Is Rule Of Law At Risk In El Salvador?

Is Rule Of Law At Risk In El Salvador?

By Daniel Runde

El Salvador made great economic progress after its brutal civil war ended in 1992. From 1992 to 2009, the ARENA party ran El Salvador and made marked economic improvements under three successive ARENA governments. Poverty decreased and competitiveness and investment increased between 1992 and 2004. El Salvador even reached the coveted “investment grade” credit rating per some financial evaluations[1], a status signaling minimal risk to investors.  El Salvador also signed a free trade agreement with the United States and dollarized its economy to remove ...  

MERCOSUR: Bloc Could Expel Venezuela, Says Argentina Minister

MERCOSUR: Bloc Could Expel Venezuela, Says Argentina Minister

(RTTNews) – Mercosur will permanently expel Venezuela from the bloc if the country’s government advances with its intentions to call for a Constituent Assembly election on July 30, said the Argentinean Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at the sidelines of the bloc summit in Mendoza.

“Some may read it as an expelling, but at the moment we do not have to discuss if it is a suspension of this or that. We have to talk about the fact ...  

US Cuba tour operators gird for Trump travel crackdown

US Cuba tour operators gird for Trump travel crackdown

U.S. tour operators that send Americans to Cuba are banding together to try to limit damage to business from tighter restrictions on travel to the communist-run island expected in September from the Trump administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump in June rolled back parts of Barack Obama‘s historic opening to Cuba, saying his predecessor negotiated a “terrible and misguided deal.”

The revised approach includes stricter enforcement of a longtime ban on Americans going to Cuba as tourists. Among changes are limiting visits ...  

Maduro Says Vote On as Venezuela Opposition Calls 48-Hour Strike

Maduro Says Vote On as Venezuela Opposition Calls 48-Hour Strike

By Javiera Quiroga and Melissa Mittelman

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, defying a threat of U.S. sanctions and calls by his opponents for two days of general strikes this week, vowed to press on with a vote to elect a new national assembly and rewrite the constitution.

“Who doesn’t go vote next Sunday is hurting the Republic of Venezuela, is hurting the right for peace, because what we are deciding here next week is between peace or war, violence or the ...  

‘They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms

‘They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms

By Noris Soto

It was quiet in the dank basement in northwest Caracas, where dozens of young men and women sat on the floor and assembled their weapons. They poured asphalt, gasoline and paint into beer and pop bottles, tying knots in strips of fabric to fashion wicks.

Molotov cocktails are cheap and easy to make. Whether they’re doing the job is at the core of a bitter debate in Venezuela. After months of relentless demonstrations against President ...  

How your lawmakers want to punish Cuba for not returning Joanne Chesimard to N.J.

How your lawmakers want to punish Cuba for not returning Joanne Chesimard to N.J.

By Jonathan D. Salant

Legislation funding the State Department would block the U.S. from expanding its diplomatic presence in Cuba until convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard is returned to New Jersey.

The House Appropriations Committee spending bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 would prevent the U.S. from building new facilities or hiring additional staff except for those needed for health safety and security reasons. It imposes the same restrictions on Cuba in this country.

Chesimard “has been sheltered by the Castro regime for decades,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen ...  

Exclusive: Russia, Venezuela discuss Citgo collateral deal to avoid U.S. sanctions – sources

Exclusive: Russia, Venezuela discuss Citgo collateral deal to avoid U.S. sanctions – sources

By Alexandra Ulmer and Marianna Parraga

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) – Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft is negotiating to swap its collateral in Venezuelan-owned, U.S.-based refiner Citgo for oilfield stakes and a fuel supply deal – a move to avoid complications from U.S. sanctions, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters.

State-owned Rosneft holds a 49.9 percent stake in Citgo as collateral for a loan last year of about $1.5 billion to the OPEC nation, which is reeling from ...  

Millions Heed Anti-Maduro Shutdown in Venezuela

Millions Heed Anti-Maduro Shutdown in Venezuela

By Andrew Cawthorne and Girish Gupta

CARACAS (Reuters) – Many Venezuelan streets were barricaded and deserted on Thursday for a strike called by foes of President Nicolas Maduro to demand elections and the scrapping of plans for a new congress they fear would consolidate dictatorship in the OPEC country.

From the Andes to the Amazon, millions joined the 24-hour shutdown, staying at home, closing businesses or manning roadblocks in a civil disobedience campaign the opposition hopes will end nearly two decades of ...  

Trump podría liderar el rescate internacional de Venezuela

Trump podría liderar el rescate internacional de Venezuela

[Traducción por IASW]

Por Roger F. Noriega

No hay suficiente gas lacrimógeno o balas en Venezuela para mantener al dictador Nicolás Maduro en el poder, precisamente porque su régimen no tiene dinero disponible para apoyar su aparato represivo e importar alimentos al mismo tiempo. Aunque los titiriteros cubanos y rusos de Nicolás Maduro están dispuestos a ver a los venezolanos hambrientos, golpeados, y en la sumisión, la comunidad internacional no lo está.

Existe un consenso entre las principales naciones de la región y ...  

President Trump should muster an international rescue of Venezuela

President Trump should muster an international rescue of Venezuela

By Roger F. Noriega

There are not enough tear gas canisters or bullets in Venezuela to sustain the regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro, which is so cash-strapped it can’t even import food. And although his Cuban and Russian masters are willing to see hungry Venezuelans beaten into submission, the international community is not.

There is an emerging consensus among key nations in the region and among bipartisan leaders in Congress that Venezuelans can resolve ...  

Factbox: Impacts of US sanctions on Venezuelan oil

Factbox: Impacts of US sanctions on Venezuelan oil

The Trump administration is considering major sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports into the US, a policy move which could exacerbate the current heavy crude supply tightness, and cause a months-long dip in US refining margins.

A senior administration official said this week that a ban on Venezuelan imports was one of the options being considered, but views on the practicality and effectiveness of such a ban remain divided with the administration.

While specifics remain largely unclear, here’s a look at the ...  

Venezuela Could Go the Way of Cuba, Members of Congress Say

Venezuela Could Go the Way of Cuba, Members of Congress Say

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress denounced Venezuela’s government Wednesday, echoing harsh criticism from the White House and likening the political situation there to Cuba under Fidel and Raúl Castro.

Speaking at a briefing at the Capitol, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro has consolidated power, corrupted the courts and removed checks on his executive authority while silencing political opposition. He has “condemned his own people to poverty, starvation and immense suffering,” while amassing wealth ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro, foes head into crucial showdown

Venezuela’s Maduro, foes head into crucial showdown

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN AND FABIOLA SANCHEZ

Large swaths of Venezuela’s capital were shuttered and silent Thursday as opponents of President Nicolas Maduro called the first major national strike since a 2002 stoppage that failed to topple Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez.

A public transport strike appeared to have halted nearly all bus traffic and thousands of private businesses defied government demands to stay open. State-run firms were open, though many were short on staff after employees failed to appear. Improvised roadblocks closed many streets.

The 24-hour strike was ...  

Ecuador risks Opec split by increasing oil output

Ecuador risks Opec split by increasing oil output

By Adam Vaughan

Ecuador has become the first country to publicly admit it will not meet Opec’s production curbs, saying it needs to pump more oil to address its fiscal deficit.

The South American country’s promised cut of 26,000 barrels of oil a day is a tiny drop in the 1.8m b/d that the cartel recently agreed to curb until early 2018, but the decision is still the first crack in the deal’s unity.

“There’s a need for funds for the fiscal treasury, hence ...  

One Way Or Another – Venezuela Will Send Oil Prices Up

One Way Or Another – Venezuela Will Send Oil Prices Up

By Nick Cunningham

In a desperate bid to survive its economic meltdown, Venezuela is lobbying other OPEC members to agree to steeper oil production cuts, a move that would likely lead to higher oil prices.

Venezuelan officials have reached out to their counterparts in Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia to press them on more collective action, according to Argus Media. If there was enough interest, the next step would be an “extraordinary meeting,” which would weigh the option of ...  

The Clock Is Ticking On Venezuela

The Clock Is Ticking On Venezuela

By Paul Coyer

Venezuela is fast on its way to becoming the next Cuba, if the Socialist Party of Venezuela gets its way and succeeds in rewriting the constitution to enshrine its authoritarian rule permanently – and that should be worrisome for those of us that share the Western hemisphere with Caracas. Due to its immense natural resources and wealth, strategic importance, and established relationships with hostile, extra-hemispheric powers, Venezuela has the potential to be a far greater problem than ...  

Who’d Lose Most From U.S. Ban on Venezuela Crude?: QuickTake Q&A

Who’d Lose Most From U.S. Ban on Venezuela Crude?: QuickTake Q&A

By Alex Nussbaum, Lucia Kassai, and Meenal Vamburkar

U.S. President Donald Trump may turn up the pressure on Venezuela’s crippled regime by going after the most vital link between the two countries: crude oil. The Trump administration is considering a ban on oil imports from Venezuela as part of a spate of sanctions to punish President Nicolas Maduro, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. Maduro’s government has been accused of corruption and attempts to quash political opposition. Targeting crude oil is ...  

Threat of U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela sparks fears of economic ‘collapse’

Threat of U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela sparks fears of economic ‘collapse’

BY JIM WYSS, PATRICIA MAZZEI AND ALEX DAUGHERTY

Venezuelan lawmakers warned Tuesday the country could be headed for a “catastrophic” meltdown if the United States limits or blocks its crude exports amid an escalating struggle over the fate of the socialist administration.

The fears come as the White House confirmed it’s considering a range of political sanctions against the South American nation if it goes ahead with plans to rewrite the constitution, including a ban on oil imports.

...  

The Private Sector In Cuba Isn’t Private At All

The Private Sector In Cuba Isn’t Private At All

By Robert Donachie

HAVANA — Oscar Hernandez could have finished his bachelor’s degree, but instead he elected to drop out of college to drive a taxi cab around Havana.

The choice for Hernandez was simple: in Cuba, cabbies can earn way more money in a single day, or even one trip, than government employees make in a month.

Oscar did a quick cost-benefit analysis and realized his career as a government psychologist would pay significantly less than ...  

President Trump Unveils Goals for a New NAFTA Deal With Canada and Mexico

President Trump Unveils Goals for a New NAFTA Deal With Canada and Mexico

By Josh Boak

President Donald Trump vowed Monday to boost U.S. manufacturing by cutting the $64 billion trade deficit with Mexico as he showcased products made in all 50 states — everything from a fire truck to a baseball bat.

“No longer are we going to allow other countries to break the rules, to steal our ...  

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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.