Venezuela’s high court and congress lock horns over judges

Venezuela’s high court and congress lock horns over judges

In a move that is expected to deepen polarization in Venezuela, the country’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the opposition-controlled congress had no right to investigate judges who were sworn in at the last minute by the outgoing National Assembly. In a much-anticipated ruling, the court said the National Assembly’s questioning of the Dec. 23 appointment of 13 judges violated the notion of the separation of powers and constituted a “fraud against the fundamental order.”

When Venezuela’s opposition took control ...  

The end of the line for Bolivia’s president

The end of the line for Bolivia’s president

For Bolivia’s Evo Morales, elections have been moments of triumph. Since he emerged from the rural labor movement to win the presidency in late 2005, the fiery political maverick has won three straight contests to become his nation’s longest serving president.

So it came as a blow last week when Bolivians narrowly rejected a proposal to change their constitution to allow Morales to run for a fourth term and potentially stay in office until 2025. It seems that even one of ...  

In Brazil, Former President Lula da Silva Running For New Term Despite Corruption Woes?

In Brazil, Former President Lula da Silva Running For New Term Despite Corruption Woes?

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would be willing to seek another term in 2018 and would put himself forward as a candidate “if necessary,” the Associated Press reported Monday. While Lula will be 72 by the time of the next election, during his speech Saturday in Rio de Janeiro commemorating 36 years of the governing Workers’ Party, he said he still has the “desire of a 32-year-old to be president of the republic.”

While Lula had ...  

Venezuelan opposition leader faces investigation

Venezuelan opposition leader faces investigation

Caracas (AFP) – The Venezuelan government is investigating the opposition leader heading a campaign to hold a referendum on firing President Nicolas Maduro, officials said. Henrique Capriles said Monday that the government was seeking revenge for his efforts to have Maduro terminated as president this year. His term ends in 2019.

“They know they’ve lost popular support, that they don’t have the people on their side. That’s why they have targeted me this way,” the former governor and ex-presidential candidate told ...  

Venezuela is making ‘surreal, suicidal’ debt payments

Venezuela is making ‘surreal, suicidal’ debt payments

Venezuela just made a full payment on a $1.5 billion bond, but the country is hardly out of the debt woods yet. Experts say the country, plagued by hyperinflation and a shortage of basic goods, will almost definitely default — the question is how, and when.

Venezuela’s central bank said earlier this month that the country’s economy shrank 5.7 percent, and the official rate of inflation came in at 180.9 percent in 2015. That spells trouble for the country, which has ...  

Argentina settles 15-year bonds battle

Argentina settles 15-year bonds battle

Argentina has signed an agreement with US hedge funds to settle a protracted dispute over its failure to repay billions of dollars worth of bonds. It will pay the funds who sued the nation about $4.6bn to settle claims. They had bought the bonds at heavily discounted prices after the country’s economy collapsed in 2001. The previous government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, refused to negotiate with the investors, labelling them “vulture funds”.

The agreement is a victory for Mauricio Macri, who was ...  

Bolivian voters deal a blow to authoritarianism

Bolivian voters deal a blow to authoritarianism

LATIN AMERICA’S encouraging march away from authoritarian populism moved another step forward last week in Bolivia, where voters rejected the attempt of President Evo Morales to remove a limit on his tenure from the constitution. The result will not be dramatic change: Mr. Morales, who was first elected in 2005, can still remain in office until 2020 — long enough, perhaps, to mount another referendum. But the result, following the recent electoral defeats of populist regimes in Argentina and Venezuela, ...  

U.S. businesses slow to expand to Cuba

U.S. businesses slow to expand to Cuba

TAMPA — Through a series of executive orders by President Barack Obama during the past year, U.S. citizens are finding it easier to do business in Cuba than at any time in five decades. Americans can now sell and export items such as materials, equipment and tools for construction or agriculture, on credit if they choose, to the Cuban private sector. They also can establish a presence on the island nation and hire its citizens.

Still, no deals have been struck ...  

Colombia: ELN rebels ‘taking over Farc areas’ ahead of peace deal

Colombia: ELN rebels ‘taking over Farc areas’ ahead of peace deal

Colombia’s indigenous agency (Onic) has expressed concern over the presence of fighters from the ELN, or National Liberation Army, in areas traditionally held by the Farc rebel group. The government and the Farc are expected to sign a historic peace accord on 23 March. The head of the agency, Luis Fernando Arias, urged the authorities to investigate.

He said the indigenous people fear the presence of the ELN on their land. Indigenous groups in many parts of the country have found ELN propaganda material ...  

Three steps Venezuela must take to turn the country around

Three steps Venezuela must take to turn the country around

By Leopoldo Lopez

Two years ago I was imprisoned for calling for a constitutional, democratic and peaceful change in the Venezuelan government. Our plan was called La Salida, “the exit.” Not everyone agreed with our approach, and some called it radical. Today, the consensus is much stronger — President Nicolás Maduro must step down to save Venezuela from one of the greatest calamities in our history.

The people of Venezuela want this change to be peaceful and swift. The harder and more ...  

Renaissance in Argentina

Renaissance in Argentina

With its incredible endowment of natural resources — some of the richest soil in the world, a variety of climates including a large temperate zone, oil, uranium and other minerals, enormous hydroelectric resources, a homogenous population of European descent — Argentina should be one of the world’s most prosperous and stable societies.

Not so long ago, it was. Argentina seemed destined to become one of the major nations of the world, just behind Italy. In 1909, the per capita income in ...  

Argentina Prosecutor Claims Alberto Nisman Was Murdered

Argentina Prosecutor Claims Alberto Nisman Was Murdered

The mysterious death of a special prosecutor in Argentina continues to rock the Latin American nation.

Appeals Court prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz presented a statement to Buenos Aires’ Criminal Appeals Court early Thursday saying that Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor of the AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) bombing in Buenos Aires, “has been the victim of homicide.”

Nisman was found dead in his home last year hours before appearing before Congress to explain his accusations against then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. On January ...  

Bolivia’s Term Limit Referendum a Warning to Latin American Autocrats

Bolivia’s Term Limit Referendum a Warning to Latin American Autocrats

Last weekend, Bolivian voters went to the polls and did something remarkable: They told their sitting president—a popular and successful one—that they will not allow him to remain in power for as long as he wishes.

The voters’ rejection of a constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Evo Morales to run for a fourth consecutive term came as a painfully unexpected blow to a politician grown accustomed to landslide victories and popular adulation. The vote sent shockwaves across Bolivia. More ...  

Cracks showing in Colombia peace process after latest crisis

Cracks showing in Colombia peace process after latest crisis

This was supposed to be the home stretch for Colombian government negotiators and FARC rebel leaders working out the last few pesky details of their peace accord. After three years of plodding formal negotiations, they’d set March 23 as a deadline for a deal. President Obama wanted to be there for the signing ceremony.

Now hardly anyone thinks that will happen next month. On Wednesday, intermediaries from the governments of Norway and Cuba managed to walk the two sides back from ...  

Human rights are on the ropes in Cuba, but Obama is eager to visit

Human rights are on the ropes in Cuba, but Obama is eager to visit

President Obama makes no secret of his eagerness to visit Cuba, but as recently as December he insisted that there would be no such trip until human rights and civil liberties on the island had improved.

“What I’ve said to the Cuban government is, if . . . we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans, I’d love to use a visit as a way of highlighting that progress,” Obama told Yahoo! News. “If we’re ...  

Brazil Credit Ratings Cut to Junk by Moody’s

Brazil Credit Ratings Cut to Junk by Moody’s

Brazil’s sovereign rating was cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service, the last of the major ratings companies to strip the country of its investment grade, as President Dilma Rousseff struggles to shore up fiscal accounts amid deepening political turmoil. The country’s benchmark stock gauge declined after the rating was reduced two steps to Ba2, putting the Moody’s grade in line with Standard & Poor’s and one level below Fitch Ratings. The outlook is negative, meaning more downgrades may be ...  

Would Obama want to return Guantanamo base to Cuba?

Would Obama want to return Guantanamo base to Cuba?

President Barack Obama’s desire to close the prison for terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base is nothing new. It is something he promised in his first year in office and despite all his efforts, he still has not been able to do it.

The president has been smart in moving a number of the terrorists held at the base to countries willing to receive them. At one point the prison housed 780 prisoners U.S. authorities considered a danger to security. Obama ...  

Venezuela’s Long Slide Toward Chaos

Venezuela’s Long Slide Toward Chaos

By Eric Farnsworth

VENEZUELA IS a failing state. Despite having the world’s largest proven hydrocarbon reserves, the nation is bankrupt. Basic consumer goods are scarce or unavailable. Purchasing power is falling fast as a result of the world’s highest inflation rate. The healthcare system is in a state of collapse. Infrastructure is in disrepair. Common crime is out of control as the social order begins to break down. The U.S. alleges leading government figures to be engaged in narcotics trafficking and ...  

Bolivia, tragicomedia en cinco actos

Bolivia, tragicomedia en cinco actos

Por Jaime Aparicio Otero

Durante los últimos meses en Bolivia, una curiosa secuencia de hechos desencadenó la tormenta perfecta que acabó con la pretensión de Evo Morales de cambiar la constitución y reelegirse a la presidencia por cuarta vez. Esta tragicomedia de errores, queacabó con la derrota del gobierno en el referéndum del 21 de febrero,se desarrolla en cinco actos:

Primer acto. La prensa denuncia un insólito caso de corrupción en el proyecto estrella del gobierno, el Fondo Indígena, cuyo objetivo era financiar ...  

<a href="http://acento.com.do/2015/opinion/8270465-danilo-joao-y-odebrecht/">Danilo, Joao y Odebrecht</a>

Danilo, Joao y Odebrecht

Por Antonio Almonte

Pocos años después de la clamorosa victoria electoral del Partido de los Trabajadores (PT) y Lula Da Silva, en el 2003 en Brasil, el periodista Joao Santana inicio un vertiginoso ascenso hasta convertirse en el mercadólogo político más importante de su país y, se dice, de toda América Latina.  …

 

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Videos Featuring Our Experts

Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’

Ambassador Roger Noriega discusses the implications and impact of the president’s visit to Cuba on PBS News Hour

Felipe Trigos habló sobre la visita del presidente Obama a Cuba

Testimony by Ambassador Roger Noriega before House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Latin America in 2015: A Year in Review

Jose Cardenas discusses Cuba's problematic ties abroad at the Center for Security Policy’s 4th Annual Latin America Symposium

Roger Noriega discute las elecciones en Venezuela con Andrés Oppenheimer

Felipe Trigos participa en un debate sobre la posible extradición de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Felipe Trigos habla sobre la fuga de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

U.S. & Cuba reach historic deal: Noriega on Fox News’ ‘Happening Now’

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Opening Statement at Hearing on Colombia and FARC

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Colombia and FARC

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Future of Property Rights in Cuba

Rosa María Payá encara al Secretario General de la OEA

Roger Noriega: "EE.UU. tiene "pruebas" contra funcionarios venezolanos por lavado de dinero y narcotráfico"

Senator Menendez Asks Administration Witness Questions About Cuba Policy

The Future of US Defense Cooperation in Latin America

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Central America Migration Crisis

Felipe Trigos participa en un debate sobre los 2 años de gobierno de Nicolás Maduro

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.