The Drug War Finds New Ways to Fail

The federal government’s effort to battle drug abuse has been a tragic and expensive failure. But of course, admitting that would make politicians, who regularly endorse it to sound tough, seem foolish and careless with taxpayer dollars. So the War on Drugs continues, while of necessity it slowly morphs into new forms of federal waste … Continue reading “The Drug War Finds New Ways to Fail”

US Allies Call for Drug Legalization

DOHA, Qatar — The Summit of the Americas, normally a subdued tri-annual gathering of regional leaders, could be more interesting than usual this year, as right-wing governments are set to clash with their U.S. allies over the war on drugs. An increasingly large chorus of nations — ravaged by trafficking and violence — say it’s … Continue reading “US Allies Call for Drug Legalization”

Lawmakers, ‘Experts’ Spin Tales of Iranian Terror in Latin America 

Through its ties with Venezuela and other nations in Latin America, Iran is building an anti-US alliance in the Western Hemisphere that poses a direct, imminent threat to the United States, an influential US lawmaker said Thursday. The remark from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, author of sanctions legislation targeting Iran that was … Continue reading “Lawmakers, ‘Experts’ Spin Tales of Iranian Terror in Latin America “

Iran’s Relations with Latin America Less Than Meets the Eye

Its economy hurting from sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been making a show of bolstering its ties to Latin America, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this past week making his sixth official visit to the region since taking office in 2005. Contrary to assertions made by the … Continue reading “Iran’s Relations with Latin America Less Than Meets the Eye”

Alleged Plot Weakens Claims of Iran’s Sway in Latin America

MANAGUA — Claims by neoconservatives and other right-wingers that Iranian influence in Latin America poses a growing security threat to the United States seem exaggerated, at best, with recent allegations that Tehran sought the help of an Iranian-American used-car salesman in a high-profile assassination plot.Overblown though they may be, those wide-ranging claims have been frequently … Continue reading “Alleged Plot Weakens Claims of Iran’s Sway in Latin America”

Latin America Logs Largest Increase in 2010 Military Spending

Latin America has displaced traditional high-rollers, including the Middle East and Europe, as the region registering the largest percentage increase in military spending last year, according to a new study released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The increase in real terms was 5.8 percent for Latin America, compared with 5.2 percent for … Continue reading “Latin America Logs Largest Increase in 2010 Military Spending”

Latin America Deepens Israel Isolation

JERUSALEM – Guyana became Thursday the seventh Latin American state to recognize an independent Palestinian state. Although the official recognitions are largely nominal, they have irked the state of Israel as they expose its growing diplomatic isolation in the face of the current peace deadlock. It was the announcement in support of Palestinian statehood by … Continue reading “Latin America Deepens Israel Isolation”

Will Asia, Africa Follow Latin America on Palestine?

With seven Latin American countries formally recognizing Palestine as an independent state, there is one question floating in the corridors of the United Nations: will Asia and Africa follow suit? "It is a decision to be made by individual countries in their respective capitals," says one U.N. diplomat, who also ruled out any chances of … Continue reading “Will Asia, Africa Follow Latin America on Palestine?”

Latin American Disappointment With Obama May Yield to Distrust

While U.S. officials took strong exception to outgoing Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva’s recent complaint that "nothing has changed" in Washington’s relations with Latin America two years into the Barack Obama administration, many independent U.S. analysts ruefully nodded their heads. "(The administration) began very well," noted Abraham Lowenthal, a veteran Latin Americanist and founding … Continue reading “Latin American Disappointment With Obama May Yield to Distrust”

Closer to a Palestinian State, Via South America

BUENOS AIRES – With the string of announcements in South America of recognition of a Palestinian state this month, the region’s integration process showed a new interest in and capacity to reach common positions in the realm of foreign policy. After Brazil announced in early December that it recognised a Palestinian state, Argentina, Bolivia and … Continue reading “Closer to a Palestinian State, Via South America”