- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2001

Five Cubans seek asylum in Mexico
MEXICO CITY Five Cubans have asked for political asylum in Mexico, the official Notimex agency reports.
The five, including a child, fled Cuba 11 months ago after being declared "dangerous to the system" by Cuban President Fidel Castro, said a spokesman for the five, Alberto Reyes.
Mr. Reyes said he was vice president of the National Association for Boat People, Peace, Democracy and Liberty in Cuba. Reporting on the case, Notimex said Sunday the group sought protection from U.S. officials at Guantanamo Naval Base, then from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Costa Rica, but it finally fled to Mexico because of "harassment" from Castro supporters.

FARC financial chief seized with CIA help
BOGOTA, Colombia Investigators of the government, helped by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, have captured the financial chief and suspected money launderer of the Marxist rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the daily El Tiempo reports.
According to the report in Sunday's edition, Juan Pablo Rubio, 35, was captured some three weeks ago in a Bogota sting operation with the help of the CIA and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Investigators also found documents linking Mr. Rubio and the FARC to the illegal cocaine drug trade and the powerful Tijuana Cartel in Mexico. The raid, which took place after two years of detailed investigations, also uncovered evidence of FARC bank accounts in Panama totaling some $50 million.

Quebec voters punish amalgamation backers
MONTREAL Sunday's municipal elections in Quebec marked a major shift in the Francophone province's political climate as angry voters used the vote to punish a government that has forced the amalgamation of many cities.
In Montreal, Quebec's metropolis and Canada's second-largest city, voters ousted Mayor Pierre Bourque and replaced him with former Liberal Cabinet minister Gerald Tremblay. Mr. Bourque had been in power for two terms and supported the government's amalgamation plan.
Mr. Bourque conceded defeat in an emotional speech before supporters after results showed him trailing by 15,000 votes in Montreal. In its suburbs, more than three-quarters of the voters voted against him, a clear rejection of the government's policy on amalgamation.

Weekly notes
Nearly bankrupt Argentina warned creditors and opposition politicians alike yesterday they could either agree to cost-cutting measures or watch the recession-hit economy crumble into default. Global investors fear the world economy could further weaken if Argentina's cash crunch leads to default on its $132 billion debt, which includes about a quarter of the world's traded emerging market debt. With Hurricane Michelle lashing Cuba, President Fidel Castro went to the resort city of Varadero Sunday and met with foreign tourists, his country's foreign-currency mainstay. State TV said some 10,000 foreign tourists there watched the storm pass, taking dancing lessons and playing bingo.


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