LAC Review

Ananta Centre

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | September 2022

Posted on September 1, 2022

H I G H L I G H T S

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Political Developments

The 15th biennial Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas (CDMA) was held in Brazil 26-28 July. The CDMA brings together defence ministers from 34 member states across the Americas since 1995. Attended by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, the meeting issued a declaration with a sentence (not in the original Brazilian draft) that conflicts “such as the invasion of Ukraine… are

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | July 2022

Posted on July 1, 2022

H I G H L I G H T S

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Political Developments

US-LAC Relations: The Los Angeles Summit of the Americas in June was the ninth in the series that commenced in 1994. The hosts did not invite Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, the “trio of tyranny”. Reaction from the region was negative. The Mexican President sent his Foreign Minister. The Bolivian, Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran Presidents did not attend, citing discrimination again

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | May 2022

Posted on May 4, 2022

H I G H L I G H T S

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Political Developments

Ukraine-Russia: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) continue to be divided in their response to the war in Ukraine. Cuba and Nicaragua – along with Bolivia – voted on April 7 in the UN General Assembly against expelling Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council over atrocities committed by its forces during the war in Ukraine, shifting from their previous, more cautious abste

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | March 2022

Posted on March 2, 2022

H I G H L I G H T S

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Political Developments

Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine elicited a range of reactions in LAC, from outright support to outright condemnation, more or less along expected lines. With high level visits from Russia’s Deputy PM and Head of the Duma, days before the action began, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro strongly supported Russia, and condemned NATO expansion. Nicaragua not only supported the action

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | January 2022

Posted on January 4, 2022

H I G H L I G H T S

● Overview 2021
● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Overview 2021

The most notable event across Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) was undoubtedly the continuing devastation caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. A study by the UN in October estimated the region lost 1.5 million lives and had more than 44 million confirmed cases since February 2020. This accounts for nearly 20 percent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and about 30 percent of deaths wor

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | November 2021

Posted on November 2, 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

Political Developments

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro suffered another setback in mid-October with the publication, and public broadcast of a 1179-page report by the Senate, accusing him of crimes against humanity (intentional ‘extermination’ of half the Brazilians dead) and other charges for allegedly bungling Brazil’s response to COVID- 19, leading to the World’s second-highest pandemic death toll – over 60

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | September 2021

Posted on September 4, 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

● COVID 19
● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

COVID 19

As infections continue to rise, Latin America & the Caribbean appears one of the more threatened regions on the planet. By August, vaccinated populations ranged from 65 percent in Chile and Uruguay to 2 percent in Guatemala and 4 percent in Paraguay and Venezuela. Governments were scrambling to procure vaccine stocks before the expected onslaught of the Delta variant, with the WHO’s COVAX

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | July 2021

Posted on July 14, 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

● COVID 19
● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

COVID 19

On 21 May Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) passed the grim milestone of 1 million deaths from the pandemic. Over a third of COVID-19 deaths in the world by June end were in this region, with around 8 percent of the world’s population. Brazil remains the third hardest-hit in the world (after India) in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases but at 500,000 it has the highest death toll

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | May 2021

Posted on May 6, 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

● COVID 19
● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

COVID 19

The region continued to reel from successive – second and third – waves of infection. Brazil had almost 15 million cases, with over 400,000 deaths by end April. Chile was the fastest to vaccinate almost half its population but continued to see case rates cross 1 million (of a population of 19.2 million), the death toll over 25,000 and 86% of its population under lockdown in March. Mexico ac

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | March 2021

Posted on March 9, 2021

H I G H L I G H T S

● COVID 19
● Political Developments
● Economic Developments
● Focus India-LAC

COVID 19

The World Health Organisation published the following statistics on the pandemic in Latin America & the Caribbean as on 15 February:

Cases : 20,268,965

Deaths : 641,740 (28 per cent of the world total with 8% of world population)

Recovered 17,866,730

The region – which has hardly any local manufacturing labs – scrambled to procure COVID vaccines from all over the world, including India

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | January 2021

Posted on January 4, 2021

2020 In Perspective

The year ended badly for most of the region. While the COVID pandemic had much to do with the political and economic slide, much of the blame could be laid on the inability of the region’s leaders to maintain political stability and coordinate economic policies. Violent demonstrations in Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Haiti and elsewhere were symptomatic of popular resentment against the establishment. Brazil was polarized between those who believe Jair

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | November 2020

Posted on November 3, 2020

COVID-19

By end October Latin America and the Caribbean had registered close to 11 million cases and 400,000 deaths from the virus. Brazil was the highest, with about 5.4 million and over 160,000 deaths. Other severely affected countries are Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia. States with smaller populations which saw disproportionate rates of infections and deaths include Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Panama. Some of the governments reintroduced lockdowns in the wake of a second

Latin America & Caribbean Review | September 2020

Posted on September 3, 2020

COVID-19

The virus continued to ravage the region through July and August. Infections by end August are estimated to have crossed 7 million. Brazil led the pack with around 3.8 million cases and around 120,000 deaths; Mexico followed with around 600,000 infections and over 62,000 deaths. Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador also continued to see infections rise. Apart from tiny Uruguay, almost all the countries continued with lockdowns in greater or lesser degree. Brazil’s President Bolsonaro, who

Latin America & Caribbean Review | July 2020

Posted on July 2, 2020

COVID-19

“Latin America is the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and Brazil is the most troubling country,” said Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization (WHO) executive director. By end June Latin America, with close to two and a half million cases, accounted for 25 percent of the total global infections, and 250,000 deaths. The World Food Program warned of a ‘hunger pandemic’ in the region and the UN indicated LAC could be staring at another ‘lost decade’- after a previous downtur

Latin America & Caribbean Review | May 2020

Posted on May 5, 2020

Coronavirus in LAC

Despite a slow start, infection spread in most of the region through the summer in most parts of South America. COVID-19 panic soon overcame government apathy and denial. Most countries saw sudden spikes in cases and almost all countries shut down their borders temporarily. Central governments scrambled to announce measures to prop up economies already hit by collapsing prices of crude oil and other commodities on which most depend.
 
Brazil’s Congress declared a national

Latin America & Caribbean Review | March 2020

Posted on March 2, 2020

Brazil President Visits India

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro visited India 24-27 January as Chief Guest on Republic Day. This was the third time a Brazilian President had been India’s Chief Guest, after F H Cardoso in 1996 and Lula da Silva in 2004. This was also PM Modi’s third meeting with Bolsonaro in four months, after the G20 summit in Osaka in October and the BRICS summit in Brazil in November last year. It said much for a relationship that seemed to be languishing. Apart from the symbo

Latin America & Caribbean Review | January 2020

Posted on January 3, 2020

Political Developments

On 10 November, following two tumultuous weeks of protests, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, Latin America’s longest serving leader, and the first indigenous president of Bolivia, resigned. The Attorney General alleged that irregularities found by the OAS audit – authorised by Morales – of the results of presidential elections held on 20 October, were crimes committed in the “tabulation of the official results”. The vote count was suspiciously delayed and when finalised,

Latin America & Caribbean Review | Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | November 2019

Posted on November 8, 2019

Political Developments

South America – Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia – was convulsed through October:
 

On 18 October Chile’s government was caught unawares by violent protests, looting of shops and vandalising of public property. The immediate spark was the government’s hiking of local metro fares by 3 percent, rolled back by Congress but too little too late. The death toll rose to 19, with hundreds injured in police firing and riots, with the army called out and emergency measures

Latin America & Caribbean Review- Special Bulletin by Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | September 2019

Posted on September 10, 2019

Political Developments

Venezuela’s government and opposition representatives met in early July on the Caribbean island of Barbados for a second round of meetings. This round was also mediated by the Norwegian government and was facilitated by Enrique Iglesias, the European Union’s mediator. Few details were revealed by either party, with the Maduro establishment maintaining its stand of willingness to talk, and the opposition continuing to demand Maduro step down and hold fresh elections.

On 5TH

Latin America & Caribbean Review- Special Bulletin by Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani | July 2019

Posted on July 8, 2019

Political Developments

Venezuela’s
 government and opposition met in informal talks in Oslo, Norway mid-May. Norwegian television network NRK, citing unnamed sources, reported that contacts between the Maduro and Guaidó camps began in Cuba before shifting to the Scandinavian country. The talks were held at a secret location in Oslo with the participation of Norway’s foreign ministry which said in a statement it had had “preliminary contacts with representatives of the main political actors of Ven

Latin America & Caribbean Review- | July 2019

Posted on May 6, 2019

Political Developments

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro made his first bilateral foreign trip, after assuming office in January, to the US 18-19 March accompanied by six Ministers. He met President Trump: the two have a lot in common. Both have emerged winners despite being marginal to their respective political establishments, appeal directly to their voting base and seem impervious to attacks on their personalities. Both have taken radical steps in pursuance of their campaign promises. Bolson

Latin America & Caribbean Review- | March 2019

Posted on March 13, 2019

Political Developments

2019
 commenced with troublesome signs in some parts of LAC :-

– Venezuela saw a dangerous standoff between the sitting President Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaidó, the President of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, who declared himself Interim President on 23 January, and was recognized as such by the US and about 50 other countries in Europe, LAC, etc. (see below)

– Central America saw much turmoil, not least on account of growing drug trafficking and gang violence

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