For now, hawk talk is being toned down dramatically in response to Latin American pressure and grisly evidence of the Drug War’s failures. As for Cuba, Obama will have to move toward better relations over the fierce opposition of Cuba Lobby hard-liners, like Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
As many as 10,000 people assembled on the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City last Wednesday to celebrate another anniversary of the Chicago Haymarket Rebellion that ushered in the labor movement at the turn of the century. This year’s May Day in Mexico came after a sweeping reform in its Federal Labor Law enacted this past December. Unions participating mostly protested the reforms, which they call a threat to the future of their jobs and wages.
Days before President Barack Obama arrived on Costa Rican soil, three Black Hawk helicopters would appear on the horizon of the army-less Central American country, scanning the streets for potential security threats. When the president landed in the country on Friday, May 3, the streets of the capital city San José were empty and silent, cleared by local police in preparation for the leader’s visit. It was the president’s second stopover on a diplomatic trip into the region that was referred to by Secretary of State John Kerry as “America’s backyard” just weeks before.
Horacio Cartes, tobacco tycoon and political novice, had a resounding victory in Paraguayan presidential elections, bringing back to power the Colorado Party, which ruled the country with a tight grip of power for over sixty years until 2008.
Cartes, who has accusations of narcotrafficing, smuggling and money laundering[CP1] all of which he was denied, won the elections with 45.8% of the votes, while second runner-up, Efrain Alegre, got 36.94%. 68.57% of the more than 3.5 million Paraguayans that could vote went to the polls to cast their ballots and choose not only president and vice president, but also members of congress, governors and representatives to the Mercosur parliament.
Obama last visited Mexico during the G-20 summit in Los Cabos last June. He and his entourage will touch down again today for talks with Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto. Since his election, Peña Nieto’s team has worked to shift media focus away from violence related to the drug war and towards the economy, something that will likely be reinforced during this visit.