In April 2021, Cuba experienced a watershed moment when Miguel Diaz-Canel became the leader of the Cuban Communist Party, completing a political transition that began three years earlier when Diaz-Canel was inaugurated as president. Now, for the first time since the 1959 revolution, a Castro leads neither the country nor the party, making way for a new generation of leaders to chart the island nation’s path forward.
The Americas Archive
Latin America’s broad support for last week’s U.N. resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and a withdrawal of Russian forces was a clear stand in favor of Ukraine’s sovereignty. But if the U.N. vote was cause for celebration, it was also a rare condemnation on regional leaders’ part of Russia’s actions.
The recent anti-government protests in Peru haven’t happened in a vacuum. Rather they are the product of decades of misrule and corruption, as well as the legacy of the country’s civil conflict, which have combined to leave rural Peruvians disenfranchised, marginalized and forgotten by Lima’s political establishment.
On Feb. 10, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega freed 222 political prisoners, but also stripped them of their citizenship. His exiling of his political opponents was not a signal of potential change but rather a show of force, and is part of a successful strategy of repression that has prevented Ortega’s opposition from organizing.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s recent meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden was framed as a reaffirmation of the two countries’ recently battered democracies. But if Lula seems like a good fit for Biden’s narrative of a global battle between democracy and autocracy, he also underscores the limitations of this narrative.
Thirty years after the atrocities committed under former dictator Alfredo Stroessner were revealed, Paraguayans are still seeking justice. The current government, headed by Stroessner’s own Colorado party, appears more interested in forgetting the past than pursuing accountability, lest the party fall into broader disrepute.
Violence and corruption in Central America, particularly in the Northern Triangle countries, is causing a wave of outward migration. The Trump administration’s restrictive measures and pressure on regional governments did nothing to address the root causes of the problem, which the Biden administration has now pledged to tackle. Meanwhile, efforts at reform across the region face opposition from entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo.
Last week, after China flew a spy balloon over at least three Latin American countries, the region responded with uncharacteristic silence. For a region that is often obsessed with perceived violations of sovereignty and territorial integrity, the unwillingness to speak out against China’s airspace incursion is striking.
BRICS countries all are lending support to Moscow at a time when it has been largely cut off diplomatically and economically from the Western world. But while the group functions as a source of support for Russia, it is important to distinguish the differences in how and why they are offering that support.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined with the geopolitical instability it caused made 2022 a great year to be an oil major. But while most oil producers across the globe reaped profits, Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex struggled financially and enters 2023 with questions about its long-term viability hanging over it.
The crisis in Peru shows no sign of easing. With the death toll climbing, protesters have now reached the capital. Meanwhile, political leaders are struggling to come to an agreement about a way out of a violent showdown that is crippling the economy, worsening poverty and threatening the survival of Peru’s democracy.