Former Uruguayan president José Mujica recieves award at School of Economics

Former Uruguayan president José Mujica recieves award at School of Economics
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Current Senator and former President of Uruguay José “Pepe” Mujica was awarded a diploma distinguishing him as a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universidad de Buenos Aires School of Economics last night.

The ceremony took place at the UBA School of Economics despite a minor disturbance earlier that day in which university students cut off the street and demonstrated after a new dean was appointed despite “irregularities” in the voting process.

The ceremony began with a spirited introduction by the dean of UBA’s School of Social Sciences, Glenn Postolski, who spoke of Senator Mujica’s struggles during the Uruguayan dictatorship (1973-1985) and accomplishments throughout his political career. The crowd erupted in applause when Postolski mentioned the fact that Mujica legalized marijuana in an effort to combat drug trafficking during his time in office.

Following Postolski´s introduction, Mujica spoke briefly to the audience about Latin American unity and the need for a new system in order to confront the economic and political issues of the region today. “We lack the political will to integrate ourselves. Let´s face the facts,” affirmed Mujica in regards to regional affiliation.

The senator also called for the integration of Latin America’s universities, stating, “If we don´t start by integrating intelligence, we aren´t going to integrate a goddamned thing.”

“I know my language isn’t very academic,” added Mujica to the crowd’s amusement.

Mujica stressed the importance of “fighting to live,” saying that a human “is the only animal capable of taking its life into its own hands.”

In the end, Mujica, surrounded by a sea of smartphones and cameras, obliged the press by answering some questions and signing autographs before departing the university through the side garage in a silver Toyota.

By Joe Siess

US citizens trapped amidst Yemeni upheaval

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While everybody is fixated on Baltimore, the Middle East continues its slump into degeneracy. As Saudi slaughter of rebel Houthis ensues following a fierce altercation on the Saudi border Friday, hundreds of U.S. citizens remain trapped in Yemen amidst turmoil, as the Wall Street Journal reported last night.

On the home front, Baltimore basks in “victory” at the indictment of the six cops implicated in various crimes related to the death of Freddie Gray Meanwhile the Saudis, with the aid of the U.S. government, continue murdering civilians, and hundreds of U.S. citizens remain in the country.

According to the State Department, a rescue mission of U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen would place “U.S. military assets” at risk, and therefore is too risky given the involvement of the local al Qaeda branch, not to mention the instability of the unmitigated calamity that is the crisis in Yemen.

The U.S. typically evacuates its own citizens from conflict zones as things start to heat up, but the fact that Uncle Sam is leaving Americans in Yemen high and dry is testament to the gravity of this situation.

The Saudi`s started bombing the allegedly pro-Iranian rebel forces after a fierce skirmish on the border, resulting in the deaths of three Saudi troops and dozens of Houthi rebels. The Kingdom, in retaliation for the rebel strike, exacted vengeance upon Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, resulting in the deaths of 20 civilians on Friday.

The fact that this mess is spilling across the Saudi border while the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz, is restructuring the Saudi government should do wonders in the commodity markets. That´s right, say ciao to cheap oil if this whole thing gets any more unstable; which it will if the Saudis continue to blow up the poorest nation in the region, which suffers from a strong al Qaeda presence and no active government.

“These are serious changes that will have repercussions not only domestically but also internationally,” warned Khalil Jahshan, the executive director for the Arab Centre of Washington from Fairfax, Virginia. This “Political earthquake,” like the earthquake in Nepal, is serious, and deserves more attention than it´s currently getting.  “The Saudi Arabia we knew a few hours ago is no longer,” reported Al Jazeera, quoting Jahshan on Wednesday.

Alalysis by Joe Seiss

The sun rises in the East: War, investment and the AIIB

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American trend forecaster Gerald Celente’s quip that “As U.S. wages war, China wages business” is more reality than wit. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Xi Jinping visited Pakistan in preparation of a $46 billion investment in infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, the Obama administration remains mired in the backlash following the deaths of two Western hostages in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan back in January.

The Chinese-financed infrastructure projects further solidify Chinese relations with Pakistan, one of the prospective founding members of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The AIIB, a five-month-old initiative by the Chinese government to challenge the economic hegemony held by the U.S.-led International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The AIIB emerged in response to the U.S.’s refusal to reform the Bretton Woods system and amplify China’s voting influence in the IMF. China, with a GDP of $10 trillion, holds less of a stake in the Fund than countries with significantly smaller economies such as France. In response to U.S. arrogance, Beijing decided to take matters into its own hands in the formation of the AIIB. Judging by the international community’s rush to get in on the action, the new China-led bank seems to be off to a good start.

Some of the prospective founding members of the AIIB include some of the U.S.’s staunchest allies, including the British, French, Italians and Germans. Even Australia, Taiwan and the Israelis applied to join the AIIB. The international community has effectively isolated the U.S.; many justifying their actions by claiming that they’d rather be onboard with the Chinese than not have a say at all.

The trend is a major setback for the Obama administration, which failed to persuade its own allies to forgo the Chinese-led initiative. The U.S. also claims that the AIIB cannot be expected to maintain the same ethical and environment protocols characteristic of the IMF and World Banks.

The AIIB’s emergence in the global economic arena symbolizes an enormous shift in power. The Bank threatens U.S. financial credibility and hegemony in the eyes of the international community, and the more influence the AIIB accumulates the more isolated the United States will become from the rest of the world. As the infrastructure at home rots at its foundations, the U.S. dedicates 3.5% of its GDP to military expenditures.

So while the U.S. invests in war, supporting the Saudis in Yemen, and sending troops to the Ukraine under the auspices of Operation “Fearless Guardian”; the Chinese invest in infrastructure. As Washington desperately tries to salvage what is left of its waning political and economic global hegemony, the East seems to be gaining ground. As the sun sets in the West, it begins to rise in the East.

Analysis by Joseph Siess

Al Qaeda gains ground and oil amidst Yemeni Chaos

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Oh dear. Yesterday the Washington Post reported that al Qaeda successfully seized a strategic airport, sea port and al-Dhabah oil export facility in the south of Yemen after skirmishes with Yemeni troops.

According to officials who remained anonymous, al Qaeda combatants engaged one of the largest Yemeni infantry brigades on the outskirt of Mukalla, successfully driving the brigade away.

Apparently the military leaders in charge of the brigade fled at the sight of the combatants, and didn’t put up much of a fight. The fragmentation and multilateral war in Yemen is an ideal environment for al Qaeda to gain territory.

Al Qaeda also sprang one of its high-up officials from the Al Mukalla city prison after cleaning out the city bank. Al Qaeda’s principal rivals, the allegedly pro-Iranian Shiite Houthi rebels currently engaged with the Saudi Government, are too preoccupied to worry about the recent al Qaeda advance.

Essentially, the Saudis continue slaughtering innocents while allowing al Qaeda to run rampant and gain ground. The U.S. continues its support of the Saudi slaughter of the rebels, and at the same time U.S. drone strikes took out several al Qaeda members, including a high-ranking official, the New York Times reported. Uncle Sam is knee-deep in the game, and he isn’t fooling anyone.

This development in the Yemeni kerfuffle is big news, and certainly The President is losing some sleep over this one. One obvious reason being that it will indubitably lead to more instability in the already chaotic Middle East, and it’s safe to say that as this thing progresses, it’s ciao to cheap oil.

But wait. This thing keeps getting better and better. Today, Bloomberg reported that Yemeni loyalists to exiled president Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi have successfully wrestled control of yet another oil field in order to prevent it from falling into al Qaeda’s grasp, or Houthi hands at that.

As Yemen slumps further and further into degeneracy, and Saudi Arabia continues to blow the Houthi’s to smithereens and in the processes facilitating the advance of al Qaeda, this thing has the potential to get even crazier. It’s just a matter of time before the U.S. sticks its nose even deeper into the Yemeni chaos, delivering another solid dose of democratic drone therapy.

Analysis by Joseph Siess

The Ballad of the Greek Bust

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The clock is ticking on the Greek debt agreement, and the smell of impending default fills the air. The Financial Times reported on Monday that the Greek government is prepared to forego €2.5 billion worth of payments due to the IMF in the next couple months, effectively plunging the nation into default.

The southern European nation could potentially be the first domino to fall in the dissolution of the eurozone. The default would send a serious tremor through Europe’s short-lived economic union, and the ECB is poised to cut off the cheap money spigot, leaving the Greek financial sector high and dry fomenting greater economic tumult.

Today the Financial Times reports that German finance minister Wolfgang Shäuble shot down any inkling that there might be an accord between the leftist Syriza government and its creditors. Further, Standard & Poor, a rating agency, announced that as a result of the junk status of Greek bonds, Greece is probably not going to be able to pay anybody back, let alone the IMF.

The gloom and doom factor here is that Greece is nearly incapable of paying out pensions and salaries for public sector workers, and as a leftist government, the decision to sell out the people to pay off the IMF is risky. With that being said, and due to the fact that the Germans wash their hands of this whole nasty thing, all that is really left to do is wait for the smoke to clear.

The question still remains of whether or not the Greeks will stay in the eurozone or if the “Grexit” will ensue. Public opinion in Greece indicates that an immense amount of Greeks, or 82 percent support Greece remaining in the monetary union.

With the Germans turning their backs on the “radical” Syriza government, and the ECB preparing to cut off the cash, all that that the cradle of democracy can do is to accept the honor of being the first deadbeat nation in the developed world.

The ballad of the Greek bust is an unprecedented story for the 21st century, and anybody not paying attention to this thing is missing history. The aftermath of this Greek financial tragedy has the potential to rock and roil the very foundations of the global financial system, and no doubt a great transformation is on the horizon.

Analysis by Joe Siess