AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

Don't Retract the Crappy Pro-Colonialism Article

Inside Higher Ed talks about the call for retraction of Third World Quarterly's pro-colonialism article. This is not a good idea. Just ignore the damned thing. Or if you feel the need to engage with it, just call it a piece of crap and move on.

There are a lot of crappy academic articles, some of them to the point of being laughable. They are generally laughed at and ignored. With some like this, you stop laughing and get annoyed or even angry. But that doesn't merit censorship....

Latin American Response to Venezuela

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian takes a historical look at Latin American diplomacy to argue that there is precedent for dealing with a situation like Venezuela. He cites the Contadora Group in particular, which worked on the Central American crisis in the 1980s.

Today, the world and region are immersed in dynamics that are not dissimilar to the past. The case of Cuba shows what the region must avoid. Instead, Latin Americans should emulate cooperative efforts made in Central America...

Trump's Colombia Blunder

A White House memo states that Venezuela and Bolivia are not adequately combating narcotics and that Colombia may be decertified, which would mean aid cuts and possibly other measures.
In addition, the United States Government seriously considered designating Colombia as a country that has failed demonstrably to adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements due to the extraordinary growth of coca cultivation and cocaine production...

Gotta Love Colonialism

A political scientist has published an article arguing that colonization was positive and that former colonies should either recolonize or copy the colonizer.

For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries...

Trump's Doctrine of Retreat

I've written a good amount about how Donald Trump has squandered soft power and lost leverage in Latin America. Now the Senate Appropriations Committee report on its budget for the State Department and Foreign Operations serves up a harsh assessment.

The lessons-learned since September 11, 2001, include the reality that defense alone does not provide for American strength and resolve abroad. Battlefield technology and firepower cannot replace diplomacy and development....

U.S. Options for Venezuela

The Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had a hearing entitled, "The Venezuela Crisis: The Malicious Influence of State and Criminal Actors." The emphasis was on international actors. The upshot:

R. Evan Ellis: Russia and China are serious threats. Sanction the crap out of Venezuela. Unfortunate about how it will hurt Venezuelans, but it'll also save them. Lean on China and Russia.

Francisco Toro: Cuba has a major and extensive influence...

Trump and Mexico



This tweet says so much.

1. President Trump does not care about Mexico, even to the point of ignoring natural disasters until public clamor finally prompts him to acknowledge it (remember too that he ignored Mexico's offer of help after Hurricane Harvey.

2. He believes we're stupid. Even if you take the tweet at face value, one reporter who was around where Enrique Peña Nieto was traveling had a cell signal. It's insulting and he knows it's insulting.

3. He believes Mexicans are...

Podcast Episode 41: Mining Protests in Latin America

In Episode 41 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast I talk with Michelle Bonner, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. She studies democratization and human rights in Latin America. Going from an article she recently published in Latin American Research Review we discuss the state response to mining protests. How does the ideology of the government matter? What is "dialogue"? What does this tell us about democracy and repression...

U.S. Military Aid and Coups

A recent academic article looks at the relationship between U.S. military aid and coup probability.

Jesse Dillon Savage and Jonathan D. Caverley, "When Human Capital Threatens the Capitol: Foreign Aid in the Form of Military Training and Coups," Journal of Peace Research 54, 4 (2017): 542-557.

Abstract (gated):

How does aid in the form of training influence foreign militaries’ relationship to domestic politics? The United States has trained tens of thousands...

Hurricane Maduro's New Laws

Nicolás Maduro proposed eight new laws to the Constituent Assembly. They're a combination of delusion and fantasy.

They would fix prices for 50 goods while increasing the minimum wage by 40%. The main result will be to increase both scarcity and inflation. There would also be a law that punishes "economic crimes" that vaguely covers speculation and other natural consequences of price fixing and general economic mismanagement.

He also ordered PDVSA to increase oil production....
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