Just the arrival of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner prompted supporters in her Peronist movement to break into chants last Monday. The event, choreographed to feel momentous, was at the presidential palace. Fernandez de Kirchner announced plans to expropriate assets of the Spanish oil firm Repsol in Argentina.
Through a window, television viewers could see a huge image of Evita Peron, the famous 1950s-era populist whose presence is deeply felt in today's government.
A "breakdown in communications" kept a cruise liner steaming off the coast of Panama from rescuing a group of fishermen in distress, even after passengers aboard the ship tried to report sighting the vessel, Princess Cruises says.
The cruise line says a preliminary investigation of the incident that led to the subsequent deaths of two of the three fishermen confirms that the captain of the luxury ship never got word that the boat had been spotted.
It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy.
Yet it's happening right now. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said this week that her country plans to take over a giant Spanish oil company at a time when the economies in both countries are facing challenges.
Spanish officials are threatening to retaliate against Argentina for seizing a majority of shares in the biggest oil company in Argentina, YPF.
The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.
But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.