Maduro’s Favorite Economist Says Venezuela Is a ‘Real Mess’

Maduro’s Favorite Economist Says Venezuela Is a ‘Real Mess’

Last week, Nicolas Maduro, the embattled president of crisis-torn Venezuela, veered a bit off course during a rambling, hour-and-a-half speech to business leaders in Caracas to heap praise on a somewhat obscure U.S. economist.

“I don’t know if you know him, but I recommend his writings,” Maduro said of Michael Hudson , a professor at the University of Missouri who specializes in subjects including international finance and debt. “He’s one of the greatest U.S. economists.”

Yet, Hudson, it turns out, appears to ...  

Chilean president says troops will withdraw from Haiti but commitment remains strong

Chilean president says troops will withdraw from Haiti but commitment remains strong

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet ended a visit to Haiti Monday by reaffirming her South American nation’s commitment to the country and telling her troops in the United Nations peacekeeping mission that it’s time to wrap up.

Bachelet is the first foreign head of state to visit the country since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was sworn in on Feb. 7 as his nation’s new president. She began the visit by meeting with Moïse at the National Palace before heading north to Cap-Haitien ...  

Venezuela court shuts down congress and grants itself legislative powers

Venezuela court shuts down congress and grants itself legislative powers

Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress is being effectively shut down after the country’s Supreme Court said it would assume all legislative responsibilities amid its contention that legislators are operating outside of the law.

The decision is likely to increase tensions in the South American nation at a time when the international community has been pressing the socialist administration to hold elections and give the opposition a voice.

In a ruling published late Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that while the National Assembly continued to ...  

Chilean president says troops will withdraw from Haiti but commitment remains strong

Chilean president says troops will withdraw from Haiti but commitment remains strong

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet ended a visit to Haiti Monday by reaffirming her South American nation’s commitment to the country and telling her troops in the United Nations peacekeeping mission that it’s time to wrap up.

Bachelet is the first foreign head of state to visit the country since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was sworn in on Feb. 7 as his nation’s new president. She began the visit by meeting with Moïse at the National Palace before heading north to Cap-Haitien ...  

Mexico: Ex-gov. flees to Texas to evade graft allegations

Mexico: Ex-gov. flees to Texas to evade graft allegations

MEXICO CITY – The former governor of a northern Mexico state has fled to Texas to evade accusations of corruption, his successor said Tuesday.

Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral said during a news conference that ex-Gov. Cesar Duarte has gone to the border city of El Paso and is considered “a fugitive from justice.”

Corral said officials would seek an international arrest and extradition order. He added that three former officials from Duarte’s inner circle had been detained.

“He who steals from the government ...  

OAS pushes Venezuela to engage in dialogue as tensions flare

OAS pushes Venezuela to engage in dialogue as tensions flare

Members of the Organization of American States urged Venezuela’s government and opposition to settle their differences through dialogue Tuesday, backing off from threats to suspend the socialist-run country and providing President Nicolas Maduro some short-term relief as he struggles to rescue the polarized nation from crisis.

The contentious special meeting at the OAS headquarters in Washington underscored the difficulty that regional governments increasingly concerned about Venezuela’s crisis face as they try to force the unpopular Maduro to cede some power to ...  

U.S. court upholds Crystallex’s $1 billion award from Venezuela in dispute that has gone on for years

U.S. court upholds Crystallex’s $1 billion award from Venezuela in dispute that has gone on for years

CARACAS — A U.S. court has upheld an award by a World Bank Tribunal that orders Venezuela to pay more than US$1 billion to Canadian mining company Crystallex, paving the way for the firm to seize assets for the 2008 expropriation of the Las Cristinas gold project.

The tribunal known as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) last year ordered Venezuela to pay Crystallex US$1.2 billion plus accrued interest, which adds an additional US$200 million for a total ...  

Border wall ask: $1 billion for 62 miles

Border wall ask: $1 billion for 62 miles

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration wants the first $1 billion of border wall funding to cover 62 miles — including replacing some existing fencing along the southern border.

The $999 million requested by the White House in its budget supplement for just defense and border security spending would cover just 48 miles of new wall, according to justification documents from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by CNN.

The documents describe exactly where the administration hopes to put its first installment of the ...  

Rubio tells Haiti, other nations to defend democracy in vote on Venezuela sanctions

Rubio tells Haiti, other nations to defend democracy in vote on Venezuela sanctions

Sen. Marco Rubio sent a strong warning to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Haiti on Monday, saying that it would be difficult to protect them from possible cuts in U.S. aid if they fail to defend democracy when the Venezuelan government comes up for a possible sanctions vote at the Organization of American States (OAS).

The Florida Republican, one of the harshest critics of the Venezuelan government in Washington, told El Nuevo Herald that the OAS vote set for Tuesday ...  

Ecuador’s ruling party candidate takes lead ahead of presidential vote

Ecuador’s ruling party candidate takes lead ahead of presidential vote

The presidential candidate from Ecuador’s ruling party has pulled ahead in key polls ahead of the April 2 runoff that will determine the fate of the country’s decade-long “Citizens’ Revolution” and President Rafael Correa’s socialist legacy.

A series of polls released this week give Lenín Moreno, Correa’s one-time vice president, a lead over former banker Guillermo Lasso. In particular, polling firm Cedatos, whose closely-watched polls accurately predicted the Feb. 19 first-round vote, puts Moreno ahead for the first time since its ...  

Venezuela government ‘terrified’ of calling election

Venezuela government ‘terrified’ of calling election

The late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and his allies triumphed nearly every time voters went to the ballot box. But Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, appears to have lost interest in testing the will of the people.

Amid a severe economic crisis, opinion polls show that support for Maduro and for ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) politicians is collapsing. In response, electoral authorities — whom analysts claim take orders from the executive branch — have over the past year shelved or ...  

Venezuela asks UN for help as medicine shortages grow severe

Venezuela asks UN for help as medicine shortages grow severe

President Nicolas Maduro said he has asked the United Nations for help in dealing with Venezuela’s medicine shortages, which have grown severe as the country grapples with a crippling economic crisis.

“The United Nations has the most advanced and complete plans in the world to recover the pharmaceutical industry’s production capacity and direct it toward medicines for the people,” Maduro said Friday on state-run television.

Maduro did not elaborate on what kind of aid he was seeking, or whether the United Nations ...  

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 ...  

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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.