LIMA, Peru — As Peru approaches general elections on April 10, polls show that voters are leaning toward continuity, which might be expected for a country with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The leading contenders offer variations on the pro-business, open-market policies that have been the Peruvian status quo for two decades. The frontrunner, with 27 percent support in recent polls, is former President Alejandro Toledo, who governed from 2001-2006. A Stanford-educated economist, Toledo negotiated the country’s free-trade agreement with the United States and oversaw moderate economic growth, but endured frequent scandals and protests during his presidency. Born into […]
Ian Bremmer and David Gordon, of the Eurasia Group, do not sugar-coat the shape of the new world order emerging in the 21st century. They starkly note: For the first time since the end of World War II, no country or bloc of countries has the political and economic leverage to drive an international agenda. The United States will continue to be the only truly global power, but it increasingly lacks the resources and domestic political capital to act as primary provider of global public goods. There are no ready alternatives to U.S. leadership. They dub this international order “G-zero,” […]
I’ve stayed away from the State of the Union address, and haven’t even read the transcript. But so far, the most interesting element from a foreign policy perspective that I’ve seen is the announcement that President Barack Barack Obama will visit Brazil, Chile and El Salvador this March. That’s great news, and I’d normally call it long overdue. But it’s worth noting that 2009-2010 might not have been the best time for an overbearing American presence in the region. The Honduran crisis, the heightened tensions between Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and the fallout over the U.S. military base deal with […]
A civilian nuclear agreement between Russia and the U.S. recently entered into force. Signed in 2008, the 123 Agreement was revived by U.S. President Barack Obama as part of the U.S.-Russia reset. In an e-mail interview, Richard Weitz, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a World Politics Review senior editor, discussed the U.S.-Russia 123 Agreement. WPR: What was the impetus for U.S.-Russia 123 Agreement? Richard Weitz: Russian and U.S. officials wanted to improve their bilateral relationship, while their nuclear industries, two of the largest in the world, wanted to expand their commercial collaboration. Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir […]
Brazil’s recent achievements in developing a sound economy, harnessing natural resources, lifting tens of thousands out of poverty and even landing the 2016 Olympic games has many convinced that its emergence as a world power is inevitable. But ongoing internal challenges, especially poor educational performance, may delay its rise. Outgoing President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva’s obsession with immediate poverty alleviation and school attendance led him to overlook the underlying institutional and policy challenges facing Brazil’s education system. And though President Dilma Rousseff’s new administration has made strengthening that system a priority, it faces myriad bureaucratic, financial and policy obstacles […]
Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes must rein in hard-line members of his party of former guerrilla leaders and win over the private sector if the country is to rebound from credit-rating cuts that suggest its economic growth is at risk. The extent to which the divide between the moderate Funes, a former TV journalist, and the ex-guerrillas leading his Faribundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN) party is threatening his government was made all too public by secret U.S. diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks and published by Spanish daily El Pais. According to the cables, Funes asked the U.S. for protection against protests […]
Appearing this week before The Iraq Inquiry, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his belief that former U.S. president George W. Bush was set on regime change in Iraq straight after the 9/11 attacks. The Iraq Inquiry, also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, is the ongoing British public inquiry into the United Kingdom’s role in the Iraq war.
MEXICO CITY — For Mexico, 2010 marked the bicentennial of the country’s independence and the 100th anniversary of its revolution. It was also the country’s most-violent year since President Felipe Calderón launched military operations against the country’s powerful drug cartels in 2006. According to the federal government, 15,273 people lost their lives in 2010 in violence related to the nation’s battle against organized crime. The figure represents nearly half of the 34,612 deaths from organized crime registered since 2006 and a 54 percent increase over the number of deaths recorded in 2009. On the positive side of the ledger, the […]
Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao held a joint press conference on Jan. 19, 2011. The first question from the press, on the issue of human rights, comes at 16:45 in the video. Both Hu and Obama commented on a wide variety of issues, including human rights. “China recognizes and also respects the universality of human rights,” said President Hu. “At the same time, we do believe that we also need to take into account the different and national circumstances when it comes to the universal value of human rights.”
Military bands and a 21-gun salute were part of the welcome for China’s President Hu Jintao during the first White House state visit by a Chinese leader in 13 years. U.S. President Barack Obama, however, wasted little time touching on the sensitive subject of human rights in China.
On Dec. 3, 2010, with only 28 days left in office, Brazil’s then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva officially recognized the independent state of Palestine along Israel’s pre-1967 borders. A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded with a pointed reminder that Brazil had “never made any contribution” to the peace process, and called such unilateral declarations counterproductive. But that didn’t keep Argentina from following suit within a matter of days, and Bolivia and Ecuador had joined the ranks by Christmas. Uruguay waited until the New Year to make a formal declaration, while Chile did so on Jan. 12. And on […]
The South American Common Market, known as Mercosur, is in the process of expanding its membership to include Venezuela. In an e-mail interview, Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, founding partner of CAC Political Consultancy and Ph.D. student at University of Sao Paulo, and Carlos Pereira, visiting fellow in the Brookings Institution Latin America Initiative and professor of political economy at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, discussed Mercosur expansion. WPR: What is the current Mercosur membership, and what are the group’s internal trade dynamics? Joao Augusto de Castro Neves and Carlos Pereira: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are full members of Mercosur, […]
News broke Sunday night that Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier had returned to Haiti after an absence of 25 years. The dictator’s return capped off a difficult year for Haiti, as the island continues to recover from an earthquake, a hurricane, a cholera outbreak, and a contested presidential election. Many worried that Duvalier intended to take advantage of the chaos and suffering that still plagues the country in order to regain influence. Though Duvalier has now been charged with corruption dating from his time in power and may instead face trial, the alarm triggered by his arrival is a reminder that, […]
Exiled Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has made a surprise return to the county, adding to the country’s turmoil. In this NewsHour report on the development, Gwen Ifill speaks with NPR’s Jason Beaubien about possible implications of Duvalier’s return.
On Jan. 14, two of the world’s oil giants, Russia’s Rosneft and BP, announced an unprecedented “strategic global alliance,” in which they will be exchanging shares and expanding their joint ventures, including launching a new Arctic oil-drilling project. Both companies bring important assets to their new alliance, but the deal has alarmed foreign governments and environmentalist organizations due to its potential commercial, security, and ecological implications. The arrangement also raises interesting questions related to the Russian government’s economic modernization program. Through the deal, Rosneft will acquire 5 percent of BP’s shares, while BP will obtain an additional 9.5 percent share […]
President Barack Obama came into office promising a new sort of bilateral relationship with China. It was not meant to be. Washington hasn’t changed any of its long list of demands regarding China, and Beijing, true to historical form, has gone out of its way to flex its muscles as a rising power. With the recent series of revelations concerning Chinese military developments, the inside-the-Beltway hyping of the Chinese threat has reached fever pitch, matching the average American’s growing fears of China’s economic strength. Of course, the world’s established No. 1 power always greets the challenge from a rising No. […]
Last year is on record as the bloodiest year yet in Mexico’s war against organised crime, with drug-related deaths jumps to a record high. More than 15,000 people lost their lives in Mexico’s drug war last year. And it has already been a violent start to 2011, with the cartels blamed for more murders.