A popular Cuban group, Los Tres de la Habana (pictured at right at a recent show in Canada), took advantage of a performance in Cancun, Mexico to flee Cuba and petition asylum in the United States:
The popular Cuban percussion and vocal band arrived in Cancun in October on a cultural exchange contract where they would perform for a little over a month. Once the last commitment was finalized on December 17th, they crossed the border between the United States and Mexico through the city of Tijuana into southern California, where they petitioned for political asylum.
The group — now in Miami, minus one member who decided to go back to Cuba — say they “felt bound at the hands and at the feet” in Cuba “both artistically and economically”. Earlier this month, 17 artists left the island in search of political asylum in the U.S., among them members of the Cuban National Ballet Company and the Cuban National Circus, respectively.
The most high-profile of Cuban defections in recent months is that of television personality Carlos Otero, who defected to Canada while shooting a show there and later filed for asylum in the U.S. at the border.
Despite being a born and bred NY’er, I have never gone to Times Square to celebrate New Years. It’s too crowded and too full of tourists for me. Sorry. But I do watch the ball drop on Times Square every year. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the tradition and to mark the occasion the ball is being lit more than 9,500 energy-efficient LED lights using only as much electricity as 10 toasters.
The weather is set to be lovely tonight. So if you are braver than me, head to Times Square. Me? I’ll be with my familia, drinking coquito.
As many question whether it was worth it for the world’s biggest active soccer star, David Beckham, to make the move from megateam Real Madrid to the Los Angeles Galaxy (and a country that still considers soccer a “funny” sport), yet another star who made his fame in the Spanish league is contemplating the same move.Luis Figo, the Portuguese superestrella formerly of Barça and Real Madrid now playing for Inter de Milan seems to have heard the sweet sound of cha-ching like David:
Ex Barça and Real Madrid player Luis Figo came to an agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to play in the U.S. professional league (MLS) next season, according to the Correio da Manha newspaper.
The publication reports that the Inter de Milán midfielder will get close to 7 million euros for 2 seasons and could play in the Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamos or Los Angeles Galaxy (where David Beckham plays), all teams that belong to AEG.
Correio da Manha reports that AEG’s interest for Figo is nothing new and that the company wanted the Portuguese player for its last event, Red Bull New York.
Targeting activists who promote the independence of Puerto Rico isn’t something new but it is no less concerning especially when it hits close to home. Hector Rivera, a founder of the Welfare Poets and others were subpoenaed to appear before a Federal Grand jury investigating the Puerto Rican Independence Movement in general, and in particular, the Ejercito Popular Boricua (EPB: Popular Boricua Army) aka the Macheteros.
Tania Frontera, Christopher Torres and Julio Pabon Jr. are scheduled to appear before a Federal Grand Jury on January 11, 2008. Hector Rivera,co-founder of the cultural institution The Welfare Poets, is also expected to be served with a subpoena to appear on that day. In the past, due to the fact that some pro-independence activists have traditionally refused to receive the subpoenas from the Grand Jury or to respond to its questions, many have ended up behind bars.
If you’re tired of all the goody-goody comfort and joy this season brings, you might want to catch El Orfanato, a new horror flick produced by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro which is getting ravereviews.
The film premieres tonight in the U.S. and some say it’s got Oscar written all over it (though others are skeptical because it didn’t get a nomination for the Golden Globes). Critics are comparing it to Pan’s Labyrinth — the Del Toro film which took home numerous Oscars last year — and Spain’s hit horror film The Others.
Looking at the trailer it doesn’t look all that scary but I admit it takes a lot to creep me out. I’ll be checking it out and reviewing it for you here very soon. But in the meantime, get out and see it (and in the process, support films en español!) and let us know what you think.
This time of year is chock full of lists looking back at the year that is ending and VivirLatino is no different. 2007 was a year of great musica and I have my favorites. Here they are in no particular order:Calle 13′s Resident o Vistante. How could my Ricans not be on my list. I was blessed enough to go to the release party and get close and personal with the chicos and I saw them sweep the Latin Grammy Awards in Vegas. Their lyrics are unbeatable and musica with a message always makes la mala happy.
Yesterday morning’s news that twice former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated shook me. Not because it was unexpected, sadly. But rather because even as a young girl I remember looking up to her with a certain amount of awe. I didn’t know that she was the first female head of state in a Muslim nation, I just knew she was a female head of state when there weren’t many others, especially in the country where I was living.
Criticisms of her politics have come from both the liberal side and the ultra orthodox extremists who have taken credit for killing her in a suicide bombing yesterday at a rally but female leaders in Latin America have spoken publicly about a woman, who for them, was also a role model.
In the very first minutes of the New Year, the border that separates Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas will become a scene of protest. Tired of the 700% increase on the price of tortillas and other corn-based products — as well as increases on other staple such as beans, chicken and meat — as a result of increased importation from the U.S. into Mexico, under NAFTA, farmers and consumers are fighting back.
As part of the National Campaign in Defense of Food Sovereignty and the revitalization of Mexican farmland project Sin Maíz no hay País ["Without Corn There is No Country"], 300 farmer, environmental and human rights organizations participating in said campaigns will create a human wall on the first day of January on the 5 border bridges of Ciudad Juárez, where truckloads of grain enter from the United States…
…this protest is part of the campaign, which started on July 25th with the goal of ending the free entry into the market of [U.S.] corn, beans, powdered milk and sugar cane, and to urge Congress and the [Mexican] federal government to begin a renegotiation process of the farming section of the NAFTA documents.
Organizers say they intend to keep the human wall up until January 2, but admit that it might be tough, given that the border is such a highly policed area. Joining the Mexican organizations will also be groups from the U.S. and Canada.
The U.S. government is reportedly attempting to play an interesting game of tit for tat. It’s offering undocumented Mexican immigrants a free pass to citizenship if they agree to fight for the U.S. in Iraq. Univision reports:
The U.S. government is carrying out recruitment campaigns aimed at Mexicans, mostly without papers, who are interested in going to the war in Iraq in exchange for citizenship, according to the El Universal newspaper.
Ildefonso Ortiz Cabrera told the Mexican newspaper that he received the “invitation” when he was living in Phoenix, Arizona. He then decided to return to El Burrión, a town in Northern Sinaloa.