Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Protect the Amazon

In the northwestern Amazon Basin in Colombia, an extraordinary process has been quietly taking place to protect the tropical forest. Over the last 20 years, Amazon indigenous peoples have been handed back their lands in a process aimed both at protecting the environment and supporting human rights.

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Share the Tools of Wealth Creation

Of all the relationships that the next U.S. president needs to repair around the world, none has a higher priority than Latin America. In fact, Latin America’s unaddressed poverty and inequality is approaching a major national security concern for the United States. Latin America is in trouble. Of 550 million Latin Americans more than 200 … Read more


Listen to Latin America’s Women

The challenges facing the president of the U.S. are not those of a new administration, but of a new age. Global sustainability, peace and respect for human rights in a diverse world are the foremost issues confronting the new generation of leaders in Washington. The next president will be dealing with an increasingly complex Latin … Read more


Strike a New Partnership with Brazil

The U.S. and Brazil must expand their trade relationship. Although there are significant differences between the two countries, especially in socioeconomic development, the similarities are clear: our size and enterprising spirits bring us together. For example, Brazil’s advancements in the field of alternative energy and the technological innovation that emerges from the U.S.

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Protect the Lives and Rights Of Indigenous People

Congratulations on your victory. I offer you our traditional best wishes for a good heart, good mind and good thoughts as you assume your new responsibilities. I write to you as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, the national organization representing First Nations in Canada. Canada is home to more than 800,000 First … Read more


Move Beyond the One-Policy-Fits-All-Model

The next president must abandon the current one-policy-fits-all approach to U.S. neighbors and recognize the region’s vast economic, political, cultural, and ideological diversity. His foreign policy toward Latin America, no less than toward the rest of the world, should focus on revamping the U.S. image as a country that respects the rule of law, promotes peace through multilateral institutions and champions international governance as the best way to solve global problems.

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Reform the Immigration System

“Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome…. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus’ famous poem is engraved on the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands. The invitation implicit in those words is so compelling that every day someone dies in the desert near the U.S.-southern border, attempting to reach the United States.

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Recognize and Work with the New Central America

Mr. President-elect, please take a moment to recognize the vast changes in my region, Central America. Some of your compatriots already have, and they are surprised by what they have found. I recently enjoyed a cup of Salvadoranian coffee with a U.S. investor who regularly commutes between Manhattan and El Salvador, in less time than … Read more


Bridge the Digital Divide

For some time now, Latin American countries have been working diligently to reduce what has come to be known as the digital divide: the gap between the huge advances in information technology and those who do not have the access or the digital skills to use that technology. In the private sector, collaboration and mentoring have helped bridge the gap, and business continues to have the greatest potential for progress. Reinforcing a combined effort on the part of regional and U.S.

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Recognize that Cuba’s Future Is Inside Cuba

I write my humble recommendations to the new President-elect and to others who will read this essay as an activist who has spent more than 17 years of uninterrupted confinement in filthy jails simply for expressing my desire for change. The reforms that I have advocated are the same as those that were demanded in Central Europe in public squares and streets two decades ago. And it is with this experience that I urge you to remember that the hope for change in Cuba is still alive.

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Build Smart Borders

Mr. President, welcome to the overwhelming responsibility and the awesome opportunity of leading the world’s richest, most powerful nation at a time of global change and trial. I am offering you advice today from a Canadian perspective—a perspective that I fear you will have received from few of your advisers. In my lifetime, two dates … Read more


End the Credit Squeeze on Latin America’s Poor

Over the past two decades, democracy has taken hold in the vast majority of Latin American countries. Notwithstanding an anti-market backlash led by Venezuela, the region as a whole has benefited from stable economic policies and improved growth rates. Yet these gains remain imperiled by persistent poverty and income inequality. According to a May 2008 … Read more


Deal with the Left’s Resurgence

The landscape of Latin America has shifted in both political and economic terms in the last ten years. The Left, with its “one thousand faces,” has reappeared in a distorted and pernicious manner, without providing any solutions to the biggest problems in the region such as poverty, drug trafficking, contraband, and corruption, among others. In many of our countries, we have to start over again. The challenge awaiting the new president of the United States in developing new policies for the region will not be easy.

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Ignore the Has-Beens, Look to Brazil

What a paradox! Never has the Hispanic vote been more influential in a U.S. election than in 2008—and never has the U.S. had less regional influence than today. That said, 200 years of history and a rising regional power (Brazil) present you, Mr. President-elect, with a unique opportunity to build a new relationship of solidarity with the region on everything from energy, aid and commerce, to security and migration.

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