Latin America

  • Conference Call: Brazilian VP in China: A Turning Point for Brazil-China Relations?

    Brazilian Vice President, Hamilton Mourão, was in China for a six-day trip ahead of President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to the country later this year. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center held a conference call just before the China–Brazil High-Level Cooperation and Commission (COSBAN) meeting to assess expectations and possible key outcomes to Brazil-China relations of the visit. The call was moderated by Pepe Zhang, associate director at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.


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  • With Tariffs Lifted, the Future Looks Bright for the North American Trade Deal

    Over the past two years, the US-Mexican relationship has been marked by challenges on trade, immigration, and security. In June 2018, the United States, citing national security concerns, placed tariffs on Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel. These tariffs cast a shadow over negotiations on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the subsequent processes to ratify the trade deal. The Trump administration’s May 17 decision to lift the tariffs is good news for the ratification of the USMCA.


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  • The Growing Russian Challenge and What Should Be Done About It

    All around the world, Russia is increasingly asserting itself, propping up dictators, and, in some instances, posing a direct challenge to US interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin held his first-ever meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok on April 25. Kim’s visit to Russia, an old ally, came as diplomacy with US President Donald J. Trump has faltered.

    Trump and Putin spoke on the phone for over an hour on May 3. Venezuela and North Korea were among the topics the two leaders discussed.


    We take a look at some areas of confrontation, what is driving Russian interests, and how the United States is responding to this challenge.


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  • Juan Guaidó’s Operation Freedom Gives Venezuela a Shot at Democracy

    At dawn in Caracas on April 30, security personnel carried out two bold moves in support of the interim government—and in defiance of Nicolás Maduro’s regime. These developments mark the best chance yet for Venezuelans to begin the next wave of reclaiming democracy and ending years of suffering.

    Opposition politician Leopoldo López was released from house arrest—nearly two years after being placed under house arrest and more than five years after being detained—by agents of the Venezuelan intelligence service who had been guarding his home. Move one in defiance of Maduro.


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  • Sultoon in Las Vegas Sun: Trump Pursuing The Right Goals In Cuba, But In The Wrong Way


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  • Venezuela After Maduro: A Vision for the Country's Future

    On Thursday, April 25, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted the US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams to discuss what an inclusive democratic transition in Venezuela looks like. The event convened key figures representing both the Venezuelan opposition and the dissident Chavismo,who are committed to bringing about a return to democracy in Venezuela.


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  • Wayne in Dallas News: Tariffs won't solve U.S.-Mexico Drug Crime — We Must Work Together


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  • US Envoy Sees a Role for Chavismo in a Democratic Venezuela

    Supporters of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, should have a place at the table in a democratic Venezuela, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 25.

    Nicolás Maduro currently leads the party founded by Chavez—the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). While the United States and more than fifty other countries recognize National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, Abrams said PSUV should not be excluded from participating in a future Venezuelan democracy.


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  • Spotlight: Next Steps with Venezuela

    Despite increased, coordinated international pressure on Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, he continues to cling to power. Maduro’s staying power has outlasted the Trump administration’s optimistic timeline, but, in this case, the stated goal of regime change is one worthy of perseverance. The need for a timely solution is exacerbated by the extreme humanitarian crisis – created by years of Maduro regime mismanagement – that has already prompted 3.7 million Venezuelans to flee. In order to achieve its policy objective, the Trump administration’s strategy should be broadened beyond sanctions.

    Sanctions are a useful tool when incorporated into a broader strategy, but rarely can sanctions—particularly primarily unilateral sanctions as in the case of Venezuela—fully achieve their stated objective. Even less likely a result from the application of unilateral sanctions is a timely outcome. The Trump administration is nearing the limits of what it can achieve in Venezuela through sanctions alone and a reconsideration of the current strategy is warranted.


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  • Russia’s Venezuela Challenge

    The first major showdown of our new era of great power competition, unfolding with accelerating speed over the past ten weeks in Venezuela, has entered a dangerous new phase. That is true, most of all, for the Venezuelan people, but also for Latin American democracies and for vital US interests in the Western Hemisphere.

    How this drama turns out may mark the most significant test yet of the Trump administration's credibility, following a highest-level chorus this week of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who all declared – in one way or another – that Russia had to get out of the country.


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