Conservative Protesters in Brazil Tilt Further Right as Turnout Thins

Conservative Protesters in Brazil Tilt Further Right as Turnout Thins

RIO DE JANEIRO — A year after helping push for the impeachment of the leftist President Dilma Rousseff, fewer conservatives are turning out for protests in Brazil, which is good news for her equally unpopular successor, Michel Temer. But the demands of those still demonstrating have hardened, and turned even further to the right.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in at least 18 states on Sunday in support of the sprawling Operation Car Wash graft investigation that ...  

Coca-growing in Colombia is at an all-time high

Coca-growing in Colombia is at an all-time high

THE hills surrounding Sinaí, a village in south-west Colombia, are blanketed in a green patchwork, ranging from the bright chartreuse of coca-plant seedlings to a darker clover colour that indicates the leaves are ripe for picking and processing into cocaine. It is areas like this that have helped to boost Colombia’s estimated cocaine output 37% since 2015 to an all-time high of 710 tonnes in 2016, according to America’s government. Some 188,000 hectares of land is now planted with coca, ...  

Venezuela’s Fuel Shortage Is Getting Worse

Venezuela’s Fuel Shortage Is Getting Worse

Venezuela’s state oil company was rushing to replenish gasoline supplies in various neighborhoods of Caracas on Thursday as drivers lined up at filling stations amid a worsening shortage of fuel.

While Petroleos de Venezuela SA says the situation is normalizing and blamed the lines on transport delays, the opposition says the company has had to reduce costly fuel imports as it tries to preserve cash to pay its foreign debt. Tanker trucks were seen in several neighborhoods of the capital city ...  

Venezuelan troops invaded Colombia this week. But just a little bit.

Venezuelan troops invaded Colombia this week. But just a little bit.

A group of about 60 Venezuelan soldiers crossed the border into Colombia this week, set up camp on a banana plantation and flew their national flag for a few days, an incident Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called “a totally unacceptable” violation of national sovereignty.

Santos said Thursday he spoke personally to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro about the incursion, and following their conversation, Maduro ordered the troops to return to their country. By Thursday afternoon, the soldiers had decamped for Venezuela ...  

Mexico’s Top Diplomat Says Nation Can Survive End of Nafta

Mexico’s Top Diplomat Says Nation Can Survive End of Nafta

Mexico is prepared for the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement if it can’t reach a deal with the U.S. and Canada that benefits all three nations, the country’s top diplomat said.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration is committed to keeping North America tariff-free and has set clear limits for what it can accept in negotiations with the U.S., Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. He added that his strong relationship with ...  

A Visual Record of Venezuela’s Collapse

A Visual Record of Venezuela’s Collapse

Over the last four years, as Venezuela descended into economic and social chaos, Meridith Kohut, a Houston-born photographer based in Caracas, built one of the most complete photographic chronicles of the country’s collapse. Working for the New York Times, she covered the breakdown of Venezuela’s public hospitals, workers flocking to illegal gold mines, people turning to drug smugglers to get out of the country, as well as a wave of extrajudicial killings at the hands of the police and military.

For ...  

Nations to Challenge Venezuela’s Authoritarian Regime

Nations to Challenge Venezuela’s Authoritarian Regime

MEXICO CITY—The U.S., Canada and Latin America’s leading nations have agreed to challenge Venezuela’s authoritarian regime, a joint effort that wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago.

Fourteen nations plan to issue a joint statement in coming days calling on the government of President Nicolás Maduro to release political prisoners, return full powers to the National Assembly and set a timetable to hold regional elections that Venezuela has indefinitely postponed, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.

In a region where countries ...  

Armed conflict in Colombia ‘alive as ever’: Amnesty International

Armed conflict in Colombia ‘alive as ever’: Amnesty International

Colombia’s armed conflict is “alive as ever” in “large parts” of the South American country, Amnesty International (AI) said Monday, three months after the government signed peace with the country’s largest rebel group.

“An unabated wave of threats, killings and forced displacement of hundreds of peaceful villagers in north-western Colombia is a frightening illustration that the armed conflict is far from over,” AI said in a press release.

The international human rights NGO’s statement came just days after a report by Colombian ...  

Almagro: How Venezuela can avoid suspension from the OAS

Almagro: How Venezuela can avoid suspension from the OAS

The history of Latin America and the Caribbean is plagued with dictators. That is why in 2001, the 34 countries of the OAS agreed to and signed the Inter-American Democratic Charter. They decided that they would never again suffer dictatorships and declared that democracy is a right of the people, one that governments must ensure.

Today, while you read these lines, in a South American country of more than 30 million people there is a dictatorship. That country is Venezuela.

Its government ...  

Inside the devastating plight of epileptics in Venezuela due to drug shortages

Inside the devastating plight of epileptics in Venezuela due to drug shortages

In the midst of the deep recession that continues to afflict Venezuela, people have become embroiled in bread wars, resorted to toilet paper theft and even given away their children.

One of the most heartbreaking problems that has arisen is the shortage of medication. Eighty-five percent of all drugs have disappeared from the country, from common over-the-counter medications to antiretroviral drugs used to manage HIV. Drug shortages have resulted in cancers metastasizing or even deaths, according to the Miami Herald.

Reuters photographer ...  

Frozen Beef Stranded at Sea After China Shuts Out Brazil’s Meat

Frozen Beef Stranded at Sea After China Shuts Out Brazil’s Meat

Zhang Lian has 270 tons of frozen Brazilian beef on a ship steaming toward Shanghai that he may not be able to get through customs when the vessel arrives next month.

Zhang’s Shanghai Yadongsheng Import-Export Ltd. trades $200 million of meat annually, part of the global supply chain that keeps China fed. China’s decision to halt imports of Brazil’s meat until authorities are sure it’s safe has left Zhang with some worried customers.

“It’s a bad situation,” said Zhang, an import manager ...  

Cuban dissident leader to Trump: ‘Treat Cuba like a dictatorship’

Cuban dissident leader to Trump: ‘Treat Cuba like a dictatorship’

Frustrated by what they see as “indolence” from the previous administration, some Cuban government opponents are urging President Donald Trump to backtrack current Cuba policy and speak out about increased government repression on the island.

Antonio G. Rodiles and his partner Ailer González — both members of the Forum for Rights and Freedoms — are calling on the new administration to reset U.S.-Cuba relations and “recognize that they are dealing with a dictatorship.”

“The main thing would be for those of us ...  

Why is Venezuela’s Maduro treating President Trump with kid gloves?

Why is Venezuela’s Maduro treating President Trump with kid gloves?

CARACAS, VENEZUELA – Even though United States continues to be Chavismo’s favorite enemy, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is treating Trump’s White House with kid gloves — not even responding to some pretty mighty jabs.

When back in January the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned his handpicked vice president Tareck El Aissami for ties with drug trafficking, Maduro pledged to Trump “that he not perpetuate the errors of the old administration.”

Two days later, a second punch came via Twitter when the U.S. president ...  

U.S.-Mexico security cooperation is at a historic high. Will that change under Trump?

U.S.-Mexico security cooperation is at a historic high. Will that change under Trump?

MEXICO CITY — Every airplane passenger who arrives in Mexico is vetted against U.S. criminal and national security databases, a ­daily dose of intelligence sharing aimed at finding fugitives and suspected terrorists.

In the Mexico City airport, plainclothes U.S. border officers work alongside their Mexican counterparts to investigate suspicious travelers bound for the United States. In Brownsville, Tex., U.S. customs agents remotely watch X-ray scans of train cargo from the Mexican side of the border.

For much of their history, the United ...  

Argentina warns Trump: ‘Nationalism will not make your economy richer’

Argentina warns Trump: ‘Nationalism will not make your economy richer’

Argentina, which is poised to take over the leadership of the G20 group of developed and developing nations later this year, has warned Donald Trump that protectionist trade strategies do not work.

Nicolás Dujovne, the country’s finance minister, said that Argentina’s own recent anti-free trade policies showed that closing borders did more harm than good.

“We’ve been there”, Dujovne told the Guardian . “Protectionism and nationalism will not make your economy richer and will not accelerate growth. It will increase stagnation and ...  

Carwash at Three Years Moves From Brazil Ground Zero to Diaspora

Carwash at Three Years Moves From Brazil Ground Zero to Diaspora

One floor above the jail cell that’s been holding Brazilian construction magnate Marcelo Odebrecht for the past 21 months, Marcio Anselmo, the man who put him there, is about to pack up his office and move on.

It’s been three years now since the so-called Carwash investigation exploded onto the Brazilian scene and screens, its fuse lit in the southern city of Curitiba by Anselmo and his colleagues.

“Carwash is far from over, but my job here is almost done,” Anselmo, 39, ...  

Venezuelan VP Tareck El Aissami Is Bad News

Venezuelan VP Tareck El Aissami Is Bad News

At the end of February, the Trump Administration took the brave move to sanction Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami. Just who is Tareck El-Aissami?

The newly appointed vice president of Lebanese-Syrian origins has been a controversial figure for years. Linked to a major cocaine-trafficking outlet and to the Jihadi Shia terror organization, Hezbollah, he has been under the careful eye of the DEA, FBI and other intelligence agencies, which were just waiting for him to slip up. President Nicolas Maduro ...  

Relatives of Venezuelan Political Prisoners Beg OAS for Help

Relatives of Venezuelan Political Prisoners Beg OAS for Help

Relatives of three prominent Venezuelan political prisoners Monday joined the leader of the Organization of American States in pleading for action to free the country from what they described as the repressive regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

“We come here to ask the OAS … to end the dictatorship of Maduro,” activist Patricia de Ceballos said at a news conference with two other activists and OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. Her husband, a former mayor in Venezuela, has been confined first ...  

More airlines cut service to Cuba

More airlines cut service to Cuba

Only six months after U.S. carriers began operating regular commercial flights to Cuba, Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways have become the latest airlines to cut service to the island nation.

The news comes after JetBlue and American Airlines both announced plans in the last two months to reduce their service to Cuba, either by scaling back on the number of flights or flying smaller planes to Cuba.

The cutbacks suggest that the nation’s airlines may have overestimated the demand for flights to ...  

More Than 250 Bodies Found In Mass Grave In Mexico

More Than 250 Bodies Found In Mass Grave In Mexico

Authorities in Mexico say they have found more than 250 bodies in what may be the largest mass grave site in the country. It’s located in a dusty abandoned lot just outside the port city of Veracruz.

Authorities were led to the graves by a group of mothers who’ve spent months digging there in search of their loved ones.

Of the 252 bodies found in the mass grave, only two have been identified: Pedro Huesca, a young state investigator, and his personal ...  

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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.