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Across the Caribbean, increasing pressure on governments to manage high levels of indebtedness and fiscal imbalances is placing severe limitations on their ability to effectively support broad-based social and economic development. Small states are especially vulnerable to the international economic environment, and the region continues to struggle after the 2008 financial crisis hit traditional growth sectors - tourism, commodities, and financial services –particularly hard. Furthermore, the re...

Photo: World Leaders at the 2016 APEC Summit, 20 November 2016.  APEC Peru 2016, license: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

If the Chinese get one thing right, it is timing. Shortly after the US elections, Beijing made public its strategy for engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, intended to send the world a reassuring signal in times of turmoil. This was in November 2008, amidst the fallout from the global financial crisis and just days prior to the APEC summit in Lima that year.

Beijing’s recent...

Photo:  Author, road crossing jungles through central Uganda, 2011.

The Zika virus has been grabbing headlines for nearly a year now with reports of its rapid spread in Latin America and its possible links to serious birth defects and illnesses in children and adults.  However, the Zika virus itself is not new.  Zika is named after a forest near the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe where the virus was first isolated from monkeys in 1947.  Then, as indeed today, infection generally prod...

This blog has been cross-posted from the Tulane University Center for Inter-American Policy & Research.

At a recent event in San José co-hosted by CIAPA,the newly elected president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, presented his vision of a foreign policy for his administration.  One may question the relevance of the subject for such a tiny player in the global sphere, with only 52,000 square kilometers, four million inhabitants, and no army.  But the fact of the matter is that the country has...

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