Latin America and the Caribbean

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

As the COVID-19 pandemic hits the developing world harder, Latin America has become its new epicenter – and a new pandemic forecast for the region is bleak.

Juan Karita / AP

COMMENTARY

Tuesday night the Trump Administration made the surprising if not stunning announcement that, for the first time ever, the U.S. is nominating an American to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). For many if not most Latin American and Caribbean governments, the news was more jarring than hearing a gringo tourist order dinner in Spanish.

Matias Delacroix / AP

COMMENTARY

We’re now familiar with websites from Johns Hopkins and Worldometer that grimly tally each country’s coronavirus cases and deaths. But unless you’re a hemispheric policy dweeb, you probably haven’t checked out a web page the Wilson Center has launched that tracks COVID-19 aid from the U.S. and China to Latin America, the new pandemic epicenter.

You should – because it’s another indicator that China’s crusade to spread its influence in the Americas isn’t slowing down.

David Goldman / AP

A month ago Haiti’s number of COVID-19 infections barely registered on the global radar screen. But a leading medical group warns that has now changed alarmingly.

Andre Penner / AP

COMMENTARY

It’s a mystery why the Trump Administration chose Miami this week as one of only two major U.S. cities to be sent “riot teams” as protests against police brutality and racism sweep the nation.

But you can be fairly sure that that brief federal deployment impressed one very large group here in particular: conservative, voter-eligible Latin American expats, especially those who fled lawlessness in their home countries for the law and order of this one. And yet, Latin American expats are precisely the South Floridian voices that should be out in front of these angry marches – warning the rest of us.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Last week President Trump announced he would pull the U.S. out of the World Health Organization (WHO). On Tuesday the head of the WHO's Americas division urged the U.S. to consider the effect that could have on Latin America’ coronavirus crisis.

AP

Until this month, it looked like Latin America and the Caribbean might be spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then the world saw the tragic images from Ecuador of a sudden and overwhelming number of deaths from the new coronavirus – of corpses lining the sidewalks in the port city of Guayaquil. Meanwhile, the number of cases in Brazil is doubling or tripling every week – and so are the number of deaths.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

When São Paulo, Brazil, reported Latin America’s first case of the new coronavirus last month, South Florida had reason to worry.

ERIKA SANTELICES / AFP/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Last month, the Dominican Republic suspended municipal elections when officials realized the electronic voting machines were malfunctioning. Protests followed in front of the Central Elections Board building and throughout the country. In Miami, protests held in solidarity with the Dominicans were held Downtown.

This weekend a festival in Downtown Doral celebrated the country’s independence day, but not everyone wanted to talk politics.

AP

COMMENTARY

Reparations are a big – and valid – debate today. Should the U.S. compensate African Americans for centuries of slavery? Should France pony up for the billions of dollars it extorted from Haiti in the 19th century?

Yes and yes, by the way. But recent events remind me we should add another historical world power to the reparations roster: Spain.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

It's hard to wrap your arms around everything that happened 2019 in Latin America and the Caribbean. It's even harder to find any good news — from the violent political unrest that rocked capitals from La Paz to Port-au-Prince, to a record number of fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest.

Marco Ugarte / AP

COMMENTARY

When I read this week that President Trump and House Democrats had agreed on a new and improved North American Free Trade Agreement – now called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA – I recalled an afternoon 28 years ago when a ticked-off corporate honcho jabbed his finger in my ribs.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

COMMENTARY

I recently spent a day with 20 Venezuelan immigrant women who’ve got heads for business.

They’re in a Miami-Dade College program that teaches them entrepreneurial skills. We take access to those small business tools for granted in the U.S. But many of the venezolanas reminded me it’s still difficult to put them to use in Latin America – where coddled and connected economic elites often regard small- and medium-size startups as a threat to their cozy status quo.

Courtesy Bibenetakole

We first met Christherson Jeanty last week in our report on Haiti's grave political and economic crises. Jeanty was born in Haiti, grew up in Pompano Beach — and now lives in Haiti, where he owns a job placement and outsourcing firm. He also hosts an internet talk show, “Haiti Biz News,” on his YouTube channel SeeJeanty.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Over the weekend Haitians again took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand the ouster of President Jovenel Moïse. They've been protesting for a year now – and they say they’re tired of an endless economic crisis that’s made it hard to find food and fuel. Or to pay for it if they do find it.

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