Venezuela debate: Latin America’s moment of truth

Venezuela debate: Latin America’s moment of truth

The Organization of American States first took steps 15 years ago to make sure that democratically elected government survived in the Western Hemisphere after decades of rule by military governments.

Now members of that organization are being called on to explain what democracy means to them and how far they’re willing to go to defend those ideals.

On Thursday, the OAS will debate whether the embattled Venezuelan government is truly democratic after OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro invoked the group’s Democratic Charter, the ...  

Venezuelan president is to blame for humanitarian crisis, OAS chief says

Venezuelan president is to blame for humanitarian crisis, OAS chief says

The head of the Organization of American States has blamed Nicolás Maduro’s government for Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, saying the South American oil-rich nation was now mired in poverty, corruption and violence.

Addressing the permanent council of the 34-nation regional group, Luis Almagro said Maduro’s government had violated basic democratic principles, which had altered the constitutional order of the country.

Despite opposition by Venezuela and allies such as Ecuador and Bolivia to Thursday’s proceedings, Almagro won the backing of a majority of member ...  

Brazil Girds for Terrorist Threat at Rio Olympic Games

Brazil Girds for Terrorist Threat at Rio Olympic Games

Islamic State has begun posting digital propaganda in Portuguese, presenting an apparent threat and a new challenge to Brazilian security officials just six weeks before the start of the Olympic Games.

The postings, which have surfaced on encrypted webpages and an instant-messaging platform, lay out the tenets of the radical militant group. Brazil’s federal intelligence agency, the ABIN, told The Wall Street Journal Thursday that Islamic State’s Portuguese-language channel reflects its “extremist ideologies.”

“The opening of this new front of disseminating information ...  

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement.

The tank deal and spy base have raised concerns among some officials in the Pentagon and nations in the region about a military buildup under ...  

Elecciones en España: Camino a la Perdición

Elecciones en España: Camino a la Perdición

Por Sebastián Martínez Ferraté

Ya en el año 1523, el humanista y filosofo español Luis Vives decía “en España todo es cerrazón y noche”, hoy 500 años después nuestro país es tierra de envidia y soberbia.

La campaña política que se esta desarrollando en España por parte de la totalidad de los partidos políticos es realmente penosa, ya que todos los argumentos presentados están más que agotados.

En los mítines, solo se oyen insultos, descalificaciones y pactos de silencio donde se reparten los ...  

Colombia, FARC Rebels Agree on Cease-Fire

Colombia, FARC Rebels Agree on Cease-Fire

BOGOTÁ, Colombia—Guerrilla commanders and President Juan Manuel Santos’s government announced Wednesday they had reached an agreement on a definitive cease-fire that would end hostilities in one of the world’s oldest conflicts.

The two sides, which have been negotiating in Cuba since November 2012, said in a statement that they had also agreed to the disarmament of 7,000 guerrillas fighters and a security plan to protect demobilized rebels, who have long feared being targeted by regional warlords upon laying down their weapons.

People ...  

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

On July 8, 2009, the champagne finally flowed. After an intense two-year competition, a consortium led by a Spanish company in severe financial distress learned that its rock-bottom bid of $3.1 billion had won the worldwide competition to build a new set of locks for the historic Panama Canal.

The unlikely victors toasted their win at La Vitrola, a sleek restaurant in an upscale neighborhood east of downtown Panama City. Within days, executives of the four-nation consortium, Grupo Unidos por el ...  

Venezuela opposition says has sufficient signatures for referendum

Venezuela opposition says has sufficient signatures for referendum

Venezuela’s political opposition said on Wednesday it had collected the required number of valid signatures to begin a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro, amid the country’s economic crisis.

The painstaking process of validating the signatures began earlier this week. The electoral council has required that those who signed for a recall vote against the 53-year-old president return to polling stations to verify their signatures through fingerprint detection.

“We’ve achieved the goal,” said Carlos Ocariz, the opposition governor of a Caracas district. ...  

EE.UU. apoyará al pueblo venezolano o a su gobierno corrupto e incompetente?

EE.UU. apoyará al pueblo venezolano o a su gobierno corrupto e incompetente?

Por Roger F. Noriega

Junio 22, 2016

Venezuela está a punto de colapsar bajo la guardia del presidente Obama con un descontento  generalizado que crece día a día en ese país. Después de observar a distancia como esta crisis se agravaba, la semana pasada el secretario de Estado John Kerry respaldó un esfuerzo de rescate regional, así como un referéndum popular para sustituir al presidente Nicolás Maduro. A menos que diplomáticos estadounidenses se muevan rápidamente para conseguir apoyo a favor de este ...  

Will the US side with Venezuelans or their corrupt and incompetent government?

Will the US side with Venezuelans or their corrupt and incompetent government?

By Roger F. Noriega

June 22, 2016

Venezuela could collapse on President Obama’s watch, with the prospects of widespread unrest growing every day.

After years watching from a distance as this crisis worsened, last week Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed regional diplomatic efforts as well as a popular referendum on whether President Nicolás Maduro should remain in office. Unless US diplomats move quickly to rally support for this plan, Kerry’s commitment will be seen as too little, too late, and the Obama ...  

How Trump’s Business Logic Dissipates When It Comes to Mexico

How Trump’s Business Logic Dissipates When It Comes to Mexico

Kick at the loose soil on the edges of Monterrey, Mexico, these days and you’re less likely to turn up rattlesnakes or tarantulas than in the days before the fruits of Nafta transformed it into the object of Donald Trump’s scorn.

The presidential candidate, critical of Midwestern U.S. manufacturers Carrier Corp. and Mondelez International Inc. for seeking lower-cost production, would find more than enough gleaming glass and metal to suit his design aesthetic. It’s got practically everything you would want in ...  

Ecuador Finds Progress Made During Boom Years Is Unsustainable

Ecuador Finds Progress Made During Boom Years Is Unsustainable

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa defended his legacy last month in his last state of the nation address, saying that the current recession is the result of a perfect storm of falling oil prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar. In an email interview, Diego Grijalva, a professor of economics at the University of San Francisco of Quito, discusses Ecuador’s economy in the wake of the commodities bust.

WPR: How important are commodities for Ecuador’s economy, and what impact have falling commodities prices ...  

Venezuela’s Economic Crisis: What You Need to Know

Venezuela’s Economic Crisis: What You Need to Know

Today in Venezuela, families can wait in lines at the supermarket for 18 hours at a time to get the right to purchase small quantities of oil, rice or pasta, according to Foreign Policy. Violent crime, meanwhile, is on the rise, with the country’s capital, Caracas, recently overtaking Honduras’ San Pedro Sula to become the most violent city in the world, according to the Citizen’s Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

Problems with starvation and malnutrition are worsening, and major ...  

Food riots escalate, take lives in hungry Venezuela as shortages increase

Food riots escalate, take lives in hungry Venezuela as shortages increase

On June 9, a furious round of looting shocked the streets of Petare, a popular segment in the east of Caracas. More than a week later, there is still evidence of the damage.

A bakery called Flor del Rocio 2007 now operates with its doors permanently half-closed — on that day a mob raided in, took all the edible items they found and even stole the cash register and some appliances, all the while shattering the store’s windows and destroying the ...  

Standing Up for Democracy in Venezuela

Standing Up for Democracy in Venezuela

As growing lawlessness, looting and hunger threaten to plunge Venezuela into a state of anarchy, its neighbors remain strikingly reluctant to confront President Nicolás Maduro.

There have been unabashed enablers, a shrinking but resolute camp of left-wing governments that have served as apologists for the despotic president. There are the co-opted, a pack of Caribbean and Central American nations that have turned a blind eye to Mr. Maduro’s abuses in exchange for subsidized oil. And there are the ambivalent, a large ...  

Officials, union trade blame for deadly Mexico clashes

Officials, union trade blame for deadly Mexico clashes

Mexican authorities and protesters on Monday traded accusations of responsibility for weekend clashes that left eight people dead and more than 100 wounded in the restive southern state of Oaxaca.

Federal Police Chief Enrique Galindo, speaking on local Radio Formula, said few teachers were involved in the violence and attributed it to other, unspecified “radical groups.” However, the radical teachers’ union involved in the protests denied that and alleged that police infiltrators were to blame.

The clashes are the latest flashpoint in ...  

Colombia President Santos: ‘Farc peace deal by 20 July’

Colombia President Santos: ‘Farc peace deal by 20 July’

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says he expects a peace deal to end more than 50 years of conflict with the country’s largest rebel group, Farc, to be reached within a month. Mr Santos said the country would enter a new era if the talks, which started in 2012, were successfully concluded.

A previous deadline set by Mr Santos to complete the negotiations with the rebels was missed on 23 March. More than 220,000 people have died in five decades of the ...  

Strike, marches in Bolivia against Morales’ government

Strike, marches in Bolivia against Morales’ government

Large crowds have taken to the streets of Bolivia’s capital to protest against the government of President Evo Morales in a strike observed by sectors including public schoolteachers and health workers. Thousands of people marched in central La Paz on Monday, setting off small dynamite charges that are used for mining and easily obtained in the country.

The protesters are demanding the revocation of a decree by Morales to close a bankrupt state factory, leaving 800 people jobless. They’re also calling ...  

Venezuela starts validating recall referendum signatures

Venezuela starts validating recall referendum signatures

Just under 200,000 valid signatures are needed for the process to go ahead. Mr Maduro was elected in April 2013 and his term runs until 2019. The opposition blames his socialist policies for rampant inflation and the shortage of food and basic goods.

Mr Capriles said the massive presence of voters on the first day of the validation process was a clear sign that Venezuelans wanted a change of government. “What we saw today were queues across the country,” said Mr ...  

Brazil’s Rio state seeks emergency funding ahead of Olympics

Brazil’s Rio state seeks emergency funding ahead of Olympics

Just under 50 days before the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro’s state governor has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency that authorizes additional funding to fulfill obligations during the games.

A severe economic crisis has prevented the state from “honoring its commitments to the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” reads the order, released in the official government gazette Friday.

The crisis has been “causing severe difficulties in the provision of essential public services and can even cause a ...  

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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.