The headlines around the world read more or less “Leftist President Manuel Zelaya ousted in military coup in Honduras”. The political situation in Latin America tends to suffer oversimplification abroad, so here’s an attempt to look a little at the causes and effects that led to the current events in Honduras. (For more detail, BBC does a good job of presenting the whole story here)
You might not get thrown in jail by the thought police in the United States for writing suspect material, but it will get you detained for hours by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
TSA officials are basically bureaucrats, a species that in all corners of the world harass ordinary people in the name of rules and regulations and the common good. In their unrelenting quest to keep the American flying public safe no granny will remain unfrisked and no comic book writer may carry scripts dealing with terrorism.
Writer Mark Sable was detained for some hours at L.A. airport in May when a search of his bags turned up a script for his comic series “Unthinkable”. In it, several terrorist plots, including 9/11 is mentioned, which set off alarm bells in the TSA agent motherboards. Ironically, the plot of Unthinkable concerns a writer who when contracted by a government think tank to imagine possible terrorist scenarios, becomes a suspect when several of his imaginary plots are carried out.
This happened some weeks ago, seven people had launched a raft of wood and styrofoam to sea in a bid to reach the U.S. Without means of propulsion the vessel was caught by a current that ended up depositing them in front of the busy Malecón, the promenade that runs the length of the bay of Havana.
The coastguard and police showed up promptly, and after two hours of negotiations the raft was hauled away by the coastguard boat, forcing the failed defectors to swim to shore where the authorities were waiting. Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported the incident, and although the article is in Spanish only, there’s an interesting video showing the outcome of the incident, the worried migrants herded by uniformed men into police cars and driven away.
On the page titled THE STORY, I’ve uploaded material from the first two pages with dialogue.
There’s a slide show option for viewing, a temporary version until the Premium one becomes compatible with WordPress 2.8 (my blog software)
The slide show application is made by my smart friends over at Made By Simple.
In order to view the story in the slide show there is a play button and a full screen button which is necessary due to the small file sizes.
Thank you for your patience, hopefully you’ll like what you see. I for one am very excited to finally see these pages materialize.
Since it’ll be in both English and Spanish editions (of course I’m taking for granted that it’ll be published!) I’ve decided to add text in post production since Spanish is notoriously more space consuming that English. (about 20% my wife tells me.)
Tomorrow I’ll start adding the panels in the STORY section on this site, with text. The beginning has begun, wish me inspiration and strength.
#iranelection is the tag sweeping the Twitterverse, as the protests following the Iranian elections heat up. It is fascinating that in spite of a wide crackdown on communications prior to and during the election, (mobile services and text messaging shut down, Facebook and Youtube closed down) Twitter has emerged as the principal means of notification on the web, thousands of people like @persiankiwi with more than 8000 followers are reporting live from the streets of Teheran, with running updates and posting pics like this one of the opposition march.
This is citizen journalism on the ground going viral almost instantaneously, outpacing traditional media. The Iranian government is scrambling to shut down websites and ISPs, but users are finding loopholes and keep reporting in 140 characters or less. For a list of Twitter reporters from Iran in English, go here.
I haven’t had much time for posting while away, but the plan is to get going with actual pages next week, so keep an eye out for that. Meanwhile, on the subject of trafficking, I’d like to make people aware that the Cuban regime practices institutionalized trafficking of its citizens abroad, using their labor as a currency of sorts as if they were property of the state. (Which they are for all intents and purposes)
The example I was familiar with was the “Barrio Adentro” program of sending Cuban doctors to Venezuela to assist in community clinics in the slums. A noble and laudable mission, right?
Around 20,000 medical professionals (not necessarily doctors) have been sent to Venezuela. They are housed in decrepit hotels or shared houses under close vigilance by their minders. They are bussed to work each morning, seven days a week and then straight back to their residence with a 6pm curfew. Contact with Venezuelans outside their work is prohibited. The conditions under which they work has become known as hundreds have managed to escape their keepers (often with the help of Venezuelans) and defect to either neighboring Colombia or going into hiding in Venezuela to reach the U.S. later.