Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

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In a Changing Climate, the Red Cross Hopes a New Focus on Training and Preparation Will Save Lives

When not one, but four, hurricanes pummeled poverty-stricken Haiti between September and November of 2008, relief agencies struggled to deliver emergency aid before the next storm rolled in. Four years earlier, the United States received a costly and deadly reminder that natural disasters wreck havoc on wealthy countries, too. Hurricane Katrina left 80 percent of … Read more

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Chile’s Presidential Election and the Marco Enríquez-Ominami Factor: Insight from Patricio Navia’s [i]El Díscolo[/i]

November 18, 2009 In the lead up to Chile’s presidential election on December 13, Marco Enríquez-Ominami has burst dramatically onto the country’s political scene. The 36-year-old dissident candidate—or díscolo, in Chilean political parlance—has shaken up the race by adding a new dynamic of competition and offering an exciting alternative presidential candidacy. Enríquez-Ominami (or ME-O as … Read more

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Why Zelaya’s Protest Support Dwindled

October 30, 2009 A peaceful resolution to the Honduran crisis appears to be at hand. Pending the approval of the Honduran Congress, Manuel Zelaya will return to power, the elections will take place at the end of November (with the military under the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s control for this month) and the international community will … Read more

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After the First Round: José Mujica and the Future of the Frente Amplio party in Uruguay

October 30, 2009 The party in power loses votes. This phrase sums up one of the most consistent rules in Uruguayan electoral history for the last 60 years. As was made perfectly clear during the first round of presidential voting on October 29, the government of Tabaré Vázquez is no exception to this rule. But … Read more

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Micheletti’s Losing Battle for Honduras’ Diplomatic Corps and its International Legitimacy

August 20, 2009 Since the Honduran military seized and expelled President Manuel Zelaya, the country’s de facto government has been losing the battle for international legitimacy. De facto President Roberto Micheletti and his allies have tried to convince the world that Honduras experienced a “constitutional succession,” not a coup. But beyond failing to show how … Read more

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Peruvian Indigenous Land Conflict Explained

June 12, 2009 Few regions in the world are as richly endowed as the Peruvian Amazon. Beyond housing around 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity, it is rich in mineral, hydrocarbon and forestry resources, and its rivers are a coveted source of freshwater, food and energy. But the Amazon’s riches have also set the stage … Read more

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Colombian Congress Clears a Hurdle for Uribe’s Reelection: But Will He Run?

Earlier this week, Colombian lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a controversial referendum bill that paves the way for President Álvaro Uribe to seek a third consecutive term in office. The referendum would ask voters to decide on a constitutional amendment to allow presidents to run for a third term. But obstacles still remain. The proposal still has … Read more

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No Region Left Behind: Has the recent financial crisis provided the necessary impetus for sovereign wealth in Latin America?

Has the financial crisis provided the push Latin America needs to expand sovereign wealth?  For a while, it was possible to imagine that the region’s hard-won prosperity over the past decade, gained from harvesting the fruits of the earth from soya to copper had provided Latin America with a comfortable cushion in the form of … Read more

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Colombian-Ecuadorian Relations: One Year After

A year after an Americas-wide effort to calm tensions between Quito and Bogotá moved into high gear, diplomatic relations remain ruptured. Despite efforts by the Group of Rio, the Organization of American States (OAS) and The Carter Center, the damage is unlikely to be repaired any time soon. This may be good for the illegal … Read more

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The Next Move for Canada’s Liberals

President Barack Obama’s recent day-trip to Canada’s capital not only set a positive tone for dealing with sensitive bilateral and global issues, it put a rare smile on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s face and highlighted one of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s positive attributes: his connections to the United States. The 7-hour visit gave Stephen Harper … Read more

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Obama Needs an Economic Initiative for the Americas

The Bush administration ended with economic collapse on nearly every measure. The greatest fear now is that the combined effect of the $700 billion financial sector bail-out, a near-zero federal funds rate and President Obama’s $820 billion economic stimulus package still might not turn the economy around by 2010. But tough times may also open … Read more

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Canada’s PM Harper Faces Down His Opponents, Undermining Liberal Leader Dion in the Process

Compared to Americans enthralled by an exciting, too-close-to-call election, Canadians were yawning when they went to the polls on October 14. It seemed like yet another unwanted election—the third since 2004—brought on by obscure reasons that only Stephen Harper, the prime minister, knew for sure. The results were predictable. Harper won a strengthened Conservative minority … Read more

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Keys for a Sustainable and Democratic Development in Latin America

Latin America’s vast geography contains great wealth as well as endless cultural, linguistic and historical diversity. While Latin American countries may face common challenges, finding solutions to these problems is a process as varied as the region itself. It will be imperative for the next U.S. President-elect to understand this fact and respond accordingly. Challenges … Read more

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Take Care of the Bucks

A few words are sufficient: Mr. President, take care of the dollar! In Latin America, and Mexico especially, we are holding our breath to see how the 44th U.S. president will steer his country’s economy through the current storm. Although the health of the dollar is important around the world, it is vital to Latin … Read more

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Interview: Up Close with the AQ Editorial Team

With the launch of the new Americas Quarterly website, we thought we’d take the opportunity to sit down with one of our colleagues to reflect a little, informally, about how we see the region, the journal and our all-critical readers.  Our colleague, Caitlin Miner-Le Grand, the AS/COA communications associate, cooked up a set of questions … Read more

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