Western Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico on alert for possible tropical storm late this week


A tropical low could strengthen into the second named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Basin tropical season late this week.

All eyes will be on the western Caribbean later this week, an area that looks to have the right conditions for a new tropical system to brew.

"A tropical low is expected to develop north of the Nicaraguan coast around midweek," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

As the week progresses, the system looks to lift northward through the western Caribbean Sea, and eventually could reach the Gulf of Mexico. Depending on the exact conditions at the time, this low could become the next tropical depression or tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin.

"Water temperatures in both the Caribbean and the Gulf are more than sufficient for tropical development and possible strengthening," added Rossio.

If the system reaches tropical storm strength, it will be given the name Beryl.

However, the atmospheric conditions across the Western Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico this week are not that simple.

Some pockets of wind shear, as well as drier air in the western Gulf of Mexico, could inhibit any rapid intensification or organization of the system as it moves northward.

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Nicaragua Creates Truth, Justice and Peace Commission

The commission will have three months to investigate the deaths and violence committed since during protests against the social security system reform.

The National Assembly of Nicaragua appointed, ratified and swore in members of the Commission for Truth, Justice and Peace Sunday, who will investigate the deaths and violent acts that happened during the protests against the proposed social security system reform.

RELATED: Nicaraguan Truth Commission to Analyze Protests and Deaths

The commission will integrate the Franciscan Priest Uriel Molina, Indigenous and human rights activist Dr. Mirna Cunningham, the Vice President of the National Council of Universities Jaime Lopez Lowery, human rights prosecutor Adolfo Jose Jarquin, and economist Cairo Amador.

Over the course of three months, the commission will investigate the death of protesters and other violent acts that took place since April 19, when clashes between protesters and security forces began.

“The Commission for Truth, Justice and Peace is in your hands, and we want to tell you that you're completely free to do the corresponding investigations,” said Gustavo Porras, president of the parliament.

Porras said the commission's members are prominent Nicaraguans who are committed to peace, and who will carry out the investigation with total freedom.

The creation of the commission was approved during a special session of the National Assembly of Nicaragua on April 29, with 74 votes in favor and none against. The opposition Liberal Party didn't take part in it.

In addition to the truth commission Nicaragua's Public Prosecutor's Office launched Friday an investigation into the protests and deaths. "We will start a formal and responsible investigation into the loss of life of students and national police," Prosecutor Ines Miranda said.

“Vandals promoting chaos by burning Catarina's city hall, taking away peace and tranquility from the families of this touristic town.”

After a peaceful day of protests Sunday, violent opposition groups installed barricades, burned buildings and attacked people while they were praying in Catarina and Niquinohomo. Catarina's city hall and the town house of the National Liberation Sandinista Front (FSLN) were set on fire by some vandals.

The protests were sparked by a proposed reform of the social security system, which the government tried to push for without falling for the IMF recommendations that encouraged tougher austerity measures.

At least 11 people have died during the protests.

Days after the opposition expressed their concerns about the reform, President Daniel Ortega decided to backtrack on it to avoid more blood shed and called for the Catholic Church to mediate the peace dialogues.

On April 24, the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua accepted to be the mediator and witness of the dialogue between Ortega's government and different opposition groups, including dissident student organizations and the Private Enterprise Superior Council.

The government approved on April 16 the reform of the social security system after several negotiation talks during 2017, with the objective of distributing responsibilities between companies and workers, and thus avoiding the privatization of the service.

Even though the reform was suspended and the government of Nicaragua and the Episcopal Conference issued calls for peace and dialogue, some opposition groups have continued to commit violent acts in the streets of Nicaragua and clash with security forces.

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Nicaraguan Women´s Soccer Team beat Cuba in Second Game of the Friendly Match

Nicaragua women's soccer squad beat 2-1 Cuba in the second and last friendly match these two sides held at Havana´s Pedro Marrero stadium.

The visitors opened the score at the 25th minute when Cuban goalkeeper Katherine Montesinos couldn´t keep a header and right winger Yensi Aguirre took the rebound and sent the ball home from close range.

At 45´, left winger Sheyla Flores starred a magnificent play when dribbling past two local defenders to then beat Montesinos through a tremendous shot, thus setting the score 2-0.

In the second half, the Cuban coach Reiniel Bonora made some substitutions as he had lined up several not-regular players and his team noted the improvement and at 75´, Nicaragua´s defender scored an own goal, but the visiting side didn´t collapse, as in the first match, and managed to maintain the score 2-1.

Last Tuesday, Cuba won 4-2 the first of these two matches after starring a tremendous comeback in the second half as they were losing 1-2 at half time.

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Cuban First Vice President: Nicaragua will always have Cuba's Support

Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Wednesday in Managua, that Nicaragua will always have the unconditional support, friendship and solidarity of the Caribbean island, reported Prensa Latina News Agency.

The Cuban First Vice President traveled to Nicaragua to participate in the 38th anniversary celebrations of the Sandinista Revolution. He said that the Cuban government and people express their solidarity and revolutionary feelings to the Nicaraguan people.

He extended greetings on behalf of President Raul Castro to his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo who, together with the Sandinista National Liberation Front, struggle to eradicate poverty in Nicaragua.

The Cuban leader stressed that Nicaragua is living intense reaffirmation and revolutionary struggle after hosting the 23rd Meeting of the Forum of Sao Paulo, important space of political debate in which the Latin American left forces are drafting common strategies to face neoliberalism.

It is significant that at such a transcendental moment we are able to express our congratulations to the Nicaraguan people and ratify once again that they have the unconditionally support, friendship and solidarity of the Cuban people, said Diaz-Canel.

The Cuban government leader was welcomed by Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada and other government authorities at the Augusto Cesar Sandino Airport.

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Nicaragua Celebrates 38th Anniv of Sandinista Popular Revolution

Nicaragua is commemorating today the 38th anniversary of the triumph of the Sandinista Popular Revolution, a feat that ended in 1979 several decades of dictatorship and opened a stage of transcendental changes in the country.

Decorated with the red-and-black flags of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and the blue and white colors of the national flag, the esplanade of the Plaza de la Fe is ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans and figures from around the world who will accompany President Daniel Ortega and Deputy Minister, Rosario Murillo.

Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, El Salvador's Salvador Sanchez Ceren, and Cuban First Vice-President, Miguel Díaz-Canel, are already in the country to take part in the celebrations.

Representations of social movements and left-wing political parties in Latin America and the Caribbean, which participated in the recent 23rd meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, are also on the list.

The FSLN ended on July 19, 1979, the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle, the latter of the family in power, and undertook since then a series of profound changes to benefit the majority.

After the devastating effects of an economic siege and the war financed and organized by the United States, the FSLN lost the 1990 elections in front of a coalition that brought together all political opposition forces.

About 17 years later, through ballot, the FSLN returned to the government to begin a second stage that shows substantial changes in all orders, applauded and recognized by many countries and international organizations.

Nicaragua has solid indicators today in several fields and is considered one of the most stable and safe nations in the world, while it is in a position to emerge as one of the major economies in the region.

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Cuba Defends Lula, Maduro at Sao Paulo Forum in Nicaragua

The 23rd Sao Paulo Forum meets in Managua this week to advance the unity of Latin America's left in the face of renewed attacks by global capitalism.

The Cuban delegation at the 23rd Sao Paulo Forum reaffirmed their support for Venezuelan President Maduro and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva Sunday, claiming both leaders were victims of an “imperialist offensive."

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In an interview with Prensa Latina, Jorge Arias, deputy head of the Department of International Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, emphasized the Cuban delegation's solidarity with Lula and Venezuela's Bolivarian process.

Arias argued the attacks against Maduro's government and the recent ruling against Lula were part of an “imperialist offensive” waged by the oligarchic right to besiege the region and reverse the gains made by the left during the past two decades.

Arias' comments come just days after former Lula's politicized conviction on corruption charges and in the midst of continuous attempts to derail the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, which faces a crucial democratic test later this month as representatives are elected to the country's National Constituent Assembly.

The Cuban delegation was joined by delegates representing social movements, popular bases and leftist parties across Latin America and the Caribbean at the 23rd Sao Paulo Forum, convened Sunday in Nicaragua's capital Managua.

The objective of the three-day conference is to further advance the regional, ideological and practical unity of the continent's left in its fight to consolidate its national liberation goals in the face of a renewed offensive by global capitalism against the peoples of the region.

Upon arriving in Managua Saturday, Puerto Rican independence leader and recently-released political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera stressed the importance the forum in remarks to reporters.

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"My freedom was achieved due to the solidarity of people like (those in) Nicaragua, who love freedom and justice," said Lopez Rivera, who was released in May after spending 36 years in prison for his fight to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. colonialism.

The forum will also officially adopt the Consensus for Our America, a 24-page document dedicated to late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro that lays out the principles, purpose, objectives and priorities of the forum's participants. The forum's participants hope that the text, drafted collectively in past work sessions, will serve as a key programmatic document for progressive forces in not only Latin America, but the entire globe.

“The accumulation of capital is leading to the concentration and centralization of it (through) neoliberal policies focused on privatization and private appropriation of state enterprises, as well as the use of public funds to socialize the losses of private enterprises,” the document points out, adding that global capitalism seeks to eliminate any progressive or leftist presence from the world's social, institutional and political spaces.

Founded by the Worker's Party of Brazil in 1990, the Sao Paulo Forum was established in a bid to unify the efforts of the world's major leftist forces in the wake of Soviet socialism's collapse and the advance of neoliberalism, which stripped workers and poor people of hard-fought gains while privatizing previously off-limits sectors of national economies and the global commons alike.

The forum will entail various working groups and plenaries before ending Tuesday, a night prior to Wednesday's celebration marking 38 years since the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution. The revolution deposed U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza and brought the Sandinista Liberation Front to power, ushering in a period of sustained economic progress, poverty reduction, peace and stability in the Central American nation.

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Hurricane Otto to Landfall in Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Meteorologists in the United States have warned that Otto is the strongest Atlantic hurricane this late in the season since 1934.

Hurricane Otto strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane on Thursday and is just hours away from making landfall near the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with 105 mph winds carrying with it the dangers of flooding and mudslides.

RELATED: Otto Heads Toward Central America, Kills 3

According to civil protection agencies, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as the storm heads toward Central America. Otto has already caused heavy rains in Panama.

Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said they have evacuated about 10,000 people to safeguard human life as they await the hurricane's imminent arrival. She added that authorities have arranged shelters in safe areas. 

Meteorologists in the United States have warned that Otto is the strongest Atlantic hurricane this late in the season since 1934.

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In Panama, nine people were trapped in a landslide on Tuesday; seven were rescued but two were pulled from the mud dead. A child in Panama City was also killed when a tree fell. 

An alert remains for the coast of Nicaragua north of Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi, and for the coast of Costa Rica south of Limon to the Costa Rica-Panama border.

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