IN THE NEWS
4Famous Folksinger Dies
Nicaragua is mourning the death of famed singer/ songwriter and environmental activist Salvador Cardenal, 50, who died Monday of complications from cryoglobulinemia, a rare condition of abnormal proteins in the blood. The internationally known revolutionary folksinger was part of the revered musical team known as Dúo Guardabarranco, along with his sister Katia Cardenal. Dúo Guardabarranco performed with some of the top international names in folk music, including a 2007 concert with Cuban music legend Silvio Rodríguez.
4Lobo to Zelaya: Stop It Ya!
Honduran President Porfirio Lobo has called on former President Manuel Zelaya to stop trying to tarnish Honduras’ image abroad by lobbying against the Central American country’s reintegration into the Organization of American States (OAS). Zelaya, who was ousted by the military from the presidency in June 2009, is traveling Latin America on a tour to “prevent future coups.” According to Lobo, Zelaya, who was granted safe passage from Honduras to the Dominican Republic in January, continues to lobby other countries to not recognize the new Honduran government. Lobo said Zelaya’s attitude “pains me a lot, because it’s punishing the people” of Honduras.
4Hurry Up and Wait
There’s not much that Costa Rica’s neighboring countries can do, but wait. It appears that the inauguration of the Central American Electric Interconnection System (SIEPAC) will be held up as Costa Rica deals with delays resulting from difficulties in expropriating some properties in the Southern Zone. According to news reports, other countries expect to have their parts of the system ready by September of this year, but Costa Rica won’t be ready to connect until October 2011.
4It’s Dengue Time Again
Health Ministry officials are “seriously concerned” about the increase this year in the reported cases of dengue, especially in the northern province of Guanacaste. Some 854 cases were reported in that province during the months of January and February, compared to only 65 in the same period last year. Nationwide, 2,145 cases were reported during the first two months of this year, compared to 576 cases during those months last year. Health Minister María Luisa Avila advised that the best way to combat the spread of dengue is to eliminate standing waters that serve as breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus.
4Arias to Cuba: Turn Them Loose
Saying that he has “lived long enough to know that there is nothing worse than being afraid to speak the truth,” Costa Rican President Oscar Arias this week blasted Cuba for human rights abuses, especially those relating to political prisoners. In a statement issued Wednesday, Arias said he adds his voice to the international chorus of indignation following the February death in Havana of Orlando Zapata, who opposed the Fidel Castro regime and was a political prisoner for seven years. Zapata died after an 86-day hunger strike, and another dissident, Guillermo Fariñas, is in the third week of a hunger strike.