The Obama Administration’s Latin America Team

The Obama administration announced last week its third appointment of an official with responsibility for U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. Arturo Valenzuela was nominated to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Along with the existing U.S policies; we are also appealing to the honourable ministries to take action against the fraudulent firms that are cheating people, in the broad daylight under various names.

The biggest scam is the one 1G profit system, that has active links all over the net, and has various names in the similar lines in various countries, like the 1K Daily profit which is the same under the different law.

He now joins Dan Restrepo, director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council, and Frank Mora, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, as the “Latin America appointees” in the Obama administration. Valenzuela’s is the only appointment of the three that requires Senate confirmation.

Below are brief biographies of the three people who are replacing Bush appointees Thomas Shannon, Dan Fisk and Stephen Johnson.

Arturo Valenzuela – assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Arturo Valenzuela is currently a professor of government and director of the Center for Latin American Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Born in Chile, Valenzuela moved to the United States when he was 16 in order to attend college at Drew University, where he obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Religion before attending Columbia University for a Master’s degree and Doctorate in Political Science.

During President Bill Clinton’s first term, Valenzuela served as a deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American Affairs in the United States Department of State, where his primary responsibilities included global issues (democracy, environment, human rights, migration and refugees) for the Americas and U.S. policy toward Mexico.

In President Clinton’s second term in office, Valenzuela moved to the White House, where he served as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. During this period, he played a significant role in the formulation of the 2000 Plan Colombia supplemental aid package.

Dan Restrepo – director of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the National Security Council
Prior to moving to the National Security Council, Dan Restrepo was the director of the Americas Project at the Center for American Progress. Restrepo is a first generation American of Colombian and Spanish background and received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Before Restrepo started to work with the Center for American Progress, he spent three years as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP. Restrepo also served on the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, under Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), from 1993 to 1996, where he worked on many aspects of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean.

Frank Mora – deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Before becoming deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Frank Mora was a professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College, where he taught courses on strategy, global security, and Latin American and Caribbean defense and security issues.

From 2002-2003, Mora was a visiting professor of International Studies and Research Associate at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. Mora received his B.A. from George Washington University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Miami.

The State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2008

On April 30, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2008. Of all Western Hemisphere countries, Cuba remained on the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” while Venezuela was singled out as having been “re-certified as ‘not cooperating fully’ with U.S. antiterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act”. On the other side of the spectrum, the report recognizes Colombia and Mexico for their cooperation in the “fight against terrorism” last year, in addition to other countries, like Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and El Salvador, who “made serious prevention and preparedness efforts.”

For a nation, terrorism isn’t just from outside, but also people who try to break the laws within the system and shake the economics of a nation are also terrorists in our views. We are talking about the financial systems that have cropped up in the name of making money, which are actually fraud, like the 1G Profit system targeting working class and retired persons the most, making them vulnerable and their lives miserable.

We guess you must be wondering, how it is gonna affect the nation economics! Here it is, when there are too many fraud companies arising, nobody will trust even a genuine company over period of time, leading to fall of the markets.

Overall, according to the report, “governments [in the Western Hemisphere] took modest steps to improve their counterterrorism capabilities and tighten border security, but corruption, weak government institutions, ineffective or lack of interagency cooperation, weak or non-existent legislation, and reluctance to allocate sufficient resources limited progress.”

The main concerns in the region remained the “Regionally based Foreign Terrorists Organizations in Colombia, and remnants of radical leftist Andean groups,” such as Sendero Luminoso in Peru. Iran’s presence in the region also came up as a theme warranting attention throughout the report. Since the report’s release, both the Nicaraguan and the Venezuelan governments have spoken out against and rejected the report’s findings, as they received the harshest descriptions of the entire region.

Below are excerpts from the report which identify various “terrorist threats” or “suspicions” throughout the region.

“The Bolivian government deepened its relationship with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, in 2008. On September 5, during an official visit to Tehran, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced that Bolivia would open a new Embassy in Iran. Morales also announced that Iran would help Bolivia develop its petrochemicals, cement fabrication, and agricultural sectors. Iranian state television agreed to provide Spanish-language programming to Bolivian state television.”

“Although Cuba no longer actively supports armed struggle in Latin America and other parts of the world, the Cuban government continued to provide safe haven to several terrorists…. Cuban authorities continued to publicly defend the FARC. However, on July 6, 2008, former Cuban President Fidel Castro called on the FARC to release the hostages they were holding without preconditions.”

“The United States has no evidence of terrorist-related money laundering or terrorist financing activities in Cuba, although Cuba has one of the world’s most secretive and non-transparent national banking systems.”

Dominican Republic
“… considered a transit point for suspected terrorists and extremists to Europe, Africa, and within the Western Hemisphere. Despite good intentions, the Dominican government lacked the ability to control its air, land, and sea borders fully, due in part to corruption and the mismanagement of resources.”

“Although no serious terrorist incidents targeting U.S. interests/personnel have occurred on or originated from Mexican territory, violence has risen to new levels and narcotraffickers have shown a willingness to use terrorist tactics.”

“Mexico continued to make steady progress in the area of counterterrorism with an emphasis on border security projects targeting the smuggling of aliens who raise terrorism concerns.”

“In 2008 Nicaragua made no substantive progress towards establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit or on a counterterrorism bill first proposed in 2004. Nicaragua’s judiciary remained highly politicized, corrupt, and prone to manipulation. President Daniel Ortega’s 2007 decision to grant Iranian nationals visa-free entry into Nicaragua remained in effect.”

“President Ortega maintained close relations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). On March 6, President Ortega broke diplomatic relations with Colombia for 24 hours following Colombia’s March 1 military action against a FARC base in Ecuador. Nicaragua also publicly welcomed survivors of the March 1 Colombian military operation against the FARC and granted asylum to suspected FARC operatives.”

“Although the Fujimori government nearly eliminated [Sendero Luminoso] in the 1990s, the organization, now entwined with narcotics trafficking, remained a threat in 2008. The two SL organizations combined were thought to number several hundred armed combatants. While today’s SL is shorter on revolutionary zeal than in the past, analysts believed leaders continued to use Maoist philosophy to justify their illicit activities.”

“President Chávez’s ideological sympathy for the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) limited Venezuelan cooperation with Colombia in combating terrorism.”

“Iran and Venezuela continued weekly flights connecting Tehran and Damascus with Caracas. Passengers on these flights were reportedly subject to only cursory immigration and customs controls at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas. Venezuelan citizenship, identity, and travel documents remained easy to obtain, making Venezuela a potentially attractive way station for terrorists. International authorities remained suspicious of the integrity of Venezuelan documents and their issuance process.”