Years of uneasiness and distrust define the relationship between the United States and Cuba, a trend which continues today. While some strides have been made to improve their interconnection, there is still a Cold War sentiment that plagues discussions, not to mention many are still in support of Castro. During former President Obama’s administration extreme efforts were made to change with Cuba but are now being changed by President Trump’s office. While some fractions of Obama’s policy still remain, the language used by Trump is disconcerting and does not instill a positive future.
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The United States has over a billion-dollar budget of foreign aid to help several countries throughout the world. This type of aid has fostered economic development for nations within the Caribbean and Latin America. In addition, it has been crucial for many Latin American countries to receive assistance, as it is used in efforts to promote security, reduce poverty, and for humanitarian aid (WOLA statement). However, since 2017, the Trump administration has been working feverishly to make budget cuts across all sectors of U.S.
Since the 1990s, Mexico’s energy policy has shown a tendency to prioritize short-term objectives as well as its relationship with North America, which resulted in a focus on the production of crude oil for exports to the US. In contrast, the reform passed in 2013 focused on lowering energy costs for Mexican households, increasing investment and employment, and putting the government at the center as owner of oil and gas and regulator of the oil industry. The national presidential elections of 2018 will define the path Mexico will follow in the coming years.
At the start of 2018, Costa Rican polls were predicting that its presidential race would come down to a bout between the Party for National Liberation (Partido de Liberación Nacional, or PLN) candidate Antonio Álvarez and his Party for National Integration (Partido de Integración Nacional, or PIN) competitor, Juan Diego Castro.
The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) as they were originally called, have functioned as a Marxist-Leninist guerilla group founded in 1964, composed mainly of farmers and laborers whose goal was to fight the inequality and repression in Colombia. Mainly operating in rural areas, the FARC had an estimated 20,000 active fighters at the height of their power in the early 2000s. The FARC were a part of a dark period of Colombia’s history, when guerilla groups, paramilitaries, and drug lords provoked violence across the nation.
As Mexico’s July elections quickly approach, many are raising concerns regarding potential foul-play from Russia. In December of last year, the U.S.’s former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster alarmed Mexicans and internationals alike when he announced in a speech to the Jamestown Foundation in Washington that evidence of Russian meddling in Mexico’s elections had already been uncovered (Garcia & Torres 2018).