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Latin America

Our Research & Offerings on Latin America
  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014 by James M. Roberts The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014 by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and…

  • Commentary posted April 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Five of the Obama Doctrine's stealth foreign policy failures

    On a Moscow train platform, two men smoke and swap rumors in the frozen evening air. “I hear they've raised the Russian flag in Donetsk?” one says. “I hear Crimea, too.” So reports freelance journalist Noah Sneider in Slate. As Russian troops hoisted their flag over Crimea, President Obama's highly touted “reset” diplomacy crashed and burned. The Russian reset was…

  • Issue Brief posted March 4, 2014 by Ana Quintana Venezuela: U.S. Leadership Needed

    For the past few weeks, Venezuela has been rocked by anti-government protests. What started as small-scale demonstrations in the capital city of Caracas has escalated to mobilizations throughout the country. In response, the Venezuelan government has ordered security forces from the national guard to armed motorcycle gangs to brutally crack down on the democratic…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Ana Quintana, James M. Roberts Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

    In 2013, the Obama Administration seemed to take for granted U.S. relationships with our many friendly neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean—nations that share our democratic and economic values—while ignoring growing threats to our national security from some countries in the region that are openly hostile to America’s core principles. In 2014, Congress should…

  • Commentary posted November 20, 2013 by Jim DeMint U.S. policy should help our democratic friends in Latin America

    Peace and prosperity in Latin America are important to the United States. Not only do we wish our fellow republics well, but their stability is in our national interest, too. That’s why it is worrisome that the Obama administration continues to squander freedom’s hard gains in a region facing many challenges. Take Central America. In 1980s it was a battleground…

  • Lecture posted October 15, 2013 by Cristián Larroulet Chile’s Path to Development: Key Reforms to Become the First Developed Country in Latin America

    Finding the best path to lead Chile toward economic development has been a continuous task of Chilean governments and leaders during the last century. The mission of building a society of opportunities—where each person has the chance to reach personal fulfillment, and can live with dignity and without poverty—seems now closer than ever before. After a period of economic…

  • Issue Brief posted August 30, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman Nicaragua’s Canal Push and Concerns for the U.S.

    President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is pushing for a proposed canal project despite lingering questions and growing skepticism from Nicaraguan citizens and politicians. With no public debate, a deficit of hard facts, and a proposal rushed through the Nicaraguan National Assembly, the canal would be a massive undertaking with many unforeseen consequences and still…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Sergio Daga Venezuela: U.S. Should Push President Maduro Toward Economic Freedom

    Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, former trade union boss Nicolás Maduro, appears to have defeated Governor Henrique Capriles by a narrow margin in a contentious and hard-fought special election on April 14. Venezuela is in such shambles after 14 years of seat-of-the-pants mismanagement that Maduro—assuming his victory is confirmed—may ultimately be forced to pursue…

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  • Backgrounder posted June 22, 2011 by Ray Walser, Ph.D., Jena Baker McNeill, Jessica Zuckerman The Human Tragedy of Illegal Immigration: Greater Efforts Needed to Combat Smuggling and Violence

    Abstract: Over the past 10 years, traversing the U.S.–Mexico border illegally has become increasingly dangerous for would-be immigrants. Illegal immigrants face kidnapping, murder, and rape at the hands of violent drug cartels and ever more ruthless human smugglers. Crossing treacherous desert areas exposes the travelers to heat exhaustion and dehydration. Hundreds of…

  • Special Report posted September 20, 2012 by James M. Roberts, Mark Schreiber, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Brazil: Restoring Economic Growth Through Economic Freedom

    Abstract: Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country, Latin America’s largest economy, and an important trading partner for the U.S. The Brazilian government dominates many areas of the country’s economy, undercutting development of a more vibrant private sector, and Brazil’s four-year growth average of 4 percent has recently weakened. Government expenditures consume…

  • America at Risk Memo posted June 1, 2010 by Jim Talent A Constitutional Basis for Defense

    Those who have not done so recently would benefit from studying what the United States Constitution says about the federal government’s responsibility to provide for the common defense. Most Americans had to memorize the preamble to the Constitution when they were children, so they are aware that one of the purposes of the document was to “provide for the common…

  • Issue Brief posted August 30, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman Nicaragua’s Canal Push and Concerns for the U.S.

    President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is pushing for a proposed canal project despite lingering questions and growing skepticism from Nicaraguan citizens and politicians. With no public debate, a deficit of hard facts, and a proposal rushed through the Nicaraguan National Assembly, the canal would be a massive undertaking with many unforeseen consequences and still…

  • Lecture posted October 15, 2013 by Cristián Larroulet Chile’s Path to Development: Key Reforms to Become the First Developed Country in Latin America

    Finding the best path to lead Chile toward economic development has been a continuous task of Chilean governments and leaders during the last century. The mission of building a society of opportunities—where each person has the chance to reach personal fulfillment, and can live with dignity and without poverty—seems now closer than ever before. After a period of economic…

  • Backgrounder posted July 23, 2008 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. Mexico, Drug Cartels, and the Merida Initiative: A Fight We CannotAfford to Lose

    Since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in 2006, a virulent war has raged with the Mex­ican drug cartels, and this drug-related violence has spilled across the U.S. border, threatening U.S. lives and public safety. Geostrategic pessimists fear that the U.S. has been taking Mexico's stability for granted and warn that Mexico is teetering on the brink of a…

  • Backgrounder on July 18, 1980 "The Cuban Refugee Problem in Perspective, 1959 -1980"

    (Archived document, may contain errors) 124 July 18, 1980 THE CUBAN REFUGEE PROBLEM IN PERSPECTIVE 1959-1980 INTRODUCTION On Tuesday; April 3, 1980, six Cubans crashed through the gate of the Peruvian Embassy in Havana seeking political asylum. During the incident a Cuban policeman guarding the compound was killed and the Castro government removed the…

  • Backgrounder posted July 6, 1998 by John Sweeney Clinton's Latin America Policy:  A Legacy of MissedOpportunities

    The second Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, on April 18-19, 1998, showcased how much influence and leadership the United States has lost throughout Latin America during the Administration of President Bill Clinton. The Economist at that time remarked that President Clinton was "almost in the dunce's cap" for not having fast-track trade…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014 by James M. Roberts The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…

  • Commentary posted April 10, 2006 by Peter Brookes Drug-War Don't: It's a Bad Time to Neglect Colombia

    In largely unheralded good news, the Bush administration has made great strides helping Colombia fight the double-barreled threat of a deadly insurgency and ultra-powerful drug lords. The bad news is that if we're not careful, these hard-fought gains -- and other U.S. interests in the region -- could slip right through our fingers. Start with the drug war - and…

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  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014 by James M. Roberts The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014 by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and…

  • Issue Brief posted March 4, 2014 by Ana Quintana Venezuela: U.S. Leadership Needed

    For the past few weeks, Venezuela has been rocked by anti-government protests. What started as small-scale demonstrations in the capital city of Caracas has escalated to mobilizations throughout the country. In response, the Venezuelan government has ordered security forces from the national guard to armed motorcycle gangs to brutally crack down on the democratic…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Ana Quintana, James M. Roberts Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

    In 2013, the Obama Administration seemed to take for granted U.S. relationships with our many friendly neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean—nations that share our democratic and economic values—while ignoring growing threats to our national security from some countries in the region that are openly hostile to America’s core principles. In 2014, Congress should…

  • Lecture posted October 15, 2013 by Cristián Larroulet Chile’s Path to Development: Key Reforms to Become the First Developed Country in Latin America

    Finding the best path to lead Chile toward economic development has been a continuous task of Chilean governments and leaders during the last century. The mission of building a society of opportunities—where each person has the chance to reach personal fulfillment, and can live with dignity and without poverty—seems now closer than ever before. After a period of economic…

  • Issue Brief posted August 30, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman Nicaragua’s Canal Push and Concerns for the U.S.

    President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is pushing for a proposed canal project despite lingering questions and growing skepticism from Nicaraguan citizens and politicians. With no public debate, a deficit of hard facts, and a proposal rushed through the Nicaraguan National Assembly, the canal would be a massive undertaking with many unforeseen consequences and still…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Sergio Daga Venezuela: U.S. Should Push President Maduro Toward Economic Freedom

    Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, former trade union boss Nicolás Maduro, appears to have defeated Governor Henrique Capriles by a narrow margin in a contentious and hard-fought special election on April 14. Venezuela is in such shambles after 14 years of seat-of-the-pants mismanagement that Maduro—assuming his victory is confirmed—may ultimately be forced to pursue…

  • Issue Brief posted March 6, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman Venezuela After Chavez: U.S. Should Rally to Democracy

    On Tuesday, cancer claimed the life of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, silencing one of Latin America’s most controversial leaders in the 21st century. Chavez’s death opens the way to an uncertain succession process, continued polarization, and potential instability in oil-rich Venezuela. Dealing with a post-Chavez Venezuela will require an ongoing U.S. commitment to…

  • Issue Brief posted January 18, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ray Walser, Ph.D. The Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Senate Confirmation Hearings: U.S. Policy for the Western Hemisphere

    The United States Senate will soon begin the confirmation process for three key Administration positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan for Director of the CIA. Each must defend his qualifications for higher office and present a…

Find more work on Latin America
Find more work on Latin America