Christopher Sabatini

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de Marzo de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris addresses the media on November 10, 2020 at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

1. Resistance to Biden is likely

Hans Kundnani

The result of the election made it clear America has not rejected ‘Trumpism’ and remains deeply polarized. Donald Trump remains an important figure within the Republican Party, and perhaps even its leader.

Some senior figures in the party support his efforts to convey the impression the election was ‘stolen’ from them, and analysts such as Max Boot and Timothy Snyder are even comparing this to the Dolchstosslegende (myth of a stab in the back) in Germany after World War I.

Assuming Joe Biden does take over as president on 20 January, the question is what form any ‘resistance’ to his administration takes.…  Seguir leyendo »

The authors of this collection consider the most pressing foreign policy challenges for the next US president, and examine how the outcome of the 2020 election will affect these.

The president will determine how the US’s diplomatic, economic and military resources are invested, and what value the administration will attach to existing alliances and multilateral institutions.

Whoever sits in the White House will shape the trajectory of the US–China relationship and the global economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as international cooperation on climate action, international trade and technology policy, and health.


  • The last four years have confirmed that the choices the US makes are highly consequential for international politics.
…  Seguir leyendo »

Experts across Chatham House shared their views on Trump and Biden’s performance and their key takeaways from the last debate. More than 47 million Americans have already cast their vote and few voters are undecided, but the debates still provide a good lens into these two very different candidates.

Throughout the presidential race, there have been concerns regarding foreign interference in the election. How did candidates respond to this threat?

Leslie Vinjamuri: The candidates deflected the question, but it could not have been more timely. Only two days ago, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, and Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, announced that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration data and used this to send threatening emails to voters.…  Seguir leyendo »

People watch the first presidential debate between US President Donald Trump and Former US Vice President Joe Biden on 29 September 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Photo: Getty Images.

What role do the presidential debates serve in encouraging voter turnout?

Leslie Vinjamuri: Going into the debates, 74% of Americans were set to tune in and watch according to a new Monmouth Poll. This is striking since more than 90% have already decided who their candidate will be, and many have already cast their ballots.

During President Donald Trump’s time in office, Americans have been far more politically engaged than in previous periods. A record 49.3% of the voting eligible population turned out to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, according to the United States Election Project. This was the highest voter turnout since 1914, and it also reversed a downward trend.…  Seguir leyendo »

A taxi driver wears a face mask while driving tourists around Havana on 19 March 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

It’s easy to take a look at the array of economic and diplomatic punitive policies that the sanctions-happy Trump administration has slapped on individuals and countries from Argentina to Iran and conclude that they have failed to achieve their objectives. With US oil sanctions on Venezuela, trade sanctions on select Argentine, Brazilian and Canadian exports and the tightening of the US embargo on Cuba, sanctions have become a go-to tool of the current administration.

Have they worked so far? Some have. Some haven’t. All of this leads to a legitimate question: when do they? The most extreme example, the US embargo on Cuba – first imposed by executive order under the Trading with the Enemy Act in 1961 and then codified into law by the Cuba Democracy Act (1992) and Libertad Act (1996) passed by Congress – has failed miserably, but remains an article of faith among its advocates, the bulk of them in southern Florida.…  Seguir leyendo »

La cruzada desmedida y partidista del gobierno del presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, contra las instituciones internacionales ha llegado al banco multilateral más importante del hemisferio occidental.

Rompiendo con 60 años de tradición, la Casa Blanca ha nominado a un estadounidense sin el conocimiento de la región ni la capacitación en economía necesarios para convertirse en el nuevo presidente del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID).

La nominación de la Casa Blanca de Mauricio Claver-Carone parece estar muy influenciada por la política interna estadounidense, como parte de una estrategia republicana para ganar los 29 votos electorales de Florida en las elecciones presidenciales de noviembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Trump administration’s intemperate, partisan crusade against international institutions has extended to the Western Hemisphere’s most important multilateral bank.

Breaking with 60 years of tradition, the White House has nominated an American with neither the knowledge of the region nor the training in economics to become the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The White House’s nomination of Mauricio Claver-Carone seems certainly informed by domestic politics — part of its strategy to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes in November. Currently the senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, Claver-Carone’s previous experience was running a one-man lobbying shop for the U.S.-Cuba…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstrator wears a face mask during a protest against Chilean President Sebastian Piñera's government in Santiago on 16 March 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

This article is not about the coronavirus.  Or at least not directly. It’s about the elections, political processes and protests in Latin America and the Caribbean that only a few months ago seemed destined to shape many countries’ democratic futures.  In Bolivia, Chile and the Dominican Republic, public health concerns over COVID-19 have forced the postponement of critical elections; in all three countries social and political upheaval preceded the delays.

In the best of circumstances elections serve as a safety valve for political and social tensions.  What will their postponement mean as the countries feel the economic and social effects of the pandemic?…  Seguir leyendo »

A municipal cleaning worker disinfects the central market in Santiago, Chile on 7 April 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Getty Images.

Differing approaches across the hemisphere have had different impacts on presidential popularity and, at least in one case, on democratic institutions and human rights. Yet, even within that diversity, South America’s Southern Cone countries (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) have shown a sign of solidarity: protecting and facilitating trade flows, sponsoring cross-border research and ensuring citizens’ return to their home countries.

The response from populist leaders

On the extreme have been the responses of presidents of Brazil, Nicaragua and Mexico, all of whom have ignored the science of the virus and of experts and refused to implement isolation policies.  President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil fired his health minister, Luis Henrique Mandetta on 16 April for contradicting him and earlier had claimed that the pandemic was a hoax or little more than a ‘measly cold.’…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstrator waves a Chilean flag during a protest in Santiago on 21 October 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

Why are these protests happening now?

The truth is, Chile is unequal, even though it actually reduced poverty from 1989, the time of the democratic transition, until today, from 40% to 16%.

There are a number of reasons for the protests. One is the most proximate cause, which is the increase in the subway fares, but that really doesn’t explain the underlying tensions.

One of those tensions is despite reductions in poverty, social mobility remains a large problem in Chile. It remains a very elitist country with limited social mobility. So, poverty may be reduced, but the likelihood that someone in the working middle class would reach the upper middle class has always been a stretch.…  Seguir leyendo »

An area of forest-pasture integration prepared to receive dairy cattle for feeding in Ipameri, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images.

Currently 73% of all UK agricultural imports come from the EU. That heavy dependence sparked a report (opens in new window) by the British parliament expressing concern about the UK’s food security in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Latin America’s agricultural powerhouses Brazil and Argentina only accounted for a total of 1.6% of the UK’s agricultural market across eight sectors in 2018. A growing relationship would seem to be an obvious fit post-Brexit – but a number of structural issues stand in the way.

There is certainly scope for increasing Latin American agricultural exports to the UK given current trade patterns.…  Seguir leyendo »

A counter-narcotics police officer testing a tactical vehicle to spray herbicides on a coca field in Tumaco, southern Colombia, in 2018. (Fernando Vergara/AP)

Cuatro años después de que Colombia suspendiera la polémica estrategia de fumigación aérea para erradicar los cultivos de coca, el presidente Iván Duque tiene intenciones de reiniciarla. Su gobierno ha planteado la necesidad de reactivarla —con el no tan sutil apoyo del gobierno de los EE.UU.— en un momento donde la producción de coca ha alcanzado niveles históricamente altos a pesar del esfuerzo de su antecesor, Juan Manuel Santos, de negociar los Acuerdos de Paz en 2016 para dar carpetazo a 52 años de guerra civil. Y aún cuando el mes pasado, la Corte Constitucional de Colombia decidió ratificar las restricciones para fumigar cultivos de coca desde el aire —decisión dictada a través de la sentencia T-236, prohibiendo al gobierno la implementación de dicha estrategia a menos de que se cumplan seis protocolos específicos— la interpretación de la sentencia deja una puerta abierta para que Duque reanude la fumigación.…  Seguir leyendo »

El esfuerzo del presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, para provocar el fin del régimen represor de Cuba al aplastar su economía solo garantiza más sufrimiento para los ciudadanos de la isla, que ya padecen suficientes limitaciones a consecuencia del proyecto económico fallido de Fidel Castro.

La Casa Blanca está dañando a la misma gente —los cubanos comunes y corrientes— a la que dice querer ayudar. No solo se están agotando sus posibles fuentes de ingresos independientes (y, con ellas, su autonomía política), sino también su acceso a alimentos y sus esperanzas para el futuro.

Durante décadas, la autocracia cubana ha sido un recordatorio irritante de la impotencia de Estados Unidos para erradicar el comunismo.…  Seguir leyendo »

A counter-narcotics police officer testing a tactical vehicle to spray herbicides on a coca field in Tumaco, southern Colombia, in 2018. (Fernando Vergara/AP)

Four years after Colombia suspended the controversial policy of aerial fumigation to kill coca plants, President Iván Duque is hoping to restart it. His government is making the case (with the not-so-subtle support of the U.S. government) against a backdrop of historically high levels of coca production and the hobbled 2016 peace plan, negotiated by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, to end a 52-year civil war. And although on Thursday, the Constitutional Court decided to uphold its decision—dictated through sentence T-236, prohibiting the government of resuming aerial fumigation unless six specific protocols are met—the interpretation of the ruling leaves an open door for Duque to resume spraying.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los representantes de los Estados miembros del Prosur, de Guyana, Brasil, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Perú y Paraguay. Credit Claudio Reyes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

El 13 de marzo, Ecuador se sumó a la decisión de otros siete países latinoamericanos y se retiró de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur), creada en 2008 por doce naciones de la región. Hoy en la Unasur solo quedan Uruguay, Bolivia, Surinam, Guyana y Venezuela. Desde hace varios años, Unasur viene perdiendo credibilidad debido a su silencio, complicidad y, en algunos casos, hasta defensa del régimen de Nicolás Maduro en Venezuela.

En respuesta a la notoria decadencia de la Unasur, que integra la lista de los numerosos proyectos regionales en América Latina, un grupo de países —Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay y Perú— decidieron hace pocos días crear el Foro para el Progreso y Desarrollo de América Latina (Prosur).…  Seguir leyendo »

El presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, se persignó antes de votar en las elecciones presidenciales el 20 de mayo de 2018. Credit Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press

A lo largo de América Latina y el Caribe, los ciudadanos han perdido confianza en las elecciones y en los políticos políticos. Y así como los votantes están cuestionando el proceso democrático, los gobiernos de todo el espectro ideológico también están desautorizando a los vigilantes tradicionales de la integridad electoral; los organismos multilaterales como las Naciones Unidas, la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), entre otros.

La conjunción de ambos fenómenos —la disminución de la confianza en las elecciones y la falta de respaldo a aquellos que garantizan la integridad del voto— crea un problema: ¿qué figura queda para juzgar con credibilidad las elecciones de los próximos meses, que podrían llegar a ser controversiales, en dos de los países más grandes de América Latina, México y Brasil?…  Seguir leyendo »

En una conmemoración por el cincuenta aniversario de la muerte del Che Guevara en 2017, Miguel Díaz-Canel, a la izquierda, conversa con el presidente de Cuba, Raúl Castro. Credit Yamil Lage/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

En los próximos días, la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular de Cuba elegirá al sucesor de Raúl Castro en la presidencia. La elección por sesión constitutiva, en la que probablemente resulte victorioso el actual vicepresidente Miguel Díaz-Canel, será la primera vez que alguien sin el apellido Castro gobierne Cuba desde que Fulgencio Batista huyó del país en el Año Nuevo de 1958 y Fidel Castro tomó el poder el 1 de enero de 1959.

Mientras Cuba atraviesa el proceso de transición —se espera que el gobierno cubano anuncie los resultados de la sesión el miércoles o el jueves—, las relaciones cubano-estadounidenses están en un momento álgido.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante su reciente visita por cinco países de América Latina, el secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos Rex Tillerson, a la derecha, se reunió en Bogotá con Juan Manuel Santos, presidente de Colombia. Credit Raul Arboleda/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

El recorrido de Rex Tillerson, secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos, por cinco países de América Latina y el Caribe no empezó bien.

La semana pasada, Tillerson comenzó la gira con una parada en su alma mater, la Universidad de Texas, campus Austin, donde respaldó de manera insensible la doctrina Monroe de 1823 al decir que el derecho que tiene Estados Unidos de bloquear la interferencia externa en el hemisferio es “tan relevante ahora como el día en el que fue redactada”.

En una región que ha sufrido incontables intervenciones estadounidenses en nombre de la doctrina Monroe, invocarla como una guía legítima de la política internacional de Estados Unidos es tan solo un poco mejor que abogar por la “carga del hombre blanco”.…  Seguir leyendo »

A person waves a flag protesting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during a July 31 vigil in Caracas in honor of those who have been killed during clashes between security forces and demonstrators. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

On Aug. 8, 12 countries in Latin America raised their voices to oppose Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s move from democracy to autocracy. In a meeting convened in Lima, Peru, foreign ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru publicly denounced the Maduro government’s Constituent Assembly, convened to rewrite the country’s 17-year-old constitution, and declared that they would not recognize any laws or contracts approved by the assembly that should be the responsibility of the democratically elected national legislature.

The 12 nations’ efforts came after more than a decade during which Hugo Chávez (Venezuela’s president from 1999 to 2013) and his successor, Maduro (2013 to present), undercut democratic institutions, cracked down on human rights and brought to the country economic, social and political chaos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El inminente problema de Trump en Cuba

Muy pronto, tal vez este viernes, se espera que el presidente Donald Trump, junto con el senador Marco Rubio de Florida, anuncien una iniciativa que echará para atrás los esfuerzos que se hicieron durante la época de Obama para suavizar el embargo de 56 años que había tenido Estados Unidos sobre Cuba. ¿Qué tan lejos irá el presidente estadounidense?

De todos modos, algo más importante aún que el contenido real de los cambios ejecutivos será la reacción del congreso, los empresarios y otros grupos interesados de Estados Unidos ante la revocación que hará Trump de políticas que apoyan un 75 por ciento de los estadounidenses, según el Centro de Investigaciones Pew.…  Seguir leyendo »