The short-run future of post-Hugo Chávez Venezuela is uncertain. With the chavista presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro claiming a razor-thin victory over his democratic opponent, the election result could produce a governability crisis in a country already wracked by political polarization, economic collapse, food shortages, power outages, and criminal violence. The international community — particularly in Washington — avoided confrontations with Chávez. However, failing to stand with democratic elements today could result in a missed opportunity to give the Venezuelan people a chance to recover their country and their future.
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Supporters of Colombia’s beleaguered president Juan Manuel Santos describe Sunday’s run-off election as a “choice between war and peace.” Such a polarizing description obscures the plain reality that Colombians are deeply ambivalent toward Santos and his stewardship.
Will Brazil and Mexico—two countries that in recent years have been praised for their growth, innovation, and macroeconomic stability—meet expectations and contribute to a Latin American economic resurgence?
Just as upstart Venezuelan university students stepped out ahead of the opposition establishment a month ago to launch street protests against crime and food shortages, now a new type of independent-minded Chavistas could meet them half way to save their country.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea is an egregious violation of international norms that demands a concerted international reaction. However, as foreign policy pundits settle into their Eurocentric comfort zone, Washington must not neglect its important strategic interests elsewhere in an increasingly interconnected world.
Recent revelations about secret dealings by El Salvador’s ruling party with street gangsters and international narcotraffickers have many in that country worried that they may be drifting toward the lawlessness that has spawned chaos in Venezuela.
What motivates people to demonstrate in central squares, day after day and week after week, against repressive regimes at the risk of life and limb? It's a question raised most recently by events in Ukraine and Venezuela.