The week’s big news: Pres. Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror, as part of a deal brokered by the Vatican, in exchange for which Cuba had to do nothing.
The top headlines in the hemisphere: FIFA corruption; as expected, its re-elected president blames the U.S. and England.
Cristina’s not running: ‘CFK will not be candidate in the upcoming elections’ . . . maybe.
Re: Nisman, Calls on prosecutor Fein to hurry probe into Nisman’s deathJudge: investigate Lagomarsino
‘Meteorite thieves’ held by policePolice in Argentina arrest four men who appear to have been trying to steal more than a tonne of meteorites in the northern province of Chaco.
China mulls air route to Bahamas
“Refugio de corruptos”
Former Petrobras Executive Sentenced to Five Years
Nestor Cerveró, Petrobras’ former director of international operations, was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison.
Brazil Dangles Leniency to Spur Energy Industry
Brazil’s government is preparing to offer U.S.-like leniency deals to several private companies linked to the Petrobras corruption scandal to lessen its drag on the nation’s economy
How the Cayman Islands Became a FIFA Power
When a government spies on its citizens: lessons from Chile
Colombia’s peace process
Despite an escalation of violence, the talks continue
One reason for the talks’ resilience is that both sides are used to negotiating during bouts of violence, which did not end even during the quietest periods. Military action by the FARC fell by 85% during its ceasefire and civilian deaths fell by 73%, according to the Conflict Analysis Resource Centre (CERAC), a think-tank in Bogotá. Even so, CERAC recorded 21 attacks by the FARC (and suspects it was responsible for another 75). Mr Santos has staked his reputation on concluding a peace agreement (by the end of this year, he hopes). For the FARC, the alternative to peace is further pounding by the armed forces; it no longer hopes for victory.
Farc peace negotiator killed in Colombia bombingPedro Nel Daza Martínez, the Farc leader better known as “Jairo Martínez”, had returned from peace talks in Havana when he was killed by a government bombing raid
Public opinion and pessimism in Colombia’s peace talks
Raul Castro Meets with Leaders of Mexican Left
Voluntary Corporate Code of Conduct for Cuba Needed
Interamerican Human Rights Commission asked to intervene on behalf of besieged Cuban pastor
On Cuba’s Removal From the State-Sponsors of Terrorism List
Carlos Eire writes on how “they hate it so much when we refuse to be the caricatures they want us to be:” Okay, that’s it. Se acabó la pachanga. The party’s over. Time to say “Hell is my homeland.”
Legal Limbo over for Haitian Descendants in Dominican RepublicCritics Fear Many Still Fall through the Cracks
Bye-bye, dollarization: Ecuador Moves Toward Electronic Currency
Ecuador’s Monetary Council has published a resolution making it mandatory for private and public banks to deal with transactions in electronic currency.
Depending on their size, banks will have between 120 and 360 days to register as Macro Agents of the electronic currency system in the central bank.
The resolution reiterated that the central bank is the only entity authorized to issue electronic currency, and that the electronic currency must be backed up by liquid assets of the central bank.
Tax Me, I’m Ecuadorian
Taking More from Inheritances Will Depress Salaries, Impoverish Middle Class
How gang violence is spreading fear in El Salvador
Accused Clinton Donation Solicitation Used For Haiti Projects
The money will be used for “undetermined” projects in Haiti.
U.S. Soccer Probe Brings Adulation From AbroadUnexpectedly, the FBI’s case is garnering plaudits even in regions like Latin America that are traditionally suspicious of Washington’s motives
Mexico Shelves Key Part of Education OverhaulThe Mexican government suspended its planned teacher evaluations that were a cornerstone of the country’s education overhaul, in a decision ahead of midterm elections that dissident teacher groups threatened to boycott.
Major US Banks Closing Border Branches to Fight Money Laundering
LIFE AND DEATH ON THE AVOCADO TRAIL
A fearless Mexican-American cook routinely travels 2,000 miles, driving through a drug war and slipping out of kidnappers’ fingers, all in the name of a decent mole poblano for her New York customers. Inexplicably, they let her go.
Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua
Global Migrants Brave Panama’s Vipers, Bats, Bandits to Reach U.S.
Africans, Asians, Cubans cross the treacherous jungle of the Darien Gap
Peru planning to dam Amazon’s main source and displace 1000s
Over 20 hydroelectric projects proposed for the main trunk of the River Maranon would have devastating impacts
Fat lot of good that’s going to do: Puerto Rico Governor Signs Law Raising Sales Tax to 11.5 Pct. To cover its $1.2 billion in debt service due this year from sales tax alone, it would have to raise over $10 trillion in sales – absurd.
June brides: Ex-Guantanamo Prisoners to Marry Uruguayan Women
Abd al Hadi Omar Mahmoud Faraj [a.k.a. Abd al Hadi Faraj], 40, from Syria and Tunisian Abdul Bin Mohammed Ourgy [a.k.a. Abdul Bin Mohammed Bin Abess Ourgy], 50, will marry Muslim women at a mosque in Montevideo.
Venezuelans March in Caracas to Demand Release of Jailed Opposition Leaders
Diosdado is now reading members of NGOs Provea and Public Forum emails on TV.
#SOSVenezuela: Venezuelans, Cubans, others protest for freedom, democracy in Venezuela #30M
Leopoldo Lopez shows us what a selfie should be all about
The week’s posts and podcast:
Cuba: Willfull blindness
Masplaining and the shrinking violets
This just in: Cuba off sponsors of terror list
Latin America: Breitbart news report on Iranian expansion in our hemisphere
Brazil: The WaPo’s evangelical Frank Underwood
Is Venezuela dollarizing
Argentina: #FIFAarrests in 22 tweets
Cuba: Is China rebuilding Cuba’s ports?
The era of moral imbecility
Brazil: Beam him up, Scotti
Mexico: The independent El Bronco
Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez’s jail video
Note to all Latin Americans: Being a populist socialist won’t save you from ISIS
US-Latin America stories of the week