U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in  DeKalb County, Georgia. (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Gulbenk, CC BY-SA 3.0)

This article was originally published in Civic Ideas on February 17, 2016, and is the first in a two-part series. NEW YORK — Congregating on benches in a downtown Manhattan courtroom, children and their guardians listen to a young woman who stands in front of them talking in Spanish. The speaker, Marielos Ramos, is not…

Venezuelan National Guard head Néstor Reverol (Image: Venezuelan Government)

Top Story — U.S. authorities will unseal drug trafficking charges against the head of Venezuela’s armed forces, who formerly headed the country’s anti-drug unit, as part of the U.S. government’s sweeping investigation into the role high-ranking officials allegedly played in transforming Venezuela into a global capital for cocaine trafficking. Néstor Reverol headed Venezuela’s National Drug…

Cuban migrants traveling to the United States by sea. (Image: Duke University Libraries CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — Cuban officials have blamed U.S. policy for the recent surge in migration from the island to the United States, which has created a border crisis in Central America. In a statement issued Tuesday, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations said that the Cold War-era “wet-foot, dry foot” policy, which eases the residency process…

President Nicolás Maduro and First Lady Cilia Flores (Image: Agencia de Noticias ANDES, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — Two nephews of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores were arrested on Tuesday in Haiti for their alleged attempt to smuggle 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. Efraín Campos and Francisco Flores were extradited to New York, where they will appear in federal court on Thursday, according to a U.S. law…

The result of Tuesday's vote condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba was met with a standing ovation. (Image: YouTube, screenshot)

Top Story — The United Nations on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution demanding an end to the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba. The United States, having recently discussed abstaining from the annual vote, ultimately voted against the resolution for the 24th consecutive year. A record 191 countries, including Cuba, sided with the resolution…

Trans-Pacific Partnership member state leaders during a 2010 meeting. (Image: Chilean Government, Public Domain.)

Top Story — The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, including Chile, Peru and Mexico, have agreed on the final details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, a deal that was greeted enthusiastically by Latin American leaders but faces skepticism from organized labor as well as U.S. lawmakers. Together with other countries such as…

Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange. (Image: Government of Ecuador, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Top Story — The whistleblower website Wikileaks has released documents detailing the extent of the U.S. surveillance that targeted Brazil’s president and others, causing a major diplomatic row in 2013. The documents, according to Wikileaks, show that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and several other key government officials, tapping their…