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Americas Briefs

Americas Stories


Sep 18 2013 Obama Fails To Pursuade Brazil For State Visit

BRASILIA - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off plans for a state visit to Washington in October because of revelations that the United States spied on her personal communications and those of other Brazilians.
 Rousseff’s decision, which came despite a 20-minute telephone call from President Barack Obama on Monday night in an attempt to salvage […]


Sep 6 2013 Brazil Angered Over US Electronic Surveillance

BRASILIA - Can any government escape the prying eyes of the U.S. National Security Agency? Brazil is going to try.
 Angered by recent revelations that the United States spied on its emails and phone calls and even its president, Brazil’s government is speeding up efforts to improve the security of its communications - and hopefully keep […]


Aug 14 2013 Kerry Explains NSA Spying To Brazil, Colombia

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brazil, where he is addressing concerns about Washington’s controversial surveillance program.
 New worries are circulating after Brazil’s O Globo newspaper recently reported the U.S. National Security Agency included Colombia and Brazil in its tracking of telephone and Internet communications.
 Kerry is speaking Tuesday with Brazilian Foreign Minister […]


Jul 8 2013 Cuba Offers Snowden Asylum

WASHINGTON - Cuban President Raul Castro has voiced his support for the three leftist nations offering asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
 Castro said he supports the right of all countries in the region to grant asylum to those “persecuted for their ideals.”
 The leaders of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have said they would take in […]


Jul 7 2013 Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua Offer Snowden Asylum

WASHINGTON - Bolivian President Evo Morales says he would grant asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden if he requests it.
 Morales on Saturday became the third leftist Latin American leader to offer asylum to Snowden, following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega a day earlier.
 In a statement, Morales said Bolivia has […]


Mar 5 2013 Hugo Chavez Dead At 58

WASHINGTON - Venezuelan officials say President Hugo Chavez has died after a long struggle with cancer.
 Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the death on national television Tuesday. He urged the Venezuelan people to show strength and courage, and to be united and fulfill the expectations of “this great leader.” 
 The 58-year-old Chavez had been treated in Cuba […]


Feb 18 2012 US Senators Warn Latin America Against Iran Ties

WASHINGTON - U.S. senators are warning Latin American nations against deepening financial and military ties with Iran, pledging heightened U.S. vigilance of Iranian activities in the Western Hemisphere. The Senate’s Foreign Relations Subcommittee took a close look Thursday at Tehran’s dealings with Latin America.
Iran’s increasingly isolated regime retains friends in Latin America, most notably Venezuelan […]


Dec 27 2011 Cuba Releases Over 2,500 Prisoners

WASHINGTON - A human rights group in Cuba says Havana has included five political prisoners among more than 2,500 prisoners who were released in a humanitarian gesture ahead of a visit by the pope.
The Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation said Tuesday that at least 50 political prisoners remain behind bars. It called […]


Dec 12 2011 Manuel Noriega Returns To Panama

WASHINGTON - The former dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, has returned home, after spending more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France.
Noriega arrived Sunday evening after being extradited from France, where he served time for money laundering.
The former strongman now faces three separate sentences in Panama for the slayings of political […]


Nov 25 2011 Brazil Suspends Chevron Oil Drilling

WASHINGTON - Authorities in Brazil are suspending the oil drilling activities of U.S. energy giant Chevron following a recent oil spill off Rio de Janeiro state.
The country’s National Petroleum Agency made the announcement Wednesday, saying Chevron is banned from drilling until the causes of the leak are fully known.
The decision comes two days after Brazil […]


Nov 18 2011 Haiti Suffers Deadly Cholera Epidemic

WASHINGTON - The United States’ most prominent public health agency is calling the cholera epidemic in Haiti “the worst cholera outbreak in recent history.”  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cholera continues to spread across Haiti a year after it was first identified, despite better access to clean water.  This, as the […]


Oct 20 2011 Russia To Launch Soyuz Rocket From French Guiana

MOSCOW - Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket is set make its first launch from outside the former Soviet Union on Thursday, carrying European satellites.
The Soyuz is scheduled to blast off from a new launch site at the Kourou space center in the jungle of French Guiana, off the Atlantic coast.
The Russian rocket will carry Galileo navigation […]


Aug 21 2011 Venezuela Credit Rating Downgraded

WASHINGTON - The rating agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Venezuela’s credit rating, citing the country’s political risk as a key weakness.
S&P lowered the country’s sovereign currency rating once notch Friday from BB¯ to B+ with a stable outlook.
In a statement, S&P said “changing and arbitrary laws, price and exchange controls, and other distorting and […]


Aug 18 2011 Hugo Chavez To Nationalize Gold Mining

WASHINGTON - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he plans to give the government exclusive control over the nation’s gold mining industry to boost the country’s international reserves.
Speaking on state television Wednesday, President Chavez said he will issue a decree in the coming days to nationalize operations currently under the control of private and foreign companies.  […]


Aug 4 2011 Manuel Noriega To Be Extradited

PARIS - A lawyer for former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega says France has agreed to extradite him to face charges in his home country.
The lawyer says French Prime Minister Francois Fillon signed the extradition order last month and Noriega was notified last week. 
Panama and France have not confirmed the development.  Panama requested Noriega’s extradition for […]


Jul 29 2011 Ollanta Humala Sworn In As President Of Peru

LIMA - Ollanta Humala has taken office as Peru’s president, pledging in his inaugural address to ensure that all Peruvians will benefit from the country’s economic growth.
Addressing Congress after being sworn in Thursday in Lima, President Humala said “economic progress” and “social inclusion” must work together.
Mr. Humala was elected on promises he would more evenly […]


Jul 17 2011 Hugo Chavez Begins Cancer Treatment In Cuba

WASHINGTON - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Cuba late Saturday to begin chemotherapy, after undergoing surgery last month to remove a cancerous tumor.
Before boarding his plane in Caracas, Chavez said he was going away for a few days, but the length of his stay in Cuba is not known.
Earlier in the day, President Chavez […]


Jun 21 2011 France Will Extradite Manuel Noriega To Panama

PARIS - France says it will begin proceedings to extradite former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to his home country.
Noriega served 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering before being extradited to France in 2010. He had been sentenced in absentia in 1999 to seven years in jail […]


Apr 20 2011 Raul Castro Named Secretary Of Cuba Communist Party

WASHINGTON - Cuban President Raul Castro has been named the head of the nation’s ruling Communist Party, officially replacing his brother, former President Fidel Castro, who held the post since the party’s founding 46 years ago.
President Raul Castro was named First Secretary Tuesday during a Communist Party Congress in Havana.
Despite raising hopes during the gathering […]


Apr 1 2011 Carter Fails To Secure Release Of American In Cuba

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday wrapped up a three-day, private visit to Cuba, his second to the communist-led island since 2002, the year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The United States and Cuba do not have formal diplomatic relations, only interests sections that are technically part of the Swiss […]


Mar 26 2011 Jimmy Carter To Visit Cuba

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is headed to Cuba on Monday for a private visit.
Mr. Carter’s Atlanta-based Carter Center said Friday that the former president and his wife, Rosalynn, will be in Cuba at the invitation of its government. A statement said the couple will meet with President Raul Castro to discuss ways […]


Feb 24 2011 US Imposes Sanctions Against Drug Traffickers

WASHINGTON - The United States says it has imposed sanctions on a six-nation network of drug traffickers linked to Mexico’s notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it has designated as drug traffickers Colombian native Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa and more than 70 individuals and entities in his organization.
The action freezes any assets […]


Feb 17 2011 US, Argentina Dispute Over Cargo Raises Concern

WASHINGTON - The State Department said Wednesday U.S. officials are “surprised and concerned” by an incident last week in which a U.S. military aircraft was searched, and items aboard seized, in Buenos Aires.  The Air Force plane and crew were to have taken part in a training exercise with Argentine forces.
Officials here say they are […]


Jan 15 2011 US Eases Travel Restrictions To Cuba

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama has loosened travel restrictions on Cuba to allow religious groups and students to travel to the communist country.
The White House said Friday the measures are aimed at developing “people to people” contacts through more academic, cultural and religious exchanges.  It says the looser restrictions are designed to support civil […]


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