Latin America and the Caribbean

Endgames: Why Militaries Forsook Bouteflika and Al-Bashir, but Not Maduro

Massive peaceful protests are the ultimate endgame for autocrats: If all other means have failed, the incumbent’s political survival hinges on the loyalty of the military. In 2019, presidents in Algeria, Sudan, and Venezuela learned this the hard way. When Algerian President Bouteflika announced to run for a fifth term, the masses flooded the streets. […]

Domestic Divisions Overshadow Climate Prospects

Tackling climate change numbers among the most pressing issues for governments worldwide. But after the United Nations struggled to even find a host for its upcoming international climate meeting, will domestic politics limit its success? Even before global leaders travel to the United Nation’s annual climate conference from December 2-13, domestic politics have already cast […]

Elections in Bolivia: President Morales Poised to Cling to Power

Ahead of Bolivia’s presidential elections in October, President Evo Morales looks set to win a fourth consecutive mandate, despite a referendum in which a narrow majority voted to block such a move. Is the South American nation about to take a step backwards? Bolivia serves as a reminder that, all too often, democracies are only […]

Argentina: Election Year to the Rhythm of the International Monetary Fund

2019 could prove a fateful year for Argentina. To receive further financial aid from the International Monetary Fund, the government has to enforce drastic and unpopular measures ahead of the October elections. President Mauricio Macri is walking on very thin ice. Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the second review of Argentina’s 3-year Stand […]

Election in Brazil: Testing a Fragile Democracy

Economic malaise is pushing Brazilians towards outsider parties in the run-up to the October vote. But with no candidate promising to undertake much-needed economic reform, the country’s woes look set to continue. Brazil has rarely had it so bad. As the 2000s boom in commodity prices waned, the country’s gross domestic product plummeted. Unemployment reached […]

Populists on Both Sides of the Wall?

Ahead of the Mexican election in July, a leftwing populist is the clear frontrunner amid exasperation with political corruption and snail-paced social reform. The Mexican presidential race was probably over the minute it began. Recent polls consistently put leftist populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador ahead, with a lead of at least 10 points versus the […]

Mercosur: Crisis-Ridden and Pronounced Dead but Still Alive

South American countries are far too busy with their scandals and crises to be making progress with economic and political integration. And yet those crises could be exactly what gives Mercosur its second wind. The news coming out of Brazil recently is reminiscent of a political thriller. A president deposed under questionable circumstances (Dilma Rousseff) […]

Latin America at the Crossroads Ahead of Big Election Year

Latin America’s bumper election year got into gear with a centre-left candidate sweeping to the top in Costa Rica. And with a slew of elections set to follow, experts are asking where the continent is headed. A spate of elections will make 2018 decisive for Latin America. As the world marches towards a more conservative […]

Brazil: The Drama of Unpredictability

Uncertainty about the 2018 presidential elections, which will be held in October, weigh heavily on Brazil. A court decision this week may cost former president Lula da Silva his candidacy. As Brazil braces for its most important election in decades, hopes of stabilization are dwindling. The country is slowly stepping out of an almost three-year […]

Rio de Janeiro downtown and Favéla/Sugarloaf/Pain de Sucre

Political Doping on the Eve of the Olympics

Hardly any other country included in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) has been as diligent in combating corruption as Brazil. Indeed, the country’s prosecutors need all the resolve they can muster: Brazil’s political system has recently been shaken by several bribery scandals, which have contributed to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. An analysis. […]

Protesters in São Paulo

Revisiting a Success Story

Solid economic growth, combined with social policies: This was the recipe for success followed by many Latin American countries like Brazil. Now, the boom in exports has ended – all at the cost of social advances made in recent years. Is it time to question previous reform policies? Most economies in Latin America and the […]

Nuevo Mas banners at Plaza Congreso
A graffiti showing Hugo Chavez

Maduro’s Time is Running Out

Faced with electoral setback and rising popular discontent, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro just announced a number of economic reforms. But will these suffice to combat the country’s economic and social crises? In Venezuela’s most recent parliamentary elections on December 6, 2015, Chavismo experienced its first political setback since coming to power 17 years ago. The […]

Two freighters are preparing to transit the Panama Canal starting at Gatun Locks on the Atlantic side © Matthew Ragen/veer

Does Climate Change Threaten the Future of the Panama Canal?

Panama’s economic prospects are bright. Yet global warming may endanger one of the country’s main sources of revenue and growth – the Panama Canal. It’s essential to build resilience around one of the world’s most important waterways. Panama has made itself into a financial hub in the Americas. Over the past five years, its economy […]

Brazilians protest against the government and corruption, 15 March 2015 © José Cruz/Agência Brasil (CC BY 2.0)

“Few Leaders with a National Vision”

On 15 August 2015, thousands of Brazilians once again took to the streets to protest against President Dilma Rousseff. Economist Renato Flôres explains the failure of Brazil’s political leadership, the future of the ruling Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) party, and what the country needs in order to return to a growth and development path. BTI […]

Havana in May 2015 © Stefan Tariczky via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Cuba’s Slow Motion Glasnost

As diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington thaw, pressure for reform within Cuba is mounting. But just how far will political change in the country go and how will this affect US-Cuban relations? On 20 July, the US Embassy in Havana officially reopened, marking the culmination of the policy of détente begun in December 2014. […]

© alphaspirit/veer

Innovative Enterprise and Dynamic Democracy

Latin America’s startup scene is vibrant and growing, yet regional differences are plentiful. Jamie Stark looks at social and political factors driving innovative businesses in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil – and asks, Is democracy a startup essential? What does it take to make a strong business culture? Political stability, investment capital, highly educated employees […]

Kick it like Rousseff © Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR
São Paulo subway cars. © Luis F. Gallo (CC-BY-2.0)

Bridging the Corruption Gap in Brazil

Media and civil society in Brazil are quite successful at exposing corruption. The government should revisit laws, strengthen their enforcement, and engage in an anti-corruption forum with NGOs and businesses. The fight against corruption is an ever-present key issue in Brazilian media and society. It’s common knowledge that, despite Brazil’s vast economic potential and the […]