To see Brazil for the first time is to see the New World for the first time.
That’s not a travel brochure cliché. If you’re in Rio de Janeiro, standing atop the Pão de Açúcar and surveying the Baía de Guanabara, it’s easy to recall what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the way any European must have felt upon arriving in the Americas five centuries ago: “…face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity to wonder.”
Any presidential election in Colombia these days is a matter of high stakes.
That’s because the country – now South America’s second-largest economy and the United States’ most important ally on that continent – is in the midst of peace talks with Marxist guerrillas known as the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, or FARC, to end a half-century-long civil war.
There was a time when rum was rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it. Rum and croak.
Fast forward a few centuries to rum respectability – specifically, to Rob Burr’s patio deck in Coral Gables.
From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, it sets a mood not for swilling rum but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon. Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.
Pietra Diwan takes pride in the master’s degree she earned in history back in her native Brazil. But a passion for historical accuracy may cost her the business she built here in South Florida.
As a historian, Diwan pays attention to document details. That’s why she raised flags last month when Venezuelan friends here started posting Facebook photos of the ongoing anti-government protests in Venezuela.
This week’s Colombian voter poll had to feel like a back-handed compliment for President Juan Manuel Santos.
The new survey by the Bogotá research firm Ipsos-Napoleón Franco shows Santos with a 17-point lead over his closest competitor in his bid to win re-election in May. But Santos garners just 25 percent of the vote. Half of those polled said they were undecided or intend to cast a blank protest ballot. That’s hardly cause for cumbia dancing at the Casa de Nariño presidential palace.