The week at a glance...Americas
Havana Where’s the bandwidth? More than a year after the first fiber-optic cable reached Cuba, the island nation still has no high-speed Internet connection. The undersea cable, laid from Venezuela last year with much fanfare and praised by retired dictator Fidel Castro, has never gone online. Cubans speaking anonymously told the Associated Press this week that embezzlement and corruption had strangled the project. Several top telecom officials were arrested, but there’s been no more official discussion of the project. The cable was intended to provide high-speed Internet access to schools, hospitals, and government offices, not to home computers.
Brasília, Brazil Torture payout for president: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff received $10,000 from the state last week as compensation for having been tortured when she was a leftist guerrilla. After joining the fight against Brazil’s military dictatorship as a teenager, Rousseff was captured in 1969 and repeatedly tortured for three years. She has always insisted that she never killed anyone during the civil conflict, and donated the money to an anti-torture charity. Rousseff has created a seven-member truth commission to investigate human-rights abuses under the dictatorship. “We are not motivated by revenge, hate, or a desire to rewrite history,” Rousseff said. “The need to know the full truth is what moves us.”
Buenos AiresGay wedding site: The government is encouraging foreigners to come to Argentina for their same-sex weddings. The country legalized gay marriage two years ago and has been enjoying a boom in gay tourism ever since. Gays and lesbians are estimated to number around 15 to 20 percent of international visitors to Buenos Aires. To capitalize on the trend, the National Congress has passed a law allowing foreign gay and lesbian couples to marry. Prospective mates must submit a request five days in advance and obtain a temporary address and a local lawyer.