Latin America

Trade
10:09 am
Mon April 22, 2013

How Coffee Brings The World Together

The best coffee comes from high altitudes with a warm climate like in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:51 pm

Coffee is more than a drink. For many of us — OK, for me — it's woven into the fabric of every day.

It also connects us to far corners of the globe.

For instance, every Friday, a truck pulls up to the warehouse of Counter Culture Coffee, a small roaster and coffee distributor in Durham, N.C., and unloads a bunch of heavy burlap sacks.

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Venezuelan Election
12:22 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:18 pm

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

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Venezuelan Election
6:35 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel

Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Edwin Karmiol Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:55 am

Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.

For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?

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Venezuelan Election
10:13 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Comandante' Chavez Still Revered By Some, Despite Failings

Hugo Chavez, shown here in February 2012, was the president of Venezuela for over a decade. His career is the subject of a new book by Rory Carrolll.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:42 am

Hugo Chavez died in March, but his ghost still lingers in Venezuela. He was president for well over a decade and, according to journalist Rory Carroll, his oversize influence hasn't faded.

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Pope Francis I
5:26 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Upon News Of Argentinian Pope, Latin Americans Are Overjoyed

Faithful react after the announcement that Buenos Aires archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I, at Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:01 pm

Pope Francis goes into history as the first pontiff from the New World.

For Latin America in particular, this is a momentous occasion: It is home to 483 million Catholics, or a little more than 40 percent of the global population.

Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of Italian parents. At one point, he was the archbishop of the Buenos Aires diocese, which The Wall Street Journal reports, has "the largest concentration of Catholics in the world."

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Latin America
3:19 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Cubans Wonder If Aid Will Still Flow Following Death Of Chavez

Cuba's Fidel Castro was a mentor to Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan leader provided oil and other assistance to Cuba. The two men met in Havana in June 2011 when Chavez went for cancer treatment.
Granma AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.

The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.

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Latin America
3:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Will A New Secretary Of State Put A New Focus On Latin America And The Caribbean?

Jose W. Fernandez, assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
Credit U. S. State Dept.

Wednesdays on WLRN, we discuss issues related to Latin American and the Caribbean. Today: how a transition at the top of the U. S.  State Dept. might be felt in the hemisphere.

Some have said the Obama Administration has ignored that part of the world as it tried to put out other fires in the President's first term.

Now that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been succeeded by John Kerry, might things be different?

Phil Latzman spoke with assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Jose Fernandez about the possibilities.

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Brazil
3:38 am
Mon January 7, 2013

A Strong Voice For Brazil's Powerful Farmers

Katia Abreu, a senator and landholder who heads the powerful landowners bloc in Brazil's legislature, takes a look at the new plantations on her 12,000-acre farm.
Juan Forero

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:56 am

In some ways, Katia Abreu is still an old-fashioned farmer, one who rides her chestnut mare, Billy Jean, to tour her farm in Tocantins state in north-central Brazil.

She glides the horse along a gravel road, which soon turns to dirt, and along fields of sorghum and corn. She has plans for more.

"Soon, we're going to produce fish and lamb," she says. "There will be soybeans and fields of tall grass for cattle. Lots of cattle."

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News
4:54 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

How Cell Phones Are Fighting Poverty In Latin America

Alex Counts, Grameen Foundation CEO And President
Credit Grameen Foundation

The stated goal of the Grameen Foundation is to help the world’s poorest  improve their lives and escape poverty by helping to provide access to financial services , such as small loans and savings account, to find  new ways to generate income and obtain important information about their health, crops and finances.

Grameen Foundation is a nonprofit founded in 1997 by friends of Grameen Bank to help microfinance practitioners spread the Grameen philosophy worldwide.

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Sounds of Basel
2:15 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

What Does Fania Records Have To Do With Art Basel Miami?

The musicians of Fania Records include Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades and Ismael Miranda.
Credit Fania Records

The legendary salsa label hosts a free music and art event at PAX in Little Havana during Art Basel Wednesday, Dec.5 through Saturday, Dec. 8.

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Drug Money
11:37 am
Wed November 21, 2012

How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money

Skip Latson marks the fake opening of RHM Trust Bank.
Bill Bruton

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 1:18 pm

In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with.

"They were having a very difficult time with just the logistics of laundering millions and millions and millions of dollars every week," says Skip Latson, who worked for the DEA at the time.

So Latson and Bill Bruton, who was a special agent with the IRS, hatched a plan: They'd create a fake, offshore bank catering to the needs of the drug cartel.

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US Southern Command
10:00 am
Tue November 20, 2012

SOUTHCOM: From Doral, Gen. John Kelly Commands Pentagon Operations in Latin America

The changing of command ceremony drew hundreds of people, including top military brass.
Credit Arianna Prothero

Monday's changing of the guard ceremony at Southern Command in Doral.

The United States Southern Command has a new boss. 

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