Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

Calderon's First Year

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, November 30, 2007

What a difference a year makes. Just a year ago Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s mandate appeared uncertain following a contested election that gave him a razor-thin winning margin of 250,000 votes over PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Last December 1st he was stoically watching Representatives come to blows on the Congressional floor as PRD representatives tried to prevent his formal inauguration. Now his approval ratings top 60%, and he has achieved important if incremental reforms to the public pension system, the fiscal system, and the electoral system. Read more »

Voting in Venezuela

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This Sunday Venezuelans will vote on a referendum comprising 69 changes to the existing Constitution. Many of these push the country further toward Chavez’s 21st Century Socialism, expanding pensions for the elderly and reducing the workday to six hours. Others strengthen the power of the President and Chavez in particular, extending the Presidential term and allowing unlimited reelection, giving the President the power to appoint many more government officials, and limiting some civil liberties during states of emergency. Read more »