A June 19 meeting of Organization of American States foreign ministers failed to pass a resolution backed by the United States and major Latin American countries to condemn Venezuela’s break of democratic rule. Tiny Caribbean countries managed to block it, and there was no top level U.S. presence to prevent it.
While it is true that Obama’s opening to Cuba has failed to produce any improvement in Cuba’s human rights situation, Trump’s expected partial reversal of the policy may make things worse. It won’t bring down the island’s dictatorship, while giving the regime a new excuse to proclaim itself a victim of ‘U.S. aggression.’
President Trump’s decision to pull out of the 195-country Paris climate agreement — which will now include all countries except the United States, Syria and Nicaragua - will greatly diminish America’s clout in the world, and will hurt America diplomatically, economically and politically.
The Goldman Sachs investment bank has reportedly purchased $2.8 billion in Venezuelan bonds, giving much needed financial oxygen to the embattled regime of President Nicolas Maduro. While banks often buy debts from bankrupt countries in hopes of making big profits, this transaction is especially worrisome.
While Brazil’s corruption scandal centered on President Michel Temer is making big headlines worldwide, Venezuela’s corruption under President Nicolás Maduro is immensely bigger. In Venezuela, corruption is measured in billions of dollars.
President Trump, who lashed out against Mexico and Mexicans during the campaign, has departed from the tradition of all previous U.S. presidents in recent memory by failing to make his first foreign trip to Mexico or Canada. Now, his 2018 budget proposal calls for big cuts in U.S. aid for Latin America.
Brazil’s giant Odbrecht construction firm corruption scandal will have repercussions across the region in coming weeks, as Brazilian prosecutors start disclosing the names of government officials in 11 countries who were paid nearly $800 million in bribes. Ironically, this may be good news for the region.
Latin American countries and the United States have stepped up their demands for a restoration of democracy in Venezuela, but they should do much more. Here is a list of actions they could take at key Organization of American States’ meetings scheduled for May 31 and June 21.
Robots are already working as sales assistants in Silicon Valley, and a new study says they will dramatically impact 50 percent of work activities worldwide as early as 2035. Their impact will be biggest in Latin America and Asia, but few governments are paying attention.
Mexico’s leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is leading in the polls for the 2018 presidential elections, in part because of the nationalist backlash caused by President Trump’s anti-Mexico campaign. If López Obrador wins, expect political turbulence — and more illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border.
President Trump’s frequent praise for dictators and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s speech to State Department employees seem to have officially placed human rights on the U.S. foreign policy back burner. But coddling human rights abusers will create a counter-reaction of anti-Americanism across the globe.
Trump has been surprisingly silent about the political turmoil in Venezuela, which has already resulted in 29 deaths and hundreds of wounded in recent weeks, while President Nicolas Maduro is turning his country into an all-out dictatorship. But there are very concrete things Trump can do to help step up the pressure on the Venezuelan regime.
Venezuelan National Assembly President Julio Borges said in an interview that he has talked with several Latin American presidents and foreign ministers about the possibility of creating a “group of friendly countries” to seek a negotiated solution to end Venezuela’s crisis.
Venezuela’s National Assembly President Julio Borges said in an interview that, counter to some analysts’ speculation that President Maduro may ride out the current anti-government protests, there are several new and powerful factors that will force the regime to hold free elections.
Luis Almagro, head of the 34-country Organization of American States, told me in an interview that Venezuela’s de facto President Nicolás Maduro is “directly” responsible for the deaths of at least seven people in his country’s latest round of anti-government protests. After hearing Almagro’s explanation, I can only agree with it.
Allan Lichtman, the star professor who has accurately predicted the outcome of every U.S. election since 1984 and now predicts that Trump will be impeached, says there are eight reasons why the president may “cross the line” leading to his impeachment. Some of them will not go away anytime soon.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose PRI party has a long tradition of supporting dictatorships, and who only last year gave a speech full of praise for the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, is championing Latin American diplomatic efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela. It may be a sincere change of heart, or an effort to curry favor with President Trump.
Venezuela’s ruler Nicolás Maduro is facing a perfect storm of economic disaster, mounting international pressure and escalating protests at home. If the opposition plays its cards well, we could soon see meaningful changes in the direction of a restoration of democracy in the country.
Japan, China and South Korea are investing heavily in industrial robots, which are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper. If President Donald Trump carries out his plans to renegotiate free trade deals with Mexico and other countries to bring back manufacturing jobs, those jobs will most likely go to robots.