Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Hugo Chávez Defeats a United Opposition

The Venezuelan electorate has chosen to give President Hugo Chávez another six-year mandate. Last night, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council—CNE) announced that with 90 percent of ballots counted, Chávez earned 54 percent of votes while challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski took in about 45 percent. The CNE also announced that the participation rate of … Read more


Momentum for Capriles Heading to Election Day

Caracas, Venezuela – We are just hours away from Venezuela’s Election Day and it is time to relax, sit tight and wait to see if the polls are finally right. The last two weeks of the campaign were crucial for both candidates. However it was Henrique Capriles who took the greatest advantage of the end … Read more


The Stage is Set for Venezuela’s Election

Caracas, Venezuela – The presidential campaign is officially over as of Thursday night at 11:59p.m., as dictated by the law here in Venezuela. After the chaos and euphoria that spread through Caracas in the days leading up to the close of the campaigns, a tense and eerie calm reigns over the city. Across the country, … Read more


Venezuelans Abroad: The Obstacle Course to Sunday’s Election

Cindy is Venezuelan and lives in Vietnam. Her husband’s career as a pilot took them to Ho Chi Minh, two and a half hours away from the nearest Venezuelan embassy. For Cindy and her husband, distance is not a restriction to vote in Sunday’s election. Their problem is their official status overseas: with only a … Read more


From Caracas. Mercosur and The Venezuela Elections

The soon-to-close electoral race for the presidency of Venezuela between Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Henrique Capriles Radonski will certainly be remembered as one of the most fascinating campaign periods in this country’s recent political history. On one hand, the race has been silently colored by the uncertainty that surrounds Chávez’ health. On the other, … Read more


Tensions Rise in Venezuela Ahead of Sunday’s Elections

  Tensions have continued to heighten in Venezuela just days before Sunday’s presidential election between President Hugo Chávez and Henrique Capriles Radonski. Electoral law prohibits opinion polls from being published four days ahead of the Venezuelan elections, but the most recent polling results reveal markedly different figures. Datanalisis has Chávez polling at 49 percent compared … Read more

ChavezRally510_WalterVargas_Oct 4

Electoral Legitimacy and Security Ahead of Venezuela’s Presidential Election

Late last week, Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski released a video with his final appeal to voters. Looking straight at the camera, the former governor of Miranda state addressed the fears that prevent some Venezuelans from supporting him fully: being fired from government jobs; being passed over for a social program; or being banned … Read more


Peru’s Fujimori May Ask for Pardon this Week

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala indicated Wednesday that his government had received no formal request from former President Alberto Fujimori’s family for an official humanitarian pardon from the state. However, according to Fujimori’s lawyer, César Nakazaki, Fujimori is planning to ask for a pardon sometime this week, with legal documents expected to be submitted this Friday. … Read more


Santos to Undergo Cancer Surgery as Peace Talks Approach

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, 61, will undergo surgery in Bogotá today to remove a non-aggressive tumor located in the prostate gland. Details of the condition and the procedure were revealed by the president on Monday, hours after the tumor was discovered and only a week before the awaited peace negotiations between the Colombian government … Read more


Libya’s Lesson For Latin America

We are still wondering just what happened in Benghazi, Libya, with the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the State Department’s Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. That this tragedy happened on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans makes it all … Read more


IDB Supports Bolivia’s Highway Expansion

On Thursday, The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $122 million loan to help expand and upgrade a 69.7 kilometer (43.3 mile) segment of Bolivia’s Santa Cruz-Cochabamba Highway. Developing the highway has been declared a national priority due to its high traffic volume of 9,000 vehicles per day. More than 20 percent of trucks using … Read more


Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico Ask UN to Revise Drug War Tactics

In remarks to the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called on the UN to begin a serious debate on alternative ways to combat drug trafficking. “Today, I am proposing formally that [the UN]…carry out a far-reaching assessment … Read more


The Irony of ALBA’s Rejection of USAID Funds

The Russian government’s announcement last week that it would refuse over $50 million of U.S. development assistance for democracy and public health programs echoed a similar trend in the Western Hemisphere. In June, the Venezuela-led Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA) asked its members to “immediately expel” the U.S. bilateral development agency … Read more


Colombia Marks International Day of Peace

The annual celebration of International Day of Peace today holds special significance in Colombia given recent developments to try to end decades of conflict. Established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly, this day is meant to coincide with the opening session of the UNGA as well as raise public awareness on issues related … Read more


Chávez Again Refuses to Debate Capriles

At a rally on Tuesday in the town of La Grita in Táchira state, Henrique Capriles Radonski, the candidate from the opposition’s Democratic Unity coalition, again invited President Hugo Chávez to join him in a debate that would be broadcast on television and radio and would focus on their respective platforms and views for Venezuela’s … Read more

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