<a href="http://bloom.bg/1NsCHG7">Exxon’s $40 Billion Oil Discovery Sparks a Nasty Feud</a>

Exxon’s $40 Billion Oil Discovery Sparks a Nasty Feud

For generations, Venezuela has formally laid claim to most of its tiny neighbor, Guyana. Many dismissed the case, given Venezuela’s oil wealth and Guyana’s penury. Hugo Chavez, longstanding president of Venezuela, even let it slide, referring to the Guyanese as his brothers. …

 

<a href="http://bit.ly/1L6vvPP">Rafael Correa’s Citizen Revolution Faces Its Biggest Protest Yet</a>

Rafael Correa’s Citizen Revolution Faces Its Biggest Protest Yet

Ecuadorian trade unions and indigenous groups are in final preparations for a massive nationwide strike on Thursday, August 13. Their objective is to have President Rafael Correa rectify his various policy proposals, including his plans to impose new taxes on inheritance and capital gains, which have led to a wave of protests for the past 45 consecutive days. …

 

<a href="http://yhoo.it/1P6APDB">Observers criticize unruly Haiti elections</a>

Observers criticize unruly Haiti elections

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – International observers and Haitian human rights groups on Tuesday sharply criticized the country’s violence-marred legislative elections as poorly policed and organized. …

 

<a href="http://hrld.us/1NqgsAT">Ecuador protesters could complicate Correa’s reelection plans</a>

Ecuador protesters could complicate Correa’s reelection plans

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - Thousands of indigenous marchers are expected to descend on Ecuador’s capital Wednesday to kick-off a national strike that could be a turning point for the administration and the opposition. …

 

<a href="http://nyti.ms/1JTP2Ex">El Salvador Cracks Down on Crime, but Gangs Remain Unbowed</a>

El Salvador Cracks Down on Crime, but Gangs Remain Unbowed

SAN SALVADOR — Seven bus drivers are killed in four days. A morgue worker slowly counts 224 stab wounds on a murder victim. Police officers post memorials to slain comrades and photographs of “eliminated” suspects on Facebook.

 

<a href="http://nyti.ms/1JcAAIQ">As Mexico Arrests Kingpins, Cartels Splinter and Violence Spikes</a>

As Mexico Arrests Kingpins, Cartels Splinter and Violence Spikes

CHILAPA, Mexico — For nearly a week, gun-toting masked men loyal to a local drug gang overran this small city along a key smuggling route. Police officers and soldiers stood by as the gunmen patrolled the streets, searching for rivals and hauling off at least 14 men who have not been seen since.

 

<a href="http://cnb.cx/1NqddJv">Moody’s cuts Brazil rating but says investment grade is safe</a>

Moody’s cuts Brazil rating but says investment grade is safe

Moody’s Investors Service cut Brazil’s credit rating to near-junk status on Tuesday but said the country’s coveted investment grade status is safe for now, proving some relief to investors and the government of President Dilma Rousseff. …

 

<a href="http://bloom.bg/1HGeA1L">Ravaged by Oil’s Collapse, Venezuela Now Has a Big Gold Problem</a>

Ravaged by Oil’s Collapse, Venezuela Now Has a Big Gold Problem

Venezuela now has a gold problem. The South American country, which is trying to stave off a bond default in the wake of oil’s swoon, had 68 percent of its international reserves in bullion as of August, according to the World Gold Council. That’s a big worry because the price of the precious metal has tumbled 15 percent from this year’s high in January as the global slump in commodities deepened. …

 

<a href="http://abcn.ws/1hxHDjc">AP Exclusive: Cuba Dissidents Won’t Attend US Embassy Event</a>

AP Exclusive: Cuba Dissidents Won’t Attend US Embassy Event

The Obama administration doesn’t plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus from the island’s opposition to its single-party government. Instead, Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said. …

 

<a href="http://bit.ly/1HENs3g">Venezuela’s opposition leader Daniel Ceballos granted house arrest</a>

Venezuela’s opposition leader Daniel Ceballos granted house arrest

A Venezuelan court on Tuesday agreed to move to house arrest opposition leader Daniel Ceballos, who has been imprisoned for more than a year. …

 

<a href="http://on.wsj.com/1h0AUOH">Brazil Authorities Detail U.S. Link in Petrobras Case</a>

Brazil Authorities Detail U.S. Link in Petrobras Case

RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilian authorities leading an investigation into a massive corruption scandal at state-run oil firm Petróleo Brasileiro SA have for the first time detailed suspected wrongdoing on U.S. soil. …

 

<a href="http://bloom.bg/1MiqlBW">Brazil’s Real Leads Global Declines as Stocks Retreat on China</a>

Brazil’s Real Leads Global Declines as Stocks Retreat on China

Brazil’s real led world losses and the Ibovespa slid as China’s currency devaluation fueled concern that demand from the nation’s top trading partner will falter. …

 

<a href="http://bit.ly/1WfVRoR">Clinton and US envoy to Colombia peace talks urge Uribe to end resistance</a>

Clinton and US envoy to Colombia peace talks urge Uribe to end resistance

Former US President Bill Clinton and the country’s special envoy to Colombia’s peace talks reportedly asked former president Alvaro Uribe to stop resisting a possible peace with rebel group FARC. …

 

<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/08/11/brazils-political-crisis-has-created-a-bottomless-pit-for-economy/2/">Brazil’s Political Crisis Has Created A Bottomless Pit For Economy</a>

Brazil’s Political Crisis Has Created A Bottomless Pit For Economy

An impeachment process is now more likely than it was a few months ago, but it is not the base case among investment houses, says Joao Ribeiro, a fixed income analyst at Nomura Securities in New York. The substitution of Dilma could help temporarily fix the political crisis and improve sentiment among foreign investors who don’t understand the nuances of Brazilian politics. More likely, an impeachment process will carry more political uncertainties surrounding PMDB and its involvement in the Petrobras ...  

Venezuela: Rise of a narcostate

Venezuela: Rise of a narcostate

By Roger F. Noriega

Venezuela is a narcostate, controlled by senior political leaders and security officials who have used state resources and state-owned companies in the cocaine trade. For example, US authorities have gathered documents and eyewitness testimonies implicating officers of the state-run oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), in engaging in transactions and money laundering on behalf of cocaine smugglers within the government. Sources also have informed US authorities that the campaigns of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela ...  

<a href="http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=93425393&Country=Argentina&topic=Politics&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Election+watch&u=1&pid=313392015&oid=313392015&uid=1">Primary elections give Scioli the lead in a close race</a>

Primary elections give Scioli the lead in a close race

Daniel Scioli, of the ruling Frente para la Victoria (FV), the dominant faction of the Peronist party, was the top-voted candidate in open primary elections on August 9th, making him favourite to win the presidential election on October 25th. But his 8-point margin of victory over the Cambiemos alliance leaves the race open. …

 

<a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article30652860.html">Observers: Haiti elections weren’t perfect, but they happened — finally</a>

Observers: Haiti elections weren’t perfect, but they happened — finally

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haiti’s long-overdue legislative elections were not perfect, but it’s significant that they happened, the Organization of American States’ observer mission said Monday. …

 

Venezuela: El surgimiento de un narcoestado

Venezuela: El surgimiento de un narcoestado

Por Roger F. Noriega

Venezuela es un narcoestado controlado por líderes políticos de alto rango y funcionarios de seguridad que han utilizado los recursos del Estado y de empresas estatales para el trasiego de cocaína. Por ejemplo, autoridades estadounidenses han recopilado documentos y testimonios de testigos oculares que implican a funcionarios de la empresa petrolera estatal, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) en la participación de transacciones y lavado de dinero a nombre de traficantes de cocaína dentro del gobierno. Fuentes también ...  

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/world/americas/primaries-in-argentina-point-to-a-close-presidential-race.html?_r=1">Primaries in Argentina Point to a Close Presidential Race</a>

Primaries in Argentina Point to a Close Presidential Race

BUENOS AIRES — The future of Argentine politics was fuzzy on Monday after an all-party presidential primary, billed as a measure of the nation’s desire for change, proved close enough to cast doubt on who would prevail in general elections. …

 

<a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/08/11/uk-brazil-rousseff-impeachment-idUKKCN0QG0BU20150811">Fiscal probe for Brazil’s Rousseff poses impeachment threat</a>

Fiscal probe for Brazil’s Rousseff poses impeachment threat

The biggest threat to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s hold on office may come not from a corruption scandal that has ensnared the country’s business and political elite but from a less-heralded probe into accounting practices led by a computer science graduate turned lawyer. …

 

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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.