Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Inflation in Brazil

In March, inflation in Brazil surpassed the government’s target ceiling for the first time since 2011 as the country’s IPCA consumer price index, which is produced by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica, rose 6.59 percent over 12 months—just above the target of 6.5 percent. The impact on the economy was felt quickly by … Read more


Empresas Polar Denies Accusations of Disrupting the Venezuelan Economy

Update, May 15, 2013: President Nicolás Maduro and Lorenzo Mendoza, president of Empresas Polar, met last night and resolved their differences, with both pledging to work together to overcome any food shortages. May 14, 2013 – Lorenzo Mendoza, head of Empresas Polar S.A., Venezuela’s largest privately-held food company, refuted government claims that his business is … Read more


Maduro Ends His Mercosur Tour in Brasilia

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro marked the end of his three-day trip through Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil yesterday with a meeting in Brasilia with President Dilma Rousseff to highlight Venezuela’s strategic alliance with Brazil. Maduro traveled to Mercosur member countries for his first trip post-presidential election in an effort to consolidate bilateral ties. In Uruguay, his … Read more

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Brazil’s Second-Best Financial Strategy

In November 2009, the cover of The Economist showed the iconic Christ statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro blasting off into outer space. This image, along with the cover headline, “Brazil Takes Off,” represented the Carnaval-like euphoria about Brazil that infected journalists and financial markets at the time, buoyed by the country’s impressive economic performance in … Read more


The Next Step: Latin America’s Growing Economies

Latin America has bounced back economically in the past decade. Between 2002 and 2012, the region has seen strong and stable growth, low inflation and improved economic fundamentals. As a result, the weight of the region in global economic output increased from about 6 percent in the 1990s to 8 percent in 2012. With that … Read more


How Long will Cuba Avoid Economic Reform?

The framework of U.S.-Latin American relations, including relations with Cuba, has grown more complicated following the death of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Even if Nicolás Maduro remains the Venezuelan president after his controversial victory over Henrique Capriles, it is not likely that oil-rich Venezuela will continue subsidizing the economies of Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and various Caribbean … Read more


What Can the Cuban Regime Offer to International Investors?

Given Cuba’s imminent loss of subsidies and other types of donations from Venezuela, various media outlets have broadcast the Castro regime’s supposed strategy to attract foreign investments to the island. Like actors in a road movie, the authorities of the Cuban regime have gone on a crazed search for investments as if time were running … Read more


Monday Memo: Venezuela’s Elections – U.S. Immigration – Argentina’s Debt – 2016 Olympics – Venezuelan Currency

Top stories this week are likely to include: Nicolás Maduro and Henrique Capriles kick off their campagins; U.S. business and labor leaders reach an agreement on immigration; Argentina faces a court ruling on its debt; Brazil faces more stadium-related woes; and Venezuela auctions $200 million in foreign currency. Maduro and Capriles Face Off: Venezuela’s interim … Read more


Cuba’s Economic Changes Reflected in Havana’s Transportation Network

Havana’s bustling streets offer a wide variety of transportation options. In the old city overcrowded public buses and state-owned yellow taxis (usually Soviet-era Ladas or more recent Korean and Japanese imports) jostle with bicycle taxis, horse-drawn carriages, and cocotaxis—three-wheeled mopeds where the two rear passenger seats are half-enclosed in a garish yellow coconut-shaped plastic shell. … Read more


Transformaciones económicas en Cuba: lo que deben procurar

Las propuestas actuales de cambios económicos en Cuba han abierto una ventana inédita para discutir y eventualmente empezar a corregir algunas de las desproporciones más recurrentes en el devenir económico del país en las últimas décadas.  Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, se ha hecho evidente la necesidad de prestar mayor atención hacia problemas estructurales … Read more


What Greece Can Learn from Argentina

Given the similarities between millennium-era Argentina and today’s Greece, some wonder if a Greek default and currency exit might not be the worst option for Athens.  However, Argentina’s “recovery” would not easily be replicated and the Argentine model should not be considered a blueprint for Greece. Europe has much to learn from the Argentine default … Read more


The Pacific Pumas

As the world grapples with generating employment, growth and innovation, a new club of countries has emerged as an engine of regional growth. Through improved governance, liberalized trade and stable macroeconomics, the economies of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile have rallied in recent years. Rather than following the lead of the increasingly protectionist and interventionist … Read more


Venezuelan Currency Devaluation Goes into Effect

After the Venezuelan government announced its intention to devalue its bolívar currency late last week, the 32-percent shift in its exchange rate—from 4.3 to 6.3 bolívars to the dollar—went into effect yesterday. It is Venezuela’s fifth devaluation in nine years; the previous devaluation occurred in January 2010. Yesterday, the bolívar reached its lowest value, having … Read more


Aerospace: An Emerging Mexican Industry

Airplanes have many parts, from seatbelt buckles and massive brake pads to thousands of precision-shaped screws. In fact, Boeing, the U.S. aerospace behemoth, brags that its 747s are composed of 6 million individual pieces. Multiply that by 35,000—the number of new airplanes needed to meet world demand over the next 15 years—and the opportunities for … Read more

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