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Exile of Elba – Mexico’s Personal Political Reform

Exile of Elba – Mexico’s Personal Political Reform

Since before the 2006 election of President Felipe Calderon, Elba Esther Gordillo has been someone who could wag a finger and move Mexico’s most powerful politicians into line. These include former President Calderon himself. Gordillo is head of the Mexican teachers union, the largest union in Latin America at 1.4 …

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Powering Up NAFTA

Powering Up NAFTA

Latin America is often seen as in the lower echelon of State Department priorities, and many experts think this is appropriate, given the world’s current hotspots. However, Latin Americans are our closest neighbors, much of our immigrant population, and our partners in solving major domestic issues. Christopher Sabatini, Editor-in-Chief of …

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Hot Money Heads off to Bolivia

Hot Money Heads off to Bolivia

 
Were I looking to invest in sovereign fixed income, say to pay for a house or travel one day, Bolivia is probably not the first place I would look. However, as of last fall, many institutional money managers disagree with me. Last October, the Bolivian government issued $500 million in …

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The Health of Chávez, and of the Caribbean’s Oil Supply

The Health of Chávez, and of the Caribbean’s Oil Supply

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ ill health is widely known, but what may be less recognized in my neck of the woods is how the president’s ailments have become front-page news across the Caribbean. This is due to PetroCaribe, the regional oil cooperative Venezuela created in 2005 to provide fuel for …

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In Brazil’s Red Corner

In Brazil’s Red Corner

 
China’s investment in Brazil has taken off like a catamaran surfing across the Pacific. While one might associate this trend with a Chinese desire to earn returns and pump capital into a fellow BRIC country, a look at the Chinese approach suggests otherwise. China does not have the variety or …

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Hispanic Voters Will Grow in Influence, but for Now it’s the Aburrimiento that’s Growing

Hispanic Voters Will Grow in Influence, but for Now it’s the Aburrimiento that’s Growing

              
                 I have been reflecting on the unrealized but ever-expanding influence that Hispanics will have on our entire electoral process. The Economist recently published an article called “Throwing votes away.” It criticizes the Republican Party for losing steam with Hispanic voters since leaders such as George W. Bush made significant …

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Uruguay Abortion Debate — a former Opponent Setting the Table for Passage

Uruguay Abortion Debate — a former Opponent Setting the Table for Passage

Abortion is a polarizing issue wherever you go, and that includes Latin America. On September 26, in the midst of vociferous protests from proponents and opponents, Uruguay’s Cámara de Diputados (lower house of the General Assembly) approved a law that would legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. …

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The Venezuela Election: A Pragmatically Confrontational Opposition

The Venezuela Election: A Pragmatically Confrontational Opposition

With Venezuela’s presidential election coming up on October 7, one question looms large – can Hugo Chávez possibly lose? Perhaps the question should actually be, can his challenger win? From what I have read, the opposition is unified, pragmatic, and proactive in a manner different from prior campaigns. Checking my …

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The Crumbling Center of the Americas

The Crumbling Center of the Americas

 
While recent U.S. efforts with Colombia and Mexico have bolstered security and institutions in those nations, U.S. influence in Central America has been comparatively weak. NAFTA has fostered impressive geopolitical interconnection between Mexico and the U.S.; the analogous and little recognized CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America-United States) Free Trade Agreement has …

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Brazil’s Economy – On Borrowed Time

Brazil’s Economy – On Borrowed Time

 
At a Foreign Policy Association event in April 2010, former Brazil Central Bank President Arminio Fraga gave a rather intoxicating assessment of global central bank stimulus efforts to stem economic crisis. Fraga asked each audience member to imagine a night when he or she may have gotten ridiculously drunk. A …

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National Defense and Delanteros

National Defense and Delanteros

Given Mexico’s ongoing campaign against the narco-gangs and Colombia’s omnipresent civil war, it is not surprising that defense budgets are ballooning across Latin America. According to a report by Rachel Glickhouse of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI; see links …

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Colorado versus Lugo: On the Farm and In the Senate

Colorado versus Lugo: On the Farm and In the Senate

I select the geographic spot for my posts based on a mixture of issues and variety. Paraguay tends to gain attention either through its soccer team or political upheaval. I looked at the Economist App on my iPhone, and Paraguay doesn’t even show up on the list of economic indicators …

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Against the Flow – Chile and Colombia Look for Energy Partners

Against the Flow – Chile and Colombia Look for Energy Partners

           Colombia and Chile have recently layed out initiatives for natural resource policies that place the nations in stark contrast to one another. Colombia, fresh from a successful campaign to clear territory from leftist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels, is aligning its crude oil and mining deposits for …

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The Dominican Election – Llegó Danilo

The Dominican Election – Llegó Danilo

This past Sunday’s presidential election in the Dominican Republic culminated a campaign full of color, passion, and energy. The campaign contrasted with American races in that it focused on personal differences between the two men vying for office; policy differences were minute and less relevant. I visited the DR in …

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Shining Path – not where Humala wants to spend time

Shining Path – not where Humala wants to spend time

 
 
In my first post as part of the Foreign Policy Blog Network, I summarized Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s efforts to appease the markets through pro-business Cabinet appointments. In two well-respected placements, Luis Miguel Castilla became Finance Minister, and Julio Velarde stayed on as Central Bank Head. Humala hoped to marry …

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About the Author

Hunt Kushner
Hunt Kushner

Hunt Kushner is a John C. Whitehead Fellow with the Foreign Policy Association. He currently works in Corporate Development with Ports America Group, the United States' leading port terminal company. Prior to this, he worked for 6 years at Deutsche Bank in the Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions for Latin America Group. In his 6 years at Deutsche Bank, Hunt worked on mergers and equity offerings for companies across Latin America in sectors such as energy, real estate, transportation, and banking. Hunt graduated from Yale University in 2006 with a BA in Political Science.

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