FROM Tim Padgett
Mexico's New President, a Shaky Economy and the Ongoing Drug War Tomorrow, Mexico will inaugurate its newly elected president without either much fanfare or political protest. Enrique Peña Nieto , who won with a plurality of just 38 percent, will preside over an economy full of potential but held back by corruption, poverty and a drug war that's killed 60,000 people. The US has poured $2 billion into that conflict, but it rages on. Will Peña Nieto look for changes after marijuana legalization in two American states? What about illegal immigration? Are tough new border restrictions making it harder to implement NAFTA and the promise of prosperity for this country's nearest neighbor? President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico in the Oval Office, November 27, 2012. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Hurricane Protection Diminished by Eroding Wetlands in the Gulf Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, President Obama was in New Orleans to address a crowd at Xavier University. He assured the crowd that his administration is “working to restore protective wetlands and natural barriers” that have been disappearing for decades. But while we focus attention on restoring the wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi, significant erosion by ship channels and oil pipelines pose an equal, if not greater threat. Is full restoration possible? What would it mean for oil companies, shipping and the fishing industry?
Hurricane Protection Diminished by Eroding Wetlands in the Gulf Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, President Obama was in New Orleans to address a crowd at Xavier University. He assured the crowd that his administration is "working to restore protective wetlands and natural barriers that were not only damaged by Katrina… but had been rapidly disappearing for decades." Katrina and the Gulf oil spill have re-focused attention on the decades-old goal of restoring the wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi. But so much has been eroded away by ship channels and oil pipelines that current efforts may not be enough even to maintain the status quo. Is full restoration possible? What would it cost? What would it mean for oil companies, shipping and the fishing industry?
Hip-hop Star Wyclef Jean to Run for Haitian Presidency Wyclef Jean is a Haitian-American hip-hop superstar who now says the earthquake in his native country on January 12 has turned him into a modern-day Moses, destined to return and lead his people out of bondage. We hear what he told Tim Padgett of Time magazine about running for president of Haiti.
How Should the US Respond to the Honduran Coup? On Sunday, Manuel Zelaya was snatched from his home by soldiers and taken to Costa Rica. A political rival has been sworn in, but the Honduran President insists he's still in charge. The courts, Congress and even leaders of his own party support the coup, but a coalition of Latin American countries has called for an "insurrection" to return him to office. President Obama is in rare agreement with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insists he be reinstated , and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States says he'll accompany Zelaya to Honduras on Thursday. Tim Padgett is Latin America Bureau Chief for Time magazine.
Obama Opens US Travel to Cuba Cuba will be a major topic at this week's Summit of the Americas , when President Obama meets Latin American leaders in Trinidad. Yesterday, Obama reversed past policy and removed all restrictions on Cuban-Americans to travel home or send money to relatives. But yesterday's move is a long way from lifting the 47-year old embargo on trade. Tim Padgett, Miami and Latin American Bureau Chief for Time magazine, considers the likely impact in Cuba and the political implications in Florida.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.