AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

The Challenges of Honduran Dialogue

The Alianza de Oposición in Honduras says it will accept Juan Orlando Hernández's offer of dialogue if there is an international mediator. Further, it called for protests and blocking highways on January 20, which is inauguration day, that would go almost a week.
But where does this go? A statement from the Honduran Bishops' Conference helps explain the dilemma.

In an open letter addressed to both Hernandez and Nasralla, the Honduran episcopate stressed the importance...

Chile's Capitalist Ranking

There are a variety of indices out there purporting to show how amenable a given country is to capitalism. These are infected with all sorts of biases and political motivations. The news about the World Bank and Chile is just confirmation.

The bank’s chief economist Paul Romer told the Wall Street Journal Friday that Chile’s recent slide in the “Doing Business” index was almost entirely due to methodological changes that could have been politically motivated, and...

Politics of Chinese Tourism in Mexico

The Mexican Minister of Tourism said that Mexico must become less dependent on the United States for tourism and find more partners. Given political uncertainty in the U.S. this makes perfect sense.

Can you guess which was the only English-language outlet to report on this? That would be Chinese state media. And, incidentally, that same cabinet minister had traveled to China in 2016 to promote more Chinese tourism in Mexico. I assume he's made more than one such trip.

I do not...

Running Elections in El Salvador

Especially given the fraud by the Electoral Tribunal in Honduras in November, Tim Muth's post on the TSE in El Salvador is thought provoking.

Perhaps the biggest challenge El Salvador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal ("TSE") has right now is to find the more than 94,000 citizens needed to run the vote reception tables across the country.    In previous elections, this was the responsibility of the political parties and the persons at the voting tables could be affiliated...

Profile of John Kelly

Nick Miroff at the Washington Post profiles John Kelly and how his work with Latin America shaped him. We already knew his views were not totally in sync with Trump and that he tended to embrace the alarmist Middle Eastern terrorist threat narrative. But you can see more about how his son's death affected him and prompted him to get out of his military comfort zone. In Latin America he is a man with a mission, and that is fundamentally conservative, sometimes zealously so....

Impact of John Feeley's Resignation

Juan González, who has served in a number of diplomatic capacities for U.S. policy toward Latin America, has a piece in Americas Quarterly about the resignation of John Feeley, who said he could no longer work for the Trump administration. This particular resignation is creating waves. President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson have thoroughly demoralized the State Department and are wrecking our Latin American diplomacy.

The big question now is how much of...

Julian Assange is Ecuadorian

Rafael Correa first lauded Julian Assange as a warrior against the imperialist United States, then got tired of his political pronouncements and even pulled the plug on his internet when he seemed to be getting negative attention in the U.S. presidential race. Lenín Moreno similarly expressed frustration and Assange even went after him on Twitter.

Yet Ecuador just made him a citizen. I am still wrapping my head around this one. Moreno has nothing to gain politically from the...

Marco Rubio Hypes His Cuba Hearing

The Cuba Sonic Attack issue is one of the weirdest things I've heard of in a long time (I posted in September and October if you want some background). Marco Rubio has been hot on this issue and called a hearing that is going on right now. There are three witnesses for the hearing--the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, someone from the State Department's diplomatic security team, and State's medical director.

You can read their testimony here....

Podcast Episode 45: TPA and DACA

On Episode 45 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast, I'm on my own today talking about the decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans and how that connects the debate right now about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (altogether about one million people).


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Richard Nixon Talks to Fidel Castro

The National Security Archive released a large number of documents related to U.S.-Cuba diplomacy. These were the basis for Peter Kornbluh and Bill LeoGrande's book Back Channel to Cuba (which I reviewed here). Here's a fun one written by then Vice President Richard Nixon after his conversation with Fidel Castro in 1959.

As so often happens when you read Nixon is that he often has very sound advice that he actually is incapable of taking himself. He talks to Nixon about not abusing...
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