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  • Chavez’s Swearing-In No Show: Dispensing with a Constitutional “Formality”

    According to Venezuela’s constitution, Hugo Chavez—elected president for an unprecedented fourth term in October 2012—must be sworn in as president on January 10, but it will not happen. Like so many constitutional principles in Venezuela, this requirement, according to Vice President Nicolas Maduro, is just a “formality.” Never mind the … More

    Venezuela: Hurtling Toward the Post-Chavez Chasm

    Over the holidays, Venezuelans continued to receive increasingly grim news regarding the health of President Hugo Chavez. Current Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rushed to Havana and reported back that Chavez had suffered “new complications” and that the President remains in a “delicate” condition following his fourth round … More

    U.S. Policy for Cuba: Libertad

    Speaking in Miami in May 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama outlined his proposed Cuba policy: “My policy toward Cuba will be guided by one word: Libertad [Liberty]. And the road to freedom for all Cubans must begin with justice for Cuba’s political prisoners, the rights of free speech, a free … More

    Former U.S. Marine Arrested in Mexico for Possession of Family Heirloom

    Why is the Obama Administration not doing more to free a former Marine from a Mexican prison? Twenty-seven-year-old Jon Hammar—a former Marine Lance Corporal and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—is attracting increasing congressional and media attention. Hammar was arrested by Mexican authorities on August 13 when he … More

    Chavez's Authoritarian Regime Sweeps Governorships

    One week after Hugo Chavez stunned his nation with news of new cancer surgery and anointed Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as his heir, Venezuelans went to the polls to elect 23 governors and members of state legislatures. Initial electoral results indicate that Chavez’s candidates won in 20 … More

    Hugo Chavez Shocks Venezuela with Latest Cancer Surgery, Heir Apparent

    On December 8, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced his immediate return to Havana for a fourth round of cancer surgery. Chavez’s emergency return to Cuba for a fresh operation, the latest round of treatments there, and increasingly infrequent public appearances have left Venezuelans wondering who will be in charge of … More

    Mexico's New President Takes Office

    With enormous fanfare, Mexico inaugurated its new president on Saturday. Outgoing President Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party will pass the keys of the executive to Enrique Peña Nieto of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (RIP), who will begin a six-year term. President Peña Nieto won the election on July … More

    The Health of Tyrants Chavez and Castro Worries Venezuela and Cuba

    Just weeks after his October presidential electoral victory, Hugo Chavez is returning to Cuba for unspecified cancer treatment. The brief announcement of his return appears to contradict Chavez’s campaign reassurances that he had conquered cancer. Prior to the October 7 elections, Chavez, president since 1999, did all in his power … More

    Time to Take Mexico Seriously

    When President Obama and Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto meet in Washington on Tuesday, their talks will highlight the critical relationship between our two nations. Today many businessmen and investors are increasingly bullish on Mexico. The potential for positive developments in Mexico, The Economist and others argue, are too easily … More

    Fast and Furious, Marijuana Legalization Still Worry Our Southern Neighbors

    Since November 6, President Obama has had little time to savor his electoral victory. The White House is in the throes of dealing with, among other issues, the aftershocks of Benghazi, the David Petraeus resignation, and the looming plunge off the fiscal cliff. While it may be too early to … More