19th Jun2010

Venezuelan Currency Reform: Pragmatic Policy or Misguided Gamble?

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Venezuelan Currency Reform: Pragmatic Policy or Misguided Gamble?
Predictions about Venezuela’s economy spawn prolifically. In light of Venezuela’s major oil reserves and president who is increasingly outspoken against the U.S., many wait impatiently to see how the country will far in the wake of its ongoing recession. Will Chávez lead the economy downward to disaster, or will he surprise all with economic resilience?

On Wednesday, June 9, Venezuela’s bond market reopened after President Hugo Chávez had shut it down on May 19. Chávez blamed the bolívar’s fall to almost half its previous value on currency speculation in the parallel market for dollar bonds, which he proceded to suspend until a new market system could be put into place. Newly reopening with a devalued bolívar, the new bond trading market will give the government full control of the exchange rate by requiring that companies buy dollar-denominated bonds rather than conduct direct sales of bolívars for foreign currency. This system follows the trend of Chávez’ leftist recession-fighting policies such as nationalization of industries, controls on prices, and high rates of government spending on social programs. Lauded by some and assailed by others, Chávez’ policies are often seen as indicative of a worldwide trend against the 1990s’ globalization, market economics, and neo-liberalism. The question that now remains to be answered is: what does this new policy portend for Venezuela’s economy?

For full article click here <http://www.coha.org/venezuelan-currency-reform-pragmatic-policy-or-misguided-gamble/>

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associates Stephanie Lloyd & Sara Nawaz
Peru’s Alan García: Low-Balling Human Rights
Peru made international headlines several weeks ago when indigenous leader Segundo Alberto Pizango Chota returned to the country after almost a year in exile. Upon his arrival at the Lima airport on May 26th, he was immediately detained. A day later, he was freed on bail, although he still faces charges of sedition and conspiracy in a scheduled upcoming trial.

On June 1st, Barack Obama met with Peruvian president Alan García in Washington to discuss the growing partnership between the two countries in addition to a variety of other hemispheric and international issues. Summarizing the meeting to the press, Obama praised Peru for its “excellent track record” with regards to human rights. He further stated that Peru and the United States would “continue to pursue the details” of an already enacted free trade agreement, which he claims creates “jobs and prosperity in both countries.” Pizango’s case was not mentioned in the meeting, nor was the true nature of García’s scorn for the observance of human rights. To paraphrase Milton Eisenhower, rather than a state dinner, García, at best, warranted no better than a cold handshake.

For full article click here <http://www.coha.org/peru%e2%80%99s-alan-garcia-low-balling-human-rights/>

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Carly Steinberger
Not Getting Enough COHA?
COHA Wants to Know What You Think

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Given the amount of devastation to Haiti’s electoral infrastructure, elections are implausible in the near future. However, it is important to maintain the government’s legitimacy in the eyes of already disillusioned Haitians. While holding elections is imperative to Haiti’s stability in the long run, what immediate measures must the government take in order to restore some semblance of faith in Haiti’s political institutions and begin the reconstruction process in the meantime?

Click here <http://cohaforum.wordpress.com/>  to respond.

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For full article click here <http://www.coha.org/coming-attractions-2/>

This analysis was prepared by COHA Staff

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Research Memorandum 10.1

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