By Daniela Estrada | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SANTIAGO DE CHILE (IDN) – Latin American and Caribbean countries registered an average global deficit of 2.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, but their fiscal revenues rose and kept their public debt situation stable, giving them more room to increase investment and social spending, according to a new study by the UN Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) - Over the last two years, the Colombian government has given high priority to diplomatic efforts meant to shore up its immediate security situation, actively pursuing bilateral, trilateral and multilateral agreements with various governments in the region and beyond.
Colombia occupies a strategic position in the western hemisphere: it has a large territory connecting North America with the South, and it has enormous shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. This geostrategic advantage allows Colombia to act as a gate of entry for South America, and its network of sea ports processes a large volume of commodities and other shipments coming in and out of the United States and Europe on a daily basis.
By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) - Over the past three years, Nicaragua has been trying to deepen ties with major European Union countries, paying special attention to the establishment of various sustainable development initiatives.
Nowhere is the strategy more apparent than in Foreign Minister Samuel Santos’ visit to Brussels and Strasbourg in December of 2010, where he secured financing from the European Commission for the Nicaragua Education Project (PROSEN) and funding for anti-dengue and rural public health campaigns from Luxembourg.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - Chile has received kudos for making significant economic progress in the previous three years but has been faulted for “some glaring inequalities”. A new study finds that – together with Mexico – Chile displays “the greatest inequality gap” in the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The average income of the wealthiest 10 percent in Chile and Mexico is 27 times that of the poorest 10 percent, in other words, a ratio of 27 to 1. By contrast, the OECD average is around 10 to 1, informs the 2013 Economic Survey of Chile.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN) - Latin America has achieved economic growth and made significant progress in poverty reduction over the course of the last decade. But it is now facing headwinds, according to the latest Latin American Economic Outlook.
Jointly produced by the OECD Development Centre, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, the report was released in Panama City during the XXIII Ibero-American summit on October 18-19, 2013.
“Between 2003 and 2012, the region grew at an average annual rate of 4% thanks to the rapid rise of global trade and increasing commodity prices, and this despite the contraction brought about by the international financial crisis,” states the report.
By Oscar Ugarteche, Valentina Ballesté* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
QUITO (IDN) - With no haste, but without pause, the participation of women in the labour market has seen accelerated growth since the 1970s, according to the Panorama Laboral 2012 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). There is a gradual closing of the differences in participation between men and women in the labour force.
The participation rate of women in Latin America in 2012 was 49.8%, the employment rate was 40.2% and the unemployment rate 7.7%, while for men the participation rate was 71.4%, employment 59.8% and unemployment 5.6%. (1)
By Luisa Parraguez, Francisco Garcia Gonzalez, Joskua Tadeo*
MEXICO CITY (IDN | Yale Global) - The Latin American blogosphere held its breath when Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane was forced to land in Vienna in July. As European authorities searched for former U.S. National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden on board, Twitter accounts of South American presidents exploded with resentment.
The continent denounced the United States for extending its hemispheric supremacy to Europe, sputtered words like “colonialism” and “imperialism,” and claimed that the incident violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner called the incident “not only humiliating to a sister nation, but also for the whole South American continent.”
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
CARACAS (IDN | Venezuelanalysis.com) - Two events that defy hawk logic have taken place in the same month. First, on June 5 United States secretary of state John Kerry met with Venezuela's foreign minister, Elias Jaua, and stated that he had agreed to pursue a more “positive relationship” with Venezuela. Then, just weeks later, Iranians voted in a president who has openly argued against nuclear proliferation.
What happened? Iran and Venezuela's amiable relationship of the last decade was supposed to be the sum of all fears for Washington. Two “tyrants”, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez, were accused of co-sponsoring all sorts of wild, fantastical plots by Washington's warmongers. But was the Iran-Venezuela relationship ever about crushing the “free world” by assembling an unholy alliance of druglords, Islamists and socialists, or is there a slightly saner explanation?
By Ted Hewitt* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
LONDON, ONTARIO (IDN) - Much of the global media has focused on the protests occurring throughout Brazil. Almost all have drawn their own conclusions as to the cause of the tumult, and almost all in splendid contradiction. Similarly, there has been an enduring preoccupation in most news reports with the violence and looting associated with all such public demonstrations.
In reality, both the causes and the effects of the Brazilian protests are only poorly understood at this point; and for its part, the violence portrayed in the media has primarily been the exception rather than the rule.
By Paulo Genovese, Pressenza
The writer, a member of the Humanist Movement, gives not only a personal account of protests that appeared to have come from nowhere, but also looks behind the scene and beyond.
SAO PAULO (IDN) - Millions of Brazilians have been protesting in the streets since June 6 when students blocked streets in downtown Goiânia, set fire to car tires, threw homemade bombs, and broke windows of police cars.
By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The death of President Hugo Chavez, after a drawn-out battle with cancer, brought out huge crowds of grieving Venezuelans onto the country’s streets. Their grief suggested that he had been a more effective ruler than many of his critics allowed.
His visceral reaction to most things American was unfortunate, standing in the way of expanded economic relations which could have benefitted both countries, while each remained faithful to its internal political imperatives. In one area, however, he was personally responsible for a strong and beneficial link with the US.