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

    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 also ex-army officer) Hugo Chávez. So although Humala lost…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted October 19, 2012 by Ryan Olson, James M. Roberts CARICOM: U.S. Should Push Back Against Chavez in the Caribbean

    The historically pro-American multilateral organization known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has been struggling for decades to form a regional “Single Market and Economy” (CSME) to integrate the disparate islands and sub-continental economies of the Caribbean Basin into a common market based on sound democratic institutions and pro-market policies. The obstacles to…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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.…