- - Monday, August 8, 2011

CUBA

Castro boosts military ties with Angola

HAVANA — Long-standing allies Cuba and Angola boosted military cooperation during a visit to the communist-run Caribbean island by Angolan defense officials, Cuban state media reported Monday.

Cuban Defense Minister Julio Casas Regueiro met with his Angolan counterpart, Candido Pereira Dos Santos Van Dunem, and “signed an accord recognizing the working parameters to strengthen and grow cooperation between the two armies,” the newspaper Granma said, citing an official statement.

The two men held “warm and friendly” talks in the presence of Cuban President Raul Castro, it added.

Cuba was a key ally in Angola’s fight against colonial power Portugal.

Thousands of Cuban troops helped the Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola fight off pro-Western rebels following the African country’s independence in 1975.

In 2009, Mr. Castro traveled twice to Angola, meeting with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

ARGENTINA

Police arrest suspects in murder of French tourists

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine authorities have detained seven people in the rape and slaying of two French tourists last month.

Investigative Judge Martin Perez says three men and one woman were found in Salta province with the victims’ belongings.

Salta’s judicial authority says on its website that police arrested two other men over the weekend and recovered a gun that could match the .22-caliber weapon used to kill 29-year-old Cassandre Bouvier and 20-year-old Moumni Houria.

The tourists’ bodies were found along a mountain trail on July 29, two weeks after they were last seen alive.

Mr. Perez declined to identify the suspects, but Argentine news media are reporting that they include a police cadet and the daughter of a retired police officer.

VENEZUELA

Chavez worried about fallout from U.S. debt crisis

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez fears that Venezuela is not immune to the economic woes afflicting the United States and Europe, despite efforts to distance itself from world powers and establish a socialist system.

Mr. Chavez warned over the weekend that economic problems around the globe probably would hurt Venezuela as international oil prices fall. But he added that the South American nation has partially protected itself by diversifying its economy and forging trade ties with countries including China and Russia.

Venezuela has long tried to diminish its heavy reliance on oil, which accounts for about 95 percent of export earnings.

The self-proclaimed revolutionary spoke during a Cabinet meeting several hours before flying to communist-led Cuba, where he is scheduled to undergo a second round of chemotherapy for his cancer.

MEXICO

Villagers attack crooks, killing six linked to crime gang

OAXACA — Dozens of armed villagers surrounded the home of a suspected crime gang in southern Mexico, setting off a gunbattle that killed a child, a woman and four men, authorities said over the weekend.

The confrontation took place after a town assembly decided to arm 90 villagers and send them to threaten the group allegedly behind cattle thefts, rapes and murders, Oaxaca state’s public security chief said in a statement.

The people in the house responded by opening fire first, security chief Marco Tulio Lopez said.

Eleven-year-old Reynaldo Hernandez was killed in the crossfire in Santa Cruz Tepenixtlahuaca, a village about an eight-hour drive from the state capital, also called Oaxaca.

Two villagers were detained, and police seized an arsenal of rifles and shotguns from those who engaged in the firefight, Mr. Lopez said.

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