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.
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.
April 24, 2009
Satipo, Amazon Basin, Peru--On the fourth floor of the National Museum in Lima, there's a photo exhibit of Peru's long "dirty war" against the leftist Shining Path guerrillas during the 1980s and '90s. A series of wall-sized photographs illustrate two decades of bombings, roundups, secret arrests, and massacres that left 70,000 dead. The exhibit has been criticized for both overstating and downplaying government atrocities, a sign that this era in Peru's history remains controversial.
The Shah of Venezuela
April 01, 2009
The ideas that keep Hugo Chavez in power.
September 21, 2007
If you think the last two years have been a rough time for Alberto Gonzales, check out what's happened to a different Alberto: former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. First, his poorly-thought-out scheme to return from exile and run in Peru's 2006 presidential election ran into trouble when he was arrested by Chilean authorities while en route to Peru and later placed under house arrest.
November 27, 2006
JUNGLE BUNGLE As a great-grandson of Hiram Bingham, my natural inclination is to defend his record and the right of Yale University to hold onto their legally obtained excavations. Christopher Heaney, however, does a nearly perfect job of causing me to see both sides of the repatriation issue ("Bonesmen," October 23). Heaney paints a fair portrait of a man with both considerable accomplishments (pioneering university recognition of Latin American studies and rediscovering Machu Picchu) and conflicted ambitions (respecting Peruvian sovereignty early in his career then submitting to Teddy Roosev
September 11, 2006
Surry Hill. So reads a plaque at the end of the long, winding private road that leads to the crown jewel of McLean, Virginia: the 18,000-square-foot mansion that Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers and his wife Edwina call home. To get there from Washington, you drive across the Potomac River and along a parkway that, in the summer, is canopied by lush green trees. Shortly before the guarded entrance to the CIA, you turn off McLean's main road and then down a private lane, passing through brick gate posts adorned with black lanterns and into a grand cul-de-sac. A massive brick Colonial with majestic
February 06, 2006
JUST WHEN YOU thought the world couldn’t get any more anti-American, it seems a whole other continent has suddenly lined up against us. While we turned our backs to focus on the Middle East, Latin America went and painted itself red. Last week, Evo Morales—an admirer of Fidel Castro, as well as a proponent of nationalizing industry and decriminalizing coca production— ascended to the Bolivian presidency. Most press accounts portray his election as part of a Latin American socialist revival. These stories point out that Morales’s political mentor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, may soon have
February 11, 2002
The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa translated by Edith Grossman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 404 pp., $25) "There are no limits to deterioration: it can always be worse." This observation by Alejandro Mayta, the disenchanted guerrilla fighter of Mario Vargas Llosa's novel The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, who returns to his birthplace after many years, freed of ghosts but devoid of hope, came to mind in March, 1990.
October 21, 1985
We can't prevent earthquakes. But technology and techniques now exist to save lives after such tragedies, and that is why it has been so disturbing to witness trained rescue workers arriving in Mexico City too late to help many trapped in collapsed buildings. Members of a French team complained bitterly that they could have saved dozens, if not hundreds, of additional lives if they had been called to the scene promptly after the disaster struck.