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October 21, 2013: Why Have Businesses in Colombia Become so Pessimistic?
By Antonio Navarro Wolff, Alexander Chalmers, and Andy Webb-Vidal
In August, the level of business confidence in Colombia fell to its lowest level since 2009, according to local think tank Fedesarrollo. Why have businesses operating in Colombia become so pessimistic? To what extent have the policies of President Juan Manuel Santos helped or hindered businesses? Which sectors have thrived during Santos' administration, and which have struggled?

October 6, 2013: La maniobra de Maduro frente a Estados Unidos
By Michael Shifter
Source: El Colombiano
Hace cuatro meses, después de una reunión entre el secretario de Estado de EE. UU. John Kerry y el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Venezuela, Elías Jaua, en la Asamblea General de la OEA en Guatemala, un eventual reacercamiento entre Washington y Caracas parecía posible. Las relaciones políticas han sido tensas y conflictivas desde que Hugo Chávez llegó al poder en 1999.

October 6, 2013: Maduro's Latest US Maneuvers
By Michael Shifter
Source: El Colombiano
Four months ago, an eventual rapprochement between Washington and Caracas looked possible. Unfortunately, hope for better relations quickly faded with the recent expulsion of US and Venezuelan diplomats.

September 30, 2013: Was Maduro's Recent Trip to China a Success?
By Riordan Roett, Margaret Myers, Gustavo Roosen, and Dan Hellinger
Source: Latin America Advisor
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this month made a three-day visit to China, his first official state trip abroad since taking office in April. Was the trip a success for Maduro? For China?

September 24, 2013: Why Are Tensions Rising Between Nicaragua & its Neighbors?
By Francisco Campbell, Christine Wade, and Fernando Cepeda Ulloa
Source: Latin America Advisor
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega recently said the country will seek to regain control of Guanacaste province, which it lost to Costa Rica in 1824. Meanwhile, tensions between Nicaragua and Colombia over their maritime boundaries, ostensibly settled by an International Court of Justice ruling late last year, have been reignited. What is behind Ortega's bellicose statements?

September 9, 2013: Development vs. Conservation: Global Trends in the Battle Over Oil in Ecuador’s Yasuní Rainforest
By Scott Odell
Source: New Security Beat
Ecuador, the OPEC member with the smallest amount of proven oil reserves, has gained outsized attention in the debate over the future of oil extraction in recent days and may well play a decisive role in the outcome of the global tension between economic development and environmental conservation.

July 30, 2013: China y EE.UU. en Latam: ¿quien gana?
By Peter Hakim
Source: Infolatam
No hay que negar que EE.UU. y China están compitiendo por mercados y oportunidades de inversión en Latinoamérica, pero no existe ningún conflicto serio entre China y Estados Unidos relacionado con la región. Mirando hacia el futuro, Washington tendría que continuar dando la bienvenida a la presencia activa y en expansión de China en Latinoamérica, tanto como China tendría que celebrar un fuerte rol de EE.UU.

July 17, 2013: Why Latin America (Hearts) Snowden
By Peter Hakim
Source: Reuters
Edward Snowden requested political asylum of 20 or more countries across the globe to avoid facing espionage charges in the United States. Though he is now seeking temporary asylum from Russia, where he has been stranded in the Moscow airport, only a few nations, all in Latin America, have been openly receptive to his pleas.

July 17, 2013: ¿Por qué Latinoamérica abre su corazón a Snowden?
By Peter Hakim
Source: Reuters
Edward Snowden pidió asilo político en 20 o más países de todo el mundo para evitar enfrentar cargos por espionaje en Estados Unidos. Aunque ahora está solicitando asilo temporal en Rusia, donde se encuentra varado en el aeropuerto de Moscú, sólo unas pocas naciones, todas ellas en América Latina, se han mostrado receptivamente abiertas a sus pedidos.

July 8, 2013: Are Latin American Countries Thumbing Their Noses at the U.S.?
By William McIlhenny, Daniela Chacón Arias, and Carl Meacham
Source: Latin America Advisor
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is the latest high-profile fugitive to seek political asylum from the United States in Latin America. Why are some governments in the region so eager to thumb their noses at the United States?

June 24, 2013: A Bolivarian Dream Deferred
By Michael Shifter
Source: Foreign Policy
The Latin American left is back in the news thanks to the Edward Snowden saga, but the movement still hasn't found a leader to replace Hugo Chávez.

June 4, 2013: What Trends Have Been Driving Investment in the Region?
By Roberto Baquerizo, Alfredo Coutiño, Luis Oganes, and Lisa M. Schineller
Source: Latin America Advisor
Latin America and the Caribbean received a record $173.36 billion of foreign direct investment last year, a 6.7 percent increase from 2011, according to data released May 14 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. What factors and global trends have been driving these investments? Which countries fared best, and worst, in attracting foreign investment, and why? Will FDI in 2013 and 2014 continue to gain steam?

May 29, 2013: Is Freedom of the Press in Danger in Latin America?
By Luis Manuel Botello, Horacio Verbitsky, and Carlos Lauría
Source: Latin America Advisor
Concerns about press freedom in the Americas have been in the headlines recently. In Colombia, authorities have warned the public of a plot by an organized crime group to kill several high-profile journalists. In Argentina, opposition leader and Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri signed a decree "to guarantee protection to journalists and media in the city" as the government's ongoing dispute with country's largest media company has intensified. In Venezuela, the last major opposition television station was sold to investors believed to be friendly with the administration President Nicolás Maduro. What do these developments say about press freedom in the Americas? What are the most important trends that stakeholders (government, businesses, civil society) need to pay attention to? How has the evolution of social media and wider access to the Internet and communications technologies changed the debate over freedom of the press?

May 23, 2013: A Tribute to Albert O. Hirschman
By Alejandro Foxley
Jeremy Adelman has written an extraordinary book about an extraordinary person: "Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman." After his death, "The Economist" posed the right question: why had Hirschman not been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics?

May 14, 2013: The Politics of Poverty: South America's Conditional Cash Transfers (PDF)
By Michael Shifter & Cameron Combs
Source: World Politics Review
The cross-country comparison suggests that however well designed and intentioned social programs might be, they are most likely to be sustainable if they are carried out within a context of effective democratic institutions. This is critical to ensuring that spending is adequately tailored to the changing needs of recipients instead of merely buttressing support for traditional officeholders. In this regard, political and institutional factors are central in accounting for the relative success of social policy experiments throughout Latin America.

May 13, 2013: How Solid Is Morales' Support as he Looks to a Third Term?
By Carlos Mesa, Kathryn Ledebur, Iván C. Rebolledo, and Miguel Centellas
Source: Latin America Advisor
Bolivia's Constitutional Court ruled last month that President Evo Morales can seek a third term in the presidential election scheduled for December 2014. How solid is Morales' support as he looks toward his next campaign? How strong is the opposition, and what could Morales' rivals do to gain an edge? Will Morales choose to make 2014 his last run for office?

May 8, 2013: Las mujeres de América Latina, al alza (PDF)
By Joan Caivano and Jane Marcus-Delgado
Source: Polítca Exterior
En las últimas dos décadas, el avance de la participación política de las mujeres en América Latina ha sido espectacular. La región, sin embargo, registra las mayores tasas del mundo en violencia contra las mujeres y mortalidad maternal a causa de abortos ilegales.

May 3, 2013: What Does the Future Hold for U.S.-Venezuela Relations?
By Michael Shifter, Gustavo Roosen, and Mark Weisbrot
Source: Latin America Advisor
The future of U.S.-Venezuela relations remains uncertain in the early days of the Nicolás Maduro administration. Maduro has voiced a desire for "respectful relations" with the United States, though Washington has still not recognized his government. The United States has denied that it is considering sanctions against Venezuela, and Venezuelan authorities recently arrested a U.S. citizen on accusations of attempting to spark social unrest. The State Department has denied any efforts to destabilize the Venezuelan government. Will U.S.-Venezuela relations be better or worse under Maduro than they were under Hugo Chávez? What do Maduro's cabinet picks portend about the future of bilateral relations? Should businesses be more worried about political risk in Venezuela now than they were when Chávez was alive?

April 29, 2013: John Kerry repite la visión que Hillary Clinton tuvo en los últimos cuatro años (PDF)
By Michael Shifter
Source: El Deber
Las declaraciones del secretario de Estado, John Kerry, hacen eco de lo que precisamente su redecesora en el cargo, Hillary Clinton, decía repetidamente en los últimos cuatro años. La diferencia ahora, en el segundo periodo de su gobierno, es que Barack Obama no parece dispuesto a gastar tanto tiempo en tratar de mejorar las relaciones con gobiernos que han sido inamistosos con Washington.

April 9, 2013: Why Is the OAS Human Rights Commission Under Fire?
By Carmen Lomellin, Nathalie Cely, and Michael Shifter
Source: Latin America Advisor
The Organization of American States on March 22 rejected attempts by the governments of Venezuela and allied leftist countries to block outside funding for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Opponents of the effort to block funding say the move would have neutralized the work of the commission, which has angered leftist governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA. What would rejecting outside funding have done to the IACHR? Do the ALBA countries have a legitimate gripe with the commission? Is the IACHR effective at protecting human rights in the hemisphere?