This week’s big story: Brazil continues its ascendance as a diplomatic powerhouse for the hemisphere. Last week thirty-three countries met in Brazil for the first Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development. Today president Lula hosts French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who’s visting the country to bring about bilateral cooperation in several areas, including the production of defense submarines. I’ll be discussing Sarko’s visit in today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern, which you can listen to here.
Via Pat, Latin America’s Deafening Silence by Jorge Castañeda.
Nestor Kirchner is unwell
Slide show: Brazilians in Ireland
Pass FTA and amend Plan Colombia
Combined with a revamped Plan Colombia, the FTA can then promote both human rights and the overall quality of life in Colombia. One of the loudest proponents for the FTA is Asocolflores, Colombia’s flower exporters association. Dependent on the U.S. market, its companies employ 200,000 Colombians. This and other export industries create jobs and opportunities that provide poor Colombians alternatives to growing coca, the plant used to make cocaine.
Real change will not come from bulletproof armor, helicopters, and tanks, but will depend on Colombia’s institutional capabilities and the economic opportunities it can offer its citizens. The United States should focus Plan Colombia on improving justice and human rights, and pass the FTA to improve economic opportunities for both countries’ citizens. President-elect Obama’s campaign promised change; our regional partners could use some, too.
Will El Salvador Veer Left?
Iraq is safer than Mexico
The Dry Season Has Arrived
Now that the price of fuel is down, airline carriers are returning to the region: Non-stop Delta service returns to Tobago
Yet another Russia-Venezuela joint venture: Government to install gold refinery at Las Cristinas – Venezuela
Fixing Border Security
Che Guevara was a murderer and your t-shirt is not cool
Special thanks to Ada, the Baron, Eneas, Larwyn, Maria, Maggie and SamK.
This week’s posts and podcasts
Iran using Venezuela ties to duck UN sanctions
Latin America: Summits and Crisis, at Real Clear World blog
Report: Drug cartels move beyond borders
From the Mexican war zone: Kidnapping Negotiator Is Now a Victim in Mexico
Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development excludes Bush, as China, Russia loom