Pulse: Latin America
Chicago and Mexico are inextricably intertwined on multiple levels. The Midwest has structural similarities to the Mexican economy, especially in terms of the dominance of its manufacturing sector. Chicago has the largest Mexican-American population in the country outside of Los Angeles, more than three quarters of a million people. We even share a connection in the natural world. This is the season when a kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies swarm through Chicago, on their way to spend the winter in Mexico.
I am sharing my newly published article that explicitly examines the contribution of the US military to strategic objectives in Latin America through security assistance and security sector assistance, as part of whole-of-government efforts to build relationships and strengthen governance in the region.
From February 19 through 27, I traveled to Georgetown, Guyana, to speak with individuals in the government and the private sector about the nation’s security challenges and internal dynamics. The country is in a potentially explosive political crisis with at least some similarities to the polarized situation in Washington, DC. In the midst of legal battles with consequences for who controls the country, intelligent, sincere people are convinced that the taking of or continuation in power by their political opponents will be destructive for the nation and their own interests.
The US government shutdown is over, but the question of how a wall between the US and Mexico will be funded is unresolved. The threat, or lack of a threat posed by immigrants at the southern border, is a litmus test for US politicians. AMLO, Mexico’s new leader, could achieve what no one has before in terms of eliminating violence and corruption, or he could make things much, much worse and turn his country into the next Venezuela.
As the crisis in Venezuela has deepened over the past week, a mysterious transformation has occurred. What started out as U.S. diplomatic support for the new, constitutionally legitimate government of Juan Guaidó has come to be treated in the international media as a possible U.S. military intervention.