
Japan has faced the same reminders of its past wickedness. Like Germany, it has admirably restored itself and its people to the community of nations, but the reminders still come of their brutality in World War II. Efforts to attribute it to long-dead fanatics invariably fall on deaf ears.
South Africa implemented Truth and Reconciliation procedures to bring to the surface the policies and programs of apartheid and racism. The reborn republic defied expectations of a reign of terror by insisting that reconciliation and the integrity of the process be paramount.
When the USSR disintegrated, the Eastern European nations aggressively confronted their Communist past. East Germans literally seized access to the notorious Stasi files, where ordinary citizens read what their government had done to them and who among them regularly reported on “suspicious” activities of friends and colleagues. Similar stories played out in all the Baltic and Central European States. These painful experiences sharply lessen fears of the people returning to the bad old days or the bad old actors.
By contrast, the Russian people today may be fairly compared with Germans after the “Great War.” They were never forced to confront the implications of their very culture losing a titanic clash with the democracies. A generation later, Germany was back on the path to world war. So too the restored states of the Confederacy refused to examine the social constructs that had created and fostered the evils of slavery, the planter aristocracy, and the Civil War. The South truly “rose again,” but in the hands of the same malevolent forces of racism and resentment.
The “catastrophe”of 1989 was the failure of the Russian people to confront Soviet Times for what they were and to identifythe evil forces that they spawned.The ongoing crisis in Europe will not abate unless and until they remedy this failure


sábado, mayo 10, 2014

How Russia arms Latin America

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Russia’s push into Ukraine has put many on edge. But less known is that Russia is also strengthening its military links south of the Rio Grande and re-establishing itself as a power in the region.
Vladimir Putin has been strengthening military links here, and Russia is now the largest arms dealer to governments in Latin America, surpassing the United States. Russia has even floated the possibility of building new military bases in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, and putting its warships permanently in the Caribbean.
In the midst of the Ukraine crisis, Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov recently visited Cuba, Peru, Chile, and Nicaragua, where he announced that Russia would also pour money into the new Central American canal project.
Arms selling is a free market, and if Russian companies can offer cheaper and better guns than US or British ones, they have the competitive edge.
Many of this region’s leftist governments are also more suspicious of US military power, which has historically sided with dictatorships across South America, even as it challenges Cuba.
However, the influx of Russian planes and missiles has ruffled some feathers.
Costa Rica’s outgoing foreign minister said the arms build-up in neighboring Nicaragua made him “fear trouble.”
A continued presence of US military bases in countries such as Colombia and Honduras and in Guantanamo Bay also raises the specter of a return to the superpower standoff that ruptured the region during the Cold War.


Russia arms America’s southern neighbors such as Brazil.
Latin America’s largest country held meetings on new arms sales from Russian companies during a visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in October, and further developments on the deals emerged in March.
Among the weapons on the table are the Pantsir-S, a missile air defense system that can take on targets flying at low altitudes, and the Igla, a portable surface-to-air missile. Russia is also trying to sell its Sukhoi-35 fighter jets to the South American giant.
Estimates put the contracts in the multibillion-dollar range.
Brazil’s left-leaning government has been a heavy critic of the US NSA spying program, while being largely friendly to international business interests.


Minister Shoigu revealed he was in talks to build bases in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua for Russian warships.
The late Hugo Chavez became renowned for his opposition to the United States while he courted countries from Iran to Russia. His replacement, Nicolas Maduro, has carried on the tradition.
Under Chavez, Venezuela bought some $5 billion worth of military hardware from Russia, including fighter planes, helicopters and assault rifles.
Chavez also stirred the pot by allowing Russian warships, including the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great (below), near its Caribbean coast.
Maduro announced his country would continue to buy Russian weapons when he took power last year.
Then in February, Defense Minister Shoigu revealed he was in talks to build bases in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua for Russian warships.
“The talks are underway, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
However, while the announcement raised shockwaves, very few details have emerged.


With the history of the Cuban missile crisis, Russian military presence on the Caribbean island perhaps strikes the loudest chord.
Throughout the late 20th century, the Castro government based its defense system — and its economy — on help from the Soviets.
While most of this support evaporated with the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Russia has revived the relationship in recent years.
In 2011, the allies revealed new contracts for Cuba to make Russian guns and bullets, including an assembly line for 7.62-mm rounds used in Kalashnikovs at the Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara factory.
However, a new base and potential presence of Soviet warships would up the ante considerably.


The Sandinista government also received some help from the Soviet Union back in the 1980s, to fight the wrath of the US-backed Contras in one of the most notorious Cold War battlegrounds.
While the re-elected President Daniel Ortega has abandoned many of his socialist leanings of old, he has reinvigorated this relationship with Moscow.
Speaking to his army in April, Ortega announced new support from the Russian Federation.
“It’s just as important now to defend our right, the right that we Nicaraguans have to arm ourselves, to strengthen ourselves militarily; we have to modernize the army to provide these services,” Ortega said, according to the Nicaragua Dispatch. “It’s just that simple.”
Among the support, Russia has promised helicopters and Tiger urban assault vehicles for the war on drug gangs.
However, Nicaraguan officials themselves have raised questions about the announcement of the Russian base, which could be against Nicaragua’s constitution.
There have also been significant Russian arms sales to Bolivia and Peru, and discussion of new deals with Chile and Argentina. The United States has particularly strong links to armies in Mexico, Colombia and Honduras, which it supports in antidrug efforts.


viernes, mayo 09, 2014

Report: Russia plans to colonize moon by 2030


sábado, abril 19, 2014

Russia Writes Off Majority of North Korea Debt

— Russia's parliament has agreed to write off almost $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline to South Korea across the reclusive state.

Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South Korea's.

The State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012.

The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank.

Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told Russian media that the money could be used to fund mutual projects in North Korea, including a proposed gas pipeline and a railway to South Korea.

The two Koreas remain technically at war and are separated by one of the world's most militarized frontiers. Parts of the international community have been seeking to re-engage with North Korea amid hopes that the reclusive state's government would seek ways to end years of isolation and poverty.

Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom, has long planned to build a gas pipeline via North Korea to South Korea with a view to shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Moscow aims to reach a deal to supply gas to China, after a decade of talks, this May.

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"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"


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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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