Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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February 2019

WOLA Podcast: What next in Venezuela?

Here’s a conversation recorded yesterday with Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela full-time at WOLA. I wanted Geoff to talk about how to help restore democracy in Venezuela without a military intervention—but also without vague “dialogues” that just buy time for Maduro. He gave me a lot to work with. We’re both fast talkers, so […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) February 28, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Elliot Spagat, “Amid Clouds of Dust, Border Wall Prototypes Are Demolished” (Associated Press, February 28, 2019). The nearly $3 billion that Congress has provided for barriers during the first half of Trump’s term requires that money be spent on designs that were in place before May […]

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The day ahead: February 28, 2019

I’ll be in meetings all day. (How to contact me) I’m going to be in nonstop meetings and events today. An NGO sit-down with Mexico’s interior minister, a meeting of groups working on human rights conditions on foreign assistance, a meeting with visiting researchers on U.S. security aid programs, and an event at WOLA on […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) February 27, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Amy Davidson Sorkin, “The Challenge to Republicans in the House Vote to Terminate Trump’s Emergency” (The New Yorker, February 27, 2019). The vote will be an open test of the willingness of Republicans to place a limit on this President’s grab for power Lolita C. Baldor, […]

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The day ahead: February 27, 2019

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me) I’ve tried to keep today clear on my calendar to get a lot of writing done. I’ve mostly succeeded: I’ll be in the office, reachable but busy at the keyboard.

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) February 26, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Thom Tillis, “I Support Trump’s Vision on Border Security. But I Would Vote Against the Emergency.” (The Washington Post, February 26, 2019). I am a member of the Senate, and I have grave concerns when our institution looks the other way at the expense of weakening […]

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The day ahead: February 26, 2019

I’m most reachable in the morning. (How to contact me) In the afternoon, I’m meeting with a foundation officer, then a colleague visiting from the U.S.-Mexico border. Later, I’m guest-teaching a graduate class. In the morning, I’ll be in the office processing my notes from my last border trip, among other research.

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) February 25, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Missy Ryan, “At Southern Border, Acting Pentagon Chief Offers Support for Trump’s Border Plan” (The Washington Post, February 25, 2019). Shanahan said his conversations with officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and observations at sites in Texas and New Mexico had underscored the role the […]

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Thinking about the unthinkable: U.S. military intervention in Venezuela

Es más o menos aceptable la traducción automática de Google al español de este artículo. Disclaimer: I’m not WOLA’s Venezuela expert. I’ve only visited the country once. Most of what I know about the country comes from press and NGO reports. The following exercise is me considering the unthinkable based on years of studying defense […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Tuesday, February 26 9:30 in Room 216, Hart Senate Office Building: Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on United States Strategic Command and United States Northern Command. 10:00 in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building: Hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Oversight of the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy. 11:00–12:30 in Room 2247, […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) February 22, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Ellen Mitchell, “Pentagon Asks Dhs to Justify Moving Funds for Trump’s Border Wall” (The Hill, February 22, 2019). The document asks for locations where border wall construction would improve the “effectiveness” of military troops deployed there Joe Gould, Leo Shane Iii, Tara Copp, “The Pentagon Wants […]

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The day ahead: February 22, 2019

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me) Yesterday was a bit of a wash for me. I was so tired from flying in late from the west coast, and from that string of 18-hour days of volunteering and research interviews, that it took me hours just to write the trip notes […]

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Top-line notes from my February 11-20 border trip

I spent the week of February 11, and some of this week, in San Diego and Tijuana. It was like holding down two jobs. Each day: At 4:30am, I’d go to the airport and escort migrant families to the flights that, in most cases, relatives had purchased for them. The San Diego Rapid Response Network […]

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CBP provisions in the 2019 budget

(I wrote this a few hours ago, before we learned that Trump is going the national emergency route. Either way, this is what’s in the law that he’s going to sign.) Hi from Tijuana. I’m between meetings again and looking over the text of the budget compromise that Congress will be voting on, and that […]

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Mid-Visit Notes from the Border

(I wrote these notes earlier today, in the middle of “day 3” here at the border.) Hello from a coffee shop in central Tijuana. I’m taking a moment between meetings to talk about what I’m seeing on my second visit here so far this year. I’m interviewing experts, officials, and service providers on both sides […]

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