News and Politics

The challenge of gardening in gray zones (on the scientific study of Latin American politics)

October 13, 2016

“If there is any great lesson we Americans need to learn, George Kennan once famously wrote, with regard to the methodology of foreign policy, it is that we must be gardeners and not mechanics in our approach to world affairs.” He was aiming at the practice and mental habits of the American diplomatic and national security establishment; however, the statement also indirectly reflected Kennan’s skepticism about the possibilities of the type of knowledge proposed from some sections of academia as a solid basis for the engineering approach.

Cheap Paint: Street art all over Brazil sending priceless messages as presidential elections, and Olympics loom in near future

It comes as no surprise that protests, political satire, and two story tall graffiti murals still litter the streets of Brazil after months of unrest when you try to conceptualize the sheer amount of disregard for worker and fan safety, the complete neglect of public opinion, or staggering amount of money the Brazilian government has spent to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina Weighs Potential Default and Sovereignty

October 13, 2016

Argentina was struck with two blows of overwhelmingly bad news on Monday when the US Supreme Court refused to hear Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd., then ruled against the South American country, allowing US hedge funds to subpoena Argentinean banks for the locations of public assets worldwide. In 2012, a lower federal court presided over by US Judge Thomas Griesa decided Argentina must pay back its debts in full to several “holdout” hedge funds by the bond service deadline on June 30th.

Santos Re-Elected: How, Why and Now What?

October 13, 2016

On Sunday, incumbent Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos won re-election. Santos defeated his run-off opponent, fellow conservative Oscar Ivan Zuluaga 51% to 45%.1 His victory was a comeback in nature, after emerging from the first round 500,000 votes behind Zuluaga. Yet on June 15th, Santos won by almost one million votes.2

Why Chavismo hates Leopoldo López

October 19, 2016

Over the last few weeks the phony trial against Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo López has been taking place. A judged ordered that López be remanded to custody–in solitary confinement, and at a military prison even though he is a civilian–for the remainder of the trial against him on charges of inciting criminal activities and arson during the opposition protests of February twelve, two thousand and fourteen.

Eduardo Galeano's Criticism of his "Open Veins" Taken Lightly

October 19, 2016

Recently, world-renowned writer Eduardo Galeano, author of Open Veins of Latin America, denounced his most popular book due to inadequate knowledge when he published the book back in his early 1930s. Open Veins is one of the most popular pieces of leftist literature taught in university coursework and has sold over one million copies translated in more than 20 languages.  Galeano, now 73, published the book in 1971.

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