Greg Weeks

Another Bad Venezuela Take

James Stavridis has a bold and mostly bad take on Venezuela. Maduro, he says, is about to fall. Juan Guaidó, he says, has made major strides (I don't think I've seen anyone else make this claim). China and India are getting lukewarm (he does not mention Russia or Cuba, problematic omissions). And...well, that's it.

Oh wait, there is also token Spanish.
But it is “la hora de la verdad” for a unified regional approach, a push for humanitarian relief, and a carefully graduated...

Who Replaces Cuban Doctors?

The Trump administration wants Latin American governments to expel Cuban doctors. Now, the program is indeed terrible in a number of ways. The doctors themselves are not treated well and, as the article points out, leave their families behind so they won't defect. The fact that they want to defect in the first place tells you something.

But here's the problem that gets far too little attention. Those doctors are providing important services to the poor and they may not be replaced....

RIP Tom Davies

Two years ago I posted about how one of the professors from my MA program at San Diego State University (Charles Andrain) had died. I just recently got an email from someone who got their MA earlier than me who ran across my post. That prompted me to reach out to people at SDSU I still know, at which point I found out that Tom Davies died in February 2019, which I hadn't known. He was only 78.

Tom was a historian of Latin America and given my own inclination toward political history became...

State Department's Latin America Successes

The State Department posted an interview with a senior official about its 2019 success in the western hemisphere. It was a "historic period of cooperation throughout the Western Hemisphere." It claimed the following as successes:

--the Bolivian coup: "a major success for democracy in Bolivia."
--increased sanctions on Cuba: "The United States will cut off Cuba’s remaining sources of revenue."
--forcing asylum seekers to dangerous places to apply: "This all promises...

Latin America Does Not Like Trump Policies

The Pew Research Center has some numbers of global views of Trump policies. The Latin American countries included are Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. As you might guess, people in those countries strongly dislike his tariffs. They also strongly dislike his climate policies. They really hate his border wall. They dislike his immigration policy. Oh, and they all dislike his Iran policy and his North Korea policy.

The fact is that a Trump supporter and opponent can look at the same...

Latin America in the Campaign

Not long ago, the State Department said Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans was irrelevant because they were not being deported anyway. That is simply a lie. Now Democrats in Florida are taking this issue into the campaign season. That's a smart political move.
As Republicans met Thursday in the state where President Donald Trump finds his strongest Hispanic support, Democrats jeered his administration's detentions and deportations of migrants who've fled Cuba,...

Declaring Hezbollah a Terrorist Threat in Latin America

Three Latin American countries in particular want something from the United States.

--The Colombian government wants recognition that its fighting coca cultivation sufficiently, which the Trump administration has questioned.

--The Honduran government wants recognition for its acceptance of migrants seeking asylum in the United States and continued opposition to combating corruption (correct, opposition to combating it).

--The Guatemalan government wants the...

Chileans Are Not Happy and the Polls Show It

A new poll is out from Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP) in Chile. Chileans are not positive about the economy, but not entirely negative either. They used to trust the military and the police, but no more. Now they don't trust much of anything (the media gets the highest, but not terribly high). 72% have no stated political identification, the highest ever. A majority supported the October 2019 protests, but not an overwhelming majority (55%). And no, they don't think the protests...

Reality & Rhetoric in Colombia

President Ivan Duque on Colombian security:
“Our goal is to keep deepening our security agenda in rural areas,” Duque said. “Our responsibility is first to dissuade and at the same time break up, confront and make an example of these criminal structures via sentencing.” 
“I think we are on a good path - I don’t want to be triumphalist or euphoric. We are on a good path, we have been able to take very important steps in these 17 months.”
The United Nations...

Flannery's Searching For Modern Mexico

I enjoyed Nathaniel Parish Flannery's Searching for Modern Mexico: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Global Economy (2019). The bulk of the book is really about how rural Mexico is doing on the front lines of the global economy. And for the entire book, if you're a small business owner, how can you survive? This means a varying combination of opportunity, dislocation, structural constraints, and violence.

The first chapters look at rural Mexico: coffee...