Saturday, April 11, 2015

Protestors in Panama Pound Pots and Pans Against Venezuelan President

Detractors of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Panama banged pots and pans in protest while he spoke at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday:

As seen in the video above, the cacophony of noise from the “cacerolazo” was done at apartment complexes near the Atlapa convention center in Panama City during the plenary session of the conference. The banging was accompanied by several yells of “Fuera Maduro”, derisive whistling and at least one Venezuelan flag with the acronym “S.O.S.” written on it.

The “cacerolazo” was heard not only outside of the Atlapa center but also allegedly within several of the locale’s rooms. (It does not seem that the protest was heard in the conference room where leaders from across the Western Hemisphere discussed regional matters).

Today’s protest followed a similar “cacerolazo” that occurred on Friday evening as Maduro and his wife entered the convention center. The couple was reportedly “unmoved” by the demonstration.

Venezuela is stuck in a political, economic and social crisis, and we must prevent that which is preventable,” declared Lilian Tintori, wife of imprisoned Venezuelan opposition activist Leopoldo López, prior to visiting Panama during the Summit. Meanwhile, nineteen former Ibero-Americn leaders signed a declaration last week denouncing the “changes to constitutionality and democracy” in Venezuela.

During his intervention at the Summit, Maduro claimed that he was an “anti-imperialist” and blasted a March 9th executive order from U.S. President Barack Obama. The order placed sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials accused of human rights abuses and named the South American country as a "national security threat".

Friday, April 10, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 10, 2015

* Cuba: The Foreign Ministers of Cuba and the U.S. met on Thursday evening in Panama, while the U.S. State Department will likely confirm rumors earlier this week and recommended taking Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

* Chile: President Michelle Bachelet refused to resign from her post amid abysmal approval numbers and a growing corruption scandal.

* Colombia: The U.S. Army will reportedly investigate allegations of military personnel and defense contractors sexually abusing minors in Colombia.

* Mexico: North Korea claimed that Mexico has “illegally detained” one of its ships, and alleged that the vessel is not owned by a firm blacklisted by the U.N. for owning a boat caught illegally carrying weapons last year.

YouTube Source – euronews

Online Sources – Reuters, Bloomberg, Colombia Reports, The Guardian, The Latin Americanist

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 8, 2015

* U.S.: Mexican-born Jesus “Chuy” Garcia forced Chicago’s first ever runoff election for mayor but ultimately he lost to incumbent Rahm Emanuel.

* Argentina: The Argentine government started declassifying secret papers relating to the Falklands War days after intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that Britain allegedly spied on the South American country from 2006 to 2011.

* Brazil: Brazil could benefit from Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion proposal to buy BG Group and, thus, create one of the world’s biggest energy firms.

* Chile: The heavy rains that have killed at least twenty-four people in northern Chile have also led to an expected cut in the production of copper.

YouTube Source – Newsy Politics

Online Sources – WGN, CBC, Reuters, CNBC, Latin American Herald Tribune

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cuba to be Removed from U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List?

Could Cuba soon have its designation by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism removed? Several government officials have indicated that this could be the case amid the White House’s push to improve bilateral ties.

According to CNN, an unnamed U.S. official claimed earlier today that it is “our expectation” that the island could be stricken from the list that includes Iran, Sudan and Syria. The official noted that a formal announcement could come as early as this Wednesday.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes admitted earlier today that the State Department’s review of Cuban status on the blacklist is almost finished.

“We expect that it's likely in the final stages. But we don’t control the timing. The State Department does,” Rhodes mentioned in a conference call to reporters.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama admitted that he would move quickly once a recommendation is officially given.

“As soon as I get a recommendation, I’ll be in a position to act on it,” Obama said during an interview with NPR.

Obama admitted his optimism over the “real opportunity” to change relations between the U.S. and Cuba including the possibility of opening an embassy. Nevertheless, he acknowledged “I don't expect immediate transformation in the Cuban-American relationship overnight.”

Cuba’s placement on the state sponsors of terrorism list since 1982 has been one of the major stumbling blocks in closing the diplomatic breach between the U.S. and Cuba.

It is a nonsense. Cuba has been there for more than 20 years… We hope that very soon Cuba will be removed from there,” declared Cuba’s Ambassador to Canada, Julio Garmendia Pena, last month.

Daily Headlines: April 7, 2015

* Brazil: Several hundred people in Rio de Janeiro protested over the weekend against police brutality after a ten-year-old favela resident was killed.

* Honduras: Approximately 15,000 undocumented Hondurans have been deported from the U.S. and Mexico in 2015 according to an analysis from the Returned Migrants Assistance Center.

* Cuba: Retired professional basketball stars Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo will travel to Cuba later this month as part of an NBA team participating in a basketball clinic.

* El Salvador: March was the deadliest month in the past ten years in El Salvador with 481 murders or an average of sixteen people killed daily.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – euronews, Latin American Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Time

Monday, April 6, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 6, 2015

* Guatemala: Johns Hopkins University and the Rockefeller Foundation were named in a US$1 billion lawsuit filed last week over their alleged role in infecting hundreds of Guatemalans with STDs during the mid-20th century.

* South America: Pope Francis may be a popular figure in Latin America but he is facing pushback from Chilean child abuse victims and a “breakaway group of ultra-conservative Catholics” based in Brazil.

* Cuba: The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected hearing an appeal by former subcontractor Alan Gross against the government for negligence related to his five-year imprisonment in Cuba.

* Chile: President Michelle Bachelet promised that the flood-hit northern region where at least twenty-five people have died and 125 are missing will be “rebuilt”.

YouTube Source – SBS Dateline (Video uploaded in 2011).

Online Sources – The Guardian, Reuters, NBC News, CNN, Baltimore Sun