- If Colombia sends a contingent of troops to Afghanistan, will it qualify for additional U.S. military aid as a member of the “coalition” fighting there?
- Bolivia is very tense on the eve of Sunday’s recall election. Protests, some violent, prevented Evo Morales from attending events in four different parts of the country over the past few days. Kathy Ledebur of the Andean Information Network and John Walsh of WOLA have drafted a very helpful memo about the situation. See also “Two Views from Sucre” at Blog from Bolivia, Rory Carroll’s coverage in the Guardian, and insights from Boz and Miguel Centellas.
- Ãlvaro Uribe yesterday completed six years as president of Colombia. If he gets a third term, yesterday would be the halfway mark.
- 20 countries will be participating in the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored PANAMAX military exercise starting Monday in Panama. “The FA PANAMAX 2008 exercise scenario will include sea-based training devoted to maritime interdiction operations, and visit, boarding, search and seizure. Land-based training in El Salvador and Honduras will focus on command and control, stability operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations.”
- Argentina’s Senate took the historic step of abolishing its military justice system. As ClarÃn puts it, “soldiers and civilians are now equal before the law.”
- Venezuela is meanwhile buying more Argentine debt – but is charging Buenos Aires a decidedly non-preferential 15 percent interest rate.
- 1980s Central America hands who remember Nicaragua’s Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo as an outspoken critic of the Sandinista regime may be surprised to know that the Cardinal is now under fire from Nicaragua’s Episcopal Conference for being too partisan in his support of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Party government.