Opinion: Cuba’s two conundrums
Cuba’s new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, has two problems to fix. First, the country’s increasingly youthful population demands the goods and services they know are available elsewhere. Second, Cuba has lost most of the international support system that propped up its socialist welfare state. To resolve both, he must open up the economy – but by doing so, he will give the Communist Party and the intelligence services more leverage to use against him.
Cuba in transition
Cuba will get a new leader in April, after President Raul Castro hands over the presidency to First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel. As the country tentatively introduces decentralizing reforms and embraces globalization, the new leadership will have to answer the question of how much freedom it can allow while retaining a tight political and economic grip over the country.
GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
The United States and Cuba: a way forward
The United States and Cuba already have gained a lot from a thaw in mutual relations that ended 54 years of hostility. For the fragile process of normalization to continue, both former adversaries need to adopt creative solutions to formidable obstacles on the way.
Special Report on Colombia: a country on the mend
Over the past few years, Colombia has been one of Latin America’s economic success stories. Now, as the civil war that ravaged it for 50 years finally approaches a negotiated end, the country is looking forward to collecting a vast peace dividend. Projections for 2015 and 2016 place Colombia among the fastest growing nat...
Commercial revival is the next step as US-Cuba thaw continues
In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower officially severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, shuttering the United States embassy in Havana. The move marked the beginning of half a century of diplomatic hibernation, a sleep so deep that it survived the thawing of the Cold War by a full generation. Then, on December 17, 2014, those relations were roused from their slumbe...
Big questions remain over Venezuela’s economy and politics
The Venezuelan elections are over, but there are big question marks over Hugo Chavez’s third six-year term as president. Some fear that his big giveaway programmes ahead of the elections could have unwelcome consequences for the economy. There are also serious doubts over the state of his health. VICTORY for Hugo Chavez ...
Venezuela's uncertainty over Hugo Chavez health
Doubts are being raised over whether President Hugo Chavez will be fit enough to fight elections in October. The president returned home this month after his third cancer operation in Cuba in just over a year. Now he faces an opposition united behind one candidate for the first time. VENEZUELA’S President Hugo Chavez retu...