Recent reports on the trial in Guatemala City of octogenarian ex-dictator, General Efrain Rios Montt, evoked memories of my posting there which began just as Rios Montt seized power in 1982. My posting lasted only two years, which was about six months longer than the general managed to stay in office. The court found him guilty of genocide against the Ixil Indians and sentenced him to 80 years in prison but an appeal succeeded in mandating a partial retrial on procedural grounds.
Yesterday, Fidel Castro wrote a column entitled "Reflections of Compañero Fidel" (Newsmax.com of February 22, 2008) and this has made me reflect on Fidel's un-suspected and un-expected influence on my own views and life. I will not bother with well known and documented episodes like the Bay of Pigs, or the Missile Crisis, or even the Iran-Contra affairs, but rather tell about facts and conjectures related to my consultant's life.
Two Central American nations, El Salvador and Costa Rica , held first-round balloting this Sunday to choose new presidents. The good news is that voters had real choices among candidates offering a variety of visions for their countries, and the electoral machinery appears to have operated transparently. The worrisome news is in El Salvador, where a candidate closely associated with international organized crime has a slight advantage heading into the run-off.
Those concerned that the control over North American television programming once exercised by the old, traditional broadcast networks might be reduced by the proliferation of the new, strictly cable, networks may rest easy.
Many Ottawans wintering in the South have discovered the joys of the Spring House and/or Garden Tours offering a more intimate glimpse of life in the upper social reaches of several Southern cities. Most of these tours take place in late March or early April when the azalea and wisteria blooms are at their height, with a few, later-blooming camellias still left and Canadians homeward-bound. They invariable include private homes, not just those establishments normally accessible to casual visitors.
Canadians temporarily resident in the American South usually look on their surroundings, and neighbours, with great affection and recognize many similarities. They cannot however, avoid being struck by many marked differences.
Recent reports on the trial in Guatemala City of octogenarian ex-dictator, General Efrain Rios Montt, evoked memories of my posting there which began just as Rios Montt seized power in 1982. My posting lasted only two years, which was about six months longer than the general managed to stay in office.