Saturday, August 5, 2006
Friday, August 4, 2006
*Workers at the world’s largest copper mine (image) in
*An ex-policeman was sentenced to 25 years in jail for human rights abuses during the Argentine dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.international politics, human rights, finance, Argentina, United States, Chile, Venezuela
*Dissident Cuban activist Oswaldo Paya advocates that any changes in
*There seems to be a difference of opinion among the Cuban community in the
*The media is running rampant speculating over the state of the Cuban economy; was it doing well under Fidel, will it do better under Raul’s rule, or will it be the “future land of opportunity” in a post-Castro era?*Listen to a podcast of Julia Sweig, senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations, being interviewed on Fidel’s break in power.
*The U.S. government is looking into adding more broadcasts into TV and Radio Martí, though one official acknowledged that “the emphasis (is) on ‘let's get the message there the best way,’ not say ‘it has got to be this mechanism or that one.’”international politics, human rights, Fidel Castro, Bush administration, United States, Cuba
Annan arrived in the
Thursday, August 3, 2006
(Image depicts campesino supposedly killed by paramilitaries in the 1980s).
Alvaro Uribe, Colombia, armed conflict, human rights, international politics
Mexico, international economy, international politics
in spite of fierce opposition by landowners.
*The latest poll shows President Evo Morales’ approval rating steady at 75%.
*Brazilian energy company Petrobras announced that it would reduce its dependence on oil from
Juanita Castro claims that her brother Fidel is “very sick, but not dead”, thus echoing statements made by Cuban officials over the past 24 hours. Juanita, who has been exiled in the
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
*Hugo Chavez is in
*Felipe Calderon’s campaign coordinator for international affairs sounds off on last month’s Mexican presidential elections.politics, international economy, Mexico, Peru, Argentina
*VivirLatino posts on a New York Times article that looks at a small group of Latino Goths that live in the
*The appeal of the Hip Hop Hoodios cannot be underestimated as their eclectic style has been highly praised by the Jewish, Hispanic, and hip-hop communities. (Link via Hispanic Tips).*The music division of media giant Univision has been sued by a Mexican regional label citing breach of contract.
(Image from Os Mutantes’ concert a few weeks ago in
Cuba, Fidel Castro, Latin America
Mexico, Canada, United States, immigration
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
-The Christian Science Monitor wonders if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (image) has gone too far in having supporters set up protest camps along one of
-Sixteen people were killed in an ambush and a separate car bomb in
-Finally, two brief follow-ups on stories we’ve covered. The Telesur news network (which we discussed on in this post) has plans to expand into the
*Unlike the raucous joy in Miami Monday night (left image), Cubans on the island met the news of Fidel’s handover of power with stunned silence and tranquility.
*Politicians such as Senator Mel Martinez and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (both Cuban exiles) are guarded in their optimism for a positive change to occur in Cuba. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez are closely monitoring the situation in Cuba in order to ensure the public safety of people in South Florida.
*So how should the U.S. react if Fidel dies and there’s a regime change? The obvious point is that the U.S. needs to promote a “pro-democracy” agenda. Will it involve a direct intervention welcomed with open arms by the Cuban people? Or perhaps things will be chaotic and will lead to a legitimate political opening. Or maybe U.S. intervention will hurt more than help and make the situation in Cuba worse. Then again the U.S. could “finagle some way to gain control and grant it statehood”. Mind you, this could all be moot and irrelevant if Raul Castro really is the “far more radical” leader some believe he is and he’s able to successfully consolidate power for himself.
*Speaking of the new leader of Cuba, here are a few biographies on Raul Castro (right image).
*Remember the Bush administration report released three weeks ago discussing regime change in Cuba? Here it is (in PDF format).
*The calm after the storm- people of Cuban decent in South Florida ponder what would happen in Cuba if Fidel were to die.
*Here’s a thought: could oil be the factor that overturns the U.S. embargo on Cuba?
*An English-language translation of Fidel’s letter that was read on Cuban television last night.
*Wonkette sarcastically wonders if Fidel has the power to “change other people’s birthdays” beside his own.
*Finally, a few anti-Castro jokes which aren’t too bad.
Cuba, Fidel Castro, international economy, international politics
-2004: Over 400 people die when fire rages through a supermarket in
Latin America, history
Monday, July 31, 2006
Final Update (02:15am): Quick check at the news stories before I call it a night-
*Key facts on Cuba and a timeline of Fidel's known illnesses via Reuters
*Cuban exiled community in Miami await with baited breath the possible confirmation of Fidel's death
*the New York Times gives a brief bio on Raul Castro
*the White House is "monitoring" the situation in Cuba
Update (02:00am): Some more blog posts on Fidel include-
*a transcript of the statement made on Cuban television signed by Fidel (link in Spanish)
*a Republican blogger from Miami notes how President Bush just so happened to be visiting Miami on Monday
*worry that chaos will engulf Cuba once Fidel's death is confirmed
*a look at how this may affect Hugo Chavez via a Venezuelan blogger (link in Spanish)
Update (01:15am): The dual views on Fidel Castro, via Reuters.
Update (12:50am): Some bloggers are happy at the possibility of Fidel's death while others warn against premature celebration.
Update (12:30am): Newsweek analyzes what could be expected from a Raul Castro regime. Key quotes from two different, anonymous U.S. intelligence sources:
"Raul is a reluctant, unpopular leader. He has prospered by being his brother's brother, surrounded by those who he sees as competent and loyal".
"Raul will seek consensus. He built the party, built the military and built the government. He is Mr. Cadre, Mr. Personnel, Mr. Talent Scout."
Update (12:25am): Very detailed and updated post by Babalu Blog, a Cuban exiliado(?), who happens to be in Miami and is very closely following this developing news story.
Some key quotes:
"The public will not be informed until all elements of the government are in place to keep the Cuban people under strict and total control (if Fidel dies)."
"I feel I must urge everyone to take this news...with a grain of salt. castro has "died" many times before, only to then reappear like genital herpes."
"Congreswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is urging all Cubans in Miami with boats to NOT attempt to go to Cuba to bring family members over or for any other purpose. All vessels will be intercepted at sea".
Update (12:15am): Univision's national news interviewed former mayor of Miami Alex Penelas who discussed Miami's public safety plans and preparedness for any sudden change in news in Cuba. Penelas notes that the situation has yet to get to far out of hand and advises leaders of the Cuban exile community to encourage sympathizers to go "beyond the bounds of the law." Penelas assumes that Bush administration officials are trying to analyze intelligence in order to verify what's going on in Cuba.
Speaking of the Bush administration, Univision informs that White House spokesman Tony Snow that the administration is being cautious while they figure out what's going on in Cuba.
Update (12:05am): Univision's national news showed how the streets of Miami (Little Havana?) have flooded the streets in jubilation at the possibility of Fidel's "death." Some of the people interviewed are certain that Fidel is dead and that the Cuban media are not disclosing all information.
Apparently some bloggers seem to be getting a little too far ahead of themselves and believe that Fidel is dead.
Cuba, Fidel Castro
However, the Times’ editorial falls into the same trap that a Reuters article did about a month ago- it assumes that the political left is monolithic and represented by the populist rhetoric of Chavez. Any moderate leftist leader is labeled as “moderate social democrats” that have “more in common with the center-right” than Chavez. It sounds like a statement that could delegitimize moderate leftist leaders like Lula or Michelle Bachelet?
Contrast the Times’ editorial with the following quote from a different article:
"One must differentiate and classify these new governments, rather than use
a broad brush when describing
The quote comes from an article looking at the impact of the left on the Jewish minority residing in
So ultimately is the political left dead in
The more operative question is “can moderate leaders on the left and the Latin American right-wing co-exist”? The Times’ editorial seems to allude to this notion, and the lack of an extreme right throughout the region lends credence to such a view. On the other hand, possible presidential victories later this year by populist politicians in
health, Latin America
-Colombian government to pay $1.4 million compensation to families of mid-90’s massacre victims.
-More than 25,000 Chileans were fooled in a scam to buy a supposedly rejuvenating “magic cheese”.
-Wal-Mart to focus more on