Authors: JOSEPH HUMIRE
Will the presidential victory of Mauricio Macri in Argentina finally bring justice to the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? Will it solve the murder of the AMIA investigation’s special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, one year ago? Or will Nisman’s revelations of Iran’s role in terrorism in the Western Hemisphere die as he did?
To be sure, the defeat of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s preferred candidate, Daniel Scioli, was met with a global sigh of relief for those concerned about Argentina’s rapprochement with Iran, including a secret backchannel exposed by Nisman.
Since taking office in December, Macri has signaled a significant change of course from his predecessor’s position on Iran. In less than two months, Macri has revoked the controversial Memorandum of Understanding with the Islamic Republic, appointed a new cabinet- level official and bureau to oversee the AMIA investigation, and re-opened the probe into Nisman’s suspicious death. He has also said he would revisit Nisman’s investigation into the previous Argentine government’s alleged plan to expunge Iran’s involvement in the attack in exchange for closer bilateral diplomatic, economic and perhaps even nuclear ties.
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Authors: FERNANDO MENÉNDEZ
After concluding a five day visit to the United States, Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, flew directly to Havana, Cuba, the first Chinese official of such high rank to travel to the island since Cuba and the United States began talks to normalize relations. Given Gen Fan’s rank, second only to President Xi Jinping who chairs the commission and serves as commander-in-chief, this is hardly a courtesy visit.
The arrival of Gen. Fan in Havana immediately unleashed widespread speculation about the triangular relationship between China, Cuba and the United States. Some items on his agenda can be discerned given China-Cuba relations in the past.
China and Cuba are longtime economic, military and political allies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, China increased its footprint in Cuba through trade, loans and investments. In the past two decades Chinese-manufactured buses, refrigerators and electronic equipment, food and other goods are omnipresent throughout Cuba at a time of critical shortages. China has invested in Cuba’s nickel mining facilities, financed offshore oil exploration and built hotels and other tourism facilities on the island. Despite the miniscule nature of Cuba’s domestic market, China has extended loans and other aid to the Cuban government.
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