US/Cuba: Credibility of Obama Policy on the Line

US/Cuba: Credibility of Obama Policy on the Line

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama should call for concrete measures to end systematic repression in Cuba during his visit to Havana from March 20 to 22, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today.

President Obama is expected to meet with both President Raul Castro and government critics, address Cubans live on state television, and attend an exhibition baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays, presumably with President Castro. Announcing the trip on February 18, ...  

Latin America’s sweeping anti-corruption broom

Latin America’s sweeping anti-corruption broom

In her latest book on corruption, “The Quest for Good Governance,” Berlin-based professor Alina Mungiu-Pippidi writes that the demand for honest and fair leaders has never been greater, especially since 2010 when social media really began to enable activists. It is not difficult to spot this trend in Latin America, a corner of the world where integrity in government was once least expected.

In the past three years, anti-corruption movements have turned politics upside down in Brazil, Mexico, and Guatemala. And ...  

Ex-President ‘Lula’ Joins Brazil’s Cabinet, Gaining Legal Shield

Ex-President ‘Lula’ Joins Brazil’s Cabinet, Gaining Legal Shield

RIO DE JANEIRO — Faced with multiple corruption investigations, Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is joining the cabinet of his successor, Dilma Rousseff, in a move that may offer him increased legal protections but intensifies the political upheaval in Latin America’s largest country.

Mr. da Silva, 70, will become Ms. Rousseff’s chief of staff, said Afonso Florence, the leader of the governing Workers’ Party in the Chamber of Deputies.

Mr. da Silva, a founder of the Workers’ Party and ...  

Venezuela: Will opposition’s push for Maduro resignation gain traction?

Venezuela: Will opposition’s push for Maduro resignation gain traction?

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — When Venezuela’s political opposition defeated the ruling socialist party in last year’s legislative elections, many here hoped economic relief would soon follow. But Marcelino Campos, a bus driver and staunch socialist party supporter, says his belief that the opposition victory would “push the government to take action” on triple-digit inflation and shortages of basic goods has so far failed to materialize.

The opposition is “only interested in power, in removing the president and taking control of the government,” ...  

Brazil corruption: Is the government in crisis?

Brazil corruption: Is the government in crisis?

Millions of Brazilians took to the streets in nationwide anti-government protests on 13 March. Police figures suggest a record 3.5 million people demonstrated in more than 300 cities across the country. Many of them had wrapped themselves in the Brazilian flag and said they wanted “their country back”.

They also called for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and an end to corruption. Here we take a closer look at the problems besetting ...  

Luis Almagro quiere recuperar papel central de la OEA

Luis Almagro quiere recuperar papel central de la OEA

WASHINGTON - Ser llamado “basura” por el presidente de Venezuela resultó reconfortante para Luis Almagro.

El nuevo secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) había advertido al gobierno venezolano en noviembre que no tratara de manipular las cruciales elecciones del mes siguiente por medio de encarcelar a sus oponentes. Afirmó que la muerte de un líder de oposición era una indicación de que la democracia venezolana tenía graves problemas.

El presidente venezolano Nicolás Maduro atacó a Almagro “por meterse en nuestros ...  

Peru’s Presidential Race Is Facing Turmoil After a Key Candidate Is Barred From Running

Peru’s Presidential Race Is Facing Turmoil After a Key Candidate Is Barred From Running

Peru’s presidential elections are at risk of descending into turmoil after the electoral authorities pulled the second-placed candidate from the contest on a minor technicality, just one month before the vote.

Center-right policy wonk Julio Guzmán had recently emerged as the only contender capable of challenging runaway frontrunner Keiko Fujimori, who is campaigning on the controversial hard-right legacy of her father, jailed 1990s president Alberto Fujimori.

Opinion polls indicate she has the support of between 30 percent and 35 percent of the ...  

As The Olympics Loom, Brazil Lurches From One Crisis To The Next

As The Olympics Loom, Brazil Lurches From One Crisis To The Next

A few short years ago, Brazil was soaring. Its economy was on the upswing and the country was preparing for the international spotlight with the 2014 World Cup.

But now, as it gets ready to host the Summer Olympics this August, Brazil is mired in political crisis and economic turmoil, and is plagued by the worsening Zika virus. Over the weekend, more than a million demonstrators hit the streets to protest against the government and demand the president’s resignation.

What happened?

Political Crisis

There ...  

Obama concerned about Venezuela’s struggling economy

Obama concerned about Venezuela’s struggling economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama, in an interview that aired on Monday, voiced concern about the struggling Venezuelan economy and said he did not want to see the country fail despite the tense relations between Washington and Caracas.

“It’s not in America’s interest to see Venezuela fail, because if Venezuela fails then that could have an impact on the economies of Colombia or Central America or Mexico, and that in turn can affect U.S. economies,” Obama told CNN Espanol.

A ...  

Colombia’s FARC rebels say talks stalled over truce

Colombia’s FARC rebels say talks stalled over truce

Havana (AFP) – Colombia’s FARC rebels said Monday peace talks with the government are stalled over the issue of a bilateral ceasefire, the latest snag in a bid to end five decades of conflict. Speaking after both sides acknowledged that a March 23 deadline they had set themselves would likely pass without the signing of a final accord, FARC negotiator Carlos Lozada said the talks were stumbling over the details of an eventual truce.

The Marxist guerrillas have been observing a ...  

Protesters Across Brazil Call for President Dilma Rousseff’s Ouster

Protesters Across Brazil Call for President Dilma Rousseff’s Ouster

RIO DE JANEIRO — Protesters in cities across Brazil called for the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday, reflecting rising anger in the country over huge corruption scandals and a deepening economic crisis.

It was the fifth time in the past year that groups had mobilized large numbers of demonstrators — thousands both here and in São Paulo — for protests in the streets against the governing leftist Workers’ Party. The movement regained momentum this month after investigators targeted Luiz ...  

Waiting for Obama in Havana

Waiting for Obama in Havana

By José R. Cárdenas

3/14/2016

It comes as no surprise that preparations for President Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba later this month have not gone smoothly. First, Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to cancel his own trip prior to the President’s, due to the regime’s intransigence over his meeting with dissidents and human rights activists. Then, The New York Times reported that the White House found itself in a similar situation, haggling with Cuban officials over which members of those ...  

Uruguayan diplomat Luis Almagro makes OAS a player, again

Uruguayan diplomat Luis Almagro makes OAS a player, again

WASHINGTON - Being called “trash” by the Venezuelan president was reassuring to Luis Almagro.

The new head of the Organization of American States, Almagro warned the Venezuelan government in November against trying to rig crucial elections the following month by throwing opponents in jail. He called the slaying of an opposition leader an indication that Venezuelan democracy was in serious trouble.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro lashed out at Almagro “for meddling in our affairs.” He referred to the Uruguayan diplomat as a piece ...  

Haiti’s politicians are the ones accountable in election chaos

Haiti’s politicians are the ones accountable in election chaos

By Roger Noriega

03/13/2016

Despite decades of engagement by the United States, the United Nations and international donors in Haiti, a democratically elected and accountable government has eluded that country for most of the last 30 years. Although Haitians have a right to expect their government to serve the common good, too many powerful Haitians prefer old-style politics in which street violence can derail democracy.

Unless the international community takes a stronger hand, Haiti will never break out of the cycle of dependency ...  

Who should Obama meet with in Cuba? Marco Rubio has some ideas.

Who should Obama meet with in Cuba? Marco Rubio has some ideas.

TAMPA — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) doesn’t want President Obama to visit Cuba this month, but he has some ideas about whom he should meet while on the island.

The Republican presidential candidate hopes that Obama meets with the Ladies in White, the wives of political prisoners or people killed by the Castro regime who march every Sunday after church in Havana and elsewhere. He also wants Obama to meet with Marta Beatriz Roque, a dissident economist who leads the Cuban ...  

Strong Brazil Protest Turnout Casts Doubt on Rousseff Future

Strong Brazil Protest Turnout Casts Doubt on Rousseff Future

More than one million people marched through cities across Brazil on Sunday to protest political corruption, a weak economy, and to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, in a showing that could accelerate efforts to remove her from office.

The protest in Sao Paulo was the largest ever recorded by polling firm Datafolha, surpassing even the 1984 rallies to demand direct presidential elections following the military dictatorship. Other cities also had record turnout, and the 100,000 people in capital ...  

Cuban concerns over Venezuela’s economic woes

Cuban concerns over Venezuela’s economic woes

“Viva Cienfuegos! Viva the refinery! Viva Fidel!” shouted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez into the microphone. It was December 2007.

A lean, upbeat President Chavez was at the height of his powers. Dressed in his traditional red guayabera, he was in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos to inaugurate a refurbished oil refinery, a joint venture between Cuba and Venezuela. The socialist leader heralded the energy project as the jewel in the crown of their bilateral relationship, and testament to his close personal friendship ...  

‘You won’t get rid of me!’ Venezuela’s Maduro tells foes

‘You won’t get rid of me!’ Venezuela’s Maduro tells foes

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro insisted on Thursday his opponents would fail in a new push to oust him this year and end 17 years of socialist rule in the OPEC nation.

Having won control of the National Assembly in a vote at the end of 2015, the energized opposition alliance has launched a multi-pronged campaign to remove Maduro via street rallies, a recall referendum and a constitutional amendment.

The first protest march is planned for Saturday in Caracas. Speaking on state TV, ...  

Electoral Council Strikes No. 2 Candidate From Peru Race

Electoral Council Strikes No. 2 Candidate From Peru Race

Peru’s electoral council on Wednesday barred the main challenger to front-runner Keiko Fujimori from the country’s April 10 presidential election on a technicality. It voided economist Julio Guzman’s candidacy by a vote of 3-2, claiming the mechanism by which his party chose him violated its own internal rules.

Political analysts called the ruling petty and arcane and noted that never before in Peruvian history had a candidate been so stricken from a presidential race. Critics claiming political chicanery noted that no ...  

Lula Dealt Blow as Brazil Prosecutors Charge Him Over Assets

Lula Dealt Blow as Brazil Prosecutors Charge Him Over Assets

Brazilian prosecutors dealt another blow to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, accusing him of hiding assets from authorities just days after a separate probe unleashed a new round of political turmoil in the country.

The Sao Paulo state prosecutor’s press office on Wednesday confirmed the charges, declining to provide additional details. Newspaper O Globo reported they are for money laundering and hiding assets, such as ownership of a seaside triplex apartment in the city of Guaruja. Prosecutors will hold ...  

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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.