When the United States broke relations with Cuba in 1961, the U.S. embassy in Havana closed. Many people thought that this phase in U.S.-Cuba relations would not last long, that cutting ties would lead to Fidel Castro’s downfall. But it only proved counterproductive, damaging the United States’ standing in the world and doing nothing to improve the lives of the Cuban people.
Opened last June, the U.S. government’s family detention center for Central American migrants in New Mexico generated major controversy. Located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training facility in the small town of Artesia, the lock-up, euphemistically called a “family residential center” by the Obama administration, drew protests and vigils by supporters of the children and women detained at the site.
Sonora like its neighboring states on either side of the international border is caught in a deepening water crisis — one that is largely its own making but now made ever more grim by the onslaught of climate change with its more extreme weather, prolonged droughts, and rising temperatures.
Grupo México is a major player in this crisis because of massive consumption of water. The virtual absence until recently of public, media, and governmental scrutiny of Grupo México’s water-use and environmental practices is a testament to the company’s privileged status in Mexico and especially in Sonora.
The Mexican government is making modern mining dreams come true. Nonexistent or unenforced regulations –whether regarding occupational safety, environmental degradation, water extraction, and control of hazardous wastes – make Mexico one of the world’s most profitable countries for the mining industry. Government agencies – both federal and state – that have authority over the mining industry serve as mining boosters rather than as regulators.