AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

Final Blog Post

This is my 5,277th and final blog post. This blog has been tremendous fun, but I've found that I am consistently choosing to spend my time and energy doing other things.
I actually chose today of all days because I wondered whether the day after a huge election would change my mind. There are interesting stories: the effects of Venezuelan socialism, the vote in Miami, the impact on Latin America, and any number of others. But it really didn't. I am doing other stuff, even administrative,...

Ecuador's Treatment of Venezuelan Migrants

Beyers, Christiaan., & Esteban Nicholls (2020). "Government through Inaction: The Venezuelan Migratory Crisis in Ecuador." Journal of Latin American Studies, 52(3), 633-657.
Abstract (gated):
This article analyses strategies for channelling a migrant population out of a country by indirect means. Specifically, we examine the response of the Ecuadorean state to the influx of Venezuelan newcomers since 2015. We argue that this response has been characterised...

Podcast Episode 76: Trump & Latin America

In Episode 76 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast, once again I join forces with the Historias podcast of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (which everyone should check out). I talk with Dustin Walcher, Jeff Taffet, Mary Rose Kubal, and Maggie Commins about the Trump administration's policies toward Latin America.

You can find this podcast at iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and anywhere else podcasts can be found. If there is anyplace I've...

Fake News in the Guatemala Invasion Compared to Now

Sylvia Brindis Snow and Shane Snow take a deep, deep dive into the U.S. use of fake news to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. It includes photos and audio. That story is not a new one (though the details make me shake my head no matter how many times I've heard them) but they take it a step further and view it as a precursor to the Russian meddling in U.S. presidential elections. There are interesting parallels.

Comparing Hillary Clinton to Arbenz feels like a stretch at times, but it's...

Venezuelan Government Attacks Health Workers

Amnesty International lays out the dire situation Venezuelan health workers are in. Repression, economic collapse, and lying all fold in together. 50% of health workers have emigrated rather than deal with dangerous conditions where often they arrive at work hungry. This is pure brain drain. 
“The Venezuelan authorities are either in denial about the number of health workers to have died from COVID-19, or they do not have accurate information about the precarious...

SOUTHCOM and Latin America in the Covid Era

I watched the Council of the Americas webinar with SOUTHCOM Commander Craig Faller and Civilian Deputy Commander Jean Manes, with Eric Farnsworth moderating. Some interesting discussion, with the kind of emphasis you would expect from SOUTHCOM. Here are my quick thoughts:

Major issue is Chinese illegal fishing around Ecuador and Peru (see here for background). I have to wonder how much that could sour Latin American views of China. On Twitter, Tracy North notes that...

Venezuela Committing Crimes Against Humanity

The UN Human Rights Council sent an Independent International Fact-Finding Mission to Venezuela, and it just issued a report. It's incredibly damning:
While recognising the nature of the crisis and tensions in the country, and the responsibilities of the State to maintain public order, the Mission found the Government, State agents, and groups working with them had committed egregious violations. It identified patterns of violations and crimes that were highly coordinated...

Repairing U.S.-Latin American Relations

Michael Shifter asks whether the damage Trump has wrought on U.S.-Latin American relations can be repaired, starting from an anecdote about how a Mexican business leader said relations would be set back 20 years.
I think there are two things here that go well beyond even what a Biden administration would look like. First, history tells us that of course relations can be repaired. The relationship is just too tight, the interdependence so strong. If we can repair relations with...

Review of Vincent Bevins' The Jakarta Method

I recommend Vincent Bevins' recently published The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World. It starts with an extended discussion of Indonesia and then looks at how Suharto's brutality (the word "Jakarta" became a synonym for mass political murder) was copied elsewhere, with the U.S. government deeply involved everywhere. He uses interviews with those who suffered (and often emigrated) to show how...

The Political Center in Colombia

The Canadian Council for the Americas held a webinar on the political center (sorry, centre!) in Colombia and whether it can unite. There was former Vice President Humberto de Calle (under Ernesto Samper, and he was also the head of the negotiating team with the FARC*) and then a bit later also Colombian journalists and a financier, moderated by Ken Frankel.

The quick answer is that it's really tricky.
De la Calle's main point was that, unlike Colombian political tradition, the...