Friday, December 15, 2006

Chile and Cuba Meet to Talk Trade

Yesterday in the Chilean capital city of Santiago, Presidenta Michelle Bachelet met with Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Alejandro Gonzalez to talk trade.

Chile reaffirmed not only that it wanted to keep up its positive trade relationship with Cuba, but also affirmed that it wanted to work more closely with Ecuador and its new President, Rafael Correa.

Links : La Prensa Latina, People's Daily Online

Tage : Chile, Cuba, Ecuador

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mercosur Setting up Parliament

The Common Market of the South, commonly known as the MERCOSUR, is setting up it's own Parliament today in Brasilia, Brazil. The body will begin working in March of 2007 from its base in the Uruguayan capital city of Montevideo.

The Purpose of the Mercosur is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, peoples, and currency among member nations. Current members include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Associate members include Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Mexico has observer status.

Each member nation will be able to name nine deputies, nine senators and an equal number of replacements.

Link : La Prensa Latina
Image : Red Academica Uruguaya

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boos at Pinochet's Funeral

Yesterday was Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's funeral. Those who attended the funeral, including the widow of the man who ruled the Southern Cone nation for 17 years thanks to a coup he orchestrated, were somber and tearful, until the current Chilean Minister of Defense appeared. Vivianne Blanlot, who was sent to the funeral as the only official representative of the government of Chile under Presidenta Michelle Bachelet, was booed and told to get out of the area by mourners. Blanot remained and did not react.

Link : Univision
Image : Univision

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Artists, Intellectuals and Businessmen Unite against Poverty in Latin America

The ALAS Foundation (America Latina en Accion Solidaria - "Latin America for Solidarity") will be launched on December 12, in the National Theater of Panama. With the aim of replacing philanthropy with commitment and charity with solidarity, personalities from the world of culture such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Bose, Diego Torres, Juanes, Babasonicos, Mana, Ruben Blades, Daniela Mercury and Danilo Pere have risen to the occasion, as well as outstanding individuals in the Latin American world, such as Carlos Slim, Emilio Azcarraga, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Alejandro Soberon, Joseph Safra, Roberto Kriete, Marinela Servitje, Stanley Motta, Alberto Bollmer, Jose Antonio Fernandez, Felipe Gonzalez, Oscar Arias, Sergio Renan and Jaime Baily. All of them have joined to fight hunger, poverty and marginalization.

Link: Hispanic PR Wire

Honoring la Virgin de Guadalupe

Coming by any means at their disposal including by foot and by bike, hundreds of thousands are at the Basílica de Guadalupe in Mexico City to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe. Today markes the 475th anniversary of the alleged apparition of the Marian image to Juan Diego in 1531. The legend claims that the image apppeared to the Indigenous man in his shawl. The shawl is now in the basilica. Last night, as is traditional , Las Mañanitas was sung.

Celebrations honoring the "dark skinned virgin" are happening all over the nation, including places as unlikely as Wisconsin.

Links :, Green Bay Press Gazette
Image : Mexico Connect

Monday, December 11, 2006

Former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet Dead

Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator who overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973 and ruled with impunity for 17 years Pinochet has passed. Chileans I spoke to, both in the United States and inside Chile, first expressed disbelief, because of the countless hospitalizations false alarms, then happiness. Yes, I know it's not nice to celebrate the dead, but Pinochet, who has been linked to thousands of deaths and disappearances, and the immunity he created for himself within Chile has been a painful sore on the Southern Cone nation.

News reports show local reaction across Chile ranging from jubilation to mourning as well as protests in the streets that have been met with water canons.
Pinochet, as per his request, will be cremated, to avoid his grave being becoming a site of conflict. It's shame that so many of those that were killed or "disappeared" during his rule weren't afforded the same luxury.

Links : La Prensa Latina
Image : VivirLatino