Africa / Americas

Can We Upend the Status Quo? Plans for the US-Africa Summit

Photo Source: The Brookings Institution.

“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you till China and Africa meet…and the Salmon sing in the street” Writing in 1937, British poet W. H. Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening,” craftily celebrated the immortal strength and near boundless potential of love: a potential only the impossible, the unthinkable, …

Courtesy of Ricardo_martinelli_junto_a_juancarlosvarela, via Wikimedia Commons
Americas / Blog

Victory for Democracy in Panama

Photo source: Ricardo_martinelli_junto_a_juancarlosvarela via Wikimedia Commons.

The presidential elections of 4 May were a victory for Panamanian democracy. In the vote, relative outsider Juan Carlos Varela overcame the former Mayor of Panama City Juan Carlos Navarro and José Domingo Arias of the incumbent Cambio Democrático to take El Palacio de Las Garzas.

Speaking after the result …

Americas / Blog

Bolivia’s Indigenous Soldiers Protest Against Discrimination

A Bolivian soldier. Photo source: Alex Proimos via Wikimedia Commons.

Protests in Bolivia by indigenous military servicemen, over working conditions and career progression, have highlighted perennial issues of race and discrimination, with tensions likely to continue. The Bolivian military of 38,000 consists mainly of indigenous Aymara and Quechua people, though the upper ranks of the …

This symbol represents net neutrality.
Americas / Blog

The Global Implications of US Internet Regulation

Symbolizing net neutrality. Photo source: Camilo Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons.

The United States has long been at the forefront of managing the Internet. Since this technology’s earliest days, US government regulation has created a competitive environment that inspires online innovation. In May, however, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved plans to seek controversial new rules for …

Americas / Blog

Nicaragua: Could it be “Ortega Forever”?

President Daniel Ortega. Photo source: Fundscion Ong DE Nicaragua via Wikimedia Commons.

In January important political changes were enacted to the constitution of one of the most impoverished countries in Central America. Earlier this year, reforms to the Nicaraguan constitution were made which ended term limits for presidents and the need for at least 35% …

The North American Free Trade Agreement. Courtesy of TheMexicanGentlemen, via Wikimedia Commons
Americas / Blog

Beyond NAFTA: evaluating FTAs in Mexico and Colombia

The North American Free Trade Agreement. Photo source: TheMexicanGentlemen via Wikimedia Commons.

The distinguished Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington described Mexico as a ‘torn country’. Torn because of its cultural and linguistic attachment to Latin America on the one hand, and on the other, its geographic and economic alignment to the United States. NAFTA, the trilateral North …

Street vendor
Americas / Blog

Can a re-focus on financial inclusion save microfinance? Case study: Latin America

Informal enterprises have proliferated in countries like Peru as a result of microfinance. Photo source: Frank_am_Main via Flickr.

The brainchild of Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, microfinance was first piloted as an innovative development strategy in South Asia in the 1970s. A desire to tackle poverty from the ground up informed its founding principles: that a …

US personnel part of the Air Force component of USCYBERCOM. Source: United States Air Force via Wikimedia Commons
Americas / Blog

Cyber Warfare: The Militarisation of US Cyber Security Policy

The seal of US Cyber Command, representative of America’s focus on the military aspects of cyber security. Photo source: Department of Defense via Wikimedia Commons.

Prior to 2008, the issue of cyber security was considered a minor one in terms of foreign policy. The USA’s stance was simply to strengthen domestic networks against dispersed, small …

Boehner, Hispanic Council
Americas / Blog

The Consequences of Inaction on US Immigration Reform

Speaker Boehner discussing immigration with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, July 2013. Photo Source: Heather Reed via Flickr.

It seemed that Congress’s latest flirtation with immigration was nothing more than a brief summer romance.

After the Senate passed immigration reform 68 to 32 in June 2013, the GOP-controlled House responded with piecemeal legislation. Rather than …

For two weeks disillusioned Venezuelans have taken to the streets. Cristian Garrido Paez, via Wikimedia Commons
Americas / Blog

A new social revolution in Venezuela?

For two weeks disillusioned Venezuelans have taken to the streets. Photo Source: Cristian Garrido Paez via Wikimedia Commons.

For Hispanics in the US, even when watching Thursday’s Premio Lo Nuestro Latin music awards ceremony from Miami on Spanish-language network Univisión, it was hard to escape the turbulent situation in Venezuela where anti-government protests continue.

What started …