From 172 to 115 Pounds: The Faces of Venezuelan Hunger

From 172 to 115 Pounds: The Faces of Venezuelan Hunger

Much has been written about Venezuelan hunger since the oil-rich country sank into economic chaos a few years ago. The strict food rationing, surging malnutrition and, in some extreme cases, starvation.

But if you’re not there on the ground, it’s difficult to comprehend what it truly looks and feels like up close—to see an old neighbor’s round face slowly hollow out or notice how your father’s favorite T-shirt hangs loosely on his shrinking frame.

So we photographed five Venezuelans—predominantly from the blue-collar ...  

The U.S. Embassy in Havana Was Attacked, and Castro Must Answer for It

The U.S. Embassy in Havana Was Attacked, and Castro Must Answer for It

We should not have been surprised by the reports that the United States may close its embassy in Havana after the State Department confirmed that 25 U.S. diplomats and relatives stationed in the Cuban capital have suffered mysterious sonic assaults. The consequences of the hits include permanent loss of hearing, concussions, light brain trauma, headaches, and constant whistling sounds, all possibly the result of sound waves directed at them. The injuries suffered by the U.S. diplomats and their families in ...  

It’s Time to Cut Off Venezuela’s Black Gold

It’s Time to Cut Off Venezuela’s Black Gold

Venezuela is a country awash in oil and natural beauty, a young and enterprising country, a country with boundless potential. Yet today, it is a hellhole being crushed by a ruthless dictator.

State socialism has once again proven to be a colossal failure. Private businesses have been looted by the criminal Maduro regime. Once profitable businesses lie in ruins, as the ruling party’s cronies are given jobs in state-run enterprises. Mismanagement is therefore a core principal of this regime, trickling down ...  

Anger at response to Mexico earthquake could bring political aftershocks

Anger at response to Mexico earthquake could bring political aftershocks

Two days after Rosario Islas’s cinderblock shack collapsed in Mexico’s massive earthquake last week, a group of political operatives turned up at her ruined home, in the borough of Xochimilco in the south of the capital.

They had food, water and building materials – but before they would hand anything over, they demanded Islas show her government-issued voter ID.

Parties often use such information to track potential voters – and even to sign them up as members without their knowledge. But Islas ...  

Cruz, Ros-Lehtinen: Observers Cannot Improve Nicaragua’s Election Fraud

Cruz, Ros-Lehtinen: Observers Cannot Improve Nicaragua’s Election Fraud

Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are blasting a decision by the Organization of American States to send officials to visit Nicaragua just prior to its upcoming election, an effort they argue is aimed at legitimizing a fraudulent process to re-elect Daniel Ortega.

Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), has repeatedly criticized the OAS, a 35-member Western Hemisphere organization, for what she views as its tendency in recent years to lend its credibility to authoritarian regimes across Latin America.

Cruz (R., Texas) has said ...  

Venezuela doctors in protest urge stronger WHO stance on health crisis

Venezuela doctors in protest urge stronger WHO stance on health crisis

Venezuela’s doctors, fed up with what they called the World Health Organization’s passive attitude toward the country’s deep medical crisis, protested at the agency’s Caracas office on Monday to demand more pressure on the government and additional assistance.

Venezuela is suffering from a roughly 85 percent shortage of medicines, decrepit hospital infrastructure, and an exodus of doctors during a brutal recession.

Once-controlled diseases like diphtheria and measles have returned due in part to insufficient vaccines and antibiotics, while Venezuelans suffering chronic illnesses ...  

Mexico still tallying the economic cost of big earthquake

Mexico still tallying the economic cost of big earthquake

MEXICO CITY – Mexican government officials are still tallying up the economic losses of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that caused widespread damage in the capital, but for the manager of a downtown restaurant it is already all too clear.

Sitting in the entrance of his Guapa Papa restaurant Monday surrounded in caution tape, Antonio Luna said: “This is a bust. It’s already closed due to structural damage to the building.”

He had to let go the three dozen employees at the 1950s-themed ...  

Brazil is struggling with scandals and crises, and people there may look to the military for a fix

Brazil is struggling with scandals and crises, and people there may look to the military for a fix

Shaken by economic downturn and a seemingly intractable corruption scandal, Brazil has struggled in recent years after seeing robust growth during the first decade of the 21st century.

Those struggles appear to be testing the Brazilians’ commitment to democracy, and there are some appear more open to the military acting against an unpopular elected government.

After contracting each year between 2012 and 2016, the Brazilian economy officially emerged from recession in the second quarter of this year, but many of the country’s ...  

Trump’s Central America Plan Will Not Boost Militarization: Honduras President

Trump’s Central America Plan Will Not Boost Militarization: Honduras President

By Dion Rabouin

(Reuters) – The Trump administration’s effort to combat violence and poverty in Central America will not mean greater militarization in Honduras, the country’s president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, said in an interview.

Under a plan formulated by U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly when he was secretary of Homeland Security, the United States is seeking to shore up Central America by financing development projects and getting Mexico to do more to stem the flow of immigrants from ...  

Guatemala Congress Again Votes to Maintain President’s Immunity

Guatemala Congress Again Votes to Maintain President’s Immunity

Guatemala’s Congress on Thursday once again voted to maintain beleaguered President Jimmy Morales’ immunity and shield him from a probe into suspected illicit campaign funding, a move that could raise tensions among anti-graft protesters.

For the second time this month, lawmakers discussed a motion, pushed by the attorney general’s office and the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), to remove Morales’ immunity.

Although the motion enjoyed greater support than before, the 70 votes in favor fell short of the ...  

Peru loses its prime minister. What next?

Peru loses its prime minister. What next?

PEDRO PABLO KUCZYNSKI (pictured above) has been Peru’s president for little more than a year, but already he has lost or reassigned 15 ministers. The biggest cull came on September 15th, when his government lost a vote of confidence in congress. That led to the resignation of the prime minister, Fernando Zavala, who was also finance minister, along with the rest of the 19-member cabinet. Mr Kuczynski reappointed most of them two days later. But Mr Zavala is gone, ...  

U.S. not ruling out possible oil embargo on Venezuela: Haley

U.S. not ruling out possible oil embargo on Venezuela: Haley

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday a range of options remained on the table, including a possible oil embargo, if Venezuela did not move to restore its democratic processes.

“There’s a lot of support in Latin America to see Venezuela start to respect its people and go back to the democracy it’s supposed to be,” she told reporters. “If things don’t improve, all those options are always there,” Haley added, ...  

CITGO Feels Effect of U.S. Sanctions Against Venezuela

CITGO Feels Effect of U.S. Sanctions Against Venezuela

Recent sanctions by the United States against Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), its state-run oil company, over civil-rights abuses have started to take a toll on CITGO Petroleum Corp., according to a Reuters report.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels owned by CITGO Holding Inc., a subsidiary of PDVSA. Through CITGO, the Venezuelan government is the largest foreign owner of U.S. domestic refinery capacity. It owns three U.S. refineries (in Texas, ...  

Gasoline Lines Get Longer in Venezuela

Gasoline Lines Get Longer in Venezuela

Venezuelan drivers are facing growing queues to buy gasoline despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, adding to the OPEC country’s woes as its refineries sputter and its socialist economic system crumbles.

The queues and shuttered service stations have been intermittent problems for much of this year, most notably outside the capital. But in recent days the problem has worsened, with lines popping up at service stations in Caracas, while drivers in the southern city of Puerto ...  

Panama vows to combat drug trafficking, asks for help to eliminate ‘blood money’ driving scourge

Panama vows to combat drug trafficking, asks for help to eliminate ‘blood money’ driving scourge

The most effective way to solve problems that affect the world’s people is by placing human beings at the centre of all decisions, the President of Panama told the United Nations General Assembly today, stressing that his country, which joins North and South and which is bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, would continue to be a beacon of cooperation and understanding.

“I have always been aware of Panama’s calling as facilitator of dialogue and understanding; a country [that will] ...  

Let’s Remember Too That Trump Took It to Venezuela’s Maduro

Let’s Remember Too That Trump Took It to Venezuela’s Maduro

But Kim aside, what Trump said about the socialist basket-case better ...  

Trump rightly condemns Venezuela, but that’s just the beginning

Trump rightly condemns Venezuela, but that’s just the beginning

“We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela,” announced President Trump Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly.

Warning Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro of “further actions” if his government doesn’t change course, Trump’s speech was an impassioned rallying cry before the international community. The Venezuelan population has suffered under the heavy weight of starvation, lack of medicines, and nearly five months of violent repression that have left nearly 125 dead and scores injured. To follow up ...  

Trump Targets North Korea, Iran, Venezuela in UN Speech

Trump Targets North Korea, Iran, Venezuela in UN Speech

U.S. President Donald Trump warned world leaders of “rogue regimes” with powerful weapons in his first address before the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

The president had his strongest words for North Korea, which faces U.N. sanctions because of its continuing missile and nuclear programs. He said, if the U.S. is threatened, “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

He also called the North Korean leader, who often attends missile tests, “rocket man” saying he was on “a ...  

Allegations of Venezuela, Nicaragua Complicity in FARC Money Laundering Resurface

Allegations of Venezuela, Nicaragua Complicity in FARC Money Laundering Resurface

Recent testimony before the US Senate revived allegations that a Venezuela-owned company in Nicaragua may have laundered money for Colombia’s demobilizing FARC guerrillas, once again raising the question of whether foreign governments may have been complicit in washing the fighters’ dirty cash.

On September 12, Douglas Farah, the president of the national security consulting firm IBI Consultants, testified before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control regarding adapting US counternarcotics efforts in Colombia.

In his testimony, among other things, Farah discussed “key ...  

The United States is Losing the War on Drugs in the Americas

The United States is Losing the War on Drugs in the Americas

By José R. Cárdenas

9/18/2017

Last week, the Trump administration issued a stark warning to Colombia: Unless it improves efforts to reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production, it runs the risk of having “failed demonstrably” to adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.

It was an unprecedented admonishment of the strongest U.S. ally in Latin America.

Colombia’s commitment to eradicating and seizing illegal drugs has been nothing less than heroic for nearly two decades. Regrettably, however, the warning was unavoidable.

A month before the United States called out ...  

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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.