• Heritage Action
  • More
  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 6, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. Cry for Me Venezuela: The Post-Chavez Era Has Begun

    Hugo Chávez is dead. The Venezuelan dictator’s battle with cancer that began with a secretive 2011 trip to Cuba ended yesterday, at 4:32 p.m., in a military hospital bed in Caracas. But though the man is gone, the myth remains.  Chávez was a political game-changer. Throughout his 14 years as Venezuelan president, he demonstrated a passion for politics, an unequaled…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman U.S.–Mexico Border: Tighter Border Security Requires Mexico’s Cooperation

    As the debate over immigration reform heats up, the topic of border security—especially on the southwest border with Mexico—looms larger. Washington policymakers ask: How many miles of fence, how many Border Patrol agents, how many billions of tax dollars will be enough to finally “secure” the border? There is no easy answer. Airtight border security is more an abstract…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted January 7, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ray Walser, Ph.D. Latin America and the Caribbean: A Wish List for 2013

    Too often Latin America and the Caribbean fall off political radar screens in Washington. Nonetheless, geography, robust trade and investment ties, strong demographic links, and shared democratic and economic values connect Americans deeply with the region. In 2013 and beyond, the second Obama Administration and Washington policymakers of all stripes should work to…

  • Commentary posted January 3, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. Big Shoes to Fill Globally

    Delivering Chavismo without Chávez will be a daunting challenge. Many predict it cannot be done. Politically, heir apparent, vice president and foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, must preserve unity within the United Socialist Party, fend off internal rivals and set an ideological path for the future. Chávez promised that between 2013 and 2018 he would make his…

  • Issue Brief posted September 24, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. Time Is Ripe for U.S. Policy to Address Anti-Americanism in Latin America

    While the murder of American diplomats and violent anti-American riots across the Islamic world dominate the news cycle, it is easy to overlook the slow burn of anti-Americanism closer to home. In the Western Hemisphere, Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, the Castro brothers’ Cuba, and the other members of the Bolivarian ALBA movement continue to advance a hostile, if less violent,…

  • Backgrounder posted September 19, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. The Chávez Plan to Steal Venezuela's Presidential Election: What Obama Should Do

    Abstract: On October 7, 2012, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez will stand for re-election against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. The Venezuelan presidential election matters to the U.S.: Venezuela is a major oil supplier to the U.S.; Chávez’s anti-American worldview has led to alliances with Iran, Syria, and Cuba; and Chávez offers safe havens to FARC and Hezbollah.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 12, 2012 by Ambassador Robert J Callahan, Ray Walser, Ph.D. No New Property Waiver for Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega

    If the Obama Administration is serious about promoting democracy in Nicaragua, it can emphatically do so later this month when it decides whether to grant a property waiver to President Daniel Ortega’s corrupt and authoritarian government. If it opts to withhold the waiver, it will compel the U.S. to oppose Nicaragua’s loan applications at the Inter-American…

  • Issue Brief posted June 29, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. U.S. Should Respect Paraguay’s Decision to Remove President Lugo

    On June 22, Paraguay’s legislature removed leftist President Fernando Lugo from office for “poor performance of duties.” This peaceful, public action was confirmed by multi-party supermajorities in both houses of the legislature and followed procedures outlined in the 1992 constitution. Vice President Federico Franco of the Liberal Party assumed the office of president.…

  • Backgrounder posted May 18, 2012 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Ray Walser, Ph.D. Saving Somalia: The Next Steps for the Obama Administration

    Abstract: Famine, drought, war, piracy, international terrorism, and the absence of democratic governance: The factors behind, as well as the symptoms of, the failed Somali state are legion. Despite its woes, Somalia has not been considered a U.S. foreign policy priority—an unfortunate relegation that has undermined national security. Yet, as terrorist groups like…

  • Commentary posted May 18, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. How To Achieve Real Political Reform in Cuba

    What’s the best way to mark the fifth annual Cuba Solidarity Day? If we want to help the long-suffering people of Fidel Castro’s island “paradise,” the answer should be obvious: Shine a light on the repression and tyranny that makes daily life there such a grinding ordeal. Show unflinching support for dissidents and advocates of non-violent change on the island. …

  • Issue Brief posted May 17, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. Time for a Freedom and Solidarity Agenda for Cuba

    May 20 marks 110 years of Cuba’s independence from Spanish rule and America’s temporary occupation of the island. It also marks more than 53 years since Cuban revolutionaries—led by Fidel Castro (1927– ) and his brother Raul (1930– )—toppled the Batista regime and installed a one-party, Communist dictatorship on the island. The revolutionary generation of the Castro…

  • Play Movie Ray Walser on Drug Debate on PBS Video Recorded on April 13, 2012 Ray Walser on Drug Debate on PBS

    Ray Walser discusses the Latin American drug debate on PBS.…

  • Issue Brief posted April 6, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. U.S.–Brazil Summit: Time for a Bold Policy Vision

    An optimistic view of the April 9 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is that it will produce a stronger relationship with an emerging global power here in the Americas. Despite significant differences on key democracy, human rights, and foreign policy issues, the U.S. must elevate its game with Brazil.[1]  If it is a…