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    Adam Ratzlaff

    Staff Writer

    Adam is a staff writer at Charged Affairsis and a PhD student in International Relations at Florida International University. He holds an MA from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and a BA from Tulane University. Ratzlaff predominantly writes about inter-American politics, development, and democratization. Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_ratzlaff.

Extending the Fig Branch

If the next U.S, president is going to successfully repair relations with Latin America, they are going to need to look for innovative approaches to doing so. This will require an all of government approach and inspiration may come from unlikely sources.

Tariffs Won’t Stop Chinese Influence in Latin America

Sen. Rick Scott claims that tariffs on China can combat rising Chinese influence in Latin America but this would only serve to increase Chinese influence in the Americas.
Sede de Unasur Quito Ecuador building

El Mercado Institucional: Multilateral Forum Shopping in Latin America

In the Americas, the multitude of regional organizations allow states to bypass the limitations of each organization and weakens the effectiveness of regional institutions. Rather than creating new organizations, the region should fix existing institutions.

The Hemispheric Community and Slow-Motion Coups

Bolivian President Evo Morales has steadily undermined his nation’s democratic institutions, leading Andres Oppenheimer and others to claim that a “slow motion coup” is occurring in the country. The Andean nation has seen a number of challenges to liberal democratic practice since Morales first came to power in 2006. Perhaps the most pervasive challenge has…

A Step in the Right Direction? Trump’s “Aid” to Central America

Although the Trump administration pays little attention to the Americas outside of U.S. concerns with the “Troika of Tyranny,” the administration is taking a stance against immigration from the region into the United States and at combatting Chinese influence in the region. On December 18, 2018, President Trump announced a $5.8 billion aid package to…

Taiwan’s Bad News from the Western Hemisphere

Since the end of the Chinese Civil War, the official “state” of China has been in flux as a result of the One China policy. While Mao Zedong won the Chinese Revolution in 1950, the Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island of Formosa. Since this time, the country has lived under the One China…

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Mixed Messages in the Western Hemisphere

U.S.-Latin American relations have a long and contentious relationship. Although the United States and Latin America have worked together to address a number of challenges, the region hasn’t forgotten that the United States has been involved in numerous coups in Latin America. While President Trump has the opportunity to improve relations with the United States’…

Trump’s Rhetoric and the Sino-Latin American Relationship

Before the turn of the 21st century, Chinese relations with Latin America were limited. However, since the 2008 financial crisis, China has pumped large amounts of aid and inter-governmental loans into Latin America. China has also become active in several regional organizations, including the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America (ECLAC) and the Community…

A Cautionary Tale of Constitutional Rewrites

Rewriting national constitutions became a trademark of Latin America’s famous “Pink Tide,” or turn towards leftist governments. While this process was frequently seen by supporters as an attempt to give power back to the people, it often resulted in consolidating power within the executive – a problem further exacerbated by many presidents’ attempts to extend…

Depoliticizing Democratic Crises at the OAS

At the Organization of American States’ (OAS) 47th General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico, representatives from the across the Americas voted on whether or not to censure Venezuela in an effort to address the democratic and humanitarian on-going crisis. Unfortunately, this effort failed, with 14 nations voting against censure. There can be little argument that a crisis…

Trump’s Bad Bet on Cuba

On June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his plan to reverse the Obama administration’s efforts to thaw relations with Cuba. The president claimed that he would seek a “better deal” and refuse to lift the embargo on Cuba until: (1) the Castro regime was no longer in power, (2) free and fair elections had…

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