Venezuela: How not to run an oil sector
Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves but it is not even one of the top 10 global oil producers – and output is falling sharply. Socialist, resource-nationalist policies implemented by former President Hugo Chavez – and continued by President Nicolas Maduro today – are behind the country’s poor performance. With an utter economic dependence on oil, the country has become destitute. Only a drastic change in policy can reverse Venezuela’s course.
China’s profile is rising in Latin America
As China’s growing economy made it an increasingly important player in Latin America, Beijing kept a low profile. Now, it can no longer avoid the spotlight. In Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Cuba, its position as a customer, financier and investor is leading to some complicated challenges. The question now is how assertive it will become in imposing its will on these countries – and how they and the U.S. will react.
Opinion: In Nicaragua, the opposition must unite to oust Ortega
Since April, Nicaraguans have been protesting in the streets for an end to the regime of President Daniel Ortega. One of the original Sandinista leaders who brought down the Somoza family dictatorship 40 years ago, Mr. Ortega himself now faces accusations of authoritarianism. He is losing support, but unless opposition groups unify, Nicaragua’s leader could hold on for months.
Venezuela’s bond default
Venezuela failed to pay last month $1.1 billion in interest due on three different government bonds. China’s state-controlled banks are the largest holders of Venezuelan government debt, sitting on more than $60 billion of the $143 billion total. Aside from creating a tense situation in the world of international finance, the default adds to the crushing economic, humanitarian and political crisis Venezuela is going through.
The future of Chinese influence in Latin America
Between 2000 and 2012, Chinese demand for commodities fueled economic expansion in Latin America and underwrote expensive populist measures that kept left-leaning governments in power. Then, in 2012, the Chinese economy began to slow and the commodities boom collapsed, destabilizing many of those same governments. How these new dynamics affect China’s role in the region as a trading partner, investor and geopolitical actor will have a huge impact on Latin America in the coming years.
Latin America exerts more power through New Regionalism
Latin American countries are beginning to develop a stronger sense of regional identity and with it a collective power. Several new regional organisations are emerging to portray this collective identity and to develop interests in trade and in common standards of governance, human rights and democracy. LATIN American cou...
Oil riches mean little in the chaos of Venezuela
Venezuela is in chaos despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. Brief hopes of a reconciliation between government and opposition were dashed when talks broke down after student protests ended in violent clashes in the streets. In the background, thousands of Cuban advisers are reported to be in complete control of the armed forces and intelligence agencies....