Issue Brief posted March 6, 2013
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 February 20, 2013
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
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
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…
Issue Brief posted September 24, 2012
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
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
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
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
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…
Issue Brief posted May 17, 2012
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…
Issue Brief posted April 6, 2012
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.
If it is a…