As this will be our last newsletter of 2007, we wanted to review briefly some of the year’s highlights and then take a peek into 2008.
Highlighted themes in 2007 include Chavez’s reach for more power and the resulting international friction between himself and Lula in
Political violence in
In 2008, many of these ongoing themes will evolve and likely come to a head. We’re most interested in observing how the Merida Initiative is actually implemented. Will private contractors such as Blackwater
The last thing
We’re also interested to see how the humanitarian exchange process plays out in
What will happen when the Venezuelan Bolivar drops two zeros (or three for that matter) in January? This slight change in the Venezuelan currency is certainly more cosmetic than economically sensible, as is the recently adjusted Venezuelan hour. It doesn’t make much sense to move the clock by half an hour, does it? Inside
Can Morales hold his country together? The recent declaration of autonomy from the low-lands provinces seems serious enough, but Morales has – as of this printing – not sent in any troops to force order or obedience. He took the time to travel to the MercoSur meeting, so he cannot be too worried about the apparent mess at home.
Lula recently visited with promise of more Petrobras investment. He also told Morales to have “patience, patience, and more patience” with the opposition. Sometimes all it takes are a few words. Lula will likely work to bring
Internationally this loss could hurt
Overall, 2008 promises to be another interesting year in