Stories for March 17th 2011
The Argentine senate unanimously approved Wednesday a bill that bars companies and persons from participating in hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation activities in the Argentine continental platform (which includes the Falkland Islands), and proscribes fines for infractions and barring periods of time from 5 to 20 years for companies that violate the law.
Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1998 on the strength of his promises to stamp out corruption. Venezuela had been a democratic showcase for the hemisphere from 1958 to the early 1970’s but after receiving a huge oil income in the mid-1970 the quality of government deteriorated and waste and corruption set in. By 1998 most Venezuelans were deeply disappointed and wanted a radical change. They got it with Hugo Chavez. What they never imagined was that the change would be for the worse.
The Argentine congress ratified this week the free trade agreement between Mercosur and Israel. The accord subscribed in 2007 and already passed by the Senate, was approved in the Lower House by 144 votes, 8 nays and 10 abstentions.
The program of events to celebrate the 20 years of the Treaty of Asunción, the founding block of Mercosur (26 March 1991) will have to be rescheduled because Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff won’t be travelling to Paraguay next 26 March.
Venezuela signed an agreement with Chinese companies Citic Group and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. to negotiate a 4 billion US dollars loan to finance oil and construction projects, President Hugo Chavez said in Caracas.
Venezuela's populist president has identified a new plague on his nation - boob jobs. Hugo Chavez, famous for his bombastic anti-US rants, blasted plastic surgeons for pressuring women into having surgery they can't afford.
The Cuban authorities are continuing to stifle freedom of expression on the island in spite of the much-publicized recent wave of releases of prominent dissidents, Amnesty International warned ahead of the eighth anniversary of a crackdown on activists.
A total of 9.1 million families plan to buy real estate in Brazil over the next 12 months which is a huge increase since the Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House, My Life) program was introduced in 2009
Argentina and Uruguay signed this week several agreements with the aim of improving bilateral trade, improving rivers’ navigation, social policies and other issues, within the Second Bi-national Meeting of Ministers in the framework of a relation described as ‘strategic’.
The Brazilian government is tightening a law that restricts the amount of land foreigners can buy. The decree prohibits non-Brazilians from buying controlling shares of companies that own vast tracts of territory in the country, Brazilian Attorney General Luiz Inacio Adams said in a statement this week.