Author: Sebastian Chaskel Page 1 of 2

Colombia on the International Stage

Today, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos travels to Havana to meet with Cuban officials and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, currently convalescing in a Havana hospital. This hastily planned…

The FARC’s announcement to halt kidnapping: why?

The FARC’s announcement last Sunday that the organization will no longer kidnap civilians was a surprise to most observes and experts of the region. The mainstream media has…

How Will Colombians Vote This Sunday?

In the Americas Quarterly blog I explain that most Colombians won’t vote this Sunday. Of those who will vote, about a tenth of them will mistakenly submit invalid…

How To Vote in Colombia

Voting in Colombia can be confusing, so I have created a 5-minute video that explains in Spanish in simple terms how to vote this March. Please share with…

Why Not Being Disliked is as Powerful as Being Liked

I recently wrote an article for the Americas Quarterly blog in which I argued that in Colombia’s second round of elections for the presidency not being disliked may…

Disheartening Aspects of Colombia’s Congressional Elections

Some things may be comical when you see them in movies, yet somewhat worrying when they are part of the democracy you count on. Such is the case…

Election Season in Colombia

The Constitutional Court’s ruling last night blocking the possibility of President Uribe’s reelection lifted a weight off the country’s shoulders. Even Uribe, who found out about the Court’s decision through…

Investigative Journalism in Colombia

Many of our readers are likely already aware of last week’s announcement of the end of Cambio, perhaps Colombia’s most important source for investigative journalism. While the Casa…

Honduras should open our eyes to discontent with democracy in the region

Within 48 hours of the coup in Honduras, much has been written about what this means for Latin America, with the best analysis acknowledging that the coup breaks…

LASA: Reflections on Blogging on Latin America

I very much enjoyed Eliot’s last blog entry on news sources and how they’re suffering from, or at least needing to adapt to, the massive flow of news…

LASA: Some thoughts on security in Brazil and Central America

The Latin America Studies Association (LASA) bi-annual conference is taking place in Rio de Janeiro this year. With over 5,000 participants, it is supposed to be one of…

Do Colombians Care About Democratic Values and Human Rights?

Recently released Gallup opinion data on Colombia received media attention because it is the first to show that if President Uribe were not to run again for the…

The End of the Drug War?

U.S. policy on drugs is as close to center stage as it has been probably since ten years ago, when Plan Colombia was first debated in Congress. This…

El Salvador and U.S. dependence

It has become a cliché to say that Latin America is no longer the United States’ backyard. An Inter-American Dialogue report that came out yesterday mentions “[t]he growing…

Creative thinking on the drug war?

The taboo that kept some from outright admitting that current antinarcotics policies have failed has all but disappeared.  A recent report by former Brazilian President Crdoso, former Colombian…

Venezuela Referendum 2009: Why it matters

Some have argued that the upcoming referendum this Sunday in Venezuela is not all that significant, pointing out that if Chavez loses he will simply try again until…

Latin America as a Role Model for Drug Policy

“Cardoso, Gaviria, Zedillo Urge Obama to Decriminalize Marijuana”  read the Bloomberg News headline today on a new report released by The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy,…

Chavez and Anti-Semitism in Venezuela

In the past few days Venezuelan President Chavez has been accused by many of instigating the attacks on the oldest synagogue in Caracas last Friday, which left damaged…

The Role of the State and the Black Markets of La Guajira

Riding in an old Renault at night in La Guajira, Colombia’s northernmost state, our driver, Edison, recognizes an opportunity to fill up his tank not by Chevron, Shell,…

Pass FTA and amend Plan Colombia, from the Washington Times

The Washington Times published an op-ed yesterday that I co-authored with Shannon O’Neil. It originally appeared here and I am including the entire text below. The Washington Times…