Today in Latin America
Top Story — Cuba condemned the release of a new video game that allows gamers to play as a United States special forces agent attempting to kill a young Fidel Castro.
The game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, was labelled by Cuban state-media as an attempt to legitimize murder and assassination for the sake of entertainment. It also said the game would turn American children into sociopaths.
“What the United States government did not achieve in more than 50 years, it now tries to do virtually,” said a story on Cuba’s government-run CubaDebate Web site.
Call of Duty: Black Ops allows gamers to go back in time, taking on the role of a U.S. special operative as he saves the U.S. from a communist plot and travels between Cold War hotspots such as Cuba, Vietnam and Russia.
The first mission of the game is based before the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and has the game’s character attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro. In reality, there were numerous U.S. attempts on the former Cuban leader’s life during the Cold War, most made by Cuban exiles.
The game is expected to be one of game manufacturer Activision’s biggest sellers this year, with IT marketing firm IDC forecasting that 11.7 million copies will be shifted in the United States by the end of the year alone.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
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- Sex work is flourishing in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. Julie Turkewitz sends us this report from Port-au-Prince.
- Juan Víctor Fajardo reports on Bolivian President Evo Morales’ struggle to balance environmentalism and the demands of an economy still driven by mineral extraction.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Threats and violence by drug gangs are preventing some government oil workers from reaching installations in northern Mexico and costing state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos about $350,000 every day in lost production, a company official said Thursday.
- A new study suggests there may be 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were before the debate over the state’s tough new immigration law earlier this year.
- Arizona has banned produce inspections by its agriculture department in Mexico over fears that escalating drug violence there could put inspectors lives at risk, authorities said on Thursday.
- Cuba says tourism on the island has inched up during the first nine months of 2010, with both revenue and the number of visitors climbing despite global economic weakness.
- One of the 13 Cuban political prisoners who were expected to be released last weekend has reported that he was told by one government official that he would be freed within 15 to 30 days.
- Reacting to the cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 600 and hospitalized 9,000 more in Haiti, health officials in Miami-Dade, Broward and elsewhere in Florida have issued advisories requiring local doctors and hospitals to be on the lookout for it, and to treat and report it immediately.
- Dominican officials announced new health measures Thursday to try to keep a cholera outbreak from spreading from neighbouring Haiti as they reopen four popular outdoor markets along the border.
- The first portion of U.S. reconstruction money for Haiti is on its way more than seven months after it was promised to help the country rebuild from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- A judge on Thursday banned the sale of a hagiography of Rafael Trujillo — the strongman who ran the Dominican Republic for 30 years — written by the dictator’s daughter.
- Somali pirates have hijacked a Panama-flagged chemical tanker with 31 crew members on board in the Indian Ocean, European Union’s anti- piracy force (EU Navfor) said Thursday.
- The Secretary of Industry and Trade of Honduras, Oscar Escalante, was removed Wednesday from office amid a scandal alleging that he received about 40 thousand dollars in handouts to remodel his office.
- With the death on Thursday of inmate Jorge Quizilapa, the death toll from the fire at a prison in the central Salvadoran city of Ilobasco rose to 17.
- Guatemalan ambassador to the U.S. Francisco Villagrán de León attended the immigration case of Encarnación Romero in Missouri, which he said shows the flaws in U.S. immigration policy.
- Nicaraguan lawmakers and military officials visited the disputed river territory on the San Juan River claimed by Costa Rica on Thursday.
- Costa Rica will take its border dispute with Nicaragua to the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, if a resolution is not found, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said.
- Ecopetrol has chosen seven partners led by Canadian oil companies, Pacific Rubiales and Petrominerales to work on a $4.2 billion project to build an oil pipeline in Colombia, the country’s state oil company said on Thursday.
- Peruvian finance Minister Ismael Benavides said Thursday that the country has no plans to place more debt in the short term following this week’s large sovereign bond placements.
- Two people died in Itapua province, Paraguay during a shootout between police and alleged drug traffickers.
- Miners who began a strike Friday at Chile’s Collahausi copper mine have not affected output levels, according to the mine operator. The mine’s union disagrees.
- Argentina’s lower house of congress voted 117-112 to send the 2011 budget bill back to the Budget and Treasury Committee and not vote on it.
- The Brazilian clown and newly-elected congressman “Tiririca” took a literacy test Thursday to determine whether he was qualified to be a lawmaker.