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.
Congressman Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts: Pompous, Pretentious, Ineffective. Going The Way Of Martha Coakley. Or Worse.
March 01, 2010
Republican Scott Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley by five points in the senatorial contest to succeed Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. But, in William Delahunt’s congressional district, Brown beat the lady by 20 points. This was not good news for Delahunt, not good news at all. He’s serving his seventh House term in a state delegation that is all Democratic (which, alas, it won’t be come Election Day 2010). The tenth C.D. has been Democratic since Gerry Studds won it in the seventies, and Studds held the seat for nearly a quarter-century.
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.
Did Obama Really Sidestep The U.N. At Copenhagen?
December 21, 2009
Analysts are still mulling over the Copenhagen accord, trying to figure out what it means for the fate of global climate politics. The humdrum answer is that it all depends—we'll have to see how individual nations tackle their CO2 emissions in the months and years ahead, and then watch how the next round of international talks shake out. But if it's specifics you want, check out Harvard economist Robert Stavin's analysis. First, a recap of the negotiations that led to the deal: From all reports, the talks were completely deadlocked when U.S.
What Happens When A Muslim U.N. Delegate Actually Agrees That The Holocaust Actually Occurred
December 19, 2009
Well, a very funny thing happens. Or at least a very funny thing happened when the Sudanese delegate to the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen conceded the reality of the Holocaust. And, no, he wasn't even talking about the "holocaust" visited by the Jews on the Palestinians. According to a Reuters dispatch he was talking about the real Holocaust. But he was comparing it to the plan agreed to by President Obama of the United States and the leaders of China, India, South Africa and Brazil to combat global warming.
Obama's One Conceivable Foreign Policy Victory: It's Honduras. But He Won't Acknowledge It. Too Bad.
November 30, 2009
When Manuel Zelaya was deposed as president of Honduras with the support of the Supreme Court, the National Congress, the attorney general and most of his own party, much of Latin America went into conniptions about safeguarding the constitution. Of course, that was precisely the issue. Zelaya was about to traduce the constitution, which forbade extension of the chief executive's term, precisely his intention. This is common in the lower part of the Western Hemisphere, and it is the opus operandi of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Zelaya's chosen instrument was a referendum, the tool of tyrants.
The Susan in question is Susan Rice. And, according to a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar, it's Stewart Patrick who gives her the good grades. Rice is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. So who is Patrick? He is one of those hundreds of I.R. wonks in Washington who moves from fellowship to fellowship, eating up foundation money, and ends up being an expert in what actually amounts to nothing or maybe, just maybe, the same thing: "multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S.
September 24, 2009
For years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez cast himself as President Bush's arch-nemesis, repeatedly accusing the Bush administration of plotting to overthrow the Venezuelan government and to assassinate him. This was how Chávez justified an unprecedented military buildup and his tightening alliances with Russia and Iran.
The TNR Q&A: Michael Shifter
September 18, 2009
Tensions are rising across South America this month as Venezuela signed three oil deals with Iran and a 2-billion-dollar arms deal with Russia, causing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speculate about a possible arms race. The Venezuelans, along with Bolivia and Ecuador, have responded by pointing to a new U.S. agreement with Colombia to make use of six military bases in the country. A meeting Tuesday of UNASUR, a group of 12 South American nations, ended without any plan or agreement to deal with escalating tension in the region.