Latin American Program in the News: New surgery for Venezuela’s Chavez throws election scenario into turmoilFeb 23, 2012
Chavez delicate health condition may help the opposition in this year's presidential elections in Venezuela.
President Chavez reveals that he needs to return to Cuba to have a lesion removed. This may prove a major hurdle in his quest for re-election. Director of the Latin American Program Cynthia Arnson argues that this will be a major factor that will make "the race even tighter" against Capriles.
Senior Associate, Eric Olson, and Associate, Chris Wilson, recently traveled the length of the Texas-Mexico border, beginning in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez and ending in Brownsville/Matamoros.
Prisoners in an overcrowded prison in Nuevo Leon break into a deadly riot, possibly as part of a feud between the Zeta and Gulf cartels.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs held a hearing on February 16, 2012 on Iran’s relationship and influence in Latin America. Director Cynthia J. Arnson was among the witnesses.
Several Latin American governments, which a few years ago joined in showy displays of anti-U.S. solidarity, are now distancing themselves from the Ahmadinejad regime, as tensions rise over Iran’s controversial nuclear policies and new administrations take over in key capitals, The Wilson Center’s Latin America Program director said Thursday. Briefing senators on Iran’s activities in the region, Cindy Arnson added that “vigilance” still remains necessary, to guard against any state or nonstate threat in the region. “Vigilance is essential, as is evidence-based consideration of the issues,” she told the subcommittee’s hearing on Iranian activities in Latin America.
President Calderon has used a military approach to combat the drug cartel problem in Mexico. Some wonder if tolerance or legalizing drugs would be a better approach.
Otto Perez Molina will likely propose drug legalization at the next summit of regional leaders. Dr. Cynthia Arnson, Director of the Latin American Program, discusses how the initiative comes in response to the frustration over the current drug policy that has defined the region over the past few decades. She argues that even though it may not be implemented, it is a message that is icreasingly becoming part of the discussion in the region. [Article is in Spanish]
For Venezuela’s historically divided opposition, which enters a key test of unity this weekend, one-upping Chávez in the hearts of voters will be vital to winning this fall’s presidential election. Luis Vicente León and William H. Luers, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, gauge the current field of candidates and look ahead to October's general election.
Enrique Pena Nieto, a front-runner in the Mexican presidential race, is in the PRI, which is known for allowing drug cartels power. U.S. policy-makers are concerned for what may happen with the drug war if he wins the election.