Sean Penn's role in Haiti has evolved from heading a band of volunteers and serving as unofficial mayor of a homeless camp to becoming ambassador-at-large for President Michel Martelly, the first non-Haitian to receive the designation.
Cuba, as always, was not invited to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia this weekend. But its participation at future meetings could become a major issue.
Pope Benedict XVI’s call for 'authentic freedom' during his recent visit to Cuba is unlikely to spur democracy. But other factors suggest economic changes are under way, patterned after the Chinese example, namely creating a market economy under an authoritarian, communist political system.
The pope did not meet with dissidents. But his trip was about building on gains the church has won in Cuba, says guest blogger Anya Landau French.
Many are watching to see if the pope mentions the case of imprisoned US aid worker Alan Gross. But the delicacy of his trip to Cuba makes it unlikely, writes guest blogger Girish Gupta.