While most of Latin America is shifting to the right, there is a potential exception that may soon keep US policymakers awake at night: the possibility of a populist leftist victory in Mexico’s 2018 elections.
Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.
Pope Francis is very popular around the world, but there are growing signs that his popularity is dwindling in his own country, Argentina.
What a shame. The historic decision by Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro to call for an official regional discussion on Venezuela’s break with democratic rule may be derailed by a group of countries that say they support democracy, but are really buying time for the Venezuelan regime.
Donald Trump might be a xenophobic and racist demagogue, but the people who chant “Viva Mexico!” and wave Mexican flags at anti-Trump rallies across the United States are doing him a big favour.
When Argentine President Mauricio Macri recently blessed his foreign minister Susana Malcorra’s candidacy for secretary general of the United Nations, the joke in Argentina was that the country already has a Pope (Francis) and the world’s best soccer player (Lionel Messi) so it was only natural that it should seek the top UN job.
Judging from what Brazil Foreign Minister Jose Serra suggested in an interview, Latin America’s biggest country will make a major change in its foreign policy: It will no longer be an unconditional supporter and ideological ally of Cuba, Venezuela, and other authoritarian regimes.
Here’s some good news from Latin America: Much of the region’s economy may recover sooner than expected.
Judging from the latest primary results and new polls that have just come out, I have a growing feeling that Latinos will save America from Donald Trump.
Here’s what’s most remarkable about Peru’s April 10 first-round election, which will result in a June 5 runoff vote between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski: Nearly 80 per cent of the people voted against a Venezuelan-like leftist-populist model.
The Panama Papers, a massive leak of 11.5 million documents from a Panamanian law firm that expose the ultimate owners of thousands of shell companies, have drawn a lot of public attention in recent weeks, but I’m just as intrigued by the lesser-known Bogota Papers.
There’s a little-noticed development that says a lot about the rapid demise of Latin America’s leftist populist bloc: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s government is falling apart, and none of the region’s major diplomatic groups is coming to its rescue.
President Obama charmed Argentines by dancing the tango during his visit to the South American country recently, but his trip may be remembered for something much more important: It may mark the start of a new cycle of much closer US-Latin American ties.
People will assess the impact of President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba for years to come, but a long conversation with Cuba’s oldest and best-known human-rights leader shortly before the US president’s visit left me skeptical that there will be significant changes on the island anytime soon.
When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto compared Republican hopeful Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler this week, he blew it.
Brazil’s political and economic crisis has taken a new turn for the worse with the arrest of the ruling party’s star electoral strategist and presidential confidant Joao Santana, raising the possibility of an impeachment against President Dilma Rousseff or early elections.
It’s too soon to pass judgment on President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Cuba, but this much can be said: if he doesn’t hold an exclusive meeting with Cuba’s peaceful opposition leaders, his trip will help legitimize the longest-ruling dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.
What irony! Just when Latin America is beginning to despise messianic autocrats, the United States and Europe seem to be embracing them.
Judging from the anti-immigrant rhetoric from Republican hopefuls in the Iowa caucuses, the Republican Party is marching straight to its third consecutive defeat in the November presidential elections.
Pope Francis, who has made the plight of migrants one of the central themes of his papacy, should have no mercy with Republican hopeful Donald Trump when the pontiff visits Mexico in mid-February.
There was a lot of despair in Latin America about a new International Monetary Fund forecast showing that the region’s economy will shrink by 0.3 per cent in 2016, but that’s something that could be reversed relatively soon.
After spending a week in Argentina, I concluded that there are six reasons why President Mauricio Macri — who took office a month ago after 12 years of radical populist governments — is off to a very good start.
Latin America’s exports fell for the third year in a row in 2015, drawing new attention to a problem that explains much of the region’s economic problems: lack of export diversification.
When people ask me what was the most important news of 2015, my answer is that — aside from the global rise of Islamic State terrorism — it was several things that in some cases barely made headlines.
President Barack Obama has never been terribly interested in Latin America, but the new political winds in Argentina, Venezuela and the latest events in Brazil offer him a golden opportunity to improve US relations with the region.
Judging from Venezuela’s leftist regime’s past behaviour, its reaction to a likely defeat in Sunday’s crucial legislative elections may be to stage a slow-motion post-election coup once international attention shifts away from the country in coming weeks.
Here’s some good news for Latin America: after decades of relative academic isolation, the region’s two biggest countries — Brazil and Mexico — are dramatically increasing their numbers of students attending US universities.
Venezuela’s December 6 congressional elections will be the most undemocratic Latin America has seen in recent history, with the exception of Cuba’s.
At long last, after a decade of timid leadership that condemned it to near irrelevance, the 34-country Organization of American States came back to life this week with a courageous letter by Secretary General Luis Almagro denouncing Venezuela’s efforts to rig its December 6 legislative elections.
Here’s a scenario that seemed highly unlikely only a few weeks ago, but has a 50 percent chance of happening in light of the political earthquakes that are rocking Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, and could mark the end of a 15-year-old leftist populist cycle in South America.
Here’s a scenario that seemed highly unlikely only a few weeks ago, but has a 50 per cent chance of happening in light of the political earthquakes that are rocking Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, and could mark the end of a 15-year-old leftist populist cycle in South America.
When I interviewed the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in economics Angus Deaton a few days ago, I asked him a simple question: “If you had to give one piece of advice to Latin American countries, what would it be?” He answered it in four words: “Improve your data systems.” Indeed, the 69-year-old Scottish-American Princeton University professor, who is best known for his studies on how to measure poverty, says that Latin America has some of the most unreliable poverty statistics in the world.
I don’t know who is going to be elected president of the United States in 2016, but I can tell you this: he or she will be much more hawkish than President Barack Obama.
The Trans-Pacific trade agreement signed last week between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries will be another nail in the coffin of the populist governments of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and other countries that will be left even more isolated from the global economy — and poorer — than before.
When young people ask me what will be the jobs of the future, my answer — contrary to the prevailing view in marketing circles — is simple: anything related to older people.
At a conference in Chile last week, I heard a statement that left me thinking: “Latin America has always been the land of hope, and the land of frustration.” The line, by former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, couldn’t be more timely this week, as much of the region is facing a perfect economic storm, and a new era of disenchantment.
SANTIAGO, Chile — When I interviewed President Michelle Bachelet earlier this week, there were news reports that she was ill or secluded and depressed by the latest polls showing that 75 per cent of the Chilean people disapprove of her presidency.
If you ask me what was the most interesting thing that Secretary of State John Kerry told me in an interview the week before last, it wasn’t any of his statements about human rights in Cuba that made headlines, but his open admission that the United States and Cuba are talking about ways to solve the Venezuelan crisis.
The raising of the US flag at the newly opened American embassy in Havana is an important story, but I can’t help finding much of the US media coverage surrounding the event to be repetitive, boring and frivolous.
Organization of American States’ Secretary General Luis Almagro has announced a worthy plan to create a new agency within the 34-country OAS to clean up the corruption-ridden soccer business in the region.
During his trip to Africa last week, President Barack Obama gave a powerful speech asking the region’s long-entrenched leaders to end corruption, respect freedom of the press and stop changing the constitution to remain in power indefinitely.
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.
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.
Latin America’s old-guard leftist leaders and at least two prominent US Nobel Prize-winning economists say that Greece, much like Argentina in 2001, can default on its foreign debts without facing an apocalyptic scenario.
What’s most worrisome about Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s xenophobic remarks about Mexicans is not that he actually made them, but the fact that they seem to have helped him among Repub-lican voters nationwide.
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.
Jeb Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and has a Mexican-born wife, is the Republican hopeful who would do best among Hispanic voters in the 2016 presidential elections.
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.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s decision to indefinitely suspend teacher evaluations — the core of his much-applauded educational reform — is a catastrophic mistake that stains his presidency and is likely to hurt Mexico for decades to come.
This week’s decision by a federal appeals court to continue blocking President Barack Obama’s order to stop deportations of more than 4 million undocumented immigrants was almost universally seen as a major setback for the administration’s immigration policy.