Latin America

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Economics Latin America

Mercosur’s Birthday Celebration Reveals a Path towards Irrelevancy

The risk of Mercosur becoming another failed attempt of regional integration in Latin America has been rising steadily in the last two decades and is likely to increase even more in the current scenario. The tension between leaders on Mercosur’s last summit demonstrates a lack of internal cohesion that will lead the bloc towards failure and irrelevancy.

Latin America The Energy Briefing

The Struggle over Mexico’s Energy Sector: What’s At Stake?

Recently, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stepped up his administration’s efforts to reform the country’s Electricity Industry Law. However, these attempts have received criticism from the private sector and lawmakers. The dispute has the potential to affect Mexico’s relations with regional partners like the USA and Canada and, depending on the outcome of legislative elections in June, may even cause constitutional changes.

Latin America Politics

Cuba: Will Political Change follow Economic Liberalisation?

In response to crippling economic stagnation, Cuba has passed regulations which hint at a turn towards a more market-driven economy. However, political control over key sectors including education and the media still lies heavily with the state. The most striking policy, which allows thousands of professions to run outside the remit of the state, will change the character of business within Cuba and may lead to increased innovation and interaction with international markets. Could Cuba’s economic liberalisation lead to further political freedoms?

Latin America Risk Pulse

The Implications of Colombia’s Decision to Grant Temporary Residence to Venezuelan Refugees

On 8th February, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that Colombia would grant temporary residence to over 950,000 undocumented Venezuelan migrants in the country. This announcement constitutes a significant humanitarian measure, with the potential to have a regional and international impact. What is the situation of Venezuelan migrants in Latin America and what impact might Duque’s decision have both domestically and in broader terms?

Latin America Politics

Alex Saab and the State of Corruption in Venezeula

The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro has been accused of turning a blind eye to or engaging actively in corruption for both the personal enrichment of state officials and as part of sanction-dodging efforts. Among other individuals linked to corruption by the Maduro government, in June 2020 Colombian national Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in connection with an Interpol Red Notice concerning money laundering. Now, 6 months after his arrest, it seems likely that he will be extradited to the US. How significant is Saab to the Maduro government and what impact might his extradition have?

Covid-19 Latin America

Cry for me, Argentina: COVID-19 and Economic Woe

2020 cannot be described as a good year for Argentina. Already struggling with high inflation and a sovereign debt of over $300 billion, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic confronted the Argentine government with new financial drains and economic hurdles. Faced with this crisis, Argentina’s economy has undergone a severe contraction. Though Argentina’s economic situation is, along with that of many other countries affected by the pandemic, expected to rebound in 2021, indications are not positive for a long-term indication in the country’s economic situation.

Latin America Politics Security

Forever War: The Unfulfilled Peace in Colombia

Despite the signing of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla organization in June 2016, Colombia continues to struggle with armed violence by far-left guerrilla groups including the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and FARC dissidents, as well as by right wing paramilitaries and criminal cartels. The causes of this continued violence are numerous and range from the attitude of the Duque administration towards the peace agreement, to the situation in neighbouring Venezuela.

Latin America Politics

Latin America – Russia’s Game in 2021: an Outlook

Latin America is at a turning point and there will be a lot at stake for Russia’s influence building in the region in 2021. The instability created by an unprecedented recession and an increased political polarisation in what promises to be a hectic electoral year as well as a more active US foreign policy after Trump’s neglect will probably increase Moscow’s appetite for the subcontinent.

Economics Latin America

Rumours of reform: the likelihood and consequences of currency reform in Cuba

Indications have been growing that the Cuban government intends to move forward with sweeping reforms to the country’s currency and exchange rate systems. These reforms will certainly involve the unification of the country’s current dual currency system. Nevertheless, such a change is easier said than done and will almost certainly be painful in the short term.

Latin America Politics

Crisis in Peru: The interplay between COVID and Corruption

Peru is in the throes of a political crisis following the outbreak of protests after the impeachment of now former President Martín Vizcarra, ostensibly due to corruption during his time as Governor of the province of Moquegua between 2011 and 2014. The protestors see Vizcarra’s impeachment as politically motivated, carried out to halt the anti-graft initiatives he sought to implement; the protests have also been inflamed by alleged police brutality that led to the deaths of 2 demonstrators. It is likely that some concession by the government will be made in order to defuse this tension.