Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Lessons for Regionwide Engagement from Obama’s Latin America Trip

President Obama’s trip to Latin America can be broken down as an essentially successful visit to Brazil and an uneventful trip to Chile and El Salvador. Unfortunately, the disappointing visit to Spanish-speaking Latin America has cast a shadow on the accomplishments achieved in Brazil. The main oversight of the trip is that Latin America should … Read more


Obama’s Moment to Get It Right in Latin America

Amidst nuclear meltdown in Japan, growing pressures to respond to the carnage in Libya and the specter of a possible U.S. government shutdown, flitting rumors have circulated that the visit of President Barack Obama to three Latin American countries may be cancelled or postponed.  This would be a major setback in U.S. relations with the … Read more

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Rebuilding Business after the Chilean Earthquake

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Chile on February 27, 2010, left local micro-enterprises in a dire situation. In the southern coast, where the effects were most severe, entire fishing villages and towns were wiped out. Small entrepreneurs saw their businesses literally crumble to the ground. In the most affected areas, 98 percent … Read more


What Role for Foreigners?

U.S. sporting-goods entrepreneur Douglas Tompkins first fell in love with Patagonia as a teenager on backpacking trips. Today, he is one of Latin America’s largest private landowners, controlling an estimated 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) straddling Argentina and Chile at the tip of the continent. However, the 66-year-old New York native, who founded the North … Read more


Dispatches: Observing the U.S. Elections

It is difficult to find an American over 50 who does not remember what he or she was doing the day John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Those moments are as vivid as photographs. For a new generation of Americans (not to mention millions of people worldwide), Barack Obama’s election and … Read more


POLITICAL INNOVATOR: Claudio Orrego, Chile

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Affluence isn’t a prerequisite for being at the cutting-edge of connectivity. The proof is Peñalolén, a working-class municipality on the outskirts of Santiago, which was named this year as one of the most-connected municipalities in Chile by the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, and declared the most digital medium-sized city in Latin America by the Ibero-American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Enterprises in Madrid.

The reason for Peñalolén’s stature is not hard to find: smart political leadership.

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Expand Trade—Even with Cuba

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Congratulations, Mr. President-elect. Amidst the celebratory post-election fervor of the past few weeks I hope you have caught glimpses of the transcendent significance of your victory, and the powerful inspiration that it provides to the citizens of the U.S. and, indeed, the world. In fact, there can be little doubt that your ascension to the presidential office validates and illuminates many of the core tenets of your nation.

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