Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
 

U.S.-Cuba Tensions Flare over Gross’s Health

Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebuked the possibility of a “unilateral” release of jailed USAID subcontractor Alan Gross on Wednesday amid growing concern by the United States over his health. Josefina Vidal, the top Cuban diplomat for North American affairs, said that the Cuban government has communicated the terms of Gross’ release to U.S. officials … Read more

 

Colombia-Nicaragua: Ecos del Fallo de la Haya

No es poca cosa que Colombia haya perdido los derechos económicos sobre 80.000 km2 de mar territorial en el diferendo con Nicaragua que la Corte Internacional de Justicia (CIJ) falló a favor de este último país el 19 de noviembre. Lo llamativo es el impacto de la decisión del tribunal internacional en la política interna … Read more

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The United States: Good Neighbors, Finally, toward Latin America

Every presidential candidate pledges, as Mitt Romney recently did, to do more to “focus on Latin America” and “take advantage” of the “huge opportunities” there. It’s been a long time since one followed through. Even by the standards of campaign promises, this one has become so empty that it hardly registers. It’s not that candidates … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia – Peña Nieto in the Presidency – Colombia, FARC Continue Talks – Peru, Chile at The Hague – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Mercosur convenes; first week of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency; FARC peace negotiations resume; Peru, Chile dispute their border at The Hague; and Rousseff’s oil royalties veto makes waves in Brazil. Mercosur Considers Ecuador and Bolivia: When Mercosur’s member nations convene on Friday in Brasilia, they will consider … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Colombia, FARC in Cuba – Honduran Presidential Candidates – Canada Negotiates FTA with European Union – and more

Top stories this week are likely to include: Colombia-FARC peace negotiations move to Havana; 2013 presidential contest set in Honduras; Canadian trade minister in Brussels for free trade talks; and The Hague rules on the Nicaragua-Colombia maritime border dispute. Colombia-FARC Talks Resume: Representatives from the Colombian government arrived yesterday in Havana, Cuba, ahead of the … Read more

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Not Poor, But Not Middle Class Yet

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, Latin America’s increasing prosperity and social progress have led analysts to conclude that historic change is taking place. Indeed, poverty in Latin America fell from 41.4 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2010, even at a time of global distress1—a result, in part, of both sustained … Read more

 

Panama-U.S. Trade Deal Goes Into Effect

A trade deal between the U.S. and Panama that was negotiated five years ago went into force on Wednesday. The agreement, which will allow increased U.S. exports into the country, was signed by former president George W. Bush in June 2007 and ratified by Panama’s parliament the same year. However, the U.S. Congress held up … Read more

 

Latin America Overshadowed in Foreign Policy Debate

This is a rush, unedited transcript of the presidential debate on foreign policy at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida on October 22, 2012: Welcome and thanks, 50 years after the Cuban missile crisis and as a segue I want to ask about…Libya…talking point…Afghanistan in 2014, maybe, maybe not…talking point…Iraq!…horses and bayonets…Iran will never get … Read more

 

After Totonicapán: Violence and the Military in Guatemala

The arrest of eight soldiers in connection with the Totonicapán incident on October 4—which resulted in the deaths of at least seven Indigenous protestors—heralds the first test of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina’s mano dura (iron fist) approach to restoring law and order. Pérez Molina campaigned for office promising to use the army, from which … Read more

 

Reform or Ruse? Cuba’s Travel Changes

On Tuesday the Cuban government announced that on January 14, 2013 it will remove one of the most visible and anachronistic symbols of the Castro regime: prohibitions on its citizens traveling outside the island. The question—as with all the recent reforms announced in Cuba—will be how much and how quickly. Little discussed though is also … Read more

 

El Salvador: May Moderation Win as FMLN and ARENA Prepare for 2014 Election

El Salvador is facing multiple threats to democracy. High crime, a slow economy and persistent poverty join more modern issues such as urban governance, reduced competitiveness and stagnant productivity. While these challenges disappoint members of the electorate, consistent political bickering is also a turn-off to a base of voters that desperately cries for moderation. Political … Read more

 

Angel Carromero Trial Highlights Tensions between Cuba and Spain

A Cuban jury will release this week the verdict from the trial against the young Spanish politician Ángel Carromero, which took place last Friday in Bayamo, in the southeastern province of Granma. Carromero is accused of vehicular manslaughter, after the car that he was driving on July 22 crashed and killed two Cuban dissidents: the … Read more

 

10 Things to Do: Granada, Nicaragua

Few Central American cities can compete with the colonial charm and lovely surroundings of Granada, Nicaragua—the region’s oldest city (founded in 1524). Granada is less than an hour’s drive from Nicaragua’s capital, Managua, and nearly as close to pristine Pacific beaches. Here’s what to do: 1.  Avoid the Heat. Midday temperatures often soar above 90 … Read more

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