A former professor of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has just published a report on Venezuela’s political crisis, and his conclusions are disquieting — he says the most likely scenario in that country is a military coup.
If you think that Latin America is doomed to remain behind in science, technology and innovation — as one could conclude from the latest international rankings of patents of new inventions — you should meet Luis Von Ahn.
When Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said three weeks ago that Moscow is seeking to establish a military presence in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, many of us dismissed it as a private comment by a top official who may have had one vodka too many.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro won a diplomatic victory by defeating a US-backed proposal at the 34-country Organization of American States that would have suggested an outside mediation to end that country’s political crisis, which has already left more than 25 dead and hundreds of wounded.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s disastrous government is in much bigger trouble than most people think, not because of the student protests that have already resulted in at least 19 deaths, but by a 56 per cent annual inflation rate — the world’s highest — that may soon turn his country ungovernable.
Dear President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Since I have repeatedly requested an interview with you, but have never received an answer, I respectfully submit 10 questions to you in hopes that you would be so kind as to respond to them in writing, if that’s your preference.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera will leave office March 11 with high popularity and one of the best economic records in Latin America.
When I interviewed the head of the Inter-national Monetary Fund’s Western Hemisphere division last week, he didn’t mince words about the possibility of Venezuela descending into even greater economic chaos.
A joke making the rounds on the Internet says that if Argentina were a celebrity, it would be Justin Bieber — a rich, spoiled, irresponsible teenager, who always repeats the same mistakes, and always blames others for them.
President Barack Obama’s remarks about immigration during his State of the Union address — and the ovation they drew from most Democratic and many Republican legislators — are fuelling high hopes that Congress will finally reach an agreement this year to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
What’s most shameful about Latin Ameri-can presidents’ sche-duled visit to Cuba for a regional summit on Tuesday is not that they will visit one of the world’s last family dictatorships, but that they most likely won’t even set foot at a parallel summit that the island’s peaceful opposition plans to hold at the same time.
Some of the best-known international institutions have just released their economic forecasts for Latin America in 2014, and most of them agree that this will be a better year than 2013 in the region.
What’s most worrisome about Latin America’s disastrous performance in the recently released international PISA student tests are not the results themselves, but that many countries in the region are not even recognizing that they have a serious problem.
WASHINGTON — Extending an apparent olive branch to Venezuela, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Monday that Sunday’s much-awaited local elections there failed to rattle the country’s populist authoritarian government, and said the United States is “ready and willing” to improve bilateral ties.
BUENOS AIRES — Beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro may be able — or not — to remain in power for the remainder of his term, but Venezuela’s influence elsewhere in Latin America seems to be diminishing as rapidly as the country’ s dwindling foreign reserves.
I have never thought of Shakira, Juanes and lesser-known artists as potential engines of Latin America’s economy, but newly released studies conclude that the region could grow more rapidly if it developed its so-called “creative industries.” All of a sudden, major international institutions are sounding alarm bells about the fact that despite its wealth of talent in music, films, books, handcrafts, fashion designs, video-games and other creative activities, Latin America accounts for only 1.7 per cent of the $646 billion in annual global exports of cultural goods and services,
Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is likely to win the Dec 15 runoff election by a landslide, and the conventional wisdom is that her new coalition, which includes the Communist Party, will make a sharp turn to the left.
More than two years after President Obama announced his plan to increase US-Latin American college-student exchanges to 100,000 in each direction by 2020, the programme may be advancing too slowly to meet its target.
There are many reasons why potentially-rich Latin American nations are growing at a slower pace than their Asian counterparts but one of the least noticed factors — and one in need of urgent attention — is that a Latin American may grow old before being able to enforce a business contract in many countries of the region.
LIMA — When I interviewed Peruvian President Ollanta Humala last week, he struck me as a less articulate leader than most of his South American colleagues —but one who may be doing a better job than his more loquacious counterparts.
The U.S. government, which loves to lecture other countries on how to run their affairs, would do well in learning some lessons from other nations in order to avoid a repeat of last week’s costly — and embarrassing — government shutdown.
The US government’s recent signing of a first-of-its-kind bilateral deal with the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo makes me wonder whether Washington will start a new strategy in Latin America — by-passing not-so-friendly national governments, and signing agreements with more amicable local authorities.
When I interviewed Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa last week, I was most surprised by his renewed optimism about Latin America, and by his confidence that Chavismo — the region’s authoritarian populist movement — is rapidly losing ground.
President Barack Obama’s state-of-the-world speech before the United Nations General Assembly recently did not mention any Latin American country, and virtually omitted the region as a whole.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s angry denunciation of US electronic spying at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week was applauded by most in the room, but her proposal to regulate the Internet should make all of us very nervous.
Much of the world is demanding greater pressure on Syria following a United Nations inspectors’ report hinting that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in his country’s civil war, but — amazingly — Venezuela and some of its Latin American allies are still passionately defending Syria’s dictator.
What’s most amazing about the arrest in Miami of Bolivia’s top anti-corruption police official, caught on tape extorting a bribe from a well-known businessman, was that hardly anybody was surprised by the news.
The World Economic Forum’s ranking of competitiveness released this week confirms what many of us feared: Latin America is losing ground in the global economy and is doing very little about it.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is doing great things in Latin America, but I wonder whether its latest role as a middleman to help place 4,000 Cuban doctors in remote areas of Brazil does not amount to sponsoring slavery.
While the much-needed US immigration reform bill remains stuck in Congress, Canada is not waiting — it has launched a pilot programme to attract global entrepreneurs by offering them permanent visas and a path to citizenship.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power deserves credit for asking Cuba’s foreign minister to launch a credible investigation into the suspicious death of leading Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, but she should have gone a step further.
Uruguay’s government-proposed marijuana legalization drive has been described as the world’s boldest, and could help reduce drug-related crime, but a conversation I had this week with former Uruguayan President Julio Maria Sanguinetti left me wondering whether it won’t backfire.
Just when we were beginning to digest the news that Nicaragua had signed a contract with a Chinese company to build a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal that would compete with a soon-to-be expanded Panama Canal, Guatemala announced this week that it’s jumping into the fray and will build a $12 billion inter-oceanic “dry corridor.” Are the Nicaraguan and Guatemalan projects serious?
After more than a decade of booming economic ties between China and Latin America, new headlines that China may be heading for a crisis are starting to draw anxiety in China-dependent countries in the region.
The United States is becoming a dysfunctional country: politically, it’s lurching from one embarrassment to the next, but economically and technologically, it’s rising at an amazing speed.
The surprising support for Egypt’s military coup in US, European and Middle Eastern political circles may turn into a bad precedent for Latin America — it could help legitimize the idea that there are ‘good’ military coups.
It’s no wonder that protesters in Brazil are holding signs reading “more education, less soccer,” or that there are constant teacher strikes in Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico — Latin American schoolteachers are among the most miserably paid in the world.
Nicaragua’s $40 billion deal with a Chinese company to build a trans-oceanic waterway that will compete with the Panama Canal will either be Latin America’s most important economic project in more than a century or the biggest government scam in the region’s history.
When I interviewed former President Jimmy Carter on a wide range of issues a few days ago, I was especially interested in his views about Venezuela’s two-month-old political crisis.
Something very unusual happened at the 34-country Organization of American States (OAS) annual foreign ministers’ meeting recently: the United States and Mexico won a diplomatic victory over authoritarian populist governments that wanted a free hand to suppress human rights monitors and critical media.
The most interesting thing about China’s new President Xi Jinping’s first official trip to Latin America was that he did not set foot in Cuba, Venezuela or any other of China’s political allies in the region — which would have received a huge propaganda boost from such a visit.
Latin American presidents who support the decriminalization of marijuana won a big diplomatic victory in recent days when the 34-country Organization of American States issued a report that considers that option as one of several policies that might help reduce the region’s drug-related violence.
The highly respected Nature Scientific Reports journal has just published a map of the world’s leading science cities, and it looks pretty bad for emerging countries: It shows the planet’s northern hemisphere full of lights, and the south almost solidly dark.
I’ve read with great attention President Barack Obama’s article in The Miami Herald earlier this week on how to improve US relations with Latin America.
Despite a lot of upbeat talk about upgrading US-Mexican economic relations, there will be one big issue that will be off the table during President Barack Obama’s visit to Mexico starting Thursday — Mexico’s request to be part of ongoing US-European free trade talks.
While many of us were focused on the Boston bombings, Venezue-la’s dubious elections and North Korea’s war noises in recent weeks, the world’s biggest nations took a potentially historic step — they launched a system to detect secret offshore bank accounts.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s endorsement of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro in last Sunday’s elections has perpetuated one of the biggest myths in Latin American politics — that the Venezuelan government, despite its mistakes, has done more than others to help the poor.
Most polls show that Venezuela’s government candidate Nicolás Maduro is likely to win today’s elections thanks to an unfair election process in which the government controls an overwhelming share of TV time, but — even if he wins — Maduro’s future is gloomy.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias could not believe his ears when he heard that the United Nations had overwhelmingly approved a treaty to curb international arms sales, a cause he had been championing for nearly two decades.
What a pleasant surprise! Mexico, whose government routinely supports human rights violators throughout the region, played a key role in thwarting an effort by a group of countries to weaken the region’s most important human rights commission.