Charlie Crist recently announced that he might go to Cuba this summer, a move unprecedented in Florida politics. In Politico, AQ Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini analyzes the implications of this announcement, examining how changing demographics and political attitudes in Florida have created a shift in the political approach towards the island in Florida and in the United States in general.
By: Christopher Sabatini
New Americas Quarterly Released: The Perils and Promise of Consulta Previa
How do you implement consulta previa to ensure the rights of Indigenous communities and investors? The Spring 2014 issue of Americas Quarterly, released on May 8, will examine the different ways that countries in the hemisphere have adopted International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169), which guarantees Indigenous and ethnic communities the right to prior consultation, and explore how these efforts have affected communities, national and local governments, and companies. As AQ finds in our four-country investigation, the results are decidedly mixed—but with increasing conflict over natural resource extraction and infrastructure projects, creating a space for dialogue remains as urgent as ever.
In this issue, AQ’s research team goes into the field with local researchers in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru to learn more about how each country has attempted to put consulta previa in practice. Daniel M. Schydlowsky and Robert C. Thompson give us a preview of Peru’s groundbreaking new banking regulations, which will play a role in ensuring that their investments address potential social conflicts. AQ shares two different on-the-ground views of Guatemala’s progress on consulta previa; Carlos Baquero provides an overview of consulta previa legislation in South America; and two AQ Charticles look at resource-related conflict over the last decade in Chile and Peru, as well as the different requirements and steps in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru to complete consulta previa.
The Spring 2014 issue of AQ also looks at other pressing topics in the hemisphere, including return migration in Guatemala, Colombia’s presidential elections, and Latin America-U.S. relations. José W. Fernandez discusses how the U.S. can deepen its diplomatic ties through economics, and Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s ambassador to the UN, argues that the decline of U.S. power will only bring with it greater respect for multilateral institutions and international law if countries are willing to lead. Plus, as we approach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this June, don’t miss AQ’s latest Hard Talk forum, where Robert A. Boland and Victor A. Matheson debate whether mega sporting events contribute to economic development.
Diamanti, at left, in 2010.
Rodrigo Diamanti, the president of international human rights organization Un Mundo Sin Mordaza, was detained at the Maiquetía airport on May 7 by Venezuela’s Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service—SEBIN). Diamanti was a contributing author in Americas Quarterly’s Winter 2010 issue, “Voices from the New Generation.” He is presumed detained at Helicoide jail.
The previous week, unidentified members of SEBIN ransacked Un Mundo Sin Mordaza’s headquarters in Caracas, heightening Diamanti’s concerns that the organization was being targeted due to campaigns like “SOS Venezuela,” which is now active in 120 cities around the world.
Prominent members of the Venezuelan opposition mobilized on social media to denounce Diamanti’s detention.
Human Rights Watch issued a highly critical 103-page report of the human rights situation in Venezuela on May 5, prompting a U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations committee hearing on the subject.
UPDATE: On Friday, May 9, Diamanti was released from jail, but is prohibited from leaving Venezuela.
Read Diamanti’s article in the Winter 2010 issue of AQ here.
Following accusations that USAID carried out an illegal program to establish a Twitter-like social network in Cuba, AQ Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini and Senior Editor Alana Tummino argue in The Hill's Congress Blog that change in Cuba is coming from within, but that the U.S. government can help support these efforts with executive actions that cost nothing to taxpayers and that would help expand opportunities and assistance for Cuban entrepreneurs.
American University recently launched its first course on “gastrodiplomacy,” which teaches students how to understand different cultures and encourages diplomacy through food. The course, taught by international conflict expert Johanna Mendelson Forman, explores the culinary contributions of immigrant communities in Washington DC through field trips to local restaurants, and then uses the visits as a launchpad for discussing conflicts like the Vietnam War and Ethiopian civil war.
Thank you, AQ readers, for helping us win the Best Cover award for ASME's "brainiest" magazine category!
Last week, AQ entered the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Readers’ Choice Award on Facebook, submitting the cover of the Fall 2013 issue of AQ, "Media in the Americas: Threats to Free Speech," for online voting.
For a week, voters selected their favorite covers from some of the best-known magazines in the country, including The Atlantic, UTNE Reader, Bloomberg Business, Parade, and GQ, as well as fan favorites like POZ Magazine.
Starting on Monday, March 3, Americas Quarterly is asking its readers to vote for AQ for Best Cover of 2013!
We're competing for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Readers’ Choice Award on Facebook, in ASME's "Brainiest" magazine category. We've submitted the cover of the Fall 2013 issue of AQ, "Media in the Americas: Threats to Free Speech," for online voting.
The collaborative project, called "Connecting the Americas," is a series of first-person narratives written by authors from across the hemisphere. The articles will look at current events, culture and politics in the Americas through the lens of individual experience, demonstrating how people engage with broader society and their democracy.
The first article in the series, "Walking Home Alone at Night in Buenos Aires," examines perceptions of crime and violence in Argentina—where homicide rates are low, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), but where crime has increased steadily in the past 20 years. Author Jordana Timerman describes her doubts and confusion as a middle-class porteña trying to determine whether it's safe to walk home alone at night as acquaintances and the media share disturbing evidence of the country's growing insecurity.
On February 20, Americas Quarterly published a new report in Spanish, concluding a year-long research project funded by the Ford Foundation on natural resource extraction and social development in Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
The report builds on the findings of local researchers working in each country—Enrique Calfucura (Chile), Astrid Martínez Ortiz (Colombia), Cynthia Sanborn, and Juan Luís Dammert B. (Peru)—whose individual country reports were published by AQ in July 2013. The new report, entitled Las mejores (y peores) prácticas para la extracción de recursos naturales en América Latina: Tres países, 12 casos de estudio, is a special compilation and analysis of the three country studies—each examining four local natural resource extraction investments—for a total of 12 case studies.
The goal of the research was to understand under what conditions investment in natural resource extraction contributed to broader community and national development. For the purposes of the study, the research defined “conditions” to include: the legal and regulatory framework that governs natural resource investments; the transparency and predictability of the legal and regulatory framework; the system in which public revenue is collected—through taxes and royalty payments—and distributed to national and subnational governments; the quality, efficacy, and honesty of local and regional governments; the community context and relations with the state and investors; and the labor and environmental practices of the investing companies.
To explore Americas Quarterly’s four reports on natural resource extraction, click here.
Click here to read the new synthesis report, published in February 2014.
View an interview with AQ’s Christopher Sabatini below
Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas and founder and editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, was interviewed on CNN International this Tuesday about the growing political unrest in Venezuela.
The interview, moderated by CNN reporter Maggie Lake, focused on the deteriorating economic problems in Venezuela that have led to popular protests throughout the country.