United States

Symbolic power shift as China signs $1.4 billion contract with Panama

December 12, 2018

On Tuesday, December 6, news broke that the government of Panama had awarded a $1.4 billion contract to a Chinese consortium to initiate a new infrastructure project on the Panama Canal. The new contract will allow the Chinese consortium to begin construction of a massive bridge over the Panama Canal connecting Panama City to its western suburbs. This deal comes directly after Chinese president Xi Jinping paid a visit to Panama—the first Chinese leader ever to do so—during a 4-part tour to Spain, Argentina, Panama and Portugal. President Xi’s tour overlapped with the occurrence of this year’s G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.

Partisan divide deepens as caravan of Honduran immigrants nears U.S.-Mexico border

October 25, 2018

In recent weeks, immigration has once again risen to the forefront of the American political dialogue since President Donald Trump began to vocalize his objections to the latest ‘caravan’ of Honduran immigrants heading towards

Spanish Speaking in Schools

October 23, 2018

Although the United States has no official language, English is by far the most spoken language in the U.S. That being said, approximately 40 million people speak Spanish at home in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2017). There is little legislation regarding the use of Spanish instruction outside of language classes, and with such a large percentage of the U.S. population speaking English, most schools instruct their students in English. Some schools, however, have made attempts to enforce “English-only” policies, which is where the problem lies.

Who is actually meddling in Mexico's elections? Russia or the U.S.?

April 17, 2018

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).  

Populism in the West: Alive and Kickin'

March 3, 2017

It has been a while since a strikingly populist candidate has been a major contender in a  presidential election in the United States. Many think of William Jennings Bryan, the three-time nominee of the democratic party at the end of the 1800s, as one of the only other strongly populist presidential candidates in American history (Ramone, 2010). President Trump’s campaign can fairly be described as populist through his rhetoric against the elites on Capitol Hill, his appeal to working class voters, and most importantly his outsider status as a non-politician.

Dominicans in the Dugout: Latin America’s Role in American Baseball

December 20, 2016

When one thinks of sports in Latin America, soccer normally comes to mind, with fans going crazy. But another sport dominates in certain countries: baseball. In the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba, among others, baseball is extremely popular. So popular, in fact, that many beisbolistas from these countries have come to play in U.S. Major League Baseball. There is a lot of history behind this modern trend.

Nicaraguan Democracy: Successes & Challenges

December 6, 2016

Nicaragua held its presidential elections last week, and current president Daniel Ortega was elected unanimously for the fourth time, garnering 72% of votes with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his running mate (Wroughton & Pretel, 2016). The next closest competitor, center-right candidate Maximino Rodriguez, only managed to amass 14.2% of the vote (BBC, 2016). This was no surprise, as in previous months, the courts blocked the main opposition coalition from participating in the election. Mr.

¿Estás ready?: A look at "Spanglish" in the United States

December 17, 2016

Most Americans have heard of the term “Spanglish,” whether by the film bearing the same title from 2004, or the experience of hearing someone mix Spanish and English in a sentence. But what is Spanglish? Is it another language? And who is speaking it, and in what settings? What is the prevalence of Spanglish in the United States, and what role will it have for a country whose largest minority is Latinos (16.3 percent based on the most recent census)? (Ennis, Ríos-Vargas, & Albert, 2011)

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