CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research

In Focus

Analysis of the 2014 Protests from The Americas Blog

Obama Administration Faces Diplomatic Isolation in Latin America on Venezuela
Op-ed by Oliver Stone and Mark Weisbrot in The Boston Globe, March 22, 2014

John Kerry Doubles Down on Venezuela, Despite Being Alone
Column by Mark Weisbrot in The Guardian, March 20, 2014


Latin American Growth in the 21st Century: The 'Commodities Boom' That Wasn't

May 2014, David Rosnick and Mark Weisbrot

A Statistical Note on the April 14 Venezuelan Presidential Election and Audit of Results

May 2013, David Rosnick and Mark Weisbrot

Adjusting for Polling Biases in Venezuela’s 2012 Presidential Election

October 2012, David Rosnick

Venezuela's Economic Recovery: Is It Sustainable?

September 2012, Mark Weisbrot and Jake Johnston

Decreasing Inequality Under Latin America’s “Social Democratic” and “Populist” Governments: Is the Difference Real?

October 2011, Juan A. Montecino

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The Americas Blog

Connectivity and Mobility through Bolivia's Cable Cars

Update on Latin American Responses to Israel's Siege on Gaza

Obama Throws Another Bone to the Right on Venezuela

How Have Latin America’s Political Leaders Responded to Israel’s Siege on Gaza?

The Problem with the Venezuela Sanctions Debate

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Latin America Data Bytes

Venezuela: GDP Rebounds on Strong Construction Growth
December 13, 2011 (Latin America Data Byte)
En Español

Venezuela: GDP Contracts after First-Quarter Surge
September 7, 2011 (Latin America Data Byte)
En Español

Venezuela: GDP Shows Strong Gains in Q1 2011
June 6, 2011 (Latin America Byte)
En Español

Op-Eds & Columns

Fixing the Exchange Rate System in Venezuela

Mark Weisbrot
Triple Crisis, November 25, 2014

Carvajal Case Reveals Splits within Obama Administration on Latin America Policy, Once Again

Mark Weisbrot
Últimas Noticias, August 3, 2014
The Hill
, July 29, 2014

En español

How to Fix Venezuela’s Troubled Exchange Rate

Mark Weisbrot
Fortune, July 22, 2014

For the First Time in Years, Members of Congress Push Back Against Obama Administration’s Failed Latin America Policy

Mark Weisbrot
The Hill, June 3, 2014
Últimas Noticias, June 1, 2014

En español

The Story of Venezuela’s Protests May Be Different From What You Are Told

Mark Weisbrot
Huffington Post, April 28, 2014
Folha de São Paulo (Brazil), April 13, 2014

Em português

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The Legacy of Independence and Democracy in Venezuela

The Legacy of Hugo Chávez: At Home and Abroad

Obama in Latin America: The U.S. Response to the Region’s Leftward Shift

Venezuelan Elections and the Institutionalization of Participatory Democracy

Venezuela after Chávez

Brown Bag: Venezuela's Electoral System and the Results of The Presidential Elections

Post-Neoliberalism in Latin America: A New Vision for Development

The Andes Initiative Presents: Panel on "The Revolution in Venezuela"

Latin America in the Obama Years: U.S. Intervention, Policy and Progress

Venezuela and the Chavez Government: Advances and Shortcomings

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Press Releases

Obama’s Change of Cuba Policy is Welcome and Long Overdue; Reflects Increasing U.S. Isolation in a Latin America Mostly Run by Left Governments, Says CEPR Co-Director

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2014
Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Washington, D.C.- News that the Obama administration is “changing its relationship with the people of Cuba” is due to the leftward shift in Latin America that has increasingly isolated the United States politically in the region, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. The Obama administration announced the changes following Cuba’s release of USAID contractor Alan Gross and an unnamed “intelligence asset,” and the U.S. release of the three remaining members of the “Cuban Five” who were imprisoned for espionage after working to disrupt plots by Cuban exile extremists based in the U.S. Cuba is also reportedly releasing 53 other political prisoners.

“This historic shift is a direct result of the United States’ increasing isolation in the region,” Weisbrot said. “Relations between Latin America and the Obama administration have been the worst probably of any U.S. administration in decades.  This will help, but new sanctions against Venezuela will also raise questions in the hemisphere about whether this is a change in direction or merely a giving up on a strategy that has failed for more than 50 years.

“Because of the historic transition in Latin America over the past 15 years, with left governments elected in most of the region, basically the rules and norms were changed for the whole hemisphere. Various Latin American governments – and not just those on the left – have been increasingly vocal in recent years that the status quo cannot stand, and that Cuba must be treated as an equal, and welcomed into fora such as the Summit of the Americas,” Weisbrot noted.

“Washington’s Cuba policy is being pulled into the 21st Century thanks to this regional shift.”

Weisbrot added, however: “The U.S. has pumped tens of millions into efforts to undermine left-of-center governments in Latin America, including BoliviaEcuadorVenezuela and Brazil. The just-approved appropriations bill [PDF] includes increased funding for these purposes, and the White House fact sheet on the new Cuba policy makes clear that so-called ‘democracy promotion’ will continue to be a major component. So these activities will continue to harm relations with Latin America. The U.S. still does not have full diplomatic relations with Bolivia and Venezuela.”

Weisbrot noted that the move was also made possible by an apparent willingness by the Obama administration to no longer allow Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez take the lead on Cuba policy. Menendez has vocally opposed the reforms announced today, and is considered a hard-liner on U.S.-Latin America policy.

Weisbrot pointed to the formation of international groupings such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that include Cuba but exclude the United States, and the growing influence and pushback from regional organizations such as UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations), as more evidence of regional change that have made U.S. policy untenable.  “Obama’s decision is also a clear defeat for the Cuban-exile extremists who have dominated U.S. policy toward the region for decades, more recently with their neo-conservative allies.”

Regarding the easing of the embargo, and Obama administration recommendations that it be reconsidered by Congress, Weisbrot said: “The U.S. can no longer ignore international law and the opinion of the entire world. This is a victory for the rule of law in the world of international relations.”


New Paper Finds No Evidence that Latin America’s Economic Growth Rebound Results from a “Commodities Boom”

May 21, 2014

Economists Call on Media to Report "Overwhelming Evidence" Regarding Venezuelan Election Results

June 7, 2013

Statistical Study Shows That First Audit of Venezuelan Election is Decisive

May 9, 2013

Venezuelan Audit Can’t Find Any Different Result in Presidential Election, Statistical Analysis Shows

April 26, 2013

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On the State of Democracy in Venezuela
June 24, 2004, Testimony of Mark Weisbrot before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations (Senate)

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