Friday, August 11, 2006

Evening headlines: Haitian gov’t gets tough on gangs; Evo’s popularity decreases

*Haitian gangs received an ultimatum from the government: surrender or be killed.

*Higher demand for Latin American, African, and Asian priests at the Vatican raises probability of the next pope being from outside Europe.

*Protestors sympathetic to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demonstrated in front of Mexico’s main tax office and the headquarters of media giant Televisa.

*Latin American and Euro scientists are working on a new way of predicting volcanic eruptions.

*Brazilian bank Itaú moves into Uruguay and Chile after buying assets from Bank of America.

*Puerto Rico will be the first Caribbean area to host a National Hockey League game next month.

*Support for Bolivian president Evo Morales (right image) has fallen for the second consecutive month.

*Cuban officials are angered over a U.S. court ruling that denied an appeal by 5 Cubans convicted of espionage.

(Images via these two websites).

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U.S. travel restrictions from Cuba to be eased

On the heels of Fidel Castro’s transfer of power, the U.S. government will loosen travel restrictions from Cuba that would make it easier to obtain U.S. visas. However, U.S. officials claim that the changes will come about due to months of “internal administration discussions,” not recent changes in Cuba. (Link via Hispanic Tips).

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El Salvador continues its military deployment in Iraq

380 Salvadoran troops will leave for Iraq today as El Salvador continues to be the only Latin American country with soldiers in Iraq. 6 Latin American countries were on the original list of the “coalition of the willing.” (Image via Al Jazeera).

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Brazil: Corruption rocks Congress while Lula’s popularity grows

72 Brazilian legislators may be expelled from congress as a result of a major bribe scandal. Only 2 of the congressmen are from the ruling Workers’ Party though 63 of them are from political factions sympathetic to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Meanwhile, an opinion poll yesterday showed Lula has doubled his lead over his nearest rival and stands a clearer chance of winning in the first round of elections on October 1st. (Image via BBC).

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Earthquake hits Mexico

An earthquake measured at 5.9 on the Richter scale hit central and western Mexico earlier today. There have been no major reports of damage or death though the tremor did startle residents of Mexico City and even forced the quick evacuation from tall buildings.


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Ella uso mi blog como un revolver

Here are some recent posts from around the blogosphere for your reading enjoyment:

*Tim’s El Salvador Blog looks into the difficulties of measuring poverty in El Salvador.

*Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center shows Latino support has slipped for both the Democratic and Republican parties.

*Via the very informative Global Voices: highlights from Panamanian blogs.

*How can Argentina gain attention to its growing economy? By re-branding its image.

*Will an expansion of the Panama Canal help the country’s economy and attract foriegn investment or sink it into massive debt and preserve social inequality? The Council on Hemispheric Affairs investigates.

*Chile’s first musical, based on that country’s version of “American Idol”, is on pace to becoming the country’s highest grossing local film.

*A look back at a set of cards from 1989 that described “Friendly Dictators” well-known for the human rights abuses including Argentina’s Jorge Videla and Paraguay’s Alfredo Stroessner.

*Guyana’s president set the Election Day for president at August 28. In the meantime, it’s never too early to speculate on a presidential election that will take place in 3 years.

*One less challenger Hugo Chavez has to worry about: Teodoro Petkoff dropped out of the race for president over the weekend.

*Lastly, there are several music blogs that highlight the best in Latin American and world music. From a personal standpoint, I highly recommend all of these music blogs for their variety and knowledge in music:

-Búscate un novio may be off for the summer, but it is a great blog on rock from around the world.

-La Onda Tropical’s motto is “guide to the best Latin music.” They’re not kidding.

-Motel de Moka tends to group their entries according to mood or genre rather than artist. This lends itself to compiling contributions from many different musicians.

-zonaindie specializes in different indie musicians from South America. Most of them you may not have heard of but they are still of great quality.

With that I leave you until the next post sometime on Friday. Take care everyone!

(Images from National Geographic’s photo gallery entitled “Life in Castro’s Cuba.”)


AMLO supporters block banks as partial recount begins

Thousands of supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blocked the entrances of three major banks in Mexico City. Meanwhile, Mexican electoral officials have begun a partial recount of 9% of polling stations from last month’s presidential election. Yesterday, a small group of protestors took over several tollbooths along federal highways (image). (Photo via AP).

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Morning briefs

*Israel recalled its ambassador to Venezuela as the Venezuelan government increases its rhetoric against Israel’s attacks of Lebanon.

*Cuba's government is busy telling others that the government is stable and that Fidel is fine even though he has yet to be seen in weeks.

*Occidental Petroleum’s quarterly profit fell partly due to actions in Ecuador.

*Young artists from Uruguay are rapidly getting attention from the art world. (Such as the image on the right, a painting by Sergio Porro).

Monday, August 7, 2006

Evening headlines: Epidemic may rise in storm-battered Haiti; Hugo = Fidel?

*Over 2000 Haitians may have died over the weekend from storms and mudslides cause by Tropical Storm Jeanne. (Image shows mass grave for some of those killed over the weekend).

*Colombian president Alvaro Uribe was inaugurated for a second term and promised to continue his hard-line stance against leftist guerillas and to devote more energy to social issues.

*Here’s a thought: is Hugo Chavez the next Fidel Castro?

*Gang violence in Sao Paulo has put Brazilian police on high alert.

*Argentina’s government is interested in claiming the Falkland Islands through diplomatic means, yet the British government refuses any talks of ceding the islands.

*After weeks of failed negotiations miners at Chile’s Escondida mine walked off the job and are striking.

*Lopez Obrador supporters continue hope of electoral win.

*U.S. imposes sanctions against Russia as payback for arms deal with Venezuela.

Programming Note

Good day everybody. For the next few days there will fewer posts by me since I will be very busy sorting out some personal issues. (At the very least I'll post evening headlines). Sorry for the incovenience.

In the meantime please feel free to check our page on other blogs and websites on Latin America as well as the Latin American Network Information Center's "Newspapers in Latin America" website.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Week in Review: July 31 to August 6

Monday July 31:

*Cuban dictator Fidel Castro temporarily relinquishes power to his brother, Raul, as the Cuban media reports that Fidel underwent intestinal surgery. Cuban exiles take to the streets in Miami to celebrate while pundits examine how the U.S. will react as well as what could be expected under Raul Castro’s regime.

*The Associated Press reports that Bolivia’s government retracted a plan to remove religion classes from schools.

*Newly elected Peruvian president Alan Garcia said that all government salaries will be cut even though his salary would still be the highest for a Latin American head of stae.

*The U.S. Navy awarded Boeing with a contract to build and sell missiles to 5 countries including Chile.

*Fifteen army troops were killed in an ambush as leftist guerillas escalate their attacks in the week heading up to Colombian president Alvaro Uribe's 2nd inauguration.

Tuesday August 1:

*Leaders from around Latin America reacted in distinct ways to Fidel Castro’s sickness and transfer of power.

*Fidel Castro claims that his health is “stable” according to a statement allegedly written by him and read on Cuban television.

*Microsoft introduced a Spanish-language version of Windows XP for Latin American PC users.

*Senior members of Colombia’s anti-drug police have been touring Afghanistan on an advisory mission.

*Argentina’s highest court ruled in favor of a mentally disabled rape victim who wanted to undergo an abortion.

Wednesday August 2:

*Testimony today from the Government Accountability Office showed undercover agents were able to cross the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada using false documents.

*Hugo Chavez’ tour abroad took him to the African countries of Benin and Mali were he pledged stronger energy cooperation between Venezuela and those two African countries.

*The Latin Alternative Music Conference began today in New York City.

Thursday August 3:

*Fidel Castro’s exiled younger sister claims that Fidel is “very sick, but not dead”.

*Venezuela ordered its diplomatic envoy to Israel to return home.

*Supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blocked the entrance to Mexico’s stock exchange.

Friday August 4:

*An ex-policeman was sentenced to 25 years in jail in the first verdict handed down for human rights abuses during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

*U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in the Dominican Republic after spending one day visiting government officials in Haiti.

Saturday August 5:

*The Federal Electoral Tribunal in Mexico ordered a partial recount of last month’s presidential election.

*Brazilian newspaper Folha da Sao Paulo alleged that Fidel Castro has abdominal cancer.

Sunday August 6:

*Bolivia’s constitutional assembly opened on Sunday and has a year to formulate a new constitution for the country.

*Cuba’s vice president says that Fidel Castro may be healthy enough to return to power in a few weeks.