President Donald Trump has pulled out of his first trip to Latin America and is sending Mike Pence to the Summit of the Americas instead. The White House said on Tuesday morning that the president was staying in Washington to deal with the Syria crisis. “President Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru or travel to Bogota, Colombia as originally scheduled," said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary. "At the president’s request, the vice president will travel in his stead. "The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world.” Mr Pence has previously served as Mr Trump's envoy to Latin America, visiting Colombia and holding meetings with President Juan Manuel Santos, an important US ally in the fight against the drug trade. Mr Pence has also frequently had to paper over somewhat fraught relations with the region, damping down fears of … [Read more...] about Donald Trump cancels first trip to Latin America ‘to deal with Syria crisis’
Montevideo (AFP) - With his ambitious social programs, his international standing and his extraordinary fate, Brazil's ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was a potent symbol of Latin America's defiant left. Seeing him end up in jail is likely to deal a heavy blow to a generation of leaders. - Impact on Latin American left - "It is certainly a shock to see the man who, more than anyone, pioneered the 'new left' surge in Latin America, being sent to prison," said William LeoGrande, an expert in South American politics at the American University School of Public Affairs. His demise comes some two decades after Latin America was swept by the so-called "pink tide" that brought leftwing leaders to 15 of the region's countries. "Lula is the candidate of the reformist, non-revolutionary left, more market-friendly. This more moderate left appears beaten, defeated because it bet on playing the democratic game and now it appears that these rules have harmed it," said Patricio Navia, an … [Read more...] about Lula behind bars: a deathblow for Latin America’s left?
The March 24 ceremony celebrated the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) choice to hold its next annual meeting in Chengdu, China, a decision criticised by the United States, whose regional influence has been increasingly challenged by the Asian economic superpower. Just over a week later, China imposed tariffs on a range of US products from frozen pork to wine in response to US President Donald's Trump's decision to place tariffs on steel and aluminium from countries including China. The trade fight, which escalated further on Wednesday with China targeting key American imports including soybeans, planes and cars in retaliation for proposed US tariffs on $50bn (€40bn) in Chinese goods, has left Latin America in the middle, analysing risks and opportunities. "The US is forcing countries in the region to choose between the US and China," said Margaret Myers, director of the Latin America and the World programme at the Inter-American Dialogue. "It's putting … [Read more...] about US-China battle presents an opportunity for Latin America’s middle men
The presidential palaces of Latin America are bereft of female presidents. When Chile’s Michelle Bachelet handed responsibilities over to Sebastián Piñera on Sunday, it marked the end of an era when, at one point, up to four women were holding the highest office in their respective countries. The end of the Bachelet administration, which encompasses two distinct periods – 2006 to 2010 and 2014 to 2018 – is also the end of something bigger: an unprecedented era of political might for women in that part of the world. While Bachelet was in power, Dilma Rousseff was also governing Brazil (2011-2016), Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was in charge of Argentina (2007-2015) and Laura Chinchilla was the president of Costa Rica (2010-2014). Women will lead their countries again Lara Blanco, UN Women The first Latin American woman to be elected to the presidency was Nicaragua’s Violeta Barrios de Chamorro back in 1990, when she defeated Sandinista … [Read more...] about From four to zero: Latin America loses its female presidents
Latin American corruption-busters have taken down many a tainted bigshot in recent years, but the fall of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski marks a new twist to the hemispheric reckoning.The former Wall Street executive denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was the victim of a “crisis of governability.” A bum’s rush might be the better description: Kuczynski’s political enemies leveraged his alleged involvement in the suppurating graft scandal surrounding the tentacular Brazilian construction giant, Odebrecht S.A., to push him out on the eve of a likely impeachment vote.Kuczynski’s fate is now in the hands of Peruvian investigators, who have joined their peers across the hemisphere in truffling for graft and fraud in the highest offices. That avenger’s zeal plays well to a public incensed by scandal, but it will do little to fix Peru’s economic misfortunes -- and if anything, the ensuing turmoil and uncertainty stand to make matters … [Read more...] about Latin America’s Fight Against Corruption Isn’t Free