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A Month Before NAFTA Renegotiation, Mexico Breaks Record for Auto Manufacturing

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 11, 2017, 1:43 pm
Mexican auto manufacturing has broken all records in 2017 (
Mexican auto manufacturing has broken all records in 2017. Trump plans to renegotiate the agreement (Autos Blogger).

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This June, both the manufacturing and the export of vehicles in Mexico reached record levels in the first quarter, only a month after the governments of the North American countries began the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Mexico’s automotive companies produced 1,884,335 cars between January and June, an increase of 12.6% compared to the same time period in 2016. Vehicle manufacturers currently consider the Aztec nation to be a prime example of trade integration and productivity within the NAFTA region.

This has been the highest figure since 1988 when the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) began recording statistics. Exports in the first six months of this year totaled 1,513,334 units, an increase of 14% over the previous year, also according to historical data provided by the AMIA.

The largest beneficiaries of NAFTA are currently the automakers, but this agreement will be renegotiated on August 16. US President Donald Trump has argued that the agreement has been “disastrous” for both the auto industry, and American workers.

During June, vehicle manufacturers registered a production of 334,606 units, reflecting an increase of 4.9% compared to the same month of 2016 and exports increased by 12%, according to the AMIA which also noted that currently approximately 76% of exports of vehicles made in Mexico are destined for the US market, and 9% are sent to Canada.

AMIA said in a statement that “in June 2017 Mexican vehicles accounted for 14.7% of all light vehicles sold in the United States” and also said that among the brands with the largest production of light cars in Mexico are Nissan, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Ford.

Donald Trump routinely made free trade agreements a punching bag on the campaign trail, but has appeared to moderate his position in recent months. Leaders of both Mexico and Canada have called on Trump to continue US participation in the landmark agreement.

Source: Animal Politico

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

A Mother’s Grief: How Mandatory Military Service in Cuba Crushes Human Rights

By: Nelson Rodríguez Chartrand - Jul 11, 2017, 1:27 pm
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EspañolI have no doubt that Cuba's mandatory military service law is one of the most cruel methods of squashing individual liberties on the island. Families still weep for their dead loved ones, lost to and forgotten by the revolution that forced them to engage in an absurd Angolan war that only served to feed the ego of the dictatorship. For this reason, the fear of military service remains today in the hearts of Cuban mothers and fathers, especially for those who have been identified as opponents of the regime, counterrevolutionaries or supporters of that eternal enemy known as the United States. But the perils of mandatory military service hurt families far outside the casualties of war. Take Yaima Martínez Borroto, a mother in Güines, Mayabeque — southeast of Havana — who has an 18-year-old son, Rolando Lázaro Delgado Martínez. He's been fulfilling his obligatory military service in Güines for a year and a half. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); In six months, he'll complete his military training, but not before an undiagnosed testicular problem may cause permanent damage. Lázaro first noticed the pain in April, so he went to the Hospital in Güines. They couldn't conduct a complete evaluation because soldiers were required to go to the Naval Military Hospital. But when he arrived there, officials told him he had to go to the medical unit at his local base. It went on like this for several months — one medical center passing his case on to somewhere else — as the pain persisted. Meanwhile, he was forced to work in the harsh, hot conditions involved in military training. When Lázaro couldn't complete them due to the pain,  the head of his unit transferred him to a different one in Guanabacoa, Havana far from his mother. That was his situation until October, when his mother could no longer bear to see her son's suffering continue. She confronted the second Head of the Military Committee in the municipality, pleading with him to allow her son to transfer, and asking him to look into her son's medical situation. Read More: Cuban Regime Takes Swipe at OAS Following Helicopter “Coup Attempt” in Venezuela Read More: Trump’s Cuba Rollback is Paving the Way for Age of “Principled Realism” in Foreign Policy As a last resort, she presented the official with the political refugee forms issued by the Office of Refugees at the United States Embassy in Cuba. He said he would speak with his superiors — but guess what happened? He ordered a counter-intelligence officer to interrogate Lázaro instead, threatening him and saying that if he left the country, he would report his family to Interpol. Officials sent Lázaro to a military doctor and psychiatrist, but he refused to admit he was mentally unstable. He also refused to return to the unit. Officers continue to visit his home, leading him and his mother to believe they could be taken away at any moment. They remain cooped up inside, ready to resist if necessary. I was able to speak with the family, but near the end of our talk, a neighbor said a state security agent was passing by. Luckily, nothing came of it — this time. [embed width="853" height="480"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL7q4wnKhh0&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

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