If you live in Cuba, apparently you can’t have a Nikon camera. Or at least that’s what Nikon is telling a young Cuban boy who won a contest for one. Nikon is citing the U.S. government’s restriction of entry into Cuba on products produced in the U.S.:
A 12 year-old Cuban boy, Raysel Sosa González, won a Nikon digital camera as a prize for an international environmental painting contest held in Algeria and organized by the United Nations.
Nikon, the company who makes the digital camera, refused to delvier the gift to the child citing the content of a clause from Washington that prohibits the entry into the island of products with components from the United States.
It seems that the digital camera contains elements that are included in the list created by the U.S. during the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis.
It’s hard to believe that idyllic Oaxaca City is the scene of such calamity and bloodshed, as Mala’s been telling us about lately. As she mentioned in a previous post, New York-based journalist for Indymedia, Brad Will, was caught in the crossfire and killed by a bullet to the chest as he was covering the confrontation for the website.
Spain’s 20 Minutos reports today that Will was shooting video at the time, and captured his last moments — and his own death — on tape.
Will received a shot in the chest during a shootout and died on the way to a public hospital.
Now there are questions as to who fired the shot that killed him.
For the moment, the only valid testimony is the one that he himself captured with his camera: his own death.
Pedro Almovodar‘s unique Spanish vision has actually been touring the U.S. through the Viva Pedro restrospective for some time now, but finally audiences on both the East Coast and West Coast will get a taste of Pedro’s latest work of art, Volver. The film which has garnered both critical and popular acclaim throughout the world, including an Oscar nod, reunites Almodovar with Penelope Cruz in an all star female led cast.
The area around Madison Square Garden was abuzz more than usual yesterday morning. Walking down 33rd Street at around 9 am, it became obvious that the 7th Annual Latin Grammy Awards had finally hit New York City. Stage crews with huge trailers were setting up. Security was tight and eyed everyone walking down the street making sure no one tried to sneak inside the event, after all this is the first time the awards honoring Latino telent is being held in the Big Apple. And since the Big Apple is home to yours truely, I have to be there and I don’t have to sneak in. Yesterday, la Mala officially picked up her press credentials (I’ll spare you the horrible picture on it ….for now) allowing me, and by default, you readers, access to one of the hottest Spanish language accented events.
Aging (read: very old — 91 years old to be exact) Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet has been placed under house arrest after being charged with multiple kidnappings and one murder charge:
Pinochet, who turns 91 on November 25th, was notified by a justice official at his mansion in Santiago’s La Dehesa neighborhood of the decision, made last Friday by Judge Alejandro Solís, for the crimes committed in Villa Grimaldi detention center.
Solís tried the nonagenarian ex-dictator (1973-1990) after having rejecting a petition by his defense team to exonerate him, arguing that he is too physically and mentally incapacitated to stand trial.
Judge Solís made his decision after formally interrogating Pinochet and deciding that he was “lucid” enough to stand trial, that he “understands the consequences of his words”, and that he had an “emotional reaction” to the questions.
Spain’s 20 Minutos reports that the specific crimes related to this court decision are related to incidents at Villa Grimaldi (at the “Cuartel Terranova”) where 5000 people were tortured — among them current Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and her mother — and 226 turned up missing.
20 Minutos also cites other charges that have been or will be lodged against the ex-dictator, among the disappearance of 119 protesters, the executions of 75 dissidents, as well as falsification of passports, tax evasion and money laundering.
Via / 20 Minutos
For all of you readers who pant after Salma and every opportunity to see her, via People magazine, she’s appearing on the new smash hit she’s producing, Ugly Betty, this week:
Thursday, Nov. 2: As the executive producer of the ABC show Ugly Betty, Salma Hayek has a major hit on her hands. Now the actress, who had a cameo as a character in the telenovela within the comedy, gets to work her magic in front of the camera when she guest stars as a new love interest for Betty’s (America Ferrera) playboy boss (Eric Mabius). Expect sparks to fly! (8 p.m. ET)
VL will be watching and will have the rundown for all of you in case you miss the opportunity to check out our favorite bigotuda.
Via / People Magazine
I called it yesterday when I wrote about police surrounding Oaxaca and prediected an escalation in an already violent situation.On order of outgoing President Vicente Fox, thousands of federal police pushed back the five month “toma” or takeover of the Oaxacan streets.
At about 3 p.m., the police officers began advancing. Water cannons were fired on people who did not clear the way. Chaos ensued as men, women and children fled.
Elsewhere, bulldozers cleared some of the hundreds of barricades that had been erected around the town.Protesters said the police killed one of their supporters in the raid, although police officials did not confirm the death.
Protesters vowed to continue their struggle against Ulises Ruiz, the governor of Oaxaca State and his policies.
Via / The New York Times (Registration Required)
This past Friday, Puerto Rican poeta Julia de Burgos left her mark on the streets of El Barrio, NYC, where her words have already impacted the minds and hearts of many. Iris Burgos unveiled an historic mosaic by artist Manny Vega honoring her sister, Julia. The ceremony took place in the heart of East Harlem’s “Cultural Corridor” on the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and East 106th Street. The event also marked the announcement of the re-naming of East 106th Street from Fifth Avenue to First Avenue in honor of Julia de Burgos, one of the few instances of a street being named after a Puerto Rican woman of high accomplishments. The mosaic initiative was organized by Marina Ortiz and Debbie Quinones of East Harlem Preservation and funded by local supporters and Hope Community, Inc. Scenes from the Unveiling are available at: http://www.virtualboricua.org/Docs/Julia_Mosaic/index.htm
We’ve been covering the situation in Oaxaca, Mexico since the summer, specifically the role of the Indigenous teacher’s movement and the violence. While the teachers on strike have agreed to return to work tommorow, police have begun to surround the city in a show of State sponsored force. According to Yahoo! News:
Officials said police had begun to enter the city and remove some barricades, and reporters saw about a half-dozen federal police trucks equipped with water cannon and bulldozer blades moving onto a highway about 100 yards from signs that said “Welcome to Oaxaca.”
Mexico City police officers are infamous for their laissez-faire attitude towards crime (some call it lazi-ness) their corruption (I once got out of being taken in by feeding this corruption myself and giving the officer what he asked for: “dos pesos pa’ un chesco”) and their overall “lack of culture”.
With officers earning about 400 USD per month, it’s easy to see why money for a Coke might be more worth their time than taking me down to the station or running after some thief. And with that salary, I probably wouldn’t be taking any trips to the symphony or the ballet myself.
The police force of Ciudad Neza – perhaps Mexico D.F.’s most infamous suburb — wants to change all that. And the first step that they are taking is to make their officers read and write, through a program called “Literatura Siempre Alerta”:
“The principle is that a police officer who is cultured is in a better position to be a better police officer,” says José Jorge Amador, Nezahualcoyotl’s head of public security.
The experiment began early in 2005 with reading and writing classes. It has since mushroomed into an entire literature course with its own constantly expanding editorial series, called Literature On Alert. All the 1,200 officers of the municipal force are now required to attend fortnightly book groups – while off duty – if they are to have any hope of promotion.