Investors are increasingly placing their bets on Latin America’s thriving financial technology startups.
For Latin Americans accustomed to red tape, it can seem like a godsend – instead of waiting in line, a swipe on a smart phone; instead of piles of paperwork, a text message or two. Over the last several years, financial technology has changed the way that consumers from Mexico to Brazil save and spend their money. Now, as startups in the region multiply and traditional banks adjust, what started as a trend is looking more like a boom. Continue reading Startups from Brazil to Mexico Are Giving Banks a Run for Their Money
Can a new year and a new strategy help Venezuela’s opposition MUD coalition resolve internal differences?
Venezuela’s opposition has had to do some soul-searching. Despite a year punctuated by massive street protests and international condemnation of President Nicolás Maduro’s anti-democratic turns, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), a coalition of opposition parties, ended 2016 with little to celebrate. Its effort to force a recall referendum on Maduro came to naught when the National Electoral Council dismissed the option in late October.Vatican-brokered negotiations with the government also fell apart. And Maduro’s hold on power – which for months had seemed so tenuous – appeared secure as ever after the Supreme Court declared the opposition-held National Assembly illegitimate.
But MUD leaders say that 2017 will be different, and have responded to growing criticism of their efforts with a plan to reorganize, re-strategize, and learn from past mistakes. Continue reading Fighting Maduro: The Venezuelan Opposition’s New Plan
One evening in September, while sitting in a cab in midtown Manhattan, Moisés Kaufman got a phone call telling him he’d been selected to receive the National Medal of Arts, the U.S.’ government’s highest artistic honor. “The first thing I said was ‘Are you sure you got the right number?’” Kaufman told AQ between laughs.
That the 52-year-old playwright and theater director is surprised by his own success is perhaps understandable. Growing up in an orthodox Jewish household in Catholic Venezuela, Kaufman’s sense of being an outsider was made doubly acute by the realization, at age 11, that he was gay. “Faggot and gay were some of the worst things you could say to a Venezuelan macho in the 70s and 80s,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “I was a minority within a minority.” Continue reading How a Venezuelan Playwright Conquered Broadway
Major demonstrations could pressure the country’s elections board to allow a recall vote. But challenges to the opposition are significant.
September 1 may mark a “before and after” moment in Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.
Following further delays by the electoral authority on advancing a recall referendum against President Nicolás Maduro, opposition leaders have called on residents across the country to mobilize in the capital city this Thursday in what they have dubbed “The Grand Taking of Caracas.”
The opposition is anticipating success, and expects at least one million people to join the march. Henrique Capriles of the Primero Justicia party said the protest will have a worldwide impact.
But will it? Continue reading How Sept. 1 Could Be The Beginning Of The End For Venezuela’s Maduro
I spent months reporting and writing this three part series about the double exile of Cubans to Venezuela after Fidel Castro’s rise, and from Venezuela to the United States after Hugo Chavez’s rise. It explores the impact of immigrating twice for similar reasons, on the lives of three families, including my own. Continue reading The Families That Fled Tyranny Twice
Jesus Romero, 26, and Jacob Robles, 24, are leading a community self-reliance group in Barrio Centro, a neighborhood struggling with poverty in central Tucson. The group, Flowers and Bullets, invites members to use their skills in new, productive ways, through projects in agriculture and art. Continue reading Graffiti Artists and Drug Dealers Put Skills to New Uses