Articles by: Pablo Vivanco
Canada's role in the hemisphere is often portrayed by its officials as that of an understanding, well-intentioned partner. But Ottawa's aggressive pursuit of a free trade deal with the government of Colombia shows its policies toward Latin America run parallel to those of Washington, showing the same disregard for human rights and democratic accountability. In Latin America, Canada plays "good cop" to Washington's bullying.
Venezuela's local elections on November 23 are the first major test for the government of Hugo Chávez since his socialist-oriented constitutional reforms were defeated last year. Although the elections are unlikely to dramatically shift the national balance of power, the results will help gauge the momentum of Chávez's project to create a “twenty-first century socialism."