Discover What the World Thinks of U.S.

User Profile: Tristan Franz

About Tristan Franz
Tristan is a teacher, writer, traveler and translator from Brooklyn, New York.

This user has submitted 93 translations to Watching America.

The EU Won’t Leave Cuba Alone To Face US Blockade

January 21, 2018 // El Nuevo Diario - Nicaragua - Spanish

While the European Union opens a new era of relations with Cuba and begins a permanent process of cooperation and investment on the island, the U.S. administration takes a step in the opposite direction, arbitrarily passing legislation that casts a shadow over the historic agreements reached by Presidents Raul Castro [Read more]

The Migrants

December 30, 2017 // La Prensa - Honduras - Spanish

In these times of raids and crackdowns, life is a game of roulette, where walking down the street, being at work or having a broken taillight could be all it takes to send you back. [Read more]

The Anti-Latino Inspiration

February 27, 2017 // El Espectador - Colombia - Spanish

“Border Wall” is a documentary that came out 11 years ago. It's hard to find. It isn't in DVD stores, which hardly exist now, and you can only find it for sale online from suspicious sources. The reason I decided to track down a copy is because it was produced by Steve Bannon, senior adviser to President Donald [Read more]

January 20, 2017

November 21, 2016 // El Pais - Colombia - Spanish

The erosion of democracy brings us to a period of uncertainty in the systems of peace and security that have governed the planet since World War II and particularly since the end of the Cold War. [Read more]

Obama in Spain

June 10, 2016 // El País - Spain - Spanish

Barack Obama will finally visit Spain before the end of his term. He follows the tradition of U.S. presidents that have always visited Spain since we reinstated democracy. The complicated political calendar in Spain forces the American president to land in our country on July 9, just two weeks after the repeated [Read more]


May 19, 2016 // El Tiempo - Colombia - Spanish

There's no free lunch, says Uncle Sam. But it seems absurd to me that in Colombia we choose a handful of dollars over the lives of millions of people. Life has no price. [Read more]

Alexander Hamilton Saved by Musical

May 4, 2016 // El Tiempo - Colombia - Spanish

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew had announced that the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first secretary of the treasury (1789-1795) and established the country’s first bank, would no longer be the face of the $10 bill.* He should have rethought his decision, though, as the musical “Hamilton” [Read more]

Are We Trumped?

April 17, 2016 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

"Mexico's court system is corrupt. I want nothing to do with Mexico other than to build an impenetrable wall and stop them from ripping off the U.S." According to those who claim to know, Trump declared this out of frustration and rage after his third failed attempt at doing important business in Mexico. He turned this [Read more]

In Intensive Therapy!

June 21, 2015 // El Universal - Venezuela - Spanish

The United States and the Western alliance have improved their relations with Iran and Cuba, Venezuela's partners, and other countries sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. However, commercial and diplomatic relations between the U.S. and our country still face considerable obstacles. President Maduro's government [Read more]

Elections in the US: Singing Rancheras

June 6, 2015 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Porfirio Diaz declared to the foreign press (Creelman 1908) that Mexico was ready for democracy. One hundred years later, democracy is still not ready for Mexico. While we continue to trip on our shoelaces on the eve of the midterm elections, the presidential race is beginning in the U.S. It's likely that it will come [Read more]

Summit of the Americas

April 16, 2015 // Prensa Libre - Guatemala - Spanish

The summit in Panama will go down in history as the first formal encounter between the U.S. and Cuba and as the continuation of the thawing process the two governments started almost two years ago with the Vatican and Canada as mediators. While Obama looked to the future, Castro began the discussion referring to [Read more]

Intervention and Betrayal

March 7, 2015 // La Jornada - Mexico - Spanish

The initiative to reform the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives was sent to the Mexican Senate on Feb. 24. The goal? To allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to carry and utilize firearms in Mexico as part of a joint pre-inspection program, similar to the one they have with Canada [Read more]

More about Obama’s Offer

February 21, 2015 // Prensa Libre - Guatemala - Spanish

President Obama's offer of $1 billion per year for five years to Central America remains valid after officials in Washington met with ambassadors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, to prepare the "Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle." [Read more]

Among Republicans, Nobody Messes with the Bushes

February 9, 2015 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

He would seem to be the walking slogan of the Republicans' campaign. Jeb Bush spoke and all was quiet. It looks like the youngest of the dynasty is heading right for the Republican nomination for presidency. Being a Bush isn't easy, but it certainly seems to be very effective. Nobody wants to challenge Jeb, [Read more]

The US and Cuba

January 19, 2015 // El Pais - Colombia - Spanish

Ever since I was a young man, I've admired the United States and been interested in its history, specifically its people's calling to work which turned it into the most powerful country on earth. They never hesitated to fight for freedom in faraway places; take the two world wars of the 20th century, then Korea and [Read more]

The US, the Dominican Liberation Party and 2016

December 31, 2014 // El Nacional - Dominican Republic - Spanish

What I'm proposing here isn't science fiction. It's not a chapter from a century-old mystery novel or Edgar Allen Poe's tale of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." It's about a very real situation that shows signs of a plot against the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). I'm referring to the consistent comments made [Read more]

Racial Tension in the US

December 6, 2014 // Diario de Cuyo - Argentina - Spanish

The spike in racial violence in the United States stemming from the November 24 verdict in the small city of Ferguson extended to 170 cities around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia. It relented a bit over Thanksgiving weekend, a family festival in North America, [Read more]

An Important Day for the Undocumented

November 17, 2014 // Prensa Libre - Guatemala - Spanish

Yesterday was an important day for millions of undocumented Spanish speakers in the United States. While in Miami experts recommended that the government continue its fight against organized crime and political insecurity in Latin America, President Barack Obama was getting ready to impose a series of mandates that [Read more]

An Active Diplomacy Announced

November 9, 2014 // Prensa Libre - Guatemala - Spanish

The statement made to Prensa Libre by Todd Robinson, new U.S. ambassador in Guatemala, should be understood in its political context. The language of diplomacy nowadays often leaves space for rough interpretation, as is the case with his references to corruption, the lack of a plan for development and the efforts by [Read more]

What Is It the US Wants of Brazil?

October 23, 2014 // La Jornada - Mexico - Spanish

The great electoral dispute in Brazil has left out the interests of the United States and South America. Isolated with the project of the Pacific Alliance, its interests have become clearer in its two opposing candidates: Marina Silva and Aecio Neves. As far as Brazil's bilateral agreements — clearly, in first [Read more]

Why Join the Jihad?

October 5, 2014 // El Comercio - Ecuador - Spanish

One of the big questions that goes unanswered in the minds of many people is: Why do Western youths (North Americans, Europeans, Australians) decide to join the jihad (Islam's holy war), and why are they willing to die or kill infidels for it? The images of the North American journalist with his executioner, who in [Read more]

Obama Can’t Escape War

September 18, 2014 // El Tiempo - Colombia - Spanish

It is curious that last Wednesday's news that President Obama would hunt down the Islamic State group "wherever they are," including Syria, was made on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the date that New York and Washington went down in U.S. history and the weaknesses of the world power, and any democracy for [Read more]

Is the US Still the Indispensable Nation?

August 24, 2014 // El Pais - Spain - Spanish

Obama is facing an important dilemma in foreign affairs: Is the United States still the "indispensable nation" or is the concept and doctrine put forth by Clinton and Madeleine Albright beginning to fade? His situation is exacerbated by two recent facts. One, The New York Times-CBS survey from June that shows 58 [Read more]

Now There's No Head

November 14, 2011 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

The G-20 Summit meeting in Cannes wasn't a failure — it was depressing. We should just call them “the 20,” as they have little to show as a group. This gathering of countries, with Mexico included, is responsible for 90 percent of the global domestic product and more than 80 percent of global commerce. That [Read more]

Mexico Facing the Iranian Plot

October 17, 2011 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Republican U.S. congressmen asked the Mexican government yesterday to "re-evaluate" its relations with Iran, as Barack Obama's government reported a plot said to be devised by Iranian agents to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia with the help of Los Zetas. Faced with pressure, the best thing for Mexico is [Read more]

No English Spoken

December 17, 2011 // Tal Cual Digital - Venezuela - Spanish

As if there weren’t already enough hemispheric organizations, Latin Americans have invented a new one. The failure of the Obama administration’s policies concerning Latin America stems from not taking regionalism into account. Lost in a forest of acronyms — OAE (Organization of American States), Mercosur, [Read more]

Mexico in an Economically Turbulent World

December 3, 2011 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

The majority of developing countries, particularly those on the American continent, accompanied us through the transition of the 1980s, which was a lost decade for progress. That painful experience, plus the prevalence of neoliberals in the United States and Great Britain, influenced Latin America to adopt measures [Read more]

Obama’s Three Wars

January 19, 2012 // El Pais - Spain - Spanish

Barack Obama inherited a poisonous state of military affairs from his predecessor, George W. Bush. Although Iraq is distinguished as being a war of “choice” and Afghanistan as one of “necessity,” Obama promised a withdrawal from both. The first withdrawal has already taken place, and has surely been much more [Read more]

Biden and Obama in Mexico

March 22, 2012 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Why is Joseph Biden coming at precisely this moment? Why him? What does it mean? This trip, along with the meeting in Cartagena in April, are the last visits to be made to Mexico and Latin America concerning regional issues before the November elections. The reasons for such a high-profile visit are many. I'll speak of [Read more]

Arizona and Michigan: Necessary Victories?

March 3, 2012 // El Nuevo Diario - Nicaragua - Spanish

The calendar of primary elections in the United States was apparently not generating any surprises or variants, as the Republican leaders of the so-called "traditional financial establishment" have from the start had a total of nine pre-candidates hoping to take on President Barack Obama. Three of them — Herman [Read more]

Various Crises

April 16, 2012 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Times of great crisis, it is often said, are also times of great opportunities. This can be the case for economies: some fall while others rise. It is not so valid, however, as it relates to the reinstitution of political leaders and government officials: they go up and down and the average does not improve. [Read more]

Culture and Negotiation

April 3, 2012 // La Cronica de Hoy - Mexico - Spanish

If we don't understand these cultural differences, we may have a lot of difficulty coming to agreements as we negotiate moving forward with infrastructure projects on the Mexico-U.S. border. [Read more]

US and Russia: Chronicle of an Ephemeral Passion

May 17, 2012 // El Caribe - Dominican Republic - Spanish

A malicious interpretation of the title of this analysis could lead one to assume that it is attributing masculinity to one nation and femininity to the other. However, what I mean to do is highlight the relationship between these two glorious nations during the last few years, rather than focus on which is stronger or [Read more]

China and the US: Future Antagonists?

May 2, 2012 // El Nuevo Diario - Nicaragua - Spanish

Without doubt, the beginning of the U.S.'s decline began in 2004, when the Anglo-Saxons met a humiliating defeat in Iraq. Now the question is: How many years will it take for China to replace the U.S. as the world's great economic power? [Read more]

The Colors of the United States

November 20, 2012 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

While Obama's reelection would seem like a triumph for tolerance and diversity, a closer look at U.S. voting tendencies reveals an electorate divided by race, region, gender, religious beliefs and age. It's normal that one candidate is more attractive to female voters, young people or to a specific minority group, but in this case voters' preferences were almost exclusively one-sided, speaking more of a country that is polarized than of one merging together and forgetting differences. [Read more]

The Pains of the Planet

July 3, 2012 // El Nacional - Dominican Republic - Spanish

The developed nations of the world have turned their backs to show their apathy and disinterest in supporting a global plan to save the planet from the effects generated by the unbridled exploitation of natural resources and the irrationality of a consumerist model that's only after big money, brushing aside all the [Read more]

The Mea Culpa That Will Never Come

June 5, 2012 // Juventud Rebelde - Cuba - Spanish

It would be simple if there existed justice in the United States and an awareness of just how much physical and moral suffering has been spread among those who the country considers "enemies," and those whose human rights it violates. But that does not seem to be the case, as the president of the White House won't [Read more]

Immigration Reform

February 19, 2013 // La Jornada - Mexico - Spanish

For several years now, U.S. politicians have admitted that their immigration system is broken. How to go about fixing it has been the problem. The issue has been over-analyzed and it's perfectly clear what needs to be done. The discussion revolves around who and how many are to blame, and who will be the ones to pay. [Read more]

Second Term

February 1, 2013 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Economic growth, immigration and gun control are domestic issues in the U.S., but it would be wise to handle them cautiously, as they could lead to a better bilateral relationship. [Read more]

Mexico and the Attention from the US

December 20, 2012 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Mexico is one of the three countries, along with Canada and China, that will largely determine the fate of the U.S. However, few Americans seem to understand its influence. As the world's only superpower -- although China is closing in -- politicians and opinion leaders in the U.S. tend to focus on the crises at hand [Read more]

Respect for Life, the First Human Right

December 15, 2012 // Ahora - Cuba - Spanish

In this day and age of human rights, Cuba can show off some its achievements, despite the determination of some enemies to demonize us. "Those who violate human rights shouldn't be called upon to judge the situation concerning those rights in other countries," said a high-ranking U.S. government official some time [Read more]

Pena Goes to Washington

December 3, 2012 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Just a few days before his inauguration, the Mexican president-elect is continuing the old tradition of visits to our immediate neighbors to the north and south. Although they all carry some importance, his visit to the U.S. is, for obvious reasons, always the most relevant. Every 12 years the start of new [Read more]

As if God Didn't Exist

March 14, 2013 // El Pais - Spain - Spanish

Etisi Deus no daretur (as if God didn't exist). It was this recommendation of Hugo Grocio (1583-1645) to the kings and queens of Europe in the 17th century that Paolo Flores d'Arcais brings back to us in his last essay, Democracy! The message of this vibrant and impassioned statement in favor of democracy couldn't be [Read more]

More Signs of a Multipolar Cold War

March 8, 2013 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

China’s new president, Xi Jinping, has chosen Moscow for his first visit abroad, and he didn't choose it by chance. In fact, it seems anything but incidental that he made the announcement just this week, right after The New York Times revealed the results of an investigation linking the Chinese military with 90 [Read more]

Security and Immigration:Napolitano Is Leaving

August 3, 2013 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has resigned, and she knew the border security system better than anyone. How could she resign when security is exactly what Republicans are asking for to approve the immigration reform? More than 1 million people cross the border daily in more than 350,000 vehicles [Read more]

Immigration Reform's Senate Cycle

July 20, 2013 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Immigration reform in the U.S. concluded its cycle in the Senate on Thursday, June 27. Now it's up to the House of Representatives. The destiny of 11 million undocumented workers is in play as the House will ultimately decide whether or not to open to them the long, winding road to American citizenship. [Read more]

A Scandal that Puts Obama in a Risk Zone

June 16, 2013 // Clarin - Argentina - Spanish

President Barack Obama harshly criticized the methods used by George W. Bush in his fight against terrorism when he was a senator. However, the revelations about the National Security Agency spying on phone calls and other communications confirm that the current president continues to use the same methods. What will [Read more]

The Lehman Brothers Case and Its Repercussions

October 17, 2013 // El Nuevo Diario - Nicaragua - Spanish

In the autumn of 2008, Lehman Brothers was an American entity active in the derivatives market with a heavy presence in sub-prime mortgages, a low level of capital and a high dependency on the financial market in the short term. Given the profile of LB, it isn't at all strange that, once cut off from the banks on Wall [Read more]

The US and Its Imperial Status to the World

September 18, 2013 // ArgenPress - Argentina - Spanish

If there were a greater moral and political disposition among the different governments, cities and multilateral organizations of the world to comply with and respect international law (the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and any of the resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council, [Read more]

Cheap but Toxic Hamburgers

September 4, 2013 // La Nacion - Chile - Spanish

Some say we are what we eat. If that's true, many of those who eat fast food are full of — let's just say — waste. That's what a study in the U.S. Annals of Diagnostic Pathology finds. The scientific publication investigated hamburgers, or croquettes in Creole, from the country's eight main fast food chains. [Read more]

The Pacific Alliance, Financing an Empire

February 17, 2014 // El Nuevo Diario - Nicaragua - Spanish

This alliance only sets the stage for conspiracy, deceit and the disconfiguring of the current situation of pro-independence geopolitics in Latin America, a situation full of colonialism and the arbitrary corporate exploitation of national resources in favor of the powers that be in Washington and Europe. [Read more]

The Connotation of Political Terms

January 16, 2014 // ArgenPress - Argentina - Spanish

The corporate propaganda that promotes capitalism today has as one of its most systematic weapons the manipulation of political and economic terms. No more than 10 megacorporations own and control the great media web of the United States, the entertainment industry and the culture of the masses. They control [Read more]

More Arguments Against a Futile War

May 20, 2014 // El Universo - Ecuador - Spanish

The London School of Economics published a report this month about why the war on drugs ought to be ended. The big names backing the report are just as important as its content. They include five Nobel Prize winners in economics, Deputy Prime Minister of the U.K. Nick Clegg, ex-Secretary of State for the U.S. George [Read more]

The Fabulous Bushes

May 7, 2014 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

The significant influence of the Bush family among Republicans could be a decisive factor in a contentious election between two towering families: Clinton vs. Bush. [Read more]

The Play

March 5, 2014 // Bolpress - Bolivia - Spanish

The current suspension of the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting to deal with the “Venezuela case,” along with Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent declaration, seems to mean that the Department of State’s big ploy to overthrow Maduro’s administration has failed. And what was it? [Read more]

Human Mobility and Intermixing in North America

June 2, 2014 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

Social classes exist in international travel, too. A handful of us Mexicans belong to the trusted traveler program Global Entry, which allows us to enter the United States in less than a minute, skipping the line by plugging our personal information into a computer at one of the country's main airports. [Read more]

Borders and the Humanitarian Crisis

July 22, 2014 // El Universal - Mexico - Spanish

In the wake of this humanitarian crisis and pressure from the United States, Mexico cannot limit itself to complying with the same old orders from the empire, playing the role of the ostrich hiding its head, pretending there's nothing happening. [Read more]

Punishment for the Oppressors

August 6, 2014 // El Tiempo - Colombia - Spanish

After a relatively calm period in the stormy diplomatic relationship between the United States and Venezuela, three new happenings show that relations between the two countries are still quite rocky. First came the U.S. request for the government of Aruba to capture and extradite Gen. Hugo Carvajal, a former [Read more]