Latin America

The Venezuelan Economic Crisis and Oil

The Venezuelan Economic Crisis and Oil

By Daniel S. Leon, PhD Candidate at the University of Leipzig, Germany
Location Germany Germany

Venezuelan economic woes that affect the general population will continue to worsen, even if oil prices rise again. Venezuela has been mentioned in the last few months repeatedly because of the precarious state of its economy. It entered recession as of last year after GDP growth during the first three quarters contracted by more than two percentage points in each term. The Venezuelan inflation rate for 2014 was the world’s highest, 63.6 percent as reported […]

Fear and Loathing in Caracas

Fear and Loathing in Caracas

By Charles Larratt-Smith, PhD Student in Political Science at University of Toronto
Location Canada Canada

In Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has continued pursuing Hugo Chavez’s policy program and confrontational management style. Despite the hopes that the Venezuelan polity would become less polarized and more pluralist in the wake of late President Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5, the facts on the ground have subsequently proven otherwise in the first six months following the executive succession. If anything, Venezuela under Nicolas Maduro has witnessed an escalation of commitment to the […]

October 13, 2013 · 1 comment · Economics, Latin America, Venezuela
Brazil Lifts 40 Million From Extreme Poverty

Brazil Lifts 40 Million From Extreme Poverty

By Tamara Santos, Communications Assistant at UNDP International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth
Location Brazil Brazil

In 2013, Brazil celebrates 10 years of the Bolsa Familia Program that lifted over 40 million people from the extreme poverty line. In 2013, over 40 million Brazilians were lifted from extreme poverty due to social protection programs. This year, Brazil celebrates 10 years of the Bolsa Familia Program that lifted over 40 million people from the extreme poverty line. In celebration of its success, the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger […]

Three Reasons Nicaragua Inked the Mega Canal Project

Three Reasons Nicaragua Inked the Mega Canal Project

By Antonio C. Hsiang, Associate Professor at Chihlee Institute of Technology, Taiwan
Location Taiwan Taiwan

On June 13, Nicaragua’s populist President Daniel Ortega signed a contract for the Nicaragua Canal project with 41-year old Chinese businessman Wang Jing without any public bidding process. The contract granted Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. (HKND), a little-known private Chinese company, the authority to “design, develop, engineer, finance, construct, possess, operate, maintain and administer” the Great Nicaragua Canal mega project. Estimated to cost $40 billion, the project includes an inter-oceanic canal, an oil pipeline, an […]

Improving World Nutrition

Improving World Nutrition

By Daniel Balaban, Director and Representative of the World Food Program Centre of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil
Location Brazil Brazil

The first United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) aim to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty. Brazil has recently made impressive improvements in reducing food and nutritional insecurity especially among children under five years old. By 2009, the percentage of children wasting fell to 1.8% of the total population against 19.6% reported in the past 10 years. The achievements can be explained as a combination of joint efforts in reducing extreme poverty, expanding the income and […]

Post Chavez: Venezuela’s Shrinking Public Space

Post Chavez: Venezuela’s Shrinking Public Space

By Charles Larratt-Smith, PhD Student in Political Science at University of Toronto
Location Canada Canada

Upon taking office in April, few expected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to deviate from the late Hugo Chavez. Predictably, the former bus-driver has stuck to his predecessor’s script with little exception. The overt vilification of global capitalism and the domestic private sector continue unabated in the face of increased shortages in basic foodstuffs and consumer items. Public spending has remained high despite troublesome economic indicators, and the new Venezuelan executive has wasted precious time in […]

June 24, 2013 · 1 comment · Latin America, Politics, Venezuela
How Energy Enhances Brazil’s Position

How Energy Enhances Brazil’s Position

By Tamara Santos, Independent Researcher
Location Brazil Brazil

Energy-rich Brazil has an opportunity to have a leading role in the international system and compete with developed countries. Brazil has vast natural resources and is widely known for its renewable energy generation capacity. The majority of energy sources come from water, wind and solar resources, biomass and thermoelectric enterprises as well as ethanol and biodiesel plants. It also has two nuclear plants and a third one under construction. Hydropower plants are a determinant factor […]