Latin America

A collection of writing from the Latin America, including Cuba, Ecuador, Grenada, Guantanamo, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago


American Expatriates Cling to Cuba’s Socialist Ideals

May 19, 2002
HAVANA — The wall of windows at Lorna Burdsall’s seventh-floor apartment overlooks a bay ringed by trash. The vintage red elevator, installed before Fidel Castro seized power, is decrepit.

Still, the American widow of “Red Beard”–the socialist revolutionary who went on to become Cuba’s top intelligence chief–says her 47 years in the Caribbean country have given her few complaints.

“The heat is one of the few things that I haven’t gotten used to in Cuba,” says Burdsall, 73, apologizing for not hearing the doorbell at first because she had retreated to her air-conditioned bedroom.

Burdsall, who moved to Cuba from New York in 1955, is one of more than a dozen Americans who call this communist island home, still clinging to the ideals of a socialist revolution as capitalism expands its hold around the globe. Read more >>

More reporting from Cuba >>


Grenadian Archbishop Face Charges

March 1, 2001
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (AP) _ Dozens crowded the courthouse Thursday to catch a glimpse of a Baptist church leader, who is also a prominent member of Grenada’s governing party, charged with killing a 15-year-old school girl.

As Archbishop Edmund Gilbert was led out, people surged toward him shouting “Murderer! Murderer!” His soldier escorts rushed him into a waiting car.

The victim’s mother, Maureen Jeremiah, stepped into a shadowy archway and began to cry. “She was brave and bright,” Jeremiah said of Robbie-Ann Jeremiah. “I miss her.”

Police discovered the teen-ager’s body Feb. 1 near the airport. Officers said she had been strangled. Read more >>

More reporting from Grenada >>


AP Exclusive : Guantanamo prisoners tell their stories in secretive tribunals

May 22, 2005
LONDON – Some boast they were Taliban fighters. Others – an invalid, a chicken farmer, a nomad, a nervous name-dropper – say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were plucked from Afghanistan, Pakistan or other countries and flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Their stories are tucked inside nearly 2,000 pages of documents the U.S. government released to The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Representing a fraction of some 558 tribunals held since July, the testimonies capture frustration on both sides – judges wrestling with mistaken identity and scattered information from remote corners of the world, prisoners complaining there’s no evidence against them.

“I’ve been here for three years and the past three years, whatever I say, nobody believes me. They listen but they don’t believe me,” says a chicken farmer accused of torturing jailed Afghans as a high-ranking member of the Taliban. Read more >>

More reporting from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba >>


Haiti Gunmen Open Fire on Crowd; 5 Dead

March 7, 2004
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Gunmen opened fired Sunday on thousands of unarmed demonstrators calling for the prosecution of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, killing four protesters and a foreign journalist in the worst attack since the Haitian president’s fall.

U.S. Marines returned fire – the first known armed action by U.S. forces sent to stabilize the country – but angry survivors accused the Marines and their French colleagues of not doing enough to prevent the attack.

Blood slicked the floors of a private hospital where victims were rushed. Women screamed and men cried as the few doctors tried to treat the injured with little medication. Read more >>

More reporting from Haiti >>