Saturday, April 22, 2006

Prestigious awards in arts and architecture given to Mexican and Brazilian

Sergio Pitol became the third Mexican ever to receive the Cervantes Prize for Spanish-language literature for his books including “Juegos Florales” and “El Disfile del Amor”.

Earlier this month, Paulo Mendes da Rocha was awarded the 2006 Pritzker Prize, the top honor in world architecture, for his “enormously powerful” buildings including Sao Paulo’s Patriarch Plaza and the Brazilian Sculpture Museum. (Photo shows Paulo Mendes da Rocha).

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Chavez to Andean Bloc: I quit!

Citing separate free trade agreements between Colombia and Peru with the U.S., Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez declared that his country would leave the Andean Community of Nations trading bloc. In the meantime, Chavez is steering Venezuela to becoming a member of the Mercosur trading bloc.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Kerry criticizes Bush’s record on Latin America

Former presidential candidate John Kerry criticized President Bush’s policy towards Latin America during a speech at the Latin Economic Forum at the United Nations. According to Kerry, “relations between the United States and Latin America today are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.”

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“Dirty war” of political ads escalates in Mexico

With polls showing a tight race between the two top presidential candidates, more negative political ads have been used against left-wing frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador including an ad by PAN comparing López Obrador to Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

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Cuba to buy Russian planes

Earlier this month, Cuba’s government expressed interest in buying five Russian aircraft that they claim will be used for solidarity missions.

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Musica en NYC: Latin Grammys come to New York; alternative music conference returns this summer

The Latin Grammys will take place for be held for the first time in New York City; it is scheduled to take place in Madison Square Garden on November 2nd this year. Meanwhile, the Latin Alternative Music Conference, (LAMC), will return to New York in early August. (These news bits are rather late, but I must confess to posting them as an excuse to put up a picture of Andrea Echeverri, lead singer of Los Arteciopelados, who was part of a free concert in Central Park during last year’s LAMC).

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just say no to Ortega, says U.S.

Various U.S. officials have intensified their opposition to the presidential candidacy of Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega including actively encouraging right-wing parties to form an alliance against Ortega. Last year, we reviewed a book by Mauricio Solaun, U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua during the late 1970s, on the build-up to the Sandinista Revolution in 1979.

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“Latin America doesn’t matter now.” Not so according to recent films

Ariel Dorfman takes a look at how four recent films from Latin America provide great insight to the many problems and changes that are coming about in the region.


Foreign investment in Dominican Republic grows by 44% in 2005

Foreign investment to the Dominican Republic exceeded $1 billion in 2005, with tourism as the country’s top industry. Last year, the Domincan Republic approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

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