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Ex-US Ambassador Pleads Guilty to Spying for Cuba

Victor Manuel Rocha, former diplomat to Bolivia, is said to have helped communist nation for decades

(Newser) - For more than four decades, a diplomat working in the US State Department secretly funneled information to Cuba's communist government. That's according to prosecutors, and now to Victor Manuel Rocha himself, a former ambassador to Bolivia who on Thursday switched his initial plea of not guilty to guilty...

Former US Ambassador Arrested as Secret Agent

Ex-diplomat to Bolivia Manuel Rocha, 73, accused of secretly working to promote Cuba's interests

(Newser) - A former US diplomat has been arrested in Florida, accused of secretly serving as an agent for Cuba. WTSP identifies him as 73-year-old Manuel Rocha, who served as the ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002. A source tells the AP , which first reported on Rocha's arrest Friday in...

After Latest Airstrike, Calls for End to Israeli 'War Crimes'

Arab nations condemn Israeli strike on refugee camp as groups claim use of white phosphorus

(Newser) - Dozens of people entered the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt on Wednesday in what appeared to be the first time foreign passport holders have been allowed to leave the besieged territory since the start of the Israel-Hamas war more than three weeks ago, the AP reports. Egyptian state-run media...

General Who Captured Che Guevara Is Dead
General Who Captured
Che Guevara Dead at 84

General Who Captured Che Guevara Dead at 84

Gary Prado Salmón had been struggling with health issues

(Newser) - The Bolivian general who captured Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara in 1967, leading the military operation that took down Guevara's communist insurrection, has died at age 84. The BBC reports that Gary Prado Salmón "became a national hero" after Guevara's capture; the guerrilla fighter was...

After Losing Cat, Airline Calls in Psychic

State-owned Bolivian airline lost passenger's beloved pet more than a month ago

(Newser) - Bolivia's national airline has called in a pet psychic in the ongoing search for Tito, a cat that went missing from a flight more than a month ago. Owner Andrea Iturre says Boliviana de Aviacion—BoA—wouldn't allow her to bring a pet carrier into the cabin on...

South America's Lithium Reserves Are a Boon—Maybe

'Wall Street Journal' looks at the obstacles in extracting one of world's biggest reserves

(Newser) - As the appetite for electric vehicles grows, the Wall Street Journal sees an obstacle in the way of production expanding at a similar clip: South America. The continent is one of three places on Earth—the others being Australia and China—that have substantial reserves of lithium, the metal needed...

Archaeologists Find 'Lost Civilization' in Bolivia

Discovery upends assumptions and demonstrates game-changing technology

(Newser) - When 16th-century Spanish missionaries first wandered into the tropical lowlands of modern Bolivia, they found a few scattered villages, and everyone since then assumed the area was too inhospitable to support large communities. The region has two harsh seasons, extremely dry and extremely wet, and the dense forest made exploration...

Paid Student Leader's 32 Years in College May End

Bolivia judge orders investigation of 52-year-old student with government salary

(Newser) - Max Mendoza has been a remarkably persistent student—and a profitable one: He's been enrolled at a public university in Bolivia for 32 years but never graduated, much of it while being paid a government salary to serve as a student leader. On Monday, though, he was detained and...

The Man Who Executed Che Guevara Has Died
The Man Who Killed
Che Guevara Has Died

The Man Who Killed Che Guevara Has Died

Mario Teran carried out the order of the Bolivian president

(Newser) - Mario Teran "simply complied with his duty as a sergeant of the army," says a retired Bolivian general—but the order he carried out was one he reportedly later described as causing "the worst moment of my life." Teran, the man who executed Ernesto "Che"...

Ex-President of Bolivia Recovering After Apparent Suicide Attempt

Jeanine Anez, charged with 'genocide,' in stable condition after apparently cutting her arms

(Newser) - On Friday, Bolivian prosecutors charged Jeanine Anez—the former president of Bolivia, already in detention after being accused in March of leading a coup against another ex-Bolivian president, Evo Morales—with "genocide." Police are now saying the 54-year-old Anez tried to kill herself over the weekend in jail....

Nation's Ex-President Arrested: 'Political Persecution Has Begun'

Jeanine Anez denies she replaced Evo Morales in Bolivian 'coup,' calling it a 'constitutional succession'

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales served for nearly 14 years before he was forced to resign in 2019 amid allegations of electoral fraud after his reelection victory. Now, the lawmaker who took over for him has been arrested. Jeanine Anez, the country's former interim president, posted a link Friday on...

Victory by Morales' Party Could Swing Bolivia Left

Arce claims victory and suggests stopping the nation's shift to the right

(Newser) - Evo Morales' party has claimed victory in a presidential election that appears to sharply shift Bolivia away from the conservative policies of the US-backed interim government that took power after the leftist leader resigned and fled the country a year ago. The leading rival of Morales's handpicked successor, Luis...

Protesters in Mexico: 'We Were Not Discovered'

Demonstrators in several nations mark Columbus Day in the streets

(Newser) - Mexicans have never had much affection for Cristopher Columbus, and officials were coy about why his statue was removed from the capital's main boulevard before Monday's observances of Columbus Day, which saw protests in several Latin American nations. Unlike in other cities where monuments to the 15th-century explorer...

Another World Leader Tests Positive
Another World Leader 
Has the Virus

Another World Leader Has the Virus

Bolivia’s interim president tests positive for COVID-19

(Newser) - Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Áñez, has tested positive for COVID-19. "I feel good, I feel strong, I will continue to work virtually from my isolation," she says in a video posted to her Twitter account, per NPR . Three cabinet ministers in her administration have also...

Teacher Breaks the Mold With Online Classes

Jorge Manolo Villarroel's online classes have actually become popular

(Newser) - Sometimes, Jorge Manolo Villarroel is Spiderman. Sometimes, he's the Flash, or the Green Lantern. But he’s always a teacher—one who lives out his childhood dreams by dressing up as superheroes for the locked-down students who attend his virtual classes, the AP reports. His classes have become so...

Morales Arrives in Mexico, Leaving Chaos in His Wake

Opposition leader declares herself Bolivia's interim president

(Newser) - An opposition leader in Bolivia's Senate has declared herself the country's interim president after the resignation of Evo Morales, the AP reports. The 52-year-old Jeanine Añez, the Senate's second vice president, took temporary control of the Senate late Tuesday, putting her next in line for the...

President Who Had Fairy-Tale Rise Resigns

Fast-moving developments lead to Bolivian President Evo Morales' exit

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation Sunday under mounting pressure from the military and the public after his re-election victory triggered weeks of fraud allegations and deadly protests. The decision came after a day of fast-moving developments, including an offer from Morales to hold a new election. But the...

Woman Kidnapped in Late '80s Finally Rescued in Bolivia

She has been reunited with family, police say

(Newser) - An Argentinian woman who was kidnapped as a teenager in the late 1980s and taken out of the country has finally been reunited with her family, police say. In a statement, police said they rescued the 45-year-old woman and her 9-year-old son from human traffickers in southern Bolivia after a...

Monkeys Help Man Survive 9 Days Lost in Amazon

The tourist doesn't know how he got lost; locals blame a mischievous sprite

(Newser) - Maykool Acuña spent nine days lost in the rainforest—possibly due the machinations of an evil tree sprite—but was kept alive by a group of helpful monkeys. National Geographic , whose reporter was embedded with the team searching for Acuña, has the highly improbable story. Acuña was...

Inside the 1985 Plane Crash That May Never Be Solved
The Deepening Mystery of
Eastern Airlines Flight 980

The Deepening Mystery of Eastern Airlines Flight 980

Plane slammed into a Bolivian mountain in murky circumstances in 1985

(Newser) - A mysterious plane crash in nearly inaccessible terrain. A foreign government fails to investigate thoroughly. Missing black boxes. No bodies or blood. An airline that was later implicated in large-scale cocaine smuggling, then went bankrupt. And... a bunch of crocodile skins? These are the mysteries that drew Americans Dan Futrell...

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