Interview with Roberto Centeno

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Mr Centeno is the former CEO of the oil company CAMPSA and also worked as the general director of the Spanish energy company ENAGAS. He has also been an Economy professor at la Escuela de Minas of the UPM. Currently, he participates in both written and broadcast media, writing articles for El Confidencial and Alerta Digital among others. Lately, he has worked as an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign to attract the Latino vote during the 2016 Presidential Race.

What professional activity do you develop today?

RC: Well, I have worked all my life in the oil sector, as CAMPSA’s CEO, and nowadays in an Italian oil company, which belongs to the Moratti family. At same time, I am a professor at the Escuela de Minas of the UPM.

Which was the main reason that motivated you to collaborate in Donald Trump’s campaign for the Presidency of the US?  

RC: At the beginning of July, a friend, closely related to Texan oil sector and with whom I had worked in the past, proposed me to collaborate in Donald Trump’s campaign to the Presidency of the United States. My job was to advise him on how to attract the Hispanic vote, of huge importance in several key states and Trump’s major Achilles heel. I accepted this offer because I believed in his economic policy. Although I strongly reject the way in which he expresses himself, which is certainly not the most appropriate.

I must say that in some areas he has listen to me but certainly in other aspects he has not. We must have on mind, that something which all his team knew was that Trump always does what he wants and his words and actions are guided by his instinct.

Do you believe that the Trump we saw during his campaign is the same as the President-elect Trump?

No, Trump has led a campaign targeted to all those who felt unsatisfied and discontent, to those who felt disappointed with the system and the country’s actual situation. With his message, he has connected better than anyone with a vast part of the population which felt let down by Obama’s government. Trump has been really intelligent in the sense that he has spread a very demagogic message which has been really effective. For example, Trump said he was going to stop illegal immigration, though to achieve this he was going build a wall along the US-Mexico border and expel 11 million illegal immigrants. Certainly, these are very extreme and impacting messages which obviously are impossible to accomplish, but were impacting and effective enough to convince his voters. Personally, I persuaded him not to promise things which he was not going to be able to achieve. To sum up, he has used a deliberately provoking and impacting language that has nourished many headlines in his speech against the establishment. Despite this, Trump has now made a 180-degree change. Since his first speech as President-elect he has radically changed his tone and some of his promises.

Do you think that public-opinion surveys and election forecasters misread the outcome of the presidential race? Did you believe in Trumps victory before the electoral results came out?

RC: Most of the polls were managed by the establishment powers and transmitted what people wanted to hear. The American media did not understand how deep the discontent of the working and middle class was. Since last August I was convinced of his victory because I’m aware of the discontent that Europe is experiencing too. It was also predictable the result of the Brexit referendum in the UK. Orban’s victory in Hungary also reflects not populism but that people are fed up of the fact that children are living worse than their parents did in the past, because of the establishment politicians incapacity to give solutions to their major problems.

Which changes will we see in relation to US Foreign Policy?

RC: His priority is the destruction of ISIS. First, he has warned Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop funding this terrorist organization. Secondly, he is going to end with ISIS dedicating 30 000 terrestrial forces with the help of Putin in the offensive. He believes that this combined action will defeat ISIS in weeks.

It is outstanding his intention to improve US-Russia relations. His approach to Putin can reshape the order of the world. Moreover, Cuba is one of his recent concerns if China pretends to intervene in the maintenance of the Communist regime in the island. Around a 20% of Cubans have emigrated to US and the openness of the country will affect them directly.

Will the US remain as the guarantor of international peace?

RC: In relation to the American action in foreign conflicts things are going to change. I believe NATO as we know it now will disappear. I mean, Trump has clearly said that if its members want to keep NATO alive then everyone should contribute the same, that is 2% of their GDP.  At the same time, he plans to cut 600 billion dollars in military expending together with the closing of some bases abroad. I believe he is looking for a great defence agreement with Putin which will be turning point in International Relations, finishing with Obama’s boycott to Putin.

In relation to his Economic Policy, what would highlight from his plan to boost the economy?

RC:  Trump will dedicate himself in body and soul to his main promise: “Make America Great Again”. As positive points, the tax reform will reduce taxes mainly to the middle and working classes and will eliminate federal taxes on the poorest 74 million people. Multinational companies will pay taxes in the US and all domestic tax havens will come to an end. He pursuits a New Deal plan with a huge infrastructure investment which will create employment and richness. Having on mind, that the US unemployment rate is only around 4.9%, which can be considered full employment, the result will be a rise in wages which could negatively affect the American economy with a rise of inflation and interest rates.

Could his protectionist measures affect negatively US bilateral relations with the European Union?

RC: Trump is going to act strongly against China because it has been constantly applying abusive exchange rates to their trading affairs with the US. He will probably apply a 45% tax to these transactions to stop Chinese products from invading American markets.

On the contrary, Spanish construction companies will profit from the 1-billion-dollar expense of the infrastructure plan of his New Deal program. Companies such ACS, Ferrovial and OHL are leading references in the US.

Pence and Giuliani defend the idea that Trump has many thig in common with Reagan, the icon of Republicans. Do you agree with this idea?

RC: No I don’t agree with them. In fact, differences between them are bigger than resemblances. What he really wants is to be the Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the 21st Century. He wants to emulate his greatness and well known image and the only way to do this is to count on the best team. He is surrounding himself with whom he thinks are the very best and better prepared for their task, no matter if they are friends or adversaries, like Mitt Romney, no matter their race or background.

 

 Who do you think will be appointed as the new Secretary of State?

RC: As I have already said, he will probably offer the State Department to Mitt Romney, one of his most fervent detractors during the race to the White House. And the one who used the worst disqualifications towards him such as “phony” and a “con man.” Indeed, he was the spokesman for the Republican segment who turned their back against him. In my opinion Trump is showing his most generous side by giving his toughest adversary the most preeminent position of his government. He is showing the world how pragmatic he can be.

Reaching success

MIAMI- Fede Annito… sales manager of Bayer, pharmaceutical company responsible for the marketing of drugs.

Said that for reach success in what you do you, you must have love and high sense of commitment saying that she thinks that has been the key, the taste for what you do takes you to the pursuit of excellence.
It is very important to select a team of people prepared and committed to the achievement of the objectives of the company.

Planning, motivation, achievement, respect the criteria of each of the members of her team has enabled us to achieve excellent results, placing them in the top of nationwide sales.
Every day she feels very happy because her life allowed her to belong to a very prestigious company in the area of health.

She plans her activities, in order of priority to fulfill all the tasks in the manner most efficient possible.
Happy with what she has and always willing to give it best of her.
Saying: “I love working with people of other nationalities, you learn a lot of the culture, customs and lifestyles of other countries. It’s like traveling without mounted in an airplane, each country has its charm and the most important is the human resource that can through its expression and feelings that let us know more worldwide among my strengths”

Annito thinks that her strong points are her high sense of commitment to life, her family and her work, she owes them her best and her very positive mind.
She feels that we create what we think and that everything is possible, that you just need to believe it and work to ensure that things are achieved.

“I’m proactive, disciplined, consistent with the word and deed, I am sincere, and extremely strict and front.” That is how she describes herself.
The key challenge for her was to lift her area when she started, that team was at the bottom of the raking in sales, she had to make several adjustments to the sales team since in her opinion they were using inappropriate strategies and were devoid of supervision and accompaniment and very discouraged. Then apply the changes established one period not longer than 6 months would be in the of the ranking. She and her team reach the first place and they still keep it.

She speaks Spanish and English.

Seeing the company in the next few years keeping leadership that has for years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Her parents have a great cornerstone in her life, they always had been by her side supporting her with all the love in her decisions and projects, saying “they are the best parents in the world my daily motivation” She wants her child has her example of struggle and perseverance and who will never miss anything.

 

She is very close to all the employees of the company from the lower hierarchy up to the President. Her best moment was the day that she saw at a management meeting in the presentation of the results at her area first, she felt that all the efforts of the first few months had paid off.

In the company they do activities that allow them to express what they feel for each other and always her team conclude that she very strict but she has great human quality.

Apart from her work, she is studying Chinese, works out, reads, and loves the Cinema. The goal she slopes over the medium term is independence, to set up a family business.

By: Stefano D’Addosio

How I actually became happy

After being turn down by so many embassies, I finally got the idea to look for someone in my own country but that could also give me his testimony about her life and work in North America. Lina Khasem, 32, a journalist for a Moroccan newspaper and a blog writer in her free time and who is specialized in North America accepted to answer some of my questions and explain me how did she end up being a journalist.

Ms. Khasem, since her young age had a passion when it came to writing, unfortunately, her parents didn’t accept to pay her this kind of studies. She worked hard in her last year of high school and ended up getting a scholarship for a university in Canada.

There she chooses to major in journalism, but her love for her birth country made her come back even if she really appreciated the country and the culture that she got to discover there .“To be honest I kind of feel like home there, they are so many people from so different country that every time that a met a group of people I actually felt like home because I would find some Moroccan. That what I loved in Canada, her multicultural side”.

However, her love for this country and how she actually wanted to compare her country to Canada made her specialize in Canada. Now she right articles about what is happening there and tries to compare it in some opinion article which what is happening in Morocco so that she could make some changes. She added that it was hard for her to find a job as women, but then she persevered and ended up finding one, where she could deliver news about North America and at the same time exercise her favorite thing, writing.

Even though she couldn’t stay in Canada, she told me that writing about it made her remember her time there, and that when she could, usually thanks to her job, she went there to get more and more experience, not only as a journalist that write article but as someone who was there and almost lived it.”Being on the field was one of my favorite part of the job, I got to interview people like your doing now” and she even confesses to me “To be honest the first time that I had to interview someone I was so stressed that I forgot my name” she said as she laughed.

As our interview was going, we started talking about politics and what is happening now in the world, and of course, we felt oblige to talk about Trump being elected. “I feel like American want something but are doing the opposite to get it. People are starting to complain about Trump being elected when they didn’t vote in the first place” she also explained me, that she didn’t really think that Trump would be that horrible as a president in her opinion.”I think that the US is strong and that Trump won’t be able to actually do something that bad because he knows that if he does million of people would hate him like they hated bush after the invasion of Iraq”.

The following subject was about refugees she then started with “ I hoped we would have the chance to talk about that, this subject affect me a lot, not only as an Arab or a Muslim but specially as a Human being” she continued “I think that Canada is an example for all the other countries in the world when it comes to the problem of refugees, none of their governmental parties has a non-refugee program, and the fact that they are trying to make them efficacy is even better because they help people in need and at the same time help their country”. With that part, we had to finish our interview because she had some other schedule. But she said to me before going “I realized my dream by working hard, and to be honest it’s not the easiest thing when you’re a women here, however it makes me happy, so you should do your possible to end up doing what you like even though it’s not something that pays that well, but something that make you happy and not regretting your choice.”

With her last sentence, I got moved because I realized that by being a journalist she ended up doing what she liked and that she doesn’t regret it even if its hard sometimes. It makes me realize that I should do the same.

A welcoming country

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Syrian refugees on the Serbia-Hungary border. (Thomas Campean/Anadolu Agency/Getty)

Canada has admitted over 1.2 million refugees since the end of the Second World War.

And between 2003 and 2013, Canada was the second country that accepted the biggest amount of refugees.

Why would they welcome so many of them ? And Is there a real benefice by having them in there country ?

Canada has always been known as a diverse country. And that when it comes to culture, nationality or religions. Their policies are mainly focused on humanitarian values of compassion and fairness, so, they see like a moral obligation to protect all those people who escaped from their dangerous and difficult countries.

They also play and active role inside the international community as they help with address emerging challenges and, with help of various memberships, alliances and agreements, it looks like they are advancing in a social, political and economic ways.

While an anti-immigration attitude is spreading through many Western countries, Canada seems ready to welcome as many Syrian refugees as possible. Most of Canadians feel that multiculturalism is one of the country’s most significant symbols, being one of the few countries in the world where no political party has an anti-immigration platform. Trudeau’s government has expanded Canada’s intake of refugees fleeing Syria during the past year, resettling over 34,000 refugees.

As a supporter of sponsorship I believe that private citizens can accomplish significantly more than the government alone, raising the number of refugees admitted, guiding newcomers more effectively and potentially helping to resettle Muslims in Western countries. Furthermore, I think that the Canadian sponsorship system should be extended to other counties across the world.

Unlike what happens in other countries refugees that enter Canada do not live in camps but in houses which are provided by the government along with free medical care and job assistance. In my opinion one the most significant evidence that illustrates Canadian’s humane approach towards the newcomers is that once refugees enter the country they are considered permanent residents and are able to ultimately become regular citizens. Sadly, in most of the European countries which have welcomed refugees, these haven’t been able to integrate and are seen as “outsiders”.

Steeling 25.000 Syrian refugees in Canada will cost 1.2 billion over the next 6 years.Steeling 25.000 Syrian refugees in Canada will cost 1.2 billion over the next 6 years. The real question is if its really worth the price. I will say YES!

For Canadian their are some important benefit while welcoming a big amount of refugees.
First of all we know that some part of Canada as really low rate when it come to population and that there is less and less young people and more old one.

One of the other benefits that actually come along the population is an economic one. All those refugees are known to come from a country that is known for its relatively skilled work force. Its can be helpful to Canada and their regions that have been struggling with long term stagnation.
I personally think that the fact that Canada welcome so much refugees and that they also find a way to make them useful not only for them but also for the country is actually a wonderful thing.

But, in my opinion, receiving refugees its not always a good idea.

And why I think that?

Because we are all human beings, some people have really good intentions, some of them have really bad ones, and when you have to leave your country to search for a new life, you create inside of you different kind of feelings between love, happiness, joy and nice things that makes you move on and be grateful for having the opportunity to star a new life with hard work, effort, and wiling to go on.

The problem is when you go on with your ways of living, thinking you can do the things you were used to do before.

Let’s try to compare immigrants and refugees in all the countries, they share something in common, they leaved their country, but when your leave your country, you absolutely will never leave your way of thinking because that is who we are even being in different places.

One clear example is Miami, there is a place in Miami that is called El Doral, there is where a lot of Venezuelans think to go when they seek to leave Venezuela, and where a lot of them are already there.

Me and my family have a house close there in a place that is called Cutler Bay, and you can really see the difference between this two places, because the way of thinking of some of the Venezuelans has nothing to with the Americans one, and there are other that get along with the American living.

So it is really hard for me to say if taking refugees or not taking them is good because each one of us have different ways of doing things and different ways of thinking.

 

By Sarra El Oufir, Valentina Foroni and Stefano Antonio D’addosio.

Corrupt Ex Mexican state governor on the run

Mexican prosecutors try to arrest the missing former governor of Veracruz for embezzlement, fraud and arson, creating public outcry.


  Javier Duarte has vanished amid allegations of public extortion where 3 thousand and 300 million pesos has gone missing through ‘shell companies’ linked with organised crime.

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Javier Duarte, Former Governor of Veracruz before he disappeared –Marco Ugarte/Associated press.

Prosecutors in Mexico seek to incarcerate the ex-governor, who resigned his governing position earlier this month, after the Federal attorney general disclosed that it would be investigating two corruption cases. Duarte whom has been missing for 49 days is under scrutiny as well as others for the suspicion of corruption and illegal advancement. However, their innocence has been testified.

Javier Duarte resigned as governor a week ago to prove his innocence towards the disappearance of the state funds. The state judge disclosed an arrest warrant for him on  money-laundering charges but Mr. Duarte vanished before he could be taken into custody.

The Gulf state of Veracruz,Mexico, suffered greatly during nearly six years of governing from Javier Duarte.  Crime tripled – including media massacres of 16 journalists, designating Veracruz as the most dangerous place for journalists to work. Millions of dollars aimed at improving  social institutions were transferred to private ‘phantom’ companies. Seniors marched in protest after their pensions had plundered. Javier Duarte’s case has riled Veracruz, becoming the most current, crucial suit in need of investigation and clarification.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party has stripped Duarte of his party rights after his political class has protected him for more than five years.

“The former governor of Veracruz did not attend the appointment. Neither responded to the trades that sent him three weeks to their offices in that state.By not responding to the call of the Commission (the party) has lost its right to be heard and their rights of defence, according to establishing the Party Constitution,” concluded the report card from the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Two governors along with Javier Duarte have been found guilty of corruption, which they too have denied.  Leading one governor from the National Action Party, to also disappear last week after he was found guilty.

Director Hilario Barcelata, of the public finance observatory at Universidad Veracruzana, explains the current government finance situation in Mexico.



“The state government turned into a criminal organisation that handled the state finances however they felt like doing,”  said Mr. Barcelata, director at the University of Veracruz. “But this was only possible due to complicity with the federal government.”



 Two years ago, a report evidenced that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s wife had bought a luxury mansion from a government contractor on ‘highly favourable terms’, without claiming where the cash originated.  Since then, corruption in Mexican states has become the central topic in politics, creating public disgust and an outcry for a new moral,political system.

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Journalists at the Angel of Independence, fighting for journalistic justice and the killings of other journalists including Rubén Espinosa. (Knightcenter Journalistic Blog)

The national government is aiming to strengthen Mexico’s anticorruption laws, but it has proven to be difficult and will not become operational for more than a year. Mexican President argues in his speech, that the country’s corruption is a social problem and that all Mexicans share the blame.

“There is nobody who can dare to cast the first stone,” he declared on September the 28th. “Everybody has been part of a model that we are shaking off and want to change.”

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, told Radio Fórmula on Wednesday that officials are not sure where Javier Duarte is but believe that he may have used a government helicopter to flee the Gulf coast state. Prosecutors are preparing an international warrant for his arrest if Duarte has been found to have left Mexico.

Currently, officials argue that they will go a long way in order to prohibit any future governor from doing what Mr. Duarte has done, with or without anticorruption laws.

By Veronika Kennedy, Sarra El Oufir, Valentina Foroni and Stefano Antonio D’addosio.

Border Death Sentence

Tensions on the U.S – Mexico border have led to 6000 Deaths and counting of Migrants since 2000, designating it as the principle Humanitarian crisis. 

MEXICO –  Vulnerable and desperate migrants including women and young children have fled their home in search for refuge in the U.S, from brutal Governments and gangs in some of the deadliest countries in Central America – only to be sent back.

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The difference between two countries with only a few metres that separate them. Source:CBP. gov

Mexican authorities have increased security, patrols and mass deportations along the U.S and Mexican border since 2014, to control the influx of illegal immigration. Consequently, this has provoked migrants to return to their origin by taking risky and remote routes where they are victims encountered with kidnappings, rape, robbery and death.

According to the Guardian, last year 165,000 migrants were deported from Mexico, whilst 75,000 were sent away from the U.S. The American Border Control estimated that nearly 445 people died trying to cross the border – yet these estimates are still considered too low.

Children and women make up the largest population of those that attempt to cross the border, not only from violence but also from poverty and corruption. Returned upon their arrival, many are killed within weeks and even days of being deported to countries with the world’s highest crime and murder rates; essentially in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Corrupt Governments and gang violence has increasingly become so dangerous in CentralAmerica that families and even unaccompanied children are scavenging and slowly deteriorating in what Amnesty International calls a ‘War Zone’.


“They kill people all the time”

Exclaims Glenda Flores, mother of two from Honduras. Source: Dallas News

Honduran mother of two Glenda Flores fights for humanitarian relief by asking for sanctuary for her and her family. “Honduras is simply too violent”, she said. “They kill people all the time” said Glenda.  Authorities claim that though violence is a major factory for many women like Glenda Flores, poverty and the need to reunite with family members already in the U.S are duly some of the primary leading factors.

“Undocumented migrants make perfect victims. Fearful of authorities, they are highly unlikely to report even violent crimes, such as robbery or rape.”  Mary Speck, Former Senior Analyst in Mexico told Los Angeles Times.

The U.S government and the Obama fund foundation have pledged $750 million to expand further development in Central America this year, especially for children.  “Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region,” announced Jed Johnson from the DHS.

Increasing numbers of refugees escaping from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have surpassed more than 108,000 since last year  more than five times larger than in the last three years, as conveyed by UNHCR figures.

With the recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the yet expected flood of 40,000 Haitian refugees it is unclear as to what Border Control of  either side of the border will do. Authorities in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have increased the number of refuge centres accepting deported Migrants for a limited amount of days, providing snacks, free phone calls and water and to some extent a free bus fare home.

Amnesty International stated in their research that although there is an improvement in the state’s effort to protect their civilians, it disappears as soon as the migrants walk out the receptions centre’s doors.

Immigration Policies have always been at the cutting edge in the U.S especially with the 2016 Presidential campaign where Republican nominee Donald Trump is making border and immigration concerns a fundamental subject in his campaign. He has threatened to deport an estimated  11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S, however this has been heavily criticised by the Democratic party.

By Veronika Kennedy, Sarra El Oufir, Valentina Foroni and Stefano Antonio D’addosio.