The world at a glance . . . Americas
Caracas, VenezuelaLeftist summit: Leftist Latin American leaders used the occasion of a summit celebrating President Hugo Chavez’s 10 years in power this week to lambaste the U.S. The meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America, or ALBA, included leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Bolivian President Evo Morales said Washington was “attempting to undermine” a political shift to the left in the Americas by rigging trade agreements so that “capitalism endures.” Chavez urged continued resistance against “the bourgeoisie that hates us.”
Caracas, VenezuelaAnti-Semitic violence: A Jewish human-rights group this week urged the Organization of American States to take action against a spate of anti-Semitism in Venezuela. The Simon Wiesenthal Center said vandalism of Venezuelan synagogues and other forms of anti-Semitism have been rising sharply. In one recent incident, a synagogue in Caracas was broken into and ransacked; “Death to all” was spray painted on the walls. Rights advocates also say regional media financed by the government have become openly anti-Semitic, which some analysts attribute to the country’s growing alliance with Iran. The Web magazine Aporrea has called for “publicly denouncing, with their first and last names, members of powerful Jewish groups.” And the TV network Telesur urged Latin Americans to accost Jews on the street and demand that they denounce Israel.
São Paulo, BrazilSlum riot: Thousands of youths burned cars and tires and looted businesses in a poor São Paulo neighborhood this week, after police fatally shot a man. Authorities said they had tried to stop the man from driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and opened fire only after he shot at them. After the riots broke out in the Paraisopolis neighborhood, police poured into the slum in armored cars and helicopters and began patrolling the streets carrying automatic weapons. About 80,000 people live in the slum, which borders some of São Paulo’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Officials say they suspect the riot may have been ordered by First Capital Command, a major drug gang.