United States



Photos: Courtesy NFL

In the heart of Mexico City, the National Football League brought it’s show across the Rio Grande to showcase the first Monday Night Football game to take place outside of the United States. The Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans were the two teams chosen to play at Azteca Stadium, a place better known for the football played with the foot though the NFL had played there in 2005. But in the ultimate gesture of goodwill, the NFL billed it as “Families of Futbol.”

On this historical night in the capital of Mexico, we learned why. The NFL provided a surprise that did more to show the humanity of not just a professional league but a country that shares a common border. During this evening the NFL not only brought families based in the United States to their first game but reunited them with family members in Mexico where they would all be able to share the experience together.


Ximena Alvarez’ family was a case in point. She and her family were brought in to watch the Raiders and the reunion was a perfect celebratory mesh of American Football and Mexican culture for a week where the NFL crossed borders and united families. A double win for the NFL.



Lionel Messi wants this championship badly. He sports a beard symbolizing the goal. He is focused like never before to bring Argentina it’s first trophy of any kind since the 1993 Copa America. This was never so true as last night’s 4-0 win over the United States at Metlife Stadium demonstrated.

Messi, didn’t back track even when the man who he assisted on the opening goal, Lavezzi, did a 360 flip over the advertising board landing flush on his head and shoulder which was very reminiscent of Derek Jeter’s spill during the 2001 Divisional playoff game against Oakland. It was a 63rd minute air-sapper as we learned that he fractured his arm and is scratched for the final.

He was carted away by ambulance to the horror of Argentine fans. But they could take solace in their top player. Though Messi has been the ultimate tease, losing the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America finals, Argentina does not get that close without arguably the best player on any pitch today.

Though that spill grabbed the headlines, it was Messi‘ playmaking that set up three of the four goals. Three minutes in, just outside the box he lifted a gorgeous, towering ball perfectly into the heart of goaltending territory, where Ezequeil Lavezzi headed it perfectly past Brad Guzan.

“It was a lesson,”

U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann explained,

“We hit the wall,”

The second was a taste of free kick magic. Messi left-footed bender that found the top-left corner for a 2-0 lead. The fourth was a 86th minute transition treat. Messi, in classic, turf-tearing sprint, picking up a turnover, and entering the left side of the box, passed to his right to set up Gonzalo Huguain for his second of the game.

Messi’ return was a relief but it will remain to be seen the effects of Lavezzi’s injury when Argentina plays Sunday against today’s Columbia-Chile semi-final winner. If Chile wins, it will be their second meeting in this tournament as Argentina bested them in group play. They would also get the opportunity to avenge last year’s Copa America loss. Colombia, after seeing their name mis-spelled, will not be confused as they are on the verge of a final.

Adidas spends $$ MILLIONS on soccer ads with HUGE typo & Colombians are FURIOUS!

Adidas spends $$ MILLIONS on soccer ads with HUGE typo & Colombians are FURIOUS!



At least the Colombian National team can live up to it’s lofty credentials. The Copa America entrant started off well with two victories in group play to start off the tournament. They are one of the favorites to win and James Rodriguez is poised to add to the worldwide fame he first achieved at the 2014 World Cup.

Only one problem. In the advertisements concerning Columbia Pictures, no, I mean the space shuttle, Columbia, check that, the Columbian National Soccer team, it appears that Adidas‘ advertisement agency goofed on the basics, spelling.

The error caused the ads, that were to show off the players white home jerseys, to be removed and Adidas to be ridiculed. The company spoke about how much they valued the partnership.

“We apologize for our mistake,”

Adidas responded,

“We removed these graphics and are quickly installing new versions today.”

This slight has seemed to only add to Colombian play as they followed their 2-0 win over the United States with a 2-1 victory over Paraguay Tuesday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.



The choice of venue for the opening match of the 2016 Copa America, the “Centenario” if you will, was Santa Clara, California. For Jurgen Klinsmann’s men it was supposed to be the beginning of a statement. However, instead of a show of skill with the feet, it was the hands that marked the defining moment of this match.

Colombia came out quickly showing its quality of play and silenced 67,439 fans at Levi’s Stadium eight minutes in when Cristian Zapata, played a corner kick into a cute tally putting Colombia up first. He eluded two defenders and volleyed it in for his first international goal.

Clint Dempsey has proven to be the most deadly sniper the United States owns. The lethal lefty has scored many crucial goals in the past twelve years including three
World Cups. But the 33-year old found frustration to be the word of the day. He re-directed the ball just pass the post on one occasion and saw another shot that usually finds the net making friends with the boards.

“Clint was a warrior out there giving everything he had,”

Klinsmann said,

“He was really fighting that fight very positively until the very last second.”

The problem was that the United States, with eight players who appeared in the 2014 World Cup, could not find another to match Dempsey’s desire. They remained a single goal away from a draw and Colombian star striker James Rodriguez had not yet put a stamp on the game. In fact he aggravated a shoulder injury when he as taken down later in the match.

But it was Michael Bradley, the U.S. Captain, who doesn’t make many mistakes, turning the ball over and then DeAndre Yedlin who turned away from Farid Diaz’ cross attempt with his hand open. The ball found it and a red-card penalty called in the 65th minute. ”

That penalty decision had a big impact,”

Klinsmann understatedly proclaimed.

James Rodriguez put it away and the 2-0 scoreline held for Colombia. The third-ranked Colombia took advantage of the change in goal as the long-tenured Tim Howard was replaced by Brad Guzan for this tournament. Guzan was the number one goalie for Aston Villa in England last year. The U.S, in Group A plays Costa Rica Tuesday in Chicago while Colombia will get Paraguay on the same day at Pasadena, California.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Gunning for Guyana

nicholas maduro


President Nicolas Maduro Maros of the Venezuelan United Socialist Party,  has divided his country’s people in two after his inauguration in 2013, but has united them under one issue, taking the long-disputed Essequibo territory in Guyana and the surrounding maritime area.

The former vice president and minister of foreign affairs under Hugo Chavez has been under fire from the opposition and other political leaders in South America.  The lack of basic necessities, civil liberties and human rights, as well as increase in crime in Venezuela has made Chavez’s handpicked successor a bit of a laughing stock in the Latin American political circle.

As a result, Maduro has been facing a large drop in approval ratings and that has ignited a fire under the opposition, Coalition for Democratic Unity, to try an oust him since many in that party believe his election victory, in which he had less than 1.5%  edge, was a result of ballot tampering.

However, if he acquires the oil rich Essequibo land in Guyana, about two thirds of the country that has been disputed for in 1899 and 1962, he can start to change Venezuela’s deep economic disaster before the parliamentary elections in December and the outlook of his presidency.

This can possibly help create jobs, cut the crime rate and aid the those that are living beneath the poverty line in Venezuela if they ever get to see any of that potential money.

Maduro is so adamant about claiming the land that he has implemented plans to issue 200,000 identification cards to Guyanese people on the territory and present ad campaigns implying they would have a better livelihood under Venezuelan rule; Guyana is the third-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


Despite the fight over which country has the rights to the Essequibo region, in the eyes of the international community, it belongs to Guyana, a country that has been facing its own economic downturn for years. Still, after the 1962 ruling, Venezuela has persistently been trying to negotiate with the former British colony for that territory, but Guyana has consistenly refused to rollover.

The recently elected president of Guyana responded to Maduro’s claims at an address to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM):

Guyana’s border with Venezuela was fixed 116 years ago. Maps were drawn. Atlases were adjusted. Border markers were cast in stone,” said President David Granger.

david granger

The newly discovered oil in the territory will help Guyana to be less reliant on Venezuela (one of the largest exporters in the World) to meet that need. For years Guyana has traded rice for Venezuelan oil.

Oil will not be the only thing Guyana loses if it turns over the grassland and jungle area to Venezuela. Many locals already make a living off the land for gold, mineral and hunting.

Of course the United States has a part to play in all of this. It was the United States’ own oil compamy, ExxonMobil, that made the discovery of the oil in Guyana’s maritime area. Also, the United States has economic sanctions against Venezuela for its human rights violations, resulting in the country’s sharp economic decline. Approximately 95% of the South American country’s foreign exchange comes from oil. Without the U.S., one of the biggest importers of oil, Venezuela can end up a failed state.

Maduro suggests that Guyana should listen to what Venezuela has to offer and that by no means does he want the dispute to escalate into a violence.

“The Essequibo issue cannot be resolved militarily,” said Maduro. Instead, he is hoping for a diplomatic approach.

If Guyana doesn’t believe his claims, it has to do with Maduro appointing General Gerardo Izquierdo to lead the commissiion on the Essequibo region. Guyana has also met with the United Nations about the Essequibo issue being a national security problem, but has recently decided to take up matters on its own if its “sovereignity is threatened,” according to the country’s foreign minister.

Should Venezuela diversify its foreign exports to help its country, or take on a territorial battle and possible actual one with Guyana? Is Guyana on Venezuelan territory and should it give it back, or does the country have every right to defend itself from a long-settled land dispute? Is the United States’ interference the real problem, and were the sanctions against Venezuela necessary to address the human rights violations?

Tell us what you think about the situation.


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The news that the United States has moved to have normal relations with Cuba has been looked at with great interest by the national pasttime. The last great bastion of baseball talent may soon finally get to perform in greater numbers for the first time in MLB.

Should the day come when Cuban players can come to the United States to ply their trade in MLB, the rules of the game may have to be adjusted.


Currently the method used to bring Latin players to the United States is through the draft. But Cuba, with a strong domestic league, which is homegrown, is the pride of the island. Provisions will have to be made how and which players would be considered draftable or free agents.

“The bottom line to all of this is, the situation between MLB and the Cuban baseball federation is a very complicated one. It doesn’t have easy solutions, because MLB wants control of its players, and Cuba wants control of their own players,”

author Pete Bjarkman said.

Also Cuba requires players that are loaned to other countries to return to play in the national league. MLB will most likely not agree with that. But think about the possibilities. On the opening day roster this past 2014 season their was a record 19 Cubans in MLB including stars like Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman.

So in less than five years, baseball’s latest trend may be ready to go, just a few miles south of the Baseball’s promised land.

Was Santa Elena the First Colonial City?

DiggingMost everyone is familiar with the story of how the United States began its journey into what it is today. We learn about the history of the United States in school, through our parents, grandparents and other influential people. A common known fact is that Jamestown, Virginia was American’s birthplace. But now a new place was deemed as the first colonial capital, Santa Elena located in South Carolina.

Since realizing this piece of history, archaeologists are now resuming digs properly to uncover what was ultimately forgotten. The site where the archaeologists are interested in is within the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Tourists are also attracted to this area when they visit South Carolina.

This discovery is going one step further. According to a news source, The National Park Service “plans to release a curriculum this fall on Santa Elena for middle and high school teachers. Spain has offered to provide software, documents and other artifacts to help tell the town’s story, as part of an agreement the U.S. signed with Spain last year on the initiative.”

Also, Santa Elena was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Despite this, the history books give an interesting timeline of the beginning for the United States. The history books talk about Christopher Columbus, to the 1607 to Jamestown and to the landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

The Santa Elena Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2013 and hopes to open up a temporary center in 2014, with a permanent center in 2016. The Marine Corps expectations before the center opens that the artifacts found be collected, re-packaged and re-cataloged.

Circus Accident During a Rhode Island Performance

Circus StuntCircuses provide a great form of entertainment for all ages. It takes great talent, precision and timing to do the acrobatics and provide a great experience for the audience. Yet no two performances are alike and while everything may look ‘awesome’, it is no joke that something may go wrong, even with enough practice.

While performing in Rhode Island, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, a carabiner, like a lanyard, collapsed from the air with nine performers on it while performing an aerial hair-hanging stunt.

According to one source, the stunt is “called “hairialists” by the circus – hang “like a human chandelier” using their hair during the act. The performance is supposed to include choreography as well as spinning, hanging from hoops and rolling down wrapped silks while suspended 25 to 40 feet up.” This and many other challenging stunts were seen at the performance as well.

The structures that the performers were hanging from collapsed into three pieces causing many of the performers to be injured and they were from the United States, Brazil, Bulgaria and Ukraine and two are critically injured.

The circus officiates do not know how the structure broke. It is led to believe that a part may not have been put together properly and the performers were unaware of how many times the structure has been used.

Only Latino to Serve in President’s Cabinet as Secretary of Labor

thomas perez
Thomas Perez has become confirmed as the first and only Latino cabinet member under president Obama as Secretary of Labor. He’s won the support of his fellow Dominicans, and the Latino community as a whole, nationwide, including NYC councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. “This is a watershed moment in the experience of Dominicans in the U.S. and announces to the country, we will be active in this country at a national level for generations to come,” he said. The executive director of CASA de Maryland, the state’s largest Latino rights organization, congratulated him and sited what good Perez had done when he was president of the board of directors. President Obama said himself that Perez is the embodiment of the American dream. But with much Democratic support, along with a 54-46 vote, comes Republican opposition. Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, said he was “disappointed”. Sen. Cruz and other Republicans say Perez selectively enforces laws according to his own political views.

From LatinTrends, ¡felicidades, Sr. Pérez!

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Book Launch Event of Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead by Shannon O’Neil hosted by AS/COA in New York

Two Nations Indivisible_lrgLike the United States, Mexico had changed in the last 30 years politically, demographically, and economically. Author Shannon K O’Neil, writes about these topics in her book Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, giving an overview about what happened then now and everything in between.

The book launch took place at the Amercias Society/Council of the Americas in New York where several interested attendees were eager to listen to the event. Hard data coupled with personal anecdotes, kept the audience interested in what was being said. O’Neil kept the audience interested and presented the information in a sequential order in order for everyone to follow along. When dealing with a variety of data, this is the best way to do it, in-so-that, the attendees that had not followed what has happened in Mexico, understand through a certain order.

To make a company be globally known, there had to be a trade off of some kind and partnership in order for the company to excel very well. O’Neil described the partnership between the United States, Canada, Mexico and others as multi-regional trading. This means that there are multiple regions involved to import and export goods and services. It was projected that trade would happen more and more and would always be predictable until it happens, yet keeping the competition in mind is going to step in no matter what.

Overall, there really is no way of telling what is going to happen even in the next 30 years now. This book, however, focused a lot on various issues including stability and security, immigration reform, power of initiative and the effect of recent labor laws, to at least get the conversation started.