<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. …


<a href="http://nationalinterest.org/feature/coming-soon-another-rigged-election-venezuela-13544">Coming Soon: Another Rigged Election in Venezuela</a>

Coming Soon: Another Rigged Election in Venezuela

Each time there’s an election in Venezuela, the “Chavista” regime performs a weird type of geopolitical striptease, gradually revealing to the world its most-intimate parts. The result is to repel, rather than seduce. …


<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/10/opinions/ghitis-venezuela-woes/">Venezuela’s disastrous course</a>

Venezuela’s disastrous course

(CNN)For a fleeting few years the South American nation of Venezuela and its histrionic late President Hugo Chavez made waves on the global stage. While he upended the country’s economy and exploited class conflict at home, he blamed the world’s woes on the U.S., insulted the American president at the United Nations, and exhorted other leftists in the region to challenge the prevailing economic model and follow his path to “21st century. …


<a href="http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2394180&CategoryId=10717">Well-Known American Lawyer John Pate Murdered in His Apartment in Venezuela</a>

Well-Known American Lawyer John Pate Murdered in His Apartment in Venezuela

CARACAS — The well-known American lawyer John Pate, a US citizen, was stabbed to death by assailants in his apartment at the Vista Real on Avenue Panorama in Lomas de San Román section of Caracas on Sunday evening. …


<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/10/argentina-debt-ruling-idUSL1N10L16920150810">U.S. appeals court narrows debt claims against Argentina</a>

U.S. appeals court narrows debt claims against Argentina

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Argentina on Monday won the reversal of a U.S. judge’s ruling that a group of bondholders suing over its defaulted debt said entitled them to $700 million. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa had improperly expanded a class of bondholders who were seeking repayment following the country’s $100 billion default in 2002. …


<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/09/americas/mexico-missing-students-activist-killed/">Activist who helped search for Mexico’s 43 missing students found slain</a>

Activist who helped search for Mexico’s 43 missing students found slain

(CNN)When he felt authorities weren’t doing enough to protect his hometown, he organized more than 100 women to police the streets. …


<a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/08/10/hugo-chavez-daughter-is-richest-individual-in-venezuela-report-claims/">Hugo Chávez daughter is the richest individual in Venezuela, report claims</a>

Hugo Chávez daughter is the richest individual in Venezuela, report claims

On more than one occasion the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez declared that being rich is bad, often adding “Rich people attack me for saying that, but I claim it is bad.” His favorite daughter, however, may disagree. …


<a href="http://www.elsalvador.com/articulo/internacional/grupo-globo-rousseff-pretende-hacer-ministro-lula-para-blindarlo-84072">Grupo Globo: Rousseff pretende hacer ministro a Lula para “blindarlo”</a>

Grupo Globo: Rousseff pretende hacer ministro a Lula para “blindarlo”

BRASILIA. El exgobernante brasileño Lula da Silva podría ser nombrado ministro por la actual presidenta, Dilma Rousseff, como una desesperada búsqueda de salida a la crisis política que golpea al gobierno. Lo sostiene el analista político Gerson Camarotti, del grupo Globo. …


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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.