The Great Debate

What Hugo Chávez and Donald Trump have in common

March 31, 2016
Venezuela's acting President and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro kisses a painting of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez during a campaign rally in the state of Vargas April 9, 2013. Venezuelans will hold presidential elections on April 14. Maduro promised on Tuesday to hike Venezuela's minimum wage by about 40 percent if he is elected in a weekend vote to replace late socialist leader Chavez. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS OBITUARY) - RTXYFMI

Venezuela’s acting President and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro kisses a painting of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez during a campaign rally in the state of Vargas April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Argentine leader’s health recovering, as her dynasty ebbs

October 25, 2013

As Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner convalesces in the presidential residence after surgery, a poor prognosis for her political and economic agenda awaits her outside. Yet the populist leader is unlikely to respond with major policy initiatives as she enters a prolonged lame duck period.

Why Latin America (Hearts) Snowden

July 17, 2013

Edward Snowden requested political asylum of 20 or more countries across the globe to avoid facing espionage charges in the United States. Though he is now seeking temporary asylum from Russia, where he has been stranded in the Moscow airport, only a few nations, all in Latin America, have been openly receptive to his pleas.

Maduro pressed to drop ‘magic’ focus on ‘realism’

April 15, 2013

Nicolas Maduro’s election campaign was rich in magical realism, designed to bedazzle voters.

No matter who wins in Venezuela, Chavez’s legacy is secure

April 12, 2013

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president. Will Hugo Chavez’s legacy be fleeting? Or will Chavez shape politics and public policy from the grave? What will happen to Chavismo, Chavez’s unique form of state capitalism and paternal socialism?     

In Venezuela, an election about the future is haunted by the past

April 3, 2013

Presidential elections will be held in Venezuela on April 14, pitting Hugo Chavez’s vice president and chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, against Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate who lost to Chavez in 2012. At stake: whether Chavez’s legacy will continue after his death.

Post Chavez: Can U.S. rebuild Latin American ties?

March 27, 2013

The funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier this month was a massive celebration of a vitriolic foe of the United States. This tribute should make Washington take a fresh look not only at its relations with Venezuela but also with all of Latin America.

What will become of Chávez’s gold hoard?

March 13, 2013

In August 2011, while undergoing cancer treatments that ultimately failed him, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez began withdrawing 160 tons of gold from U.S., European and Canadian banks. “It’s coming to the place it never should have left. … The vaults of the central bank of Venezuela, not the bank of London or the bank of the United States. It’s our gold,” he said on national television as crowds cheered armored trucks carrying an initial bullion shipment to the central bank.

Chávez’s death leaves Venezuelans with hard choices

March 12, 2013

Venezuela has kicked off a presidential election campaign whose charismatic central figures are a governor and a ghost. The victor, however, may well be the flesh and blood heir of a revolutionary regime left to grapple with real and deepening crises.

With Chavez gone, what of ‘Chavismo’?

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.