Why Did Three Original Members of Bitnation Call It Quits?

Wosnack, Mckibbin, Mondrus Respond to CEO, Clear the Air on Resignation

While Bitnation was born only few months ago, it has already had more drama than a Venezuelan soap opera. Just before the big crowdsale, three members of the team — Nathan Wosnack, Matt Mckibbin, and David Mondrus — submitted an open letter of resignation.

Founder and CEO Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof said the decision was prompted by a difference in regulatory mindset.

“First of all, none of them were developers, and second, none of them were particularly core either,” Tempelhof said in an interview with the PanAm Post.

“Their biggest complaint is that the company is not incorporated in a government-backed jurisdiction — naturally, it isn’t, since that’s one of the things we’re offering as a service, incorporation on the blockchain.”

But, what do Wosnack, Mckibbin, and Mondrus have to say about their resignation?

[Read more...]

The Fascism of Nicolás Maduro and Hugo Chávez

The Crackpot Dictator Calls the Kettle Black

EspañolFor the past year, eyes of the world have focused on Venezuela, given ongoing protests against Nicolás Maduro and the economic, social, and political crisis produced by the complete incompetence of his government.

Maduro has responded by cracking down on protesters and silencing his detractors. One word he uses in practically every sentence, to refer to his opponents, is “fascism.” Nico has repeated this word so many times, it raises the question, what if Freud was right?

Venezuela Ministry of Communication

Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro: champions of Latin-American fascism. (Venezuelan Ministry of Communication)

[Read more...]

Naïve New York Times Fails to Recognize Cuba’s Real Enemy

If Economic Pressure Forces Reforms, Up the Pressure

By Karel Becerra

A few days ago the New York Times asked for an end to the “embargo on Cuba.” However, they should have asked for an end to the embargo on Castro. Cubans have nothing to impound: no properties, no houses, no cars, no furniture not even intellectual property; everything belongs to the communist government.

This misunderstood contradiction means people such as the Times editorial board see a generous leader fighting against imperialism and a country “that has suffered enormously since Washington ended diplomatic relations in 1961.” Meanwhile, the Cuban people who know the truth see a civil society impoverished by a dictatorship in Cuba that has held power for over five decades.


Cubans who know better call for independence and democracy on José Martí’s 160th birthday. (CID Facebook)

[Read more...]

Thank You, Rafael Correa

You Have Taught the Grave Need for Free Press, Democratic Accountability

Rafael Correa

Bravo Rafael Correa! Now we are no longer afraid, because we have confirmed that the power of the word is invincible. (Flickr)

EspañolThis is a day to celebrate together. Over the past seven years, the Ecuadorian people have learned a lot about Rafael Correa, and today the president is reaping what he has sown.

Thanks to his opening speech on how a government must always carry out its electoral mandate, people no longer buy into such misleading rhetoric and demand their right to participate in important decisions that affect the country’s present and future.

Bravo Rafael!

[Read more...]

Chile: Resist Europe’s Police-State Response to Terrorism

Spain, Britain Can Only Show How to Overreact and Violate Civil Liberties

A working definition for an act of terrorism is a strategic act of violence with underlying political motivations. But in the case of a recent spate of small-scale bombings in Santiago and nearby — especially the September 8 attack that left 14 injured within a subway station in the Chilean capital — the underlying motivations have been far from obvious. None have claimed responsibility, although suspicion has fallen on subversive Marxist collectives, whose members have been among the first arrested.

Rodrigo Peñailillo (wikimedia)

Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo only picked up bad ideas in Spain. (wikimedia)

For Chile’s political class, the motivations of attackers have only been relevant as a means of tarnishing the opposing party by accusing them of links to those responsible. Their priority has been to appease a tense public, whipped into outright fear by the press, by being seen to “do something.” As political scientist Ethan Bueno de Mesquita wrote in a 2007 paper, voters “force the government, through electoral incentives, to overspend on observable counterterror.”

In this line came the heavily publicized visit of Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo to Spain at the beginning of the month, on a fact-finding mission with the mother country’s intelligence agencies. “We want to be connected with European governments,” he said, “so that Chile’s own subversive groups can be brought to justice.”

[Read more...]

Univision Layoffs Bury the Real Story in Puerto Rico

Public Steams over Channel 11 Closure as Island Sinks Deeper into Debt

EspañolFew things better illustrate the current mindset of Puerto Rico’s ruling class and influence peddlers than the recent closing of Univision Noticias. On Friday, October 17, Univision announced it was closing its entire news operation at Channel 11, and laying off roughly 100 employees, including anchors, producers, photographers, and other staff.

Puerto Rico residents boycott Univision over Channel 11 closure.

Puerto Rico residents boycott Univision over Channel 11 closure. (@jariiel25)

At one point, Teleonce, as it was previously known, was the top news broadcast on the island. Yet, in recent years, it had been struggling, according to staff.

News of the decision to shut down went viral on the island. There were calls for boycotts on all Univision products.

It was denounced as a “Mexican insult” to Puerto Rican talent, and a “racist” decision. Local media covered the action as if it were the biggest news story of the year. The journalists’ union issued statements about it, and even Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla met personally with some of the fired employees and promised them direct government assistance.

[Read more...]

End to Embargo Would Give Pass to Cuban Regime

Deference Would Play Right Into the Hands of Rulers Desperate for Funds

Outlets such as the New York Times that advocate for open trade with Cuba fail to grasp that it would be trade with totalitarian rulers, not the Cuban people at large. (@fidelidad100)

“The blockade: the largest genocide in history.” Outlets such as the New York Times that advocate for open trade with Cuba and spread naïveté fail to grasp that it would be trade with totalitarian rulers, not the Cuban people at large. (@fidelidad100)

If the United States were to end the embargo and lift the travel ban without major reforms in Cuba, there would be significant implications:

Smokers Must Unite against Control-Freak Bureaucrats

Misguided Fears of Second-Hand Smoke Inflate the Nanny State

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute study shows no link between second-hand smoke and cancer.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found no link between second-hand smoke and cancer. (Julian Carvajal)

Ebola, ISIS, Boko Haram, global economic crises, homelessness, rogue states with nuclear weapons: which of these issues is so important that the United Nations is pushing for a new tax to help pay to deal with the problem? None. They’re going after cigarettes, again.

In a secret session, the United Nations’ health wing, the World Health Organization (WHO), resolved to increase taxes on cigarettes worldwide. The Washington Times reports that the United States did not participate in the meeting, held in Moscow, as a protest against Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine.

An interesting footnote to the meeting: the press were barred from entering the room. I guess something as important as global taxation on cigarettes must be a very sensitive topic. The proposal could result in a sharp increase in taxes and the price of cigarettes in all major nations, excluding only the United States, Switzerland, and Indonesia.

[Read more...]

For-Profit Innovation Will Unravel Higher-Education Status Quo

Accountability to Customers? What a Novel Idea

EspañolWith college students back in classes and student debt continuing to top out US$1 trillion nationwide, the market for college appears to be at its peak. It’s easier than ever to get a student loan, and colleges frequently run commercials on television and radio stations informing listeners of the importance of getting a college degree.

Despite this rise in commercialization of schooling, however, more and more potential students are questioning whether or not the debt is really worth it.

[Read more...]

A Virgin Libertarian’s SFL-Immersion Experience

Beyond Politics to Live and Let Live

Tom Palmer of the Atlas Network signs copies of After the Welfare State for student attendees. (EsLibertad Facebook)

Tom Palmer of the Atlas Network signs copies of After the Welfare State for student attendees. (EsLibertad Facebook)

EspañolI don’t know much about libertarianism. I assume that comes as a surprise, given that I am a full-time employee of the PanAm Post, but my interest in the job is more journalistic than political.

That being said, I am fascinated by all types of political thought, and I have become increasingly interested in libertarianism over my past two months on staff.

When the opportunity came to attend the 2014 Students for Liberty (SFL) Latin America Conference in Guatemala City, I didn’t hesitate. I figured the three-day event, hosted by Francisco Marroquín University, would be the ideal crash-course in all things libertarian.

It wasn’t exactly what I expected.

[Read more...]