Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia
The global energy map is being redrawn at an accelerated pace. All signs point to the United States becoming part of an increasingly hemispheric energy trade, both for oil as well as for biofuels like ethanol. The Middle East will still loom large in U.S. energy policy given its crucial role in the world oil market, but U.S. energy officials and companies are forging deeper ties with their counterparts elsewhere in the Americas.
As head of Congress and the major political operator for President Evo Morales, Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera stands in the eye of a political hurricane. The changes proposed by the Movement toward Socialism (MAS) government have unleashed protest from conservative sectors of society, leading to suspension of the Constituent Assembly called to revamp the nation's political institutions. Laura Carlsen from Center for International Policy interviews Alvaro Garcia Linera.
“Washington’s reaction to [Evo] Morales’ election, policies, and rhetoric has been to ‘wait and see,’” says a new Council Special Report. “Yet after nearly nine months in office, the Morales administration’s policy agenda has taken shape and, unfortunately, has exacerbated political, ethnic, and racial schisms in Bolivian society.”
This report encourages the U.S. government to redirect its policy toward Bolivia from "wait and see" to one with an emphasis on conflict prevention and preserving the democratic process in order to address the nation's many challenges. This report is also available in Spanish.
Since winning reelection in December, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has moved swiftly to advance his “21st Century Socialism.” As Chavez-friendly leaders take office in Ecuador and Nicaragua, will they do the same?
Alma Guillermoprieto writes about the historical emergence of a grass-roots party in Bolivia. Guillermoprieto argues that the revolution in Bolivia is an anomaly because there is no other country in Latin America where a grass-roots party has taken charge of a government and "whose members are poor and overwhelmingly Indian."
Evo Morales, Bolivia's populist president, has nationalized his country's energy industry. The decision will have specific economic ramifications, and possibly broader political ones in a region that lacks a coherent identity.
In a region seen as turning leftward, forging alliances would seem a natural course of events. But Bolivian President Evo Morales' decision to nationalize the oil and gas industry is exposing tensions, causing experts to say there is more diffusion than alliance-building in Latin America.
Secretary Rice and U.S. public diplomacy chief Karen Hughes travel to South America this week for the inauguration of Chile's first woman president, Michelle Bachelet. The trip could signal a new focus on South America, at a time when a growing number of leftist governments in the region pose questions for U.S. policies there.
The United States spends approximately $700 million per year in the Andean region, but this Commission report concludes that current U.S. policy--focused narrowly on "drugs and thugs" in the Andes--cannot achieve U.S. regional goals of democracy, prosperity, and security. Andes 2020 offers bold new recommendations to recalibrate U.S. policy to better meet its objectives.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.