U.S. Freedom on Foreign Soil

guatemala_syphilisThroughout the 1940‘s, U.S. government medical researchers purposefully and secretly infected more than 2,500 Guatemalans with various STD’s.

Purposefully, because the researchers could not perform such illegal experimentation on Americans, and therefore chose to do so on foreign peoples.

Secretly, because the U.S. government did not want Americans, nor anyone in the international community, to learn about the immoral experimentations.

As reported by Rob Stein for The Washington Post, at the helm of the Gutemala experiments was the infamous Dr. Taliaferro Clark who, in the 1930’s conducted similar illegal and immoral syphilis experimentation on African-American males for the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

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Says Stein, the tests in Guatemala were carried out using many methods, including direct injection of syphilis into open wounds, and “putting infectious material on the cervixes of uninfected prostitutes” who were then brought to men in order to infect the men, as well, through intercourse.

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Healthcare in the Brazilian Amazon

What do you do for healthcare if you live in a dense rainforest?

No doctors. No ambulances. No hospital.

Twenty million-plus residents of the Archipelago of Bailique in the Brazilian Amazon rely, not only on extensive knowledge of natural healing botanicals, but also on Brazil’s military.

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How do you think your family would fare living in the Amazon with intermittent military doctor visits as healthcare?

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World News Wednesday

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Cuba Changes…But for Whom?

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Raul Castro

The Miami Herald reports this week that Cubans in Cuba are not benefiting from the modernization their new leader is implementing throughout the country.

Results from a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) showed a “growing disgruntlement among huge majorities of younger Cubans, hinted that optimism is creeping up, and showed an odd slip in those who favor capitalism and democracy.”

Why no warm fuzzies among younger Cubans about capitalism and democracy in Cuba?

After more than a year of hearing about reforms in Cuba, adults over 18 don’t see any differences in their lives economically,” says IRI Latin American director Alex Sutton.

So, who is benefiting from the changes being made in Cuba?

Wealthy foreigners. And tourists.

In a modern era déjà vu of Cuba’s colonial and U.S.-occupied history, foreigners are once again reigning supreme in Cuba.

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Guantanamo: Still On Board

guantanamo-prison-barbwireGuantanamo Bay’s 10th anniversary has come and gone.

But in spite of U.S. government promises to close down the infamous prison for suspected terrorists, it remains open.

Moreover, it may survive another decade under new provisions peppered throughout the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 – provisions which allow “indefinite military detention of American terrorism suspects,” and “suspected foreign enemies.”

Supporters of the new provisions, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) – who is also an author of the bill – says, “We’re no longer in the box of having to read Miranda rights to terrorists who come to America to try to kill us.

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American Teen Who Speaks No Spanish Deported to Colombia

us-teen-deported-to-columbiaAn American teen from Texas has just returned home after being mistakenly deported to Colombia by U.S. immigration authorities in May 2011.

As reported by CNN, 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner ran away from home in the fall of 2010, and wound up being deported to Bogota, Colombia in May 2011 after U.S. authorities mistook her for a Colombian national.

Turner’s attorney, Ray Jackson, will be investigating how immigration authorities allowed an underaged, U.S. citizen with no knowledge of Spanish to be deported to Colombia, and why the officials “simply took her at her word when she gave them a fake name.”

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World News Wednesday

Oil in Cuba Worries U.S.

oil-drillingIn a move that has the U.S. worried, a Spanish oil company’s deep-water rig is making its way toward the Gulf of Mexico and waters just off Cuba to drill for commercially exploitable quantities of oil beneath the island’s waters.

The worry for President Obama?

What to do about it.

As reported by Al Jazeera‘s Jim Lobe, the discovery of oil for Cuba may “provide a windfall for Havana that will be used to help sustain the Communist government led by President Raul Castro.”

As sustenance of Cuba is something the U.S. has spent the last half-century attempting to thwart, the progress of this oil drilling will no doubt be watched closely by President Obama, as well as anti-Castro Cuban-Americans and other right-wing lawmakers, environmental and anti-embargo groups, and business associations that want to increase trade with Havana.

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Do you see the discovery of oil in Cuba as a positive or negative outcome?

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World News Wednesday

Spain: Catalonia Presents Last Bullfight Before Ban

bullfighting

A 1914 arena for bullfighting, the last of its kind in Barcelona, will close in January 2012 – the result of a vote of Catalan politicians following the petition of 180,000 signatures to outlaw bull fighting in this part of Spain.

 

As reported by Al Jazeera, the bullfighting ban is “a relief to animal rights activists.” However, supporters of bullfighting contend that they will challenge Spain’s top court in regard to this ruling.

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“I feel bad about it,” says Serafin Marin, who killed the final bull prior to this ruling. “God willing, I have the sad honor of killing the final bull.”

However, Elena Allure, animal rights campaigner, contends, “In the 21st century there is no space for bullfighting. It’s primitive.”

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How do you feel about bullfighting?

Are you concerned about the abuse suffered by bulls in this spectator sport?

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World News Wednesday

Chilean Students Demand Free Education

chile-students-protestingChile, one of the most stable countries in South America, is in the grip of massive student protests.

The issue? Free education.

For nearly 6 months now, high school and university students have been out en masse in the streets of the capital, and other major cities across the country, demanding restructuring of the education system.

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2016 Olympics: Will Brazil Be Ready?

Brazil’s booming economy heralds a bright future for the country. But will its hosting of the 2016 Olympics be just as bright…or will it be an infrastructure nightmare?

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According to Time2014 Soccer World Cup preparations in Rio de Janeiro are “late and over budget,” with Brazilian officials admitting they “took so long to start work at some sites that temporary structures may have to be used.”

Other infrastructure problems plague preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well. Time reports, “The proposed bullet train between Rio and São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, stalled in the planning stages,” and “…public-works programs across the country are routinely late, over budget and subpar: new metro lines often shut down during rush hours, cracks have appeared in recently built government buildings and highways have developed craters just months after being inaugurated.”

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Spain Defends Bullfighting

Culture correspondent and author Mary Elizabeth Williams explores Spain’s “artistic discipline” of bullfighting, and the suffering it imposes upon bulls.

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Supporters of the sport cite its cultural value, while detractors say that bullfighting is blatant animal torture.

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What do you think about bullfighting?

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World News Wednesday