The must-read post of the week: Yoani Sanchez’s Shadow Beings
Update: Related, Cuba’s blogosphere has developed a sharper edge
Cuba’s blogosphere has taken on a decidedly harsher face in recent months, an act of online defiance in the face of government retribution.
Presidential politics in Brazil
Her master’s voice: Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s preferred successor, is a more interesting politician than she appears to be. But would she be different from her boss?
The Economist’s Special Report on Brazil: Land of promise
Brazil is big, democratic, stable and rich in resources, says Brooke Unger. So why is it not doing a lot better?
Costa Rica Diarist: Democracia
Via Phyllis, Trustee Tries to Cancel The Sugar Babies Screening at the University of Miami
Tonight’s screening of The Sugar Babies at the University of Miami will proceed as scheduled despite enormous pressure from a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. One of the board’s senior trustees is Alfonso Fanjul, who is also the Chairman and CEO of Flo-Sun, Inc., a sugar company featured in the film for its inhumane labor practices, which include employing children to work sugar cane fields in conditions that can best be described as modern-day slavery.
The award-winning, feature-length documentary The Sugar Babies is scheduled to be screened tonight at 7 p.m. as part of the Latin American Film Series organized by the University of Miami Center for Latin American Studies. It will be followed by a question and answer session with filmmaker Amy Serrano. Tomorrow, November 13, Serrano will also lead a round table discussion about the film and the current situation of Haitian laborers in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican diplomats also pressured the university to remove the film from the festival. Edgar Aponte, Dominican Minister Counselor, will be attending the event. Aponte works under Carlos Morales Troncoso, the Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs, who happens to be the former president and CEO and current shareholder at the Fanjul-owned Central Romana Corporation in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic Makes Major Drug Bust
The president of the National Drug Control agency says the drugs were hidden in a container on a ship bound for Spain. Maj. General Rolando Rosado Mateo says the cocaine had arrived from Venezuela.
Ecuador’s Amazonians sue Chevron over poison waterways
Tens of thousands of Ecuadoreans living in the Amazon rainforest are suing Chevron, the US oil company, for poisoning their waterways in what is billed as one of the biggest environmental lawsuits in history.
Death Toll from El Salvador Floods Rises to 192
Poor TV Quality this morning
Venezuelan military presence in Paraguay: Presencia militar secreta de Venezuela en el país ABC
Fuentes castrenses que pidieron el anonimato por razones obvias confirmaron a ABC que el último año ha sido frecuente la llegada sin registro de militares venezolanos, aparentemente para “colaborar” con las Fuerzas Armadas en tareas de inteligencia. La coordinación estaría a cargo del agregado militar de ese país, Oscar Carrizales Pinto, que llamativamente es general, cuando este tipo de puestos habitualmente lo ocupan oficiales de menor rango. Los tripulantes del Hércules que se habrían quedado en el país el jueves no hicieron trámites migratorios.
Mujica en crudo
Chock full o’ nuts Chavez: Chavez asking Cubans to ‘bomb clouds’ amid drought
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to “bomb clouds” to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing.
Chavez, who has asked Venezuelans to take three-minute showers to save water, said the Cubans had arrived in Venezuela and were preparing to fly specially equipped aircraft above the Orinoco river.
“I’m going in a plane; any cloud that crosses me, I’ll zap it so that it rains,” Chavez said at a ceremony late on Saturday with family members of five Cubans convicted of spying in the United States.
In case you think this came from The Onion, here he is saying it in Spanish, announcing that the Cuban technicians arrived and are ready to bomb the clouds:
Obama as Climate Strongman: Taking the Chavez Adoration a Step Too Far
Special thanks to Dan, Dick, Maggie and Phyllis.
The week’s posts and podcasts
Mexico: Amlo’s pretend government
Brazil’s big blackout: 15 Minutes on Latin America
Blackout in Venezuela: 15 Minutes on Latin America
OAS calls emergency meeting on Honduras