~ Who knew Wednesday could get down like Friday?
Jenna Ortega, who’s MexiRican, choreographed the dance herself.
~ Wednesday broke Netflix’s record of most viewing hours in a single week, at 341.23 million hours—and in only its first week, too!
That tops Stranger Things 4, which got 335 million viewing hours in its first week.
Wednesday sits at #1 on Netflix in 83 countries and has been viewed by more than 50 million homes in the United States alone, according to the streaming platform.
~ Raúl Juliá, Puerto Rico’s most celebrated actor, who played Gomez Addams in the two ’90s movies: “Puerto Rico is in political limbo, you know. It has always been a colony of Spain or the United States, and I would like to see it become a republic. Like every other country in the world, Puerto Rico should be independent. Unfortunately, the present governor is in favor of statehood, but he is a jerk. And I say that with love, because he is a nice person. I mean, he knows my family.”
That was from a New York Times interview in 1971…
When Juliá died suddenly from a stroke in 1994 at the age of 54, his body was flown to his native San Juan, per his wishes, where a state funeral was held, “La Borinqueña” sung, and independence leader Rubén Berríos gave the final words.
As the coffin was lowered into the earth, a cry of “¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre!” was heard from the crowd.
~ And just like that, Mexico’s out of the World Cup. It’s the first time El Tri has failed to make it out of the group stage since 1978.
Tata immediately resigned as manager. You think he regrets not taking Carlos Vela and Chicharito, Mexico’s 34-year-old all-time leading scorer? I mean, the two of them did score the team’s last two goals—back in Russia four years ago…
CHICHARITO WOULDVE MADE US WIN pic.twitter.com/r95AtMVfip
— Frankenstein (@VocalkingSuho) November 26, 2022
~ Canelo has apologized for threatening to smash Messi’s face in for disrespecting a Mexican jersey after Argentina’s win last Saturday. “I got carried away by the passion and love I have for my country and I made some comments that were out of order,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
So I guess the beef is settled—or maybe Canelo’s been studying Sun Tzu: “Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.”
~ Almost nine million viewers in the United States tuned into the Spanish-language broadcast of the match between Argentina and Mexico last Saturday, making it the most-watched Spanish-language World Cup group stage broadcast in U.S. history.
The overall U.S. Spanish-language record was set during the 2014 World Cup, when 9.2 million viewers tuned into to watch Mexico play the Netherlands.
Mexico lost both matches.
“This is why I don’t like to follow the team,” my suegro said after Saturday’s defeat, “porque juegan como nunca, y pierden como siempre“—meaning Mexico plays like never before and loses like always (but, as usual, it sounds better in Spanish).
Watching El Tri getting taken out on Wednesday damn near killed him.
~ Former chef Lee Bosch writes about watching the Mexico-Poland match at Cleos in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, where the locals are equal parts Polish and Mexican and share a Catholic immigrant working-class heritage.
Fun fact: St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Pulaski Park —in what used to be known as Chicago’s Polish Downtown— was once the largest parish in the United States, counting 40,000 members, and was the largest Polish parish in the entire world.
I’ve been to mass there a few times with my grandma, and they give services in English, Polish, and Spanish.
~ Speaking of my hometown, Latin Grammy-nominated Mariachi Herencia de México is giving a Christmas concert at the historic Thalia Hall in Pilsen on Sunday, December 18.
~ The world thought the worst when news broke on Tuesday that soccer god Pelé was in the hospital. He’d had a colon tumor removed in September 2021 and has been going through chemotherapy treatment ever since. But it turns out he was just making his monthly visit and treating a bit of swelling.
“It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this,” he said about a “Get Well Soon” message displayed on one of the buildings in Doha.
~ In all fairness to John Leguizamo, everybody I know who makes coquito has their own unique recipe:
~ Hey ladies, Bad Bunny may be out of reach… but there’s always Rad Rabbit:
~ Spanish director Fernando Trueba: “I never follow my intelligence when making movies. I save my intelligence for other things. When directing movies, I only follow my instincts and my sense of smell and my feelings.”
~ One of Congress’ newest Latina members, Delia Ramirez (D-IL), thinks the Democrats are blowing it with Latino voters by talking about democracy and social justice issues instead of fixing a rigged economic system that benefits “a bunch of riquillos.”
Politico did a profile on our work pushing back against right wing narratives on the Latino vote.
— Delia Ramirez (@DeliaRamirezIL) November 26, 2022
~ There are 10 polling places in the whole of the United States where Brazilian expats can vote in presidential elections—which they’re required to do by law. Brazilians living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York vote at a school in Midtown Manhattan.
The Brazilian expat community in the United States leans heavily conservative, and this year’s election was no different, though a big push by civil society groups saw a record number of liberal votes for Lula.
In case you’re wondering, the penalty for not voting is a small fine and having to file some paperwork to re-register. And the three places with the largest Brazilian populations are, in order, South Florida, around Boston, and the New York Tri-State area.
~ On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a dispute between the state of Texas and the White House over current U.S. immigration policy. Texas says Biden should be deporting every undocumented immigrant he can round up, while Biden says taxpayer money should be focused on going after the people who really shouldn’t be here—and by that I mean criminals, not Justin Bieber and other nuisances.
~ After Yeezy apparently “punked Trump” by inviting the white supremacist wunderkind, Nick Fuentes, to a dinner at Mar-a-Lago on the Tuesday before Turkey Day, Sen. Mitch McConnell told the press and TV cameras this week that there is no room for white supremacy in the Republican Party, and that anyone meeting with white supremacist will probably never be elected president of the United States.
As the words oozed from McConnell’s lips, his nose suddenly started to grow longer and his pants spontaneously burst into flames. (Or am I the only one who caught that?)
Mitch "Rigor Mortis" McConnell Denounces Nick Fuentes and Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/3Ebf78o02B
— Modern Monarchist (@Monarchi1Modern) November 29, 2022
~ Anyone who follows Trump knows that he loves “the Blacks” and the people of “PUEWTO Rico.”
~ At first I misread this as “cop advisers.” But then I realized my mistake is actually more accurate:
“The U.S. Biden administration is planning to send two top advisors —National security adviser Jake Sullivan and Latin America adviser Juan González— to Brazil to meet President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva next week, reports Reuters.”
~ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it accidentally posted the personal information of 6,252 people in its custody on its website for about five hours, including their names, nationalities, the detention centers where they were held, and their unique federal ID numbers.
The people exposed fear retaliation in their home countries, where people who leave and seek asylum abroad often face all kinds of threats, including extortion, kidnapping, and even outright murder.
~ Mano dura seems to be the Latin American way…
#Honduras | Extortion schemes devastating Honduran businesses have led President Castro to implement a state of exception. But the popularity of the “mano dura” campaign in neighboring El Salvador could be another motivating factor.https://t.co/DYqmyEvY8w
— InSight Crime (@InSightCrime) November 30, 2022
~ Speaking of, Mexico’s Supreme Court sees nothing wrong with letting the Army police the streets for another five years.
~ I know a lot of Latinos who support the states of exception in El Salvador and now Honduras, and soldiers patroling the streets of Mexico, so long as it gets rid of the gangs or at least quells the violence.
But I, for one, have never been able to accept the idea that the end justifies the means and that we should be willing to give up a lot of freedom for a little security.
I’m such a f—ing hippie, I know.
~ Hurricane Fiona wiped out 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s plátano and banana crops. And with shipments from Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic currently delayed, a lot of Boricuas may not have pasteles to unwrap this Christmas.
Los reports on that and the increasing food insecurity in Puerto Rico caused by the climate crisis.
~ On the day that LUMA Energy’s contract was set to expire, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced that his administration would be extending its contract with the private electricity company indefinitely.
LUMA has done a crap job of actually supplying electricity to the people of Puerto Rico, though it’s pretty good at charging them up the nose for the constant brownouts and blackouts.
~ “LUMA, PREPA, Wall Street, and the fossil fuel companies” are hammering out a proposal that would have Puerto Ricans “pay for debt incurred some 20 or 30 years ago for the next 50 years,” writes IEEFA’s director of financial analysis, Tom Sanzillo. “That means, in 2070, Puerto Rico ratepayers will be paying off obsolete technologies like Selectric Typewriters and fax machines bought by PREPA in the 1980s and 1990s.”
~ Puerto Rico’s defunct Electric Power Authority, which LUMA replaced last year, is the only public utility whose debt is yet to be restructured. Bondholders are asking for a high return on its debt, but there simply isn’t enough money in Puerto Rico to meet their demands without forcing the colony into another bankruptcy.
So the Thursday deadline for all parties involved to submit a new debt restructuring proposal came and went.
We should start calling any such deadlock in debt negotiations a “Puerto Rican standoff.”
~ The Inter-American Human Rights Court, part of the Organization of American States, has declared Nicaragua in contempt of court for ignoring its ruling against political prisoners.
But no one cares what the OAS, the UN, The Hague, or any international governing body has to say about anything—least of whom the United States.
~ Salvadoran officials are preparing 26 shelters that could accommodate more than 10,000 people after the Chaparrastique volcano in San Jorge began erupting on Sunday. It’s only a minor eruption though, according to the Environmental Ministry.
~ Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele knows exactly what to do with Internet trolls: hire them.
~ In an effort to allieviate fears that it’s going to default on its debt, El Salvador is set to buy some of it back.
~ AMLO led a march of “hundreds of thousands” of supporters in Mexico City on Sunday to mark his fourth year in office. A lot of the participants were bussed in from around Mexico by AMLO’s MORENA party, unions, and allied groups.
~ The next morning, gunshots were heard around the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, causing local schools to cancel classes and the U.S. Consulate to cancel visa appointements for the day.
Turns out Mexican authorities had just arrested Heriberto Rodríguez Hernández, a.k.a. “Negrolo” or “Negro 35,” a leader of the Northeast cartel’s infamous squad of killers known as the “Troops of Hell.”
A similar thing happened in March when authorities arrested another leader of the Troops of Hell.
The Northeast cartel is an offshoot of the old Zetas, so… yeah. Scary dudes.
~ The National Electoral Institute of Mexico is credited for ending the PRI’s 71-year stranglehold on the country—the same National Electoral Institute that AMLO’s looking to fiddle with.
Among his proposed reforms are plans to cut the number of seats in Congress, end public financing for political parties, and get rid of state election boards.
~ The Cuban coast guard says it didn’t mean to crash into a little boat crammed with migrants hauling toward Florida back in October, killing seven people including a two-year-old girl.
I guess all’s well that ends horribly.
~ Havana says voter turnout in the municipal elections on Sunday was at 69 percent, the lowest in decades. Seems that members of the opposition have been calling for a boycott.
They should know that boycotting elections doesn’t work, as any Puerto Rican independentista can tell them.
~ Watching The Last Dolphin King this week on Netflix, about a Spanish dolphin trainer who abused the animals and then killed himself when the hours of video came out, I was going to chalk it all up to the pressures of the profit motive… Then they showed how the Cubans treat their dolphins, which makes SeaWorld seem like a spa.
~ Most of the Venezuelan officials charged with corruption by the U.S. have avoided trials by cutting plea bargains—but not Claudia Díaz, former treasurer and nurse to the late Hugo Chávez, whose trial started in Florida this week.
Now we’ll see if the U.S.’s bite is any worse than its bark.
~ The United States is trying to bully Mexico into buying its genetically modified corn, but AMLO isn’t backing down.
Right now genetically modified corn is banned for human consumption in Mexico, and AMLO’s considering expanding the ban to animal consumption.
~ This week a U.S. committee led by the Justice Department urged the FCC not to connect Cuba to the United States through a new undersea cable that would handle internet, voice, and data traffic, fearing what the Commies might do if given a direct line to yanquilandia.
“Around 300 undersea cables form the backbone of the internet, carrying 99% of the world’s data traffic,” says Reuters.
~ A former cop in Puerto Rico is going to prison for 20 years for masterminding the biggest gun robbery in the colony’s history. José Padilla-Galarza and his buddies stole 49 pistols, 40 AR-15 rifles, and 24 shotguns, among others, from a shooting range in 2010.
He’ll serve 20 years in addition to the 19 he was sentenced to in 2018 for leading a bank robbery where he and the others walked away with more than $64,000 after using fake explosives.
~ Is it true that Mexico has about 120 TONS of gold? And that 99 percent of it is in the Bank of England? And that Mexico pays England $170 million a year to hold it?
~ Venezuela owns the most gold bullion out of any country in Latin America.
In July, a judge in London rejected President Maduro’s request that the Bank of England return $1 billion in Venezuelan gold, which he had asked for in the early part of the COVID pandemic.
The judge basically sided with Guaidó, who’s still pretending to be the legitimate president of Venezuela.
~ Brazil’s incoming president, Lula, has asked Britain, France, the United States, Switzerland, and Canada to donate to a “Save the Amazon” fund —my name for it, not his— which I think is a good idea and only fair, considering what the United States, for one, did with the land it stole from the Indians.
If we want the developing world to be better stewards of the environment than the U.S. has been, then we have to be willing to subsidize their more enlightened policy. I mean, it’s not like we don’t have mountains of blood and oil money laying around.
~ “European consumption contributes to the destruction of our forests and is a part of the violence committed against Indigenous people,” writes Indigenous communicator and activist Kuaimbú, in an op-ed calling for a ban on products linked to violence against Indigenous communities.
~ The bad news: Last year Brazil’s rainforest lost an area roughly the size of Qatar, slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.
The good news: Lula plans to create a Federal Police unit dedicated to environmental crimes.
Crazy that a country home to the world’s largest rainforest wouldn’t have such a thing already.
~ El Salvador’s famed news organization, El Faro, is suing the Israeli company behind Pegasus spyware in U.S. federal court for using the software to spy on its journalists and staff.
~ In neighboring news, Guatemala’s famed newspaper, El Periodico, announced that it’s ending its print edition—this after the government arrested its chief, José Rubén Zamora, in July.
“It has been 30 years of struggle against corruption and impunity, against governmental abuses and terrorism, in favor of freedom transparency and accountability,” Zamora wrote from his jail cell.
~ A year ago, Futuro’s special projects division, Futuro Unidad Hinojosa, launched an investigative unit dubbed “Futuro Investigates.” They set their sites on the Arizona desert, where decades of U.S. policy known as “prevention through deterrence” has forced tens of thousands of migrants to cross the border through the Sonoran Desert, some of the deadliest terrain in the country.
After a year-long investigation, today Latino USA is airing the result of that effort: “Death by Policy: Crisis In The Arizona Desert.”
On this week’s episode of Latino Rebels Radio, Julio speaks with Futuro Media senior producers Julieta Martinelli and Roxanne Scott to discuss Futuro Investigates’ debut story.