Latin America

  • Five Takeaways from Latin America’s Presidential Elections in 2018

    In 2018, the three largest countries in Latin America—Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil—elected new heads of state. Colombia voted in its youngest president, Iván Duque; Mexico elected left-wing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO); and Brazil chose former army captain and right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro. As the three leaders kick off their respective mandates, and as other elections shape up in the region, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center highlights five overarching trends that warrant a closer look and that are likely to affect the region over the next five years.

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  • Can Brazil’s Relationship With Iran Survive a New Administration?

    The trade and economic partnership between Iran and Brazil has expanded in recent years and was slated to grow even further after the completion of the Iran nuclear dealin 2015. But questions are being raised about this relationship after the victory of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

    Brazil is Iran’s seventh-largest trade partner and by far its most important economic interlocutor in South America. On November 15, a Brazilian vessel arrived at Chabahar, Iran’s only ocean port, carrying 72,000 tons of bulk corn from Brazil.  A year ago, a Brazilian ship, the Living, carried 66,000 tons of sugar into Chabahar.

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  • With AMLO, an Opportunity to Reset the US-Mexico Relationship

    Andrés Manuel López Obrador to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1

    Andrés Manuel López Obrador has his work cut out.

    The populist leader, who is more popularly known as AMLO, will be sworn in as the president of Mexico on December 1. This may be good news for the US-Mexico relationship.

    “After an erratic relationship between [US President Donald J.] Trump and [outgoing Mexican President Enrique] Peña Nieto, López Obrador’s inauguration opens the door for a reset in US-Mexico relations,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

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  • Trump, Trudeau, and Peña Nieto Sign New Trade Agreement: Here’s What You Need to Know About the USMCA

    In 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement went into force, it intrinsically linked the economies of the United States, Mexico, and Canada; becoming the lynchpin of the North American economy and amplifying its competitiveness in the international market.

    Nearly twenty-five years later, a new, modernized trilateral trade deal between these three countries was signed by US President Donald J. Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Argentina on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 30.

    Trump called it a “truly groundbreaking achievement.” The USMCA must still be approved by the US Congress where Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in January.

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  • Wayne in The Hill: The time to build lasting bonds between US and Mexico is now


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  • USMCA at Signing: Implications for Consumers and the Road Ahead for Congress

    Almost twenty-five years ago, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada went into force and became a critical part of the North American economy. On Friday, November 30, 2018 these three countries will sign a new, modernized trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA. As did its predecessor, this agreement will impact millions of jobs, trade-dependent communities, and investment in key sectors.
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  • Wayne in The Hill: US spotlight fixed squarely on AMLO as he takes reins in Mexico


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  • Braga Quoted in LA Times on US-Brazil Relations


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  • Braga Quoted in LA Times on Brazil's Bolsonaro


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  • John Bolton Takes Latin American 'Troika of Tyranny' to Task

    US National Security Advisor John Bolton labelled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua the “Troika of Tyranny” in a November 1 speech outlining the Trump administration’s determination to combat authoritarianism in Latin America. Speaking at Miami’s Freedom Tower, a US national historic landmark due to its role in housing a processing center for Cubans fleeing to the United States, Bolton declared that under US President Donald J. Trump, the United States “will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores.”

    Bolton’s speech in a critical swing state for both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives just six days before the midterm elections can be seen as an attempt to shore up Republican Party support among the politically powerful Cuban-American community in southern Florida.

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