AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

Trump Policy Toward Honduras

The Trump administration has been very quiet about the Honduran election. We've got one quick mention by the State Department spokesperson and that appears to be it. This screenshot from State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs says it all.



There are two main possible reasons for this. First, the Trump administration wants Juan Orlando Hernández to win so is intentionally ignoring the clear signs of electoral fraud. Because of Salvador Nasralla's alliance with José...

Colombia Ambassador Debacle

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's efforts to lay waste to diplomats has been well-documented. As a result, it should be good news when the Trump administration nominates a seasoned career diplomat--Joseph MacManus--to an important post, namely the Ambassador to Colombia. But Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are unhappy with the choice because he worked in the State Department before.

Lee writes explicitly that he does not want anyone who served in the State Department...

Honduras Election

We're still waiting on the final official results of the Honduran presidential election, which includes 57% of voters at this point. Here is the current tally from the TSE website, which has Salvador Nasralla in the lead.



With calls of fraud, strong personalities, corruption, hypocrisy, rumors of military action, general uneasiness, and both sides trying to claim victory already, Honduran democracy--already weak and fragile--takes a major hit no matter the outcome.

Of...

Development of Jimmy Carter's Latin America Policy

The State Department just published a new Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volume on South America from 1977-1980. Especially when viewed from today, where the Secretary of State is happily destroying our ability to conduct diplomacy, it shows how thoughtful deliberation can work.

The new administration (Cyrus Vance, Robert Pastor, and Zbigniew Brzezinski in particular) talk about the big picture ("do we have or do we need a special policy toward Latin America?")...

Don't Celebrate Coups

Last week I expressed skepticism at the idea of a "democratizing coup" in Venezuela. Now Argentine political scientist Rut Diamint does the same, just more blistering, as she notes Latin American lessons for the coup in Zimbabwe.

I would dispute that Zimbabwe’s political rupture will usher in an era of order and progress. And I think many Latin Americans would agree with me. I wish Zimbabweans luck, but based on my country’s past, I fear for their future.

I really got the impression...

Honduras Election Mess

On Monday, the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal put Salvador Nasralla up 45.17%-40.21% over Juan Orlando Hernández. Then it stalled out and rumors flew of machinations to get Hernández the votes he needed.

It started moving again yesterday, and then when I awoke this morning, ta da! Hernández is winning 42.48%-41.7%.



This shift came right after the two candidates signed an agreement with the OAS to recognize the results, but then Nasralla basically said he would not...

Bolivian Democracy

Santiago Anria has a post at The Monkey Cage on the state of Bolivian democracy. Short take is that Evo Morales' efforts to stay in power damage democracy but it's not going the same route as Venezuela, as is sometimes alleged.

Two things occurred to me as I read it. First, he makes the point that the opposition used to be harsh critics of the constitution and now they are the only defender. This is just like Venezuela, where Chavistas rejected Chávez's own constitution...

Separatism in Latin America

The Bello column in The Economist has an article on the lack of separatism in Latin America. It notes various potential reasons we're not seeing Catalonia in Latin America, and kudos for referring to a Latin American political scientist for evidence:

For regional grievances to become separatist movements requires some specific conditions, as Alberto Vergara, a political scientist at the University of the Pacific in Lima, has noted in a comparative study of...

What Matters About the Chilean Election

Javier Sajuria has a nice post at The Monkey Cage on the Chilean election. There are major structural changes underway in Chile, in part unleashed by electoral reform. Most attention has been on the presidential race, but the Chilean legislature is younger, more female, and less experienced with governing.

Another issue that I have not seen addressed is whether we are potentially seeing a return to Chile's traditional three-thirds political system. For a good chunk...

Latin America Liked Obama, Trump Not So Much

Latinobarómetro released a report on the Trump era. What you see is that the general Latin American view of the United States has not changed all that much since the Obama administration. Indeed, most of the questions are just general "United States" and are fairly stable. When you start asking about Trump specifically, then you see a change.

So here is the view of Donald Trump in his first year:



And here is the view of Barack Obama in his first year.


To sum up, Trump's most favorable...
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