Author Archives: Carlos Aramayo

Venezuela’s politics of fear

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez taken more than a few a steps toward the establishment of a totalitarian state in Venezuela. We have all heard of the systematic repression of the freedom of the press, the confiscation of broadcasting companies that oppose the government plan and of the mandatory broadcasts of all his speeches. Now President Chavez’s grip on freedom of expression has taken the form of a decree, that establishes the “Centro de Estudio Situacional de la Nacion” (CESNA) or the “Center for Situational Study of the Nation”. This new institution has the power to declare “confidential, classified or restricted the disclosure of any information, fact or circumstance considered to be of national interest.”

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Cautious optimism on Brazilian energy policy

Brazil is the only country in the hemisphere that has significantly reduced not only its dependence on foreign sources of fossil fuels, but also its dependence on fossil fuels themselves. At this point in time the biggest energy policy challenge that Brazil will face is the temptation to follow other mass producers of oil and gas on the road to energy nationalism. It would be very risky for the development for the industry if the government tries to increase its stake or have a heavier hand in Petrobras affairs.

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A multi-speed recovery

As the world continues to slowly and painfully recover from the economic recession the dominant question is, without fiscal stimulus, what policies can stave off a double-dip recession? The G-20 is trying to address such predicament as well as global governance in a world that is in need of better coordination on international politics. While the G-20 is not what it could be, their meetings provide clues to their concept of global politics and its implications. The group’s recent conference in Busan, South Korea was followed by a communiqué containing two key points.

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