Venezuela’s Deepening Legal Nihilism

Not that many people are paying attention outside of the region, but Venezuela is quickly approaching the precipice of disaster. At 68% inflation, the country ranks among the worst performing economies in the world outside of Sudan. Unemployment, debt, unchecked violence and insecurity, and widespread shortages of basic goods ($755 condoms) are drawing comparisons with […]

Venezuela and the Limits of Sanctions

As the a new sanctions bill against specifically targeted Venezuelan government officials has now cleared both houses of the legislature (a rare event indeed) and is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for signing, a wide range of reactions have come forward, from conspiracy mongering to the familiar cries of imperial oppression. While sanctions are […]

Historical Memory in Thailand and Guatemala

Guatemala and Thailand share a fascinating common history of repeated, violent military coups and heavy U.S. involvement as a result of the Cold War, creating a lingering distortion in each nation’s political culture

American Censorship

Any citizen who voted for President Barack Obama hoping for some change and improvement to the culture of secrecy of his predecessor should be sorely disappointed. According to a new data analysis by the Associated Press, last year the Obama administration invoked more exceptions to the Freedom of Information Act than any other government in […]

The NSA and Attorney-Client Privilege

The latest Snowden leak shows that the NSA, via it’s partner in Australia, has violated attorney-client privilege of a U.S. law firm. Is the “Five Eyes” alliance being used to circumvent constitutional protections against U.S. surveillance against its own citizens?

Elite Corruption, American-Style

In light of my post yesterday on the Bo Xilai trial, I came across this interesting bit published on Walter Russell Mead’s blog: Here in the United States, our unprincipled politicians and greedy business elite have engaged in orgies of nepotism for a long time now. And the practice seems to be gaining momentum with […]

Chávez and The Algorithm of Authoritarianism

The following is an excerpt from a new article I contributed to the U.K. magazine Prospect.  Since the time of writing, several important events have taken place in Venezuela.  Chávez has used his decree powers to pass new internet regulations, allowing the government of a degree of control and censorship online similar to China or […]