Latin America and the Caribbean

Analysis Brief

Ecuador Eyes Presidential Runoff

Ecuador's presidential election featured another populist frontrunner pledging to shake up the establishment in an oil-rich state. But analysts are divided over the regional implications if Rafael Correa succeeds in Ecuador.

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Analysis Brief

Ahead of Vote, Tremors from Brazil

Brazil is one of the world's top emerging markets. But recent outbreaks of gang violence in its largest city have drawn attention to the country's social inequality and rising urban crime rates, raising questions about the sustainability of Brazil's growth just before October's elections.

See more in Brazil; Elections

Analysis Brief

Cuba’s Slow Motion Change

After Fidel Castro transferred power to his younger brother, Raul, in early August, analysts have been watching Cuba closely and speculating about a post-Castro Cuba. But little has changed under Raul, and attention has shifted to the roles of Venezuela and the United States as both seek to influence Cuba’s future.

See more in Cuba; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Analysis Brief

In Haiti, Stability Remains Elusive

The election of René Préval as Haiti’s president earlier this year raised hopes the region’s poorest country was finally ready to move toward social and economic stability. But chronic concerns about gang violence and the UN commitment to Haiti have resurfaced again.

See more in Haiti; Peacekeeping

Analysis Brief

Colombia's 'Drugs and Thugs'

Under President Alvaro Uribe's "democratic security" initiative, data suggests security in Colombia has improved significantly. But the country remains the world's biggest producer of cocaine, the rebel group FARC controls many rural areas, and paramilitaries show signs of regrouping.

See more in Colombia; Drug Trafficking and Control

Analysis Brief

Castro, Sick, Bows to Brother Raul

Fidel Castro's government says the Cuban leader has ceded power temporarily to his younger brother Raul to allow the revolutionary icon to recover from gastro-intestinal surgery. It marks the first time since 1959 power has been exercised by anyone but the "maximum leader," piquing the interest of analysts abroad.

See more in Cuba; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Analysis Brief

Colombia's Counterintuitive Vote

Sunday's easy victory by President Álvaro Uribe in Colombia provides an exception to the recent leftward trend in Latin America. Yet experts say it is too simplistic to cast a center-right victory in strife-torn Colombia as an ebbing of the prevailing tide.

See more in Colombia; Elections

Analysis Brief

Vying Claims on Bolivia's Energy

Author: Lee Hudson Teslik

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.

See more in Bolivia; Oil; Natural Gas

Analysis Brief

Peru Leans Leftward

Author: Lee Hudson Teslik

A nationalist candidate has risen from obscurity to emerge as the favorite after Peru's April 9 presidential election. Will Ollanta Humala's supporters lead Peru into Latin America's leftward tide?

See more in Peru; Elections

Analysis Brief

U.S. Challenges in South 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.

See more in Venezuela; Bolivia; Politics and Strategy

Analysis Brief

Haiti's Troubled Elections

Haitians choose a president and legislature on February 7 in long-delayed elections seen as crucial in lifting the country out of poverty. The vote takes place during a time of high unemployment and rampant violence but credible polls could lead to much-needed foreign investment.

See more in Elections; Haiti

Analysis Brief

A Conservative Win in Ottawa

Stephen Harper's Conservative Party has dethroned Canada's Liberal Party after thirteen years at the helm in Ottawa. But it won't be an easy ride for Prime Minister Harper, who didn't win enough votes for a majority in parliament. Harper will face a divided House of Commons as he pushes through his promised reforms—including improved Canadian-U.S. relations.

See more in Elections; Latin America and the Caribbean

Analysis Brief

A WOMAN FOR CHILE

Chileans will be led for the first time by a woman, socialist Michelle Bachelet after a presidential runoff Sunday confirmed she is the electorate's choice.

See more in Chile; Elections