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  • Author: Soraya M. Castro-Mariño, Margaret Crahan, Martin Carnoy, William M. LeoGrande, Margaret Crahan, Carlos Ciaño Zanetti, James A. Nathan, Dalia González Delgado, Jorge I. Domínguez, Manuel R. Gómez, Sunamis Fabelo Concepción, Max Paul Friedman, Raul Rodríguez Rodríguez, Víctor López Villafañe, Ruvislei González Saez, Carlos M. Gutiérrez, Robert Muse, José Gabilondo, Michael P. Hatley, William A. Messina Jr., Rafael Betancourt, Ramón Pichs Madruga, Robert L. Bach, Marta Núñez Sarmiento, Geoff Thale
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: El propósito central de esta obra radica en evaluar el deterioro que ha tenido lugar en las relaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos durante el primer periodo de mandato del presidente Donald J. Trump. El texto es resultado de la XVI Serie de Conversaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos de América, celebrada en diciembre de 2017 y patrocinada por el Centro de Investigaciones de Política Internacional adscrito al Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales “Raúl Roa García” de La Habana (CIPI-ISRI). Desde diferentes ángulos se analizan el entorno internacional y el regional, así como los acontecimientos que están teniendo lugar en Cuba y en Estados Unidos, lo cual brinda múltiples explicaciones a procesos en pleno desarrollo. Sin embargo, estos contextos reflejan signos contradictorios que expresan una circunstancia histórica concreta, donde nacionalismos y populismos de extrema derecha han capitalizado el momento político internacional. En esa dirección es lógico prestarle atención a Estados Unidos y a la presidencia de Donald J. Trump, la cual más que causa es síntoma de la crisis que vive el país y refleja inmensas transformaciones y grandes desalientos basados, entre disímiles causas, en una insondable inequidad socio-económica y política. La respuesta es la agenda conocida como “America First”, que adolece de una mirada estratégica a mediano y a largo plazo, y pone en duda el papel de ese país en el Orden Mundial en el siglo XXI. El libro está destinado a audiencias interesadas en entender estas profundas problemáticas, sus causas y, particularmente, las negativas consecuencias que han tenido en el incipiente proceso hacia la normalización de relaciones con la República de Cuba, iniciado en diciembre de 2014. Al mismo tiempo, intenta explicar esta coyuntura como un paréntesis pues, más tarde que temprano, se deberá regresar a la lógica de la cooperación y la colaboración entredos países que, más allá de sus diferencias, comparten historia y un mismo entorno geográfico.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Migration, Bilateral Relations, Elections, Investment, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
  • Abstract: More than half of the global population lives in cities, an increase of 15 percent over the last 35 years. Driven largely by population growth and a search for better living conditions and work opportunities, this trend is expected to continue. With 80% of its population living in cities, Latin America is the second most urbanized region on the planet and is estimated that by 2050 approximately 90% of its population will be urban (UN-Habitat, 2012).
  • Topic: Economics, Urbanization, Digital Economy, Urban, Transportation, Cities
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Rafael-Andrés Velázquez-Pérez, Miguel-Ángel Michinel-Álvarez, Margaret Crahan, Gabriel Vignoli
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This manuscript originates from research initiated in 2010 at the University of Vigo in International Private Law with a specific focus on International Investment Law. The objective was to analyze the impact of the new paradigm of sustainability on this sphere of the law, with an emphasis on developing countries, and more specifically Cuba. This line of research has resulted in several publications intended for a Spanish-speaking scientific-juridical audience. Yet there is no scholarly work directly aimed at US investors as a prioritized target group. Being the first single Foreign Direct Investor in the world, and given its geopolitical and economic proximity, the US is bound to play a prime role in the field of investments in Cuba—despite political complications. As a consequence, we opted for a bilingual monograph on this topic with a dual purpose. The first part of the book, which is aimed at reaching a wide audience, examines the role played by foreign investment in Cuba and the country’s interest in attracting it by providing investors with a modern, stable, and coherent legal framework that is in line with current international standards. The second part of the book delves into specific technicalities of international investment law— with an emphasis on the conflict resolution system, which finds in arbitrage its main mechanism. This part, technical in nature, is not directly aimed at potential investors as much as their legal advisers, legal firms, arbitrators, and specialized scholarly communities—without whose input the success of foreign direct investment would be impossible. The text also engages critically with the specificities of US-Cuba relations in the context of Foreign Direct Investment. As shown in the first part of this monograph, it seems clear that the strategies pursued by different US administrations have thus far failed. It would be to the US’ benefit to forego the current policy of confrontation in favor of one of cooperation, as exemplified by the approaches taken by Latin America, xiv Europe, and Canada. The US should not lag, if it wants to attain a strategic position in the global repositioning toward the developing Cuban market. There is a need for targeted diplomatic and legislative efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in terms of investment. Among the challenges is the absence of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Havana and Washington. The obstacles faced by the Trump administration in the political, diplomatic, and financial sphere indicate that excessive isolationism and protectionism are not only counterproductive from a financial viewpoint, but they also imply for the US a loss of sovereignty and a diminished capacity to influence the international context. Should the US not change its current policy, it will be outperformed by other international actors such as the European Union and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) as investors in Latin America and in Cuba.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Law, Economy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, United States of America
  • Author: Martin Hrabálek
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Latin America is a distant region. Its political affairs do not play a really important role in the Czech foreign policy in general. The Czech interest in the region is primarily economic, as a number of countries in the region are already quite developed or on the way to becoming developed. The economic ties with Latin America are growing steadily, as is the volume of trade between the Czech Republic and countries in the region. Generally the Czech Republic pursues a rather neutral foreign policy towards Latin American countries, and the events there are unlikely to become subjects of politicization in the Czech Republic or to polarize the Czech political scene. Otherwise, on the part of the Czech Republic, an economically more proactive policy toward Latin America could be identified in 2017, with a growing perception of Latin America as an attractive region for both trade and investments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Czech Republic
  • Author: Margaret Crahan, Soraya M. Castro-Mariño, William M. LeoGrande, Soraya M. Castro-Mariño, Jorge I. Domínguez, Claudia Marín Suárez, Susan Eckstein, Jesús Arboleya Cervera, Margaret Crahan, Alberto R. Coll, Geoff Thale, Bárbara Garea Moreda, Ramón Pichs Madruga, Julia Sagebien, Eric Leenson, Robert L. Bach, Ashley Miller, Ted Piccone, Carlos Ciaño Zanetti, Mike Kopetski, John H. Coatsworth, Philip Brenner, Colleen Scribner
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This volume is a result of the dialogue between experts on Cuba-U.S. relations initiated by the Centro de Investigaciones de Política Internacional of the Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales (CIPI/ISRI). Aimed at bringing together scholars and policymakers, among others, with expertise on the topic, the annual meetings in Havana have for years stimulated in-depth discussions by participants primarily from Cuba, the United States, and Latin America. The exchanges represent a wide range of perspectives and even of vocabularies. For example, the Cubans use the word blockade when referring to the U.S. embargo of the island and tend to hear “regime change” when U.S. officials refer to “democracy promotion”. In one respect there has been considerable consensus—that U.S. policy toward Cuba since the 1960s was a failed policy as the Obama administration eventually concluded and many experts have argued. The 2014 annual CIPI/ISRI meeting was in full swing on December 17, 2014 when rumors began to circulate that President Raúl Castro and President Barack Obama were going to make statements at mid-day concerning Cuba-U.S. relations. Tension mounted and at noon there was standing room only in the conference auditorium as the two Presidents announced on TV their commitment to the normalization of relations that had been ruptured in 1961. The room erupted in cheers, sobs, and the singing of the Cuban and U.S. national anthems. The experts were shocked. In panel after panel during the previous two days, they had speculated that there might be some relaxation of tensions, but no one predicted the initiation of a move toward normalization and the resumption of formal diplomatic relations. In the midst of the celebration Wayne Smith, who as a young Foreign Service officer had been tasked with closing the U.S. embassy in Havana in 1961, entered the auditorium and soon chants of “WAYNE—WAYNE” echoed throughout and he was pushed forward and asked to speak. Wayne had been honored the night before for his work to resolve U.S.-Cuban conflicts beginning when he resigned as the Chief of the US Interest Section in 1982 over differences with the Reagan administration’s policies toward Cuba. From that time forward he fought for a reconceptualization of U.S. policy toward Cuba as a scholar-advocate. Wayne simply said that the night before December 17, 2014 he had prayed that normalization would occur before he died and that his prayers had been answered. The moment catalyzed what many conference participants were feeling—a sense that after more than fifty years of hostilities the long road toward normalization could begin. It is the objective of this book to analyze the first two years of the process toward normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations from December 17, 2014 to January 2017. The majority of the chapters are revised and updated versions of papers presented at the 2015 CIPI/ISRI conference. A few of the chapters were commissioned afterwards to cover such topics as sanctions and claims. This volume does not attempt to modify the opinions or conclusions of the authors. Rather it lets the differences stand in an effort to better comprehend what has kept the two neighboring countries apart for so long and the nature of the challenges facing the process toward normalization. The authors analyze the causes of over fifty years of hostile relations interspersed with fitful negotiations that were marked by lack of trust, misperceptions, and miscues, as well as the challenges the process toward normalization currently faces. Since D17 (December 17, 2014) a bilateral Cuba-U.S. commission has been established, as well as technical working groups, in order to devise new agreements and stimulate the unravelling of the substantial accumulation of laws, regulations, and directives in both countries that have slowed the process toward normalization. Progress in introducing new regulations and directives has been slow and arduous. While some advances have been made particularly in terms of easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, as well as encouraging commerce and communications, much remains to be done. In addition, major impediments exist—the principal one being the U.S. embargo/blockade of Cuba which requires action by the U.S. Congress to remove. There are also major issues relating to U.S. preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants, continuing U.S. sanctions, as well as legal claims by both parties for expropriated properties and damages. The identification of mutual interests and agreements to cooperate has been apparent in Cuba-U.S. exchanges on security and environmental issues, among others. Both the Cuban and U.S. negotiators have admitted over the last two years that the process is difficult. Among the challenges are developing a common vocabulary regarding issues of sovereignty. Other questions are related to the direction of each country’s foreign policy particularly given domestic developments in both countries, for example, the level of political and ideological polarization in the United States and the actions that President Donald Trump and a Republican Congress might take beginning in January 2017. Add to this the stated intention President Raúl Castro to end his term as head of state in early 2018 and unknowns abound.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diaspora, Bilateral Relations, Immigration, Sanctions, Regional Integration, Normalization
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Thea Gelbspan
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: There are times where most organizations dedicated to advancing human rights and sustainable development must face the question: What does positive change look like? How does it happen? And, what do we need to understand in order to support these processes effectively? The case of the indigenous movements of the Andean region provides a compelling response to these questions. This book presents a retrospective overview of the social and political movements of indigenous peoples in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia between 1980 and 2010. It describes key developments that set the context for the strategies employed by indigenous organizations in the Andean highlands and the western Amazon in order to have a say in decisions that affect their lands and their lives. It also details the ways in which Oxfam America accompanied these movements in the struggle to claim their rights and identifies some key achievements and lessons learned in the course of their long partnership.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, Political Economy, History
  • Political Geography: Latin America