Jul 07 2009
Following 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
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