Jul 07 2009

Rubén Blades on Honduras, Panama, and Michael Jackson

michael jacksonFollowing his unsuccessful attempt to return to Honduras, ousted President Manuel Zelaya has begun a tour of Central America to gather support. The Organization of American States just suspended Honduras from its membership after the opposition refused to reverse the coup. Zelaya tried to fly into the main airport in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa over the weekend but was prevented from landing by the opposition which covered the runway with military vehicles. Thousands of Zelaya’s supporters gathered at the airport to greet him and clashed with police – at least two people were killed in the ensuing violence. Zelaya has vowed to make another attempt to return. Meanwhile in the nearby nation of Panama, the new president Ricardo Martinelli was sworn in. The pro-business conservative has billed himself as a political independent and vowed to enact changes in Panama’s economy. I had the opportunity yesterday to speak with the former Tourism Minister of Panama and cultural icon, Rubén Blades. Blades is well known for his work in music particularly Central American nueva canción as well as politically inspired salsa. He is also an actor, song writer, and lawyer. Blades appeared yesterday on KPFK’s Global Village with Maggie Le Pique and I had the chance to sit down with him for a few minutes to reflect on Central American politics.

GUEST: Rubén Blades, former Tourism Minister of Panama, singer/song-writer, actor, lawyer

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Rubén Blades on Honduras, Panama, and Michael Jackson”

  1. Jeffrey Pilchon 07 Jul 2009 at 1:35 pm

    What a fascinating and intriguing interview wth Ruben Blades. One for the ages which should be shared with all Latin Americanists. Especially interesting was the exchange between Kolhatker and Blades regarding the drug war. Great, great work.

  2. Danielon 22 Jul 2009 at 6:18 am

    What is intriguing is how he has managed to make the most slimy flip flops on his political stances of the day. He endorsed and supported the very son of the general who exiled his family and a fascist candidate Balbina Herrera for President, who actually had protesters assassinated. He lives in USA for 30+ years and has the balls to try to run for President of Panamá. He starts a political party to “end the oppression” and then supports the murderous PRD. He ostracized Hector LaVoe because he was a drug addict. Blades leaves a trail of bodies wherever he goes. He is the typical user/taker poltician. A scumbag with powerful public relations skills.