<a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article33568107.html">Andres Oppenheimer: Maduro’s dirty tricks to rig Venezuela’s elections </a>

Andres Oppenheimer: Maduro’s dirty tricks to rig Venezuela’s elections

It’s no secret that Venezuela is a cosmetic democracy in which President Nicolás Maduro resorts to all kinds of dirty tricks to retain absolute powers, but his latest move — designing ballot sheets designed to confuse opposition voters — would be almost amusing if it weren’t so devious. …

 

<a href="http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21663169-cash-be-invested-oil-will-deliver-dubious-benefits-both-parties-why-china-loaning-5">Why China is lending $5 billion to struggling Venezuela</a>

Why China is lending $5 billion to struggling Venezuela

SITTING in front of a blown-up Chinese watercolour portrait of Hugo Chávez, President Nicolás Maduro announced a new $5 billion loan from China in his weekly television programme, which aired on September 1st. In the two-hour show (“In contact with Maduro”, “En contacto con Maduro”), he briefly announced that the deal had been signed, before panning to footage of marching Chinese soldiers and a clip of himself playing drums with Chinese dignitaries. …

 

<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/03/guatemalan-judge-orders-president-detained-in-corruption-probe/?intcmp=hplnws">Guatemalan president resigns amid corruption investigation</a>

Guatemalan president resigns amid corruption investigation

Guatemala’s president resigned early Thursday, hours after a judge ordered him to appear in court amid an ongoing investigation into a customs fraud ring involving members of his government. Presidential spokesman Jorge Ortega told the Associated Press that Otto Perez Molina submitted his resignation at midnight local time. …

 

<a href="http://www.infobae.com/2015/09/02/1752360-hezbollah-y-farc-el-nuevo-narcoterrorismo-que-crece-al-amparo-nicolas-maduro">Hezbollah y FARC: el nuevo narcoterrorismo que crece al amparo de Nicolás Maduro</a>

Hezbollah y FARC: el nuevo narcoterrorismo que crece al amparo de Nicolás Maduro

Es un triángulo que comenzó a gestarse hacia 2008. Se trata del entramado de terrorismo, narcotráfico y territorialidad que fue pactado entre Hugo Chávez, las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia(FARC) y el grupo terrorista islámico Hezbollah. Ese acuerdo recibió su impulso definitivo aquel año, cuando los regímenes de Venezuela y de Irán estrecharon sus lazos definitivamente. Eran tiempos del caudillo bolivariano y del presidente Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. El pacto, desde luego, fue continuado por Nicolás Maduro al pie de la letra. …

 

<a href="http://www.eldiarioexterior.com/cuba-entrena-a-los-matones-46323.htm">Cuba entrena a los “matones” venezolanos</a>

Cuba entrena a los “matones” venezolanos

Uno diría que eso excluye definitivamente a Cuba de la posibilidad de seguir promoviendo o de promover la violencia en nuestra región, como ciertamente lo hiciera -activa y constantemente- durante la década de los 70, alimentando y armando a quienes salieron a matar civiles inocentes en los distintos “conflictos armados internos” de la década de plomo. Pero ello, como veremos enseguida, no es necesariamente tan así. Hay distintos tipos de engaños y variantes infames que todavía se están utilizando. …

 

<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/venezuela-manufactures-a-dispute-with-neighboring-colombia/2015/09/01/d0ed9c20-50d4-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html">Venezuela manufactures a dispute with neighboring Colombia</a>

Venezuela manufactures a dispute with neighboring Colombia

WITH INFLATION and violent crime soaring and supplies of food and medicine shrinking, Venezuela’s populist government appears headed toward a major defeat in legislative elections scheduled for December, if the vote is free and fair. So it’s no surprise that President Nicolás Maduro is resorting to the assaults on the opposition and manipulations of the electoral system that have been a staple of the regime created by the late Hugo Chávez. A number of opposition leaders have been banned from participating ...  

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/opinion/ecuadors-political-eruption.html?ref=opinion">Ecuador’s Political Eruption</a>

Ecuador’s Political Eruption

QUITO, Ecuador — There is a strange connection between volcanoes and political crises in Ecuador: They seem to erupt together. According to Pedro Cieza de León, who chronicled the Spanish conquistadors’ arrival in the Incan Empire, when Pedro de Alvarado entered the land that is now Ecuador in 1534, the Cotopaxi volcano erupted, sending massive gusts of fire and ash into the air, practically reducing the soldiers themselves to dust. …

 

<a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/el-salvador-homicide-rate-civil-war-era-level-192224833.html#OxQFGrw">El Salvador: homicide rate up to civil war-era level</a>

El Salvador: homicide rate up to civil war-era level

Violence fueled mainly by street gangs left 907 people dead in El Salvador last month, a level of bloodshed unseen since the civil war of the 1980s, authorities said Tuesday. …

 

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/world/americas/mexicans-remain-pessimistic-on-economy-despite-signs-of-progress.html?_r=1">Pessimism Pervades Mexico as Economic Promises Fall Short</a>

Pessimism Pervades Mexico as Economic Promises Fall Short

Jesús Rascón embodies the sort of success story that was supposed to epitomize “Mexico’s moment.” The plastics company he founded 13 years ago now employs 350 people in two factories. He sells parts to global companies like Volkswagen and Whirlpool. Even the slide in the value of the Mexican peso this year works in his favor because it makes his products cheaper overseas. …

 

<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/01/americas/guatemala-president-immunity-stripped/index.html">Guatemalan President stripped of immunity</a>

Guatemalan President stripped of immunity

Guatemala’s Congress voted Tuesday to strip President Otto Pérez Molina of his immunity. It’s a key step that paves the way for Pérez Molina’s possible prosecution as part of a corruption investigation that has shaken his government and sparked protests calling for his resignation. …

 

<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/02/us-venezuela-china-oil-idUSKCN0R201V20150902">China signs off on $5 billion loan to boost Venezuela oil output: Maduro</a>

China signs off on $5 billion loan to boost Venezuela oil output: Maduro

Venezuela and China have signed a deal for a $5 billion loan designed to increase the OPEC country’s oil production, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said. …

 

Mexico’s Cycle of Crime and Corruption

Mexico’s Cycle of Crime and Corruption

By Roger F. Noriega & Felipe Trigos

Key Points

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan to prioritize a social and economic agenda above security issues was never realistic, and crime across the country shows that his security policy is failing. If Mexico is going to take its place as a prosperous country in a globalized world, it will have to invest both political capital and money to build a criminal justice system that will apply the rule of law against violence and corruption. ...  

<a href="http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/colombia-es/article33210516.html">Venezuela amplía estado de excepción en la frontera con Colombia</a>

Venezuela amplía estado de excepción en la frontera con Colombia

CARACAS - El Gobierno venezolano informó este martes de la ampliación del estado de excepción a otros cuatro municipios fronterizos con Colombia por el occidental estado Táchira en los que el presidente Nicolás Maduro ordenó el cierre de los pasos el viernes pasado. …

 

<a href="http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/08/31/actualidad/1441052179_531912.html">El sector educativo echa un pulso al Gobierno de Uruguay</a>

El sector educativo echa un pulso al Gobierno de Uruguay

El presidente uruguayo, Tabaré Vázquez, enfrenta una crisis interna por las divisiones de la coalición izquierdista de Frente Amplio, que lidera, y un paro intermitente de los sindicatos de la enseñanza, que dura ya dos semanas. La protesta del sector de la educación eclipsa la presentación ante el Parlamento de un proyecto de presupuesto que sería la envidia de muchos países porque incluye un aumento de los gastos e inversiones en sectores clave para el desarrollo del país. …

 

<a href="http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/09/01/abogado-de-leopoldo-lopez-existe-una-contradiccion-absurda-entre-los-hechos-que-la-fiscalia-plantea-en-sus-conclusiones-y-la-verdad/">Abogado de Leopoldo López: Existe una contradicción absurda entre los hechos que la Fiscalía plantea y la verdad</a>

Abogado de Leopoldo López: Existe una contradicción absurda entre los hechos que la Fiscalía plantea y la verdad

El abogado defensor Juan Carlos Gutiérrez expresó que durante la primera audiencia de la fase de conclusiones del juicio contra el líder opositor venezolano Leopoldo López, se evidenció la intención por parte de la Fiscalía de ratificar una condena injusta contra el dirigente político ya que todas las pruebas presentadas y evaluadas confirman su inocencia. …

 

<a href="http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2015/08/31/colombia-no-consigue-convocar-reunion-de-cancilleres-en-la-oea/">Colombia no consigue convocar reunión de cancilleres en la OEA</a>

Colombia no consigue convocar reunión de cancilleres en la OEA

No avanzó el pedido de Colombia en la OEA para que se llevara a cabo una reunión de cancilleres para abordar el tema de la frontera con Venezuela. En el encuentro de embajadores este lunes, la votación quedó 17 a favor, 5 en contra y hubo 11 abstenciones. Colombia necesitaba 18 para que se convocara la reunión. …

 

<a href="http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2015/09/01/encuesta-60-de-los-mexicanos-aun-no-ve-beneficios-al-pais-con-pena/">Encuesta: 60% de los mexicanos aún no ve beneficios al país con Peña</a>

Encuesta: 60% de los mexicanos aún no ve beneficios al país con Peña

Con casi tres años de gobierno del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, seis de cada 10 mexicanos afirman que aún no ven las mejoras que ofreció el mandatario durante su gestión, según una encuesta publicada este lunes por el diario Excélsior. …

 

<a href="http://colombiareports.com/colombia-one-vote-short-to-call-oas-summit-over-crisis-with-venezuela/">Colombia one vote short to call OAS summit over crisis with Venezuela</a>

Colombia one vote short to call OAS summit over crisis with Venezuela

Colombia on Monday was one vote short at the Organization of American States to summon a meeting of foreign ministers over the ongoing border crisis with Venezuela. …

 

<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/brazil-2016-budget-plan-sees-primary-deficit-of-0-2-of-gdp-1441051416">Brazil 2016 Budget Plan Shows Economic Weakness</a>

Brazil 2016 Budget Plan Shows Economic Weakness

BRASÍLIA—President Dilma Rousseff’s economic team further exposed the extent of the country’s financial and political disarray Monday as it submitted a 2016 budget proposal to Congress that does nothing to pay down the soaring national debt. The move highlights the failure of Ms. Rousseff’s government to get her economic program approved by Congress and moved Latin America’s largest economy a step closer to losing its investment-grade. …

 

 

<a href="http://www.dw.com/en/el-salvador-in-the-grip-of-gangs/a-18681478">El Salvador in the grip of gangs</a>

El Salvador in the grip of gangs

El Salvador, one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America, saw 125 gang-related homicides within three days last week. Now its constitutional court has classified the gangs as terrorist organizations. …

 

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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.