This Latino Week

Maduro Rushes Inauguration, Online Frida Kahlo Collection Released, Neymar Injury 'Better Than Expected'

Maduro Rushes Inauguration

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro elected to move the process of reinauguration to this week, in a desperate attempt to quell international condemnation of the recent election, which saw the President elected by a comfortable majority in what many people considered to be a sham. With most of Maduro's opponents either jailed or barred from running for office, Maduro officially obtained 67.8% of the vote; comfortably enough for him to be re-elected for a second six-year term. The official process of reinauguration was scheduled for eight months time, but Maduro saw fit to move it to this week to try and carry on with political life.

The ceremony was held before the National Constitutent Assembly, a body set up by Maduro to essentially replace Congress, and which is filled with loyal supporters of Maduro. In his speech, he pledged to release political opponents, as well as boosting oil production and engaging with talks with business leaders. 

Whether or not these promises are met remains to be seen. What is known is that opposition to his regime is likely to continue. Reports suggest that up to 15 military officials were arrested in relation to a potential conspiracy to overthrow the government. Maduro has alleged this was part of a plot backed by the U.S. and Colombia to prevent last week's election and divide the armed forces. Nine of those arrested have been charged with treason.

While Madruo's allegation of U.S. interference in the military is not backed by any reliable evidence, it is clear that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are going to continue. Despite the release of U.S. citizen Joshua Holt and his Venezuelan wife Thamy this week, after charges of concealing weapons were dropped, American Vice-President Mike Pence confirmed that action agaisnt Venezuela will continue until the 'return of democracy'. 

Online Frida Kahlo Collection Released

Google Arts & Culture has launched a new Digital Library of documents, photographs and artworks related to the legendary figure of Frida Kahlo, widely considered to be one of the most important Mexican cultural figures of her (or any) age. The collection comes as a result of a collaboration between Google and 33 museums in seven separate countries, which has allowed sources from numerous stages of her life, and taking into account everything from the work she produced, to the clothes she wore, to the letters she wrote. 

Curiously, Frida is one of the first artists to be given this retrospective feature from Google, and it has been confirmed that when researching cultural icons to create such an archive for, her name was popularly considered to be the number one choice. The collection includes various pieces that have rarely been displayed, and also gives us the chance to examine items that are currently based outside of Mexico and the United States.

Faces of Frida is available at: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/frida-kahlo

Neymar Injury 'Better Than Expected'

The rush to be fit for the World Cup has seen a race against time for many leading footballers, with nobody wanting to miss out on the premier event in global sport through lack of fitness. Mo Salah, the Liverpool and Egyptian forward, is just the latest figure to be affected by injury woes, in this week's Champions League final. For Latin America, the star of the show is undoubtedly Neymar, the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian winger who was denied a role in Brazil's semi-final game against Germany in the last World Cup through injury. He has not played a game of football since breaking a bone in his foot at the end of February, and Brazilians have been understandably nervous about his progress ahead of the finals, which kick off for Brazil with a fixture against Switzerland on 17 June.

Team Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has told journalists that he should be able to play at the World Cup, but added that it will be a gradual process towards fitness. Brazil's Physical Trainer Fabio Mahseredjian added that it was 'Better than Expected', with expectations that Neymar will play some part in Brazil's warm-up friendlies over the next few weeks. 

The 26-year-old has been officially named in the National squad, and it is reportedly training every day with the Brazilian squad. The main worry now is whether his rehabilitation faces any unexpected setbacks in the next month.