Archive for ‘LAT – Los Angeles Times’

September 16, 2008

Nicaraguan priest taking a top U.N. post

Nicaraguan priest taking a top U.N. post

Father Miguel d’Escoto, fiery foreign minister when Nicaragua’s Sandinista guerrillas held power, is assuming a more diplomatic role as head of the General Assembly.

By Richard Boudreaux
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 16, 2008

UNITED NATIONS — Father Miguel d’Escoto stopped saying Mass 23 years ago when the Vatican suspended his priestly functions for refusing to quit Nicaragua’s revolutionary government. But he never stopped preaching.

From university lecterns, slum soup kitchens and diplomatic forums, he has voiced moral wrath over the plight of the poor and the might of wealthy nations, particularly the United States.

Today he is being promoted to a far bigger pulpit: the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly.

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July 16, 2008

Venezuela’s desperate housewives

Venezuelan armed forces are patrolling the streets of Sabaneta in President Hugo Chavez’s home state of Barinas after crowds looted a warehouse used to stockpile basic food items sold in the government-run Mercal grocery store chain.

Mercal The episode is an embarrassment for Chavez, whose brother is Sabaneta’s mayor, and highlights public rage over the ongoing shortages of milk, pasta, chicken, cooking oil, tuna and other basic foodstuffs.

Local authorities declined to estimate how many tons of goods were stolen but said some 200 uniformed police and military personnel were guarding local stores.

Mayor Chavez told the El Nacional newspaper, apparently with a straight face, that the United States and “its henchmen” were responsible for the looting.

Looters “broke in violently and demanded milk,” town council chief Helena Angulo told Reuters. “They took everything.”

She made no apparent reference to gringo malevolence. Economists blame scarcities on Chavez’s price controls that have made staples uneconomical for farmers to produce.

— Chris Kraul in Caracas