Venezuela has two tough options — only one provides hope

Venezuela has two tough options — only one provides hope

BY DANY BAHAR

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s announcement last week of an increase in the minimum wage for the third time this year was like a sea captain handing out a handful of candies to his crew on a ship that is both sinking and under fire.

No salary increase can stop the economic catastrophe that the country is going through: a rate of inflation that exceeds 700 percent due to a huge fiscal deficit financed with freshly ...  

Maduro’s plan to consolidate power in Venezuela might go up in smoke

Maduro’s plan to consolidate power in Venezuela might go up in smoke

By Rémi Piet

More than seven million Venezuelans turned out to vote in a popular consultation organised by the main opposition party on Sunday. Its objective was to contest the election of a Constituent National Assembly scheduled by President Nicolas Maduro for July 30.

After weeks of demonstrations against Chavez’s successor which already led to the deaths of at least 90 people since April, the main opposition party – the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) ...  

República Dominicana: ¿Camino a otra Venezuela?

República Dominicana: ¿Camino a otra Venezuela?

Por Roger F. Noriega

Mientras la atención de la región se centra en Venezuela y la crisis humanitaria, política, y económica que aquejan a ese país, en la República Dominicana el gobierno del presidente Danilo Medina parece tomar más medidas que perpetúen a su persona y a su partido en el poder—quizás buscando replicar el modelo venezolano.

Recientemente, el Consejo Nacional de la Magistratura (CNM) que consta de 8 miembros (en su mayoría controlados por el partido oficialista) y presidido por Danilo ...  

As Brazil’s Economy Recovers, Its Politics Disintegrate Again

As Brazil’s Economy Recovers, Its Politics Disintegrate Again

By Samy Adghirni and Simone Preissler Iglesias

Brazil’s embattled President Michel Temer cut a low-key figure at last week’s G-20 summit, so low-key that it was not he but his finance minister who was listed on the official welcome brochure as the country’s representative.

The omission was the result of the president’s last-minute decision to attend the event in Germany rather than deal with the political crisis brewing in Brasilia. Temer was among the last to arrive, the first to ...  

Tariff Fight Roils Argentina’s Shale Patch as Macri Opens Trade

Tariff Fight Roils Argentina’s Shale Patch as Macri Opens Trade

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina needs oil rigs to develop its vast shale oil and gas resources. The United States has plenty of idle equipment laying around after its own unconventional drilling boom cooled.

But moving that machinery from the plains of Texas to the windswept Patagonian desert is proving complex and costly for global oil majors who say Argentina’s protectionist past is slowing efforts to spark its own shale revolution.

A move by Argentina’s ...  

As Correa leaves Ecuador, a rift opens with his successor

As Correa leaves Ecuador, a rift opens with his successor

QUITO, Ecuador — For Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno, watching his mentor and predecessor Rafael Correa fly to Europe this week for an extended vacation likely wasn’t a sad farewell.

After months of them standing side-by-side on the campaign trail, a schism has opened between the two leftist allies, with the bad blood spilling out into sniping over social media and threatening to hamstring their ruling political party.

Correa was all smiles posing with Moreno after his ...  

Ecuador angers Peru by building border wall

Ecuador angers Peru by building border wall

While US President Donald Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall has garnered much international attention, another controversial wall has sprung up further south.

It stands between Ecuador and Peru, and, even though it only spans 1km (0.6 miles), the Peruvians are not happy.

On Monday, Peru recalled its ambassador to Ecuador in protest, saying the construction violated a 1998 peace treaty.

Ecuador says it is a flood precaution.

Peru argues that disrupting ...  

To Preserve Iran Deal, Obama Stopped Probe into Venezuela’s Ties to Hezbollah: Report

To Preserve Iran Deal, Obama Stopped Probe into Venezuela’s Ties to Hezbollah: Report

By Sabrina Martín,

Former President Barack Obama stopped an investigation into links between Iran, Venezuela and the terrorist organization Hezbollah, the Spanish newspaper ABC reported this Tuesday, July 11.

The Obama administration reportedly decided not to interfere with an international agreement with officials in Tehran, ordering that an investigation stop looking into what ties the Venezuelan government had with Islamic terrorism.

US expert and adviser David Asher spoke to ABC about the topic. He worked for John Allen, Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ...  

MLB star Miguel Cabrera asks Venezuelan ‘dictators’ not to harm family

MLB star Miguel Cabrera asks Venezuelan ‘dictators’ not to harm family

by Joel Gehrke

A baseball superstar in the U.S. denounced Venezuelan “dictators” while asking them not to harm his family over his political criticisms, in personal videos published this week.

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera called for “the end of communism” in Venezuela, which is suffering from food shortages and protests against President Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez. Cabrera, perhaps the best slugger of his generation, is one of the most prominent Venezuelan baseball players to make ...  

Once-loyal prosecutor emerges as hero in Venezuela protests

Once-loyal prosecutor emerges as hero in Venezuela protests

By JOSHUA GOODMAN

CARACAS, Venezuela –  Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro who have taken to the streets day after day in Venezuela now find themselves rallying in support of an unexpected hero: the chief prosecutor who helped throw many of them into jail.

Until recently, Luisa Ortega was seen as a hardline loyalist of the socialist administration, responsible for dozens of arrests on trumped-up charges against anti-government protesters. But now she is being lionized by the ...  

Brazilian lawmakers debate sending Temer for trial

Brazilian lawmakers debate sending Temer for trial

By Joe Leahy and Andres Schipani in São Paulo

Michel Temer, Brazil’s president, is facing the biggest test of his political career this week with the beginning of a historic debate in congress on whether he should be tried for corruption.  While analysts believe the president is entering the process with the necessary house majority to survive, there is growing speculation that an important coalition ally, house speaker Rodrigo Maia, is setting himself up as a possible alternative to challenge the embattled leader.  If congress ...  

Colombia: President Santos grants Farc members amnesty

Colombia: President Santos grants Farc members amnesty

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has signed a decree granting amnesty to another 3,600 members of the Farc rebel group, which last year reached a peace deal with the government.

It is the third and final amnesty decree signed by Mr Santos.

More than 7,000 rebels in total have been granted amnesty or released from prison as part of their reintegration into Colombian society.

Last month the Farc completed its disarmament process.

...  

Venezuela’s Symbol of Hope

Venezuela’s Symbol of Hope

The mayhem in Venezuela is rising and dictator Nicolás Maduro knows he’s in trouble because on Saturday his security services moved opposition leader Leopoldo López to house arrest from Ramo Verde military prison.

Mr. López’s release is a victory for a weary opposition that has been protesting in the streets since April, demanding new elections and freedom for political prisoners. The National Guard and police have responded with violent crackdowns, and last week Mr. Maduro’s goons stormed the national assembly and ...  

Informe sobre corrupción reitera en la figura de José Luis Merino

Informe sobre corrupción reitera en la figura de José Luis Merino

Los carteles de la droga, el mundo de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), la presencia de la MS-13 y Mara 18 en el entramado centroamericano, los intocables de carteles enquistados en gobiernos como el de Venezuela, y una nueva red de crimen dentro algunos estados latinoamericanos, es lo que devela este estudio pormenorizado de 60 páginas.

Con gráficos, imágenes y análisis de casos y una vasta investigación bibliográfica y documental el American Interprise Institute (AEI) expone en esta investigación ...  

Venezuela’s Poor Rebel, Roiling Maduro’s Socialist Strongholds

Venezuela’s Poor Rebel, Roiling Maduro’s Socialist Strongholds

In Caracas, the rich and poor are suddenly less divided.

For most of Venezuela’s two-decade socialist experiment, the city’s wealthier, whiter east has been the hotbed of anti-government sentiment. Now, noisy protests are erupting in poorer-but-calmer western neighborhoods that were strongholds for embattled President Nicolas Maduro as crime explodes and medicine and food are scarce and expensive.

Residents in neighborhoods like La Candelaria, blocks from the presidential Miraflores Palace, erect barricades and yell slogans against Maduro’s government, banging pots and pans from ...  

Colombia: Farc leader Timochenko recovering from stroke

Colombia: Farc leader Timochenko recovering from stroke

The leader of Colombia’s Farc rebel group, Rodrigo Londoño, is being treated in hospital for a stroke. Mr Londoño, who is known as Timochenko, is expected to leave hospital on Tuesday and make a full recovery, doctors who are treating him said.

The 58-year-old was admitted to hospital in the city of Villavicencio on Sunday morning. His health is “in a stable and satisfactory condition,” doctors said in a press conference. The Farc initially denied reports that he was ill.

But one ...  

Southwest drops two routes to Cuba; Havana flights to stay

Southwest drops two routes to Cuba; Havana flights to stay

Southwest Airlines will ax two of its three routes to Cuba, becoming the latest U.S. carrier to trim flights to the nation amid disappointing demand.

Southwest said flights to Varadero and Santa Clara will be discontinued so that the airline can “concentrate its future service to Cuba in Havana.” Southwest will keep its existing service to Havana from both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

Varadero and Santa Clara flights will end Sept. 4, with Southwest pointing to lingering travel restrictions that affect Americans ...  

The U.S. Needs to Apply More Pressure to Venezuela’s Allies in the OAS

The U.S. Needs to Apply More Pressure to Venezuela’s Allies in the OAS

By José R. Cárdenas

6/26/2017

Last week, an annual meeting of the Organization of American States came and went without any action on crisis-torn Venezuela. A resolution calling for the government to end the monthslong violence, respect separation of powers, and cease efforts to rewrite the country’s constitution amid the turmoil was thwarted by a clutch of left-wing, anti-American regimes, aided and abetted by several other governments, notably long-standing Caribbean democracies.

While the resolution required a two-thirds supermajority of 23 votes (out of ...  

The Long, Slow Death of Chavismo

The Long, Slow Death of Chavismo

On Tuesday, a helicopter-riding gunman threw grenades at the Supreme Court building in downtown Caracas. No one was injured. In a video later posted online, the alleged attacker, Oscar Perez, a former police captain and B-movie actor, and a group of gun-toting masked men declared that they represented the military, police, and civilians who oppose Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela. They urged their fellow countrymen to continue their rebellion against his tyranny. Yet many argue that this was a ...  

Peace in Colombia; let justice now follow

Peace in Colombia; let justice now follow

While political upheaval continues to roil neighboring Venezuela, Colombia appears to be turning a new page by embracing a historic moment for the region.

The oldest guerrilla group in Latin America, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), said goodbye Tuesday, the result of a long peace process negotiated in Havana between the Colombian government and the guerrilla leadership.

President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño — alias Timochenko — initially signed the unprecedented peace agreement on Sept. 26 in ...  

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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.