Latin AmericaLatin America
Under the heading of The Peronist pope, The Economist has a piece on Francis's balancing act in Latin America dedicated to the eight day tour of three of the continent's poorest countries, but with the largest percentages of Catholics. But for Francis it is also a delicate balancing act since several current leaders in the region tend to blend the Church's 'option for the poor' with Marxist ideology.
President Cristina Fernández was present on Sunday in the Paraguayan capital, Asunción to hear Pope Francis give mass during his visit, and greeted the Argentine citizens who had travelled to see the leader of the Catholic church. The head of state left the open mass at around midday, handing Francis a gift before retiring after witnessing the ceremony with Paraguayan counterpart Horacio Cartés.
Bolivian president Evo Morales revealed on Friday that Pope Francis told him that there are three pending issues in the continent, Puerto Rico, Falklands/Malvinas and Bolivia's sea outlet claim. The pope has been recognized by all sides as the 'bridge' which helped bring together Cuba and the US after over half a century of mutual distancing.
Pope Francis urged Paraguay to consolidate democracy and end corruption and drug trafficking, after receiving a colorful welcome on Friday at the start of the last leg of his eight-day South American tour.
The International Monetary Fund sharply lowered its growth forecast for Latin America and the Caribbean to 0.5% in 2015 and 1.7% next year, citing lower commodity prices and China's transition to a new growth model. The figures are down from the IMF's April projections for 0.9% growth this year and 2% next year.
Pope Francis, a champion of the poor and social justice, on Thursday called on a million faithful to reject today's consumer society, at an open-air mass in Bolivia. On the second stop of his three-nation tour of South America, the pope addressed the throng in the vast Christ the Redeemer Plaza in Santa Cruz, including many people who camped out overnight to see him.
Pope Francis greeted Bolivia with a message of inclusion, a central theme of his three-nation tour to his home continent, as he arrived in South America's poorest nation. Landing in La Paz early in the evening, thousands of faithful -- many of whom had spent a chilly night outdoors waiting for him -- welcomed the pope as choirs sang in the indigenous Aymara language.
Pope Francis called for dialogue in front of nearly one million people at an outdoor mass in Ecuador's capital, before launching an appeal for better care of the Amazon. The pope addressed over 900,000 faithful who braved the cold and rain to hear his homily in Bicentennial Park, Quito -- a city recently rocked by anti-government protests.
Carnival Corporation, the world's biggest travel and leisure firm, plans to launch cruises to Cuba in May, following the historic thaw between the Castro brothers nation and the United States. US Treasury Department and Commerce Department granted the company approval for the plans, Carnival announced Tuesday, though it has yet to receive Cuban authorization.
The World Bank’s Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, praised the region’s implementation of economic reforms, claiming that they had led to poverty reduction in the last few years, but he also warned that its pace was decreasing.