Articles / Opinion Editorials archives

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Jul 25, 2014 0 Comments

Is Ecuador Waging A Stealth War On America? Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications

Authors: J.D. GORDON

Without firing a shot, Ecuador’s populist President Rafael Correa appears to be waging a stealth war on America.

In recent weeks the Justice Department revealed Quito’s whopping $6.4 million foreign government lobbying contracts awarded to two public relations firms this year, raising important questions about what Correa is spending all that money to achieve.

According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, both U.S.-based PR firms, McSquared and Fitzgibbon Media failed to report the contracts to DoJ as required by the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).  Some inside-the-beltway national security observers may be familiar with Fitzgibbon – after all, it’s the same firm representing Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange…. Continue Reading »

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Jul 14, 2014 0 Comments

A Second Look at the China-Brazil Relationship Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications

Authors: FERNANDO MENÉNDEZ

There are rumors that China’s President Xi Jinping requested the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit this year in Fortaleza, Brazil be held in July so he could attend the World Cup final. According to People’s Daily, Xi was officially invited to join Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff for the championship match. This year also marks the fortieth anniversary of Brazil’s diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. While most reports will be celebratory and focused on the benefits of China’s demand for commodities, they are likely to leave out a growing sentiment that the Sino-Brazilian relationship is becoming a mixed bag for Brazil.

Between 2000 and 2008, a growing Chinese economy helped fuel a boom in Brazil’s commodities, with exports to China rising eightfold. By 2009, China overtook the United States as Brazil’s largest trading partner. That same year, China accounted for 12.5 percent of Brazil’s total exports. During the financial crises of 2008-2009, Brazil’s exports to China increased by 50 percent, which propped up its balance of payments and cemented Brazil’s status as a net creditor.

Two thirds of Brazil’s exports to China consist of soybeans (64 percent of the total in 2010) and iron ore, with crude petroleum accounting for another 10-12 percent. Iron ore mining and exports are highly concentrated in one company, Vale S.A. (the former CVRD), which has benefitted greatly from exports to China. In 2012, the state-owned petroleum company, Petrobras, eclipsed Vale S.A. as the country’s largest commodity exporter shipping 150-200,000 barrels per day to China, in a credit deal worth $10 billion negotiated in 2009. Raw material and agricultural producers have experienced a significant boon…. Continue Reading »

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Jul 9, 2014 0 Comments

Chicago-style politics wreaks havoc from Washington to Quito Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications

Authors: J.D. GORDON

What would President Abraham Lincoln say?  

If it isn’t bad enough that four of the last seven former Illinois governors were jailed for assorted crimes of corruption, racketeering and bribery, now the Land of Lincoln has produced two world leaders straight from the Chicago-style school of politics, Barack Obama and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, pushing their countries to the limit through increasingly authoritarian rule.

President Obama, a former law professor at Univ. of Chicago — in other words, a man who ought to know better — continues to undermine the Constitution and abuse executive powers in what House Speaker John Boehner calls “king-like authority.”  And Obama’s reaction? “So sue me.”… Continue Reading »