Issue Brief posted May 26, 2016
Alleviating the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela
In recent months, the already dire situation in Venezuela has worsened. Socialist economic policies have led to food shortages, electricity blackouts, and runaway inflation. Criminal elements have taken over the government and imprisoned democratic opposition figures. All the while, a citizen security crisis has caused the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to become the…
Issue Brief posted January 29, 2016
Top Priorities for U.S. Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016
In 2016, Congress has a unique opportunity to improve America’s foreign policy toward Latin America. For the first time in the 17-year rule of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, the opposition has taken control of the National Assembly. As part of the anticorruption movement sweeping the region, former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was peacefully forced to resign after…
Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014
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
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 April 15, 2013
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
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
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…