Organization of American States

Heavily armed police and soldiers in El Salvador briefly occupied the country's parliament building on Sunday in a literal show of force supporting legislation to better equip them.

The Armed Forces and National Civil Police troops, carrying rifles and dressed in battle fatigues and tactical gear, entered the building after President Nayib Bukele failed to push through approval of a $109 million equipment loan.

Opinion: O, How Bolivia's Mighty Morales Has Fallen

Dec 4, 2019

Raúl Peñaranda is a Bolivian journalist, former Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University and author of a book on former President Evo Morales' efforts to control the media in Bolivia. Peñaranda is the editor of the news site Brújula Digital.

Updated at 8:46 p.m. ET

Evo Morales has announced that he is leaving for Mexico, which offered him asylum after he resigned as president of Bolivia.

A number of urgent questions face the nation and its neighbors: Who's in charge? How would a successor be chosen? And should the sudden upheaval be regarded as a military coup or a democratic uprising?

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

Nicaragua is back in the headlines. The news is once again dark –  and it seems to dash hopes of resolving the Central American country’s long political crisis.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Venezuela is in its fourth week of massive anti-government demonstrations – and so far 21 people have been killed in the unrest.

Susan Walsh / AP via Miami Herald

Luis Almagro is the Secretary General of the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS). As the head of the largest intergovernmental body in the Americas, Almagro has his eyes on a number of crises these days  not least of which is the possible impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff this week. But he does see one unusually bright spot in the Americas: The normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations.

And he hopes the two countries keep the ball moving forward.

Organization of American States

COMMENTARY  

Let’s say the U.S. representative to the Organization of American States – the Washington-based diplomatic body that embraces the western hemisphere – appears on a television talk show. And let’s say he makes this neanderthal remark about members of a rival political party:

“When a sniper shoots them in the head it makes a quieter sound, like a click, because their cranial cavities are hollow, so the bullet passes through faster.”

Flickr

Caracas suffered another big power outage on Tuesday. The blackout shut down a hospital and a metro line and left large swaths of the Venezuelan capital without juice for much of the day.

One official response could be an upgrade of oil-rich Venezuela’s antiquated power grid. Another might be more spurious arrests of opposition politicians.

I’m betting on the latter.

That’s because the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro seems much more skilled at finding scapegoats than at fixing problems.

It’s a shame that Venezuela just severed diplomatic and economic ties with Panama, because their respective presidents – Nicolás Maduro and Ricardo Martinelli – have a lot in common.

Yes, I know that Maduro is a radical socialist and former bus driver. And that Martinelli is a right-wing supermarket tycoon.