The list of foreign policy challenges facing President-elect Biden when he enters the Oval Office in January will be both manifold and complex. After four years of a Trump presidency the influence of the United States has been eroded overseas whilst the State Department has seen its budget reduced year on year. With such a range...
The political stalemate in Venezuela leaves the country wide open to plunder by international creditors, banks and vulture funds. Meanwhile, the country cannot spend its own money to combat Covid-19.
Venezuela, whose economy is already in dire straits thanks to US sanctions and its own mismanagement, risks losing control of the Texas-based oil company CITGO, currently owned by Petróleos de Venezuela, and valued at US$8 billion. Bond-holders, the Trump administration and a Canadian mining company are circling the prey. The only, slim chance seems to be if...
Both the United Nations and World Health Organization have labelled the spread of disinformation during the coronavirus crisis as an ‘infodemic.’ ‘We have faced pandemics before,’ said Graham Brookie, Director of the Atlantic Council Digital Forensics Laboratory, ‘but never in an era in which humans are so connected and with as much access to information as they...
21 April 2020 LAB has just published our first true photo-story: São Paulo – the streets under social isolation a collaboration between sociologist Fraya Frehse and photojournalist Tiago Queiroz, and with the help of our web-designer Wes Boden. Do take a look and let us know if you think...
LAB received this article from Venezuelan National Science Prize winner Victor Álvarez. It is a follow-up to his earlier appeal for a coalition government to involve both Maduro and Guaidó. Translated for LAB by Jasmine Haniff. Placing a price on the heads of Maduro and his...
LAB received this article from Venezuelan National Science Prize winner Victor Álvarez. We publish it here because of its appeal to both sides of the country's political divide to set aside their differences in the national interest, and to prevent a health catastrophe. The appeal includes a clear demand that the US Government suspend economic sanctions and...

The Synod on the Amazon

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A synod is a meeting of representatives of Church communities to discuss issues of doctrine or Church governance.  So far, for most people, so boring.  But when, in February 2019, General Augusto Heleno, President Jair Bolsonaro’s senior security adviser, described October’s Catholic Church synod on the Amazon as ‘relevant to Brazil’s national security’ and having a ‘left-wing agenda’, he was...
The recent announcement by Iván Márquez – the second highest commander of the original Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) – that sections of South America’s largest demobilised guerrilla movement are returning to war, should come as little surprise to some observers of Latin America. In a recent video, Márquez, whose real name is Luciano Marín, said...

Pumé

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The Pumé people (sometimes called Yaruro) live in  the savanna plains of Venezuela, the Llanos, located west of the Orinoco River. Most Pumé communities do not have clear land ownership rights to the areas that they occupy. Now all are threatened by land encroachment by cattle ranchers and illegal or semi-legal mining. This video was made by OjosIlegales...

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