A woman holds a sign with the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the word “Genocida,” or committer of genocide, during a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 6, 2022 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).
Lately, elections in Latin America are making people squirm in Washington. For foreign policy old-timers, victories by leftist candidates have conjured images of Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Others are haunted by memories of more recent bogeymen, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepened these anxieties, fueling fears that the region’s ideological pendulum is swinging in President Vladimir Putin’s direction. But more than a month into the war, those fears have proven to be unfounded. Indeed, if anything, Latin America’s response to Putin’s brutality reinforced shared hemispheric values with the United States, suggesting that [...]
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro pose for a photo during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 (Sputnik photo by Mikhail Klimentyev).
Over the past decade or so, the Kremlin has endeavored to exploit Latin America’s internal divisions and its differences with the United States with the purpose of building a beachhead of diplomatic and strategic support in a region geographically close to the U.S. The success of that project is now being put to the test in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Three weeks into the ensuing war, there is little evidence that Moscow’s efforts to woo Latin America have yielded any significant benefits. In fact, if anything, they look like a failure. The Kremlin has spent billions of dollars [...]
People protest against a decision by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to shut down the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity, CICIG, at Constitution Square in Guatemala City, Aug. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Oliver de Ros).
Across Latin America, countries have come a long way in building democratic institutions. Most hold competitive and inclusive elections, for example. But the pervasive presence of organized crime and corruption has made progress in other areas, like the rule of law, difficult, leaving trust in the state almost nonexistent in many parts of Latin American. Kevin Casas-Zamora, secretary-general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, joins Peter Dörrie to discuss these issues, as well as the region’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, given Moscow’s attempts over the past two decades to strengthen its ties to Latin [...]
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