The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Pope Francis’ relationship to a movement that divided Latin America

By Kevin F. Burke
September 24, 2015

Pope Francis is surrounded by greeting children next to Bolivia's President Evo Morales after his arrival in El Alto

Pope Francis (L) is surrounded by greeting children next to Bolivia's President Evo Morales after his arrival in El Alto, Bolivia, July 8, 2015. REUTERS/David Mercado

from The Great Debate:

With Chavez gone, what of ‘Chavismo’?

By Michael Shifter
March 7, 2013

“The End of the Chávez Era” That was the headline on Colombia’s major newspaper, El Tiempo, the day after Hugo Chávez’s death.

from Global Investing:

Investors love those emerging markets

October 28, 2010

No question that investors are in the throes of passion over emerging markets. The latest Reuters asset allocation polls show investors pouring money into Asian and Latin American stocks in October to the detriment of U.S. and euro zone equities. Exposure to equities in emerging Europe, Asia ex-Japan, Latin America and Africa/Middle East rose to 15.6 percent of a typical stock portfolio from 14.3 percent a month earlier.

from FaithWorld:

Pope says gay marriage threat to creation

January 11, 2010

gay marriage

Argentinans exchange rings in Ushuaia, 28 Dec 2009

Pope Benedict on Tuesday linked the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage to concern about the environment, suggesting that laws undermining the differences between the sexes were threats to creation.

U.S. sends wrong messages to Latin America

August 24, 2009

mschultze_apr09_web– Markus Schultze-Kraft is Latin America and Caribbean Program Director at the International Crisis Group. The opinions expressed are his own. –

A bet against Castro’s immortality

April 23, 2009

REUTERS— Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own —

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – “Practically everyone who follows Latin American events agrees that Castro’s end is near.” Thus one Laurence W Tuller, writing in 1994 in his manual on high-risk, high-reward investing. Defaulted Cuban government bonds had jumped on hopes of a settlement to allow the country back into the international capital markets.
Today, former leader Fidel Castro’s end is 15 years nearer, but he’s still there, albeit in semi-retirement, and holders of these pre-Castro bonds with a face value of around $200 billion are still waiting. Castro’s regime kept good records, but have paid no interest, and ignored redemption dates since his revolution half a century ago.
Few Americans can remember why their administration has been so beastly to Cuba for so long.
Those who can mostly live in Florida, a key swing state, and many risked everything to get out of Cuba. They do not want to see their investment devalued by hordes of their former compatriots simply walking off the Delta Airlines flight from Havana.
Last week U.S. President Barack Obama eased the squeeze somewhat. Americans can now visit Cuba, but only if they have relatives there.
This gesture has re-ignited the bondholders’ old hopes. Past settlements of defaulted sovereign bonds have tended to pay about half the total of accrued interest plus principal, so the buyers see plenty of upside.
Exotix, a specialist trader in “frontier markets”, says its price for a typical Cuban bond instrument has risen from around 9 cents on the dollar at the start of this month to 14 cents on April 23.
Mind you, the spread is wide, the market thin and as events crowd in on the President, he might feel there are more pressing problems than to risk upsetting those key-voting Floridian Cubans.