Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 38

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday December 31st, 2021

The Americas

Latin America and the Caribbean: Predictions for 2022

By the end of 2022, the region will likely be strained by a combination of problematic behavior by radical left and populist authoritarian regimes, further significant electoral advances of the populist left, and increasing challenges from organized crime, political instability, fiscal and economic crises, and refugee flows.
The Global Americans: https://theglobalamericans.org/2021/12/predictions-for-2022/

Can Latin America and the Caribbean Trust China as a Business Partner?

A lack of due diligence, corruption, and a disregard for indigenous rights and the environment have characterized many Chinese infrastructure projects in the region.
The Diplomat: https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/can-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-trust-china-as-a-business-partner/

US losing war on corruption in Central America

Washington’s response to Central America’s corruption has been mainly to name and shame. Legislators have released two lists of high-level corruption suspects this past year but evident omissions and a lack of coherency have weakened the blacklists’ impact.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/gamechangers-2021-us-losing-war-corruption-central-america/

Cuba signs ‘Belt and Road’ agreement with China

Cuba and China have signed a cooperation plan to push forward construction projects under Beijing’s controversial overseas infrastructure program, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has saddled many participating countries with heavy debt loads.
The Epoch Times: https://www.theepochtimes.com/cuba-signs-belt-and-road-agreement-with-china_4178970.html?utm_source=uschinaia&utm_campaign=uschina-2021-12-30&utm_medium=email

Minister: Explosions at Cúcuta airport in Colombia were financed in Venezuela

The group that attempted to bomb Colombian air force planes at the Cúcuta aiport on Dec. 14th, killing three people, were members of a criminal gang hired by the dissident elements of the FARC guerrilla group operating out of Venezuela, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano says.
The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/colombia/article256921837.html

Peru

Peru and China trade ties strengthen despite political crisis

Since signing an FTA in 2009, trade between the countries has grown, amid an ongoing crisis in Peru. But the pact has yet to recognise free trade’s environmental impacts.
Dialogo Chino: https://dialogochino.net/en/extractive-industries/49789-peru-and-china-trade-ties-strengthen-despite-political-crisis/

Peru’s Castillo Weighs a New Finance Chief in Cabinet Overhaul

Advisers to Peru’s President Pedro Castillo are looking for names to replace Finance Minister Pedro Francke as part of a wider cabinet reform being considered by the leftist leader, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-30/peru-s-castillo-weighs-a-new-finance-chief-in-cabinet-overhaul

Ecuador

Ecuador continues to rethink its relationship with China

The bilateral relationship with Beijing has several elements on the board: debt reduction, increased trade and investment, vaccine diplomacy, large-scale fishing and political backstage. Ecuador tries to change its position in the bilateral relationship with China, although the current administration has its hands tied in certain aspects, due to the commitments made by former President Rafael Correa.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/politica/ecuador-replantear-papel-relacion-china/

Former socialist president Correa under new investigation for embezzlement in the Sucre System used with Venezuela

The State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) is conducting a new investigation against former leftist president Rafael Correa, for the alleged crime of embezzlement using the so-called Sucre System, managed with Venezuela. Correa has been already sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of bribery in the so-called Bribery case 2012-2016,.
Vistazo, in Spanish: https://www.vistazo.com/politica/nacional/correa-es-investigado-por-presunto-peculado-en-sistema-sucre-utilizado-con-venezuela-EY1166789

Bolivia

Evo Morales, the real power behind Bolivia’s Luis Arce

President Arce gave up several key positions in the public administration in favor of Morales’ operatives. This “adjustment” became more noticeable in the foreign service, where Morales’ people control several key posts.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/anuario/nota_261173

Bolivia declares a Covid emergency, but leftist vice-president David Choquehuanca refuses to vaccinate and wear masks

Bolivia’s Vice President David Choquehuanca has not taken any COVID-19 vaccine and said he did not intend to either, and also is refusing to wear a mask at indoor venues, unleashing critics from civic and opposition groups.
Mercopress: https://en.mercopress.com/2021/12/30/unvaccinated-bolivian-vp-does-not-intend-to-take-the-treatment

Argentina

Experts fear organized crime in the city of Rosario could spread throughout Argentina

The seriousness of the drug trafficking phenomenon in the Province of Santa Fe, whose spill-over effect affects the entire country, requires the implementation of a consistent public policy that eradicates corrupt actors, strengthen the security and criminal justice system, and above all, protect the most vulnerable social sectors.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/12/27/expertos-advirtieron-que-el-crimen-organizado-que-opera-en-rosario-puede-expandirse-a-todo-el-pais/

Analysis

The double standard of sanctions against dictatorships has to end

The argument the dictatorships from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua use to coverup the violations of human rights they commit with State-sponsored terrorism, their economic failure, the social oppression, and the misery they have caused to their peoples, are the so-called sanctions or blockades. At the same time, however, for democracy’s banners and democratic leaders fighting against dictatorships, a close look to reality reveals these sanctions are ineffective and are applied with a double standard that we must put an end to and replace with true sanctions that disable and end dictatorships.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/it-urges-us-to-put-an-end-to-the-double-standard-of-sanctions-against-dictatorships/