Green Room

Latin America report: Chavez heading back to Caracas, while Cuba sends new “multi-purpose” ships; Marco aces it.

posted at 6:19 pm on March 16, 2012 by

My blog, is down due to server issues, so I’ll be blogging here for the next few days – maybe even permanently, at least for as long as Hot Air allows it. Here are a few items on Latin America:

Venezuela had some ships built by Cuba, that world-class shipping industry giant, and the first ship arrived today. Here’s some video from a Spanish-language newsreel for you maritime-knowledgeable readers to appraise the ship,

Looks very modest to me, particularly when you bear in mind that the ship is to be used “for social and military” operations.

Venezuela is the #1 point of departure for illegal drugs. Rumors abound in Venezuela as to what Cuba will do if Chavez dies or loses the upcoming election. New Cuban ships arriving in Caracas are the least of the Venezuelans concerns.

Speaking of Chavez, after promising that he’d return from Cuba after having another cancer surgery, he just tweeted saying he’s aboard the plane bringing him back to Venezuela. The Venezuelan news website Noticias 24 has been running ads all week of Chavez saying “we will live and we will triumph”.

Hugo spent a full three weeks availing himself of that famous “free” Cuban health care, to the tune of an estimated $200,000 to $400,000 per day for his costs and that of his 240-people team.

Chavez and his cronies in Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua may be aiding Iran bypass economic sanctions, particularly since

The fact that Ecuador uses the U.S dollar as its currency means that once the money gets into the country it is automatically injected into the economy. Ecuador’s dollarization plus the SUCRE mechanism together represents a scheme that facilitates money-laundering operations in the region. Considering that Iran and Venezuela support terrorism, that high Venezuelan officials have been designated as “Drug Kingpins” by the United States, that Ecuador has become a haven for organized crime, there is reason to believe that those countries are using Ecuador to launder money from illicit activities such as narcotics trafficking, kidnapping and terrorism.

In other parts of South America, not only is the Argentinian government prosecuting economists who analyze the real inflation rate (not to be confused with the official inflation rate), they are now pulling the plug on live TV interviews on the subject. In the meantime, Argentina will sue any companies involved in oil exploration off the Falkland Islands in an attempt to pressure Great Britain into sovereignty talks.

Where is Margaret Thatcher when we need her?

Closer to home, Mitt Romney is campaigning in Puerto Rico, and so is Rick Santorum. Since PR has a population of more than 4 million people, the 23 delegates will increase Mitt’s lead.

Forget about what Santorum said regarding English and Puerto Rico; the guy who has his eyes on the real issue is not running:
Marco Rubio aced it,

“What’s on people’s minds is what’s on your mind and my mind and everybody else’s mind: How am I going to provide for my family?”

Here’s Marco,

Marco, unlike the current contenders, is the one who has it right.

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Thanks, good post. It is great for us to get news on these issues we might not get anyplace else. Hope to see you here for a bit.

letget on March 16, 2012 at 6:41 PM


I do wonder what “social and military” operations the Venezuelans have in mind. Fleet week, maybe?

Fausta Wertz on March 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Just what every Latin American country needs, a medium landing craft. Just the thing for invading, or transporting cargo from shore to ship, or vice versa. Not so great at picking up vehicles and moving from the Atlantic side of the country and taking them to the Pacific side during a natural disaster.

cozmo on March 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I was wondering what your view is on the Pope going to visit Cuba in the future? Will he get a nice welcome by castro? I have a feeling many citizens will love to see the Pope? This will be a treat for the people there?

As for chazez, gads the ca hasn’t gotten this worm yet? So sorry if not.

Rubio is a real jewel. He has a great future here in the US, IMO.

letget on March 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I would love to see the Pope meet the Ladies in White and other dissidents while in Cuba. I translated into Spanish for the Ladies to read a letter Carlos Eire wrote the Pope begging that he would.

Let’s hope the Pope does.

Marco will be POTUS one day.

Fausta Wertz on March 16, 2012 at 8:00 PM

From the brief appearance, this looks like a number of small “freighter” long used in Central & South America as well as Caribbean Islands where docks are not available.

It could be used to carry heavy equipment (land drlling rig?) to some up river destination.

Kermit on March 16, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Also, note that since the general strike by “white collar” workers of the state oil company, PDVSA, oil production has declined by 35% AND the company loses $ Billions annually.

Kermit on March 16, 2012 at 9:18 PM

It looks to me like a Landing Craft Tank or LST. Great for off loading tanks, trucks, armored personnel carriers, things of that nature. I can’t see its “peaceful” uses, too large for fishing and too small for cargo Containers.

But perfect for landing an invasion force.

Bulletchaser on March 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Bulletchaser on March 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM

True but also drilling rigs (land), bulldozers, hydraulic excavators, etc… Private companies actually use these in Venezuela. An old one is for sale right now, but with a stern ramp.

Kermit on March 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Glad to hear we’ll be seeing more of you here, Fausta. The ship is basically a bulk cargo freighter with a roll-on/roll-off ramp. Its speed probably tops out at 15 knots. You can mount a machine gun on anything, and I’m sure there are plans to put guns on this ship at some point. That won’t make it defensible. If someone tries to use this puppy for an amphibious landing, he’d better limit his targets to beach resorts. Disney World would be too well-armed for this thing.

J.E. Dyer on March 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Actually for island and inland river cargo, these normally haul pallets of goods with a forklift onboard. If it could haul 1000 tons I’d be surprise.

These actually are used in Venezuela as both RO/RO and palletized cargo. Think offshore supply vessel but with Roll On/Roll Off capability.

Kermit on March 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM