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.

Chile’s leader hopeful despite growing setbacks

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.

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.

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.

Mexico makes its worst mistake in many years

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.

Immigration ruling will hurt Republicans in 2016

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.

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.