Latin AmericaLatin America
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.
Pope Francis said Mass for more than 650.000 Ecuadoreans and hinted he wanted a major Vatican gathering this year to find ways to reach out to Catholics who feel excluded by the Church. On the first full day of a three-nation homecoming trip to South America, the Argentine-born pontiff was in Ecuador's second city Guayaquil, a steamy port sometimes referred to as the world's banana capital, given its bustling fruit trade.
The chairman of a 15-member Caribbean trade bloc said over the weekend that he backs Guyana's government amid an escalating border dispute with neighboring Venezuela. Freundel Stuart spoke at a press conference as Caricom leaders ended a three-day summit in Barbados.
President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday that he was recalling Venezuela's ambassador in neighboring Guyana for consultation amid mounting tensions over their disputed border. During an address to parliament, Maduro said that he also is initiating a comprehensive review of relations with much smaller Guyana and reducing the size of Venezuela's embassy there.
Francis landed in Ecuador's capital Quito on Sunday to begin an eight-day tour of South America that will also include visits to Bolivia and Paraguay. On his first visit as pontiff to Latin America, the Argentina-born pope is scheduled to conduct masses in both Quito and the coastal city of Guayaquil before flying to Bolivia on Wednesday.
Thousands of people turned out for protest marches across Ecuador on Thursday to call for the ouster of President Rafael Correa just three days before a visit by Pope Francis. Full demonstrations were reported in the three biggest cities, Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, as well as other smaller cities. Correa claimed a 'coup' was on the making.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández will have a meeting with Pope Francis during the Pontiff’s visit to Paraguay, official sources have confirmed. The Argentine leader will travel to Asunción between July 11 and 13 for her sixth encounter with Francis, who will be ending his South American tour during those dates. The Pope will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, beginning Sunday.