If Brazilian Politics Were a TV Script, They’d Fire the Writer

Politics in Brasilia have not exactly hauled themselves out of the gutter since Dilma Roussef was impeached, writes Joao Sette Camara. Sleazy real estate deals and secretive dealmaking have already touched the new president, even as it becomes increasingly clear to Brazilians that the people who removed Roussef were actually trying to hide their own misdeeds.

Ever since the impeachment of former president Dilma Roussef, Brazilian politics has taken on the air of the script of a bad soap opera

Te Doy Una Cancion, Fidel Castro.

In a bar in Mexico City, Diego Fonseca learns that Cuba’s longtime strongman has finally died. A meditation on the passing of adolescent dreams, on revolution gasping out its life on a hospital ventilator, on how Fidel became Castro.

Now as an adult that song of my youth still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and makes me bite my lip and makes me raise my eyebrows and kick back with my hands behind my head as if it were not just a song, but all the Romantic revolutions that I could ever fight for.

O Senile Captain, Where Are We Sailing To?

With Cuba’s benefactor regime in Venezuela teetering, memories are stirring of the economic collapse that overwhelmed the island when the Soviet Union broke up and stopped plugging the leaks in Cuba’s economy. But, writes Juan Orlando Perez in El Estornudo, the island’s unending fearful voyage goes on without chart or purpose; is there even a Cuban economy left to sink this time?

Raul Castro briefly came out of his hiding place last month to assure Cubans that there was no truth to the persistent rumors

The End of Cash in India?

Late in the evening on Nov. 8, Indian President Narendra Modi made an unscheduled appearance live on TV. Effective immediately, he said, all banknotes of 500 rupees ($7.50) and higher were invalid and must be turned over to banks, in order to fight corruption, terrorism and forgery. Abruptly the entire Indian economy was forced to subsist on nothing but the equivalent of $1 bills, at least until new currency could be rolled out.

Sudhir Panwar was caught up in a strange, chaotic situation on Wednesday afternoon.

The Chicken Rescuer

People devote their lives to all sorts of things, the great, the terrible, and the pointless. Somewhere on this spectrum, but clearly with a little bit of greatness in him, is Paulo Maia, the Rio de Janeiro man whose life’s work is trying to rescue the animals, the vast majority of them chickens, whose lives are offered up in bloody and often brutal Santeria rituals:

Three chickens were already fighting for their lives on the back seat of his car when environmentalist Paulo Maia got the new call.

In Venezuela, Waiting for the Coup

There is an ominous scent to the air in Caracas, writes Marco Teruggi in Anfibia. Although Vatican-mediated talks between the government and the right-wing opposition seem to have for the moment headed off efforts to resurrect a referendum to remove leftist Nicolas Maduro from power, Teruggi finds violent sentiment everywhere: Crowds of middle-class conservatives jeer their own leaders for being too conciliatory, while the Chavista left girds for street warfare, while in the shadows, industrialists and the regime joust with economic sabotage and counterinsurgency.

“They don’t have much time left in office, very little. They’ll see.”

When the Revolution Claims Your Uterus

Abortion laws in the United States seem to be set for an abrupt shift following this week’s elections. In this piece, Mateo Jarquin examines the extremely strict and punitive laws that govern several central American countries, where, surprisingly, abortion bans owe much of their origins to revolutionary leftist political parties.

Last month, the President of El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly called for lawmakers to revisit the country’s penal code

In Rio, the Right Rides a Wave of Political Indifference to Victory

Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, has just elected as mayor the evangelical protestant leader Marcelo Crivella, 59. His victory, with 59 percent of valid votes, but a minority of the electorate, decided an election that represented a clash between two different sides of Brazil.

On one side, wrote the newspaper El Pais’s post-election analysis was the conservative model embodied by Crivella

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