News and Politics

The Best Intentions? Politicization in the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela

Friday, January 3, 2014 - 16:15

Venezuelans refer to their country’s slums and the individual improvised constructions as ranchos (ranches).  These feats of engineering are ubiquitous throughout the country; they spill down the hills and mountains surrounding the capital city of Caracas, down to the port of La Guaira north of the city and south into the Tuy valleys, and dominate the periphery of even more intermediate cities like Maracay, Ciudad Bolívar, and San Cristóbal.  Some Venezuelans claim that the rancho that has overtaken the colonial town of Petare

Populism in the West: Alive and Kickin'

It has been a while since a strikingly populist candidate has been a major contender in a  presidential election in the United States. Many think of William Jennings Bryan, the three-time nominee of the democratic party at the end of the 1800s, as one of the only other strongly populist presidential candidates in American history (Ramone, 2010). President Trump’s campaign can fairly be described as populist through his rhetoric against the elites on Capitol Hill, his appeal to working class voters, and most importantly his outsider status as a non-politician.

Lava Jato: An Overview

Last year as Brazil geared up to hold the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a huge corruption scandal hit the country: “Operação Lava Jato”, or “Operation Car Wash”. After much turmoil and international attention, many thought the scandal would subside with the new year. However, this has not been the case. And the scandal is still making headlines over a year since it first began, having become clear that it involves more than just Brazil.

Obama’s Policy Directive on Cuba: Changing the Status Quo?

On October 14th, President Obama utilized his executive powers to issue a new directive on the United States’ relationship with Cuba. The directive dictates new rules that cover a wide range of areas, from supporting medical-related business projects to reinstating normal limits on importing Cuban products for personal use.

Migración del “Triángulo Norte” a Costa Rica, el Refugio de Centroamérica

Desde su independencia en 1821, Costa Rica se ha mantenido como uno de los países centroamericanos con menor cantidad de conflictos graves. Esa estabilidad, sumada a condiciones económicas favorables, han hecho que el país haya sido y sea un refugio para muchos inmigrantes centroamericanos. Durante los años setenta y ochenta, por ejemplo, fue el refugio de muchos nicaragüenses que huían de la dictadura de los Somoza primero, y de la revolución sandinista después (Adolfo, 2009).

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