Trans-Pacific Partnership Extends America’s Prosperity And Influence

Trans-Pacific Partnership Extends America’s Prosperity And Influence

To only minor fanfare, a treaty encompassing 40% of the world’s trade was quietly signed by 12 of the world’s most desirable export nations. It’s a ticket to prosperity for all.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is maligned by many on the left and some on the right as a job killer, a threat to U.S. sovereignty, or a giveaway to China. It’s none of those things — it’s a deal to cut 18,000 taxes and chop away thousands of nontrade barriers, ...  

AEI Report: Beyond war and revolution: Dramatic developments in the Andean region

AEI Report: Beyond war and revolution: Dramatic developments in the Andean region

 

By Roger F. Noriega

February 5, 2016

 

 

Colombia is making ambitious plans for implementing a historic peace agreement to end a 50-year conflict with leftist guerrillas. Ensuring the guerrillas end their lucrative drug trafficking and creating economic opportunity in post-conflict zones are crucial to success. The economic chaos, political unrest, and potential refugee crisis brewing in neighboring Venezuela can be minimized by advocating an orderly transition of power. The same energy and creative leadership required to support complex transitions in Colombia and Venezuela can ...  

Will Peace Destabilize Colombia?

Will Peace Destabilize Colombia?

A long-running, largely ignored civil war that has roiled Colombia for more than half a century appears close to an end. Now the biggest threat to the stability of the South American nation is peace.

Colombia is facing what President Juan Manuel Santos calls an “irreversible moment” – on the verge of a monumental achievement in signing a comprehensive peace agreement with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. At the White House on Thursday, Santos and President Barack ...  

Venezuela president vows to resist ouster

Venezuela president vows to resist ouster

Caracas (AFP) – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro vowed Thursday the opposition’s attempts to drive him from power would not prosper “by fair means or foul” in a political crisis gripping the oil-rich nation.

Opposition leaders have called for Maduro to be ousted by constitutional means, accusing him of dragging the country close to economic ruin. Despite having lost control of the National Assembly legislature Maduro dug in his heels as he rallied supporters near the Miraflores presidential palace.

The rally commemorated a ...  

Washington Must Remedy Colombia’s Flawed FARC Deal

Washington Must Remedy Colombia’s Flawed FARC Deal

For fifty years, the Colombian government has been locked in armed conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC. But for the last four years Bogotá and its nemesis, an internationally recognized narco-terrorist group, have been engaged in peace talks as well.

With the deadline fast approaching, the two parties have agreed to finalize a peace agreement on March 23. But before that happens, President Barack Obama will host a February 4 “official working visit” with Colombian President ...  

Hezbollah in business with Colombian drug cartels, DEA says

Hezbollah in business with Colombian drug cartels, DEA says

The Lebanon-based extremist group Hezbollah has business connections with South American drug cartels, and has been using them to enter the narcotics trafficking business, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week.

The DEA said the terrorist group’s External Security Organization Business Affairs Component has established business relationships with drug cartels, such as Colombia’s La Oficina de Envigado, to bring large quantities of cocaine from Latin America to markets throughout Europe.

The group is also allegedly responsible for laundering drug proceeds as ...  

Haiti urgently needs international help overcoming its political crisis

Haiti urgently needs international help overcoming its political crisis

AFTER MONTHS of mounting instability and political violence, Haiti now is days away from a full-bore leadership crisis. The way out of the impasse is unclear. What is clear is that the current, failed president, Michel Martelly, must go.

Under Haiti’s constitution, Mr. Martelly, who took office in 2011, must step down when his term ends Sunday. However, a runoff election to choose his successor was canceled amid street protests and political upheaval last month, leaving no alternate date for a ...  

Colombian president arrives in D.C. as a peace accord appears imminent, but some grumble at the cost

Colombian president arrives in D.C. as a peace accord appears imminent, but some grumble at the cost

On a hot, steamy evening 15 years ago, Bill Clinton donned a sombrero, ignored his nervous presidential security detail and joyfully danced his way through cheering crowds in the 16th- century central plaza of Cartagena, Colombia’s graceful Caribbean city.

Leading a congressional delegation that included the Republican House speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, and Joe Biden, then the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton had just formalized a deal to provide Colombia with $1.3 billion in aid. It was the ...  

Oil-rich Venezuela is now importing U.S. oil

Oil-rich Venezuela is now importing U.S. oil

A ship carrying half a million barrels of oil that was pumped in the U.S. docked at a terminal owned by Venezuela last week, according to oil data research firm ClipperData. The shipment was sent to a facility located on the Dutch island of Curacao in the Caribbean.

The fact that Venezuela is importing American oil is raising eyebrows because Venezuela has 298 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s more than Saudi Arabia, Russia ...  

OAS mission chief hopeful Haiti can settle political crisis

OAS mission chief hopeful Haiti can settle political crisis

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — After three days of meetings, the chief of a regional mission is hopeful but not necessarily confident that Haiti’s political crisis can be resolved before the scheduled end of the president’s term this weekend.

At outgoing President Michel Martelly’s request, the Organization of American States authorized the special mission to Haiti following the indefinite suspension of a runoff election to choose a successor before the Feb. 7 constitutional deadline for him to leave office. Since arriving Sunday, the ...  

Will China Rescue Venezuela?

Will China Rescue Venezuela?

It’s China to the rescue! Venezuela is expected to be the first nation to default on its dollar-denominated debt this year. But not if China can help it.

Conceivably, China could restructure Venezuela’s debt even before U.S. bond holders do. With the level of oil prices so far this year, Venezuela would need to be sending almost 800,000 barrels per day to China to meet its debt payments, Barclays Capital said on Tuesday. In the absence of an increase in oil ...  

Venezuelan drugmakers ask WHO to send medicines

Venezuelan drugmakers ask WHO to send medicines

The head of the association representing Venezuelan drugmakers asked the World Health Organization and other international organizations to send medicines to the Caribbean country.

“Patients are dying because of the humanitarian crisis we’re going through,” Fefarven president Freddy Ceballos told the Globovision network. “I don’t believe (the government) will refuse to receive humanitarian aid from institutions like the WHO when it comes to certain essential medications like the very expensive ones for cancer patients.” The association president has been warning since ...  

Colombia is preparing for peace. So are its drug traffickers.

Colombia is preparing for peace. So are its drug traffickers.

NECOCLI, Colombia — As the Colombian government nears a deal to end to its 50-year conflict with FARC guerrillas, it is intensifying another war in the jungles here along the Caribbean coast, the stronghold of a shadowy drug organization known as Clan Úsuga. For more than a year, U.S.-trained Colombian commandos in Black Hawk helicopters have been hunting the group’s leader, Dario Antonio Úsuga, a.k.a. Otoniel, in an urgent campaign to capture or kill him before a truce with the ...  

The thaw in US-Cuba relations has reignited a global rum war

The thaw in US-Cuba relations has reignited a global rum war

Could a rum by any other name taste as smooth? As the US and Cuba press ahead with their plans to normalize relations, a global intellectual-property dispute between the booze conglomerates Pernod Ricard and Bacardi—a conflict that has its origins in the Cuban revolution—is breaking out once again.

At issue are the rights to the Havana Club rum brand, which have been carved up for close to 20 years. Pernod Ricard markets the liquor around the world on behalf of Cuba’s socialist ...  

Colombia/US: Obama Should Press Santos on Justice

Colombia/US: Obama Should Press Santos on Justice

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama should press President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia to address serious shortcomings in the recently announced agreement between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Human Rights Watch said today. Obama will host Santos at the White House on February 4, 2016.

Human Rights Watch has concluded that the Agreement on the Victims of the Conflict contains a web of ambiguities, omissions, and loopholes that could be used to ensure ...  

Plan Colombia Shouldn’t Be the Price of Peace with the FARC

Plan Colombia Shouldn’t Be the Price of Peace with the FARC

BY JOSÉ R. CÁRDENAS

February 1, 2016

This week, U.S. President Barack Obama will host Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos for an “official working visit” in Washington. According to the White House, the Feb. 4 meeting will provide an opportunity, according to the White House, to “support the efforts of President Santos to achieve a just and lasting peace accord with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], and discuss a shared vision for future collaboration in the event of an historic peace ...  

Price of peace: Colombia to seek millions in new U.S. aid

Price of peace: Colombia to seek millions in new U.S. aid

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will visit Washington this week to update President Barack Obama on the historic peace negotiations with Marxist rebels that are nearing completion, thank the United States for its ongoing support – and ask for millions more in aid.

The White House visit on Thursday comes just weeks before Santos is supposed to sign an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the leftist guerrilla group that has waged a five-decade-long war against the Colombian ...  

Twisting Inquiry Into Buenos Aires Bombing Takes New Turn

Twisting Inquiry Into Buenos Aires Bombing Takes New Turn

BUENOS AIRES — For more than two decades, an investigation into the suicide bombing of a Jewish center here in 1994 that killed 85 people has faced setbacks and controversy. It caused an intractable rift between Argentina and Iran. A former president has been put on trial, accused of orchestrating a cover-up. And a prosecutor involved in the case died last year in murky circumstances.

But now, Argentina’s new government is pledging to finally get to the bottom of a case ...  

The Young Drug Lords Fighting for El Chapo’s Throne

The Young Drug Lords Fighting for El Chapo’s Throne

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Some locals call the long, arid valley Tierra Caliente, or the Hot Land. To others it’s Infiernillo, which means Little Hell. Such colorful nicknames refer to more than just the scorching climate: the Hot Land is also the newest front line in the Mexican Drug War. Running through southwestern Guerrero state, where 43 students disappeared in September of 2014, the infernal vale encompasses some of the deadliest country in the hemisphere.

While other major cartel umbrella groups—like Chapo ...  

24 Sinaloa cartel members arrested in U.S.-Mexico border raid

24 Sinaloa cartel members arrested in U.S.-Mexico border raid

(CNN)A cross-border raid by U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials resulted in the arrest of 24 Sinaloa cartel members, authorities said. The sting occurred Friday around the Arizona border with Mexico, local media reported. It also netted “assault-type weapons” and hundreds of pounds of narcotics, said spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The raid, dubbed Mexican Operation Diablo Express, targeted “high-level” Sinaloa cartel members who operate in the United States and the Mexican state of Sonora. ...  

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UNDERSTANDING AND ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSES OF CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES

About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.