Obama’s number one challenge in Cuba

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.

The Pope’s chance to expose Trump

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.

Latin America’s time bomb: the ‘ninis’

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.

Latin America’s economic drama

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.

The most important news of 2015

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.

Obama’s big opportunity in Latin America

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.

Beware of post-election coup in Venezuela

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.

Latin America eyes US colleges

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.

A new day in Venezuela?

Venezuela’s December 6 congressional elections will be the most undemocratic Latin America has seen in recent history, with the exception of Cuba’s.

Bravo! OAS has awakened!

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.

A new day in Latin America?

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.

A new day in Latin 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.

A Nobel winner’s advice to Latin 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.

The fall of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela

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.

The demographic revolution

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.

Latin America’s new era of disenchantment

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.

US, Cuba share common fear: chaos in Venezuela

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.