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

The American Dream Was Never for You

The end of ‘America.’ Millions of people in the United States today awoke to a new dread that will sleep beside them for years to come. From Mexico’s Aristegui Noticias, a powerful essay on the dream of an America that was never meant to be for millions of Latin Americans, and of the expiration of a vision of ‘America’ that stood at the head of a world order whose time has now passed.

Today is Wednesday Dec. 9, 2016. It is the morning after the presidential elections in the United States.

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

A Pleasant Waystation on this Road Through Hell

The ‘invisible diaspora,’ Simone Dalmasso calls this human chain that stretches from the ruined lands of Central America, through the mountains of Guatemala and Mexico and across the Rio Grande to the uncertain promised land of the North. Hard, dangerous lives she finds at temporary respite in a Franciscan hostel in southern Mexico, named for 72 fellow migrants savagely murdered, men women and children, by Mexican narcotraffickers six years ago.

The real struggle to reach the North begins at the frontier between Guatemala and Mexico.

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