What's New From AQ
Wednesday, February 27, 2013Read More
Three years after appearing in Americas Quarterly’s Winter 2010 issue, “Voices from the New Generation,” Mexican entrepreneur Patricio Villareal Zambrano is continuing to receive media recognition for his mission to improve health care access for middle and lower income patients in Monterrey.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013Read More
Fifty-three years after its creation, the future of the main observer and protector of human rights in the region might be at stake. In March 2013, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) will hold a special session in which it will consider a series of proposals for reforming the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) which may include restricting the body’s discretion in granting precautionary measures, reducing the activities of and funding for the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and imposing restrictions on the Commission’s decisions regarding individual complaints.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
In an article for El Universal published on February 16, Jason Marczak, Senior Editor of Americas Quarterly and Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, discusses President Obama's pledge to achieve comprehensive immigration reform during his State of the Union speech and what it will take for the reforms to become a reality.
by Jason Marczak
El martes pasado, el presidente Barack Obama, presentó sus prioridades legislativas en el discurso del Estado de la Unión, dándole un empuje adicional a la reforma migratoria comprehensiva. En su primer Estado de la Unión hace cuatro años, el presidente de los Estados Unidos ni siquiera mencionó el tema de inmigración.
Este año, él reiteró el compromiso que dio durante un discurso efectuado en Las Vegas hace dos semanas para una reforma migratoria comprehensiva que incluya un camino hacia la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes indocumentados.
Los tiempos han cambiado
Este cambio también es evidente en el Partido Republicano, que optó por Marco Rubio, un senador cubano-americano de Florida en su primer mandato, para ofrecer la respuesta republicana. Al igual que el presidente, Rubio, miembro del grupo de los ocho senadores que están tomando la iniciativa en la reforma migratoria, se mostró a favor de dicha reforma.
La selección de un latino para representar al partido es otra señal de que el Partido Republicano está tratando de hacer todo lo posible por aumentar su popularidad entre el electorado latino después de haber perdido ante el president Obama por casi 45 punto porcentuales durante las elecciones presidenciales.
Read the rest of the article here.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Voz de América’s Celia Mendoza reported live Tuesday from the launch of Americas Quarterly’s Winter 2013 issue on natural resource extraction in Latin America, which took place at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York.
The event, entitled “Natural Resource Extraction: Where Are We Heading?” featured panelists Maj. Gen. Richard L. Engel, the director of the environment and natural resources at the National Intelligence Council, as well as AQ author Bernice Lee, research director of energy, environment and resource governance at Chatham House. During a discussion moderated by AQ Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini, both panelists discussed the impact of natural resource extraction on national security, the environment, and economic and social development.
“There’s always a great risk to the economy for states that depend too much on natural resources,” said Sabatini in an interview with VOA. Sabatini said that resource producers must be especially conscious of price volatility, and ensure that taxes and royalties invested in public resources have an impact at the local level. High-tech mining equipment and other technology “comes from abroad and generates fewer opportunities for local workers,” he added.
Friday, February 1, 2013
In a guest post for the Financial Times' "Beyond Brics," blog, Bernice Lee of Chatham House proposes that the world's top 30 resource-producing and resource-consuming nations form a Resources 30 (R30) group to cooperate on global natural resources management and to tackle problems like resource price volatility, competition, and social and political conflict.
by Bernice LeeResource insecurity is back with a vengeance. It is time for world leaders to respond to burgeoning demand from emerging economies, which has driven up commodity prices and made them more volatile, and led to supply disruptions, environmental degradation and political tensions.Governments have mostly reacted with unilateral – and often myopic – policies, alongside vague attempts at collaboration. This is not enough. The world’s top resource-producing and resource-consuming nations should establish a Resources 30 (R30) Group, and cooperate in managing global natural resources.As my forthcoming article in the new issue of Americas Quarterly argues, the world needs a ‘coalition of the committed’ which would comprise 30 countries critical to the stability and functioning of resources markets.We at Chatham House, drawing on our Resources Futures report released last month, envision the R30 as an informal forum – with smaller working groups – in which governments, experts, and other stakeholders would tackle urgent issues. There would be plenty to keep them busy.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Natural Resource Extraction in Latin America: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Winter 2013 issue of Americas Quarterly, released on January 29, addresses the potentials and pitfalls presented by the growing global demand for and investment in natural resources: understanding the sources of conflict between investors and citizens, improving the public management of mining royalties and taxes, and recognizing examples of good—and bad—corporate practices. Plus, the new AQ looks at ways to address the alarming pretrial detention rates in in the Americas, the changing demands of Chile’s new middle-class voter, and Ciudad Juárez’ bid to remake its image and rebuild its economy.
Our natural resource section includes articles on how a changing global landscape in natural resources is recasting geopolitics, the multiple causes of social conflict over resource extraction, persistent resource nationalism in Latin America, and how Bolivia, Chile and Peru have addressed the region’s “resource course.”
Plus, a 30-page photo essay offers an on-the-ground look at mining projects and the communities around them. Based on a series of in-depth case studies, AQ analyzes how three Latin American countries—Chile, Colombia and Peru—have managed natural resource extraction projects in the areas of governance, community relations and consulta previa (prior consultation), value-added economic development, and the environment—and provides recommendations in all four areas.
Friday, January 25, 2013Read More
In a memorandum to U.S. President Barack Obama published on January 17, Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director for Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution, advises the president to move toward normalizing relations with Cuba in his second term. The memo is part of the “Big Bets and Black Swans” series of memos by The Brookings Institution, which identifies the president’s best foreign policy opportunities—and biggest potential disasters— in the next four years.
Friday, January 18, 2013Read More
As China moves aggressively to establish bilateral trade relations with resource-rich states, it finds itself not in a tête-à-tête with its partners but a ménage a trois. There’s always a third party in the room: the United States.
The U.S. has interests in almost every country where China seeks resources. In some cases—Iran, for example, or Venezuela—the relationship is adversarial. In others—Australia, Saudi Arabia—friendly. In yet others—Russia, Nigeria—neutral. Regardless of which, Sino-American competition for resources is inevitably a triangular affair.
Friday, January 11, 2013
In an op-ed for Fox News Latino, Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas, praises outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for focusing on gender equality and social inclusion in Latin America during her tenure, and predicts that U.S.-Latin America relations will receive less attention while the U.S.' secretary of state nominee, Senator John Kerry, focuses on foreign policy in the Middle East and China.
By Christopher Sabatini
In her four-year term, Hillary Clinton has not only been the State Department's most traveled secretary of state in history, she's also been a frequent flier to Latin America and the Caribbean. In 22 trips to the region (including Canada), she traveled to 31countries.
Can we expect the same level of attention from secretary of state nominee, Senator John Kerry? Not likely, though that may not be a bad thing.
By 2008, U.S. political capital in the region was badly damaged. In the first four years of President George W. Bush's administration, a number of high-level government officials made little effort to hide their preferences for specific candidates or parties in elections in Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela, violating a long-standing policy—in place since the presidency of President Bush's father—to support the process of democratic elections regardless of their outcomes. Moreover, the brief embrace of the seizure of power in Venezuela during the confusion that erupted on April 11, 2002 after troops, acting on orders from President Hugo Chávez, fired on protestors—further inflamed regional suspicions that the U.S. was up to its old habits of interventionism in the region.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief and Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas Christopher Sabatini participated in a virtual discussion with Ray Walser, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, former Venezuelan deputy Eustoquio Contreras, and Venzuelan lawyer Antonio Rosich as part of Voz de América's Foro Interamericana (Interamerican Forum) on Friday. The discussion, moderated by VOA's Patricia Dalmasy, focused on the Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision to indefinitely postpone Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez' scheduled inauguration as he fights cancer in Cuba, and the implications for Venezuela's political future as the president's ability to run the country remains unclear.
"There's a large part of the [Venezuelan] population that is not in favor of Chávez...and they also have to be represented," Sabatini said. "We're not talking about a totally homogenous popular will. There's a very large division in the country and this type of uncertainty and lack of transparency is very dangerous in terms of polarization."
Sabatini acknowledged that the U.S. government's response to the political uncertainty in Venezuela has been "cautious," and urged observers not to jump to conclusions about the motivations of regional heads of state that arrived in Venezuela to show support for the ailing Chávez on January 10, the day of his intended inauguration. "We don't know if they're there out of principle, or because of the benefits," Sabatini said, referring to the importance of Venezuela's petroleum exports to its neighbors.
Watch the discussion here.
Follow AQ's continuous Venezuela coverage here.