For the past few months, the political crisis in Venezuela has dominated headlines in international news.
On Thursday, January 10 at 10:00 a.m., controversial leftist leader Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second 6-year term as President of Venezuela despite deteriorating economic and political conditions throughout the country. Although Maduro’s inauguration crowd was undeniably more sparse than in the past, a few leaders and foreign dignitaries made a point to make an appearance and show their support for the regime in spite of widespread international criticism.
Desde abril de este año, el Estado de Nicaragua ha experimentado un desorden completo, y el gobierno de Daniel Ortega y su esposa (y vicepresidente), Rosario Murillo, están en una posición de encrucijada. Esta situación empezó con manifestaciones después de la decisión de Ortega de reducir el presupuesto para los programas de seguridad social en Nicaragua, que afectaría a millones de ciudadanos.
Since the introduction of coffee as a staple in morning routines worldwide, it has become one of the most traded commodities on the planet; in fact, it was second only to oil this year (teleSUR 2018). The sudden demand for coffee helped to launch Latin America into the industrial age, with countries like Brazil and Costa Rica (which now leads world coffee production at around 45 million 60 kilogram bags per year) setting prices and international standards for the industry.
This past Spring, what started as student protests against the Nicaraguan Government’s negligence resulting in a forest fire has turned into a civil war. The forest fire, which destroyed over 12,000 acres of protected rainforest in the course of a week was so severe according to many due to the Nicaraguan government’s refusal to ask for aid from neighboring countries, and could have been extinguished much faster and have saved much more of the delicate ecosystem (Agren, 2018).
Nicaragua’s current President, Daniel Ortega, rose to power as a revolutionary leader in the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (otherwise known as FSLN or Sandistas) that overthrew the dictatorship by removing President Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979 (Perez). In 2007, Ortega was elected as president and because of his sound economic policies and social spending, was re-elected in 2011 and 2016 (Perez).
Caridad was a woman of great endurance. Rising at 4am and retiring at midnight, she spent her long days cooking and selling mondongo, or tripe soup, to the men returning from the brothels in a small town in Colombia. With her sparse earnings, she supported her six children and was able to send her eldest, a son, to school. He went on to become a university professor and in turn provided education for his younger siblings. Not unlike mothers around the world, Caridad fought for her children’s survival with resilience and strength.