It's the Dinero, Caudillo
March 09, 2010
What were two members of a violent Basque separatist group doing with 11 members of Colombia's narco-Marxist insurgency in a remote corner of southwestern Venezuela in August 2007? According to a blockbuster indictment handed down by a Spanish judge last week, they were participating in a kind of intercontinental terrorist training camp held under the aegis of the Venezuelan military.
DISPUTATIONS: Misunderstanding the Problem
December 29, 2009
Jorge Castañeda’s lament ("Adios, Monroe Doctrine," December 28, 2009) about U.S. indifference towards Latin America sounds a familiar theme. His claim that “the United States doesn’t seem to care much what happens in Latin America” has been a constant refrain that has dominated analyses of U.S. regional policy since the mid-1970s. The “new passivity” is not, after all, terribly new. Though often framed in general terms of advancing national interests and values, almost everyone expressing such a lament has been motivated by some particular agenda. Some want the U.S.
Adios, Monroe Doctrine
December 28, 2009
The ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has provided Latin America with a revelatory moment. Beginning with the Monroe Doctrine--and extending through countless invasions, occupations, and covert operations--Washington has considered the region its backyard. So where was this superpower these past few months, as Honduras hung in the balance? More or less sitting on its hands. The fact is that the United States is no longer willing, or perhaps even able, to select who governs from Tegucigalpa, or anywhere else in the region for that matter.
Bad News for the Axis of Chavez
December 01, 2009
Francisco Toro and Juan Nagel write the Venezuelan news blog Caracas Chronicles. The Honduran crisis surely reached its Rococo stage this week after fresh elections organized by the coupsters' regime saw the election of a conservative rancher as president—while Brazil's nearly sainted left-wing president, Lula da Silva, promptly rejected the poll as undemocratic ... a scant few days after welcoming Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Brazil with open arms. The election of President Lobo has split the international community, and in mostly predictable ways.
Who Came out of the Honduran Crisis Looking the Best? Hillary.
October 30, 2009
Francisco Toro and Juan Nagel write the Venezuelan news blog Caracas Chronicles. A version of this post originally appeared there. The Honduran tragicomedy that has consumed the hemisphere's diplomats for months is at an end (read the details here).
I’ll Tell You What’s Not Cute…
August 12, 2009
Francisco Toro blogs obsessively about Venezuela and the Chávez era at Caracas Chronicles. Today's New York Times story on Hugo Chávez's latest outburst of all out weird--a principled crusade against the corrupting bourgeois influence of golf--ticked all the boxes for a minor email-this-story sensation: bizarre juxtaposition of disparate news themes (check), outright Woody Allenesque lunacy on the part of a Latin autocrat (check), ease of transformation into water-cooler fodder (check).