Aventaja Montserrat Caballero, the new mayor of Tijuana. Image from her Facebook page

Mexico is supposedly a 100% “macho” country, socially, economically and politically.

At least it was until Sunday, when millions of Mexican voters showed up at thousands of polling places including a huge one at the entrance to my gated community, San Antonio del Mar, an enclave between Tijuana and Rosarito Beach.

When the votes were counted, a woman — Aventaja Montserrat Caballero — had won the mayor’s race in 2 million-population Tijuana with 47.5% of the vote. …

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and 15 countries emerged from its ashes, needing help to survive after 70 years of centrally-commanded dictatorship.

Among the countries declaring independence from the Soviet Union were the three South Caucasus countries, namely Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

President George H.W. Bush stepped up and asked the Congress in 1992 to authorize a multi-billion dollar assistance program for all post-Soviet countries. Congress agreed. The program was called Freedom Support Act.

However, a group of Armenian lobbyists, acting like agents of Armenia in the U.S., such as the Armenian National Committee of America and other Armenian…

As the snow is melting in Azerbaijan’s formerly Armenian-occupied areas, landmines come to surface.

Those of you who paid attention 25 years ago will remember that the beautiful and popular Princess Dianna’s time was spent ridding the world of landmines. With, I might add, good reason.

Every single day, landmines kill and maim people around the world. It happens mostly in countries at peace — and the majority of victims are usually civilians. There are two varieties of landmines: anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines. Both have brought about great suffering in the past decades. Anti-personnel landmines are prohibited under the Mine Ban Convention, adopted in 1997. Over 150 countries have signed this treaty.

Placed under…

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield with President Trump. Photo from McCarthy’s Twitter profile prior to Jan. 6

An important Republican political heavyweight I have worked with over the past 20 years once told me he didn’t trust any Republican from Bakersfield. He said that when I asked him to put me in touch with new Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is now the House Minority Leader and potentially a future Speaker of the House.

We can’t trust McCarthy. He has no spine, political or otherwise. He betrays his (and my) Republican Party and has simply sold out to former President Donald Trump as memories of the Jan. 6 insurrection fade.

Though he declared Trump responsible for the Jan…

The new high-rise hotel at the Sycuan Casino Resort. Courtesy of the tribe

In a rural pocket of east San Diego County sits the home of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. The Sycuan Reservation was set aside a hundred and fifty years ago by President Ulysses S. Grant.

One square mile became home to a rural band of Mission Indians on land that lacked resources and wasn’t suitable for farming. It was a rough new home in a very poor area. Nonetheless Sycuan’s people have succeeded, despite all odds being stacked against them.

What has differentiated Sycuan from other reservations in San Diego County? Despite the inability to profit from agriculture…

Vandalized Holocaust Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. The words “Death to Jews” and a swastika were inscribed on the monument.

According to the Israeli Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s recently released annual antisemitism report, the antisemitism is expected to rise sharply around the world as a result of conspiracy theories against Jews and Israel regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Israeli Ministry decries the rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and the ‘first institutional threat to Jewish religious freedom in Europe since the Holocaust’.

Speaking of antisemitism in Armenia, the Israeli government report mentions that last fall’s 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan “has led to a worrying rise in the level of antisemitism on the part of the Armenians, which has come…

Azerbaijani refugee returns to his hometown of Aghdam in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. Photo: MAX LOMAKIN / BBC

BBC Russian Service just published this very moving report (authored by Olga Prosvirova and Olga Ivshina) about Azerbaijani refugees trying to return to the now liberated, but heavily mined Karabakh region as well as the scale of destruction of the liberated areas. I am presenting here some excerpts in English:

“For 28 years, the authorities of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic controlled the cities, which have now returned to Azerbaijan. These ghostly cities do not at all resemble the places where people live: around at eye level there are broken bricks, protruding fittings, shards of glass. …

Rep. Darrell Issa greets Donald Trump at the beginning of a rally in San Diego in 2016. Photo by Chris Stone

Darrell Issa beat several GOP candidates like a drum with a multi-million dollar primary campaign in 2020 to return to Congress. As the richest congressman, he had the money. He also had the name recognition.

Starting in 2002, he coasted to victory every two years without breaking, as politicos say, a sweat. His district included the southern part of staunchly Republican Orange County and coastal North San Diego County, which was traditionally Republican, of the moderate coastal variety.

But Issa retired after almost losing to a Democrat in 2016. His opponent, lawyer Doug Applegate, ran on his record as a…

A survvor of the Khojaly Genocide of 1992 mourns her family members slaughtered by Armenian troops. Photo: Reza

Thanks to the Internet, we know of massacres that we might not have heard about five or ten years ago.

Here are some examples: November 2017 — gunmen entered Egypt’s al Rawdah Sufi Mosque and machine-gunned over 300 worshipers including 128 women and 27 children, CNN reported. According to Wall Street Journal, the same year in 2017, 358 men, women and children were killed in Chut Pyin — a Mynamar village by Mynamar troops.

The Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, surrounded by Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran

Until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the legal status of the Caspian Sea was governed by a series of Soviet-Iranian treaties concluded in 1921 and 1940. Following the collapse of the USSR and the creation of four new littoral sovereign states, questions soon arose as to the legal nature of the Caspian Sea. The resolution of this question was crucial to the determination of how the huge amounts of natural resources, especially oil and natural gas, it contains are to be divided.

Raoul Lowery Contreras

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the author of 15 books and over 1300 articles. He formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.

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