From the VII Summit of the Americas circus, 2 items:
Rafael Correa managed to tear himself away from Twitter to give a speech condemning the U.S., and portraying Latin America (and especially Ecuador) as a paragon of freedom and human rights. Mercifully, he did not try to inflict it on his audience in English.
Barack Obama was next, and, as you can see, he agreed with Correa (emphasis added),
I wanna make one last comment, er, addressing er, some of the points that er, president Correa raised that I’m sure will be raised by a few others during this discussion. Er, I always enjoy the history lessons that I receive, er, when I’m here.
I am a student of history so I tend to actually be familiar with many of these episodes that have been mentioned. I am the first one to acknowledge that America’s application to concern around human rights has not always been consistent. And, I’m certainly mindful that there are dark chapters in our own history in which we have not always observed the principles and ideals upon which the country was founded. Just a few weeks ago I was in Selma, Alabama celebrating the 50th anniversary of a march across a bridge that resulted in horrific violence and the reason I was there and the reason it was a celebration is because it was a triumph of human spirit in which ordinary people without resort to violence were able to overcome systematic segregation. There voices were heard and our country changed. America never makes a claim about being perfect, we do make a claim about being open to change.
Telemundo 51 (video at the link in Spanish) reports that Cuban government operatives are again harassing dissidents attending the VII Summit of the Americas.
Blogger Yoani Sanchez stated that the dissidents had to take shelter from their aggressors at the Salón Topacio of the Panama Hotel, while the police and the military try to regain control outside the premises.
On Twitter, @RosaMariaPaya THREATENED WITH BEATINGS. They told her she can not coincide >Raúl Castro!
About 100 supporters of Cuba’s government aggressively heckled dissidents from the communist-run island attending a civil society forum Wednesday at the start of the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
Opponents of President Raul Castro were greeted to shouts of “imperialist” and “mercenaries” as they filed into a hotel auditorium to attend speeches by summit host Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The Communist regime regularly conducts “acts of repudiation” to intimidate its citizenry into submitting to the dictatorship.
I do not know if either Varela or Clinton condemned the attack in their speeches.
On the same day that the State Department was recommending removing Cuba from terrorism list, other Cuban agents, also in Panama, assaulted a group of dissidents who were placing a wreath at the monument to Jose Martí.
The U.S. citizen is Orlando Gutierrez, who is the national secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, a group that works to improve the human rights situation in Cuba. Gutierrez is the bald man in the white shirt who gets pulled from the vehicle.
The Cuban citizen is Jorge Luis Garcia Pérez, a pro-democracy activist in Cuba who is known as “Antúnez.” He was wearing a teal shirt, and can also be seen being pulled from the vehicle and beaten.
Panamanian authorities’ warning shot to anyone not willing to kiss Raul Castro’s ring:
Rosa María Payá, the daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, was briefly detained on Sunday at Panama’s airport and threatened with deportation to Cuba if she caused any public disturbances at the Summit of the Americas, according to an account she gave on Twitter.
Payá was released after being questioned and her personal items were subjected to a careful review by authorities, in what was later described by the Foreign Ministry of Panama as “a bureaucratic error.”
But this one will be useful for Cuba, which will be allowed to join the group for the first time, and on its own terms. It’s hard to put a finger on the lowest point in Obama foreign policy, but its abject submissiveness regarding this meeting in the U.S. backyard is a serious contender.
Back in 2001,
OAS members signed the “Democratic Charter,” requiring the suspension of nondemocratic governments.
That was then. Now, not only is the murderous Communist regime attending, Panama is warning dissidents to keep quiet.
Paraguay has seen a spillover of organized criminal activities from countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Argentina which manifests itself in home invasions, kidnappings, and shootouts with drug traffickers, Maldonado said.
As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world’s biggest ships.
Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger “Post-Panamax” ships through the Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.
The project involves building a third set of locks on the Canal. It is being headed by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Spain’s Sacyr, and should open on April 1, 2016.
The new Uruguayan government says it will no longer grant asylum to prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
In December, Uruguay gave sanctuary to six Arab men who had been held at the US base in Cuba for 12 years.
Opinion polls said most Uruguayans rejected the decision taken by outgoing President Jose Mujica.
Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa also said Uruguay would stop taking refugees from the Syrian conflict.
Does that mean they’ll kick Syrians Jihad Abu Wael Dhiab, Ali Husain Shaaban, Ahmed Adnan Ajuri, and Abdelhadi Faraj, Palestinian Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, and Tunisian Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi out of the country?