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This Week In Latin America

Welcome to “This Week In Latin America,” a recurring feature in which we bring you the news from south of the border in quick, funny nugget form. Mmm, nuggets…

Look out Colombia, this summer is about to get steamier. Same sex couples could soon have the “ability to formalize their unions before a notary public.” How romantic does that sound? I feel like every young, South American homosexual dreams of one day being lawfully formalized by a notary official inside a dank, wood-paneled boiler-room. After saying “I do,” the only real question left is whether the Vienna sausage and jalapeno popper appetizers were too gauche for the occasion.

Speaking of legalizing things, Cuba’s government has finally decided to legalize the purchase of homes. Previously, Cuba has frowned upon home ownership because private property is a hallmark of capitalism – but then again so is poverty and Cuba has never seem to have a problem with that. Much like China, Cuba’s government is based on the principles of socialism and donating cute animals to zoos in the United States. The most famous of these cute animals was Elian Gonzales, who was donated to the US media zoo back in the year 2000.

Speaking of forgotten Latinos, this week marks the one-year anniversary of the Chilean mine collapse, in which 33 miners spent 69 days in the hole. Sixty-nine days in the hole? What is this, an inspirational story or a porno? Well there is a movie in the works, so why can’t it be both? Speaking of being in the hole, most of the miners are currently broke or unemployed. How much money they’ll get out of the settlement remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: I haven’t seen this many poor Latinos since Menudo called it quits.

Speaking of not South America, Spain is defending bull-fighting, saying it is an artistic and cultural necessity. By calling it that, toreros are protecting their right to be gored in the jugular while young, Spanish children scream for blood, cigars and televised nudity. Aside from the bullfighters, the seamstresses who specialize in creating these festive, godless bodysuits are ensured their livelihood will be protected for generations to come.

Speaking of animals, Venezuela is looking to release 40% prisoners currently held in captivity. Iris Varela – Venezuela’s prison minister – is claiming that many of the inmates do not pose a danger to society. Considering Venezuela’s high-high levels of corruption, drug trafficking and homicide, society may actually pose a bigger threat to itself. Discussing which prisoners they would release, Varela told reporters they do not plan on letting “wolves loose on the streets.” Well, that sounds reassuring coming from the country whose president is buddy-buddy with crimes-against-humanity enthusiast, Muammar Gaddafi.

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