Andres Oppenheimer

It’s time for Kerry to engage with Cuban dissidents

If Secretary of State John Kerry is serious when he claims that the Obama administration will keep pressing for democracy and human rights in Cuba, this is the least he should do: invite Cuban dissidents to the flag-raising ceremony at the US Embassy in Havana when he travels for the historic event there on August 14.

Latin America beats China, India in creativity

Interesting: a new world ranking shows that many Latin American countries are way ahead of China and India in creativity, and suggests that — if they improve their education and technology standards — they could be among the world’s most competitive economies.

Maduro’s campaign strategy: a border war?

Eager to divert attention from a world-record inflation rate, massive food shortages and other self-inflicted economic problems that could lead to an opposition victory in the Dec 6 legislative elections, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is pulling a trick of last resort for embattled demagogues: reviving a dormant territorial controversy to stir nationalist passions.

UN makes fool of itself rewarding Venezuela

What a joke! Venezuela, a country facing severe food shortages where people have to make long lines in hopes of finding milk, flour or coffee, has just received an award from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization for its allegedly great success in combating hunger.

US drug probe won’t topple Venezuela regime

There has been a lot of excitement among critics of Venezuela’s authoritarian populist government about new reports confirming that US authorities are investigating Venezuela’s No 2 official on drug trafficking charges, but — unfortunately — the news will have very little political impact in that country.

Immigration: Will China be the new Mexico?

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will have a formidable weapon to disarm Republican anti-immigration candidates who want to virtually seal the US southern border — there are already more Chinese than Mexican immigrants who enter the United States every year.

Summit final document aims at US

PANAMA CITY — We’ve known for a while that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was planning to stage an anti-US show at this weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama, but a copy of the draft final declaration of the meeting that I obtained this week shows that he will seek much more: a formal, region-wide condemnation of the United States.

In Venezuelan elections, too many dead vote

While US and Latin American officials say that Venezuela’s political crisis should be solved through upcoming legislative elections, recent testimony before the US Senate raised many questions: It said Venezuela’s voting registry includes the names of so many dead, many states have more registered voters than people.

Cruz’s candidacy is good news — for Democrats

US Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination is great news for Democrats: He will push the other Republican hopefuls to the right on immigration, further scaring away Hispanic voters and making it more difficult for Republicans to win next year’s elections.

Prognosis for Brazil: indefinite paralysis

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s political troubles are growing by the day following a March 15 anti-government protest that drew much bigger crowds than expected — about 1.5 million people nationwide — and new corruption charges against key members of her ruling Workers Party.

Obama’s sanctions may play into Maduro’s hand

The big question about the US sanctions on seven top Venezuelan officials accused of human rights violations is not whether they deserve them — of course they do — but whether the measure won’t give Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a golden excuse to usurp even more powers and further clamp down on the opposition.

Latin America’s shameful silence on Venezuela

Judging from the shamefully weak response from Latin America’s regional organizations such as the OAS and Unasur to the arbitrary arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and other opposition leaders in Venezuela, it’s hard not to conclude that they have become mutual protection societies for repressive regimes.