Today in Latin America
Top Story — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has been in the news a good amount recently.
In an interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the former Cuban head said that in the early years of the revolution homosexuals were persecuted and that he regretted that they were marginalized or sent to agrarian reform camps as punishment.
“If someone is responsible, it’s me,” he said, according to the BBC.
Castro added that he was too busy dealing with attacks against him and his government to put a stop to homophobic attitudes within his regime.
The communist government did however soon change their stance on homosexuality. In 1979 homosexuality was decriminalized and there have been recent efforts to legalize same-sex unions.
In other news, Cuba released photos of Castro Tuesday alongside a U.S. journalist and a Washington-based policy expert.
The images show the 84-year old Castro with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Julia E. Sweig from the Council on Foreign Relations during a visit to the Havana aquarium.
Castro’s appearance with the two Americans at the aquarium is part of the recent media blitz that he has been on.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- After losing in a second-round election to Alán García in 2006, controversial Peruvian nationalist Ollanta Humala is running for the presidency again. Get to know him in this interview with Paul Alonso.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Deaths of undocumented immigrants in Arizona have shot up this summer, despite expectations that the state’s new immigration law and the summer’s high temperatures would deter migrants from crossing along that section of the border.
- Mexican and U.S. authorities hope that recently arrested Texas native and alleged drug kingpin Edgar Valdéz Villareal will yield information about how Mexico’s drug underworld functions.
- Eight people were killed Tuesday in Cancún in a fire at a bar that employees said started when unidentified men threw gasoline bombs at the establishment.
- Fidel Castro has said that he is ultimately responsible for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba after the revolution of 1959.
- Cuba on Tuesday released pictures of Fidel Castro with an American magazine correspondent and a Washington-based policy expert.
- Hurricane Earl churned through the Caribbean Tuesday evening on a path toward the United States, prompting people along the Atlantic coast to brace for the powerful storm’s expected impact later this week.
- The U.N. Population Fund’s special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and the use of children in pornography warned Tuesday about the “social tolerance” that exists in El Salvador for crimes against children.
- Honduran teachers agreed to end their month-long strike after the government pledged to pay some $189 million in past-due contributions to the educators’ pension fund, President Porfirio Lobo said late Monday.
- Colombia’s government presented Congress with proposed reforms to oil and mining royalties on Tuesday — one of the key projects as the country seeks to regain investment grade lost during a 1990s fiscal crisis.
- Venezuelan authorities exhumed the remains of Simon Bolívar’s sisters Monday, seeking genetic clues to help them investigate President Hugo Chávez’s theory that the South American independence hero may have been murdered.
- Ecuador’s government signed a loan agreement on Tuesday for $1 billion with the China Development Bank Corp.
- Millions of aquatic animals in land-locked Bolivia’s river systems have perished in unusually cold weather during the ongoing winter.
- Former Argentine military officer Roberto Guillermo Bravo, who currently resides in the U.S., is resisting extradition for his alleged participation in the 1972 massacre of nineteen guerrillas imprisoned in Trelew, Argentina.
- Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Héctor Timerman, arrived in Asunción to briefly meet with Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo about bilateral trade, migration, and border issues.
- The Brazilian government reported that deforestation in the Amazon is falling, based on satellite images gathered by the National Institute for Space Research.
- Argentine soccer veteran Francisco Varallo, the last surviving player from the 1930 World Cup final against Uruguay, passed away Tuesday at the age of 100.
Image: Wiki Commons.