Ivan Briscoe

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

On April 30, leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, among them National Assembly Chair and self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaidó, gathered before dawn on a three-lane highway in Caracas to proclaim the start of “Operation Freedom,” an uprising to liberate Venezuela. Liberation, however, proved fleeting. A smattering of supposedly mutinous secret policemen had gathered for the uprising, yet within two hours of its proclamation, they had piled into their vehicles and sped off. As one opposition member present at the time later recalled, “It was over before it began.”

Operation Freedom was only the latest in a string of efforts, headed by Guaidó and abetted by the United States and various Latin American governments, to unseat Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whom they decry as a dictator driving his country back to the economic Stone Age.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Chavista holds a sign that reads “With hunger and no job, with Maduro I remain. Long live the homeland” during a demonstration in support of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro Caracas, Venezuela – 9 March 2019. Hugo Passarello Luna / Hans Lucas

Ángela (not her real name) handles delivery of the state food rations known as CLAPs in her working-class neighbourhood in Caracas. She is a lifelong supporter of chavismo – the left-wing populist philosophy and command economy preached by the late president, Hugo Chávez – and loyal to his successor, the embattled Nicolás Maduro. But today, with numerous outside powers backing opposition figurehead Juan Guaidó’s claim to the presidency and Venezuela sinking ever deeper into poverty and despair, she admits that she and her friends are “weary”. At what point in the U.S.-driven effort to asphyxiate the Maduro government, I wonder, might she finally give up the cause?…  Seguir leyendo »

Carlos Barria / Reuters. Maduro at a rally in Caracas, February 2019

As Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tightens his white-knuckled grip on power, his supporters argue that in at least one respect, they were right all along. The first principle of Chavismo, the movement created by Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, is that Chavistas are locked in a permanent struggle with the imperialist United States and its lackeys in the Venezuelan oligarchy. For 20 years the state drilled this message into the public’s heads, at times using it to justify secret police raids, empty shop shelves, and soaring prices.

The American bogeyman apparently turned real on January 23: opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president, and the United States, Canada, and many countries in Latin America rushed to endorse his claim.…  Seguir leyendo »

Addressing the Migration Bottleneck in Southern Mexico

What is the migration crisis in Mexico?

Poverty and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America (comprising El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are forcing hundreds of thousands of Central Americans to flee each year to Mexico. Most are heading north due to deep economic insecurity. But 39.2 per cent of Central Americans surveyed in Mexico by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in December 2016 said they left their homes because they or their families were attacked, threatened, extorted or pressured to join criminal gangs; many in such circumstances would likely qualify as refugees, entitled to international protection under applicable laws.

For the past two decades, the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Donald Trump’s 16 June announcement that his administration will partially reverse efforts to restore diplomatic ties and normalise relations with Cuba represents a throwback to the past that imperils the overall goals of freedom and democracy it professes to promote. With veteran Cuban President Raúl Castro due to retire in one year, and while Cuba’s most important ally, Venezuela, sinks further into political and economic turmoil, the content and timing of this decision show scant sensitivity to how U.S. actions resonate with the Cuban people and the region as a whole.

The measures included in President Trump’s address to Cuban exiles in Miami will have only minimal practical impact.…  Seguir leyendo »

Honduras no es un país violento. El arrebato represor para resolver las situaciones de conflictividad no es algo propio de la identidad catracha ni característico de los últimos acontecimientos históricos de este país. Sin embargo, la imagen de Honduras en el extranjero dice lo contrario y sus descorazonadoras tasas de homicidio están entre las más altas del mundo.

Las pandillas, el narcotráfico, la corrupción y el creciente deterioro de la capacidad estatal son algunos de los múltiples factores que explican la delicada situación actual. Por si fuera poco, la repetición por inercia de políticas de seguridad represivas que obvian las raíces socioeconómicas del problema han supuesto un deterioro notable de la situación.…  Seguir leyendo »

El reconocido psiquiatra y autor estadounidense James Gilligan asegura que la violencia nace de la voluntad de aplastar la sensación de vergüenza o humillación y sustituirla por orgullo. A un nivel más global, podría decirse que eso es exactamente lo que sucede en los últimos 25 años en el llamado Triángulo Norte de América Central –compuesto por Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador– que desde hace años lleva el deshonroso título de ser una de las regiones más violentas del mundo. Pero detrás del flagelo de las maras o pandillas, los homicidios y el crimen, subyace toda una historia de humillación y políticas fallidas que han contribuido a que esta región de unos 30 millones de habitantes viva en una creciente espiral de odio y represión.…  Seguir leyendo »

Aunque el detalle ha pasado desapercibido para los colombianos que aún padecen la confusión por la derrota de los partidarios del acuerdo de paz en el plebiscito del 2 de octubre, no es un hecho menor. Hace casi 60 años, en el último referéndum sobre una resolución de un conflicto interno colombiano, la madre de Álvaro Uribe participó activamente en la campaña a favor del acuerdo. Su causa ganó contundentemente, y los dos principales bandos políticos colombianos acordaron vivir juntos en paz bajo las nuevas reglas políticas y constitucionales del llamado Frente Nacional. Además, las mujeres accedieron al derecho a voto en todo el país.…  Seguir leyendo »