Latin AmericaLatin America
Of all four Pacific Alliance countries, Colombia spends most on its congressional representatives, despite the South American country’s low wages. According to a report published on Monday by economic newspaper La Republica, the state pays Colombia’s congressmen a total of nearly $2.1 million per month in salaries, almost double the total of Chile, whose congressmen have the highest individual salaries, but in total cost the state $1.2 million per month.
Pope Francis met Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Sunday hours after warning Cubans to beware the dangers of ideology and the lure of selfishness as the island enters a new era of closer ties with the United States. Latin America's first pope and Castro, the region's last surviving revolutionary icon of the 20th century, discussed religion and world affairs at the home of the 89-year-old retired president for about 40 minutes.
Dissidents opposed to Cuba’s regime were arrested when they tried approaching Pope Francis in Havana on Sunday, an activist group reported. The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba identified the dissidents as Patriotic Union of Cuba members Zaqueo Baéz, Boris Reni, Aymara Nieto Muñoz and Maria Josefa Acon Sardiña, who is also a member of the Ladies in White, a peaceful protest group founded by female relatives of Cuban political prisoners.
The Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s daughter, Aleida Guevara refused to go to a mass Pope Francis conducted on Sunday during his historic Cuban trip, saying it would be “hypocritical” of her to be present.
Argentine president Cristina Fernández took part in Pope Francis' Sunday's mass from Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion, as she watched the pontiff in the company of her Cuban counterpart Raul Castro. Sitting next to the Cuban president, CFK followed Francis' services as he called for society to “protect the most fragile,” in a service witnessed by more than 100,000 worshippers at the Havana landmark.
Pope Francis praised Cubans' spirit in the face of adversity in a message broadcast ahead of his trip to the impoverished island. It does me a lot of good and helps me to think of your faith in the Lord, of the spirit with which you confront the difficulties of each day, the pope said in a message played on state television.
The United States on Friday issued regulations easing restrictions on US companies seeking to do business in Cuba and opening up travel in the latest action to weaken the trade embargo amid warming relations with the Castro brothers regime.
The former Chargé d'affaires at the Cuban Embassy in the United States, Jose Cabañas, on Thursday presented his diplomatic credentials as ambassador to U.S. President Barack Obama in a new step toward the normalization of bilateral relations.
Secret United States indictments obtained by the media have implicated top Bolivian officials in drug trafficking, reigniting the highly charged debate over whether Bolivia is a victim of US political persecution or whether it is becoming a corrupt narco-state.
President Evo Morales confirmed the discovery of new natural gas reserves at two adjacent fields in southern Bolivia that are managed by a consortium led by Spanish oil major Repsol. The Margarita and Huacaya fields are located in the Caipipendi block, in which Repsol and Britain's BG Group each has a 37.5% stake and Anglo-Argentine oil company Pan American Energy holds a 25% interest.