Venezuelans’ Chance to Cast Off Chavismo

Venezuelans’ Chance to Cast Off Chavismo

Venezuela held elections on Sunday for all 167 seats in its national assembly. The unicameral legislature, which is renewed every five years, has been in the control of Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution for more than 15 years. As we went to press official results had not been announced but this time opposition parties were confident that they had sufficient popular support to wrest majority control from the chavistas.

Yet Venezuela hasn’t held a fair, transparent election in more than a decade, ...  

Latin America’s Red Tide Washing Away Fast

Latin America’s Red Tide Washing Away Fast

Red Tide: It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of Brazil’s, Venezuela’s, or other Latin countries’ internal political strife. But there’s a broad, unmistakable trend out there: The region’s socialist rule is collapsing as the cash runs out. That’s quite a change, given that in 2011, President Obama made Brazil the first stop on his first trip to Latin America, posing for glamorous pictures and hailing the country and its president, Dilma Rousseff, as the wave of the future.

He came ...  

President for Life? It Will Be Possible in Ecuador in 2021

President for Life? It Will Be Possible in Ecuador in 2021

Ecuador’s national legislature has approved a constitutional amendment that will force President Rafael Correa to sit out the 2017 election but could allow the charismatic leftist to resume his grip on power indefinitely from 2021. The vote on Thursday sparked protests outside the legislature in the capital, Quito, by opponents who regard the abrasive leader as a threat to democracy because of his track record of harassing critics and concentrating power in his own hands.

Some of the demonstrators used sticks ...  

Her Time Is Up, but Argentina’s President Is Not Going Quietly

Her Time Is Up, but Argentina’s President Is Not Going Quietly

BUENOS AIRES — In her last days in office, she has appointed ambassadors and signed decrees that will drain federal coffers. Her political appointees refuse to resign. She has even antagonized her successor with stinging remarks at public appearances.

After eight years as president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner clears out her office at the presidential palace on Thursday. But far from preparing the ground for Mauricio Macri, the president-elect, she is obstructing the transition in a final show of muscle, observers ...  

17 years after socialist revolution, power shifts in Venezuela

17 years after socialist revolution, power shifts in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide, stunning the ruling party and altering the balance of power 17 years after the late Hugo Chavez kicked off the nation’s socialist revolution.

The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the incoming 167-seat legislature, electoral authorities announced after midnight Sunday. The ruling socialist party won 46 seats. The 22 remaining races remain up for grabs but if enough are won by the opposition it could ...  

Venezuela ‘Spiraling Further into Crisis’ Ahead of Elections

Venezuela ‘Spiraling Further into Crisis’ Ahead of Elections

Venezuela’s ruling socialist party is expected to suffer significant losses in the country’s parliamentary elections on Sunday but is unlikely to relinquish power, analysts say, an outcome that could lead to more instability and violence in the impoverished nation.

Since the authoritarian leader Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, the socialists have maintained public support through subsidies financed by the country’s vast oil reserves. However, low crude prices and years of economic mismanagement by the socialists have caught ...  

Here’s How Venezuela’s Economy Has Tanked Under President Maduro

Here’s How Venezuela’s Economy Has Tanked Under President Maduro

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has kept his promise to “radicalize” the socialist revolution begun by the late Hugo Chavez. And voters are not happy. The dire state of the economy is on their minds as polls show the opposition taking Congress for the first time in 16 years in Sunday elections. Since taking office in 2013, Maduro has flouted the most basic economic principles from heavy state intervention to doubling down on currency controls. In five charts, we show the damage his ...  

Macri’s Argentina Election Signals Rightward Shift in Latin America

Macri’s Argentina Election Signals Rightward Shift in Latin America

When Venezuela’s charismatic revolutionary, the late Hugo Chavez, won the presidential election in his country for the first time in 1998, he launched a new political era in Latin America. For the next 17 years, leftist politicians—many of them emerging from humble beginnings, as Chavez had—rose to power through democratic means in a region where that path had seldom been successful for the left or the poor. Chavez’s model of modified socialist economics and modified democratic governance soon spread to ...  

Venezuela’s socialist party risks unprecedented defeat

Venezuela’s socialist party risks unprecedented defeat

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelans are stockpiling food and putting off plans as the South American country brims with excitement and dread ahead of elections that could hand the opposition control of congress for the first time since 1998. A loss would end a 17-year chain of electoral victories that the socialist movement founded by Hugo Chavez has often used to defend itself against allegations that it’s undemocratic.

Polls show the opposition coalition holding a 30 point lead, buoyed by voters defecting ...  

Brazil Declares War on Itself

Brazil Declares War on Itself

Brazil is in a bad way. The economy, already in deep recession, is possibly sliding into outright depression, according to Goldman Sachs. The public deficit and inflation are rising, and Congress is quarreling the country into insolvency. So you might expect its political leaders to drop their fists and rally for the national interest. Brazilians should be so lucky.

President Dilma Rousseff did, in fact, call her closest aides for an unscheduled meeting in Brasilia on Wednesday, but the national interest ...  

Venezuela’s crumbling alliances

Venezuela’s crumbling alliances

For a long time, and more or less without getting involved , the international community watched as the Venezuelan government nationalized the media, filled just about every key government position with party members, imprisoned hopeful opposition politicians or excluded them from elections by coming up with dubious accusations over the past 15 years. Only the US exerted any kind of concrete pressure, for the most part in the form of travel restrictions for Venezuelan politicians.

But Latin American governments and supranational ...  

Protests as Ecuador lifts presidential term limits

Protests as Ecuador lifts presidential term limits

Quito (AFP) – Ecuador’s Congress voted overwhelmingly to lift presidential term limits from 2021, triggering violent demonstrations that saw police attacked with spears, clubs and home-made rockets. Ecuador now joins fellow leftist-led Latin American nations Venezuela and Nicaragua in allowing multiple re-elections. After nine hours of debate, and opposition protests in the streets of Quito and other cities, the legislature — dominated by supporters of President Rafael Correa — voted 100-8 in favor of the constitutional amendments.

While the legislature barred ...  

Venezuela can have free, fair elections

Venezuela can have free, fair elections

By Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK & President Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain

Venezuela must release political prisoners and ensure free and fair elections. In the history of political thought, and for true democrats, Montesquieu is a central figure. The separation of powers was critical to the spread of democracy.

The independence of the judiciary, freedom of opinion and expression and respect for universal suffrage are also inextricably linked to Western political culture, and therefore to all of Latin America. In fact, one of ...  

Venezuela’s economic crisis dominates all as key vote approaches

Venezuela’s economic crisis dominates all as key vote approaches

SAN JUAN DE LOS MORROS, VENEZUELA - Misael León still believes in Venezuela. Standing in the muggy shade on his farm, the native of Medellín, Colombia, said he’s optimistic that someday, someone’s going to fix his adopted country. León has had a bad run of it lately – the same run that’s brought this resource-rich nation to its knees. He describes life as a fight for survival. He struggles to find food for his family. One of the first words out ...  

Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, Faces Prospect of Impeachment

Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, Faces Prospect of Impeachment

RIO DE JANEIRO — The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress agreed Wednesday to start impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, raising pressure on the beleaguered leader at a time when she is grappling with a severe economic downturn and a colossal graft scandal in her government.

The move by Eduardo Cunha, the House speaker, who is himself battling charges in a bribery scheme, opens a new phase of uncertainty in Brazil. A vote in Congress on whether to impeach ...  

As Elections Approach, Venezuela Is a Crime Scene Out of Control

As Elections Approach, Venezuela Is a Crime Scene Out of Control

CARACAS — It didn’t matter to officer Kevin Valera that his new love, Jenniree, already had a daughter, he had always wanted to have children. So he treated little Ashley like his own and to her he simply was daddy. Then Kevin and Jenniree had a baby boy in February this year. On September 17th, after going out for groceries, the couple came home to El Cementerio, an ominously named slum in the western part of Caracas. Jenniree had little ...  

Winds Of Change In Argentina: New President Appoints Experienced Team

Winds Of Change In Argentina: New President Appoints Experienced Team

“Buenos Aires,” the name of the Argentine capital, translates into “Good Airs” or “Good Breezes.” The hot summer days that are approaching in this South American city are not particularly appealing, but the recent election of Mauricio Macri to the presidency, is making many feel that they are in a political spring. Some observers are forecasting that the election signals the end of populism. “XXIst Century Socialists,” on the other hand, argue that the election is a partial set back ...  

Venezuela oil slide threatens Maduro’s grip on power

Venezuela oil slide threatens Maduro’s grip on power

Caracas (AFP) – With global oil prices in a prolonged slump, late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s vision of “21st-century socialism” is in trouble both at home and abroad. The movement Chavez founded risks losing control of the National Assembly in legislative elections Sunday, even as Venezuela’s sway over its fellow Latin American nations dwindles under the late leftist firebrand’s successor, Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez, who died of cancer in 2013, ruled Venezuela for 14 years with a mix of authoritarianism and charisma, ...  

Brazil opens impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff

Brazil opens impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff

The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of congress, Eduardo Cunha, said on Wednesday he had accepted an opposition motion to open impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Opposition parties seeking to unseat Rousseff filed the request in September. They accuse the unpopular president of violating Brazil’s fiscal responsibility laws and manipulating government finances to benefit her reelection last year.

A special committee with members from all parties will decide on the merits of the request, which then needs two-thirds, or 342, ...  

Declaración de Jeb Bush sobre las elecciones en Venezuela

Declaración de Jeb Bush sobre las elecciones en Venezuela

“En vez de defender la democracia, elecciones libres y el imperio de la ley en Venezuela, el presidente Obama y la secretaria Clinton han consentido a dictadores como Chávez y Maduro, cuyos regímenes de criminalidad, corrupción y narcotráfico amenazan a Venezuela, al hemisferio y a nuestros intereses. Los ojos del mundo estarán puestos este domingo en Venezuela, donde los ciudadanos de ese país buscan superar la campaña de intimidación y criminalidad del régimen de Maduro y demandar mejores oportunidades para ...  

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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.