Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Os donos do Mundo...

O acontecimento está a ser um escândalo nacional na Argentina, tendo-se demitido o Almirante CEMA da Marinha Argentina. Eis a notícia relatando um acontecimento verdadeiramente inconcebível: um país da África Ocidental ao serviço de interesses financeiros baseados nas ilhas Caimão, a tal gente agora eufemisticamente chamada de "mercados" que mais não é que dinheiro acabado de lavar, e pronto a mandar no mundo, deteve um navio da Marinha de Guerra da Argentina por alegadas dívidas do Estado Argentino ao tal fundo de capital de risco das Caimão. Pelos vistos o risco manifestou-se na operação financeira quando a Argentina entrou em bancarrota há cerca de dez anos e não pagou aos mercados financeiros.
O procedimento de deter um navio de guerra estrangeiro como se se estivesse a arrestar um navio mercante abre um precedente grave, uma nova forma de pirataria e desrespeito pela liberdade dos mares. Eis a notícia:
ACCRA — The crew of an Argentine naval frigate detained for three weeks near Accra over a bond dispute can leave Ghana, an official said Tuesday, after Buenos Aires announced plans to evacuate most of the sailors on board.
The vessel travelled to the west African nation for a training mission with a crew of more than 300, made up mostly of Argentinians but also carrying sailors from several other countries.
The one South African on board left Ghana on Sunday, said Lufuno Makoya, first secretary at South Africa High Commission in Ghana.
Argentina has chartered an Air France Boeing 777 to evacuate more than 280 crew members of the ARA Libertad that is scheduled to leave Accra at 1415 (GMT and local) on Wednesday, according to Buenos Aires and the airline.
Roughly 40 crew members will remain on board to maintain the vessel being detained at the port of Tema just outside Accra.
Ghana's Information Minister Fritz Baffour said the Libertad's crew "are free to leave."
"They are not under arrest or anything like that. It's only the ship that is being held," he told AFP.
Aside from the Argentinians, the remaining crew includes sailors from Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Venezuela.
A spokesman for Air France said the flight would be carrying 290 sailors out of Accra, landing in Buenos Aires at 2345 GMT. Argentina's foreign ministry said 281 people are to be evacuated.
The three-masted tall ship has been held up in a port near Accra since October 2 when a Ghanaian court granted an order sought by a Cayman Islands investment fund which says it is owed more than $370 million by the Argentine government.
The fund called NML held government bonds on which the government defaulted and has demanded a $20 million bond in exchange for the release the ship."

O país de África é o Gana, não aconselhamos visitas a este País, e sugerimos à Argentina que liberte o seu LIBERTAD o mais depressa possível. Sugerimos um golpe de mão. O LIBERTAD visitou Lisboa e o Funchal durante a presente viagem, onde foi bem tratado e acarinhado pelos Portugueses.
Fotografias do ARA LIBERTAD em Lisboa a 15 de Agosto de 2012, mostrando a mais recente chegada a Lisboa do navio-escola da Argentina.
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia


Anonymous said...

Argentina in diplomatic offensive at UN over seized ship

United Nations/Accra - Argentina's foreign minister launched a diplomatic offensive in New York on Monday, urging top U.N. officials to pressure Ghana to release an Argentine naval training vessel seized after creditors won a court order to keep the ship in port.
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman's appearance at U.N. headquarters came as sailors from the detained ship prepared to leave Ghana after spending weeks in dockside limbo, a government official said in Accra.
The ARA Libertad, a tall sailing ship with a crew of more than 300, has been detained in Ghana's port of Tema since October 2 on a court order obtained by NML Capital Ltd, which claims Argentina owes it $300 million from defaulted bonds.
Timerman has been in New York since last week, when Argentina was elected for a two-year term on the 15-nation U.N. Security Council that begins on January 1, 2013.
He met on Monday with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly president Vuk Jeremic and the president of the Security Council, Guatemalan Ambassador Gert Rosenthal. Jeremic's office issued a statement after he met Timerman.

Anonymous said...

Argentina announced the immediate evacuation Saturday of about 300 crew members from the ARA Libertad, a navy
training ship seized in Africa nearly three weeks ago as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from the South American
nation's economic crisis a decade ago. Only the captain and a few other members of the crew of 326 sailors will
remain on the three-masted tall ship, a symbol of Argentina's navy. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez decided to
pull the rest out after failing to persuade authorities in Ghana to reverse a judge's decision to seize the ship. The judge also refused to allow the ship to be refueled, leaving it without power to maintain essentials and respond to any
onboard emergencies, the foreign ministry said.
"That made clear the judge's intention to obligate a sovereign nation to negotiate with an entity dedicated to financial
piracy from its fiscal hideaway in the Caribbean. This is the only unacceptable option for Argentina," Foreign Minister
Hector Timerman said. The Ghanaian judge acted on a claim by NML Capital Ltd., which is based in the Cayman
Islands. Its owner, billionaire investor Paul Singer, leads a group demanding payment in full, plus interest, for dollarbased Argentine bonds bought at fire sale prices after the country's economy collapsed a decade ago, forcing a sharp
devaluation of its currency.
The vast majority of bondholders accepted about 30 cents on the dollar years ago, which is roughly what the holdouts
led by Singer initially paid for the bonds. NML Capital has said Argentina owes it about $350 million, and offered to let
the ship leave if Fernandez's government put up a $20 million bond to be forfeited.
Timerman called this "an attack that is nothing more or less than a kidnapping, an extortion and an act of piracy
against a sovereign nation." Argentina didn't say how it would manage to evacuate the crew, which also includes
sailors from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and South Africa. The bondholder group
could potentially ask Ghana's courts to seize an airplane flown by Aerolineas Argentinas or the country's military.
Argentina argued that military vessels are immune from seizure as collateral, but Ghanaian authorities were not
persuaded. A lawyer in Ghana for NML Capital, Ace Ankomah, told The Associated Press earlier Saturday that
Argentina never responded to the bondholders' offer to fly the crew home. Source : ABC News

Anonymous said...

The ARA Libertad is nice, but only a fraction of the $1.6 billion that the Argentine government owes Singer’s Elliot Management Corp.
BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s government pledged on Friday to exhaust all legal measures to free a navy training ship detained in Ghana at the request of creditors seeking to collect on defaulted Argentine bonds.

“Argentina is keeping all of its options open in the area of international law. If necessary it will go the United Nations. Negotiating with vulture funds isn’t nor will it be one of those options,” Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in a televised address.

Mr. Timerman said the detention of the cadet-training ship was an “illegal act” because as a warship it enjoys immunity under Ghanaian law and international treaties.

A Ghanaian judge on Oct.2 ordered the 130-meter-long sailing ship, ARA Libertad, held at the port of Tema until Argentina honors U.S. judicial rulings that awarded about $1.6 billion to Elliott Management Corp.’s NML Capital Ltd.
NML has said it wouldn’t oppose the ship leaving Ghana if Argentina first deposits $20 million with the court.
It has also offered to fly any ARA Libertad sailor to his or her home country at its expense, according to a letter sent to Argentina’s lawyer by NML’s lawyers in Ghana and viewed by Dow Jones Newswires.
The incident has proven deeply embarrassing to the government of President Cristina Kirchner.
Last week, the Navy’s top admiral, Carlos Alberto Paz, resigned and two senior officers were suspended pending an investigation into why the ship was put at risk by stopping at Ghana earlier this month.
The ship left Argentina in June on a training cruise that included stops at ports in the South Atlantic, Caribbean, Europe and Africa. ARA Libertad was scheduled to return to Argentina on Dec. 8.
Argentina’s dispute with investment funds stems from its $100 billion sovereign default in 2001. The South American nation managed to restructure about 93% of its defaulted bonds in debt exchanges in 2005 and 2010, offering investors about 33 cents on the dollar.
Some $4.5 billion of defaulted bonds are in the hands of so-called holdouts like Kenneth Dart’s EM Ltd. and NML Capital Ltd. funds.
Meanwhile, ARA Libertad’s crew of 320 men and women, including 15 Chilean sailors and a handful of Uruguayans, are whiling away the time at port, waiting for news on whether they will be able to set sail.

Anonymous said...

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentina will ask a U.N. court to order the release of a navy sailing ship seized in Ghana unless the African country releases it within a day, officials announced Monday.
The ARA Libertad training ship was seized on Oct. 2 in the port of Tema as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from Argentina's economic crisis a decade ago. Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said if Ghana does not free the vessel by Tuesday, Argentina will appeal to the International Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, Germany.
"The legal representatives of the Foreign Ministry are already in that city to begin the legal actions," Timerman said Monday in a press conference at government house.
Argentina argues that as a warship, the Libertad is immune from being seized and it says it will take the issue to the arbitrage court under a United Nations convention on the rights of the sea.
Timerman said the government also asked Ghana to immediately restore power and water services that were shut off last week when Argentina refused to let it be moved to a less-busy part of the port.
Argentina's sailors then displayed rifles to prevent Ghanaian officials from boarding the vessel in an attempt to move it.
"(Ghanaian officials) put a halt to this action and the calm has returned," Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli told reporters at the press conference. "But power and water services have not been restored."
Ghanaian Justice Richard Agyei-Frimpong ruled last week that the vessel should be moved because it is keeping other ships from berthing. Port officials say the port it losing tens of thousands of dollars per day in berthing fees.
The court ordered it held at port due to a court order in New York for Argentina to pay $1.3 billion to a group of investors in the country's defaulted debt.

Timerman said Argentina appealed the judge's November 5 order to move the ship to another dock. Since the ruling is suspended until a higher court in Ghana's rules on the issue, Argentina is not in contempt, he said.

Ghana courts seized the ship on a claim by Cayman Islands-based NML Capital Ltd. Its owner, billionaire investor Paul Singer, leads a group demanding payment in full, plus interest, for dollar-based Argentine bonds bought at fire sale prices after Argentina's 2001-2002 economic collapse forced a sharp devaluation of its currency.

The vast majority of bondholders accepted about 30 cents on the dollar years ago, and that is roughly what the holdouts led by Singer initially paid for the bonds.

NML Capital has said Argentina owes it about $350 million, and has offered to let the ship leave if Fernandez's government put up a $20 million bond to be forfeited. Fernandez says the embargo of the ship is illegitimate and that Argentina will not negotiate with what she calls "vulture funds."

Argentina "will just not pay in any way ... creating more poverty and social conflict," Fernandez said shortly after in a speech, repeating words by her late husband and predecessor, President Nestor Kirchner.

But Argentina is in a tough spot beyond the seized ship.

Last month, it lost a long battle against the same fund in U.S. courts when an appellate panel rejected every argument the South American country made against paying $1.33 billion to holdout investors.That ruling effectively gives Argentina a stark choice: pay holders of restructured and defaulted debt equally, or pay none of them at all.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa has ruled that Argentina must pay the holdouts part of the money and has warned Fernandez not to "defy and evade" his orders on how much it should pay.

Griesa will decide the amount Dec. 1, a day before Argentina is due to make the first of three payments of more than $3 billion to bondholders who accepted restructuring of their debt at a loss.

Luis Miguel Correia said...

Argentina asks UN court to tell Ghana to
release ship

Argentina asked a United Nations court on Thursday to order the immediate release of a tall ship naval training vessel
being held in Ghana, west Africa at the request of holders of Argentine bonds which they say are due for repayment,
Reuters reports. The Ghanaian authorities detained the sailing frigate ARA Libertad in the port of Tema on Oct. 2 at
the request of hedge fund NML Capital Ltd, which says Argentina owes it $300 million on bonds which have been in
default since 2002. Last week creditors won a U.S. court ruling ordering Argentina to pay $1.3 billion to sovereign
bond holders who had shunned debt restructuring deals in 2005 and 2010.
But Susana Ruiz Cerutti, head of an Argentinian delegation, told the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law
of the Sea on Thursday that warships have immunity from such claims under international maritime law and it was a
"mystery" why Ghana had not allowed the ship to leave. Cerutti said the tribunal should order the ship's release as the
United Nations convention on maritime law gives warships immunity from civil actions. "Because a 'vulture fund' has
chosen the frigate to be the subject of proceedings does not absolve Ghana of its international obligations," Cerutti
Argentina refers to funds like NML as "vulture funds" because they buy distressed or defaulted bonds and then sue in
international courts to get paid in full. The convention does not define warships as carrying weapons and the Libertad
is an unarmed naval training vessel, she said. A skeleton crew of 45 sailors remains on board the Libertad after nearly
300 crew and naval cadets were flown home to Buenos Aires last month. The ship was visiting Ghana under
Argentina's programme to boost cooperation and friendship in the southern hemisphere and was seized in a "brutal
manner", Cerutti said. In reply Ghana's court representative Ebenezer Appreku asked for Argentina's application be
rejected. Appreku told the Hamburg maritime court the ship's detention arose from a court order in Ghana concerning a commercial contractual dispute between the private company NML Capital and the state of Argentina which did not
involve Ghana's government.
He said that since Ghana's constitution separated the powers of the judiciary and the government Ghana's government
"cannot set aside the rule of law" and direct the ship to be released against the order of a court. "The government of
Ghana does not consider itself to be in a state of dispute with the Argentine Republic," Appreku said. The issue "has
placed Ghana in a difficult and delicate position because we have been unwittingly drawn into a dispute between a
foreign corporation and a sovereign state with whom we enjoy good and cordial relations," Appreku said. The crew of
the vessel had not been subjected to harassment or psychological harm, said Ghana's government lawyer Anjolie
Singh, and power and water was being supplied to the ship.
The court will announce its decision on Dec. 15, tribunal judge Ruediger Wolfrum told Reuters during a break in the
proceedings. He said the court would only make a decision about whether the ship should be released and may not
make a wider judgment about whether warships can be arrested in civil debt cases. Asked what factors would be
considered in the court's decision he said: "We will consider plausible causes and urgency to preserve the procedural
position of Argentina." Source : PortNews

Anonymous said...

Seized Argentine naval ship gets
jubilant homecoming
An Argentine navy ship was given a triumphant homecoming on Wednesday three months after it was seized in Ghana on behalf of a hedge fund suing over defaulted government bonds.
The ARA Libertad, a tall sailing ship used as a training vessel, was detained in the West African nation on October 2 due to a court order obtained by NML Capital Ltd as it fights to get full repayment for the bonds in the courts.
Argentina's government, which calls funds like NML "vultures," asked a U.N. maritime court to intervene and the
Hamburg-based tribunal ordered the
ship's release last month.
The detention of the Libertad during
a tour of Africa was a blow for
Argentina's efforts to put the 2002
debt crisis behind it and drew a furious
response from left-leaning President
Cristina Fernandez.
Fernandez hailed the Libertad's return
as a triumph of sovereignty over
"The vultures were there (but) we
didn't listen to them, we listened to
the people's demand," she said.
"We're going to keep on fighting
because no one's going to get
anything out of Argentina with
extortion and strong-arm tactics," she
told crowds of supporters and
vacationers in the seaside town of Mar del Plata.Plumes of white and sky blue smoke - representing the colours of the
national flag, and a celebratory fly-past greeted the ship as it pulled into harbour.
Latin America's third-biggest economy has yet to return to global credit markets 11 years since staging the biggest
sovereign debt default in history and legal wrangling with creditors continues.
A U.S. appeals court will start hearing oral arguments next month in a case that could eventually force Argentina to pay bondholders who rejected two debt restructurings in 2005 and 2010 to battle for full payment in the courts.
In order to avoid the risk of having the presidential plane seized by holdout creditors, Fernandez has hired a private
aircraft for a four-nation tour of Asia and the Middle East at a cost of $880,000, the government said this week.
Source : Reuters / The Star