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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Venezuela

New piece at Razón Pública

Many thanks to Hernando Gómez Buendía, Daniela Garzón, and the staff at Colombia’s Razón Pública for inviting me to submit a column about last week’s meeting between Trump and Colombian President Iván Duque. If you prefer Spanish, el artículo, titulado “La reunión de Duque con Trump: entretenida pero improductiva,” se puede leer aquí. Below is the version I wrote in […]

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WOLA Podcast on the Venezuelan Forced Migration Crisis

I sat down this morning with Gimena Sánchez, who works on Colombia and the Andes here at WOLA, and Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela. Geoff spent all of April in Venezuela, and in the Venezuelan border areas of Colombia and Brazil. Gimena was in Colombia at the same time, and both did fieldwork in the border city […]

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A full-on exodus

Hello from Cúcuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela. I had full days of meetings here yesterday and today to talk about the security situation and to evaluate a big USAID program operating in the surrounding department of Norte de Santander. Near the end of today, we took a 15-minute cab ride to the Simón Bolívar […]

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The peril of “protest fatigue”

Because they’re governed poorly by corrupt elites, Brazil and Venezuela have seen long recent periods of massive street protests. But now, the energy is fizzling in both countries. That’s a common theme in the past few weeks’ reporting, anyway. Brazil “Everywhere you go in Brazil, it’s the same thing. Circles under the eyes, hushed voices. […]

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Venezuela’s 2 “black boxes”: the military and the poor

Like many of you, I spend a lot of time lately reading about Venezuela. But I’m absolutely not a Venezuela expert. Over the years, I often disagreed with the U.S. government’s approach to him, but I was never a fan of Hugo Chávez. I’ve always supported demilitarizing politics in the Americas. So naturally I spoke […]

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Links From the Last Month About: Civil-Military Relations in Latin America

Argentina Outgoing Defense Minister Julio Martínez alleged that the previous governments of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández so neglected the country’s air force that “over a hundred [aircraft] went out of service or were decommissioned.” Brazil Brazilian Army soldiers, long tasked with guarding the country’s 10,400-mile land border, are increasingly being used as police. “During […]

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Links from the last month about: civil-military relations in Latin America

Argentina Pablo Waisberg, Guillermo Peralta, “Grupo Pro Militar Escracha a Testigos de Juicios” (Perfil (Argentina), May 22, 2017). A pro-military group posted a list of journalists and others who have testified in human rights cases against leaders of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, calling them “subversive terrorists from the 1970s.” Brazil “Public Opinion Forces Temer to […]

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New WOLA Podcast: An Update on Venezuela with David Smilde

This one is really good. I can see why David Smilde’s analysis appears so often in media coverage of Venezuela. David is a senior fellow who writes WOLA’s Venezuela blog, teaches at Tulane University and spends much of his time—including the tumultuous last few months—in Caracas. He doesn’t pass through Washington very often, so it was great […]

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This is no time for jokes? This is no time for solemnity.

From the 9th anniversary post of the great Venezuelan satire website El Chigüire Bipolar (The Bipolar Capybara): No way is this a normal democracy. It stopped being one a long time ago. But whether we were in that ideal scenario, or in this reality that the Galactic Commander and his obese heir have tried to impose […]

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“What Now in Venezuela?”

Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Organization of American States deepens the country’s political crisis still further. Meanwhile, at least three people died today in mounting protests against the country’s definitive turn toward authoritarianism. It’s really hard to predict where this is headed. I found useful, though, a column published Monday by Luis Vicente León, a widely […]

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Links From the Last Month About: Civil-Military Relations in Latin America

Colombia A decree has placed a representative of Colombia’s Defense Ministry on the governing board of the Center for Historical Memory, a body of academics that has produced 92 reports since 2008 about what happened in the country’s conflict. Though a governmental body, the Center has had autonomy in how it chooses and carries out […]

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