China’s careful new focus on Latin America
Just a few years ago, China was going all-in in Latin America, making huge investments and cozying up to governments that did not get along with Washington. Yet instability in Venezuela and a new government in Ecuador have exposed Beijing to greater risk. While China is still deepening ties with the region, it has slowed down and changed tack, focusing only on investments that are a crucial strategic interest.
GIS Dossier: Corruption and political transformation
Graft has long been a feature of political systems where rewarding loyalty takes precedence over economic efficiency or the rule of law. But recent events in Latin America show that popular anger at corruption has become a force to be reckoned with – fueled by the power of global markets, the information revolution, and democratization movements. This report assesses the geopolitical implications.
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.
Opinion: Venezuela nears the breaking point
What will happen to Venezuela after the government tries to steal an unconstitutional presidential election on May 20? Everything depends on the cohesion of the splintered opposition and the determination of the international community. If either fail, the Western hemisphere could be faced with its most severe humanitarian crisis in more than a decade.
Opinion: How not to resolve the Venezuelan crisis
Venezuela’s constitutional coup has cleared the way from President Nicolas Maduro to suppress the opposition. But with the economy in tatters, the death toll in street protests rising, and the officer corps on the verge of splintering, the government may be more open to international mediation than first appears. The only way this works, however, is if the United States stays out.
Venezuela: a violent stalemate
The government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is under pressure from all sides: growing discontent at home, increasing calls for change from the international community and shrinking revenue. Still, it refuses to budge, and is meeting resistance with violence. The killing of a musician could be a turning point – but will a solution be found before violence spills over into other parts of the region?
GIS Dossier: Venezuela lives on the edge
The world's richest country in oil reserves is on the verge of becoming a failed state. After more than a half-century of social harmony funded by oil revenue, a socialist variant of caudillismo has run the country into the ground. Yet political changes are blocked by a determined military junta, awash in drug money and cemented by the threat of U.S. indictments. How long can Venezuela stay on the brink?
China’s stealth expansion in Latin America
Donald Trump's short tenure in the White House has already enhanced China's low-profile but pervasive influence in Latin America. While Chinese trade penetration has slowed, investment and infrastructure lending are expanding at a brisk pace. Perhaps most helpful to Beijing has been Mr. Trump's general indifference to the region, though some generals in his national security apparatus are beginning to fret.
Endgame in Venezuela
A financial noose is tightening around Venezuela's ruling party. Sovereign default is now imminent and U.S. court judgments have exposed the country's international assets to seizure. Without international mediation, President Nicolas Maduro will have to turn to the military for a potentially bloody crackdown.
Global Outlook 2017: Venezuela
Venezuela is back from the brink. Over the past six months, Nicolas Maduro has outsmarted the opposition, used a bond swap to stave off default, and coopted the top military brass to prevent a coup. If the president can only find a way to revive oil output, he may be a good bet to stay in office through 2018.