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This week's likely top stories: Haiti attempts to negotiate its way out of political deadlock; Cuba frees 53 political prisoners, holding up its end of the rapprochement deal with U.S.; Mexico cuts funding to PEMEX causing major oil sector layoffs; the U.S. Supreme court declines to review a challenge to Louisiana’s gay marriage ban; China and CELAC hammer out the details of increased economic partnership.

Mario Cuomo was grounded in convictions, values and service.  His years in office and beyond reflected that. 

This week's likely top stories: the Panama Canal gears up to expand its Pacific coast facilities; Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro travels to China and OPEC countries; the 114th U.S. Congress starts its session on Tuesday with a Republican majority and plenty of hot button issues for the Americas; the trial of Guatemalan General Efraín Ríos Montt on genocide resumes; Uruguayan First Lady Lucia Topolansky confirms she will run for mayor of Montevideo in 2015.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday asked the U.S. Justice Department to designate a special prosecutor to examine the CIA’s use of torture as well as other illegal measures when questioning terrorism suspects.

This week's likely top stories: Florence Duperval Guillaume is named Haiti’s interim prime minister; farmers set up blockades to protest the Nicaraguan canal; Saudis tell non-OPEC producers to reduce output; Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says she will not replace Petrobras CEO; Four more prisoners are released from Guantánamo.

jeb Bush’s candidacy would match Hillary Clinton in name recognition, and he could be the best bet for taking the White House in 2016. 

Cuba released 65-year-old former U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor Alan Gross from prison today on humanitarian grounds, paving the way for normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

This week's likely top stories: Colombians march against possible amnesty for FARC; Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamonthe steps down; Chinese railroad company wins $275 million in orders from Argentina; Venezuela seeks to expand PetroCaribe despite its fragile economic situation; Thousands gather across the U.S. in anti-police brutality protests.

The Senate report unequivocally condemns the CIA’s behavior at the height of post-9/11 hysteria.  In so doing, it is fair to say that the Senate report is also a clear indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration, which used dubious legal opinions about the use of torture to look the other way.

The U.S. Senate approved a bill on Monday that would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials found responsible for violating demonstrators’ rights during anti-government protests that left more than 40 dead and 800 injured since February.

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