Chilean Miner Patents Message Signalling they were Alive

Estamos bien en el réfugio los 33

Message of the 33 - Source: Wikipedia

Apparently, the message with which the 33 miners in Chile signalled to the world that they are alive was written on a piece of paper and read “Estamos Bien En El Réfugio Los 33” (The 33 are safe in the sanctuary) has been patented. Writes the Argentinian newspaper Los Andes:

The famous phrase “estamos bien en el refugio los 33”, written by one of the miners trapped in the mine San José as a signal of life 17 days after the collapse that trapped them, was entered into the registry of intellectual property of Chile to protect the author’s intellectual rights.

The little paper, written in block-letters with a red pen was exhibited these days by the President Sebastián Piñera, who since then has guarded it like an amulet.

The patent has been entered on the name of the miner who wrote the message, José Ojeda by Chilean writer and sociologist Pablo Huneeus who has done so on request of the former. “My motivation to register the phrase was to see that the president of the Republic not pocket the creation of a worker”, said Huneeus. He further thinks that the president needs to return the paper to the author, since right now he was utilising a stolen property. The president seems to have the view that this creation belongs to all Chileans.

It seems that text and its appearance are now patented. This means no commercialising on T-shirts, mugs, towels or the like without permission of the patent holder.

Venezuela and China Sign New Cooperation Treaties

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

From El Nacional:

The Republic of Venezuela and the People’s Republic of China on Saturday signed new treaties for cooperation and improvement of bilateral ties, during a working session of the President of Venezuela with the delegation from Asia.

Both nations signed seven new treaties in the field of oil, technology and infrastructure.

In accordance with recent remarks from the Ministry of Pubic Works and Housing (Mopvi in Spanish), Diosdado Cabello, an important support from China in infrastructure projects is planned, like the construction and maintainance of railways and housing.

In the meeting the Venezuelan president expressed his condolences to the Chinese people:

The dignitary expressed regrets to the people of China for theterrible hours which obliged the president to suspend his voyage” due to the earthquake which cost the live of more than a 1000.

“This tragedy which we feel as well in our hearts and minds, represent a hurt that we sharing” he added.

“Despite the tragedy we decided to not postpone these treaties which have a high social, political and economical importance which are easily overlooked.”

These treaties seem to be important to both countries. China is looking mainly for oil and Venezuela wants to put a satellite into space. As Hugo Chavez said:

Chávez aseguró que la relación entre ambas repúblicas van ‘desde la búsqueda del petróleo hasta el satélite Simón Bolívar”.

Source: El Nacional.

Russia to invest in Argentinian Nuclear Power

Russian President Medvedev is currently visiting Argentina. On his visit contracts  or the development of nuclear power in Argentina were signed by representatives of the two countries. Ria Novosti writes:

Russia intends to invest in Argentina, in atomic energy alone, a few billion dollars, said President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at a press conference with his Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Medvedev noted that many documents were signed today , and now the main task was to implement them.

“Let’s say, for example about nuclear power, that the arrival of a Russian company, Rosatom, on the market of Argentina would involve several billions of dollars of investments in the creation of the appropriate power blocks, as well as infrastructure development,” – said Medvedev.

He noted that such projects usually create a multiplier effect, developing not only the energy, but also creating new jobs, creating new projects and helping develop the business environment.

After signing the agreements on cooperation, they held a common press conference. La Nacion quotes:

This is the first president of Russia in the 200 years of the State, and he is received by the first elected female president of Argentina, and it rains, ” said Cristina Kirchner.

Medvedev replied: “Coincidentally, this visit is accompanied by certain good signs, including the rain.”

President Medvedev arrived in Buenos Aires with an extensive agenda centered on enhancing the bilateral interchange in nuclear material and on the developing the military cooperation to peaceful ends. He was accompanied by a numerous delegation of entrepreneurs and officials, writes La Nacion.

Argentina to use Central Bank’s Reserves to pay Debt

From La Nacion:

La Justicia habilitó al Poder Ejecutivo a tomar las reservas del Banco Central para pagar deuda.

Tal como lo había anticipado LA NACION el miércoles pasado, las salas I y VI de la Cámara Contencioso Administrativo dejaron sin efecto dos medidas cautelares por las cuales la jueza Claudia Rodríguez Vidal había suspendido la vigencia del decreto 298/10. En principio, desde ayer no hay obstáculos para que el Poder Ejecutivo tome 4300 millones de dólares del BCRA que estaban bajo el amparo de la citada norma.

The Court enabled the executive power to take the Central Bank’s reserves to pay the [country’s] debt.

As was predicted by La Nacion last Wednesday,  I and VI of the Camara Contencioso Administrativa declared without effect the precautionary measures with which judge Claudio Rodriguez Vidal had suspended the validity of the decret 298/10. In principle, as of yesterday there are no obstacles for the Executive to take 4,300 million dollars from the BCRA which fall under  the provisions of cited norm.

This is an interesing development. However, the story probably doesn’t end here:

Los diputados de la oposición convocaron a una sesión para el 7 de abril para derogar esa norma, pero los fallos de ayer asestan un duro golpe a esa estrategia: es probable que para entonces el dinero en juego o parte de él haya sido usado.

The representatives of the opposition will call a session for April 7 to cancel the norm [298/10], however yesterdays rulings strike a hard blow to this strategy: It is likely that by then the money in question or part thereof has already been used.

Apart from the idea to use the reserves of one’s central bank to pay the countries debt, which I think is rather unique, this is an interesting story because it has a somewhat twisted history.

It starts with the firing of the head of the central bank, Martín Redrado, who is a Harvard graduate, because he refused to follow an order of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to free the reserves for said purpose. However, a court sacked the decision and reinstated Mr. Redrado. Not much later Mr. Martín Redrado resigned, though.

Replacing him was Mercedes Marco del Pont, who is a Yale graduate. She is still – as far as I am aware in the process of being confirmed by the Argentine parliament. However, she has already tried to execute the order mentioned above – but it was blocked then by the court also mentioned above.

Note that Argentina needs to re-pay its foreign debt or it will default on them (again) and according to President Kirchner:

“It’s much better to use the reserves than to take loans at 15% interest.”

Of course, most people who insist on central bank ‘independence’ (from government) do not agree with this position.

In Brazil 65% of Banks Think Worst is Over

The Brazillian Banker’s organization, Febraban (Federação Brasileira de Bancos) has conducted a survey among 30 banks. Apparently, 65% of those think that the Brazilian economy has hit the bottom and that it was on the way to recovery.

Rubens Sardenberg, he chief -economist of Febraban said, “We have seen an important recovery during the last months.”

At the same time, Febraban reduced forecasts for Brazil’s 2009 GDP justifying this with a “correction” in light of the “average of forecasts of the financial markets”.

Yeah sure, Rubens. GDP down, industrial production down, jobs down, salaries down. However, the banks’ shares are up, so everything is ok.

[Source: Folha Online, Brazil]

Industrial Production Falls in Argentina

For the fifth consecutive month, industrial production fell in Argentina. In May a fall of 1.7% as compared to the same month a year earlier was recorded, said Indec, the Argentinian government statistics body.

In their monthly distributed bulletin Estimador Mensual Industrial (EMI), Indec pointed out that production in May fell 0.2% as compared to April of this year.
The fall was particularly pronounced for steel and aluminium producers which fell 35.2%  year-to-year in May.
The automakers production fell 20.7%, textil industry 12.2% and petrol refineries by 5.4% in the same period.

Not all was bad, however. The chemical industry (12.7%), food & beverages (11%), plastics (10.1%), paper (6.8%) did increase production in the period in question.

These are the official government statistics. The Fundación de Investigaciones Económicas Latinoamericanas (FIEL) has other figures which are more dramatic than the Indec’s.

[Source: La Gaceta, Argentina]

Fidel is Upset With the US

In one of his open letters, titled ‘Reflections of Comrade Fidel’, which are regularly published on Granma the Cuban government’s newspaper, Fidel Castro let’s the world know, what he thinks of Cuban spies in America.

Ridiculous Answer to a Defeat

Yesterday afternoon, while I was analyzing at great length Obama’s speech at the Islamic University of Cairo, strange news arrived via the news agencies about the arrest of two retired persons of more than 70 years of age who were accused to have spied for the Cuban government during 30 years. Almost all important news outlets of the Western world, eight of them, ran this story.

The persons accused are Walter Kendall Myers and his wife Gwendolyn Steingraber Mysers. The first worked as specialist for European affairs; and that in 1995, 14 years ago, they traveled to Cuba, at that occasion they were received by me. During that time, I have met thousands of Northamericans for different motives, individually and in groups, occasionally with groups of several hundereds of them, as, for example, the students that traveled to Cuba in cruise semester on the sea project, for this reason I can hardly remember details of a meeting with two persons. I realize now why George W. Bush prohibited students of the cruise to continue visisting Cuba; during many hours they talked with me, although they belonged to families of the upper middle-class.

The prosecutions maintains that the couple  received numerous decorations, but admits at the same time that they never sought money or personal benefits.

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