Analysis

Image of Daniel Ortega and Arnoldo Aleman

The Demons of Nicaraguan Politics: Between the ‘Caudillo’ Political Boss and Perfect Politician

Nicaragua’s political crisis is torn between violence and anger of defensive misrule, and division within the opposition. It is a political battle full of contempt, criticism, and even manipulating reality. These actions are not atypical of Nicaragua, and they represent a very deep belief of our political culture: the government can only be administered by the perfect politician and each of us judges with moral superiority who is or is not worthy to be considered perfect.

Manuel Orozco

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Confidencial

LEGO map of South America

Regionalism and Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has once more demonstrated the fragility of Latin American regional and subregional organizations, and the reasons for it: the weaknesses of domestic institutions, the lack of shared interests and values, and the dependence on foreign powers. It is not too late to turn the pandemic into an opportunity to acknowledge the existence of common interests, and the value of pursuing them collectively.

Ana Covarrubias

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Unfulfilled Promises: Latin America Today

Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche offload nearly 660 kilograms of narcotics

The Pandemic is Disrupting Organized Crime, But Not Necessarily for the Better

Covid-19 is transforming organized crime. In addition to heightening the risk of violence, the pandemic is also indirectly strengthening the social, economic, and political clout of several criminal organizations in the same way that the Italian mafia and Japanese Yakuza emerged stronger after the great dislocations of the Second World War. Crime kingpins know full well that law enforcement and criminal justice systems are overstretched, and that prisons are bursting at the seams. They also know that an economic depression is coming, which may increase the risk of violence. It is not entirely clear if governments are similarly alert.

Robert Muggah

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Unfulfilled Promises: Latin America Today

Press conference by US President Donald Trump at the NATO Summit in Brussels. Right: US National Security Advisor John Bolton

Between Trump and Bolton: Missed Opportunity in Venezuela

Bolton’s account in the chapter “Venezuela Libre” in his newly released book, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir,” is a powerful reminder of how the Trump administration – out of a mix of ignorance, incompetence, and frivolousness – squandered the opportunity to help Venezuela emerge from its disastrous situation.

Michael Shifter

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ The New York Times

Street in China, Woman with an umbrella

Latin America After Covid-19: Just as Heterogeneous, Fragmented, and Irrelevant as Before…So Now What?

How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect Latin America’s insertion with the world? Andrés Malamud explored this topic in the book ‘Unfulfilled Promises’ in 2019. Today he reflects on how the pandemic has changed none of the trends he then identified. Rather, it has highlighted all of them: at the global level, we witness increasing multipolarity, failure of multilateral cooperation, and a Sino-American power transition; in Latin America, we observe structural heterogeneity, political fragmentation, and geopolitical irrelevance. Let us elaborate.

Andrés Malamud

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Unfulfilled Promises: Latin America Today

Image of broadcast of a speech by Ortega

Covid-19 Pandemic and the Lack of Democracy in Nicaragua

Manuel Orozco outlines how Daniel Ortega’s regime is using the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to ensure political survival. Regardless of the measure used, Nicaragua is the country that has least adhered to efforts to mitigate the pandemic. The consequences of the government’s inaction are deadly.

Manuel Orozco

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Confidencial

China-Celac Forum 2014

China’s Regional Engagement Goals in Latin America

The success of China’s regional outreach in Latin America will depend, as it has for a number of years, on Beijing’s relative influence in regional institutions and on the capacity and effectiveness of the institutions themselves.

Margaret Myers

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

President Donald J. Trump points to a reporter with a question during the coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Trump Show

In just two months, the US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed US casualties from the Vietnam War, and more than 30 million American workers have already applied for unemployment insurance. Against the backdrop of this devastating health and economic crisis, Trump is simply unable to show real leadership and has been unwilling to assume his share of responsibility for the calamity. As the US entered the worst phase of the crisis, his position on the pandemic has been notably incoherent and contradictory.

Michael Shifter

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ El Faro

Trabajadores del Estado y simpatizantes orteguistas participan en una actividad del caudillo sandinista Daniel Ortega

El vacío de poder y el secuestro de los servidores públicos

Desde inicios de 2020, Nicaragua se ha estancado ante un vacío de poder que se ha agravado por la crisis de la pandemia, acompañado de un empate político prolongado entre el régimen y los actores del movimiento opositor de la Coalición Nacional.

Manuel Orozco

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Confidencial

Marcelo Ebrard

Amid Covid-19, China Ups Its Game in Latin America

China has become an essential, reliable partner for Latin American nations, while the United States, under the Trump Adminstration, has alienated itself away from longtime regional partners.

Rebecca Bill Chavez, Paul Angelo

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ New York Times

Nicolás Maduro

It’s Not the Time for War Games With Venezuela

The priority of the US in the country should be to avoid a humanitarian disaster, not sending naval destroyers.

Michael Shifter, Michael Camilleri

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ The New York Times

Portrait of Nicolás Maduro

Can Justice for Maduro Bring Peace to Venezuela?

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo unveiled a detailed framework for restoring democracy in Venezuela that was immediately rejected by the man who would need to step aside for such a transition to occur: Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Michael Camilleri

Articles & Op-Eds ˙ ˙ Los Angeles Times