Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas


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Hangar Pains: The Argentina-Chile Airport Controversy

Relations between neighboring Argentina and Chile have reached a new low point. The latest controversy surrounds a decision by Argentina’s airport regulator, ORSNA, mandating LAN-Argentina, a Chilean-owned airline operating domestically, to vacate its maintenance hangar at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, one of Buenos Aires’s two airports. LAN-Argentina’s director, Agustín Agraz, called this decision a form of … Read more


The Renewed Interest in Argentine Energy

Last year when Argentina expropriated most of Repsol’s majority stake in YPF, the country’s flagship oil and gas company, the Spanish government and the European Union howled in anger, leading calls to sanction Argentina and restrict trade in retaliation. The high drama in April 2012 culminated in a few months of frosty relations between Spain … Read more


Argentina Signs Deal to Jump-Start Drilling

A little more than a year after Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner seized control of Argentine oil company YPF from Spain’s Grupo Repsol, Argentina has enlisted Chevron to develop its massive Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field. The deal, inked Tuesday evening in Buenos Aires, confirms the California-based Chevron Corporation will invest an … Read more


Seeking Investment, Argentina Eases Restrictions on the Oil Industry

The Argentine government announced on Monday that it would allow oil companies that invest at least $1 billion over five years to explore the Vaca Muerta oil field and to export, tax free, up to 20 percent of the crude and natural gas they produce in the country. The move is part of a growing effort … Read more


Opposition Journalist’s Corruption Investigation Highlights Argentine Media Fight

With his signature in-your-face style, influential Argentine opposition journalist Jorge Lanata continued his quest on Sunday night to single-handedly take down the Argentine government. Since April, Lanata’s weekly Sunday night news program, “Periodismo Para Todos” (Journalism for All–PPT)  has aggressively reported on allegations that businessmen close to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her … Read more


Argentine Farmers Announce Five-Day Strike

Four of Argentina’s main farm associations announced on Tuesday a five-day commercial strike that will begin this weekend to protest the Argentine government’s market regulations. Argentine farmers, one of the largest global providers of food, will stop selling livestock and grain from Saturday, June 15, through Wednesday, June 19.  The strike is motivated by rising … Read more


Jorge Videla, a Sinister Argentine Dictator, Dies

I was born in June 1976, only weeks after Argentina’s most violent dictatorship began. Early in the morning on a sad March day before I was born, my father was taken away by the military regime. He didn’t meet me for the first time until almost a year later. I was lucky; thousands of children … Read more


Monday Memo: Paraguayan Elections – Ríos Montt Trial – Argentine Protests – Guantánamo Hunger Strike – Venezuela

Top stories this week are likely to include: Horacio Cartes will be Paraguay’s new president; Guatemala’s Constitutional Court will decide whether Efraín Ríos Montt’s genocide trial can continue; Argentines protested Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government; Guantánamo prisoners’ hunger strike grows; the Venezuelan election audit process will take a month. Horacio Cartes Wins Presidential Election in … Read more


This Pope Doesn’t Wear Prada

Everyone who is anyone from the political and religious world arrived in Rome this week to take part in a mass to coronate the Catholic Church’s newest leader, Pope Francis.  At its pinnacle, cardinals and bishops in full regalia prayed in Latin while bells rang over St. Peter’s Basilica.  It was one of the world’s … Read more

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The New Pope and Gay Rights

While naysayers joke that the Cardinals may as well have elected another Italian Pope in choosing a porteño, the move to elect Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, is of undeniable significance for the global south. This is particularly true for Latin Americans, who—while accounting for 40 percent of all Catholics—often complain of … Read more


Hope and Change from the Americas

Like most observers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, I was surprised to see Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina chosen as the new Pope. He was nowhere to be seen in the pre-conclave media hype. We in Canada saw Cardinal Quellet from La Motte, Quebec as a serious frontrunner. Yet we are observing since Bergoglio’s election … Read more


Francisco, el político

En total, 31 jefes de Estado, 11 jefes de gobierno, 132 delegaciones de todo el mundo y de diferentes congregaciones religiosas, asistieron este martes al comienzo oficial del pontificado del papa Francisco, el primer latinoamericano en llegar a la cabeza de la Iglesia Católica que congrega a 1.200 millones de fieles, la mitad de ellos … 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 New Argentine Pope

News that Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope yesterday set off wild celebrations in Argentina and give further support to the oft-cited sentiment that God is Argentine.  How could He be otherwise?  Having come from seemingly out of the mix, new Pope Francis was not unknown but neither was he apparently a front-runner in the … Read more

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