Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

What Trump’s “America First” Means for Latin America

Smart great powers ensure their safety by befriending smaller neighboring countries. China is engaged in a high-profile charm offensive to overcome long-standing animosities and draw its Southeast Asian neighbors into its orbit, through trade agreements and massive infrastructure projects. The Russia of Vladimir Putin is working hard to regain influence in territories of the former … Read more

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What Puerto Rico Really Needs

This story has been updated Beyond Puerto Rico’s undefeated march to the World Baseball Classic final, it seems the island can’t catch a break. First, ongoing mediated talks between its government and debtors over how to restructure its $70 billion debt before a key May 1 deadline aren’t going well, although failure would expose Puerto … Read more


What the U.S. Congress Owes Puerto Rico

The inaugural meeting of Puerto Rico’s fiscal control board lasted just 26 minutes. The seven unelected technocrats deputized in September with overseeing nearly every facet of the island’s economy met in a boardroom a few blocks from Wall Street to select a chairman and decide which of Puerto Rico’s institutions would come under their watch. Their … Read more


What Puig’s Olympic Gold Really Means for Puerto Rico

On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting with my blanket gripped tightly to my face as my boyfriend patiently repeated (for the fifth time) the difference between a game and a set. Like many other Puerto Ricans, it was the first time I had watched tennis, and I kept forgetting the rules. For the 8 million … Read more


Puerto Rico’s Student Activists See Default as Only Option

Desperate for a lifeline from the U.S. Congress, university students in Puerto Rico are pushing local politicians to take an extreme step – default on their debt. With the island’s fiscal troubles going from bad to worse, student leaders say default on upcoming payments is the only way to force Congress to pass restructuring legislation … Read more


Puerto Rico’s Diaspora Offers Its Best Chance for Change

Leer en español Feeling caught between two countries is always complicated. I think the experience was best summed up in the movie Selena when the title character’s father laments: “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time! It’s exhausting!” For those of us … Read more

Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans Are Leaving in Droves – And Stirring Up the 2016 U.S. Election

In November, Ben Carson became the fifth 2016 U.S. presidential candidate to make a campaign stop in Puerto Rico. Though Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, none of the island’s 3.5 million residents can vote in presidential elections. So why do both Democrat and Republican candidates continue to spend time and money visiting the territory? Demographics play a role. Campaigning in … Read more

Street art in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Debt Debate Overlooks Human Costs

Imagine that you only have access to running water every three days. That’s not so bad, given the government’s plans in response to an extreme summer drought to shut down tap water completely for up to four days at a time. To add insult to injury, imagine you still have to pay for the tap water … Read more

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