The New and Improved Argentina Is Still a Tricky Place to Invest

The New and Improved Argentina Is Still a Tricky Place to Invest

When Mauricio Macri took over as president of Argentina in December, investors cheered it as a turning point in the nation’s boom-to-bust narrative, a move that would kick-start cash flows back into the South American nation. So why, eight months later, are so many foreigners still sitting on the sidelines?

That’s easy, says Geoffrey Pazzanese, who manages $325 million in emerging-market stocks for Federated Investors Inc. in New York. For all the talk of a more market-friendly Argentina, it’s still pretty ...  

Venezuelan opposition climbs mountain of red tape toward a president recall vote

Venezuelan opposition climbs mountain of red tape toward a president recall vote

This week the Venezuelan opposition took a modest step forward in their effort to unseat President Nicolas Maduro through a recall referendum. But the road ahead is steep and bound to be full of surprises.

“We are sure that it is perfectly possible to hold the referendum this year, but we need a lot of social pressure to force the electoral board to do its job,” said Juan Carlos Caldera, a former lawmaker from the opposition’s Primero Justicia (First Justice).

Caldera was ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro Promotes General Indicted by U.S. on Drug-Trafficking Charges

Venezuela’s Maduro Promotes General Indicted by U.S. on Drug-Trafficking Charges

In an act of defiance, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday appointed as the nation’s top cop a general indicted by the U.S. the day before on drug-trafficking charges.

Mr. Maduro named Gen. Néstor Reverol, the former head of the country’s powerful National Guard and its antidrug agency, as interior and justice minister, in charge of the nation’s police forces.

An indictment against Gen. Reverol for helping to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to the U.S. was unsealed Monday by prosecutors ...  

Colombia destroys 104 cocaine labs in five days as part of crackdown on drug production

Colombia destroys 104 cocaine labs in five days as part of crackdown on drug production

Colombian law enforcement has destroyed 104 cocaine laboratories capable of producing some 100 tonnes of the drug annually, the head of the anti-narcotics police said on Tuesday.

The operation, conducted over five days in the country’s southeastern jungle region, is part of new government strategy focused on combating drug production as well as the cultivation of coca, the base ingredient of cocaine.

“This is a structural blow to the finances of drug trafficking,” anti-narcotics police director General Jose Angel Mendoza said in ...  

Venezuela appoints military general charged by US for drug crimes as cabinet minister

Venezuela appoints military general charged by US for drug crimes as cabinet minister

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has named a military general, who was indicted by the US for abetting cocaine trafficking, as his new interior minister. General Nestor Reverol was reported to be the highest-ranking official from the South American country to be officially accused by the US for a drug crime.

This announcement by Maduro regarding his cabinet reshuffle, which was announced on Tuesday (2 August) on his weekly ‘In Contact With Maduro’ show, might add more tension to the already strained ...  

Guerrilla Pipeline Attack Forces Colombia to Shut In Oilfields

Guerrilla Pipeline Attack Forces Colombia to Shut In Oilfields

Colombia, South America’s third-largest oil exporter, shut in production in at least three oilfields after attacks by Marxist guerrillas blew up one of the country’s main outlets to ship crude.

The attack on the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline, which transports oil to Colombia’s Caribbean coast for export, forced production to be shut at the Cano Limon, Chipiron and Caricare oilfields, according to Humberto Alvarez, an oil workers’ union official who also works in one of the fields. The fields were producing a ...  

Olympics 2016: How Brazil’s grand plan for the Games went from party to disaster

Olympics 2016: How Brazil’s grand plan for the Games went from party to disaster

RIO DE JANEIRO – On Oct. 2, 2009, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio. An impromptu party broke out on Copacabana Beach here, the city government declared the day a holiday for workers, and Brazil’s then-president wept at the news that his country would be able to showcase itself on the global stage.

“Today is the most emotional day in my life, the most exciting day of my life,” then President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ...  

U.S. Charges 2 Venezuelan Officials With Cocaine Smuggling

U.S. Charges 2 Venezuelan Officials With Cocaine Smuggling

U.S. prosecutors unsealed indictments Monday against two high-ranking Venezuelan officials for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the U.S., in the latest setback for the embattled government of President Nicolás Maduro. Prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn unsealed indictments against Gen. Néstor Reverol, the former head of the country’s National Guard and its antidrug agency, and Gen. Edylberto Molina, who was second-in-command to Gen. Reverol at the antidrug agency.

The two men were in charge of the agency—known as the National ...  

Steps forward in Venezuela?

Steps forward in Venezuela?

By Roger F. Noriega

August 2, 2016

The move toward a recall referendum against Venezuela’s president took a step forward — though as always the ruling party may yet take two steps back.

Monday night, the head of Venezuela’s electoral council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) declared that the opposition coalition (Mesa de Unidad Democrática, MUD) had succeeded in collecting approximately twice the 200,000 signatures required to initiate the popular recall of President Nicolás Maduro. The CNE chief also referred to the Ministerio Público ...  

Why Brazil’s Post-Olympics Hangover Will Hit So Hard

Why Brazil’s Post-Olympics Hangover Will Hit So Hard

On the eve of the Rio Olympic Games, host Brazil is struggling through one of the deepest crises in its history. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2009, when the 2016 Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was on a roll. President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva proclaimed:

“Now we are going to show the world we can be a great country.”

And for a time, that almost seemed true for Brazil as its economy bounded ahead and ...  

Fathers of 1994 Bombing Victims in Argentina Keep Pushing for Justice

Fathers of 1994 Bombing Victims in Argentina Keep Pushing for Justice

RIO DE JANEIRO — Relatives of victims of the 1994 attack of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires sought Monday to reopen a criminal complaint against former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accusing her of trying to derail an investigation into the bombing, which killed 85 people.

Lawyers for Luis Czyzewski and Mario Averbuch, the fathers of two women who were killed in the bombing 22 years ago, filed a request with a judge overseeing a related investigation against one of ...  

Nicolás Maduro dismissal threat grows as enough Venezuelans sign petitions

Nicolás Maduro dismissal threat grows as enough Venezuelans sign petitions

Venezuela’s opposition has collected enough signatures to threaten embattled President Nicolás Maduro with the prospect of a recall election that could see him lose power for presiding over a national economic crisis.

The country’s election board has confirmed opposition petitions had been signed by 1% of voters in every state, fulfilling the first major step towards holding a referendum on Maduro’s leadership.

The election board’s head, Tibisay Lucena, said that 98% of nearly 408,000 signatures gathered by the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) ...  

El Salvador says a brutal gang laundered money through motels, brothels, taxis

El Salvador says a brutal gang laundered money through motels, brothels, taxis

SAN SALVADOR — The raids began before dawn. A thousand police fanned out across El Salvador’s wrinkled landscape, busting down doors at used-car lots, intercepting cross-country buses and surprising customers at a drive-in motel called the Three Aces. Authorities seized dozens of businesses, claiming they belonged to the Mara Salvatrucha, the country’s largest gang.

In an extensive operation Thursday that resulted in 77 arrests, 106 seized vehicles and 34 frozen bank accounts, the Salvadoran government targeted the financial holdings of the ...  

Why we should care that Nicaragua is becoming a dictatorship (again)

Why we should care that Nicaragua is becoming a dictatorship (again)

When Daniel Ortega was re-elected president in 2006, I cheered for Nicaragua. When he sidestepped the constitution to get himself re-elected in 2011, I worried for Nicaragua.

And now that he has consolidated authoritarian rule in his bid to become president for life, I am afraid for Nicaragua. Nicaragua is my second country. It’s my muse. My wife’s native land. The place that keeps me up at night.

I moved to Nicaragua in 2004 at age 28, chasing the romantic memory of ...  

Lula, Brazil’s Ex-President, Will Face Trial on Obstruction Charges

Lula, Brazil’s Ex-President, Will Face Trial on Obstruction Charges

RIO DE JANEIRO — Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president who has been one of Brazil’s most towering political figures, will stand trial on charges of obstructing the investigation into the colossal bribery scheme at Petrobras, the national oil company, a federal judge said Friday.

The decision by Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite adds to the mounting legal problems of Mr. da Silva, who was president from 2003 to 2010, a period of robust economic growth in Brazil.

Even as ...  

A Salvadoran Lesson for Colombia

A Salvadoran Lesson for Colombia

Plans for a “peace” agreement between the government of Colombia and the drug-trafficking terrorist organization known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began to show cracks in July when a key rebel unit announced that it would not demobilize. Other FARC units reportedly hold similar positions and are expected to team up with rival guerrilla groups or other crime networks if the deal goes through.

Now the Obama-backed initiative is under more scrutiny because the model it is based ...  

With only 5 days to Olympics, thousands of Brazilians rally for and against Rousseff

With only 5 days to Olympics, thousands of Brazilians rally for and against Rousseff

From the early hours Sunday, thousands of Brazilians have poured into the streets in different states around the country to demonstrate either for or against a political trial that could lead to the impeachment of the country’s suspended head of state, Dilma Rousseff.

In 11 states – Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, the Federal District, Alagoas, Bahia, Maranhao, Minas Gerais, Para, Parana, Pernambuco and Santa Catarina – those against Rousseff demanded that the Senate, where the case is currently being studied, ...  

Nicolás Maduro: políticamente muerto

Nicolás Maduro: políticamente muerto

Por Roger F. Noriega

31/07/2016

Cuando revelé en otoño de 2011 que el ex presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez padecía de cáncer terminal, mi propósito fue alertar al país a prepararse para un cambio trascendental. Hoy me permito hacer lo mismo: el régimen de Nicolás Maduro tiene los días contados. Aceptarlo y dar lugar a una transición democrática le ahorraría más sufrimiento e inestabilidad social a los venezolanos. La administración del presidente Obama podría registrar su logro más significativo en las Américas ...  

Venezuela’s President Maduro: ‘Dead man walking’

Venezuela’s President Maduro: ‘Dead man walking’

When I revealed in 2011 that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez’s cancer was terminal, my purpose was to alert the country to prepare for momentous change. So, I do that again today: The regime of Nicolás Maduro is doomed.

Managing his early departure and a democratic transition could spare Venezuelans further suffering and political turmoil. The Obama aministration could record its most momentous achievement in the Americas merely by counseling Maduro to weigh his options.

Maduro’s future is shackled to a collapsing economy, ...  

Venezuela was once an aviation gateway to South America. Now it’s an outcast.

Venezuela was once an aviation gateway to South America. Now it’s an outcast.

Perched on a coastal plain at the very northern tip of South America, Caracas’s Simón Bolívar International Airport was once the aviation gateway to the continent.

Charles Lindbergh scouted the airport’s location in 1929, according to Venezuelan aviation lore, and by 1959, Pan Am was routing its New York-Buenos Aires flights with a stop in Caracas. By the late 1970s, Venezuela was so rich in oil wealth that Concorde jets were swooping in to whisk shoppers off to Paris.

These days, the ...  

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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.