Issue Brief posted February 25, 2015
Six Issues the U.S. Should Not Concede to Cuba During Normalization Talks
The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of normalization talks on February 27 in Washington, DC. This follows the U.S.’s attempt in late January to negotiate the terms of reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. In those talks in Havana, Cuban officials made it clear that the regime will not change its political or economic system, despite the…
Issue Brief posted December 23, 2014
How Congress Should Respond to the President’s Radical Change in Cuba Policy
On Wednesday, December 17, President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin to normalize relations with Cuba. This dramatic policy shift follows the release of American aid worker Alan Gross, who was held hostage for over five years by Castro’s regime, in exchange for three Cuban spies.
Choosing to normalize relations with a regime whose chief export has been an…
Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014
Does the U.S. Need a “Plan Central America”?
Due to the crisis on America’s southwest border, several Members of Congress and special interest groups have proposed replicating Plan Colombia in Central America. While it has become apparent that current U.S. policy toward Central America is not working, instead of creating a new plan, the U.S. should reform the existing system of the Central American Regional Security…
Issue Brief posted July 8, 2014
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador
Current proposals in Congress would cut foreign assistance in response to the crisis at the border. As Congress considers any measures, it should be careful not to disrupt programs that serve U.S. interests and address the security conditions that have contributed to this problem.
In particular, programs such as those run by the Department of Defense and other relevant…
Issue Brief posted June 23, 2014
Improving Regional Security in Central America’s Northern Triangle
The recent wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America further proves that the Obama Administration can no longer continue ignoring the security issues of Central America’s Northern Triangle. Rampant levels of crime and violence have reached a critical point, and the U.S. needs to address these issues head on. U.S. security assistance in the region is largely…
Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014
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 March 4, 2014
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
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…
Issue Brief posted December 31, 2013
The United States Needs to Expand Security Cooperation with Honduras
On January 24, 2014, Honduran President-elect Juan Orlando Hernández is set to take the oath of office. This inauguration comes at a time when the Central American nation is in the midst of the worst security and financial crisis of its existence. Drug trafficking organizations and related violence have elevated murder rates in Honduras to the highest in the world.…