Latin America

  • Russia Ups the Ante in Venezuela

    With the arrival of its troops and military advisers in Caracas this past weekend, Russia has upped the ante with the United States over how to deal with the crisis in Venezuela.


    While the United States — along with dozens of other countries — recognizes Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, Russia has thrown its lot behind Nicolás Maduro.

    And so it was that two Russian military aircraft carrying advisers and troops — as many as 100 troops according to some accounts — arrived in Caracas on March 23.


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  • Digital Resilience in Latin America: Automation, Disinformation, and Polarization in Elections

    2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. Following a year-long effort in which the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and its Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) exposed and explained disinformation around key elections in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the teams launched a comprehensive report that outlines trends and lessons learned from the 2018 presidential elections in Latin America.


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  • Has Progress Been Made in Containing Disinformation?

    The spread of online disinformation during the 2018 election campaigns in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil demonstrated to social media companies that they need to “make sure that we are not solving just the problems that we saw in the US in 2016, but that we are really thinking steps ahead,” according to Katie Harbath, public policy director of global elections at Facebook.


    The three high-profile elections in Latin America made up “one of our very first big test cases” for new measures meant to limit the spread of false information on Facebook, Harbath said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on March 28. But while Facebook has had some success in limiting harmful activity on its platform, Harbath explained “we have to have different solutions for all of our different platforms.”


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  • Disinformation in Democracies: Strengthening Digital Resilience in Latin America

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    2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. And while disinformation and misinformation are nothing new, the spread of false information at alarming rates – facilitated by politicians, non-state actors, or even our own families and friends – are more effective and worrisome than ever. With this trend unlikely to change, how can we detect and combat this borderless phenomenon? What's next in the fight against disinformation?

    Disinformation in Democracies: Strengthening Digital Resilience in Latin America, authored by Roberta Braga, Luiza Bandeira, Donara Barojan, Maria Fernanda Pérez Argüello, and Jose Luis Peñarredonda, provides an overview of polarization, automation and disinformation in Latin America, and outlines lessons learned from the region’s 2018 elections. Following a year-long effort in which the Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center exposed and explained disinformation around elections in Latin America, the report also lays out multi-stakeholder vision for fostering digital resilience as the world prepares for major elections in 2019 and 2020 in Argentina, the European Union, India, Indonesia the United States and beyond.

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  • USMCA is Not a Done Deal. It Must Still Clear Three Legislative Hurdles

    On November 30, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), modernizing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and “rebalancing” trade relations between the three countries, according to the US administration.  Before the new pact officially takes effect, however, the legislatures of all three countries need to approve the agreement.

    The USMCA would preserve the massive trading and shared-production networks that support millions of jobs in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Those networks support North America’s ability to compete effectively with China, Europe, and other economic powers. Approving USMCA this year would thus appear to be in the economic interest all three countries, providing certainty for the $1.3 trillion in three-way trade and for the many businesses, workers, and farmers that depend on the commerce and co-production that interlinks North America. Since USMCA will last at least sixteen years, its approval should provide certainty to encourage private sector investment in strengthening North America’s continental marketplace.


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  • Key Takeaways from Brazilian President's Visit to Washington

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s choice of the United States for his first official international visit as president did not come as a surprise given his vocal desire to reposition Brazil closer to the United States and his admiration for US President Donald J. Trump.

    Bolsonaro was joined on his March 18-19 visit by six of his twenty-two ministers, including Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, Justice Minister Sérgio Moro, and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo. The Brazilians had a clear agenda: expand and deepen the areas of cooperation between the two largest economies in the Western hemisphere and gain the support Brazil needs to further attract trade and foreign direct investment.


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  • Braga quoted in NYT on Bolsonaro's Meeting with Trump


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  • Braga Quoted in AFP on Bolsonaro's Visit With Trump


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  • Venezuela’s Interim Government Unveils Reconstruction Plan

    Representatives of Venezuela’s interim government, at the Atlantic Council in Washington on March 14, unveiled their plan for the reconstruction of their country, which has for months been mired in a worsening humanitarian, political, and economic crisis.


    Daniel Sierra, a public policy adviser for Venezuela’s interim government, said that the plan—Plan País—will focus on resolving five key challenges: the humanitarian crisis, rebuilding the economy, regaining security and the rule of law, restoring public services and utilities, and strengthening the institutional capacity of the state after years of political purges by the regimes of Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez.


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  • Plan País: Building the New Venezuela - A Roadmap for Reconstruction

    On Thursday, March 14, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center convened distinguished experts and international leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, as well as next steps in rebuilding the country’s economy, infrastructure, and institutions. The event served as the official unveiling of Plan País—the Venezuelan National Assembly’s detailed plan for reconstruction—on the international stage.


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