American Airlines trims Cuba schedule, cites weak demand

American Airlines trims Cuba schedule, cites weak demand

American Airlines is reducing capacity to Cuba, a cutback that comes just months after U.S. carriers rushed to start regular service there amid loosening travel restrictions between the nations.

American will not drop any of its recently launched routes to Cuba, but will instead drop one of the two daily flights that it currently flies between Miami and each of the Cuban cities of Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero.

American’s schedule to Havana – which launched just this week – is not ...  

Thousands in Brazil Protest Gutting of Anticorruption Measures

Thousands in Brazil Protest Gutting of Anticorruption Measures

RIO DE JANEIRO — Thousands of protesters fanned out on the streets of Brazilian cities on Sunday to voice indignation with political leaders who are trying to stymie anticorruption investigations.

The protesters focused much of their ire on the politicians at the helm of Brazil’s scandal-ridden Congress, including Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house, and Renan Calheiros, the powerful head of the Senate, after lawmakers gutted an anticorruption bill last week.

That move touched a nerve among many people in ...  

How should we memorialize Castro? By freeing Cuba.

How should we memorialize Castro? By freeing Cuba.

The death of a dictator, not his final memorial, is — and should be — a happy occasion for the people who have suffered his rule. It’s why no one should celebrate the life of Fidel Castro when he is finally laid to rest Sunday.

Instead, we should mark the day reminding ourselves how Castro got the better of us, freedom-loving Cubans, and understanding that his death didn’t end his reign of terror.

Because we shouldn’t kid ourselves: Castro’s departure — long ...  

Argentina shakes off the economic blues as a Macri trade takes shape

Argentina shakes off the economic blues as a Macri trade takes shape

Slowly but surely, Argentina is emerging from its deep economic slump and shaking off the effects of a historic sovereign debt default that earned it a reputation as an investment pariah.

As President Mauricio Macri wraps up his first full year in office this month, the Latin-American economy is projected to pull itself out of an economic tailspin. This week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated Argentina will grow by nearly 3 percent next year, and 3.4 percent in ...  

Michael McCaul proposes ‘security toll’ on Mexico to fund Donald Trump’s border wall

Michael McCaul proposes ‘security toll’ on Mexico to fund Donald Trump’s border wall

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul on Friday proposed a new “security toll” he said the U.S. could assess on all visitors from Mexico, with the money going to fund President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall.

Mr. McCaul, who is auditioning for Homeland Security secretary in the Trump administration, also said in a commentary on Foxnews.com that other Latin American countries’ visitors should pay the fee, given that illegal immigrants from Central America have overtaken Mexicans as the majority ...  

México y Trump, una relación difícil pero no imposible

México y Trump, una relación difícil pero no imposible

Por Felipe Trigos

Para México, la victoria de Donald Trump cayó como un balde de agua fría. Pocos creyeron que la retórica aislacionista, xenófoba y nativista del candidato republicano pudiera generar suficientes adeptos para ganar la elección del 8 de noviembre. 

No obstante, México debe pasar de la incredulidad a la toma de decisiones que protejan los intereses del país y que busquen que la relación bilateral, una de las más importantes en el mundo, pueda ...  

Mercosur ‘suspends Venezuela over trade and human rights’

Mercosur ‘suspends Venezuela over trade and human rights’

The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela for failing to meet basic trade and human rights standards, officials say.

Founding members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay made the decision after concluding Venezuela had not incorporated all Mercosur accords into national law, Brazilian sources say.

The suspension is expected to be officially confirmed later in Friday. Venezuela has said some Mercosur rules conflict with domestic legislation. In September the bloc gave the Venezuela until 1 December to fully put its charter ...  

Hurdles Remain for New Colombia Peace Deal With FARC Guerrillas

Hurdles Remain for New Colombia Peace Deal With FARC Guerrillas

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos scored a big victory in getting a revamped peace deal with the communist guerrillas passed through Congress, but faces a tough road ahead in implementing the pact and winning over the majority of Colombians who voted against an earlier version of it.

Legislators late Wednesday overrode opposition from former President Álvaro Uribe to overwhelmingly approve an agreement ending the 52-year conflict between the 6,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the government, which has claimed hundreds ...  

Venezuela’s currency is in ‘free fall’

Venezuela’s currency is in ‘free fall’

Venezuela’s currency continues to collapse. Just in November, the bolivar has lost 55% of its value.

It’s the latest sign of Venezuela’s extreme economic, political and humanitarian crisis. Sky high food prices — or massive shortages of basic food and medicine — have plagued Venezuelans for years and have gotten worse this year. Inflation in Venezuela is expected to rise 1,660% next year, according to the IMF. The country has been in recession for three years now.

One dollar fetched 1,567 bolivars ...  

Fact Check: Justin Trudeau’s claim that Castro made ‘significant improvements’ to Cuban health care and education

Fact Check: Justin Trudeau’s claim that Castro made ‘significant improvements’ to Cuban health care and education

“A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, statement on the death of Fidel Castro, Nov. 26, 2016

In his surprisingly warm statement on the death of the Cuban dictator, the Canadian prime minister referenced what he called “significant improvements” in education and health care in Cuba under Fidel Castro. This is a commonly cited sentiment about Castro’s Cuba — that despite ...  

Ambassador to Trump: ‘Mexico is not the enemy’

Ambassador to Trump: ‘Mexico is not the enemy’

PHOENIX — If President-elect Donald Trump follows through with his campaign promise to build a border wall that Mexico will pay for, he can expect to run into a wall of his own: the Mexican government.

Mexico’s top diplomat to the U.S. says there is no way Mexico will pay for the wall. Not only that, a wall would send a “negative” message that would undermine years of economic and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries that contrary to public perception ...  

Venezuela’s PdVSA Missed A Payment: So What?

Venezuela’s PdVSA Missed A Payment: So What?

Venezuela’s oil giant PdVSA was late on a coupon payment for its 2035 bonds and provided no explanation for it. The market quickly saw it as a solvency issue, bond prices fell, Nicolas Maduro, the country’s beleaguered president, threatened to sue J.P. Morgan for leaking the news about the missed due date. What is to be expected, really? This is a CCC rated debt within a hair trigger alert of default. Yet, if anyone thinks that PdVSA will fold, they ...  

Moise says he’s ready for tests facing Haiti

Moise says he’s ready for tests facing Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The political newcomer chosen to lead deeply divided Haiti for the next five years says he’s eager to improve the lives of desperately poor families in the long-neglected countryside and bring steady economic advances to one of the least developed nations in the world.

Jovenel Moise, an upbeat entrepreneur, said reviving the economically blighted countryside where almost 80 percent of households farm is one of his major goals. He described the rural poor as the backbone of his ...  

Trump and Cuba: A murky future

Trump and Cuba: A murky future

The death of Fidel Castro has reignited the debate over President Obama’s opening with Cuba, with hard-liners renewing their calls for President-elect Donald Trump to revisit the decision to normalize diplomatic relations.

Critics of the Obama policy, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), argue that travel and trade with Cuba will only serve to enrich the Castro government despite its history of human rights abuses.

“We’re going to re-examine everything the president has done, and figure out what’s the right thing to do,” ...  

Colombian Senate backs new Farc peace deal

Colombian Senate backs new Farc peace deal

Colombia’s Senate has approved a revised peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group, the Farc. The first agreement was narrowly rejected in a referendum last month.

President Juan Manuel Santos says the new proposals are stronger and take into account the changes demanded by opponents of the scheme.

Those opponents, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, say the revised deal is still too lenient on Farc leaders. The revised agreement now goes to the lower house of Congress for approval. …

CLICK ...  

In the world’s 2nd-biggest cocaine producer, narco traffickers are expanding their influence

In the world’s 2nd-biggest cocaine producer, narco traffickers are expanding their influence

Drug trafficking from Peruvian ports has risen in recent years as criminal networks groom dockworkers to smuggle packets of cocaine into shipping containers, the country’s new anti-narcotics agency, Devida, said on Monday.

Some 90 dockworkers in Peru have been killed in the past two years in crimes believed to have been linked to smuggling, said Devida’s president, Carmen Masias.

Traffickers lure dockworkers by getting them hooked on drugs or offering lavish pay to gain access to ships bound for ports around the ...  

Venezuela Will Haunt Oil Long After Vienna

Venezuela Will Haunt Oil Long After Vienna

At this point, the army of frazzled journalists hanging out in hotel lobbies in Vienna just want an announcement from OPEC. Any announcement.Venezuela’s officials can’t be so sanguine. Any number of economic measures can illustrate why one of OPEC’s original founding five wants some old-style cartel action to cut supply and lift oil prices. But this one of real GDP per capita does the job:

Venezuela’s real GDP per capita has gone from its highest in 3 decades to almost its ...  

Peru’s new leader champions trade in the Trump era

Peru’s new leader champions trade in the Trump era

Peru’s new president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is gearing up for the challenges posed by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. His crammed desk is piled with books such as The Populist Deception, along with Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle.

Uppermost in his mind is the threat of rising protectionism. Hosting this year’s Apec summit in Lima this November, the former World Bank economist emerged as Latin America’s champion of free trade.

“In the US and Britain, ...  

Businessman Moise wins Haiti election in first round: provisional results

Businessman Moise wins Haiti election in first round: provisional results

Haitians have chosen banana exporter Jovenel Moise as their next president, provisional results released by the election council on Monday showed, with the political novice winning a majority and avoiding a second round runoff.

Moise won 55.67 percent of the vote in the Nov. 20 election, the electoral council said, a majority that means the impoverished Caribbean nation will avoid a runoff and a political void, so long as the losing candidates do not contest the result.

“We want to salute the ...  

Colombia’s Peace Puzzle

Colombia’s Peace Puzzle

Beyond the whirlwind of U.S. politics, Colombian officials are racing to deal with another unexpected election result—the failure of Colombia’s October 2 plebiscite on a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Two piquant questions arise—how to make the accord palatable to those who voted it down, and how to get a new version approved. For now, the answer to both is to leave it to Colombia’s congress. That may be the most expedient way, but ...  

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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

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.