Nogales, Mexico

U.S. agent kills teen: Mexico is protesting the killing last week of a teenage boy by a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired across the Arizona-Mexico border. The Border Patrol said a group of youths in the Mexican border town of Nogales were throwing rocks at U.S. agents in Arizona, and one agent opened fire. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, died of multiple gunshots to the back. Border agents are allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers, but human rights activists have condemned the practice. At least 15 Mexican civilians have been killed in such encounters since 2010. Mexico said the shootings were “unacceptable” and causing “a serious bilateral problem.”


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Cubans can leave: The Cuban government announced this week that its citizens would soon be allowed to travel abroad freely. Under communist rule, Cubans who wish to travel have been required to navigate a bureaucratic nightmare to apply for exit visas, which are frequently denied. Starting in January, they will be allowed to leave the country with just a passport and a visa from the country they are visiting. The new law, first promised by President Raúl Castro last year, does allow the government to bar some citizens from leaving, which could make dissidents unable to travel. “The devil is in the details of the new migration law,” dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez tweeted.

Caracas, Venezuela

Markets love veep: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez named his longtime foreign minister, Nicolás Maduro, vice president this week, raising speculations that he is grooming a successor. Venezuelan bonds, which dropped precipitously after Chávez’s re-election earlier this month, rallied on the news. “The fact that Chávez has made this change means that he is setting up a plan for continuance and is an indication that his health is continuing to falter, and that is also providing extra lift to the market,” said Russ Dallen, head bond trader at Caracas Capital Markets. Chávez has nationalized industries and imposed government controls since taking office in 1999.

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