GEORGIA: Clinton tells off Moscow
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rebuked Russia on Monday for failing to live up to the cease-fire agreement it signed nearly two years ago to end the fighting in this small former Soviet state. She asserted that Russia is occupying parts of Georgia and building permanent military bases in contravention of the truce. With President Mikhail Saakashvili at her side, Clinton pointedly referred to Russian troops as occupiers of the breakaway Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
MEXICO: Elections yield uncertainty
After a Super Sunday of elections across Mexico widely seen as a test for the 2012 presidential race and the nation's future, the winner turns out to be - well, not really anyone. President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party is weak, the left is in collapse and the Institutional Revolutionary Party that is on a tentative path to recapture the presidency it held for 71 years was shown to be vulnerable. Drug cartel intimidation dissuaded many from voting at all. The mixed outcome in elections across 15 states showed no party has won the faith of Mexicans desperate to bring their country out of a quagmire of economic stagnation and relentless gang wars that have killed more than 23,000 people since Calderón took office three years ago.
VENEZUELA: Honoring Bolívar's lover
South America's 19th century independence hero Simón Bolívar was reunited Monday with his controversial lover at a graveside ceremony. A coffer containing the symbolic remains of Manuela Saenz, an audacious woman credited with helping Bolívar liberate several nations from Spain, was moved alongside Bolívar's tomb in an independence day celebration. The government of President Hugo Chávez is helping to redress Saenz's reputation, portraying her as one of the continent's greatest heroines. Scorned as immoral and adulterous by some, Saenz spent the last years of her life destitute and her contribution to South America's independence struggle against Spain was largely forgotten after she died during a diphtheria epidemic in 1856.