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Good times down Latin America’s way

By Jorge G. Castañeda MEXICO CITY: For Latin America, 2011 was, in Frank Sinatra’s terms, a very good year — and 2012 doesn’t look like being so bad either. For a region not always accustomed to things going well, this is a somewhat strange state of affairs. Three elections were held in Latin America in 2011. …


The Andean engagé

By Jorge Castañeda MEXICO CITY: The role of the politically committed intellectual has a long and ubiquitous history. The Spanish-French novelist and screenwriter Jorge Semprún, who died recently, was for many years a member of the Spanish Communist Party’s Central Committee, and subsequently served as Minister of Culture in Spain’s first post-Franco Socialist government. Dissidents like …


Obama goes South

By Jorge Castañeda MEXICO CITY: US President Barack Obama’s current swing through Latin America will probably be short on substance, long on rhetorical flourishes and symbolism, and may include a few announcements affecting American business in the region. More importantly, he will see real success stories, and how Latin America as a whole has changed. The …


The non-smoking gun

By Jorge Castañeda MEXICO CITY: Everyone these days, it seems, has their own favorite American diplomatic cable — or will soon — given that the 250,000 documents obtained by WikiLeaks include references to almost every country in the world. For Latin America, Wikileaks has so far provided enticing tidbits of both gossip and substance about Brazil …


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