What's New From AQ

  • President Obama Announces Nominees for Key Posts

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    President Obama announced yesterday that he plans to nominate Roberta S. Jacobson to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA). Ms. Jacobson, who has served as acting assistant secretary since this summer, succeeds Arturo Valenzuela, who was confirmed to the post in November 2009 and announced his plans to resign last May.

    Ms. Jacobson previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA issues (2007-2010); Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs (2003-2007); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lima (2000-2002); and Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in WHA (1996-2000). She holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

    President Obama also announced his intent to nominate Earl W. Gast as Assistant Administrator for Africa at USAID, Michael T. Scuse as Under Secretary for Farm and Agricultural Services, and Glen F. Post III as a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.


  • “Aperture Cuba” Benefit

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Raíces de Cuba (Roots of Hope) and 100cameras present “Aperture Cuba,” an evening of photography, cocktails, food, live music, and a silent auction. Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting Raíces de Cuba—a U.S.-based student and young-professional network that empowers Cuban youth through access to communications technology, meaningful people-to-people exchanges and leadership training—and 100cameras, a nonprofit organization that gives children living in underserved communities cameras to document their experiences through photography.

    Tonight’s event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m.  at the Chelsea Art Museum. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


  • La Vida Bohème Nominated for Two Latin Grammys

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Venezuelan indie rockers and dance punk stars La Vida Bohème received two Latin Grammy nominations last week. The Caracas-based quartet will be among the contenders for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song at the twelfth-annual awards ceremony, to be held in Las Vegas on November 10.

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  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights Rules in Favor of Leopoldo López

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    After Leopoldo López v. Venezuela was heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) over six months ago, the regional body issued a ruling today that Venezuela must lift Mr. López’ ban from running for office. López, the former mayor of the Chacao Municipality in Caracas, was disqualified by Venezuela’s Comptroller General in 2008 from running for office for six years—at which time he presented his case to the IACHR, the judicial arm of the Organization of American States based in San José, Costa Rica.  López was accused of receiving illegal campaign donations from Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., Venezuela’s state-run petroleum agency, where his mother had once worked.

    López founded the political party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) and is viewed as a leading challenger to President Hugo Chávez in the 2012 presidential election. He tweeted earlier today: “#SeHizoJusticia con la decisión de la Corte IDH” (#JusticeWasDone with the IACHR decision). He said he plans  to participate in the February 12, 2012, primary vote ahead of the October 7, 2012, presidential election.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro responded that Venezuela’s supreme court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, will review the IACHR decision but will ultimately have the final word on López’ candidacy. 

    Read an analysis
    of the Leopoldo López v. Venezuela case on the AQ blog. 


  • Rio pacification at risk?

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Rio de Janeiro has been busily repaving its streets, as part of the revitalization in the runup to all those mega-events. Manhole covers (exploding or not) are a challenge for any city. They end up lower than the newly paved street.

    Rough edges such as these are rife in Rio, where violence and unrest have returned after a yearlong hiatus. September 2010 saw a wave of motorist robberies (arrastões) that were followed by a crescendo of car- and bus-torchings, culminating with the Army’s November occupation of Complexo do Alemão and Vila Cruzeiro. Then all was relatively calm–until now.

    Yet what’s surprising isn’t this week’s three-night altercation between Complexo do Alemão residents and the Brazilian Army, or the post-baile-funk attack on the local pacification unit in Cidade de Deus– but that it took so long for violence to resurface. Cariocas are famous for their irreverence and noncompliance but many Brazilians bend easily to authority, or at least hide their misdemeanors. Such is the legacy of slavery.

    And what’s not surprising are the comparisons being made by some cariocas, between the forces of public order and the forces of criminal dominion.  ”At least when the drug traffickers ran things, we knew the rules,” favela residents have been heard saying.

    This, in a society as authoritarian as Brazil’s, is but a a variation of “Things were so much better when the military were in power”, often repeated after 1985 by those fearing the forces unleashed by democracy.

    To read the complete article: http://riorealblog.com/2011/09/08/rio-pacification-at-risk/


  • Cantos Latinos Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Saluting Hispanic Heritage Month, the New York tri-state area’s public television station THIRTEEN presents a series of television programs titled Cantos Latinos throughout the month of September. The series showcases the best of Latino contributions to history, music and politics and is airing to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15 – October 15.

    The THIRTEEN series presents documentary and fiction films, interviews and television programs about the Hispanic experience in the United States. Programs will include a history of the Mexican revolution in the documentary film Storm that Swept Mexico (Monday, September 19 at 10 p.m.), a discussion of Mexico’s wide variety of cuisines in Pati’s Mexican Table (Sundays at 4:30 p.m.), and the story of a dancer’s odyssey back to Cuba after 30 years away in Pedro Ruiz: Coming Home (Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m.)

    View other scheduled programs.

    In addition, notable journalists, politicians and actors share their stories about being Latino in the U.S. on THIRTEEN. Viewers are enouraged to write in as well.


  • AACCLA's 44th Annual Meeting and "Forecast on Latin America and the Caribbean" Conference

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    From Monday, October 17 through Wednesday, October 19, the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA) will hold its 44th Annual Meeting and the Forecast on Latin America and the Caribbean Conference in Washington DC. This year’s speakers will include William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Thomas F. McLarty, President, McLarty Associates; and Chris Padilla, Vice President, Governmental Programs, IBM.

    Moisés Naím, Senior Associate for the International Economics program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of Americas States, will also be part of the agenda.

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  • Bernardo Kliksberg Appointed Advisor to Un Techo Para Mi País

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    The renowned Argentinian economist Bernardo Kliksberg has accepted the invitation of Un Techo Para Mi País (UTPMP)—featured in the 2009 fall issue of Americas Quarterly—to be its Main Advisor. Kliksberg, currently an advisor for the United National Development Program (UNDP) and President of the Red Iberoamericana de Universidades por la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial, will support UTPMP’s work reaching out to universities in Latin America, multilateral organizations and government agencies. He will also be an active in the organization’s international activities.

    Un Techo Para Mi País—a Latin American organization founded in Chile in 1997 that expanded in 2005 thanks to the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)—selected Kliksberg given his global trajectory and work fighting against poverty. Maximiliano Pérez, UTPMP’s social director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that Mr. Kliksberg’s acceptance is also recognition to the organization’s hard work.

    UTPMP works in 19 countries across the continent, where it builds emergency housing thanks to the volunteer work of young university students. Their model also includes social strengthening programs and community empowerment. Kliksberg considers UTPMP’s work and its more than 400,000 volunteers as “an ethical reference for the continent.”

    Kliksberg’s has a long history working with UTPMP. Most recently, he was the organization’s ambassador for the campaign Precaria: Un País que Nadie Conoce, which calls attention to the poor living conditions of millions of persons in Latin America and the Caribbean.


  • AS/COA Event: A Conversation with Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Thursday, August 11, 2011
    9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
    Washington, DC
    Map of location

    In collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Defense University/Institute for National Strategic Studies, and the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

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  • New Americas Quarterly Now Released

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Americas Quarterly: Sports in the Americas

    Summer 2011

    Sports in the Americas—and in the world—are more than just a pastime. They mean big revenues for sponsors, media and teams, link far-flung communities, and increase nations’ global prestige. And they can serve as an engine for socioeconomic development.

    The next issue of Americas Quarterly—released today and available in all Barnes & Noble bookstores beginning August 15— explores all these dimensions—themes brought into sharp focus with Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    In an exclusive interview and photo series AQ features the favorite charitable causes of Mia Hamm, Lorena Ochoa, Albert Pujols, Lionel Messi, Tony Gonzalez, and Marta Vieira.

    Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College argues that Brazil’s infrastructure may not be ready in time for the World Cup and Olympic games, and, worse, that it will never recoup the $1 trillion it is investing to host them. AQ also looks at how sports can promote community development and foster social inclusion, with Fabian Koss of the Inter-American Development Bank discussing the sports-for-development model among youth. Baseball historian Rob Ruck uncovers the seamy side of Major League Baseball’s recruitment of young players in the Dominican Republic, and Andres Schipani contrasts the use of sports to improve U.S. relations with China and the Soviet Union and the complete lack of similar efforts with Cuba. 

    Beyond sports, Anthony DePalma reveals how leadership and management have marginalized the Organization of American States (OAS) and outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela reflects on how the region—and U.S.-Latin America relations—have changed. 


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