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The Americas- Topics

Argentina

Faced with rampant inflation and a huge debt in 2001, the Argentinian government had to default on their debt, the largest sovereign debt default in modern history. However, in 2003 Nestor Kirchner took office and led Argentina towards prosperity. Becoming a beloved figure, when his health was poor in 2007, his wife seemed his logical successor. Christina Fernandez De Kirchner has continued the path of Argentinian prosperity as president to this day. However Argentina still deals with high inflation and has shut itself off to globalization of many sectors.

Brazil

Led by Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has become the largest economy in South America as well as one of the leading growing international economies. Brazil has been primarily invested in by China, leading the United States to be fairly alienated in Brazil. However, Brazil deals with rampant poverty that will come back to haunt it. Known as favelas, Brazil’s poor districts are not only wrought with extreme poverty, crime also runs rampant throughout them. In the next two years, Brazil will try its hardest to clean up these favelas, especially in Rio De Janeiro, in an effort to lower crime and make Brazil look better for the 2014 World’s Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Additionally, Rousseff has been struggling to get things done while combatting corruption tainting her administration.

Columbia

In Columbia, almost everything is run by FARC, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Columbia. FARC is the drug cartel that runs all of the cocaine trade and production within Columbia. The US has long been sending military aid to Columbia, as well as private contractors, to fight FARC. FARC violence has been driven down but still spikes up from time to time. FARC leaders are now seeking refuge in Venezuela, which has effectively opened its arms to them.

Mexico

The biggest issue with Mexico is simple: drug cartels. With high violence rates, Mexico has been a hotbed of illegal activity. What it comes down to is that many politicians and officials vow to fight the drug cartels before they enter office. Then, when they enter office, they are faced with the option of bribery and keeping their life, and stick with that, in turn not fighting the drug cartels at all.  However, President Enrique Pena Nieto has attempted to bring calm to the nation’s drug woes and also maintain economic security.

Venezuela

Starting from his election in 1999, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez led what he called the “Bolivarian Revolution”, essentially a sweeping set of socialist reforms. Venezuela relies primarily of its nationalized oil industry for economic revenue.  Under Chavez, Venezuela became closer allies with Iran, a troubling occurrence for the United States, which found fault with many of Chavez’s policies.  Chavez’s death in 2013 marked the end of his rule, but his handpicked successor Nicolas Maduro won the most recent presidential election, ensuring a continuation of many of his most important policies.

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