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  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Voter turnout for the April 27 elections was among the highest in record: about 80 percent of the total population eighteen years old and older. The number of empty ballot envelopes was less than 1 percent, and votes annulled were within the normal margins in any election. All of this indicates that the protest vote (“voto bronca”), which was so high in the 2001 congressional elections, was not a factor in this election. The large number of candidates—and the exceptionally high number of candidates with the possibility of reaching the second round presidency on May 18 in particular—may have convinced electors to cast positive votes.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Brian Latell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The campaign against internal opposition launched last month by Fidel Castro's regime is among the most inhumane of the numerous crackdowns conducted during the more than 44 years he has ruled Cuba. Beginning in mid March, Cuban security personnel, often acting violently, rounded up more than 100 men and women associated with groups committed to peaceful democratic change on the island.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Luis Pinto
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president in 1989, Chile has been one of the most politically, socially, and economically successful countries in the region. The country has been able to move forward because of its aggressive promotion of exports, strength of its institutions, and the trust it has built with the international community. Recently however, Chile has found itself opposing the United States, a long time champion and supporter; it was also embroiled in several domestic corruption scandals. Chile has turned to the strength of its institutions and its international credibility to get back on track.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the period under review, public discussion in Venezuela was dominated by: the prospective referendum to recall the president; the release of the defendants that fired weapons at the demostration last April 11 by an appeals court; a growing debate in the country over the lack of accomplishments (growth, infrastructure, crime and poverty) by the Chavez administration; and the festivities observing the anniversary of Chávez ́s return to office last April, which brought to Caracas prominent international figures of the radical left. The opposition now recognizes that there may be indeed a referendum -- or a general election -- and thus it will be difficult to try to defeat the president. The government, increasingly confident that it can beat the opposition, appears to be moving ahead with preparations for a recall referendum for all elected officials.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On April 14, Quebeckers voted for change while keeping with half a century of tradition. With 70 percent of Quebec's 5.5 million registered voters casting their ballots, the Liberal Party (PLQ) under Jean Charest ended nine years of Parti Quebecois (PQ) rule, winning 45.9 percent of the popular vote and 76 out of 125 seats in Quebec's National Assembly. The governing PQ, which won 33.2 percent of the vote and picked up 45 seats in the National Assembly, was therefore swept from power despite a fairly positive record in government, proving that no matter how competently a government rules in Quebec, it is not immune to the political reality that no party has been able to win a third consecutive term in office since the Union Nationale in 1952.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Observers unfamiliar with Argentine history may see in the present campaign a lack of real confrontation and choice of ideas. And they may be misled in that direction by the fact that candidates have devoted great time and effort to expose flaws in their opponents' character and background and very little to explain platforms and proposals. One should not be deceived, however, by appearances. The ideological spectrum represented by the five candidates is much wider than has been seen in any U.S. election in recent history. That statement needs, however, some historical perspective.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: William Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 100 days have now passed since Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva donned Brazil's presidential sash on January 1, 2003. Perhaps use of this traditional U.S. benchmark, even for preliminary judgments, is a bit unfair, as the Brazilian political calendar with Carnival holidays off, precludes Congress from really beginning to function until early March. Nevertheless, the past three months have been instructive in terms of gauging the problems and prospects of the new Workers' Party (PT) government.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariano Ruiz-Funes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A country's economic competitiveness can be analyzed on two closely interrelated levels: microeconomic com-petitiveness and competitiveness in attracting investment. The first level (microeconomic competitiveness) relates to goods and services offered in the country and refers to competition arising from goods and services that are produced in another country. That competition takes place in international markets (export competitiveness) as well as in the domestic market (with imports).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Phillip McLean
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Once again events elsewhere have driven news of Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America off the front pages— even from newspapers in the region. Lack of attention may be the least of those countries' concerns about the war. The more serious consequence is likely to be that the war will accentuate the hemisphere's already evident problems. To the degree that the war slows the growth of world trade, the region's near-term economic prospects will suffer, and global uncertainties will dim the promise of more open and dynamic markets.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Canada, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When looking at the ramifications of the war in Iraq on the Western Hemisphere, it is clear that the conflict will have the greatest impact on the two nations with which the United States shares borders—Mexico and Canada. From a national security standpoint, these nations' immediate proximity to the United States automatically heightens the threat to their own national security, particularly because we seem to have entered an era in which the use of weapons of mass destruction—be they nuclear, chemical, or biological—poses a viable threat. From a U.S. homeland security standpoint, the shared border transforms both of our friendly neighbors into possible platforms from which rogue elements could stage attacks or enter the United States to threaten our homeland.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Canada, Latin America, North America, Mexico