View an interview with AQ’s Christopher Sabatini below
Christopher Sabatini, Senior Director of Policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas and founder and editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, was interviewed by the International Development Bank as part of the its Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative. Following the launch of AQ’s Winter 2014 issue, Our Cities, Our Future, Sabatini comments on the challenges and opportunities that cities face in the 21st century to become more inclusive and sustainable.
What are the main challenges that cities are facing today?
Energized with confidence after nearly ten years of consistent economic growth, Panama envisions itself as becoming the Singapore of the Western hemisphere. In an article recently published online by World Politics Review Chris Sabatini and Rebecca Bintrim see an optimistic future for the country despite deep-seeded corruption, new regional shipping competition, China’s economic slowdown, and difficulties in upgrading US port facilities. Though a difficult task, Panama can get expansion right, they argue, if President Juan Carlos Varela capitalizes on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), re-invests financial gains into social programs and lays the foundation for a judicial system that is sufficiently strong and independent to end the crippling legacy of corruption.
New Americas Quarterly to be Released: Cuba and Colombia
What does the future hold for Cuba and Colombia? The Fall 2014 issue of Americas Quarterly, to be released on November 5, explores the promising but difficult roads ahead for two Latin American countries potentially on the verge of historic change. Will the Colombian government’s progress in forging a negotiated peace with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) bring a just and sustainable end to the country’s deadly 50-year-old armed conflict? What major challenges must Cuba overcome to jump-start its economy and improve life on the island—and how can the U.S. facilitate this process?
In this issue, Juanita León examines the legal and political obstacles that Colombia faces in its quest to secure a lasting peace, Marcela Prieto dispels common misperceptions about the peace process, and Rodrigo Uprimny and Nelson Camilo Sánchez discuss how to best achieve justice for victims of the decades-long violence. Meanwhile, journalists Jenny Manrique and Ramón Campos Iriarte interview the FARC’s delegates in Havana and ELN guerrillas in Chocó, and Alejandro Eder explains how disarmed ex-combatants are being re-integrated into Colombian society.
In our section on Cuba, Carmelo Mesa-Lago describes the political resistance and red tape that must be resolved to ensure that Cuba’s recent economic reforms are successful. Robert Muse lays out a roadmap for improving U.S.-Cuba relations, and Richard Feinberg argues that the U.S. must rethink its policy toward the island well before next year’s Summit of the Americas in Panama. AS/COA CEO and President Susan Segal finds inspiration and promise in the island’s pioneering entrepreneurs, and Alana Tummino and Allie Fleder take a trip across the island to meet with Cuban cuentapropistas to document their successes and struggles.
AQ also looks at the surge of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border, as Sam Quinones urges politicians in Washington to take quick action to resolve the humanitarian crisis. Eduardo Guerrero and Alejandro Hope debate the merits of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s security policy, and Daniel H. Levine asks whether Latin America’s first pope, Francis I, will change the future of Catholicism in the region.
On Sunday, The New York Times published an editorial urging the Obama administration to dismantle the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba. Given the shifting domestic attitudes and policies towards U.S.-Cuba relations and the changing economic climate on the island, Obama now has a unique opportunity to re-engage with Cuba, thus ending more than half a century’s worth of hostilities. In The Times’ “Room for Debate,” Christopher Sabatini makes a case for the political expediency of liberalizing elements of the embargo on Cuba to allow for social and commercial exchange.
Last week, reports surfaced that the bloc of Latin American and Caribbean nations agreed to support Venezuela’s bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council. Christopher Sabatini explains why the country is far from an appropriate choice, and questions the region’s support of Venezuela in the face of its failure to meet the basic conditions for membership.
By Christopher Sabatini
In recent years, Latin American countries have come together to form multilateral organizations like the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in 2008 and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in 2011. Christopher Sabatini questions the effectiveness of these organizations, examining their role in the Venezuelan elections and comparing them to the Pacific Alliance, a two-year-old economic bloc that includes Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
By Christopher Sabatini
Many U.S. politicians and journalists have blamed a human trafficking law signed under George Bush, offering a trial to Central American minors before deportation, and others have blamed President Obama for not being strong enough defending the border. Christopher Sabatini explores how a lack of social inclusion in the "Northern Triangle" Central American countries has led to the humanitarian crisis, rather than U.S. immigration policy alone.
By Christopher Sabatini
New Americas Quarterly Released: Higher Education and Competitiveness
How can universities prepare students for the global economy? The Summer 2014 issue of Americas Quarterly, released on July 29, explores ways that universities, community colleges and exchange programs are helping the region’s youth prepare for the future and the global economy. We examine the challenges today’s students face—from outdated curricula to the rising cost of a college degree and the resulting debt burden, and the quality of education—to understand the challenges and the modern wave of student protests that have swept the hemisphere.
In this issue, Charles Hale explains how and why Latin American studies remains relevant, while Indira Palacios-Valladares reports on student protest movements in Latin America and their politics. Jesus Velasco proposes a series of means to help Mexico—and other countries—retain top academics; Carol Stax Brown explains why U.S. community colleges and vocational schools in Latin America are essential and what they can learn from one another to better serve the needs of their students and economies; and Timothy DeVoogd describes firsthand how science and technology-focused exchange programs in Chile, Colombia and Brazil are already benefitting those countries’ students and businesses. Plus, our AQ Charticle shows how different U.S. states treat undocumented students who want to access public higher education.
AQ also looks at return migration in Mexico, Cuba-EU relations, and Venezuela’s political and economic future. In a special section on the Dominican Republic’s 2013 court decision to deny citizenship to descendants of undocumented Haitian immigrants, Santiago A. Canton and Wade H. McMullen, Jr. explain the human rights consequences, and acclaimed writers Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz discuss the shared history between the two countries and the tragedy of recent politics.
Finally, for the third year in a row, AQ presents the Social Inclusion Index, featuring all-new data, a new country—Argentina—and rankings of two new indicators: access to justice and disability rights. See how the countries in the region stack up. In accompanying articles, Joan Caivano and Jane Marcus-Delgado discuss women’s rights in the hemisphere, and Matthew Budd and Marcela Donadio look at insecurity in Central America and its relationship to social inclusion.
As the number of unaccompanied minors—mostly coming from Central America—has substantially increased in the last three years, immigration has become a hot-button issue again in the United States. AQ's Kate Brick explores that while the federal government continues to delay on immigration reform, cities have taken the lead on providing support for immigrants.
By Kate Brick
June 1: This AQ-Efecto Naím segment looks at sustainable cities in the hemisphere.