2008 in Review

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 01/05/2009 - 14:01

Here is our list of the most significant news stories in 2008 relating to U.S. policy and security in Latin America.

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Civil-military relations roundup

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 21:06

The degree of politicization of the Armed Forces is such that in November, constant insults from a group of people forced the commander of the Armed Forces to leave a restaurant in Santa Cruz.

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A deep cut in aid to Nicaragua

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Sun, 12/14/2008 - 04:42

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government economic-aid program begun during the first years of the Bush administration. It offers several-year "contracts" of aid to countries that meet a list of good governance criteria, then submit and receive approval for aid proposals. (See our MCC aid data here.)

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Same source, different aid numbers

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 12/10/2008 - 03:13

Visitors to the site occasionally ask us why the aid numbers presented here - sometimes including old numbers from past years - change from time to time. The changes are usually not drastic, a few million dollars here or there, but can be frustrating for people seeking to cite definitive numbers, for instance for publications. The answer is simple, though frustrating. The "Just the Facts" website cites only official written sources, but the sources themselves are often inconsistent. This is especially true for the Defense Department's reporting of its own aid programs.

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Barack Obama's victory as seen from Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 14:33

Praise and congratulations emanated from Latin America, in response to the historic victory of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday. Many Latin American presidents called for a new era of relations between their country and the United States, however, others expressed doubt as to whether relations will actually change.

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What have McCain and Obama said about Latin America?

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 11:17

Less than one week remains before election day, and the end of what has felt like the longest-ever presidential campaign season. While Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain have tried to show America what a McCain or Obama Administration would look like, talk of how they will work with Latin America has been few and far between.

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Are thousands of Bolivian jobs at stake?

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 12:23

Today, a Bolivian delegation made up of prominent government officials and business leaders is in Washington. They will testify in a public hearing hosted by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) about the economic benefits of the Andean Trade Preferences and Drug Elimination Act (ATPDEA), an arrangement that gives several Bolivian products preferential access to the U.S. market.

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A Compass for Colombia Policy

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:25

New Report Outlines a Just and Effective Foreign Policy toward Colombia

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Russia strengthens ties with Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 10/14/2008 - 14:01

Over the past month, the U.S. and regional press has been paying closer attention to Russia's relations with such Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and even Colombia. In September, Russian Vice-Prime Minister Igor Sechin traveled to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with his counterparts in each country to discuss the potential increase in economic, military, and political cooperation between each country and Russia.

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Latin American and Caribbean Public Security Ministers Convene in Mexico City

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 10/08/2008 - 12:52

Public Security Ministers representing 34 Latin American and Caribbean countries are meeting in Mexico City for the First Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas, a forum convened by the Organization of American States (OAS) to consider joint strategies to tackle "the scourge of crime and violence worldwide." Upon opening the two-day meeting, OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza,

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