Tillerson Dusts Off the Monroe Doctrine, Russia and China Not Amused

One of the most bizarre things that Obama administration officials said, or did, on U.S. policy toward Latin America was believing that the era of the Monroe Doctrine was over. It was not as if the Secretary of State at the time, John Kerry, needed to say it to make it so. From Cuba to …

Venezuela Needs Respect of Individual Rights, Private Property & Rule of Law, Not More Socialism

What an odd headline this morning from the Left’s favorite business newspaper, The Financial Times: “How to save Venezuela from the cost of sanctions“. The problem in #Venezuela, of the Left’s own making, is the Maduro-Castro regime, not economic sanctions. If the “global community” of fellow travelers truly wished to ease the suffering of the Venezuelan …

Hizbollah in Latin America, Congress Should OK New Sanctions

On this blog, since at least 2008 (a few posts here, here, and here), we’ve published several posts about Hezbollah in Latin America and the threats posed by other radical terrorist groups in Latin America. I started studying the matter while I was attending graduate school at Georgetown University in the mid-1990s. At the time, it …

Breaking Up the D.C. Latin America Policy Cartel

It was Fourth of July recess week in Washington, D.C. this week. A good time of the year to catch up with colleagues, especially those working on Capitol Hill. One of the many meetings I had this week focused on recent developments in the Western Hemisphere, especially Latin America and the Caribbean. Frankly, some of the …

Latin America Needs Reminding, Russian Meddling Not Welcome

Last week Russian officials bragged about it how Russia defense industries since 2001 have sold more than $10 billion in weapons systems to several nations in Latin America. Assuming that figure is correct, and considering the region, that is $10 billion too high. This week Newsweek reports that Russian defense agencies are targeting several South American …

Cuba: The Difference Between Succession and Transition

University of Miami’s Dr. Jaime Suchlicki and I co-authored a short piece about the difference between succession and transition in Communist Cuba. Earlier this week a client that happens to support President Obama’s rapprochement with the regime, calls me and reads the following excerpt: A normalization of relations with a military dictatorship in Cuba with General …

Terrorist threats in the Americas

The Washington Times ran my latest op-ed this week: “Terrorist threats in the Americas: Extremists are infiltrating the Western Hemisphere to strike the U.S.“: Hezbollah activities in the Americas are well documented and continue to expand in scope and sophistication. The terrorist group has been actively studying and operating in the Americas since the 1980s, but it …

Russia’s Latin America Play – Someone Needs to Tell Vladimir to Butt Out …

Downtown Fredericksburg, #Virginia@VisitFredVA on Saturday evening with good friends. @YleemPobletepic.twitter.com/JZgLPwbWpk — jasonpoblete (@JasonPoblete) March 23, 2014 Yleem and I shared an enjoyable evening with good friends yesterday in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is a lot of history in Fredericksburg, some of it pre-dating what the region is most known for today, the scene of many pivotal Civil …

Why Venezuela Matters

By the time you read this post tomorrow, the situation in Venezuela will become increasingly worse. The results of bad economic policies, government restrictions on freedoms, violence, and corruption have ignited a nationwide protest against Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro. In order to get a better understanding of the situation in Venezuela click here. Notwithstanding the …

Rosa María Payá, Steely and Forceful voice for Cuba’s Youth, More

This part of the Cuba story, still being written, goes to show that the dark forces of leftist tyranny cannot destroy the seeds of freedom.  From the good folks over the Babalu blog: Although she was forced into the spotlight at a young age by the vicious murder of her father by the Castro dictatorship, Rosa …

Iran and Regional Adventurism, U.S. Should Address but not Make a Political Boogeyman

Readers of our blog know that we have been talking about Iranian meddling in the Americas since we started the DC Dispatches in 2007. Iran’s regional adventurism is a serious matter. Iran may be a small country in another part of the world, but its rulers have a forgotten that the great Persian empire is no more. …

South of the Border Win

The good guys won a big one this week south of the US-Mexico border. Mexican (and I’ll add US) authorities have captured a notorious thug, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales (aka, Z-40) — a leader of the Mexican criminal syndicate Los Zetas. Thanks in great part to groups such as the Zetas, there are likely more …

Colombia Needs Another Approach, Land for Peace Not a Solution

Cuba sees political gold in this process. Land. We live on it. We grow our food and cultivate medicines from it. It is energy and mineral rich. A limited resource, land is the source of much conflict but also the key to future prosperity and stability. At least in theory. In Colombia, they’re fixing to …

Cuban Communist Party “Purges” Roles Under a Guise of Corruption Cleansing

According to a recent Miami Herald story, Cuba is cleaning up corruption within the government. Not sure if the Miami Herald is just plain gullible or, more likely, it is not interested in reporting the truth about how Communist Cuba works. The entire ruling system on that island is corrupt. From the grass roots to …

Cuba’s Communications Apartheid

The Obama Administration liberalized Cuba sanctions a few years ago. The regime responded, in kind, by arresting a U.S. citizen on a trumped up espionage charge. This post has nothing to do with the arrest of Alan Gross, but I mention it because it reflects the mindset of Cuba’s rulers. The only change they are …

Adios and Happy Trails

For folks who follow U.S. policy toward the Americas, this week we learned of a White House personnel change related and the Western Hemisphere.  Mr. Dan Restrepo was leaving and would be replaced by Mr. Ricardo Zuñiga, a career foreign service officer. The National Security Council staff includes individuals who cover different parts of the …

Obama’s Wonderful Latin America Journey Reinforces Failure, Fitting for this Administration

The Obama Administration had an opportunity to talk trade and economic growth during the President’s most recent trip to Latin America. Our ever salacious media delivered a suitable distraction: prostitutes. It is what we did not see that matters, right? The President’s national security staff prepared a series of well-orchestrated stops that reinforced the administration’s …

Iranian Regime TV Beamed in the Americas

Two European companies, Hispasat, and it appears another one with strong U.S. ties, Intelsat, are reportedly going to facilitate satellite broadcasts in Latin America for Iran, a state sponsor of terror. According to an article in Broadband TV News, “Iran has secured capacity on three satellites for distribution of its Spanish language TV channel … …

Israel’s Moshe Ya’alon: Iran brought terrorism to the Americas

With a very few notable exceptions, most DC-based Western Hemisphere policy experts, for years, have downplayed Iran’s influence in the Americas. This would include both Democratic and Republican policymakers and staff. Granted, after 09/11/01 there was a great deal of anecdotal information in the Latin American media about Iranian activities throughout the region. It has …

Criminals and Terrorists Kill, Not Guns

Just a few years ago, you could not get people in this town to focus on the pockets of instability throughout the Western Hemisphere. It is not top-ranked news but, as of late, it has become the issue du jour in some wonk circles.  Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan still dominate the headlines and think tank …