Global Insider

Cuban Import Restrictions Highlight Dilemma of Economic Reform

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last week, Cuba announced significant restrictions on the number of goods travelers can bring into the country. In an email interview, William LeoGrande, professor of government in the School of Public Affairs at American University, discussed the recent Cuban import restrictions. more

How Latin America Can Maximize its Shale Gas Potential

By Eric Farnsworth
, , Briefing

Thanks to technological advances, shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. The size of reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provides the region with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. But Latin America still has work to do to maximize its energy potential. The natural resources clearly exist; fully developing shale remains a matter of political will. more

World Citizen

Brazil Plane Crash Spawns Two-Woman Presidential Race

By Frida Ghitis
, , Column

The life story of Brazil’s Marina Silva is so unlikely that she explains key moments by divine intervention. Among the most dramatic and potentially life-changing of all unlikely turns came last week, when a private plane in which she was supposed to be traveling crashed, killing Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and suddenly turning her into a formidable contender for the presidency of Brazil. more

Global Insider

Mexico Making an Effort to Expand Ties in Middle East

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade visited Jordan last month to discuss expanding diplomatic ties. In an email interview, Alejandra Galindo Marines, professor of social sciences at the University of Monterrey, discussed Mexico’s relations with the Middle East. more

Chile’s Bachelet Tacks Center to Pursue Needed Reform at Home

By Eric Farnsworth
, , Briefing

Eyebrows arched in Chile late last month when President Michelle Bachelet canceled her participation in a MERCOSUR summit in Venezuela to focus on her domestic agenda, including education reform. Critics suggested this was because the signature reforms are in trouble. But Bachelet chose to remain in Chile to work on issues of real importance to Chileans, and to her own political fortunes and legacy. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Lacking Primetime Partners, U.S. Remains ‘Indispensable’ Crisis Manager

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ill-fated attempts to staunch conflict after conflict seem to confirm that Washington’s global influence is shriveling, even as the argument that the U.S. has little choice but to keep fighting diplomatic fires implies it is unable to choose where and when to expend its diplomatic energy. Does the U.S. have to be trapped in this pattern of obligations and setbacks? more

Mexico’s Scaled-Backed Gendarmerie Force No Security Panacea

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto entered office promising to introduce a new 40,000-member police force called the Gendarmeria. However, the force has since been downgraded to a less ambitious 5,000-member unit. Instead of working to build a new heavy-duty force, Mexico is now trying to recalibrate its existing security programs and improve security coordination between federal, state and local government. more