History Rebukes Getting into Bed with Dictatorship

Appeasement Strategy with Cuba Has Been Tried, Already Proved a Failure

History demonstrates that biology does not necessarily take care of totalitarian regimes that have enslaved entire peoples. The Soviet Union founded in 1917 did not implode until 1991, when three generations had passed through that brutal system and finally brought it down nonviolently.

Likewise, China has been gripped by Mao’s totalitarian regime for 66 years and shows no signs of liberalizing, quite the contrary. Maoism is being reintroduced in the education system, and the dictatorship is flexing its economic and political muscle around the world. Sadly the US policy of normalized relations, since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger went to China, has empowered the dictatorship more than the people.

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Higher Water Rates Would Kick Puerto Rico When She’s Down

Time to Break Up the Utility Monopolies

Amid water rations and crippling debt, the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority raising rates is the wrong way to go.

Amid water rations and crippling debt, the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority raising rates is the wrong way to go. (@justinwdes)

Confusion and disappointment weren’t the only things to come out of the meeting with bond holders this week in New York. El Vocero reports that the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (PRASA) is considering raising rates again.

The idea is to increase charges so the troubled public utility can access the bond market to raise more money for desperately needed improvements. This is a bad idea.

The island is in the midst of water rationing affecting more than 1 million people, some for as long as 48 hours. PRASA, like its sister agency PREPA (Electric Power Authority), has billions in debt that according to Governor Alejandro García Padilla cannot be paid.

So why increase rates in the middle of a 10-year recession and water rationing to obtain more debt that can’t be paid?

I have a better idea.

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Get Off the Fence, Pope Francis

Ambiguity Is No Match for Liberation Theology and Socialism

"That is not right," is all Pope Francis had to say to Evo Morales after receiving his "gift."

“That is not right,” is all Pope Francis had to say to Evo Morales after receiving his “gift.” (Diario Correo)

EspañolThe confused look on Pope Francis’s face says it all.

As for Bolivian President Evo Morales — opportunistic, rude, shocking — pick any adjective you’d like to describe the man who gave the head of the Catholic Church a crucifix attached to a hammer and sickle.

It’s worth noting that Morales, like Rafael Correa and the late Hugo Chávez, has never said he is a communist, even though he openly admires the ideology. In his defense, he could say that while millions have been killed in the name of communism, many more have died in the name of religion.

It’s possible that Morales wanted to force Jorge Mario Bergoglio to publicly side with so-called 21st-century socialism, since there’s still a strong debate on where this pope really stands on politics.

Clearly, Francis is far from John Paul II’s unambiguous liberalism. However, his tepid “that is not right” response after Morales unveiled the gift — a replica of the wooden statue carved by Luis Espinal Camps, a Spanish Jesuit priest tortured and killed by paramilitary groups in 1980 for his denunciation of political violence in Bolivia — deserves, at least, clarification that he doesn’t support Marxist liberation theology.

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The Wall between Liberal Theory and Practice Must Fall

Ignoring Socialist Politicos Won't Make Them Go Away

La Constitución Española de 1812 prefiguró lo que se conoce como "liberalismo" en nuestra región (Cedice Libertad)

The Spanish Cádiz Constitution of 1812 set a precedent for classical-liberal political projects. (Cedice Libertad)

Por Alberto Mansueti

EspañolLiberal International is a worldwide federation, founded in Oxford in 1947, of political parties that call themselves “liberal” but have actually become socialist. Then there is the Mont Pelerin Society, a club for classical liberal and “libertarian” intellectuals, named after the Swiss resort where it was founded the same year, 1947. Its stated goal is to “promote liberal ideas,” something they have not been very successful at.

On the one hand, liberal parties in name only; on the other, writers who embrace “the cause of liberty” to win over the “battle of ideas.” But the ideas that triumphed a long time ago were socialist and statist ones, prevailing in universities, schools, politics, the media, and religion (or as it is called now, “spirituality”).

To this day, so-called liberal parties and think tanks have always followed different paths, a divorce between practice and theory.

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Where Does Puerto Rico’s Money Go?

Crony Contracts Just the Tip of the Iceberg

A look at Puerto Rico’s finances can be a scary, if not frustrating thing. How does a US commonwealth with 3.5 million residents, US$22 billion a year from the federal government, $9-10 billion of its own tax revenues, and over $100 billion GDP get itself into a $73 billion hole?

Seriously, you’ve got to work at it.

The Libertarian Party of Puerto Rico (LPPR) shared a small sample of this nonsense by offering a sneak peak at professional-services contracts offered by the current administration. Granted, this covers only about a billion dollars worth of spending, but it indicates what is going on.

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National Broadcasts Give a Little Help to Kirchner’s Friends

80 Hours on Air Drown a Nation in Electioneering

President Cristina Kirchner has carried out 27 mandatory TV addresses so far in 2015. (@namiojorengueki)

President Cristina Kirchner has broadcast 27 mandatory televised addresses so far in 2015. (@namiojorengueki)

Once again, on June 25, Argentineans had to watch President Cristina Kirchner address the country on national television. It was the 26th time Kirchner issued one of her mandatory broadcasts this year.

During her 40-minute speech in Santa Rosa, La Pampa, before an auditorium packed with energetic supporters (mainly from the populist youth movement La Cámpora), she announced public works and improvements at a couple of local hospitals.

General elections will take place in October, so it was no surprise to see the most prominent candidates of the ruling party sitting alongside her: Daniel Scioli and Carlos Zannini (running for president and vice president), and Julián Domínguez and Aníbal Fernández (candidates for governor of Buenos Aires). Kirchner requested a round of applause for them all, and the public obliged.

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Evo Morales Dumbs Down Bolivian Society to Stay in Power

Indefinite Reelection Comes Easy When You Breed an Infantile Populace

Evo Morales quien había indicado que al culminar su mandato el 2020 se dedicaría a abrir un restaurante, dice ahora que si "la gente lo pide" el seguirá siendo presidente (Cancillería de Ecuador)

Evo Morales said that when his term ends in 2020 he would open a restaurant, but he has changed his mind. “If the people request,” he will run again for the presidency. (Cancillería de Ecuador)

EspañolAfter 10 years and three elections, Bolivian President Evo Morales still rules the country. It’s not surprising for the public to hear that his acolytes and puppets are on a quest for indefinite reelection.

The wish of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism party, to turn the country in a regime under full state control, is far from being secret. Nor is its commitment to the regional bloc that professes 21st-century socialist ideology. They have repeatedly stated their true goals: perpetuate their populist leader, acquire a congressional majority, buy off judges, take over the election authority, and finally, found or seize strategic industries such as natural resources, food, and the media.

Fidel Castro originally drafted and taught this scheme to Hugo Chávez, and they then disseminated it throughout the region to Morales, Cristina Kirchner, and Rafael Correa, among others. Unfortunately, they have advanced steadily, conquering the governments of different of countries, but above all the impressionable minds of the citizens.

The eternal curse for Latin Americans is the feeling they can’t do anything by themselves, not even stand on their own two feet without support from the state. This notion has been reinforced by the demagoguery that irradiates from these politicians — all under the guise of an impossible march to equality.

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Puerto Ricans Can Feed Themselves without US Gravy

Grownups Need Not Fear Going Cold Turkey

Independence in Puerto Rico must come with an end to the welfare state.

Independence in Puerto Rico must come with an end to the welfare state. (Sofos)

Español“Anyone who talks of independence for Puerto Rico is crazy.” That’s the impression you’d get reading many of the comments I’ve received over the last few days in response to an article asking a simple question: “When will Puerto Rico celebrate its independence day?”

For most people in Puerto Rico, independence means the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela, or Cuba. It’s understandable, given that the Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP) endorses the economic policies of Cuba and Venezuela.

Who wants to endure that? I certainly do not.

One of the major concerns expressed in the comments I received was the question of food and hunger. How would people on the island feed themselves with the loss of US$22 billion in federal aid? The unfortunate reality is that there are about a million people in Puerto Rico who in fact live day to day on federal and local subsidies.

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Honduran Taxes Prey on the Least Among Us

Raise the Idea of Resisting? Jail for You

The tax burden in Honduras surges as the government tightens regulations (<em><a href="http://lanoticia.hn/nacionales/la-dei-a-verificar-cumplimiento-de-impuestos/" target="_blank">La NoticiaHn</a></em>)

The tax burden in Honduras surges as the government tightens regulations (La Noticia)

Español Over 70 percent of the Honduran workforce operate in the informal sector, according to the World Trade Organization. As the Peruvian lawyer Enrique Ghersi explains, informality is a survival strategy among the poor, who can’t afford to comply with regulations, making this one the only reasonable alternative.

Honduran policymakers seem hellbent on forcing formalization of the workforce and enacting economic apartheid on those who resist.

The Honduran tax collection agency (DEI) has been implementing a new invoicing regime, promoted by its director Miriam Guzmán, which comes with several problems and a surge of costs for small business and the informal sector of the economy.

Currently, many supermarkets and other business offer goods purchased from informal entrepreneurs, such as small farmers, carpenters, or bakers. The new tax scheme will force companies to demand its suppliers to register and comply with the regulations, otherwise they will face a tax increase, and won’t be able to back the expenses with the corresponding invoices.

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Any Publicity Is Good Publicity for Donald Trump

GOP Candidate Less Interested in Winning Than Boosting Celebrity Status

EspañolWe have to credit Salvador Dalí for coining the phrase “what’s important is that people talk about you, even if they only say good things,” but it’s safe to assume Donald Trump did not have the Spanish surrealism master in mind on June 16 when he announced he was running for president of the United States.

Although his campaign launch was itself surreal — he even had his grandson there with the same hairstyle, as some sort of “mini-me” that has become the butt of jokes on social media — the difference with Dalí is that the Republican hopeful thinks what’s important is that people talk about you, even if they only speak bad things.

There’s no other explanation for the real estate mogul’s unfortunate statements about Mexico and Mexicans. He had already sparked controversy when he said, weeks ago, that the US-Mexico border must be completely walled — all 3,185 kilometers.

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