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Colombia Leads The Way In Helping Stray Dogs And Cats

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Photo: @SusanMartelo via Twitter

CARTAGENA — Stray dogs and cats will now be treated a little better in the historic Colombian port of Cartagena, which has begun providing them with food and water dispensers.

The UNESCO World Heritage site will thus join a humane trend spreading across dozens of Colombian districts. With lobbying from animal rights activist Liz Villa, the city recently placed a dispenser in the Plaza de Joe Arroyo in its historical quarter — clearly marked "Come Dog" to avoid confusion — and has plans to place another in the Laguito sector, local newspaper El Universal reported.

Villa told the daily she began pressing for these when she read on the Internet that other cities had them. The daily reports that there are 78 such dispensers across the country, including in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. The two in Cartagena have been placed in spots with "constant supervision" with someone tasked with changing the wate, refilling the food, and cleaning every two weeks.

"People have been told what the objective is," Villa says. "It's a food dispenser for street dogs and cats, not for general use."

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Geopolitics

Cilia Flores de Maduro, How Venezuela's First Lady Wields A Corrupt "Flower Shop" Of Power

Venezuela's first lady, Cilia Flores, is one of the country's chief power brokers and a consummate wheeler-dealer who, with the help of relatives, runs a voracious enterprise dubbed the Flower Shop.

Photo of Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Mauricio Rubio

-OpEd-

One of the clearest signs of tyranny in Venezuela has to be the pervasive nepotism and behind-the-scenes power enjoyed by President Nicolás Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores de Maduro.

In Venezuela, it's said that Flores works in the shadows but is somehow "always in the right place," with one commentator observing that she is constantly "surrounded by an extensive web of collaborators" — including relatives, with whom she has forged a clique often dubbed the floristería, or the "Flower Shop," which is thought to control every facet of Venezuelan politics.

She is certainly Venezuela's most powerful woman.

From modest origins, Flores is 68 years old and a lawyer by training. She began her ascent as defense attorney for the then lieutenant-colonel Hugo Chávez, who was jailed after his failed attempt at a coup d'état in 1992. She offered him her services and obtained his release, which won her his unstinting support for the rest of his life.

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