Cuba

Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

Latin America Delivers A Swift Kick

April 30, 2012 by

On one level, April’s hemispheric summit meeting was an old fashioned butt kicking for Washington’s policies in the region. The White House found itself virtually alone—Dudley Do Right Canada its sole ally—on everything from Cuba to the war on drugs. But the differences go deeper than the exclusion of Havana and the growing body count in Washington’s failed anti-narcotics strategy. They reflect profound disagreements on how to build economies, confront inequity, and reflect a new balance of power in world affairs.

Obama and Immigration

April 19, 2012 by

President Barack Obama is talking big (again). This time it is about immigration. At the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Obama has said that he would deal with immigration reform during the first year of his second term. Now all he has to do is get reelected.

The Promise of Colombia

April 10, 2012 by

While much of the globe has been mired in an economic malaise, the simultaneous growth of Latin America has been well chronicled. Most of the attention given to Latin America’s rise has focused on Brazil, which recently surpassed Great Britain to become the world’s sixth largest economy. The attention has been justified given Brazil’s remarkable turnaround, its economic growth, potential growth, and forthcoming global spotlight by way of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Brazil, U.S. Deepen Ties Ahead of Obama’s Latin America Week

April 10, 2012 by

Kicking off what some here have called President Barack Obama’s “Latin America Week”, the president and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, touted a deepening of bilateral ties in her first visit to the White House as president of South America’s superpower. Adding to a growing basket of “presidential dialogues” that were sealed during Obama’s visit to Brazil in March 2011, the two leaders announced the creation of a “Defence Co-operation Dialogue” that will convene in the Latin American giant in two weeks.

The Effects of the US Resolution Against Sri Lanka

March 23, 2012 by

Europe and most of Latin America supported the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 19th session in Geneva. China, Russia, and several countries in Africa and Asia voted against it. Unsurprisingly, Cuba and Ecuador also opposed the resolution.

A (Real) Turning Point in US-Latin American Relations?

March 8, 2012 by

Will November be the beginning of a turning point in US-Latin American relations? For that to happen, it is essential for Washington, both Democrats and Republicans alike, to accept a new reality in order to start the very complex process of avoiding the frustrated superpower syndrome vis-à-vis Latin America.

Revisiting Helms-Burton

March 6, 2012 by

In 1996, the US government enacted the Helms-Burton Act in an effort to tighten the embargo on Cuba and bring about the regime change that the Americans have long wanted. Sixteen years later, while Fidel Castro has stepped aside from his official role as Cuban president, the desired regime change has not taken place. Raul Castro has made some changes in the government-controlled economy, but no changes have been forthcoming regarding democracy or human rights.

Congressman Kingston’s Irresponsible Letter on Sri Lanka

February 24, 2012 by

U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) recently submitted a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama. Cosigned by eleven other members of Congress, it effusively praises the Sri Lankan government for all of its accomplishments since end of the country’s twenty-six-year civil war. The short note is heavy on rhetoric and light on reality.

Why is Iran interested in Latin America?

February 20, 2012 by

In January of 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad conducted a four nation tour of Latin America, with stops in Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Cuba. From the time that this trip became public, US government officials began asking “Why Latin America?”

Placing CELAC in the proper Latin American Context

January 5, 2012 by

The creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC - Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños) has attracted a fair amount of international attention, both by the international media and by Latin Americanist researchers and academics.

Mitt Romney and Latin America

October 14, 2011 by

If Mitt Romney becomes president of the United States, he apparently has big plans for Latin America. “Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration really focused on Latin America,” a Romney aide apparently told a conference call of reporters late last week, according to this article in Politico. The article quoted an aide who said President Mitt Romney would envision “larger campaigns for economic opportunity in Latin America.”

Oil Diplomacy to the Rescue? Cuban Drilling off Florida Keys to Begin by End of the Year

September 28, 2011 by

For 51 years the U.S. has imposed an economic embargo against Cuba, severely crippling the island’s economy for its effrontery in choosing a socialist path for development, a policy confirmed and intensified in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Now the unlikeliest of economic interests may be bringing the two countries closer together – oil. Specifically, oil deposits in the Florida Straits between Key West and Cuba.

Obama’s Latin America Policy Not Too Different from Bush’s

July 1, 2011 by

This week is the second anniversary of the military coup in Honduras, an occasion to review the Obama Administration’s disappointing approach toward Latin America. On June 28, 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly dispatched on a plane to Costa Rica. Over the past two years, the junta and its successor regime (elected in dubious circumstances) have engaged in harsh repression.

Cuba’s Begrudging March Toward Capitalism

May 12, 2011 by

In 1975 Fidel Castro said, “There is no doubt that in the organization of our economy we have erred on the side of idealism and sometimes even ignored the reality of the objective economic laws we should comply with.” This realization was not purely organic. Cuba’s overreliance on economic and military assistance became apparent when the Soviet Union collapsed two decades ago and the country’s leaders were forced to come to terms with a new reality.

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