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Hemispheric relations seem at an all-time high, as democracy and prosperity blossom throughout Latin America. But President Bush still faces potential problems south of the border, from mission creep in Colombia to chaos in Peru, from Chávez in Venezuela to Castro in Cuba. And then there is Mexico, where the first-ever democratically elected president is eager to engage Washington -- on his own terms. Only one thing is certain: Latin America must not be ignored.
See more in Latin America and the Caribbean
The peso crisis was a wake-up call for Latin America. Reformist political leaders realize their support will erode if the economies of the region do not turn around. But building robust economies requires deeper reforms, at a time when the people suffer from acute reform fatigue. For rapid growth with rising real wages, export growth must be higher and value added to exports increase. To foster these, Latin America must address long-neglected weaknesses with a next generation of reforms in education, infrastructure, banking, and the civil service.
Once the land of the unfree and the home of the coup, Latin America now exhibits many of the hallmarks of democracy: free and fair elections, smooth successions, free-market economies, and the birth of political parties. In spite of these recent advances, the region remains haunted by "fracasomania," or an obsession with failure. While Latin America has achieved the broad brushstrokes of democracy, it must confront corruption, protect the rights of indigenous peoples, and distribute wealth more evenly to resolve its crisis of representation.
Venezuela's next leader must confront rampant crime, economic distortions, and political divisions. This Issue Guide provides background and analysis on Sunday's election and the post-Chávez era.
The so-called BRIC summit of emerging-market powerhouses raises new questions on whether Brazil, Russia, India, and China can overcome internal differences and pursue common goals.
President-elect Barack Obama has expressed willingness to have direct talks with Cuba, the latest step in what experts still view as a long road toward normalizing U.S.-Cuban relations.
Raul Castro's changes to Cuba's agricultural sector could foreshadow larger economic shifts to come.
Three waves of agricultural strikes and surging inflation threaten to make a lame duck of Argentina's new president.
Venezuela’s alleged collusion with the FARC guerrilla group fighting Colombia’s government has serious implications for regional security.
With Washington facing increasing mistrust in Latin America, experts call for bolstering U.S. policy in areas such as energy security, migration, and poverty reduction.
A sharp rise in Venezuelan cocaine trafficking undermines U.S. efforts to crack down on the narcotics trade in neighboring Colombia.
Democrats in the House threaten to derail a free trade deal with Colombia, another sign of shifting U.S. attitudes.
A Colombian incursion into Ecuador sparks a regional diplomatic crisis at a time of increased arms spending across South America.
The recent discovery of offshore energy reserves and the diminishing sway of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have been a boon for Brazil’s regional influence.
Fidel Castro—thorn in the side of the U.S. government, icon for many of the impoverished of Latin America—has resigned, leaving Cuba’s immediate fate in the hands of his brother Raul.
The defeat of Venezuela’s constitutional reform referendum marks a significant setback to President Hugo Chavez’s bid to expand his socialist revolution.
As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez moves to enact sweeping constitutional reforms, signs of discontent grow—even among supporters.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
This clear and authoritative book presents a sweeping account of China's global resource quest and the unrivaled expansion of its economy. More
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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