<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/correa-s-back-track-on-tax-bills-fails-to-halt-ecuador-protests">Correa’s Back-Track on Tax Bills Fails to Halt Ecuador Protests</a>

Correa’s Back-Track on Tax Bills Fails to Halt Ecuador Protests

By Nathan Gill

Ecuador President Rafael Correa’s attempt to defuse nationwide protests by back-tracking on two controversial tax proposals failed to prevent opposition supporters marching for a ninth straight day Tuesday.

 

<a href="http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2015/06/17/commentary/888633.txt">Castro, Obama and a ‘thing called Congress’ </a>

Castro, Obama and a ‘thing called Congress’

By Everett Ellis Briggs

President Obama’s chief negotiator for “normalizing” relations with Cuba, Roberta Jacobson, at her final news-media briefing last month, expressed strong optimism that the two countries eventually would restore full diplomatic ties. But said she is a “realist” about how long it might take, after 54 years of what she referred to as misunderstandings between the two countries.

 

<a href="http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/why-is-a-chinese-tycoon-building-a-dollar50-billion-canal-in-nicaragua-that-no-one-wants/ar-AAbGonx?ocid=HPDHP">Why is a Chinese tycoon building a $50 billion canal in Nicaragua that no one wants?</a>

Why is a Chinese tycoon building a $50 billion canal in Nicaragua that no one wants?

By Lily Kuo

A Chinese billionaire is building one of the world’s largest engineering projects, a canal in Nicaragua that is three times the size of world’s largest, the Panama Canal, and is estimated to cost at least $50 billion. Of the many Chinese infrastructure projects spanning the globe, the new canal seems to make the least commercial sense. …

 

Time to take a stand on Venezuela-By Roger F. Noriega

Time to take a stand on Venezuela-By Roger F. Noriega

By Roger F. Noriega

Decent Venezuelans must be appalled by news that a senior US diplomat met Saturday with Diosdado Cabello, a regime hard-liner who published reports say is a principal target of an ongoing US Justice Department drug smuggling investigation.  Coming just a week after Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolás Maduro threatened “massacre and death” if his revolution falls to “imperialism,” many observers wondered why State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon would meet with any regime leader, least of all one suspected ...  

Es hora de asumir una posición firme sobre Venezuela-Por Roger F. Noriega

Es hora de asumir una posición firme sobre Venezuela-Por Roger F. Noriega

Por Roger F. Noriega

Una gran cantidad de Venezolanos seguramente están consternados por la noticia de que un alto diplomático estadounidense se reunió el sábado con Diosdado Cabello; un político de línea dura del régimen que de acuerdo con varios reportes es objeto de una investigación por parte del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos por sus nexos con el narcotráfico. A solo una semana de que el presidente izquierdista Nicolás Maduro amenazara con “masacre y la muerte” si su revolución ...  

<a href="http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article24506167.html">Reunión entre Shannon y Diosdado Cabello causa estupor en EEUU</a>

Reunión entre Shannon y Diosdado Cabello causa estupor en EEUU

Por Antonio María Delgado

El senador por Florida, Marco Rubio, unió el lunes su voz al coro de críticas formuladas en contra del “inverosímil” encuentro de este fin de semana entre el consejero del Departamento de Estado, Thomas Shannon, y el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, investigado en Estados Unidos por tráfico de droga. …

 

<a href="http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/06/16/senadores-brasilenos-denuncian-que-el-gobierno-de-maduro-impide-su-visita/">Senadores brasileños denuncian que el gobierno de Maduro impide su visita</a>

Senadores brasileños denuncian que el gobierno de Maduro impide su visita

Senadores brasileños denunciaron en la noche del lunes que Venezuela no autorizó el aterrizaje de una aeronave de la Fuerza Aérea Brasileña que los trasladaría a Caracas en una anunciada misión para verificar la situación política en el país. …

 

<a href="http://www.voanews.com/content/russia-united-states-compete-for-space-partnership-with-brazil/2824135.html">Russia, US Competing for Space Partnership With Brazil</a>

Russia, US Competing for Space Partnership With Brazil

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO—The United States and Russia are competing for a strategic role in Brazil’s plan to launch commercial satellites from its base near the equator, opening up a new theater in their rivalry for allies and influence. …

 

Crime and punishment: Mexico suffers the costs of lawlessness

Crime and punishment: Mexico suffers the costs of lawlessness

Security, or rather the lack of it, is the number one issue for Mexican voters. They consistently rank it higher than economic growth, unemployment or the state of public services that generally concern their peers in other middle-income nations. In fact, midterm elections held this month were marred by more than 70 violent attacks on candidates or their staff. …

 

 

<a href="http://www.voanews.com/content/poll-shows-popularity-of-peru-president-humala-sinks-to-new-low/2824149.html">Poll: Popularity of Peru’s Humala Sinks to New Low</a>

Poll: Popularity of Peru’s Humala Sinks to New Low

LIMA—Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating sank this month to its lowest level during his four-year term, dragged down by criticism of his wife’s finances, according to an Ipsos poll. …

 

 

<a href="https://medium.com/backchannel/the-only-internet-most-cubans-know-fits-in-a-pocket-and-moves-by-bus-c96b7e82f7aa">The Only Internet Most Cubans Know Fits in a Pocket and Moves by Bus</a>

The Only Internet Most Cubans Know Fits in a Pocket and Moves by Bus

It’s called El Packete, and it arrives weekly in the form of thumb drives loaded with enormous digital files. Those drives make their way across the island from hand to hand, by bus, and by 1957 Chevy, their contents copied and the drive handed on. …

 

<a href="http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/15/why-us-engagement-with-cuba-has-been-deadly-for-human-rights-activists/">Why US ‘Engagement’ With Cuba Has Been Deadly for Human Rights Activists</a>

Why US ‘Engagement’ With Cuba Has Been Deadly for Human Rights Activists

By John Suarez

President Obama’s engagement policy with the Castro regime, announced in 2009, has led to a massive increase in arbitrary detentions, violence against activists and the deaths of high-profile opposition leaders under circumstances that point to extrajudicial executions carried out by Cuban state security.

 

<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/06/15/how-important-is-brazil-to-the-worlds-oil-market/">How Important Is Brazil To The World’s Oil Market?</a>

How Important Is Brazil To The World’s Oil Market?

By Kenneth Rapoza

Two things put Brazil’s oil wealth in the public eye again this year. One good. One not so good. First the not so good: Petrobras.  The state-owned oil firm is up to its eyeballs in scandal. It’s led to the bankruptcy of around four Petrobras partner firms, and the arrest of dozens of executives, including high level Petrobras managers implicated in money laundering and accounting fraud. So that’s the bad side of Brazil’s oil business.

 

<a href="http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/6/rubio-bizarre-and-confusing-for-obama-administration-to-meet-with-venezuela-s-most-corrupt-official">Rubio: Bizarre And Confusing For Obama Administration To Meet With Venezuela’s Most Corrupt Official</a>

Rubio: Bizarre And Confusing For Obama Administration To Meet With Venezuela’s Most Corrupt Official

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding this past weekend’s meeting between the Obama Administration and Diosdado Cabello, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly who is under U.S. investigation for drug trafficking: “‎By meeting with the Venezuelan regime’s most corrupt official, who also happens to be under investigation as a drug kingpin, the Obama Administration‎ ...  

<a href="http://www.semana.com/mundo/articulo/panama-las-investigaciones-que-acosan-al-expresidente-martinelli/431431-3">Panamá: las investigaciones que acosan al expresidente Martinelli</a>

Panamá: las investigaciones que acosan al expresidente Martinelli

Lo mismo que ocurrió en Colombia con las interceptaciones ilegales de comunicaciones o ‘chuzadas’ a críticos o miembros de la oposición -que comprometió a varios altos funcionarios del gobierno de Álvaro Uribe- se desarrolla en la vecina Panamá. … 

 

<a href="https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/argentinas-next-president-few-economic-options">For Argentina’s Next President, Few Economic Options</a>

For Argentina’s Next President, Few Economic Options

Argentina’s political landscape is coming into focus as the various political blocs prepare for the Aug. 5 presidential primary and general elections in October. Over the past few weeks, the race has narrowed to a contest between the business-friendly Republican Proposal candidate, Mauricio Macri, and the ruling Front for Victory’s candidate, Daniel Scioli. …

 

<a href="http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/06/14/carlos-alberto-montaner-las-tres-tentaciones-del-chavismo/">Carlos Alberto Montaner: Las tres tentaciones del chavismo</a>

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Las tres tentaciones del chavismo

Por Carlos Alberto Montaner

A fines de año Venezuela debe celebrar elecciones legislativas. El país experimenta el mayor desastre de América Latina y el gobierno debe perder los comicios de forma abrumadora si fueran realmente libres y transparentes.

Lo ha revelado la cuidadosa encuesta de DatinCorp. El 74% de los venezolanos opina que la situación es mala o pésima.El 45% se siente cerca de la oposición y sólo el 22 respalda al gobierno. …

 

“<a href="http://www.janes.com/article/52150/russian-scandal-postpones-venezuelan-kalashnikov-munition-factories">Russian scandal postpones Venezuelan Kalashnikov, munition factories</a>

Russian scandal postpones Venezuelan Kalashnikov, munition factories

By Iñigo Guevara

Construction of a Kalashnikov assault rifle factory and corresponding munitions factory will be further delayed, according to Russian reports. The delays are being attributed to an alleged multi-million dollar fraud that led to corruption charges filed against a former Russian senator. …

 

<a href="http://www.bloombergview.com/quicktake/venezuela-price-revolution">Venezuela: The Price of Revolution</a>

Venezuela: The Price of Revolution

By Nathan Crooks

Venezuela has more oil than Saudi Arabia and more poverty than Brazil. As the world’s only left-wing petrostate, it hopes to light a revolutionary path to prosperity for Latin America’s poor. …

 

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/13/world/americas/corruption-scandals-driving-protests-in-guatemala-and-honduras.html?_r=1">Wave of Protests Spreads to Scandal-Weary Honduras and Guatemala</a>

Wave of Protests Spreads to Scandal-Weary Honduras and Guatemala

By Elizabeth Malkin

MEXICO CITY — In Guatemala, angry citizens marched under pelting rain, undeterred. In Honduras, they carried torches at dusk. A wave of protests against corruption scandals that is sweeping across Latin America has reached Central America. …

 

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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.