International Perspectives by J.C. Scull


Latin America

A Business Traveler in Central America. A fiction short story

It was June of 1985. Central America was a powder keg. Civil wars raged in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Panama was dealing with President Manuel Noriega, a head of state largely considered a thug, a thief and a drug dealer. Costa Rica, called the Switzerland of Central America was the only place travelers could feel relatively safe. This was the environment with which business travelers had to contend when trekking through this region.

George Nichols was one of these unfortunate business travelers who oftentimes found themselves at the juncture between two countries where life was often cheap and safety was at best haphazard.

Continue reading “A Business Traveler in Central America. A fiction short story”



The continental divide in the Americas is by far more cultural than geographic. Gender bias is astonishingly more pronounced in North America than south of the border. Latin American males, the epitome of the “macho men”, are far more accepting of strong women who fight in a military unit or rise to the position of presidents and political leaders than their U.S. and Canadian counterparts.

Consider that in the combined history of Canada and the U.S.A., there has only been one woman Canadian Prime Minister and no woman U.S. President. Canada’s sole woman Prime Minister is Kim Campbell who served as 19th Prime Minister from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993. Campbell was the first, and to date, only female prime minister of Canada. Here in the United States for the first time in our history we have a female presidential candidate representing one of our major parties.



The Castro’s Monster Mash

I was watching the news in ’59
When the TV flashed an eerie sight

That the monster from the jungle had begun to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the Castro mash
The Castro mash
It was a Cuban smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the Castro mash



Cuba's embargo

Now that the U.S. and Cuba have re-started diplomatic relations, one question still remains: Should the U.S. lift its embargo on Cuba? The embargo on Cuba is actually enforced under six congressional statutes making the decision to lift the Cuban embargo beyond the purview and power of President Obama. These statutes are:

· Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917,

· Foreign Assistance Act of 1961

· Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963

· Cuban Democracy Act of 1992

· Helms–Burton Act of 1996

· Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000

Continue reading “U.S. EMBARGO ON CUBA”

Venezuela is at the brink of collapse

The Telegraph — May 14, 2016: Oil-rich Venezuela has been rocked by two months of deadly protests, with at least 41 people killed since a wave of demonstrations against the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro broke out in early February. Hundreds of Venezuelans marched in Caracas for the ‘resurrection of democracy’ in a new day of protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro.

‘We want food!’: Venezuela crisis deepens

Opposition supporters clash with riot policemen during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, on May 18, 2016.

Continue reading “Venezuela is at the brink of collapse”

…Socialism, Nicaragua and Daniel Ortega the Central American Robin Hood…

Latin America’s is an exciting, diverse and interesting piece of geography within the larger American continent. When we talk about Latin America we often mistakenly think in terms of the Spanish speaking countries within the larger piece of land between Canada on the north and the tip of South America in the south.

However Latin America is a little more than that as it should include the Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, as well as Brazil which is Portuguese speaking and is in South America.

Continue reading “…Socialism, Nicaragua and Daniel Ortega the Central American Robin Hood…”

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