Chile

Patrick Semansky / AP

COMMENTARY

As Bernie Sanders doubles down on his controversial praise for Fidel Castro, I’m thinking instead of another deceased Latin American dictator: Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, whose monstrous military regime murdered thousands of people in the 1970s and '80s.

AP

COMMENTARY

It took forever. But Democrats finally seem to have found an answer to President Trump’s claim – directed for years now at Latino voters in Florida – that the party is a sinister socialist cabal poised to nationalize auto factories, shutter churches and send your abuelita out to cut sugar cane to meet the Politburo’s Five-Year Plan. Like, you know, the way Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez did.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

It's hard to wrap your arms around everything that happened 2019 in Latin America and the Caribbean. It's even harder to find any good news — from the violent political unrest that rocked capitals from La Paz to Port-au-Prince, to a record number of fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest.

A Chilean military plane with 38 people on board has crashed on its way to Antarctica, Chile's air force said Tuesday.

Air force officials say they have not been able to locate the Hercules C-130 transport, but based on the number of hours it has been missing, have determined it likely crashed. A search and rescue mission is ongoing, The Associated Press reports.

Marcelo Ruiz Mendoza / AP

COMMENTARY

Even by the satanic standards of all the clerical sexual abuse cases the world has learned of, this one is especially evil.

Massive anti-government protests in Chile over the past few weeks have united demonstrators in song. Last week, up to a million people protesting in Santiago were joined by a cavalry of guitarists. They played a song called "El Derecho de Vivir en Paz," which once stood as an anthem for resistance against the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet that began in 1973.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

COMMENTARY

I recently spent a day with 20 Venezuelan immigrant women who’ve got heads for business.

They’re in a Miami-Dade College program that teaches them entrepreneurial skills. We take access to those small business tools for granted in the U.S. But many of the venezolanas reminded me it’s still difficult to put them to use in Latin America – where coddled and connected economic elites often regard small- and medium-size startups as a threat to their cozy status quo.

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced a major reshuffle of his cabinet the day after a massive demonstration in the streets of the capital in the latest anti-government protests over economic inequality.

"We have all heard and understood the message of Chileans. I have asked all ministers to make their positions available. We're working to form a new team that represents change," Piñera tweeted on Saturday, in an effort to assuage the anger of protesters.

Protests continue in Chile after a weekend of violence and destruction over a recent transit hike. The unrest continued after President Sebastián Piñera suspended the 4 percent fare increase.

The protests in the capital city of Santiago come amid growing discontent over rising the cost of living and lack of salary increases. The weekend's riots saw protesters shut down the Metro de Santiago and burn down a high rise. Officials have reported at least eight deaths as a result of the protests.

Updated at 4:47 a.m. ET Sunday

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera suspended a subway fare hike Saturday but protests against the increase continued in the country's capital, Santiago.

Violent protests prompted the metro service to shut down Friday afternoon and left a high-rise engulfed in flames, prompting Piñera to declare a state of emergency in the city.

Fernando Llano / AP

After the deadly clashes along Venezuela's borders this past weekend, authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro still looks firmly entrenched in power. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as Venezuela's legitimate president. And now he says "all options" - even U.S. military intervention - should be considered to topple Maduro's socialist regime.

WLRN's Christine DiMattei and Tim Padgett talked about where the Venezuela crisis stands now - and where it's probably headed.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

There is no end in sight to Venezuela’s humanitarian or political emergencies. One of the top Latin American diplomats trying to solve the crises is in Miami this week - and he sees no easy solutions on the horizon.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

José Ignacio Valenzuela is one of Latin America’s most popular authors. His “Malamor” trilogy is among the best-selling young adult novels in the Spanish-speaking world today. The trilogy’s first part – “To the End of the World” – was just translated into English.

Valenzuela was born in Chile and often goes by the nickname “Chascas.” He now lives here in Palmetto Bay with his husband – and he sat down with WLRN’s Tim Padgett to talk about his romantic, magical-realist fantasy novels and their bilingual appeal.

Pope Francis has expelled two retired Chilean clerics from the priesthood. In a statement Saturday, the Vatican announced that the two men, Archbishop Emeritus Francisco José Cox Huneeus and Bishop Emeritus Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández, were defrocked "as a consequence of manifest abuse of minors."

The Vatican said the move made Thursday by the pontiff cannot be appealed.

Pope Francis has defrocked notorious Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, making what the Vatican calls an "exceptional" decision based on his own conscience and concern for the good of the Catholic Church. Karadima has been the face of the church's sexual abuse scandal in Chile.

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