Greg Weeks

How Democrats Flounder on Immigration

Political scientist Anita Isaacs and Economist Anne Preston have a great op-ed in The New York Times about the Democrats' deal to reduce ICE beds. In short, it shows the bankruptcy of the party on the issue of immigration.
But while well intentioned — the list of problems with the immigrant detention system is long — if the Democrats gets their way, they will likely make conditions much worse for the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers in limbo...

Venezuela Stalls

Events in Venezuela are of course moving and changing constantly, but there seems to be a stalemate vibe at the moment. What got me thinking along those lines was that for the first time, Juan Guaidó felt the need to say publicly that he wasn't failing. To be fair, he was responding to Nicolás Maduro jibes, so might not have said anything on his own.

Maduro also noted how his representatives met with Elliott Abrams and got the impression the U.S. was more flexible than it sounded...

Economic Alternatives in Latin America

Political scientist Thea Riofrancos writes at Dissent about how the Latin American left has relied on extractive industries, which is both damaging to local communities and increases dependent economic relationships (including to China). I totally agree and of course this argument isn't new. What she does, however, is offer concrete solutions.

The first is political. Forge relationships between affected and non-affected communities to stop the spread...

Does Venezuela Hurt Democrats in 2020?

I've seen this argument enough already and debated it on Twitter, so I want to just put it here and leave it. The New York Times writes about how Venezuela is "dangerous" for Democrats in 2020. Here is why this argument is problematic.

First, 2020 is one hell of a long way away and people's memories are short.

Second, beyond short memories there is so much time that the political context in Venezuela will not be the same. BTW, if Trump decides to invade and it becomes a bloodbath...

How Vice-Presidents Screw Up Latin American Politics

Leiv Marsteintredet and Fredrik Uggla, "Allies and Traitors: Vice-Presidents in Latin America," Journal of Latin American Studies (forthcoming 2019).

Vice-presidents in Latin America have often been at the centre of political turbulence. To prevent conflicts within the executive, most Latin American countries have therefore put in place formulae to elect presidents and vice-presidents on a joint electoral ticket. Still, it is common for presidential...

AMLO's Cautious Foreign Policy

I have a post up at Global Americans about AMLO's cautious foreign policy. My basic take:
Contrary to expectations, AMLO is no leftist firebrand in foreign policy. He has an ambitious and contentious domestic policy agenda and his current inclination is to avoid foreign policy conflict that distracts too much from advancing those. His approval rating is a stratospheric 86 percent, so for now the strategy is working. But a number of his foreign policy audiences have opposing...

Podcast Episode 64: The U.S. and Juan Guaidó

On Episode 64 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast, I talk with Tim Gill, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UNC Wilmington. He has published on an array of topics largely involving U.S. global power, Venezuelan politics and human rights, and sociological theory. His work has been published in several academic outlets, including Sociological Forum, Journal of World-Systems Research, Social Currents, The American Sociologist, and Third World Quarterly....

Where Maduro Would Go

Now there are discussions about where Nicolás Maduro would go if forced out. The article is based on four anonymous sources, though Elliott Abrams is talking openly about the subject as well.

It is unfortunate that the Trump administration is insisting that it make all the decisions and doing so loudly. This will damage the legitimacy of the new government. Talking openly about where to exile someone has an imperialist taste to it that is not easy to dispel.

In fact, it may well...

Manolo's Bakery

There were ICE raids in Charlotte recently, which are intended to terrorize the immigrant community. One small business, Manolo's Bakery, went locally viral with its plea for help. Business is down because people are afraid. It's heartbreaking. So I went with my son and daughter as a small token of support. The owner thanked us the moment we walked inside.

If you're Charlotte, please go check it and other immigrant businesses out this weekend. Manolo's is at 4405 Central...

Podcast Episode 63: Nayib Bukele Wins in El Salvador

In Episode 63 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast I talk about the Salvadoran presidential election with Christine Wade, Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College. We talk about why Nayib Bukele won, the problems with the two dominant parties, the role of ideology, and much more. We end on a more optimistic note than normal!

You can find this podcast at iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and anywhere else podcasts...
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