Central America

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

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London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years. Nick Miller WAtoday Two officials from Australia’s High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday. It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy. They were accompanied by Assange’s lawyer Jennifer… Australian officials spotted… Read More »

5 Latino authors you should be reading now

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You likely recognize that the depiction of Latin American immigrants in politics today – as a menacing mass of recalcitrant Spanish-speaking invaders – is overwhelmingly negative. Laura Lomas The Conversation What you may not know is that stereotypes suggesting that Latin Americans represent a threat to United States culture are not just morally repugnant – they’re also historically inaccurate. Spanish-language literature actually predates the Puritans’ writing in English by nearly a century. As my research reveals, many renowned Latin American ... Read More »

Mexico’s Southern Border: Security, Violence and Migration in the Trump Era

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Mexico stops hundreds of thousands of Central Americans fleeing northward to the U.S. Many are deported, and many more are stuck in the country’s south, vulnerable to crime and rising xenophobia. With U.S. and European help, Mexico should work harder to protect migrants and foster economic development. ICG What’s new? Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets to the contrary, Mexico is vigorously policing its southern border, stemming the northward flow of Central Americans escaping poverty and violence. It is deporting ... Read More »

Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks

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Cuba will host peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist ELN rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out as host, negotiators said May 5. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party. Five other countries — Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela — ... Read More »

UK reassures EU over ‘Windrush’ Caribbean migrant scandal

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Demonstrators chant and hold placards during a protest in support of the Windrush generation in Windrush Square, Brixton on April 20, 2018 in London, England. The Windrush generation are people who arrived in the UK after the Second World War from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government. It is now thought that an estimated 50,000 people of the Windrush generation face the risk of deportation if they never formalised their residency status and do not have the required documentation to prove it.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Home Office briefs EU diplomats on how it would avoid similar problems post Brexit and acknowledges ‘psychological impact’ on EU citizens. By GIULIA PARAVICINI AND CHARLIE COOPER Politico The U.K.’s Home Office held a briefing for EU diplomats in London Friday at which it admitted failures in how it had dealt with the immigration status of Caribbean migrants and reassured them the same would not happen to EU27 citizens post… Some members of the so-called Windrush generation — named after the Empire ... Read More »

Cuba nominates Castro replacement Miguel Díaz-Canel

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Cuba’s parliament has picked Miguel Díaz-Canel as the sole candidate to succeed Raúl Castro, 86, bringing the family’s decades-long rule to an end. BBC Mr Castro took over as president from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006. The National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, will vote on the nomination but Mr Díaz-Canel is almost certain to be confirmed. Mr Castro is expected to remain a powerful influence in the communist state even after he steps down. He will stay on ... Read More »

Addressing the Migration Bottleneck in Southern Mexico

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Mexico is not doing “nothing” to curb northward migration, as U.S. President Donald Trump claims. Ivan Briscoe ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Latin America & Caribbean Program Director Ivan Briscoe says Washington should help Mexico meet the challenge of migrant and refugee flows from Central America, which are now concentrated in its… What is the migration crisis in Mexico? Poverty and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America (comprising El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are forcing hundreds of ... Read More »

Costa Ricans split over gay marriage vote for next president

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An evangelical pastor who has capitalized on opposition to same-sex marriage was in a tight presidential race in Costa Rica on April 1 against a novelist and former cabinet minister. SAN JOSE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Fabricio Alvarado went from also-ran to leading candidate after he came out strongly against a call by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for Costa Rica to allow same-sex marriage. His opponent, Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizen Action Party, has openly backed ... Read More »

U.S. Coast Guard detains 20 Mexican fisherman for illegal fishing

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Four lancha boats, 100 red snapper and the Mexican boat crews’ fishing gear were seized. KiiiTV A total of 20 Mexican fishermen were arrested Sunday and Tuesday of this week by U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement crews out of Corpus Christi. The fishermen made up four lancha boat crews that were fishing illegally in federal waters near South Texas. Along with the four lancha boats, Coast Guard crews seized 100 red snapper and fishing gear from the boat crews. The ... Read More »

Migration is a successful climate adaptation strategy

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Governments across the world should legalise and regulate temporary climate migration, rather than try to prevent it. Alex Randall Al Jazeera After a particularly bad year for rainfall, Miguel told a group of researchers that he was leaving Mexico for the US. This wasn’t a permanent move he explained, he would be back. In fact, he’d made the move several times before. “The only solution is to go away, at least for a while. Each year, I’m working for three to five ... Read More »

Lessons From Cuba

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Cuba’s own experience when Soviet aid was suddenly lost shows that a country that relies on its people has nothing to fear from self-reliance – and everything to gain… Will Podmore CounterPunch The withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 left Cuba’s economy on a knife-edge. Cubans lost all their markets in sugar. They ceased to receive foodstuffs, fuel, wood, soap, raw materials. Calories and protein intake were reduced by half. Plans for nuclear energy had to be abandoned. The US ... Read More »

Most Mexico murders organized crime linked

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Organized crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of all murders in Mexico in 2017, the country’s deadliest year since record-keeping began, according to non-profit Semaforo Delictivo. MEXICO – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group said that 18,989 of the year’s officially recorded 25,339 murders were carried out by criminal gangs. The figure represented a 55 percent increase on the year before. “The sort of numbers we used to see in a year, we now see in a month,” said Santiago Roel, the ... Read More »

This Man is Likely to Succeed the Castro Brothers After Their 59-Year Long Rule

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Cuban President Raul Castro is due to hand over the reins to his successor this year All the indications are that First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will assume the presidency after the Castro brothers, becoming the first leader of the country who was born after the legendary Cuban Revolution. Sputnik Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first vice-president of Cuba and former university professor, may become the new president of the country in the coming months. On April 19, Raul Castro will finish his second tenure ... Read More »

Cuba postpones historic replacement of Castro

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Communist-run Cuba extended the term of its current leadership to April on Dec. 21, signaling a two-month delay in the historic handover from Raul Castro to a new president, while announcing tighter regulations on the non-state sector. HAVANA – Reuters Hurriyet Castro, 86, was originally set to step down in February after two consecutive terms, ending nearly 60 years of Castro brothers’ rule and marking a transition from the leaders of the 1959 revolution to a new, younger generation. The ... Read More »

Govt receives ExxonMobil funds to help fight Guyana-Venezuela border controversy; some contract details disclosed

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Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman on Friday confirmed that United States (US) oil giant, ExxonMobil, will help fund Guyana’s legal fees to settle the border controversy with Venezuela. Demerara Waves “Yes, Mr. Speaker, there is a sum and yes it is reserved to safeguard this country,” he said the same day that two local newspapers published a September 2016 letter by Finance Secretary, Dr. Hector Butts to the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga for the ... Read More »

China’s ‘Period of Strategic Opportunity’ in Mexico

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Beijing is looking to cash in on Trump’s rhetoric against Mexico and NAFTA As the Trump administration contemplates border wall prototypes and dissolving the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), China is taking a decidedly different approach to relations with Mexico. Margaret Myers Ricardo Barrios In recent months, Beijing has launched an unprecedented charm offensive south of the Rio Grande. The National Interest In addition to a series of new investments, and renewed talk of a bilateral trade pact, ... Read More »