- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CANADA

Troops to leave Afghanistan

TORONTO | Canada will not extend its mission in Afghanistan even if President Obama asks Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do so when the countries’ leaders meet this week, Mr. Harper’s office said Monday.

Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas reiterated in a briefing Monday that Canada will withdraw its troops in 2011.

One hundred and thirty Canadian soldiers and a diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan, where Canada has 2,500 troops.

Canada first sent troops to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States and increased its deployment after declining a U.S. request to dispatch troops to Iraq.

Although Canada usually has served in more of a peacekeeping role in overseas missions since after World War II, Mr. Harper has been a steadfast ally in the post-Sept. 11 fight against al Qaeda.

CUBA

Almeida to rest with heroes

HAVANA | The remains of Cuban revolutionary hero Juan Almeida Bosque will be buried in a mausoleum for rebel fighters in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, the government announced Monday.

Mr. Almeida, who fought alongside former President Fidel Castro in the 1959 revolution and was one of several Cuban vice presidents, died Friday of a heart attack at the age of 82. Cuba held an official day of mourning Sunday, and tens of thousands lined up at the capital’s Revolution Square to pay their respects.

A motorcade containing Mr. Almeida’s remains will depart for the mausoleum from the military airport in the eastern city of Santiago, 535 miles southeast of Havana, on Tuesday.

BOLIVIA

Investors viewed with suspicion

MADRID | Bolivia welcomes foreign investment in its energy and natural resource sectors but without foreign companies acting as owners, President Evo Morales said Monday.

Bolivia’s plans to nationalize its electricity sector and how this might affect Spanish companies in the South American country will be among the top items on Mr. Morales’ agenda during his trip to Madrid, which began Sunday.

“Companies that respect Bolivian norms will be welcomed,” Mr. Morales told a breakfast meeting of business representatives, politician and journalists. “We’re looking for investment, be it from private or state sector. We want partners, not owners of our natural resources.”

Mr. Morales said Bolivia had still not decided on how to exploit its lithium reserves in the Salar de Uyuni flats but would be looking to negotiate with Spanish and European companies to produce car parts and lithium batteries.

COSTA RICA

Migrants detained en route to U.S.

SAN JOSE | Costa Rican authorities detained 54 U.S.-bound migrants from Africa and Nepal after their boat arrived on the Central American country’s coast, officials said Sunday.

Authorities were treating some of the migrants for dehydration after several days at sea and took into custody three suspected Colombian smugglers who were traveling with them, said Sergio Lopez, a spokesman for Costa Rica’s security ministry.

Officials originally said all 54 migrants were from Africa. But after interviewing them, authorities reported 15 were from Nepal and 39 from Africa.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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