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Venezuela is in a state of desperation as its oil industry – for years the foundation of the country’s economy – spirals out of control. With elections on the horizon, the United States speeding up its drumbeat of sanctions, and Russia and China’s influence increasing in the country, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center today releases The Collapse of the Venezuelan Oil Industry and its Global Consequences, a new policy brief detailing what’s ahead for the crisis-ridden country and its oil industry.

Written by Atlantic Council author Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute and founding director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Management Studies Institute in Venezuela, the brief lays out the factors leading to the oil collapse, details sanctions options and their impact, measures Russia’s and China’s increasing presence, and presents various short and long-term scenarios for the industry against a potential default.
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Over the past ten years, Chinese companies and policy banks have steadily invested and lent hundreds of billions of dollars in Latin America's oil and gas sector. China's leaders have been pressured to secure energy resources because of stagnating domestic oil production coupled with rapid growth in consumption. Latin America's growing proven oil reserves have made it an attractive partner for China. The rise in capital flowing from China to the energy sector in Latin America, plus the lack of transparency around the deals however, has led to a rise in myths about the true motivation behind China's intentions. This report seeks to uncover the facts of Chinese investment and lending deals in the Latin American energy sector, explains what is reality and what are myths, and provides pointed recommendations of how all parties can help shape a better energy cooperation.

Atlantic Council Findings Reveal Staggering Discontent Amid Democratic Rupture

National poll reveals collapsing levels of trust in institutions and profound concerns over the economic crisis and food shortages.
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On November 30, 2016, the Colombian Congress ratified the peace accords signed by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), setting in motion a series of reforms stipulated in the accords. One year later, how much has implementation of the accords advanced and what are the top issues that will influence the success of the post-accord transition in 2018? The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s latest Spotlight publication, co-authored by Andrea Saldarriaga Jiménez and Juan Felipe Celia, analyzes these key issues and the road ahead for Colombia in 2018.

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In the midst of NAFTA renegotiations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are discussing changes that could impact millions of jobs, investments, and North America’s stance in the global stage. As negotiators work at breakneck speed, new Atlantic Council findings show what the United States would lose if NAFTA were not in place.What if NAFTA Ended? The Imperative of a Successful Renegotiations,launched by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, quantifies the gains and the wide-ranging implications of successful renegotiations.

NAFTA renegotiations have the potential to further transform North America’s energy sector into a global competitor. From the US shale revolution, to Mexico’s revitalized energy sector and Canada’s vast reserves, how can a modernized NAFTA expand US energy markets and revitalize North American energy?

In our latest Spotlight publication, David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group and nonresident senior energy fellow at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, outlines four ways NAFTA can improve energy market integration and competitiveness.

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With US sanctions against Nicolás Maduro firmly in place, the Trump administration is set to take more severe economic actions if the Venezuelan government continues to repress political and civil liberties. What is in the US toolbox and what would be the effects of implementation? 

The Venezuela Spotlight is authored by David Mortlock, former director for International Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center; and Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and founding director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Management Studies Institute (IESA) in Venezuela. Together, they break down the options and lay out principles to be applied as the international community assesses next steps.

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China's global influence is on the rise. In Latin America, Chinese firms are not only increasing their investment, but rapidly expanding to new areas of the economy. To explore the implications for all stakeholders in the region, the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the OECD, launched on June 26 a revealing study analyzing data not previously available to the public. New numbers show dramatic rises in FDI from China in Latin America—beyond oil and mining, China is today focusing on ICT, electricity, finance, and alternative energy. 

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Latin America, with its history of female heads of state, seems to be a rising global leader in terms of notable women in top-level leadership roles. What is the region's secret sauce? Does this phenomenon translate to the empowerment of women throughout Latin American societies? And are women rising to the top across sectors?

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The Atlantic Council’s Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been working for the past year to put forward recommendations for continued US engagement in Colombia. Today, Colombia is a strategic US partner. Its achievements and experience fighting international networks of organized crime have transformed the country into an exporter of security expertise and training. It is the view of this high-level Task Force that Colombia continues to symbolize a bipartisan US foreign policy success story. Read our report to find out the task force's full recommendations.