Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

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Why Banco del Sur Is a Bad Idea

Regional or multilateral banks help developing nations through different means. They are instrumental in redistributing funds from richer to poorer nations.  They provide liquidity in periods of stress in world capital markets.  And they provide financing for long-term projects that require financing at maturities that exceed what the country may obtain in the markets at … Read more

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Mauricio Funes: His Way

The March 2009 election of Mauricio Funes and the broad coalition of social and political forces that supported his candidacy inspired the Salvadoran people and heralded a new era in the history of the smallest country in Latin America. The election of Funes, a Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) party candidate, for … Read more

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Costa Ricans Choose Chinchilla and Continuity

Laura Chinchilla was elected Costa Rica’s first female president in a colorful election on February 7 that delivered a high vote of confidence to outgoing President Óscar Arias. The 50-year-old moderate Chinchilla, who resigned as Arias’ vice president last year to campaign for the country’s top office, won with more than 46 percent of the … Read more

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The Renovators

Two political cultures coexist in Argentina. On the one hand, there is the culture based on confrontation, exclusion and antiquated ideology that has reigned for decades. This culture has led to a history of conflict and upheaval that has led to our country’s decline. On the other is a new political culture, conscious of the … Read more

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How to Protect Haiti’s “Orphans”

Within 18 days of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that ravaged southern Haiti, news agencies reported that members of a U.S. Baptist Church group were arrested in the Dominican Republic for trafficking Haitian children. “This is no real surprise given history” said Kathleen Bergquist, associate professor of Social Work at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Inevitably, … Read more

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Social Change Depends on Personal Change

Academic studies and professional experience have taught me that I should concern myself with what lies beyond my own personal success. Many like me are working to create nationwide projects that aim to reach more people, reduce divisions, combat poverty, and diminish the social anomie in which many people live. We strive to create a … Read more

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The Educator

Democracies cannot flourish with a stagnant citizenry. They require an electorate which from an early age is responsibly engaged, educated in political theory and instilled with the values from which republicanism is constructed. The lessons of democratic citizenship prepare young people to become more than observers of a regime, but actors in an equal and free community. … Read more

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Murder Accusations Against the Guatemalan President: The Truth Comes Out

In a country where you can literally get away with murder, Guatemalans were shocked to hear that the murderer of attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg, whose infamous video accused President Alvaro Colom of assassinating him, was Rosenberg himself who plotted his own death in a tangled web of intrigue. The intellectual authors of the murder were his … Read more

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Hydroelectric Energy in the Peruvian Amazon: The Inambari Puzzle

Peru’s appetite for investment has again led it deep into the Amazon jungle. This time a new hydroelectricity project, the Inambari Dam, is poised to bring irreversible social and environmental changes to the region. Inambari, to be developed in the buffer zone of the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, will be the largest hydroelectricity project in Peru … Read more

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The Second-Term Challenges for Bolivia’s Evo Morales

Evo Morales won a popular mandate. That is the simplest way to describe the results of Bolivia’s recent presidential election. But celebrating Morales’ triumph—a landslide 63 percent victory and a ten-point improvement from 2005—should not obscure the obstacles he will face during his second term. These obstacles, both political and economic, will require deft handling … Read more

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Obama, Cuba, and Complacency Toward Evil

Sanctions are not uncommon when dealing with tyrants, as we have seen recently in the discussions weighing what to do about North Korea and Iran.  The United States levied sanctions against Libya after its terrorists downed a PAM AM flight over Scotland in 1996; the world imposed sanctions on the white supremacist government in South … Read more

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In a Changing Climate, the Red Cross Hopes a New Focus on Training and Preparation Will Save Lives

When not one, but four, hurricanes pummeled poverty-stricken Haiti between September and November of 2008, relief agencies struggled to deliver emergency aid before the next storm rolled in. Four years earlier, the United States received a costly and deadly reminder that natural disasters wreck havoc on wealthy countries, too. Hurricane Katrina left 80 percent of … Read more

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Chile’s Presidential Election and the Marco Enríquez-Ominami Factor: Insight from Patricio Navia’s [i]El Díscolo[/i]

November 18, 2009 In the lead up to Chile’s presidential election on December 13, Marco Enríquez-Ominami has burst dramatically onto the country’s political scene. The 36-year-old dissident candidate—or díscolo, in Chilean political parlance—has shaken up the race by adding a new dynamic of competition and offering an exciting alternative presidential candidacy. Enríquez-Ominami (or ME-O as … Read more

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Why Zelaya’s Protest Support Dwindled

October 30, 2009 A peaceful resolution to the Honduran crisis appears to be at hand. Pending the approval of the Honduran Congress, Manuel Zelaya will return to power, the elections will take place at the end of November (with the military under the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s control for this month) and the international community will … Read more

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After the First Round: José Mujica and the Future of the Frente Amplio party in Uruguay

October 30, 2009 The party in power loses votes. This phrase sums up one of the most consistent rules in Uruguayan electoral history for the last 60 years. As was made perfectly clear during the first round of presidential voting on October 29, the government of Tabaré Vázquez is no exception to this rule. But … Read more

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