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Articles

Snowden Aftermath: Why is Obama Fixated on the “Switzerland of Latin America”?

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Caracas Nest of Spies: From WikiLeaks to the Snowden Affair

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Snowden Aftermath: Compromised Brazil Unlikely to Challenge Obama

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Whistle-Blower Snowden’s Explosive South of the Border Disclosures

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Snowden Saga: By Employing Big Stick, Obama Has Emboldened Latin Left

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Is South America the Answer to Edward Snowden’s Prayers?

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South America’s Future: Post-Chávez Shakeup and Montevideo Intrigue

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Speaking with BBC World about Caracas Brawl

My interview yesterday with Katty Kay of BBC News, following a brawl in the Venezuelan National Assembly.

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Interview about Venezuela on Charlie Rose

To see my interview yesterday on Charlie Rose show about Venezuela, click here. By and large, this was a lively discussion with different shades of opinion. Other panelists included Jorge Castaneda, a Mexican political figure who has undergone an intriguing evolution over the years from Communist to Foreign Minister under Vicente Fox, and Greg Grandin, an astute scholar from NYU.

As the conversation turned to Maduro's razor-sharp victory in Venezuela's presidential election, I voiced concerns that Chavez's successor might lack enough legitimacy to push through truly revolutionary programs. In a sense, Maduro's narrow victory demonstrates the "perils of populism," because only a charismatic leader can push through political change. Take the charismatic leader out the equation, however, and your movement can get in trouble or become derailed.

In putting together a new "Latin American left 3.0," Venezuela should carry out more communal councils, economic cooperatives, and barter exchanges. Unfortunately, Maduro seems to represent the old, ideological left and has failed to demonstrate much creativity in foreign policy. Perhaps, if the left can adopt some of the more innovative measures of Chavismo while integrating environmental concerns, which was always Venezuela's Achilles heel, the left can move ahead.

So, who's the next Hugo Chavez, Charlie asked? Perhaps, I said, it could be Rafael Correa of Ecuador who has some innovative environmental ideas. Just like Chavez, however, this populist is a decidedly mixed bag and his country is much smaller than Venezuela and doesn't have nearly as much oil.

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Kissinger Files and Election Day Venezuela

To read my latest about the war on Cuba, Venezuela, the Kissinger files and today's vote in Caracas, click here.

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