BBC News – Argentina restricts online shopping as foreign reserves drop

35% tax on foreign credit card purchases and 50% tariff on any foreign purchase over $25. The real kick in the nards? Los Argentinos get to stand in line at a customs office for the privilege of paying these taxes. Curious to see how this plays out. Local businesses may benefit but black market will likely grow to fill void of foreign products.

BBC News – Argentina restricts online shopping as foreign reserves drop.

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Venezuela

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“Creíamos que el socialismo del siglo XXI no había sido capaz de crear al hombre nuevo. Pero no es cierto. El hombre nuevo existe. Es una bestia de rapiña. Se venía formando desde antes. El chavismo lo doctoró”.
– Tulio Hernández
Venezuelan sociologist and columnist for El Nacional

The quote is taken from the end of an article in El País on perceptions of social and political crisis in Venezuela. Well, the article is pretty clear what perception is most accurate – the author sees Venezuela on the fast track to an Escape From New York style post-apocalyptic anarchy. So with angry mobs of drivers taking control of the streets and people lining up around the block for toilet paper, is president Maduro -when not busy accusing the US of plotting his assassination- merely overseeing the final death knells of Chavismo? Or has the demise of the neo-Bolivarian dream been greatly exaggerated…?

May Day protests – Los Angeles Times: Framework

Shots by Lawrence K. Ho, Barbara Davidson, and Al Seib from the LA Times coverage of May Day protests in Downtown Los Angeles. Intriguing alliance between immigration / labor interests and the queer contingent. A growing blue collar Latino partnership with LGBTA activists undercuts assumptions that the political right will eventually be able to tap into conservative social values to build the Republican Hispanic base.

May Day protests – Framework – Photos and Video – Visual Storytelling from the Los Angeles Times.

Los Narco Boludos: Argentina Breaks Bad

A recent article in Foreign Policy outlines the rapid proliferation of drug trafficking in Argentina – a problem compounded by the geography of exposed borders, a strong European market, a strong domestic market, and the displacement of northern cartels from the continuation of militarized crackdowns in Mexico and Colombia. And as HELA discussed last month, the continued insistence of the US to stick to a painfully outdated and counterproductive drug policy that refuses to consider legalization has created breakdowns in cross-border cooperation between Argentine and US enforcement agencies.

Some highlights:

The new chorizo.

#1 in Customer Service: 95% of shipments reach their destination.

Busts over the past two years suggest that Spain is an especially popular entry point for drugs dispatched from Argentina. In April 2010, Spanish officials seized 800 kilograms of cocaine from a truck disguised as an official support vehicle for the Dakar Rally off-road race, later affirming that the drugs were loaded in Argentina. Last January, an executive jet piloted by two sons of Argentine dictatorship-era air force generals arrived in Barcelona from Argentina laden with 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, with the ties to the military piquing concern about institutional corruption. These busts suggest a clear transit route between the two countries and raise questions as to how such a high volume of drugs are exiting Argentina undetected. According to an official report compiled by Martin Verrier, a security advisor for Argentine congressman Francisco de Narvaez, 95 percent of the cocaine shipped from Argentina safely arrives at its destination. “In Argentina, the situation is such that narcotraffickers enter and exit without inconvenience,” laments Claudio Izaguirre, president of the Argentine Anti-Drugs Association, a Buenos Aires-based NGO.

Our prices can’t be beat! …and it’s great for tourism. Your study abroad stipend now covers a weekly six pack of Quilmes AND a daily dime bag of yayo. Sigue leyendo

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing | ThinkProgress

You PAID taxes...?? Jajaja.... the frontera is that guey pendejo.

This is exactly why we need to get them the hell out of here. Paying taxes is un-American! Just ask El Guante.

Duh.

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing | ThinkProgress.