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Author Archive | Mark Weisbrot

Obama’s Deafening Silence on Honduras

Seven weeks after the Honduran military overthrew the democratically elected president of Honduras, the divide between the United States and Latin America continues to grow — although you might not get that impression from most mainstream media reports. The strategy of the coup regime is obviously to run out the clock on President Zelaya’s remaining […]

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Myths about the U.S. Economic Model

The Great Recession is allowing some widely held beliefs about the U.S. economy — which were the source of much evangelism over the last few decades — to run up against a reality check.  This is to be expected, since the United States has been the epicenter of the storm of policy blunders that caused […]

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Obama Continues Bush Policies in Latin America

There were great hopes in Latin America when President Obama was elected.  U.S. standing in the region had reached a low point under George W. Bush, and all of the hemisphere’s left-leaning governments expressed optimism that Obama would go in a different direction. These hopes have been dashed.  President Obama has continued the Bush policies […]

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Was the Iranian Election Stolen?  Does It Matter?

Since the Iranian presidential election of June 12, allegations that the announced winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory was stolen have played an important role in the demonstrations, political conflict, and media reporting on events there.  Some say that it does not matter whether the elections were stolen or not, since the government has responded to peaceful […]

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Patent Fundamentalists Threaten the Future of the Planet

The battle over “intellectual property rights” is likely to be one of the most important of this century.  It has enormous economic, social, and political implications in a wide range of areas, from medicine to the arts and culture — anything where the public interest in the widespread dissemination of knowledge runs up against those […]

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Oil Prices and Venezuela’s Economy

Introduction The Venezuelan economy has grown more than 94 percent since the current expansion began in the second quarter of 2003.1  The overwhelming bulk of this growth has been in the non-oil sector.2  Throughout most of these five and a half years of unprecedented growth, the economy has often been characterized as an “oil boom […]

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South America: Recession Can Be Avoided

Can South America escape the wrath of the economic and financial storms that have their epicenter in the United States?  Since the financial meltdown began in mid-September, the bond markets of most of the region (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela) have been hit, as well as most of their stock markets and a number of currencies.  […]

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Argentina: The Crisis That Isn’t

In recent weeks there have been numerous press reports and articles indicating that Argentina is facing serious economic problems that could lead to a default on its sovereign debt.  Some of these analyses compare Argentina’s current situation to that of 2001, when the government of Argentina did actually default.1 It is not only journalists and […]

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The United States and the World: Where Are We Headed?

This paper was presented at the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation and the International Relations Research Institute’s (IPRI) “Seminar on the United States” hosted by the Itamaraty Palace (Brazilian Foreign Ministry) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 29, 2008. Introduction The United States appears to be embarking on a transition on two major fronts: its […]

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The Distribution of Bolivia’s Most Important Natural Resources and the Autonomy Conflicts

  Over the last year, there has been an escalation in the political battles between the government of President Evo Morales and a conservative opposition, based primarily in the prefectures, or provinces.  The opposition groups have rallied around various issues but have recently begun to focus on “autonomy.”  Some of the details of this autonomy […]

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Gap Between Latin America and Washington Still Growing

Washington’s foreign policy establishment — and much of the U.S. media — was taken by surprise this week when President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, stated that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) should lay down their arms and unconditionally release all of their hostages.  The FARC is a guerrilla group that has been fighting […]

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